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Old 06-28-2011, 09:35 AM   #1
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Default Cheat days???...yes? no?

Do you give yourself cheat days? I'm new to dieting but I've heard both ways...do you think a weekly cheat day is motivating or devastating?

If yes:
*How often?
*Even the slightest bit limited?
*At the beginning of the diet or at the end?

It's only day two but I'm missing chips and queso
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:44 AM   #2
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No. Most of us are here because we had issues with eating and/or portion control. While a "free day" may work for some people, it is often a license to bender for most 3FC women.

Many people find a weekly planned treat MEAL (not day) is something pleasant to look forward to and helps take the edge off. I incorporate a treat meal into my weekly plan - it is whatever I want, within reason. And it's not a crappy meal - it's something nice and enjoyable.

I think you'll find many people who start slipping in full-on cheat days tend to end up right back where they started.

Maintainer 2004-2009/3 Pregnancies/Maintainer 2013 - Present

Last edited by sacha; 06-28-2011 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:47 AM   #3
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I don't think I would plan to have a regularly scheduled off plan day, but have you considered an occasional guilt-free meal on a weekly or bi-weekly basis? I didn't do too much of that in the beginning, but lately have been indulging in a restaurant meal once a week or so. Me, if I wanted chips and queso, I would eat it. I would just have a one-serving size. 10 chips and 2 T of queso for around 200 or so calories. That is what keeps me on track, eating whatever I want, just a little bit of it. Find what works for you.
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:02 AM   #4
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I plan favorite treats into my plan. I also allow for a celebration meal/treat such as birthdays, holidays, etc. I try to allow for the carbs and calories on those days.

I struggle with "cheat" days because my approach is that I am not on a diet - I have implemented a lifestyle change. Weightloss is a postive consequence of that change.

Good luck
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:13 AM   #5
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I don't do "cheat" days. Not ever.

Now, I may overeat occasionally, but I certainly don't call it "cheating."

Actually I don't even like the word "cheat."

I've changed the way I eat. I've lost weight. I've improved my lifestyle. I'm happy with where I am. I have no intention of "cheating" myself ever again.

I guess the bottom line is that I'm afraid if I started "cheating" occasionally I would find myself on that slippery slope of regaining the weight I have so carefully lost and I certainly don't want to do that again.


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Old 06-28-2011, 10:15 AM   #6
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i always had a monthly cheat. Out to dinner anything i wanted. To keep sane and something to look forward to so i didn't binge. BUT i must say after the cheat it was hard to get back on track. Everyones diff do whats best for you.

mmm chips n queso! thats my FAV too.
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:19 AM   #7
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I am with Riemontana on this. If I'm not on a diet there is no such thing as "cheating". I allow myself to sometimes have things I would not normally eat, especially during special times. I don't worry about gaining a bit on holidays or vacations for instance. Normal people who have never struggled with their weight gain at those times, why should I be different? Most people who have never had weight problems eat ice cream now and then, they just don't eat tubs and tubs of it. When I do have a treat, I try to change the rest of my day (or the next day or 2) to accommodate it. If I really want some fries at lunch then I will have a lighter dinner than I might otherwise have had, for instance. I try to look at it as creating a new normal for myself that is more like the normal that people of a healthy weight have. I used to think of it as rules and such and I gave myself a cheat meal which led to a cheat day which led to a cheat week which led to me not caring for months and gaining back nearly 30 pounds which I am still a few pounds away from re-losing.

I quit smoking on Oct. 20, 2008 Now I right and more.

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Old 06-28-2011, 10:22 AM   #8
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No I do not have 'cheat days'. I have occasionally had 1 bite of something if I really want it, but I do not give myself full days of just eating whatever I want. To me it would be like sabotaging myself. It is too hard to get back on plan if I go off. I would just be cheating myself. But I do find that if there is something I am really craving...I just go ahead and eat it and get it over with. Then move on...and dont beat yourself up about it.

If you want something you've never had...you have to be willing to do something you've never done!

Instead of giving myself reasons why I can't...I'm going to start giving myself reasons why I can!
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:25 AM   #9
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I don't do cheat days, but I do mental health days. If I do a cheat day, I feel like I am cheating myself. On my mental health days I let myself go on about my life without logging calories-about once a month. Do I eat whatever? No. I eat reasonably just like I would always do, but without the strict feeling of a regular day. Then, the next day I go back to counting. I feel like by doing this, I am giving a gift to myself, letting myself know that I do trust my own judgement. Everyone is different though, and what works for me might not be someone else's thing.

