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HEALTHYFOREVER4 SparkPoints: (20,173)
Fitness Minutes: (6,240)
Posts: 234
7/9/13 5:02 P

Like _KANNND, I do not consider myself to be on a diet, so I don't look at anything as a "cheat" food. I eat what I want, in moderation. Craving deep-fried chicken and fries is rare for me, so I eat it when I do. I just eat a normal-sized serving, whereas before I would eat 3-4 servings. I bought ice cream today and am going to enjoy it thoroughly later on, when I'm actually hungry. And that right there is the key thing to me--HUNGER. I used to eat for no reason at all, just to eat, or because I was bored, or whatever. Now, I really do only eat (and only want to eat) when hungry, and what I usually want when hungry is whole and nutritious. So when I'm genuinely hungry, and wanting something not quite so healthy and nutritious, well, that's what I want, and there's room for ALL foods in my diet (using the actual definition of the word) because I am living a healthy lifestyle.

LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 1,925
7/9/13 1:47 P

"If you're choosing to eat healthy, or live a healthy lifestyle, how can you cheat?
Isn't everything just an item that should be tracked?

If you treat this as a solution with an end in sight, at which time you'll return to eating what you do on your "cheat" day/meal, then you're in for problems, no?"

I could not possibly agree with you more! Lifestyle changes are what lead to permanent weight loss, not diets. You cheat on a diet, but you cannot cheat on a lifestyle change. You go off diets when you are done losing weight, but...then what? You go back to the way things were and regain the weight. I kind of feel like "cheat days" are a way of holding on to old, bad, habits instead of embracing the lifestyle changes you need to make to lose weight and keep it off.

I think that there is definitely room in a healthy lifestyle for days where we just eat more or splurge. There are a few special days per year...days like Thanksgiving, Christmas and the 4th of July. Eating more on a few days per year can be consistent with a lifestyle change. For me, I used to have an entire holiday season where I'd overeat (basically from Halloween through the new year). The lifestyle change that I've made is that I no longer have an overeating SEASON. I eat what I want on Thanksgiving and Christmas (on the actual day) and I don't worry about it. I eat what I want on Independence Day and I don't worry about it. But, it's just the actual days now, not all the days before and after.

Edited by: LOVE4KITTIES at: 7/9/2013 (13:55)
XCLOSED Posts: 671
7/9/13 12:42 P

I get lost in the wording and definitions too. Diet v lifestyle. Cheat v splurge. Good v bad foods. Why do we judge food by the type? Is it really quantity? How much is enough, not too little, not too much, and how do we measure that? When do we want to eat a lot less (very low calorie fad/crash dieting to lose weight quickly), when do we want to simply maintain, is there ever a time we just want to eat more, like on special occasions and feasts or just because? Isn't tracking just measuring.

And then beyond how much overall, is a question of is there too much of any particular food/nutrient that eating too much might hurt us. Like too much salt, too much fat, too much processed foods. Why would we hurt ourselves with any kind of food... but we do? A lot... like when we gain weight?



_KANNND SparkPoints: (43,857)
Fitness Minutes: (43,479)
Posts: 764
7/9/13 12:32 P

I can understand why people use them. I think they can be good as long as you don't go overboard. I think that's the downfall for a lot of people. 'It's OK, it's my cheat day' and then they eat everything in sight. I, myself, don't 'diet'. I eat what I want in moderation and within my calorie range. I don't deny myself anything so I really don't have the urge to 'cheat'. I do splurge a little more every so often, but I make sure that there is a good workout planned for that day. :)

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,605)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
7/9/13 11:36 A

That's why I don't like calling it "cheating". It's just food. You can't cheat on food :)

I love food. It's my passion, my hobby, everything. If money were no object I'd work in the food industry and if I had unlimited time I would spend all day in the kitchen. If I had to cut out the less healthy food and beer and wine and all that, I would be miserable. So, I have days where I let myself have those things if I want. On other days, I still really enjoy the food I eat, and it's healthy too. But sometimes there's nothing like a bacon cheeseburger with fries, or an elaborate meal at a higher end restaurant, or a couple cold beers at the bar on a summer evening. Heck, I even still like totally trashy food like Pop Tarts. But, I've devised my maintenance plan to include those things on certain days, or every once in awhile (like the Pop Tarts, when I used to eat them daily!). For me, that's part of a healthy lifestyle.... mental health is as important as physical :) And, so far (it's been about 4 months), my plan has been working quite nicely to maintain where I'm at.

