Once/week is too often. I do it once or twice/month. And I track everything down to the gram and make sure that my monthly calorie average is around 1320 calories including the cheat day(s). I have found that cheat days end plateaus very effectively.
Fitness Minutes: (120)
12,370 2/4/13 9:20 A
I had to give myself a break once a week. It worked for me.
Whether you call it a "cheat" day or a "day off" or a "relax" day or a "splurge" - whatever you do - track it. Write it down. Own it.
If you find you aren't losing weight, or not as much as you hoped, you can look at your overall calorie consumption for the week and start making some adjustments. You can't adjust what you don't know. Keep yourself informed.
Fitness Minutes: (1,908)
97 2/3/13 9:28 P
I think a cheat day is a good idea if you are just wanting to eat your favorite foods on that day even if they're not necessarily the most healthy options, as long as you stay in your calorie range. Everything in moderation. You can still enjoy plenty of "fun" foods on that day, just eat small portions of them so you can stay within your calorie range. Or what I like to do is just have small treats every couple days, like a small piece of chocolate, or small portions of my other favorite foods. I just incorporate them into my calorie tracking every few days. You can even eat a small portion of 1 thing that seems like a cheat food every day, but make sure you stay within your calorie range and try to get good nutrient dense foods for all your other foods. But if your cheat day is just a binge day without counting calories, that can be dangerous and can undo all your good work over the week. Just be smart about "cheating" and you can still not feel deprived and enjoy your favorite foods without ruining your weight loss/ healthy lifestyle.
For me, I plan a cheat day for my birthday next month. Because I am going to The Cracker Barrel and they don't publish their nutrition information. And I am sure that anything I eat will put me well over my calorie range. I will probably get the house salad as one of my sides, but that will probably be all I get that is even remotely healthy.
It is just one meal though. I don't eat like that all the time.
You can eat anything you want anytime you want it...why cheat?? You could end up getting sick because your body adjusts to your regular eating and the cheat is out of synque with the rest.... You can always have whatever it is that you desire and just get back in line afterwards.
Anyways, good luck, and keep on keeping on...
Fitness Minutes: (1,215)
109 2/3/13 3:53 P
I have a "cheat meal", where I indulge in something I normally wouldn't. My nutrition numbers normally end up being at the higher end that day, but I still work around that meal to make sure I don't go over them.
I used to have cheat days they don't work for me anymore. Since I am so close to my goal weight.
The next cheat meal I plan to have is a month from now on my birthday.
Fitness Minutes: (10)
4,041 2/3/13 3:03 P
It depends on how you define your cheat days. And, it depends on all kinds of things -- such as what your weight loss plan is, what your BMR (basal metabolic rate) is, and how many calories you are consuming the rest of the week, etc.
My plan, during my weight loss phase was similar to this: DOWN DAY -- 700 - 900 calories (Once a week. I was hungry on these days, but, I knew that I could eat more "tomorrow". MEDIUM DAY -- 900-1199 calories (For me, a small build, this tends to be my "comfortable" area of eating, when I listen to my body, and, when I "eat when I'm hungry; stop when I'm full". 4x per week UP DAY/"ENOUGH" DAY -- 1200 - 1500 calories (I tracked food every day. I found that it was important to eat "enough" after 3-4 days of eating fewer than 1200 calories. CHEAT DAY/SPLURGE DAY -- 1501 - 2000 calories (usually 1600-1800 calories). About once a month. I saved my CHEAT DAY for a special occasion, or, a going-out-to-eat day. I still tracked calories, and, I might have to eat somewhat carefully compared to some of my over-eating friends and family, but, I felt like it was a splurge. BINGE DAY -- over 2000 calories. Never. And, I truly mean never. I just didn't do it.
This is what worked for me. However, ... I truly believe that every individual's weight loss plan should be tailor-made and tailor-created just for them. Because we are each individuals, with our own personalities, our own likes and dislikes, our own food triggers, our own strategies.
For me, I created my plan using my preferences, and using math. Look at the numbers. If you are "cheating" once a week, calculate the number of calories you are averaging each week, and figure out if that number is conducive to losing weight.
I don't think it's okay to have a cheat day. If there's something you want, find a way to fit it into your calories. Even if it puts you a little over your calories one day, cut back a little the day before and day after to help balance it out. The only people who I think deserve "cheat meals" are those who are maintaining weight. They work out and eat healthily every meal, every day. I think it's okay if they have a planned cheat meal. But for those of us who are trying to lose weight, it's not helpful when it comes to reaching our goals. In a cheat day, you could easily put away 3000-4000 calories no problem. That's not even binging! That's just eating waffles for breakfast, a nice turkey sandwich for lunch, maybe going out to dinner and having bread and pasta, maybe some dessert. It's SO easy to put away massive amounts of calories without even feeling like you really over did it. So let's say you created a 500 calorie deficit through diet and exercise 6 days out of the week, which puts you -3000 calories. That's great! Well then you eat those 3000 calories back on your cheat day. You're going to be making zero progress.
Like I said, if there's something you really want, find a way to fit it in. Most cravings will pass, but if there's a particular meal you've been wanting for days and days, find a way to make it work. Let's say you want a 1000 calorie burger from your favorite place, and your daily calorie allowance is 1500. You could plan on eating only 1/2 or 3/4 of the burger so it's only 500 or 750 calories. If it's 750 calories, you could easily fit that into your day, and still have 750 to distribute for breakfast, lunch, and snacks. But let's say you want the whole thing, and you end up being at 1900 calories for the day. Just shave off 200 calories from the day before, and 200 calories from the day after, and you'll be good. When I know I'm going to go over my calories one day, I just cut back through the rest of the week, and I look at my weekly calorie differential report. That's the one that matters to me. :)
I wouldn't have a cheat day if you don't need to. I prefer to work whatever I want into my calories for the day otherwise I get way off track for a day and it can easily turn into a weekend for me, so it really sets me up for failure.
What you may find though, your body might just enjoy the healthier food and you won't crave or want the bad stuff and I feel sick literally sick now if I eat bad stuff. My body knows, but sometimes that doesn't even stop me. Ha Ha!
Fitness Minutes: (390)
34 2/3/13 2:04 P
Someone recommended to me a "cheat meal" - once a week, don't let it last more than 2 hours and have whatever you want.
I mean a day is a long time to be off plan, and for someone like me I will BINGE all day long and actually make myself sick so the 2 hour window works better for me, and I'm able to jump right back on plan.
Some people can't deviate at ALL from plan because they will never get back on.
I think you need to find what works for you.
Fitness Minutes: (41,738)
523 2/3/13 1:55 P
I would say don't have a cheat day, ever.
Have "off" or "break" days.
Same thing as a cheat day, actually, but the terminology is more positive, and attitude is everything! Having a day you take off from the calorie counting and allow yourself a break by eating some unhealthy foods can be good for you, especially psychologically. The important thing is that even on these "off" days you still pay attention to your body cues. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. The ultimate goal, at least for me, is to be able to maintain a healthy and happy weight without needing to count calories and with enjoying foods I love in addition to healthy foods- so a chronic "off" day! I'm not there yet, so when I have "off" days, I do it to remind myself that it's OK to eat some junk food, as long as I am paying attention to what my body is saying.
Fitness Minutes: (229)
19 2/3/13 1:49 P
I've been told that it's ok to have a cheat day once a week so that you don't end up binging and completely ruining your healthy lifestyle. Is it ok to have a cheat day?
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