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newgirl24

Joined: Apr 09
Posts: 54

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Posted: 05 May 2009, 11:33
I'm just wondering what everyone thinks about the concept of the "cheat day". I know it seems like a bad idea to reward hard work and weight loss with a weekly, monthly, or bi-monthly fattening treat, but I'm considering having one meal a month where I eat some high-carb delicious treat (like ordering pizza). Please, bring on the critisism, because I think I need to hear it. Thanks! Wink
"I'm worth it!"
"Look, it's crazy for people to try to be as thin as we are. We have personal trainers and personal chefs. It's our job to look this way." --Sarah Michelle Gellar
Shia34

Joined: Mar 09
Posts: 119

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Posted: 05 May 2009, 11:47
I'm not on any specific "diet" so I don't beleive in "cheat days." I do believe in high calorie days, so if I say, I'm gonna eat 1800 calories today, then I will eat 1300 calories the following 2 days or something like that. Which means that I budget in, say pizza, for that high calorie day.
Motivation is the starting pistol, commitment gets you to the finish line
Divided By...

Joined: Aug 08
Posts: 817

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Posted: 05 May 2009, 12:10
A cheat day is a disaster waiting to happen. Even calling it a "cheat" is bad... it implies that you are off track.

It would be a much better idea just to incorporate a certain amount of higher calorie foods into your diet. For example, you could set aside 300 calories a day for higher calorie foods like chocolate, pizza, etc. That way you still get to eat foods you want, but you stay on your diet.

I've lost 60+ pounds so far. I've done that eating pizza, drinking beer, and all sorts of "cheat" foods in between. But I'm smart about it. I don't eat like that all day every day, and I especially don't take a full day to binge and erase a whole weeks worth of hard work. I just work those foods into my diet occasionally and make sure I'm still following my calorie goals.

My current trend for the past few months has been eating pizza on Saturdays... but only after I've completed my 5+ mile long run that week. You have to be smart about higher calorie foods. You can't just go crazy and expect that it won't hurt you.

It can be beneficial to have a higher calorie day (250 or so calories above normal intake) once a week just to change things up, but it shouldn't be a buffet style free-for-all. Just a little more of what you would normally eat.

"You are now watchin' the throne. Don't let me into my zone. Don't let me into my zone.
I'm definitely in my zone."
Jacqi130

Joined: Feb 09
Posts: 77

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Posted: 05 May 2009, 14:36
Divided by....

"Unless you puke, faint, or die... KEEP GOING!"
-Jillian Michaels
"Shut the #@%$ up! Just do it! Just stop talking and do it!"
-Bob Harper

Thank you for posting these quotes. I needed a mid-day pick-me-up. Lol! I remember those episodes. Smile
Have you drank all your water today? gotten in all your exercise? It's not too late!

-Jacqi
gramme48

Joined: Apr 08
Posts: 1

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Posted: 05 May 2009, 18:42
I think a "cheat day" is a great idea....as long as you don't lose
your focus...a favorite treat/meal weekly is fine...we all need to
enjoy life...dieting isn't always fun...and we do miss our favorite
"fattening treats"...so if your stay on your diet you should reward
yourself...my husband and I do weekly, one meal or treat..we are still
on track and losing weight......b
"I can do all things through HIM who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
Benitez

Joined: Apr 09
Posts: 18

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Posted: 05 May 2009, 21:12
I am pro cheat day. I have cheat days, I call them cheat days but as was mentioned above you have to keep your focus. Don't lose focus on your overall main objective and that is to lose weight and get healthier.
But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
jessyline

Joined: Apr 09
Posts: 553

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Posted: 05 May 2009, 21:23
I don't like the word "cheat". who are you cheating on? yourself? no you,re not. you know exactly what you're doing.
no food is totally bad (what is bad is what is added to the food when processed and processed food must be avoided FOR EVER). everything is about BALANCE. if you choose to indulge yourself with pizza or chocolate cake (home made, please!), then you know that you have to eat "light" the next day. or burn more calorie. food is not your ennemy, as long as you are conscious of what you eat, when and how much. we have a life to live, food is part of this life so we are better to enjoy it instead of being scared. of course it is just my opinion...
health is a choice. it's a gift we choose to do to ourselves.
beets_yum

Joined: Apr 09
Posts: 440

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Posted: 05 May 2009, 21:56
Jessyline, I think you are right about the word "cheat." I think when we think of and talk about "being bad" or "being good," "cheating," etc., we can't get out of the cycle of guilt. We turn food and eating into something moral or immoral. (Though, of course, there are arguments that can be made about eating ethically in terms of the environment or what have you, but this isn't what I mean--more of the cycle of feeling bad about our choices, and then punishing ourselves by eating more stuff that makes us feel bad, feeling worse, etc etc etc.)

