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ELENGIL's Photo ELENGIL SparkPoints: (18,593)
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8/8/14 1:05 P

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No, I don't take 'cheat' days. There are days when I go over my calories. Okay. I try to limit that, but even if I go over my calories, unless I'm over eating by like 1000 calories I'm still usually doing just fine. The calorie range is for a weight loss of around 2 lbs per week. If I eat over that range one day but still under what my 'maintenance' calories would be, I'm still losing weight, I just might not lose the whole 2 pounds. Even if I eat well over my range for one day, it will likely still balance out alright with the rest of my week to where as a whole I'm still in weight-loss ranges.

To say I take a cheat day would be to imply this is a structured diet with strict calorie restrictions and off-limit foods. This isn't. This is learning how to eat like a sane person for the rest of my life, and all sane people have days where they eat a bit much. If I never let myself go over 1550 calories or if when I did I felt like I had 'blown' my 'diet' then I would only drive myself insane.



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MAYBER's Photo MAYBER SparkPoints: (78,498)
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8/8/14 12:25 P

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Yes do take a cheat day do not go overboard it gives me something to look forward to during the week if have a food should not be eating save it for my cheat day it works for me may not work for you one day at a time



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7/20/14 3:11 P

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I try to be good most of the week, but I never keep track of calories on my weigh-in days. To me, calorie counting is extremely stressful, so I need that one day off. Other than that, I try to add accurate nutrition info on at least one new meal a week (I cook a lot), but frequently post "guestimates" from store bought food until I get around to figuring everything out. It isn't perfect, but it keeps me from throwing my hands up in disgust.

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7/20/14 1:25 P

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I have days that I "cheat". I can do that once per week but more often than not it only happens every two weeks. Like today, I had carnitas and consumed 1200 calories in one meal. I bet I will not get over 2000 calories today because I am so full from that one meal. I used to put down on average of 3000 to 4000 calories per day and seemed to always be hungry. Getting rid of junk food and soda has made that calorie range a thing of the past .

Weight is the result of what you have been doing for the past week.


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GOGOBUNNY's Photo GOGOBUNNY SparkPoints: (1,061)
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7/20/14 12:48 P

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The only cheat day I have had since I began this journey last month was on my niece's Birthday...she turned 5 and really wanted pizza and cupcakes at the laser light show...so I had 1 slice of pizza and 1 cupcake for her..since she brought me my plate and told me I had to eat it even tho I was on a diet and wouldn't leave my side until it was all gone....patient little 5 year old I tell ya...but then we danced and played tag and stuff so maybe I burned enough of it off..lol.. My husband still eats like he always has unless I cook for him....believe me he still has all his normal junk in the fridge...Burritos, ice cream cones, parm chicken...all things I can not have right now, which is fine i have managed to leave them alone thus far and I don't plan on eating them anytime soon..altho he is running out of room in the fridge since I have been buying more and more fresh fruits and veggies....I have learned to make several different kinds of salad...Chicken, ground turkey and fish are staples in my house right now..and hopefully remain so.... emoticon emoticon

Life is 10% what happens and 90% how you react...don't sweat the small stuff


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MARATHONMOMX4's Photo MARATHONMOMX4 Posts: 1
7/20/14 12:23 P

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I am also an all or nothing person and I have found that giving myself a little leeway can turn into a week long binge. You have to know yourself and what you can handle. For me it's an addiction and I know I can't trust myself to eat in moderation, that being said, things come up and you have to have a little wiggle room. My plan is to give myself 1,000 extra calories on my weigh-in day for a splurge. I am still going to track the calories but it gives me room to eat the treats I've been craving but haven't had enough calories to endulge in. It comes down to knowing yourself and honestly I don't think it's an exact science. You have to find what works for you.



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MYLOVE1959 SparkPoints: (3,562)
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7/20/14 7:02 A

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I am just getting back on track and have discovered that cheat meals cause binges with me. This week I ended up with two days were I ate almost 2000 calories and I paid for it at weigh in. On the good side, I did manage not to binge; a plus for me but today I feel like I am starting over completely. It didn't seem to matter that those calories were from food and not junk, just that I ate more then I needed. I have read some recent research that says Cheat Meals help to keep people on track but in truth I believe that only works if you are able to jump right back on track the next meal or next day.



