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Are you a cheater?

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Old 01-19-2012, 03:15 AM   #1
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Default Are you a cheater?

Do you allow yourself 1 cheat day per week in order to not feel deprived? Or how about just 1 cheat meal per week? Or do you eat clean non-stop?

When I say eating "clean", I'm talking about whole foods and not eating processed foods...basically, eating fruits, veggies, beans, low-fat or skim dairy, and fish.

For those of you that cheat, does that hinder your weight loss journey or do you find that having a cheat day or meal once per week actually allows you to NOT end up going on an all out binge.

As for me, I just started eating clean as of last Friday. I've been doing great so far, but today I cheated by ordering a cheese pizza. At least it was just a cheese pizza and didn't have any additional toppings on it.

Do you allow yourself to cheat?
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:02 AM   #2
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I have a pretty big sweet tooth so I am allowing myself one cheat per week if I'm really craving something. I don't look at it as a reward because I'm aware that it's not always healthy to look at food as rewards (how I probably got into this situation in the first place). Instead, I look it at as a lesson in moderation.

If I'm not craving anything in particular, I pass.

But even with the cheat, I have rules because of my tendency to have one cookie and then end up eating the whole box & crying on the bathroom floor as I get nauseous from eating too much.

-It has to be reasonable in terms of calories (nothing ridiculously crazy).

-I can't buy it when I buy regular groceries since that would involve it looking out at me from my pantry for days on end, tempting me
I try not to keep any junk in the house anymore so that way if I just have to have some ice cream, I have to actually get in my car and drive to the ice cream shop and usually by then, I don't want it anymore.

-It has to be just one serving of it.

Even with the low-fat/non-fat/100 calorie treats, I tend to go overboard. I remember when I was on Jenny Craig a couple years ago, they made this triple chocolate cheesecake piece that I found to be absolutely delicious. I was only allotted one of that particular kind for the week and I knew it was time to get a grip when I almost cut my tongue licking the plastic container it was in, in the privacy of my own home where no one could see me. And yes, I've done the throwing away junk food and drenching it with dish-washing liquid in the trash can like Miranda from Sex and the City many times before.

I've had such an unhealthy relationship with food for so long, I'm trying to reprogram my brain when it comes to craving unhealthy food and self-control.

Like tonight, I had a late night craving so bad for something absolutely orgasmic to eat (despite having a substantially filling dinner), I thought I was gonna snap and eat the whole house.

I'm on a 1500 daily calorie allowance and I've been doing so great these past couple of days (1500 calories exactly last night and a little over 1400 today), I didn't want to end up feeling guilty. There were a package of Oreos in the pantry that my husband had bought and been snacking on today when I wasn't around and I must've stared at them for a good five minutes before I stopped and said to myself, "Why are you letting cookies control your life? Something so insignificant as a cookie has got you acting all crazy.."

So I made myself some green tea. Drank it. Drank a full glass of ice water, waited about 30 minutes and was still kind of hungry. Instead, I grabbed a piece of light string cheese and two dill spear pickles and that curbed it.
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:51 AM   #3
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Absolutely yes I do, though never the day before I weigh-in (consider that a hard lesson learnt!). My big cheat is chocolate really, so I don't have one day where I go all out but I may have a small chocolate bar twice a week or so. I usually try and adjust my calories to compensate but it does mean I go over occasionally. However I never cheat with soda or fast food because I went cold turkey with both to stop the cravings and one bite might be all I need to send myself back.

My approach to eating is based on moderation ultimately. I figure this is a lifestyle change and I am ok with being someone who can have a slice of pizza after the movies or have a piece of cake at a party. I admire the commitment of people who cut everything 'bad' and follow their plans to the letter, I'm just not made that way.

Edit: In relation to binges being able to have a little chocolate without feeling like I've thrown my whole diet out the window works for me. I used to binge a lot on chocolate and cookies before I started losing weight and find that now I can satisfy the urge with one cookie or one chocolate bar without needing to eat myself into oblivion. My losses are around 2lbs per week which I am fine with - once it's a loss it's a success!

