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Old 09-29-2011, 01:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default a cheat day/meal - questions

I just was wondering:
do you have a cheat meal or day? Every week or how often?
when you do, do you still record what you ate or do you get a free pass on that?
I'm just wondering because I am the type of person who really needs an occasional "cheat" but I think I need some help on how to go about it in such a way that it feels satisfying but still doesn't ruin my efforts from the whole rest of the week.
Any tips/info/experience you have for me is appreciated.
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Old 09-29-2011, 04:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hola, I am a firm believer in a weekly "cheat." Here are my guidelines:
- One treat meal a week. Typically, the way this plays out is if I have a treat for dinner but nothing too gratuitous, then I'll have dessert as well if I really want it. If I really want a gratuitous dessert, then I'll just have that. Just depends on my craving.
- I record what I eat. The day of my cheat is typically around 2500 calories, but I don't really freak out about hitting a certain calorie mark for the day, although anything above 3k I would definitely be feeling some remorse about!
I'm curious to see what other folks have to add - it's definitely a tool many people have in their "healthy diet" belt.
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Old 09-29-2011, 04:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I almost hate to respond to this because I'm an extremest, so this may not work for you.

I give myself one day a week, I have been known to take more than one. I don't log it and I have no limits. My bad cheat days are probably 5000 calories. I can kill most of a rum cake by myself, which is like 3,000-4,000 calories. My cheat day usually starts with 2 donuts, one of them is usually a big honey bun, the other is normally a chocolate covered twist. I almost always fit in a Sonic Blast during the day. Then I'll have what ever I want for luch and dinner, could be pizza, who knows? What ever I crave, I eat.
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't have a scheduled "cheat" day, but typically it falls on Friday and generally speaking eases into Saturday as well. On Sunday I'm usually good as gold, unless Fri & Sat were so bad that it almost doesn't matter anymore. However when I was trying really hard to lose I didn't cheat at all for like 6-7 months. Now that I've gotten down to a normal size, I'm less worried about losing (although I could still stand to lose more) and with cheating 1 1/2 days/week I'm more or less in maintenance mode, because I don't lose weight on 1.5 cheat days/week. Usually I do log, although it's not a given, it just depends on the situation.
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Smile Cheat day

I usually cheat on the weekend or when a special event is taking place. I usually try to eat within some reason. I usually eat things that I don't eat on a regular basis like bread or desserts. I log it all and then get back on track. I don't dwell on it or worry that I ate something that's not too good for me. Had ice cream with lots of chocolate the other day. I still tried to stay under 1500 for the day. My normal calories are 1000 or under on a low carb Dr. monitored diet. I am happy with my diet these days.
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I generally have 1-2 "cheat" days per month -- I usually don't plan them (unless there is a holiday or a known party coming) but rather, I just have a day where I'm feeling really hungry and I just let my body guide me on it. Those hungry days come less and less often now, so it's easier for me to feel okay about giving myself the cheat. My cheat days tend to run me 1800-2200 calories (though I've been known to hit closer to 3k sometimes), and I do log them, unless I am on vacation and away from a computer.

My cheats usually involve lunch or dinner - my breakfast is almost always rigorously controlled because I have stomach troubles if I eat heavy foods soon after waking. I don't have a huge sweet tooth - it's usually salty/savory or fried food that I want!!

The danger comes when a "cheat day" turns into a "cheat week" and you start getting back into old/bad habits. If you're thinking about cheats, maybe ease into them - give yourself a "cheat snack" or a "cheat dessert" and see if it triggers you to eat more for more than that one meal or snack? Then you'll see what you can and can't handle.

My personal philosophy on "cheats" is this: I don't believe that a diet which focuses on cutting out foods is one that will work in the long run (the exception may be vegetarianism/veganism). I think one should be able to eat everything one wants to - just mindfully, and in moderation. So if you're craving a food that's a little less healthy, that's okay - just be mindful of every bite, and REALLY enjoy it Making yourself feel deprived isn't going to do any favors for your diet or lifestyle, it's just going to make you feel resentful. Sit there and eat it slowly, indulge your senses, don't gobble it down like it's your last meal! I find that's what helps me, anyway.
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Last edited by taubele; 09-29-2011 at 11:19 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taubele View Post
I generally have 1-2 "cheat" days per month -- I usually don't plan them (unless there is a holiday or a known party coming) but rather, I just have a day where I'm feeling really hungry and I just let my body guide me on it. Those hungry days come less and less often now, so it's easier for me to feel okay about giving myself the cheat. My cheat days tend to run me 1800-2200 calories (though I've been known to hit closer to 3k sometimes), and I do log them, unless I am on vacation and away from a computer.

My cheats usually involve lunch or dinner - my breakfast is almost always rigorously controlled because I have stomach troubles if I eat heavy foods soon after waking. I don't have a huge sweet tooth - it's usually salty/savory or fried food that I want!!

The danger comes when a "cheat day" turns into a "cheat week" and you start getting back into old/bad habits. If you're thinking about cheats, maybe ease into them - give yourself a "cheat snack" or a "cheat dessert" and see if it triggers you to eat more for more than that one meal or snack? Then you'll see what you can and can't handle.

My personal philosophy on "cheats" is this: I don't believe in diets where cutting out foods is one that will work in the long run (the exception may be vegetarianism/veganism). I think one should be able to eat everything one wants to - just mindfully, and in moderation. So if you're craving a food that's a little less healthy, that's okay - just be mindful of every bite, and REALLY enjoy it Making yourself feel deprived isn't going to do any favors for your diet or lifestyle, it's just going to make you feel resentful. Sit there and eat it slowly, indulge your senses, don't gobble it down like it's your last meal! I find that's what helps me, anyway.
My thoughts exactly! Ditto!
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Old 09-29-2011, 08:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Our family gets together each Monday for a "family dinner." With everybody's busy lives, it's the one time per week we can actually sit down and enjoy each other's company. I count this day as my "cheat day." Even so, I still log what I eat. This helps me to be aware of just how many extra calories and carbs you can consume withouy even realizing it. Knowing that I'm going to log it keeps me from overdoing it. Seeing it in black and white is also a motivation to keep within the ballpark. I don't deny myself of anything (like that pumpkin cheescake last Monday), but also want to make sure my weekly totals are within the goal range and that the scale is not going in the wrong direction! if I keep the cheat days under 3,000 calories I'm happy. so far so good!
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Old 09-29-2011, 08:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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This thread is timely as I am looking at adding a formal cheat day once or twice a month. Or I may switch to a weekly claorie defecit which would give me more leeway on a daily basis.

I have been feeling deprived. I had a chocolate bar yesterday and could not remember the last time I'd had one. I made a point of savouring it. Mary
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Old 09-30-2011, 03:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I am not sure a formal "Cheat Day" would work for me. I think that if I woke up in the morning thinking that today was a free-for-all, I would end up eating poorly all day long when all I really need is a little indulgence every once in a while.
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