Now, when I was in weight loss mode, I did cut some things out. I didn't drink alcohol hardly at all (and yes, it did suck sometimes). But, to me, weight loss mode is different than maintenance. When I had to add in calories, most of them came from stuff like sweets and beverages, since that is what I cut out when trying to lose weight. That was my plan all along, to cut those things out until I hit maintenance levels.

Edited by: YOJULEZ at: 7/9/2013 (11:42)
JENSTRESS Posts: 1,927
7/9/13 11:09 A

I have the occasional "cheat" item.

It is like a PP said, it is something that I allow myself that I don't think I should eat daily. Of course, I don't call them "cheat" I call them "treat" and I log it. Because I am still trying to lose, I account for those calories. I might be at the high end of my ranges, but I stay there.

Right now, I have cut out the "treats" for a period of time, because I found myself craving them again. Which is a sure sign that I need to get them out of my system for a month or so.

KCLARK89 SparkPoints: (26,102)
Fitness Minutes: (15,856)
Posts: 1,078
7/9/13 10:20 A

I still plan for "cheat" meals for my daily calories. But it is a meal or even just dessert that I don't eat on a daily basis. For example: Sunday is my "cheat dessert" day. My boyfriend and I hit up the fro-yo place each Sunday, and I know that; so I make room for it in my calories for the day. Also there are times if both of us are off before dinnertime on a Saturday (which is rare!), we typically go out to eat somewhere. Once I know our schedules, I can then plan the rest of my day accordingly.

WADINGMOOSE Posts: 1,044
7/9/13 10:19 A

What I eat on a "cheat" meal/day is not what I'll eat all the time when I'm maintaining.

For me, it's a way of allowing myself to eat things I like but shouldn't eat all the time and it seems to be a good way of continuing to eat after I've lost the weight - healthy most of the time while allowing for "bad" or unhealthy foods in moderation.

Maybe as I get closer to my goal, I'll find that the 80/20 rule (or some variation thereof) won't work for me, but for now, it seems like a good, healthy approach, if poorly labeled as cheating.

DIDS70 Posts: 5,070
7/9/13 8:58 A

I don't believe in cheat days or cheat meals either. maybe it is the word "cheat". Who am I cheating? Others-- no. I am only cheating myself. As CMCOLE stated, everything should be tracked. It also depends on how far the participant takes it.

NIRERIN Posts: 11,990
7/9/13 7:36 A

for some people what they change their diet to [yep, i use the primary definition of the word, what one eats] is really too restrictive to keep up, so they "cheat" to get the foods they wanted in the first place and then fall of the wagon.
for other people "cheat" ultimately means a food that i like but really shouldn't have very often. it's something that i work in [through the not really ideally named cheat day], but i know it's not an everyday sort of food that i can have all the time. having that food, and having it as part of a cheat day ultimately means it's something that i love that i don't have to give up altogether, but it's a large enough impact food that it just has be incorporated sparingly. and the connotation of cheat helps the person space it out a little more than if it were just an infrequent food. adding the cheat adds a little warning sign like the explicit lyrics sign on cds. it's a last ditch "do you really want this?" that helps keep it a less frequent item. for people who do this there can be an easier slippery slope into emotional eating because what they are ultimately doing is introducing emotions where they don't belong, but ultimately everyone does what works for them. and if labeling something a cheat food translates to a person being able to incorporate a food they love in a way that doesn't keep them very far from the calories they should be eating on average, then good for them.

CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
7/9/13 7:17 A

If you're choosing to eat healthy, or live a healthy lifestyle, how can you cheat?
Isn't everything just an item that should be tracked?

If you treat this as a solution with an end in sight, at which time you'll return to eating what you do on your "cheat" day/meal, then you're in for problems, no?

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