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NEWYORKCHICK's Photo NEWYORKCHICK Posts: 226
7/19/14 9:37 P

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I don't go in thinking I'm going to "cheat" but yeah, sometimes I might eat a little extra at a party or holiday meal or something. I don't do it on a regular basis -- i.e., I wouldn't plan to do it once a week.

I'm also maintaining now, so a few hundred extra calories here or there once in a while is less of a big deal to me than it was when I was trying to lose. But I am still vigilant and wouldn't do it often.

My Streaks :)

-Pescatarian since 10/18/2007

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-Maintaining a 10% weight loss since 7/13/2014



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ELSCO55's Photo ELSCO55 SparkPoints: (164,118)
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7/19/14 12:42 P

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I have oops days and then try to get back on track



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JEWELS571's Photo JEWELS571 Posts: 2,838
7/18/14 3:41 P

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I have given myself "cheat" meals for 6 years and I love them. If I am running anything 9 or more miles on a week-end day I usually give myself 2 cheat meals or as I then call them reward meals. Lower long run weeks get an order of wings and a salad, bigger run weeks get wings and 1/2 a burger or I'll just do a chicken wrap. I do tend to stay at the low end or under in my calories 6 days a week, not really on purpose, I eat 5 small meals/snacks a day sometimes 6. If I intend on a 2nd cheat meal I'll add an extra run in on an off day. I will also forego 1-2 snacks on a cheat day so my calories are never out of control. I guess we all just have to find balance and what works for us. I adjust if my pants feel different than usual. I have been doing more toning and I think all the muscle is really burning the calories. I guess when I get up n miles for marathon training I'll just keep an eye out on my weight and appearance to increase as needed.



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KCLAIRE1992's Photo KCLAIRE1992 SparkPoints: (916)
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7/18/14 3:27 P

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This is all helpful to hear! I'm honestly still figuring out what works for me. I've been learning to fit my "treats" into my daily calorie range... Tonight I'm going out for Thai and I worked out longer today to help it fit. I had an "off the wagon" day yesterday that was unplanned but I managed not to binge. I tracked it today and it was only 1700 calories; not too bad at all! So I guess I'm trying to have days outside my calorie range only when they absolutely cannot be avoided (like a friends 21st birthday coming up), and make sure to track any days when I deviate from what I planned.



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AZRIDERS Posts: 215
7/18/14 2:51 P

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I don't do cheat days. I have fall-off-the-wagon days, but they are not intentional. LOL!!!



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SCOTTIEOWNER SparkPoints: (7,107)
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7/18/14 1:02 P

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No cheat days or meals.

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7/18/14 11:43 A

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I'm on 1200 - 1550 and have a lot of treats built in. It helps that my favorite is a little dark chocolate I'm sure! I also eat a lot of air-popped popcorn. I do everything in moderation and if I eat too much one day it's not big deal, I usually find I'm not as hungry the next day.


~Kelly~

"Food is not love, comfort, or an anxiety pill."

Time to stop trying to solve things with food (lack of included) that food won't solve. Food solves one thing: bodily hunger.



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KASTRA's Photo KASTRA Posts: 367
7/17/14 12:22 P

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KClaire, it's been a few more days. How are you hanging in there?

I agree that it can be hard to fit some treats into a 1200-1550 calorie range. It can be done, though. Maybe if you toss out ideas of your favorites, we can share suggestions that might satisfy that flavor need?

Also...no one is perfect. Perfection is tough to achieve without undue stress. Personally, I have enough stress in my life without tacking on food concerns.

If you close your eyes and imagine your plan down the line and what it looks like at maintenance - what calories will you shoot for, what foods will you enjoy, what does your exercise routine look like, what treats are definitely going to be on your list - and play with your numbers a bit, I'm sure you can find a way to work those treats into your menu while still meeting maintenance. Then, work backwards from there - scale back the treats a bit, scale back the calories each day a bit, increase exercise a bit - to create the calorie deficit now. That way, you can eat almost exactly like you will at maintenance, still enjoy your favorites once in a while, and when you reach your goal you will not have that much of a change to tackle.