"The only journey is the journey within."
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:28 AM   #10
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I don't "cheat." Occasionally I will make a mistake, but it's not intentional. I picked a diet that is flexible and enjoyable so honestly I don't want to go off-plan.

I lost 40 lbs between Nov 2010 and Nov 2011 doing low-sugar for my "50 Pounds in 50 Weeks" project. I bounced halfway back up so I'm back for more!

I blog about personal finance at Evolving PF
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:37 AM   #11
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I don't do cheat days, but I would be able to eat those chips and queso without cheating. The other responders had some good suggestions: a treat meal, small treats incorporated into the plan.

Your last question, at the beginning or the end of the diet, raised a question for me. There is no end. There's the beginning and the rest is the middle. You might reach goal at some point, but that doesn't mean it's over. You said in your introduction that you haven't changed the way you eat. Well, you'll have to if you want to lose the weight and keep it off.

I don't ever have a day when I'm allowed to eat whatever I want, because way too many of those days lead me to where I am right now. I do believe that there are healthier and less healthy ways of eating. But I also know that there are plenty of thin people out there who don't always follow the rules of what I think is healthy eating. Thin people eat cake. They've done it right in front of me. So what's different? Some of them have terribly unhealthy diets and they're skipping nutritious food to eat just enough crap to not get fat. Most of them, however don't eat much cake, or very often. That's what I want to learn how to do. So on my plan, I can eat cake, or chips, or pizza. Just not every time the opportunity presents itself. And I can't have much when I do have it. And I recognize that this is the way it has to be forever.

First mini-goal: 5% - 209 - Met 04/29/11
Second mini-goal: 10% - 198 - Met 6/27/11
Third mini-goal: 15% - 187
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:43 AM   #12
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I've learned that "cheat days" bite me in my arse!!!

While the day is yummy & carefree, the next day -or to be more accurate- the next FIVE to SEVEN days are "scale up" and I find that not quite so "yummy" or "carefree".

So I've learned to have "cheat meals" - but it's really NOT cheating, because I eat whatever I like, I just work it into my 1500 calorie-per-day plan. So if I want to have mexican for lunch (including chips & salsa w/white cheese!!!) then I do it... but I REALLY scale back for dinner AND breakfast on the following day. This helps me keep on plan and also enjoy foods that I love.

Also, thru counting calories, I have learned that some foods, while totally delicious, just AREN'T WORTH THE CALORIES! So I have been choosing lower-caloric meals by looking at it in this light. AND IT'S WORKING. And hey, ain't that the point?

You CAN have ANYTHING you want,
but you CAN'T have EVERYTHING you want!
~my mama!

Last edited by Beach Patrol; 06-28-2011 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:57 AM   #13
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I give myself one cheat MEAL every two weeks. I think a day would be too much for me because I would feel the need to eat everything in sight...which would most-likely set me back a long way.

My Diet Blog:
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:01 AM   #14
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I understand what everyone is saying...I should stop thinking of my weight loss as a temporary situation. If I can successfully lose the weight, I WILLhave to change my habits and hopefully counting my calories will teach me that what I was doing before was just too much.

I guess I just approached my diet as a rule based punishment for getting chubby....I can't have cake for a while, I can't have (blank) for a while. I need to realize that my overindulgence in these things is what got me where I am and unless I'm a masochist, I don't want to pick right back up once I drop the pounds just to end up right back where I started…being punished.

I probably don’t have the will power to allow treats right now…I know myself well enough to see that I won’t stop at one serving…maybe someday, I guess…It’s a harsh realization that I can’t ever be that teen who ate a whole cake and weighed 115 with no problem. I miss her.
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:08 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by 170starting View Post
I give myself one cheat MEAL every two weeks. I think a day would be too much for me because I would feel the need to eat everything in sight...which would most-likely set me back a long way.
Yup. It's allowing yourself a cheat meal, not an entire day. The first 3 months, no cheating. In the 3rd through 6th month, one cheat meal a month. Now, I'm at two. But I also plan it. I will eat very very healthy before this meal to decrease the amount of guilt I always have after I eat something yummy. And if I don't do well that day, I reschedule the meal. But like others said, if you don't think you can handle it, then don't do it. At least, not yet. Work your way up to it. And honestly, you'll be surprised how much you see that it's not really worth it in the end.

1/4/15: Restarting my journey exactly 4 years from when I first started in January 2011. Reached my goal weight in 2012 and regained half of it back.

I never should have left 3FC!
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