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ilovemybicho...

Joined: May 12
Posts: 1

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Posted: 11 May 2012, 14:14
Does anyone have cheat days on their diet. I've heard many people say that they always allow themselves one cheat day a week, and I was just wondering if that really works if you stick to your diet all week and then eat anything you want on one day of the weekend?
lisakp71

Joined: Jun 10
Posts: 527

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Posted: 11 May 2012, 15:54
Yes, and yes it works for me.

If you want to see a TON of info on the topic, do some forum searches for the phrase "Spike Diet". There have been tons of conversations about it, and in which it comes into play.

The basic concept: you plan your intake to create an overall calorie deficit for the week, but one day a week you eat a calorie SURPLUS. The idea is to let your metabolism know that you're not starving to death (which is what it assumes when you're constantly in calorie deficit) and so it does not have to shut down to the bare minimum. Yay maximum metabolism!

There are calorie goals to meet if you want to keep it working (again, lots more detail in the past forum topics!), but it works out to being just about whatever you want. My Spike Day calorie goal was 3300 calories. That's a CRAPTON of food! My other six days were half 1200 and half 1600. Very doable.

It's not for anyone (if you have binge issues that it could trigger, for example), but it works well for me. I've actually been living like I'm on maintenance for a while (eat all weekend without regard to calories or tracking, and then maintain tracking and calorie goals M-F). My weight is only about 3-4lb over where it was when I last officially weighed in about 3 months ago. When I'm ready to resume weight loss, I will simply cut back to one Spike day per weekend. That's it.

It's a different mind-set and it takes some getting used to - but I love it.

The best part about this is that I have no problem seeing myself eating like this for the rest of my life. None. And that is the highest compliment I think you can pay to a WOE that gives good results!

Good luck - I think I've hogged the topic long enough, but feel free to ask anything you want to know!
lisakp71

Joined: Jun 10
Posts: 527

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Posted: 11 May 2012, 15:57
ps, this is just a me thing, but I'd say get rid of the word "cheat". It has a negative connotation - this is not cheating, it's an important and necessary part of the overall plan!

And really, you should be able to work just about anything you want to eat into a realistic diet plan. No cheating, just planning and budgeting. Smile
monkeybusine...

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 8

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Posted: 11 May 2012, 16:31
I say keep the word cheat but replace the word "DAY" with "Meal". i do a cheat meal twice a week usualy on the weekends. If you look at it as calorie in vs calorie out you'll end up cheating with a healthier meal on those days
Ingria