Starting: 41.1 BMI and extremely sedentary
Current: 28.0 BMI with strength-training and low-impact cardio
Mini-goal: 29.9 BMI (about 164 lb) - DONE on 8/6/14! I'm no longer obese!
Mini-goal: 5K walk or run
Mini-goal: 24.9 BMI (about 136 lb)
Mini-goal: half-marathon walk or run
GOAL: 23 BMI (about 125 pounds), fit and active


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DENIECY Posts: 14
7/17/14 10:45 A

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I don't think of going out to dinner as a "cheat meal". I usually eat light that day to compensate for dining out. I also choose food that is within my calorie range or eat smaller potions (take some of it home). If I go over my calories then I do a more exercise the rest of the week. emoticon



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FIT_MOMMY_OF2's Photo FIT_MOMMY_OF2 SparkPoints: (4,190)
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7/16/14 11:41 P

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I agree, I think a cheat meal rather than day is better so you won't impact your weight loss as much. :-)

2 Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Philippians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


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HANSJS1 Posts: 11
7/15/14 2:50 P

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I tend to shoot more a particular thing as a cheat rather than a meal or day. For example, my normal plan does not include pizza. It's too calorie dense, so I won't waste my normal calorie allotment to that. At a certain point, if I don't plan in some pizza, or maybe some buffalo wings from my favorite place, I will fall of the wagon and take awhile to get back on. So instead, I plan in the specific foods I really like or crave once in awhile. I keep everything else about my foods as normal as possible, including fruits and veggies for the day. When I do enjoy those things, I very consciously eat them slow to enjoy them without binge eating and ...say...eat a whole pizza (something that was pretty standard at least once a week).

KATHARINA01's Photo KATHARINA01 SparkPoints: (19,300)
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7/15/14 2:21 P

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I'm planning on irregular cheat days for special occasions. Like when my mum comes to visit we're going to go to a sushi buffet. Or when I visit my grandparents, I will enjoy my grandma's cooking without guilt. But these occasion only happen a handful of times in the year, so I think I will be good.



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KCLAIRE1992's Photo KCLAIRE1992 SparkPoints: (916)
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7/15/14 2:12 P

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Haha, since originally posting this I definitely had a WHILE off counting, ugh. So maybe I need to change my mentality/just try to fit in treats to my daily calorie range. It's hard when you are on the lower range like I am (1200-1500). Maybe I just need to have a good workout and eat in my upper range on days when I want to treat myself/go out to dinner/ect.



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ASIZE081's Photo ASIZE081 SparkPoints: (6,478)
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7/14/14 6:58 P

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I never have planned cheat days, but sometimes I fall off the wagon and these are not good days for me. One cheat meal often turns into a cheat day for me... So I try not to cheat at all.



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GRIZ1GIRL's Photo GRIZ1GIRL SparkPoints: (126,214)
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7/14/14 1:24 P

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I don't do cheat days...I have zero will power over junk foods--so I either binge on them & get fat, or I refuse to buy/eat junk entirely & stay thin. If I tried to give myself a taste of Doritos one day a week, it'd never work...I'd eat half the bag & then feel so bad I'd finish the other half the next day.

So nope...gotta stick with only healthy foods in my house! And of course...lots of daily exercise!

It Is What It Is.... :)


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CAROLINERSA's Photo CAROLINERSA SparkPoints: (2,738)
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7/14/14 5:08 A

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I believe in planning my "cheats". This occurs on the 7th day of my meal plan (which is on an eight day cycle). Generally it is in the form of 40g dark chocolate/home made biscuits. I have found that it is all about staying in control and planning. Otherwise I will fall right off that wagon.



