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TOPIC: When you have a cheat meal...How do you do it? Over on calor

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June 2, 2011 2:18 PM
Just wondering how some of you handle your cheat meals. Do you just eat what you want and not worry about the calories and move one? Do you workout more that day or over the week? Do you cut calories on other days? On the day of your cheat meal do you cut way back the rest of the day? Very curious to see what has worked for everyone.
June 2, 2011 2:24 PM
I've stopped having cheat meals or cheat days - I just work everything I enjoy into my lifestyle. If I want ice cream - I eat it and then I log it. Being too restrictive with myself made me feel resentful. When I'm able to basically eat what I want, when I want -- I do much better. :)
June 2, 2011 2:24 PM
I work out, and then eat at my maintainence.. so it looks like this

1800 is my maintainence I then work out and burn
400 calories so my cheat days can be up around
2200 calories.

that is how i do it. I ususally don't end up anywhere that because I am so used to eating my 1400 calories. so it all works out.
June 2, 2011 2:25 PM
It's a cheat day! Just enjoy it! I am planning a big cheat day for myself on Saturday, and I'm eating like normal for the rest of the week, but on Saturday, there's a fantastically huge biscuit with my name on it... :)
June 2, 2011 2:25 PM
My cheat day only happen if I have lost that week and are not over calories...I just dont watch the nutrient percentages.

I think everyone is going to have their own approach.
June 2, 2011 2:27 PM
I usually have one cheat day out of the week and while I definitely ENJOY having those days, I often feel bad about it after it's over with. Which leads me to work out a little harder the rest of the week. On that note, I never let myself go without something I want. If I want a candy bar, I won't eat the entire thing, but maybe just a piece to satisfy my craving. I don't believe in restricting things from my diet, its so much easier to eat in moderation whatever I want to!
June 2, 2011 2:27 PM
If your going to do it you can exercise and earn it or just eat it, but you can not exercise it off a different day or eat less a different day, all food and exercise on a day stays on that day.
June 2, 2011 2:31 PM
I have a cheat meal on Saturday nights. I usually budget around 1000cals for the one meal and eat as normal for the rest of the day. Saturday is, however, my long run day, so it's normal for me to burn off at least a 1000cals of exercise in the day. That means that my cheat days often end up being around 1400 - 1600 cals net, even with a big ol' cheat meal and normal other food!
June 2, 2011 2:31 PM
I have 2 high calorie days a week (i am zig zagging) and I just workout harder on those 2 days in order to stay under. I feel like I am cheating because those days are higher than maintenance calories, but i know that it is all part of a plan
June 2, 2011 2:34 PM
I eat whatever I want on cheat days. Once in a while Ill workout extra hard or something, but usually I just eat whatever. Butttt I usually feel guilty about cheat days, even if I tell myself its ok once in a while lol
June 2, 2011 2:37 PM
When I first started out, I thought I'd need a cheat day every week. Turns out I'm enjoying my new lifestyle sufficiently that I only have a cheat day once in every 3 weeks or so, so it works out for me. My most recent cheat day was May 12th, when we had a family BBQ.

Also, I'm usually under my calorie budget. I burn 750-850 calories on a typical day, which leaves me a lot of food room. So it kind of balances out... I think.

Now, cheat/ oversized MEALS, I have those at LEAST once a week. But I log everything and make sure my daily total stays within reasonable boundaries. Usually when I have a huge meal, it staves off any hunger or cravings for the rest of the day, although I try to have a small snack afterwards just so I'll have enough nutrition til the next day's breakfast.

All in all, cheat days/meals don't make me feel guilty... just uncomfortably full :)
Edited by withchaco On June 2, 2011 2:38 PM
June 2, 2011 2:39 PM
Basically I don't go over my calorie goal (1200 net) Monday through Friday, which isn't hard since it's 1700 once the exercise calories are factored in (if I can even be 50-100 calories under even better). I do exceed my calorie limits Saturday and Sunday because I don't exercise on those days. On Saturday I try to limit myself to 1500 calories, but Sunday I eat whatever i want calories be damned.