Joined: Oct 11
Posts: 530

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Posted: 11 May 2012, 20:54
I do not cheat, because I am not on a diet. There is no food or meal that is forbidden (other than what I cannot eat because of allergies, etc). I try to make healthy choices and not pig out, but if life delivers some good food on my table, I graciously accept the offer. I do not have any deadliness to meet, and I have no plans to deprive myself of good food till the rest of my life.
~~~~~~~~~~
The first thing you lose on a diet is your sense of humor. ~ Author Unknown
It doesn’t matter what diet you follow… What matters is what makes you follow your diet. ~ Tom Venuto
suremeansyes

Joined: May 10
Posts: 142

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Posted: 11 May 2012, 22:46
It works for me, and I replied on the other cheat day topic, but I'll reply here too.

I have a hard time with self control. Having a spike day helps me with my self-control, because I have to be disciplined for 6 days, and on the 7th make sure I am not going over my spike day calories. If I allow myself a bit here and there, it becomes more than a bit. I know how my brain works, lol.

If I spike, my cravings are manageable. When I was letting myself have a treat daily, I was having CONSTANT cravings for sugary, fatty foods. I can't handle that because I just get ravenous for crap. I would eat more junk during the week than I end up having on my spike day. So for me, it makes sense.

Your mileage may vary.

ETA: Even though I spike (or have a "cheat day"Wink I also don't consider myself on a "diet". This is a way of eating for life for me.
OctoberBride...

Joined: Oct 11
Posts: 52

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Posted: 11 May 2012, 23:13
I think lisakp71 is dead on. If you are going to ”cheat”, you shouldn't feel guilty about it or over indulge and do it in a healthy way, like zig zagging calories. The most important thing is that you stick to it and maintain the right calorie intake for the week. This is especially helpful if you need to break a plateau. Again,I agree though...don't make yourself out to be a cheater! One hamburger or piece of cake doesn't kill you, it's the act of repeating bad habits over and over that does. For me,I can't zig zag calories because I'm too tempted to stop eating healthy all together. Right now I'm sticking to my plan and I will see how I feel when I hit my goal weight.
Sacrifice what you want in the moment for what you want most.

Nobody said it would be easy, they just said it would be worth it.
posterchild6...

Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 107

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Posted: 12 May 2012, 10:13
Yes! It works for me! Around here it's referred to as cheat day, indulgence day, spike day, etc. I call mine cheat day, and I dont think about it much.

It helps to be able to think I can have some pie, cake, or chicken on my "whatever day" so you dont feel deprived. Initially I went straight to junk food, like fast food or chips. Now I try to use "high quality" high calories foods such as home cooked meals or goodies.

It also helps a lot for the occasional birthday/wedding that pops up. So you dont have to beat yourself up.
Diablo360x

Joined: Jul 11
Posts: 817

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Posted: 13 May 2012, 06:46
It is all personal preference. I prefer to eat what I want day in and day out so that I have no need for a psycological break. Cheat days used to be part of my plan but they are too damaging. I can easily erase 3-5 days of progress.

To the person talking about your metabolism slowing down, please stop. This only happens(enough to be a problem anyway) if you're in a SEVERE deficit for a long period of time. I am talking 3000 calorie deficits here or if your bodyfat is severely low. I lost 30lbs. in 80 days with a large deficit(1400 calorie average) and I lost the exact amount of weight fat secret showed. I divided my total deficit by 3500 and it was exactly 30 lbs. If your metabolism slows down I would have lost less weight.

It takes a lot for your metabolism to slow down enough for it to be a factor. That is simply another excuse for people to gorge themselves.
Love your food or risk failure. No quick fixes, this is a lifestyle change. No extremes are needed just consistency.
sgreene0206

Joined: Jun 09
Posts: 7

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Posted: 13 May 2012, 10:49
Diablo360x wrote:


To the person talking about your metabolism slowing down, please stop. This only happens(enough to be a problem anyway) if you're in a SEVERE deficit for a long period of time. I am talking 3000 calorie deficits here or if your bodyfat is severely low. I lost 30lbs. in 80 days with a large deficit(1400 calorie average) and I lost the exact amount of weight fat secret showed. I divided my total deficit by 3500 and it was exactly 30 lbs. If your metabolism slows down I would have lost less weight.

It takes a lot for your metabolism to slow down enough for it to be a factor. That is simply another excuse for people to gorge themselves.


ahhhh YES! Thank you Diablo. I often want to say exactly what you said. A few years ago I lost 50 lbs within about 3 months. I did it with cardio/strength training and diet. I had large daily deficits of 1500-2000 calories a day (exercise was the key here). I would eat between 1200-1500 calories a day, every day and never experienced any problems. My hair didn't fall out, my skin didn't dry out, and I didn’t have any adverse affects. I had my body fat measured when I started and after I lost the weight and guess what I only lost fat and I built muscle! Of course my diet was full of healthy foods, lots of veggies (they are so low in calories!) and lean meats with occasional healthy carbs. I think when people try to reach really high deficits with diet alone is when the problem starts to occur. I may be wrong, but it worked for me and I have kept the weight off since 2006!!

