Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.

Message Boards
FORUM:   SparkPeople Cafe

Maintenance Day vs Cheat Day? Do the words matter?

Search the
Message Boards:
Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.

Author: Message: Sort First Post on Top

SparkPoints: (95,813)
Fitness Minutes: (74,165)
Posts: 2,905
6/2/13 7:54 A

Nope doesn't matter, as it is all semantics.

SparkPoints: (120,618)
Fitness Minutes: (32,354)
Posts: 20,996
6/2/13 2:42 A

I have a 'cheat day' altho' I don't refer to it as that. That is the day I 'give myself permission to eat whatever I want' without regard to calories or balance. In "weight-loss" mode, I practiced this on average one day every two weeks. In "maintenance" mode I practice it one day per week (on average!)

To me there is a BIG difference between "maintenance day" and "cheat day" - "maintenance day" (to me) is eating in that range that maintains our weight on an even keel, rather than gaining/losing. We can do this long-term without any negative side effects. If you tried that with a 'cheat day', then odds are, you would be back to where you began in no time at all!


Edited by: SLIMMERKIWI at: 6/2/2013 (02:45)

Posts: 4,848
6/2/13 2:03 A

I am not sold on the importance of semantics here but I speak a different language in my daily life and I call those days "free days" meaning I don't have to be as disciplined as usual. I do it once or twice/month and I try to eat 2x my calories with a very high carb load in an attempt to get rid of bloating - what I mean is, it's not just a "eat whatever I want because I want it" day, it's a day that I am trying to accomplish something associated with my weight (note that this does NOT work for everyone but it does work for some of us, I usually lose around 1 lb from a "free day").

I call them cheat days when I'm writing in English because it's what everyone understands and we're trying to communicate here :) that's all. I don't care what you call it though ultimately you have to set your own boundaries. Mine are calorie based, so it works in the end.

I try not to get highly emotional about it although with food cravings we all know that sometimes it can get that way.

Posts: 11,486
6/1/13 7:22 P

for me a Cheat Day is a no holds barred day where I am going to have anything I want without restriction. And as a SLOW loser this is a dangerous thing for me.
Where a Maintenance Day just means I am not going to try to lose.

I know it's not healthy but it is what it is....
that's why I can't think of any day as a cheat day.

SparkPoints: (27,258)
Fitness Minutes: (24,472)
Posts: 1,624
6/1/13 7:15 P

I really like all of the healthy attitudes I'm seeing on here.
We are not cheaters in other areas of our lives, why should we think of ourselves that way in terms of our food choices?

SparkPoints: (47,030)
Fitness Minutes: (27,074)
Posts: 2,330
6/1/13 6:35 P

I have been guilty of using the words "I cheated on my diet". It did have a negative effect. I felt horrible and felt like a failure. Now, that I am....ahem....a little older and wiser, I try to use (and think) positive words and thoughts. I do believe they (words) have a big influence and they do matter. Thank you for your post!

Posts: 13,156
6/1/13 6:34 P

I don't like the term "cheating". makes me think that 1. I'm doing something wrong and 2. there are no holds barred.

SparkPoints: (201,958)
Fitness Minutes: (208,249)
Posts: 3,775
6/1/13 6:27 P

Maintainence is not a time of cheating. Every day is maintainence day for me and I don't want to back slide and get out of my healthy habits. I still keep my journal and keep under my maximum by planning ahead and making the best choices given the alternatives. It's a life style change/choice. We go out for dinner at least once a week and accept invitations to friends dinners, celebrations, cookouts. It's all doable. I don't deprive myself of anything I like. I just watch portions and work all my meals into the daily plan.

SparkPoints: (43,942)
Fitness Minutes: (31,342)
Posts: 3,589
6/1/13 5:13 P

I agree with the sentiment expressed in the OP. I have never thought in terms of "cheat days" because I am not cheating on anything. It's all part of the same LONG TERM lifestyle in which it is normal and healthy to eat more some days than others. My lifestlye is not so regimented that each day has to be identical.

Some days, I indulge a little ... go to a great restaurant ... celebrate a special ocassion ... get a chance to eat some special delicacy. It would be unwise to not let myself relax and enjoy those ocassions -- and if that involves eating a little extra, so be it. I just try not to go extremely overboard and gorge myself to the point of discomfort. I try to eat mindfully and enjoy my special treats without doing TOO much damage to my weight loss goals.

On other days, like today, I find myself in situations where I am going to eat less than usual. That's OK, too. And I am trying to take advantage of that and be mindful of the experience of eating less, realizing that I don't need to eat a lot to be happy.

In the long run, the fluctuations even out. So I am not "cheating" on anything by eating a little more ... and I don't have to deprive myself as punishment or to compensate for enjoying a good meal yesterday. They are simply normal fluctations within a healthy lifestyle.

Edited by: ONLINEASLLOU at: 6/1/2013 (17:16)

SparkPoints: (123,756)
Fitness Minutes: (151,298)
Posts: 2,215
6/1/13 2:35 P

Words DO matter! We teach our kids that, but we forget it when we become grown-ups & get hard on ourselves. :)

I have to do the best I can do everyday--and not call it anything specific. It's not a "day"--it's just LIFE.

And some days I have a great life, and some days a challenging life, and some days a tired & Dorito-filled life. LOL!

Hope you have a lovely weekend--thanks for the great thoughts!

SparkPoints: (27,258)
Fitness Minutes: (24,472)
Posts: 1,624
6/1/13 1:12 P

Reading an earlier post about "cheat days" and all of the wonderful responses started me thinking, a dangerous thing this early in the morning emoticon

How much do the words we use to describe our actions matter? The more I think about it, the more important I think the words are.

The earlier post was discussing "cheat days". Do you plan them etc. One poster used the term "maintenance day" to describe a day where you eat over your allotted calories.

I like the term "maintenance day" as it does not have negative conatations. Cheating is negative. We are not supposed to cheat. Cheating on a test, or on your spouse or your on your taxes or on your diet all have negative consequences.

We have had many discussions about "This is not a diet, diets don't work! This is a lifestyle change, this is about being healthy" on these boards. Is it easier to be positive about making a lifestyle change vs. being on diet? Diets are hard, we fail at them, we gain weight from them, they are restrictive and deprive us of the things we enjoy. Lifestyle changes are positive, they are good for us, we feel good as we do it.

Does the term we use define our opinion about something? I think it does. And I think we have to be careful with how we use words. The AP news association recently released a statement saying they would not publish articles with terms such as illegal alien, criminal alien etc but would only use undocumented worker etc. Without going into immigration policies, is this policy change meant to influence our thinking? The same thing with terms such as "Fat vs obese" Pigging out vs maintenance day", "Lazy day vs rest day" "Moron vs developmentally disabled" (Yes, that used to be an accepted medical description). I'm sure we can all think of many terms that have positive or negative feelings attached to them.

I know I cringe inside when I hear the term "fat cow" or "You're so pretty, you would be beautiful if you lost weight". I feel good when I hear "You are getting so thin", (I know, I know).

I think using the right terms can help us in meeting out goals but I think we need to be very careful to not attempt to deceive ourselves with the terms we use.

Any thoughts?

Page: 1 of (1)  


Diet Resources: healthy snack ideas for work | quick healthy lunches for work | staying healthy at work