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DIVAMAMAOFTWO's Photo DIVAMAMAOFTWO SparkPoints: (11,228)
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7/13/14 9:50 P

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I generally do have one cheat day on the weekend.... but I think this is a slippery slope that I have fallen down one too many times. Proceed with caution. LOL

YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE GREAT TO START, BUT YOU HAVE TO START TO BE GREAT!!!

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! Phillipians 4:13.


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SHARIEANNE SparkPoints: (2,621)
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7/13/14 10:21 A

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It should be contained, and it's helpful to have your "regular" food there and ready for the day or meal after.

LET'S DO THIS!


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AMYLEEMARIE's Photo AMYLEEMARIE SparkPoints: (6,072)
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7/12/14 7:04 P

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I'm waiting for a date night to do a cheat meal. It will be worth it.

It comes down to a simple question: What do you want out of life, and what are you willing to do to get it?

Add me on fitbit! https://www.fitbit.com/user/294BFD


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DRANCIS's Photo DRANCIS SparkPoints: (29,633)
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7/12/14 6:21 P

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Generally Saturday but the weight loss has been tough lately so not going to this week.



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TANYABEE32's Photo TANYABEE32 SparkPoints: (2,921)
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7/12/14 7:12 A

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I have cheat days generally on the weekends when my husband is home but oh it's so hard to get back on track! lol



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TJOHNOCONNOR's Photo TJOHNOCONNOR Posts: 172
7/11/14 3:11 P

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One day a week I eat up to 1000 calories above my daily norm of 2000. On those days I ensure to eat the same way with lean proteins, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. Some may think that boring because there is no sweet desserts and such. But there is a method to my madness. So I don't know if its cheating or not. Its like my wife and I meeting at a bar and pretending to be strangers and then hooking up. Safe and definitely satisfying. emoticon

Quid est homo,qui non in melius. Latin; What is a man, if he does not make the world better
2 minute motivational video
www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNhOK3eUeqk


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FITTEREVERYDAY's Photo FITTEREVERYDAY SparkPoints: (11,892)
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7/9/14 11:42 A

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Yeah I definitely don't have an issue with all or nothing. I thought I did but I don't with food for sure. I had a chalupa and a churro from Taco Bell yesterday evening. I still stayed within limits and it doesn't change the game plan at all for me. I build in most of my indulgences.


~Kelly~

"Food is not love, comfort, or an anxiety pill."

Time to stop trying to solve things with food (lack of included) that food won't solve. Food solves one thing: bodily hunger.



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LADYCROFT7's Photo LADYCROFT7 SparkPoints: (13,352)
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7/9/14 10:31 A

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Personally I use the word 'indulgence' instead of 'cheat.' Calling something an indulgence allows me to acknolwedge that this is a treat not an everday, all the time something. I did 'cheat' meals last summer while shedding lbs and I found it all to dangerous and easy for one cheat to become a whole day of cheating. I will admit I am not losing quite as quickly as I did last summer ( I am also not exercising quite so hard) but I am losing and what I am doing now works better to allow me to keep my sanity running a busy schedule.

The minefields of life never go away, we just get better at navigating them.

The only place success comes before work is the dictionary.

For I know the plans that I have for you says the Lord, plans for good not disaster that shall give you hope.
Jeremiah 29:11


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BMCC488's Photo BMCC488 SparkPoints: (11,388)
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7/8/14 11:52 P

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Last time I lost weight, a cheat meal once a week did me wonders. I could look forward to that one meal each week. After a while it turned into a controlled cheat day where I'd treat myself a few times throughout the day with small things. I know it's bad, but the cheat meal consisted of a fast food meal since I didn't get a chance to do so the rest of the days. That way it was special and CONTROLLED since I would order one meal, bring it home, and eat it. I am an all or nothing type as well. One thing to remember is that that one meal won't define your whole week if you choose to do it, and you will get back to your regular routine right after or the next day. It can get in your head, but if you plan for it and make sure you can control it to a certain degree, you can certainly do it. I really think my cheat meal helped prevent me from hitting a plateau. I didn't have a plateau in the whole time I was losing weight (about seven months).