Now if I can only be as strict as I was before and loose these last few vanity pounds!

P.S.

I try not to do cheat days. Instead I spend my time trying to make some of my favorite cheat foods into a healthier version. Yesterday I made cheese sticks out of light string cheese sticks! They where lovely!

sngglebnny

Joined: Feb 10
Posts: 153

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Posted: 14 May 2012, 15:10
When I was on Nutrisystem, I refused to call off-plan meals/days "cheating". Because Nutrisystem is a way of eating that was very successful for me. Right now I am on a diet, plain and simple, and I have a cheat meal either on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

My diet is low calorie, low fat, low carbs and I eat between 1200-1500 calories per day. As long as I do not eat fast foods, I find that I maintain weight pretty well. But I have a difficult time losing weight while eating certain foods. This diet eliminates a lot of those foods from my diet and leaves me with plenty of fat burning nutrition. It sounds awesome, but it is a very strict diet with little variety. I know if I do not give myself some leeway one meal a week, then I could not maintain the discipline for any length of time.

Also, instead of splurging after hitting my goal, I can just transition easily into maintenance mode and it will be no big deal.
Dieting is like religion. There are the basic rules that everyone should follow. The rest you personalize to a lifestyle for the best results.

Current Size: 14/16
Goal Size: 8/10
Goal Date: December 31, 2014
TisMeMegg

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 1

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Posted: 16 May 2012, 10:37
I do have a cheat day...but I allow myself a cheat day ever 20lbs(although i probably have more weight to lose then most)
lovingmomma

Joined: Oct 11
Posts: 102

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Posted: 16 May 2012, 10:58
I started doing carb cycling, instead of just plain old low carb when I was stuck at a plateau a while back, and it actually helped me get past the plateau and continue loosing weight. I will eat less then 50 g of carbs a day for 5 days, and then can eat up to 250 g of carbs on my high carb days. It works amaizingly well for me, and I don't really have to consider them cheat days, and it helps me make it through the low carb days knowing that I can have a small bowl of ice cream at the end of the week Smile Most of the carbs though on high carb days I do try to get from healthy sources like fruits and oatmeal and such.


Starting weight- 219 lbs May 2011
Goal 150 lbs- my original main goal, reached 6/22/2012! Yipee!

Pregnant with baby # 4. Gained 55 lbs. Weight at end of pregnancy 8/9/2013 204 lbs
Goal 1- 175 lbs reached February 23, 2014
Goal 2- 160 lb
brittg7

Joined: Mar 12
Posts: 1

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Posted: 19 May 2012, 18:18
I saw on dr.oz its good to have a cheat day once a week b/c if not it will feel like you are depriving yourself.. but dont go overboard.. but i do allow one cheat day a week and I have lost 19 lbs..
meriemm

Joined: Mar 12
Posts: 4

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Posted: 28 May 2012, 04:44
I have cheat days, and I've been consistently loosing weight since I started this kind of 'diet'. I don't even call it a diet because I know that I can easily carry on with this for the rest of my life!
Cheat days help keep my cravings in check and they give me something to look forward to every week! Smile
coconutprinc...

Joined: Feb 12
Posts: 113

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Posted: 28 May 2012, 11:20
I do not do cheat days. I just include a "bad" food in my regular day to day calories if I have it, but I try very hard not to overdo it. Cheat days kill my diet and everything I worked for. So, if I want a piece of chocolate cake, I have it, but I may only have half a piece or a quater of a piece. I make room to have chips each week, but only a small bag and I work it into my calories and try to do extra exercise to help burn it off. A friend of mine does a cheat day every 2 weeks and finds that it doesn't sabatage her efforts, but I tend to go overboard on cheat days, so I just stay away from them!
Diablo360x

Joined: Jul 11
Posts: 817

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Posted: 15 Jun 2012, 05:43
lovingmomma wrote:
I started doing carb cycling, instead of just plain old low carb when I was stuck at a plateau a while back, and it actually helped me get past the plateau and continue loosing weight. I will eat less then 50 g of carbs a day for 5 days, and then can eat up to 250 g of carbs on my high carb days. It works amaizingly well for me, and I don't really have to consider them cheat days, and it helps me make it through the low carb days knowing that I can have a small bowl of ice cream at the end of the week Smile Most of the carbs though on high carb days I do try to get from healthy sources like fruits and oatmeal and such.


Psychologically that may have helped, but it did absolutley nothing physiologically. Congrats, however.
Love your food or risk failure. No quick fixes, this is a lifestyle change. No extremes are needed just consistency.



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