If "cheat" days make you binge, I wouldn't do them.
You can try calorie cycling instead, in 5 day increments. Say your range is 1200-1500 calories a day. For 4 days you eat 1250 calories, then on the fifth day you eat 1,900.
In those 5 days, you are eating the same amount of calories - you are just dispersing them differently. But on that day of higher intake, you mentally feel as though you "cheated", even you really haven't.
Fitness Minutes: (86,286)
1/14/14 2:37 P
I don't cheat. I just make more healthier choices and enjoy treats in smaller amounts. I don't have off limit foods so there's nothing to cheat about. If I really, really want a cheeseburger... I'll have one but I'd just much prefer a homemade chicken, cashew, cabbage, spinach, dried cranberry salad with feta cheese because I know it'll do my body better. I also find healthier alternatives to store-bought treats like homemade pumpkin brownies over store bought ones. Instead of a whole chocolate bar, I'll sprinkle some chocolate chips on my oatmeal or yogurt parfait. Instead of ice cream after dinner I make a killer yogurt parfait with Greek yogurt, pudding powder, almond milk, fruit, natural crunchy peanut butter and Kashi cereal for dessert.
I save things like alcohol, cake, pie, donuts, restaurant meals, etc. for special occasions as they should be but I still enjoy them once in awhile and don't consider myself cheating on anything. Indulgences are a part of life, imo. I just don't have these things every day or every week.
Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 1/14/2014 (14:43)
1/14/14 2:06 P
When I first started I use to have a high calorie day each week, the longer I kept at it the less I needed the day. Now if I have a high calorie meal, I just compensate for it with my other meals/snacks that day.
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
1/14/14 1:02 P
I dislike the mindset I associate with "cheat days" (weeks, whatever), as if you are supposed to be "good" six days a week, then on the seventh go hog wild with all the foods you've forbidden yourself the rest of the time. It doesn't seem sustainable or mentally healthy for me.
I have a self-definition now that is that of a person who eats healthy portions of mostly healthy foods almost all the time, and who does not overindulge. That means if we're out and I want pizza, I have pizza -- one slice usually, two if they're small. It means I choose small and/or lower-calorie restaurant meals most of the time. It means if I want a slice of birthday cake, I have a slice of birthday cake -- but usually I don't want it. It also means I strive for home-cooked food wherever possible, that I don't snack mindlessly, and that I generally avoid sweets, chips, and fast food.
And that's about it. It's natural, and it doesn't require me playing elaborate mental games with myself.
I agree the connotation of the word is bad. I have a nutritional plan. I adopted a new lifestyle. If I fail to eat from some preordained list - is that "cheating"? It's definitely off-plan... but it's a choice. I don't *have* to go there. I can choose to do so, but it's not something I've abandoned my resolve (however briefly) to do.
Of course I occasionally eat something I've decided isn't in my best health interests. I don't make a meal of it! I don't do it often. But if I've had some kind of craving for which I can't identify the source ... and that means it's not just an appetite or a "taste" ... then I translate that as something, somehow, that my body needs or at least feels a need for. Naturally, I know my weaknesses and my triggers, and if it's one of those, I just say, "NO!".
@ KKKaren... I had to laugh at your description of a craving being "gravy on [your] mashed potatoes"! LOL For me, the gravy would've been fine! cups of it! The potatoes underneath would've been my downfall! hehehe
1/14/14 9:32 A
Call it what you want but I never have a cheat day. I do have cheat meals which are really just giving into a long craving. Like having gravy on my mashed potatoes, a piece of pizza or piece of cake. When I have these so called cheat meals I plan for them by scrimping on my other meals that day. A cheat meal might make my day a 1400 calorie day instead of a 1200.
Fitness Minutes: (120)
1/14/14 9:30 A
I have a splurge day every Saturday- it works for me.
