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Graphical Example of Cheat Day Results


Tuesday, October 08, 2013

"Cheat Day" or "Free Day" or "Day off from diet" or whatever you want to call it: it's a day where you either eat one meal off, or all day, but my version of the cheat day is I eat what I want and don't track. As long as my calories in are higher than out, to me it counts as a cheat day. I wanted to show you guys an example of what can happen after cheat days.

Below is a graph of the weight I've lost, starting with the first day of my latest "reboot" on August 23rd. I say "reboot" because I made up my mind that I am finally LOSING THIS LAST WEIGHT. Period. Finito. Done.




Each blue dot represents the pounds I've lost when I weigh myself on that day.

The red arrows are when I've taken cheat days. As expected, my weight goes up the day after with the extra calories, carbs, sodium and water bloat. But more importantly, notice what happens after that... this is one example where the phrase, "I've sunk to a new low", is a good thing.

The sideways green arrow is when my sister and her husband visited. We ate out literally every day, but I still tracked my calories as well as I could for restaurant food. The week before that was PMS so also weight neutral.

Some of these weren't officially planned cheat days. The first red arrow, I knew I was going back to dieting so I went to a Chinese buffet with my Mom.

The second red arrow, we had cake, pizza and donuts from a final party from when my sister and husband visited.

The third red arrow, I was feeling tired and burned out, so just took a free day. What's interesting is I worked out the next two days after that, but because of the fatigue, I decided to take five straight days off from working out (normally I workout 1-2 times a day, 6 days a week). Check out how my weight dropped with the free day and not working out! Weird??

The forth red arrow, is today. My weight has started bouncing around a bit, and I'm not having a good week mentally (1-yr anniversary of when my Dad passed away.) So, I'm cutting myself a break. So we'll see what happens next... !!

As I explained in a previous blog, not only do cheat days help mentally, but they have been shown to recharge hormone levels, including the fat-burning thyroid hormone, and leptin, the hunger hormone. Maybe it's all in my mind, but I also feel like my metabolism is charging up. I feel warmer/hotter and more energetic, among other things.

I'm not saying a cheat day is for everyone. For some, they make people binge TOO much, fall off the wagon from then on, etc. You just have to find what works for you. I don't have a set schedule for cheat days. I just watch the scale and what is going on with my body for now.

As a side note, on my last blog I said my weight dropped to the lowest point since 2001. I'm now 2 lbs lower. Even though I've got 7 lbs to lose, in my mind, I'm ALREADY at my goal weight. That is a key to success. Focus on your end result and how great that will be!!

Ok! All for now! Have a great day!!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
OPTIMIST1948 10/17/2013 5:22AM

    Graph is great! I love numbers. they dont lie.

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SQUIRRELLYONE 10/15/2013 8:06AM

    I'm so glad you've finally found something that works for you!

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JLITT62 10/15/2013 7:52AM

    "Even though I've got 7 lbs to lose, in my mind, I'm ALREADY at my goal weight."

Hmm. Very interesting! Andyou know, my WW leader has said something very similar.

So happy for your success.

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BEANIES_MOM 10/9/2013 6:12AM

    I am so happy for you!!! It's great to see you getting the awesome results you deserve emoticon

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TIMOTHYNOHE 10/8/2013 9:43PM

    that is an interesting analysis. I will need to study this some.

emoticon

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FLAMENM 10/8/2013 9:15PM

    Great post and food for thought!

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VONBLACKBIRD 10/8/2013 6:12PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MISSUSRIVERRAT 10/8/2013 6:00PM

    That is VERY interesting. Thanks for taking the time to put it together and do the analysis.

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JACKIE542 10/8/2013 5:16PM

    Very interesting, thank you for the great info. emoticon

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LECATES 10/8/2013 4:15PM

    Great visual and explanation.

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IRP1114 10/8/2013 4:13PM

    Couldn't agree more. It has been very hard for me to leave out cheat day even when I try. I do believe in the way it effects hormones and metabolism. Well done in tracking your progress by the way! And congrats on your progress!!! Wooohooo to feeling like you are at goal already! That IS an awesome feeling. I think I can relate to it because I have been feeling that way lately too!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DESERTDREAMERS 10/8/2013 2:54PM

    Wow -shows what happens after a cheat, but you're still on a downward trend. emoticon

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RACEWELLWON 10/8/2013 2:49PM

    Great blog - the chart very informative . Really helps me a lot as I feel that I have pushed the restart button myself. With out a doubt grief if only for a moment to remember your Father is completely understandable - I am so sorry for your loss. I do see fluctuations in my weight also mind you I have always been thick with muscle so for me I do not tend to rely on the scale , but that is me , like you said everyone is different but one thing I have noticed that just before I am going to bust a plateau I gain two pounds - weird - Hugh - Saturday will be a cheat day for me has I enjoy time with my husband but I think I will also get a work in - finding my way through the corn maze - Thanks for stopping by - Karen

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RACEWELLWON 10/8/2013 2:49PM

    Great blog - the chart very informative . Really helps me a lot as I feel that I have pushed the restart button myself. With out a doubt grief if only for a moment to remember your Father is completely understandable - I am so sorry for your loss. I do see fluctuations in my weight also mind you I have always been thick with muscle so for me I do not tend to rely on the scale , but that is me , like you said everyone is different but one thing I have noticed that just before I am going to bust a plateau I gain two pounds - weird - Hugh - Saturday will be a cheat day for me has I enjoy time with my husband but I think I will also get a work in - finding my way through the corn maze - Thanks for stopping by - Karen

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1CRAZYDOG 10/8/2013 2:33PM

    Good job!!! 7 lbs. to go . . . . it'll happen!!

HUGS

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PJNSGRL78 10/8/2013 2:31PM

    This is really great! What I find I cheat days is I still eat in range (higher range) but I don't eat as clean. I too have been having problems with exercise (serious stress from hubby's work causing a bit of depression). I was STILL losing weight. Before I hadn't been taking that day. So I think you're right I think it does help our metabolism to keep things a bit tossed up. I think eating so clean for so long (and sticking that way most of the time) has kept me from binging on the days I may have A BURRITO or A DONUT. emoticon Doesn't this help soooo much tracking this stuff out? Gotta love Spark! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ARUNNINGKAT 10/8/2013 2:30PM

    Thanks for sharing! I find your graph very intriguing because I have experienced the same thing a little bit. I have been working out hard the past few weeks. Last week I watched what I ate most days, but also had a few days were I was so hungry I just didn't worry about it. Didn't pig out, but also didn't stress about what I was eating. I was shocked that I still lost weight last week. I am intrigued to see what happens this week.

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XRSIZE18 10/8/2013 2:28PM

    I wholeheartedly agree with you about the importance of cheat days. I know, for myself, if I were to deprive myself of everything I loved I would be miserable, wouldn't stick to a nutritious diet, and would just binge.

That's pretty exciting that you are going to hit your goal!

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ELIVINGSTONTX 10/8/2013 2:20PM

    Awesome example and proof that your body needs to get a day off from the diet to catch up on nutrients and change. Thank you for the excellent post.

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