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Cheat Meals

Sunday, October 20, 2013

I know some people do cheat meals and always have wondered how cheat meals are a component of a lifestyle change. I mean, if one is not on a diet, than who are we really cheating? Ourselves?

I have been so "good" this week and everything points to it. I have been working out longer and consistent. I am feeling "good" because I have increased my veggies and fruits. I even lost two pounds this week.

Feeling good about me, I thought I'd give this whole cheat meal concept a try. I dolled myself up and put on a nice dress. The plan was dinner and a movie. My boyfriend and I rarely go out so this was a special treat. I decided I'd allow myself to order what I wanted. Big mistake. I order appetizers, a burger, and later dessert. I just put it in Sparkpeople. I wasn't going to but than I was like I want to know how much over I was. I was roughly 3500 calories over. Wowsa! That's a pound! Half this week's work! The sodium count was over 5000 mg. No wonder I feel like bloated.. well.. because I AM. Duh.

Honestly, I am not sure how anyone loses weight using the cheat meal method. I feel like I took two steps forward this week and one big step backwards last night. I am NOT saying you shouldn't treat yourself because you SHOULD. For me, I think I would be better off treating myself with something else - NOT food. This morning I was feeling guilty than decided to turn this into a positive. I can take a lesson from this. Basically, the lesson is knowing I CAN go out to eat BUT plan on sticking tracking.

What are your thoughts on cheat meals?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • GEORGE815
    I think you can plan for a cheat meal. Unfortunately as you say your body knows when you have cheated. I try to just eat smaller portions.
    1605 days ago
    Cheating . . . doesn't work for me either, and I think partly because I have the same thoughts as you. IF this is not a diet, who are we cheating? Ourselves? Well, ultimately, the lesson learned is maybe food isn't the best way to treat ourselves! I am like that too. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy good food. BUT I respect the fact that there are foods I will never be able to stare in the face without going overboard. And that's fine!

    Hang in there, drink the water and . . . I'm preaching to the choir, aren't I!

    1608 days ago
    I don’t do cheat meals anymore but I understand the reasoning behind them but it just makes it sound like food is bad. The real question is if you really enjoyed the food. I think if someone really wants some “cheat” foods that they need to be mindful of how they are eating it and why? For me, the key is to be truly hungry, savoring the food and then stopping when satisfied even if that means leaving food uneaten (hard for the clean plate generation). It takes some learning and does not make food seem bad (moralizing food). Now that’s not to say that one should eat crappy foods all the time but it takes away some of the shame in food.

    As you may be able to tell, I have been doing a lot of work on the inside and changing my relationship with food and body image.

    Good luck and you’ll figure it out.

    Take care
    1608 days ago
  • OPTIMIST1948
    TriBabe has an interesting graphic on her blog about cheat meals. Go take a look.
    1608 days ago
    I will usually get a cheat item (appetizer or dinner or dessert) rather than the whole shebang and that seems to help.

    1608 days ago
  • DAWNESS0404
    It doesnt work for me. At least not if I do it once a week! I might suggest once a month to have a cheat meal and even then I would still not go overboard!
    1608 days ago
    Eating as I do I find no desire to go off program at all (unless I am very upset!). Eating pleasurable food is what I do. I eat as often and as much as I want as long as it is raw organic fruits and vegetables and greens. No problem!

    Going off program is not pleasurable, it is not fun, it is not healthy in any way, shape or form.

    Question: How do you know how many calories the food you ate was? Remember the calorie counts in restaurant menus are drastically under stated so you don't feel guilt when you indulge.

    I have a challenge for you: Next time you and your sweetheart go out to dinner eat totally on program without over eating and see how you feel. Not just then, but take notice for the next 12 hours.
    1608 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/20/2013 7:54:23 PM
    When I was newly in maintenance and still trying to figure out how not to lose weight, I experimented with cheat meals to slow the weight loss. The experience was much as you describe; I felt bloated afterwards, sometimes a bit lethargic, and worst of all it didn't control the weight trend.

    I ended up ratcheting up my calorie range until my weight moved sideways. Now, I think I could have a cheat meal now and then at the cost of having a slightly lower calorie range day to day; but the problem would be balancing a long term weight loss calorie range with an occasional cheat meal to net to weight maintenance.

    Speaking just for myself, I find it easier to levelize what I eat. It's easier to control, and much easier to adjust when the weight starts trending up or down.
    1608 days ago
    I agree with you. I have a friend who is consistently losing a couple of pounds a week for months but she has one day a week she eats whatever she wants. I decided not to do that because I can do a LOT of damage in a day!

    Like you I feel I would be so much further ahead if I don't do a cheat day. I eat occasionally when there is a celebration or holiday and even then I know moderation is best.

    You learned something about you. Keep up the good work.
    1608 days ago
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