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How do you work cheat days?

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Old 04-12-2013, 11:22 PM   #1
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Default How do you work cheat days?

Do you allow yourself to eat MORE total of healthy foods that you would already eat? Or do you allow yourself to eat something unhealthy? Today I'm doing the first one, I'm eating more calories but it is all healthy.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:35 PM   #2
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I go to the popcorn specialty shop almost every weekend and get the smallest bag they offer. This week's pick will be a mix of s'mores and white chocolate Oreo. I can't wait to get my Hands on it. Other than that small bag of popcorn I typically stay on track, unless something special is going on.
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:09 AM   #3
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I cycle my calories and on my one highest day ( about 1600-1700) I usually allow a bit more junk...maybe an extra bit of chocolate, usually a couple hundred more at dinner out. It depends. On my medium days (1400-1500) its typically higher meat portions... Steak. My lower days (1100-1300) are very strict and limit portions over all and no snacks.
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:12 AM   #4
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I don't.

Seriously, I've been on this journey long enough to know myself - cheat days don't help me, they hurt. Sometimes a LOT. Most of the folks who fall off the wagon and regain their lost weight (plus some!) began with justifying one cheat meal or day, and then it became three, and then they couldn't find the motivation to get back on plan and stick with it.

So I don't do cheat days. I may have a restaurant meal, but I work it into my calories and it is still composed of allowed foods in sensible quantities. Or I have dark chocolate once or twice per day, but only 6-10 gram servings, depending on the bar.

I even ate off plan once, recently. After staying perfectly on plan for every major holiday I decided that I would celebrate my daughter's birth with a delicious cake and some Japanese (which I'd been missing and wouldn't normally work with my plan). But that wasn't a cheat, either. I intentionally allowed myself a period of no counting. I planned exactly what to eat, when it would end, and strategized how to get back on plan as quickly and painlessly as possible, all before a single bite entered my mouth. And I have done it once. Not every time a major bank holiday rolls around, or every weekend. Once every year or two - whenever a baby is born. That frequency is comfortable for me, and not beyond my ability to handle.

Now, your mileage may vary. Some plans are much more flexible than others (I'd argue mine is quite flexible every day, which is why I feel so little need to eat off plan - I always enjoy my food and am happy with what I eat ). Some more easily adjust for meals that won't contribute to weight loss. That may be what you mean, rather than cheat? Food isn't moral. It isn't good or bad. But the quantities we consume and the choices we make regarding how often and how much to eat something; those have a real effect on our bodies and it may not be what we want.

It's okay to eat something that doesn't get you closer to your goal every once in awhile, sure. But that's a choice you must make, and I caution that for the season of weight loss, in particular, infrequently veering off course is a better solution than planning in regular 'extras', which only serve to slow the process and may frustrate you more than just abstaining. Know thyself, we all have different tolerances in this area.

That's my best advice
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Old 04-13-2013, 01:46 AM   #5
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I don't have cheat days.
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Old 04-13-2013, 03:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flexichick View Post
Do you allow yourself to eat MORE total of healthy foods that you would already eat? Or do you allow yourself to eat something unhealthy? Today I'm doing the first one, I'm eating more calories but it is all healthy.
What are these unhealthy foods you're talking about? How do you decide which foods are healthy and which ones are not?

Also, I think if you're dieting and need a break you should take a break. As in a week or more. Otherwise, I'd advise to stick with a free meal, as opposed to a whole day. It's very easy to slip back into the patterns that got us fat in the first place.

Regardless, I think the important thing is to have a plan. One day without a plan can undo a week or more of dieting.
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:09 AM   #7
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I don't really have cheat days. What I'll do is if I've been super good and OP for like a week and my husband decides he wants pizza or to go out to eat I will go out with him and eat what I want. i will still limit the quantity of it and try and fit it in with my calories, but I won't go all out on purpose. Also I will be exta vigilant the rest of the day to make sure it doesn't slip me up.
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:54 AM   #8
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I don't have cheat days, but I will regularly have some chocolate or a glass of wine as long as it fits into my calorie allotment.

Having said that there have been days where I've gone over. I had a longer day, or was still hungry for some reason. In those cases I'd prefer to eat something healthier and stop my craving then try and hold off and eventually binge.

Both cases, I don't see as a 'cheat' day. It's just life and sometimes it's a bit harder to stick to the plan but I don't want to think I went off track.
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:24 AM   #9
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No cheat days for me, either. There's plenty of food that I'm very happy with and that satisfy me day to day. And I can and do have what everyone else is having, but I'm carefully watching my portion size and filling most of my plate on some occasions with green salad.

I don't even use the word "cheat," because this is not a diet, but instead this is my lifestyle now. And if there's birthday cake, of course I'm having some. But in exchange I'll have less of something else and probably spend extra time on my treadmill.

But looking forward to a day of cheating with food? Never again. That's how I got here in the first place.
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:54 AM   #10
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I don't have cheat days. Some days I'll eat at the higher end of my calorie range. But it looks like you are only trying to lose 4.5 pounds in total, so you will probably have different experiences than most people here.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:04 AM   #11
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You only have a few pounds to lose and that's harder than losing say 30+ lbs. If I were you in your shoes I think I would try not to cheat until I reached my goal.

For me I don't have cheat days, but I have a planned cheat meal every week. It has helped me tremendously throughout my journey and it hasn't hinder my progress one bit. I think planning and staying in control has been the key - I never binge during my meals. Other then that I stay mostly on plan all week. I really don't desire chocolate, candy and junk anymore.

I am very mindful of my calories the rest of the day and I make sure to get in some cardio to burn of some of the extra calories.

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Old 04-13-2013, 10:09 AM   #12
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I don't do cheat days because I don't need them. My primary diet rule is "Moderation not deprivation." I eat whatever I want but in controlled portions.
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:01 PM   #13
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I guess I'm one of the few that have cheat days. I stay on course all the time so if somebody wants to do sushi or dinner, I consider that a cheat. But I limit myself to how much I eat. It all depends on the day but I don't have a day where I go "that's the day I'm going to eat a chocolate bar/ice cream/ etc etc". If I happen to be out to dinner I'll just order whatever and go from there.
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:10 PM   #14
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I don't "cheat". I eat what I want... but I record everything. That stops me from eating a lot of things my body does not need. But I wanted a cheeseburger Saturday so I had one, no guilt. Everything in moderation, including moderation.
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racrane View Post
Everything in moderation, including moderation.
EXCELLENT point!
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