Fitness Minutes: (10,000)
1/14/14 8:45 A
There are a few comments I'd like to make:
"cheating" is only sabotaging your goals if you can't enjoy the "forbidden" chocolate / crisp / cookie etc. in moderation.
those who allow themselves to have a small portion of whatever they're craving are less likely to feel the need to binge after months / weeks of denying themselves everything "bad".
Life is about balance and is meant to be enjoyed. If I were to deprive myself of all the foods I enjoy, I would be skinny - but I'd also be miserable!!!
It's about making healthier choices. If you're craving pasta, make it wholewheat; if it's the chocolate calling your name, go for the dark version and have one or two squares - you get the idea.
The good news is, the cleaner your system gets, the less tolerant it becomes of the foods you used to view as "treats". I used to hanker after Pizza, but if I eat it now, I get an upset stomach and suffer with sinus for days after...
I don't do any cheat meals or cheat snacks or cheat days. I want to be as close to my goal as possible, and I know if I took a day off, I'd eat everything in sight. I'm trying to get away from that idea of excess vs. deprivation. The either/or, good/bad, dieting/cheating point of view is one that I need to get away from.
Fitness Minutes: (106,531)
3,852 1/14/14 7:52 A
I'm not cheating on broccoli by eating some chocolate. Some days I eat more calories than others. That doesn't mean I'm cheating on anything at all. It's just life.
The word "cheating" is so negative and awful that I hesitate to use it in regards to any of my behavior. I wouldn't cheat on my husband or on a test. I wouldn't even cheat at a game of cards! I think it's a bad word to use towards eating because it is fraught with guilt and negativity.
Fitness Minutes: (41,124)
26,619 1/14/14 1:56 A
I must add:
"I just 'read' (via audiobook) Jillian Michaels "Slim for Life" and she says yes to cheat snacks, but no to cheat meals and cheat days."
I don't really see the difference between the meal and the snack. Some people's snacks are like a big meal for me!!!!
Fitness Minutes: (41,124)
26,619 1/14/14 1:55 A
Well, first I don't CALL them "cheat meals/days" - this implication can cause a myriad of emotions including guilt, which in turn can cause binging. Instead I "GIVE MYSELF PERMISSION" to eat whatever I want one day every couple of weeks. I have done this all along. It takes care of nearly all my sudden craves etc., and hasn't made one iota of a difference to may weight-loss journey. In fact, I reached my goal 3 years ago after having been considerably overweight for about 30 years. I have been maintaining since.
What I found, and a lot of others have found who practice what I do, is that sometimes that 2 weeks can come and go, and we don't feel the need to have that day. It can get saved for another time. Conversely, if that day comes before the 2 weeks are up, I don't mind because it all balances out. Just make sure that you don't go crazy overboard.
If you are wanting pasta, try stretching them out by adding a lot of veges, and less dressings if it is a high-calorie dressing.
I think that rather than someone telling us to say "NO" to this practice is wrong. It may be a case of "No" for that person because that person doesn't have as much control. We must all find what works best for us.
I will add that the method I practice doesn't cause people to fall off the wagon because they feel deprived. Had I been told "NO" I can guarantee that I would never have reached my goal.
What are your thoughts on this? I'm conflicted. For the most part, I feel like I'm an all or nothing person....meaning if I go down that path of cheating.....it'll just snowball into a binge.
Although, I know that when I've been very restrictive before, I rebel and go on an all out binge. For example, when I tried 'no carb/very low carb'....eventually I had a breaking point where I devoured every ounce of pasta in sight....and then afterwards, it was really hard getting back on track.
This time around I'm doing lower carb....but if I want carbs, I have them. So far, I really haven't had any problems doing that.
I'm just curious what you do.....do you have "Cheat Meals"? Cheat Days? or No Cheating at all?
It's such a slippery slope for me....but will going with none make me fall off a cliff eventually?
I just 'read' (via audiobook) Jillian Michaels "Slim for Life" and she says yes to cheat snacks, but no to cheat meals and cheat days.
I also just 'read' (via audiobook) Tory Johnson's "The Shift" which I found excellent and she said no to all cheating.
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