It works for me because knowing that any craving I have can be indulged on Sunday motivates me to stay on track during the week. But folks have to find the approach that's best for them.
June 2, 2011 2:39 PM
I echo what Chevy88 said. I don't have "cheat" days. We do usually go out after weigh in (hubby and I) and eat something we don't normally eat.......this morning was pancakes and 1/2 omelet for me. But I count it all and will eat light the rest of the day, just because I'm so full. But I track it all!
June 2, 2011 2:52 PM
Technically, the free day shouldn't even be logged. It's a day to let go. But, as a logging junkie, I usually still log it. I actually TRY to go over by 500-1000 cals that day. No extra exercise to compensate. No eating less the day before or day after to compensate. No strings attached. This worked very well for me while I was losing.

Paradoxically, I am thinking of cutting out the free day now that I am in a different phase (maintaining/gaining muscle). I haven't fully decided yet though.

But if you are in a fat-loss mode, I 100% advocate the free day concept. It will keep your sanity & morale high and keep your metabolism revving, which is what you want in order to be a fat burning machine.
June 2, 2011 3:02 PM
if is just a meal I say just plan to workout more over the next few days. For myself, I rarely have cheat meals. Now don't get me wrong, like for my birthday. I had a half piece of cheesecake but I planned for that dang cheesecake for a week. So I reduced my caloric intake all week long around 50 a day (350 for the week) then on my birthday ran an extra 15 mins. and I was fine to enjoy! The reason why I don't call them "Cheat meals" because that was my downfall for me and sent me right back to my old ways. I believe obesity is like any other diseases and needed to be treated as such. Or would you give an alcholic a cheat day with a beer! NO! anyhow good luck to you and your progress to your goal.happy
June 2, 2011 3:07 PM
I have to echo what another poster said. I don't have cheat meals or whatever either. I eat what I want for
the most part, and I exercise everyday. If I want something sweet, I have it, I'm just sure to check my calorie
intake for the day to make sure I won't go over. To date, I have never gone over in my calories!!! I feel it's
all about moderation. For example, if you want McDonald's for dinner...... don't get a Big Mac!! Get a chicken
nugget Happy Meal instead....... much less in calories and fat!! Granted, you can't do that every single day,
I was just using it for an example!!! wink
June 2, 2011 3:21 PM
Can't say I have a cheat meal. That's because I listen to my body as much as I use the calorie calculator. I've had huge calorie burns during the week and then I become apathetic, just no energy. Sure enough I've built a nutritional deficit. So I have a little more and sometimes a whole bunch more.
June 2, 2011 4:06 PM
If I am going to have a cheat meal (e.g. family gathering) I will do a hard resistance training session prior to it because after this is when my body needs the nutrients and can utilise them in a good way. (building muscle)
June 4, 2011 7:48 PM
me too, its like I get excited for planned cheat meals then I feel like crap afterwards because of my extra calories!
June 4, 2011 7:53 PM

If I am going to have a cheat meal (e.g. family gathering) I will do a hard resistance training session prior to it because after this is when my body needs the nutrients and can utilise them in a good way. (building muscle)

Same here. I always do a good strength workout on days I go over or plan to.
June 4, 2011 9:50 PM
Thanks for all the input!
June 4, 2011 10:24 PM
I cheat once a week and usually eat lighter that day but go hog wild at dinner. I do leave small deficits on other days to counter the overage on cheat night though. So when it comes down to it, my weekly average is just about spot on. One day I might have only 1000 calories, then cheat day Ill have 2500.

I try to keep my body guessing all week long.
June 4, 2011 10:25 PM
I dont eat my exercise points so over 4 days of saving them up i'm guilt free once a week when i splash out!
June 5, 2011 4:40 AM
I had a BIG cheat meal the other night on my birthday. We went to Cheesecake Factory. love I still logged it because I log everything. I did eat light leading up to dinner but that's it. I don't work out on Tuesdays so I didn't make a point of going to the gym. That day was my highest calorie day since starting in January. I have a cheat meal here and there but I still like to stay under my calories. I have noticed I am having them less and less though.


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