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TOPIC: Cheat day once a week?!

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December 27, 2012 5:22 PM
I've been reading articles out of fitness magazines that a cheat day once a week is actually a good thing. It says to eat double the calories you normally do and eat whatever you want (but no alcohol, if there is kiss the cheat day good bye). The articles say that it actually helps to ramp up the metabolism and help keep you from falling off your diet by allowing you to eat the things you crave as a reward for your hard work through the week. What are your thoughts? It sounds like a good idea, but I want to know if anyone has tried this method?
  27754496
December 27, 2012 5:33 PM
I don't like the idea of a cheat meal. I don't think I'd feel good if I ate double my calories. I have struggled to get rid of various cravings and "cheating" would just bring them back. I am pretty satisfied with what I eat now - I don't feel deprived and I eat what I like, minus some pretty awful sugary treats or greasy fast food. In the past when I was drastically dieting and felt deprived, I'd cheat because I felt sorry for myself for having to eat "diet" food. Sometimes after only a few HOURS I'd feel sorry for myself and think I "deserved a treat." I have tried to eliminate that kind of thinking.

Also, if a person struggles with overeating (whether they be food addicts, compulsive eaters or not), rewarding with more food seems like terrible advice to me. I wouldn't give someone who made it 7 days in AA a beer to celebrate. I like non-food rewards.

If a cheat meal works for you, go for it. I don't know about the metabolism thing. For me, cheating means backsliding.

[I really don't know what I'd have in a cheat meal. I already eat pasta, pizza, chocolate, etc. if I want it, just stay in my calorie goal. I guess a cheat meal would just be overeating the same stuff.]
Edited by cjsacto On December 27, 2012 5:41 PM
  32073829
December 27, 2012 5:37 PM
Thanks for your input! That's kinda what I was thinking, but the idea is certainly tempting at times.
  27754496
December 27, 2012 5:45 PM
I guess some people love them. Whatever works!
  32073829
December 27, 2012 5:48 PM
Do whatever keeps you on track, if having a cheat day means you have 6 good days, as opposed to no cheating and end up giving .

DO WHATEVER KEEPS YOU SANE AND ON TRACK
  719856
December 27, 2012 5:50 PM
If I doubled my calories it would kill my deficit, since at this point my deficit is tiny.

I started out having cheat days but somewhere along the way I dropped them. I do have days where I go over but not by much and not often.
  4822651
December 27, 2012 5:52 PM
i had a few cheat days, well in 10weeks i think i had about 10 cheat meals and i was worried about putting on weight but it actually helped me lose those kilo! weird! but id rather a cheat 'meal' than a whole day (tho ive had those too). seems if u do it every week, or every 2 weeks it doesnt hinder ur weightloss, i agree with that. do what u can to KEEP it up. if want something, have it. but in moderation. coz u dont want to 'diet' for 2 months then put everything back on = )
December 27, 2012 5:52 PM
As I eat anything I want to within my daily caloric goal, I dont need a "day off". Discipline & measuring cups! LOL
December 27, 2012 5:53 PM
My Hubby and I have a free day every two weeks. I find that it keeps me focused. I've lost 102 lbs. and my hubby lost 53 lbs. since April 2012.
  27885741
December 27, 2012 5:54 PM
I've done a weekly free day throughout my journey.
It's toned down from a 24 hour food binge to a few cheat meals.
I found that too much free day stifles my progress. As we get closer to goal, the rules tighten.
That's been my experience.
December 27, 2012 5:54 PM
Probably okay to go over your calorie level for a day--it will help to keep your metabolism up. But if you are following a lower carb plan (especially one where sugar is verboten) you risk getting the Sugar Monster/ High Blood Sugar Demon on your back again. If you are following a lower carb plan (and studies show that this yields the best weight loss) you need to stick with it and go for more protein and fat, if you are looking to boost your calories for a day. Once you are totally off of sugar for a couple of weeks, you will lose your physical craving for sweets (of course, you might still have a mental craving for them).

