I think this approach can work for people with a very large amount of weight left to lose, or for those who are maintaining and are very athletic or never had a serious weight issue. For most of us, though, it has a couple of major drawbacks. The first is that if you're not obese, in two days of uncontrolled eating you can VERY easily eat back the calorie deficit you created in five days of healthy eating, so you don't achieve weight loss. The second, IMO, is that you never get to the point of really *feeling* that there are certain foods that aren't part of your normal intake any more and that watching what you eat IS what's normal. Having "cheat days" makes it seem that your 5-day lifestyle is a "diet" and that the cheat days are the normal status that you will eventually go back to.
I'm like a number of other people here-- I always track what I eat, but for special occasions I plan in the foods I wouldn't normally eat. The big advantage of that for me is that I don't "waste my cheats." If I know that there's a party and I'm going to have a piece of cake, I don't eat cheese and crackers or chips and dip on top of it. I can work a piece of cake in to my plan and still hit my calorie targets, but not if I don't think about it ahead of time.
I'm also disturbed by the word "cheat" in relation to food. By definition, cheating means acting dishonestly to gain an unfair advantage, or taking something from someone by deception or trickery. Eating food doesn't give you an unfair advantage, and it doesn't victimize anyone else. If you call it cheating, it implies that you're rebelling against some outside force that's trying to control you. But in fact, you're making a decision for yourself that affects no one else. You're not cheating; you're deciding not to work on your weight loss that day. When you put it that way-- "I am making the decision that I want this food more than I want to lose weight this week--" it gets easier to resist, or at least to just eat the special occasion food that you want the most and skip the things you don't care so much about.
| current weight: 132.0