Full-time Aunt

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1st goal: 10.4 pounds, 299 by July 2, 2014 (met June 25th)
2nd goal: 30 pounds- 10% of remaining weight, 269 by October 15, 2014

~Bonnie


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TBIRB8's Photo TBIRB8 SparkPoints: (730)
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7/8/14 8:09 P

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If I have a bad craving for something I'll typically try and make a healthier alternative to satisfy the craving.

But I'm definitely not perfect!
I do typically cheat every here and there, probably every two weeks or so.

What provokes cheating for me is hangovers, traveling, being busy with no time to cook.

Edited by: TBIRB8 at: 7/8/2014 (20:10)

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BIBLIOTEKARZ's Photo BIBLIOTEKARZ SparkPoints: (26,492)
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7/8/14 6:33 A

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I have issues with consistency so I don't do cheat days-they turn into cheat weeks and cheat months and cheat years and the only person I cheat is myself.
Also, I don't feel the need to "cheat." I eat healthy, tasty food. The idea of "cheating" implies that you're restricting what you eat or that your normal diet is some form of punishment.

FERRNIE's Photo FERRNIE SparkPoints: (13,265)
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7/8/14 5:41 A

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I don't do cheat days, but if I really want to eat out I do it. I still go for the more healthy menu items. I still record my calories. If I'm craving a special food, I eat it. But I make myself accountable for everything I put into my mouth and honestly record it in my nutrition tracker.

Fern, Pa


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LENINKSTER Posts: 2
7/7/14 10:19 P

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I worked real hard, my weight came down and then I plateaud. I went out had 3 KFC chicken pieces, went for a long walk and next day lost 1.5 lbs. The next day I was back to my "eat sensible" regime and the weight continues to slowly come off. I've since had a "wendy's day" and a "McDonalds Day" Weight still heading in the right direction. Why this time? 3 Pieces of KFC instead of 8 piece bucket and fries, Wendy's Junior Bacon Cheeseburger instead of a Whopper, McDonald value meal instead of 2 1/4 Pounders with Cheese.

Still my favorite food to splurge, but the sensible portions give me some of what I want, but not at the cost of falling off the wagon! :D.

FITGIRL15's Photo FITGIRL15 Posts: 5,462
7/7/14 6:36 P

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I loved Cheat Days when I first started dieting... they kept me SAIN! And gave me something to look forward to after a hard week of being disciplined! :)

Now, they make me feel terrible.. I get like a food hangover, almost! Not sure if they are worth it, but sometimes life just has to allow some things that are NOT on the plan!!!

"Donít let yesterday use up too much of today.Ē

... Live in the NOW!


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KEELY128's Photo KEELY128 SparkPoints: (209,306)
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7/7/14 1:04 P

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I try to do the whole moderation thing, if I am not good all day, there is no splurging later in day




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KNACKERS11's Photo KNACKERS11 Posts: 85
7/7/14 12:07 P

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I don't do cheat days or meals. I'm all for balance in eating but if I over indulge, I feel really terrible.

Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.


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BENE38464's Photo BENE38464 SparkPoints: (5,692)
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7/4/14 12:30 P

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emoticon All you guys!

Bene38464


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7/4/14 2:56 A

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do not believe in cheat days as such but if I want a piece of chocolate will eat fewer carbohydrates to compensate

FITTEREVERYDAY's Photo FITTEREVERYDAY SparkPoints: (11,892)
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7/3/14 12:53 P

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I don't downright forbid myself anything so I have no need for them. If I go over my calorie goal one day I just go right back to it the next. It's worked fine for me!


~Kelly~

"Food is not love, comfort, or an anxiety pill."

Time to stop trying to solve things with food (lack of included) that food won't solve. Food solves one thing: bodily hunger.



