Every time I have been successful with weight loss it has been because I've tracked what I've eaten diligently.
I have been craving cheese and crackers lately, which used to be one of my favorite snacks. So I went to the store today and found whole grain crackers (not perfect, but better than not) and my favorite cheese.
The difference is that I ate my snack in moderation and I tracked it immediately so I could see how many calories I had consumed. It just helps tremendously.
So, in this sense, I guess that I do allow myself a cheat, but like others have said, it's not really a cheat because I track it and stay within my nutrition ranges.
This approach will benefit me the best in the long run because it's about making healthier choices for me, but it's also about portion control which is my biggest struggle (apart from late late night eating.)
All of these responses have been incredibly helpful.
Fitness Minutes: (2,936)
31 7/25/13 6:07 P
Here's a little tip I found once on someones tumblr:
If you google "clean eating ______" and insert the name of the food item you want or are craving..such as pizza, you will find many healthier ways of preparing that food. So you can still enjoy what you love, just a healthier version of it.
Fitness Minutes: (2,936)
31 7/25/13 6:04 P
Nobody can say anything, because what works for you is what works for you!
If we limit ourselves and make certain foods "taboo" or "bad" then we are more likely to WANT them.
I track diligently M-F, I also track weekends, but the calories add up quicker. I still eat within my range, but at the higher end of my range. I also make sure I always have some little "treat" at hand for if I'm craving.
By "treat" I mean something like a Thinsations 100 calorie snack. I can get in my cookie craving without blowing my whole weeks work! But I don't believe in taking one day to let it all go and gorge out,
Fitness Minutes: (57,761)
388 7/25/13 4:59 P
I found out for me, having started & stopped at Spark many times, that what held me up was the one thing that works-tracking food. I would track for 2 weeks, get annoyed with it, then stop altogether & go back to old habits. So I made a deal with myself-if I tracked M-F, then I would take the weekend off. It's actually worked in that I may not be losing as fast as I'd like to, but I am losing & it's staying off.
They aren't total "cheat days"-I am mindful of what I'm eating on the weekends & still try to stick with healthy portions & choices, but I know that I most likely go over my range more than I should. I know many people will say this is wrong & I'm kidding myself, but I also think everyone has to find what works for them because everyone is different.
Fitness Minutes: (425)
7/25/13 2:27 P
Every time I've tried to lose weight before and allowed myself a cheat day it would turn into a binge week then the downfall of everything else healthy. This time I think I'm going to try making healthy versions of what I'm craving so I can eat what I want, but without the guilty feeling, and knocking my healthy eating off kilter =D
Fitness Minutes: (16,412)
7/25/13 1:30 P
When I was younger I could have a cheat day. But I have been on track for a long time, and my weight has not changed in weeks. No cheat days until I lose another five lbs.
There are times, however, when I face a situation where I "indulge" just because I am in a social situation that requires it. I do the best I can to stay on track.
i find "cheat" days or meals useless. They only tend to undermine what I am trying to accomplish. SP tends to go with "everything in moderation" which is also not a platform that i choose to follow.
Fitness Minutes: (2,471)
7/25/13 11:59 A
I don't have a day, but I do have a cheat 'meal'.
Just one, on Saturday night, because we have a tradition around here, get steak from outback, open a bottle of wine, and spend some time with each other. I won't give that up. I will say however that last week (first week on spark for me) i got the smallest steak, I gave my salad dressing to my guy, and i couldn't even eat the potato. It isn't a great/healthy meal by any means, but it is my thing, and I have made a choice to improve my health/lose weight, but not at the expense of my enjoyment of life.
This is just me - your mileage may very :)
Fitness Minutes: (24,637)
7/25/13 11:14 A
I never plan one, but I have had days turn that way !!!
7/24/13 3:02 A
I don't have regular cheat days because that would be a disaster. However, I do have special occasions. So, on my birthday last month, I went with some friends to a lovely place called Bewdley not far from where I live and had fish and chips sitting by the river. A week later some friends took me to the same place for fish and chips again. Next week is my sister's 60th birthday and we're having a barbecue. I won't be fussing about unhealthy food choices - but I won't go mad either. However - I'm taking my weightloss slowly - lost 3 stone 3lb now (45lb) but it's taken me 2 and a half years to lose it. This is because I'm quite deliberately looking for a lifestyle I can maintain for ever rather than a quick diet. Most of the time I try to eat very healthily but, I won't spoil my life or somebody else's occasion by worrying about food at the wrong times. If there's a healthy option I'll take it, and if there's not, I'll still enjoy it!
7/23/13 11:55 P
and just for the record, I already acknowledged in my original post that a cheat day didn't work well for me. I was asking if others tended to allow a cheat day in their diet regiment and why. So thank you for reiterating that :)
7/23/13 11:49 P
lol aye aye captain!
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
3,293 7/23/13 10:47 P
This is a popular and frequent topic. You might want to scroll down/look at pages 2-3. There are hundreds of answers to this question already, including many from the last two weeks.
It sounds like, for you, cheat days might not be a great idea.
Fitness Minutes: (14,455)
7/23/13 9:53 P
A lot :(
Fitness Minutes: (185,335)
21,884 7/23/13 9:12 P
For me thinking and giving oneself a 'cheat day' is misguided and no way to build a healthy lifestyle.
Personally, for me, I'm not at that point right now. If I have a cheat day, one bad decision leads to another. And, before I know it, I'm right back into the same bad habits. Maybe one day, when I'm more disciplined and see some major results. It's a slow going process for me and I have very low motivation as it is. I don't think I should test the waters!
7/23/13 8:50 P
I am wondering how many people out there allow themselves a "cheat day"? One day out of the week in which one can eat whatever they want and consume as many calories they'd like during that day?
I have struggled with my weight throughout my entire life, so I have probably read and heard every single piece of advice out there. But I haven't really heard it from others like myself.
For me, usually when I give myself a an all I can full day buffet pass, it turns in to two days, then three days, then you so get the picture.
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