Last edited by knoxie : 01-19-2012 at 04:54 AM.
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:14 AM   #4
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I guess I cheat a lot. I'm trying to put more fruit in my diet as I never used to eat it. I think the problem with me is that I don't cook my own meals so I eat what I'm given and more or less when I'm given it. So if my Mum's feeling lazy it'll just be chips and fish fingers or something.
I'm trying to move out in the next 6 months and I've been collecting recipes which are healthy and don't involve processed food.
I've never really liked chocolate- well I'll eat it and I occasionally get cravings but I'm more of a crisp person, luckily I've been going off them.
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:24 AM   #5
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I don't eat 'clean'. I eat reasonably healthy, and what will fit into my calorie budget for the day. I don't eat ALL whole grains or ALL fruits and veggies. If I feel like I *have* to have something I go ahead and have it in a reasonable portion. Last night, I was still so hungry after eating all of my calories. I felt like making a calculated choice to have something would be better than making an unhealthy, impulsive choice. I went to Subway and had a six inch turkey sub, a bag of light chips and 2 chocolate chips cookies. Yes, that was a 'cheat' as in it wasn't in my calorie budget nor was it on plan. But I felt it would have been better just to satisfy my hunger/craving now than be so hungry that I pulled into hardy's are taco bell later.

So yes I do make considered choices to 'cheat' to prevent something really out of control happening later on.
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Old 01-19-2012, 07:21 AM   #6
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I have found that in general, doing a "cheat day" or a "cheat meal" makes me feel.... NEGATIVE. I don't like to feel negative, I like to feel positive. When I started counting calories in Jan. 2011, I found out that it's pretty easy to incorporate the foods I love into my daily caloric allowance. Therefore, cheating is not necessary. So I don't feel like I have to "fool myself" or "trick myself" into my diet plan.

That's not to say that I don't overeat sometimes. I do. I'm a binge-eater and that's a hard thing to conquer. But I'm working on it.

But I say DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU. If that's having an occasional cheat, then cheat'er up!
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Last edited by Beach Patrol : 01-19-2012 at 07:22 AM.
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Old 01-19-2012, 07:33 AM   #7
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What Beach Patrol says. Calling it cheating implies that something is wrong. And by needing a cheat day implies that you can't eat clean all the time, so how do you sustain the weight loss long term?

I eat whatever I want, whenever I want and account for it in my calories. The more high calorie, less filling things I eat, the hungrier I'll be so I keep those to a minimum. I shoot for eating 1450 calories a day, but if that makes me too hungry, I up how much I eat (which has been every day since Christmas holidays). I figure it's better to eat 100-200 calories more and feel satisfied than caving in and having a 3000 calorie binge day every week.
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Old 01-19-2012, 07:34 AM   #8
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To build on what Beach Patrol said, I also don't like the language of "cheating". Your way of eating and your weight loss plan isn't a test, or a race, or a vow, or any of the other sorts of things where "cheating" is in apposition to "fair play" or "staying true". There is a moral judgment in the word "cheating" that I think has no place in evaluating your eating.

If you overeat, or eat something off your plan, you have not committed a sin, or a crime, or done something morally wrong. It's not something you can get "caught" doing or something for which you will have to do penance. It's just overeating or eating off plan. I would love to see people remove these morally charged terms from their thinking about food.

All of that said - if there are treats you really want you can work them into your plan, depending upon what your plan is. My plan is calorie counting so I could make room for almost anything in it, at least when my calorie allotment was somewhat higher than it is now. What I found was that it often wasn't worth it to me - 300 calories for a small martini, for example, could be better spent on food than on the booze. And so this budgeting helped me learn to say "eh, not today" to things I used to think I would never be able to pass up on.