p.s. If you are looking for a reason to cut sugar out of your life, get a book called, "The Fat Switch" by cardiologist, Richard J. Johnson, M.D. He details how sugar not only makes us fat but how it causes a variety of other diseases as well. I have already broken my physical craving for sugar and reading "The Fat Switch" took away any possible mental craving for sugar.
Edited by SanteMulberry On December 27, 2012 5:58 PM
  29734726
December 27, 2012 5:57 PM
i have used a cheat day for 4 years and have lost 100 pounds and kept it off. one hour a week to eat what ever i want. not double anything. and i have to log it no matter what it is. if its planned then i dont feel that i have failed. i also dont feel that i have to start all over because its planned. i usually have popcorn with butter, some m&ms and a soda, things i stay away from for the rest of the week. i dont go crazy , i just enjoy some fun foods. if i have a wedding, christmas party, or a family dinner out at the pizza parlor , then i save my one hour cheat for those occasions. and its def not a cheat "day" just a cheat "hour"
  2175121
December 27, 2012 6:00 PM
QUOTE:

i have used a cheat day for 4 years and have lost 100 pounds and kept it off. one hour a week to eat what ever i want. not double anything. and i have to log it no matter what it is. if its planned then i dont feel that i have failed. i also dont feel that i have to start all over because its planned. i usually have popcorn with butter, some m&ms and a soda, things i stay away from for the rest of the week. i dont go crazy , i just enjoy some fun foods. if i have a wedding, christmas party, or a family dinner out at the pizza parlor , then i save my one hour cheat for those occasions. and its def not a cheat "day" just a cheat "hour"


Good idea---best not to go a whole day off the diet.
  29734726
December 27, 2012 6:00 PM
If it fits then i have a little extra about every 2 weeks as a rule, but there has only been one time i ever doubled my calories and that was a bad pizza and beer night. :)
  29280344
December 27, 2012 6:03 PM
I actually enjoy a cheat day. A cheat day in my mind is a day where I just don't worry about how many calories I am consuming in a day. It's a guilt-free day. It usually comes down to a cheat meal rather than eating like an asshole for an entire day.

I don't do it once a week, but more like 1-2 times a month. It varies especially with holidays. On holidays, I eat like a boss and don't log it.

The reason why I allow myself those days is so I can have a break. Sometimes, calorie counting can take a beating on your mind. A break every once in awhile is beneficial, for me, at least. :) Also, if I feel like I need it aka I feel like I'm falling off the wagon, I'll take the weekend off.
Edited by saraann4 On December 27, 2012 6:04 PM
  20528497
December 27, 2012 6:08 PM
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/cheat_meal_use.htm
  31994526
December 27, 2012 6:09 PM
I have read what you've posted and I want to add that both of you are okay. Because the cheat day once a week is kinda of relaxing day and you can fix it with an extra burned calories. Andthe other one is okay too because is a good thing keep working hard to stick to your diet so you can get mentally stronger to keep control over your cravings. Well here I am learning and strating my first day. Let's keep going!!! Happy New year everyone.
December 27, 2012 6:09 PM
Used to to do that religiously and eat relatively clean the other 6 days a week. Worked great for me. That was before I got into all this calorie-counting business.

Nowadays I just go strictly by the numbers and keep the calories/macros in check as best I can.
Edited by taso42 On December 27, 2012 6:10 PM
December 27, 2012 6:13 PM
Totally up to you, but I would avoid a cheat DAY and maybe concentrate on just a MEAL once a week. This is a lifestyle change... if you need something to look forward too, then try it. Check out carb cycling, its the confusion to your body you spoke of. I too find when I eat more, I lose, but I still make good choices, not junk or processed.

as the rest said..............do whatever will work for you ;)
  22446629
December 27, 2012 6:16 PM
There are a lot of people that incorporate cheat days or what they call refeed days.

There is still not a lot of research on this but here is a very basic overview on why they work for a lot of people.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsSzl4ecluk
  18262944
December 27, 2012 6:16 PM
To me healthy is a lifestyle. We all have days when the calories go over - usually special events - and we just move on. To me, to plan a "cheat" day once a week is a slippery slop that could be tough to get back on track from.

Good luck!
  20757594
December 27, 2012 6:35 PM
once a week? hell no. maybe once every month or two.
December 27, 2012 6:37 PM
I like the idea of planning a cheat day or as one poster said a cheat hour. I have noticed if I have a cheat day I get crazy, I prefer just a cheat meal.
  23727847
December 27, 2012 6:38 PM
For me, cheat days are the offramp to 24/7 Bingeville and 30 lbs. of uncontrollable weight gain.
December 27, 2012 6:48 PM
If the idea of a cheat day a week works for you then go for it, just remember to log it and be certain to keep your weekly average net calorie amount below your target and you should still be good.

For me I do not like the idea of a cheat day because I am trying to establish a long term eating and exercise habit that will first reduce my weight to a healthy amount and then maintain it for the rest of my life. So everyday I am eating what I like and want. Ijust make certain it is under the calorie target. I try to work out regularly but if I have a special event/large calorie intake day then I workout (preferably on that day) more to compensate. This has been successful for me for 8 months and managed to lose about 50 of my target 84lbs. However, probably won't really know for a year or so.

Thanks.
  21895108

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