Anyway. I have been reading more about calorie cycling--alternating high and low calorie days. I think it makes sense. Your body never gets used to one set amt of calories, never gets efficient at a lower calorie level (which is why you plateau). In that regard, it makes sense to have some higher calorie days.

Also, I know from reading people's journals on here and elsewhere that some people really do well with with "free meal." It motivates them and keeps them from overindulging otherwise. Othe people have a hard time getting back on track afterwards. I think you need to do whatever works for you.

I think it makes sense to have a day or a meal when you can indulge a little more. But that doesn't mean throwing everything out the window and mindlessly eating crap all day long. (I used to do this on weekends, have a sweet/salty binge, and then I'd wonder why my "good" habits all week weren't doing any good.) It means deciding to have, say, a piece of cake or thai food for dinner--knowing you will work out and savoring your food.
Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.
ageless

Joined: Feb 09
Posts: 13

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Posted: 05 May 2009, 23:28
I don't look at me being on a diet. I am making this my way of life. I ate about everything that will fatten a person up and I am saying no to foods that store carbs in your body. Yes, potato chips, Fritos, and etc are good for taste. But eating too much and not controling portions will definitly will make you fat. I know, I have done it for many years and kept telling myself that I haven't ate that much. There are some days I eat more than I want but I try to stay under what my calorie count should be for my size. That way I don't have that guilt and I know that I will stay on track for weight loss. Keep recording what you eat and you will have no problem of staying on top of your eating habits.
Ageless
Ageless
newgirl24

Joined: Apr 09
Posts: 54

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Posted: 06 May 2009, 08:09
I'm very pleased with all of your replies. I will take all the advice, especially not calling it a "cheat day" and remembering to stay on track. I think that I will look into the "free meal" concept, so that I don't overindulge for an entire day or weekend. And I think that I will go back on phase 1 the next day or two after said "free meal". Thanks again, and if there is any more advice out there for this, please feel free to keep 'em coming! Smile
"I'm worth it!"
"Look, it's crazy for people to try to be as thin as we are. We have personal trainers and personal chefs. It's our job to look this way." --Sarah Michelle Gellar
Shia34

Joined: Mar 09
Posts: 119

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Posted: 06 May 2009, 08:40
newgirl, calorie cycling is what I do, I think I mentioned that before, somewhere. I don't deprive myself, I never will, life goes on and I am going to enjoy the foods I eat, within reason. What I won't do is blow the work that I have done. Research what works best for you and what you think you will be able to live with.
Motivation is the starting pistol, commitment gets you to the finish line
YellowBird

Joined: May 09
Posts: 4

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Posted: 06 May 2009, 12:58
I dont really like the idea of cheat days, though I'm sure in the past I have had days like that..
But when I think of trying to be healthy, I think of changing my whole lifestyle. So for an extreme example,
Say an alcoholic stops drinking, but has one day where they can get drunk. That person hasn't fully changed their lifestyle, they're still weighed down by the need for their addiction. Its still a part of their life, you know?
So.. if your plan is to completely change your life from unhealthy, to healthy, then why would you want to give yourself an opportunity to ruin the hard work you've already done?
Why not just keep doing what you're doing, eating healthy, and living a healthy life without the need for those unhealthy choices that you dont want to be a part of your life?
Now, I am new at this site, and I'm not an expert.
This is just my view on the situation, and I hope it helps.
Just stick with it. <3
Shortybread

Joined: May 09
Posts: 58

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Posted: 06 May 2009, 15:27
Instead of giving yourself a guilt trip in having a 'cheat day'...why not have a treat day! Dont they say a bit of 80/20?? This will also help you stay on track with your healthy eating or diet as you know you have a day when you can enjoy those special treats without making yourself feel guilty!
Aslong as you dont go crazy with it then it cant do much harm.
Sarah Jean