And, sometimes I do eat off plan. I go over my calories. It happens, for any number of reasons. I don't think of it as cheating, though. the important thing is not to chastise myself for it but just to get right back on plan as soon as I can - preferably the very next eating opportunity.
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Old 01-19-2012, 07:50 AM   #9
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Food is food. I try not to think in terms of "bad" or "good" when it comes to food. So no, I don't cheat because nothing is off-limits.

Instead I ask myself what this particular food can do for me. I want to keep and build muscle, so does it have the protein I need? How will it make me feel? Do I just want to taste something good? Do I even need this food right now or am I actually thirsty?

Usually I'm choosing what is considered healthy, but sometimes I want something that just tastes good. I don't think there's anything wrong with that.
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Old 01-19-2012, 07:52 AM   #10
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Like Beach Patrol, I do not have a "cheat" day, I just incorporate foods I like into my plan. That being said, I normally allow myself more calories on the weekends because . . . well, weekends always make me feel like celebrating and in my mind, part of celebrating is food (I know many would say that thinking is wrong, but I'm okay with it. People have been celebrating with food for thousands of years).
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:17 AM   #11
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I actually allow myself to "cheat" once a week. Maybe the word "cheating" isn't the best choice, because I don't feel that by eating something that I know I'm not allowed I'm compromising my diet. It's actually the opposite; by allowing myself a small treat once a week I make sure I don't build up frustration and end up devouring an entire chocolate cake. The key is moderation, after I lose the extra weight my plan is to live a healthy lifestyle, and that includes indulging from time to time instead of panicking every time someone offers me a piece of pie.
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:31 AM   #12
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I wouldn't call it a cheat day where I eat everything in site for the **** of it. But I do have one day a week (if I have money) to allow myself to go eat at a resturant and enjoy a yummy, high cal and high sodium meal.

Yesterday I could fit a bag of creamy dill baked lays chips in my calories so I ate it. I still eat normal I've just cut back in calories is all. I don't have much processed food, but I do still eat it, but I do try and buy lots of fruits and veggies and I have been making healthier meals and planning them. (the problem with Calgary especially this time of year the fruits suck, so I find myself not buying as much because who wants to spend money on fruit that isn't remotely good...)

I feel if I deprive myself from certain food I enjoy I binge and I think binging for me is much worse than going out and having one over the top meal a week or every two weeks, because I can still control my eating...but if I binge I feel out of control and just continue to spiral down.
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:13 AM   #13
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I haven't yet, but I haven't been at this too long seriously. Just a few weeks. I have had some serious cravings but so far haven't given into them. Although as I read this I want to more and more. :-) I'm not sure if I'm going to incorporate it right now or not. In the end I want to be able to eat what I want in moderation and within reason. But right now I think that will throw off my plan. I need to really lose some weight and then introduce it slowly.

I say that, but I do want to have one day where I can eat what I want. I'd actually like for that day to be today. :-) But I'm just too worried that I won't stop at that day. Not sure what to do in that area.
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:24 AM   #14
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Allow me to add: I used to do "cheat" days. That's when I was on "diets" such as South Beach, etc. Diets that "don't allow" for certain foods, be it during the entire diet or just in a certain phase of a diet, etc.

That's one of the major reasons I chose to count calories this time. I didn't like that so many of my favorite foods were "off limits" to me - even for "Phase I" or the "3 weeks" or whatever. It just made no sense to me that a piece of fruit - a very NATURAL thing to eat - would be "off limits" to me.

I'm not knocking South Beach - I know many people who succeed on that diet, and I say WOO HOO to that! ("the perfect diet is the foods you'll eat") - but even tho I lost weight on that diet a few years ago, it certainly wasn't sustainable for me, and yeah, I regained all I lost & then some... so...

...just wanted to clarify
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Old 01-19-2012, 11:31 AM   #15
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I cheat everyday -.-
I can't go on without sweets one day, or even without sugar in my oatmeal. I really can't, so I simply eat whatever I want, everything in moderation. And it works. I am not grumpy and almost fully satisfied everyday. And I feel that I am losing weight, though I didn't weigh in for a week or so, but I do feel it.
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