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 1

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Posted: 12 May 2009, 15:11
Go for it! Once you start losing the weight though...you'll probably realize it doesn't feel good to have a 'cheat day'. You may feel lazy, and slow because of the sugar etc. So...I'd suggest that if you have a meal that was really high calorie..because you just couldn't resist, drink lots of water for the rest of the night. And start all over the next day. Because it WILL happen believe me haha. I sometimes get an urge to eat something really sugary, then I'm back on the program the next day Very Happy But 'cheating' for a whole day may steer you off track.
yanawhite

Joined: May 09
Posts: 19

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Posted: 13 May 2009, 07:21
I came to this forum to ask this very question bout the cheat day. I got the idea from my brother. Every Sunday he eats whtever he wants. In his own words he said, "If you want to eat five cheeseburgers and a chocolate shake that day, then do it". He's lost 40lbs since January I believe. He said the cheat day can actually help your metabolism because then your body doesn't adjust to the amount of calories you're taking in and think you're in some kind of starvation mode and slow down your metabolism. aparently it helps keep you from hitting a plateau. He said he got this tip from the EA Sports Nutrition guy.

Then again, my brother is also one of those tall strong guys who loses weight really fast (or so it seems to me, his overweight sister!)

So, I guess for some people it works, nd not just for cheat, but to help metabolism. I had a cheat day on Sunday and I ate mostly norml stuff but then I ate a ton of Edy's slow churned Carmel delight ice cream... And I still lost a pound qnd half since then.

I guess I don't really have an answer cause I was looking for one when I came here, but that is my two cents!

(Maybe just like one MEAL that week could be a cheat? Like go to Olive Garden for lunch and eat a bunch of chicken parmesan or something and drink a pitcher of sangria and eat desert... Then for dinner eat your diet food again... Maybe that's what I'll do!)
puffin902

Joined: Apr 09
Posts: 34

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Posted: 13 May 2009, 09:10
Depends on why you are doing South Beach. If controlling your carbs (either by doing straight low carb like Atkins, timing things like Carb Addicts, or eating only good carbs like South Beach) is the only way you can lose weight, then a cheat day could be the worst idea in the world. It means that every week, you mess with the balance. But, if South Beach is just one way you can lose weight, if you don't have an out of control insulin system going, then it could be no problem. As a matter of fact, the Rotation diet is built around that idea. And long ago in a galaxy far far away, I could do the Rotation diet. Not any more! Georgia
puffin902

Joined: Apr 09
Posts: 34

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Posted: 13 May 2009, 09:12
Another thing--the secret of not causing your metabolism to wigout, is not NOT go really low calorie and to always exercise. Yes, extreme low calorie diets for long periods of time can mess you up but that's not what this is about. Georgia
veggies yuk

Joined: Oct 07
Posts: 1,110

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Posted: 13 May 2009, 09:26
my 2 cents...its not a cheat - its a decision you make to put something not healthy into your body...own it and move on - do not dwell on it
Work is the curse of the drinking classes
your next action could change the world, so make it a good one
jwebber33

Joined: Apr 08
Posts: 141

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Posted: 16 May 2009, 21:15
In the words of my dietitian... Do heroin addicts get to have a cheat day?
Nibbles

Joined: Apr 09
Posts: 433

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Posted: 17 May 2009, 11:45
hi newgirl, I agree with Shea34, I won't cross off any food from my menu. Depending on what you consider a cheat day. Usually sabatoges all your previous efforts. If you want pizza? Have it. Just make sure it is part of your menu for the day. You get to eat whatever YOU want everyday. As soon as you start saying I can't eat this or that. You will eventually inhale it. I remember Bob on the Biggest Loser talking about a Cheat day. He LOVES cupcakes. But he wouldn't eat one everyday. Knowing you CAN eat anything is key. He said to go ahead and have whatever it was you were craving on that "cheat" day. BUT,...still keep the serving for ONE and do NOT let the rest of the day be an excuse to keep eating. So yes, you can have A slice of pizza and still lose weight! Who wants to be on track day after day to screw up? Instead of a cheat day, I call it a pig out day. Because that is usually what happens and then trying to start back on track the next day is alot harder than before.

You can find so many ways to eat ALL the foods you love everyday without gaining weight. Look at any diet menu. They offer every food option. It's all about Portion control. You want to have a healthy plan you can do every day so when you do reach goal. You will be off that diet merry go round for good!

No Cheat days required.Wink



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