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BLUEWARBLER's Photo BLUEWARBLER Posts: 6
7/3/14 12:47 P

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I have several times followed the "Game On" plan -- a competitive diet/fitness/get your life on track program. They allow a day off from the rules once a week. My first time through the game, I used that day off to go nuts -- I felt like I needed to completely inhale every forbidden food in that one day. As a result, although over the month-long period of the game I gained a lot of fitness, I lost no weight at all. The next two times I figured out what a day off really meant -- I could relax the rules, e.g., not worry if every carb is completely whole-grain/complex, not worry if the balance of carbs-fat-protein is perfect all day, etc., but not give up on trying to take care of myself entirely. I still track my eating when I take a day off, but it's OK if the nutrition is imperfect or if I go over by 100-200 calories (but by 1000-2000 calories is still not a good idea!). This makes restaurant eating easier. I don't have to scrutinize every ingredient, but it's still a good idea to order a smaller portion (I'll still feel completely satisfied) or to leave food on my plate. I don't do "Game On" anymore, as I found it tends to overwhelm me and ends up backfiring, but I've taken away a lot of good lessons from it.



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BETHLAKE88's Photo BETHLAKE88 Posts: 51
7/3/14 11:04 A

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I have found a lot of restaurants have their menus available with nutritional information online. With a little research and planning, you can have your dinner out, stay on track and even squeeze in a shared dessert. I pick my favorite couple of main dishes (once we went and they were out of the salmon dish I had chosen!! Took me forever to decide and they didn't have nutritional information where they could find it until after I had finally chosen again!!) and what sides I want. If you are a salad person ask for dressing and cheeses on the side and only add what you need on it. Also, if you want to indulge in that steak and fries, ask for a to go box first thing and put half of your meal in the to go box!!! They might question you if you are leaving already but explain that you can't eat it all so you are preventing over eating or tell them no and leave it at that. I used to work at a group home and took a resident out on a "good behavior dinner" to Garfield's. We sat down and looked at the menu because she was on a 1400 cal doctor prescribed diet. We figured out what she wanted and what I wanted and both would have been way over! We asked for to go boxes right away after ordering and the server politely asked if everything was okay. We explained why we did it and she said she was going to suggest it to her mother next time they were out as they always over ate and were miserable! Also think about simple substitutions that the restaurant offers. Baked sweet potato over baked potato. Fish or Chicken over steak or ribs. Eating out does not have to stop because you change your eating habits! Avoid heavy sauces and look for broth based rather than cream based soups. Eat slow and enjoy and stop when your body says it is full!

What is done is done. I will not dwell on it. I will move on and learn from my past. I love myself.


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CHARITYAK's Photo CHARITYAK SparkPoints: (10,169)
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7/2/14 8:05 P

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Different things work for different people but for me, cheating does NOT work. It just makes my brain think those foods are now options in general. I do better if I have a very black or white approach. So I have to decide that I can NEVER have pie again or that I do NOT eat cream soups. Or whatever. I just do better giving things up for life. If it's off the radar, it just ceases to exist for me after awhile.

For other people that would induce feelings of deprivation that could trigger binges.



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LIFESTYLEWITCH's Photo LIFESTYLEWITCH Posts: 197
7/2/14 6:20 P

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I realyl don't have cheat days I find this more defeating and everyone knows having this "day" tends to make you "cheat" even more. I know my path to a healthier lifestyle will be a long one compared to those people who "eliminate this and that and stick to a strict regimen" but I know I will be better off to do this my way. Everyone is different but for me moderation is key, instead of pop every day at my desk I now have it on weekends only and drink water all week, those chocolate bars that I used every afternoon now I am down to 2 a week....for me it is not about denying but learning there is more variety in food life than the quick fixes I have turned to for so many years.

Pain is temporary, Quitting lasts forever

Life is Change. Death is Dwelling on the Past, or Staying in one place to Long.


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7/2/14 2:45 P

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I was in complete sympathy with your remarks on blowing it and knowing that it would probably happen again. For me, it's "Let him who thinks he stands take care lest he fall." I always laughingly refer to myself as a "recovering eat-a-holic," just as 12-steppers are "recovering alcoholics." There's always the danger that I could relapse. I hope not, but I don't want to get over-confident! There's a sign in my gym that says: P.U.S.H! (Pray until something happens!) That's what I do...pray a lot!

Bene38464


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7/2/14 2:16 P

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I didn't track my food at all yesterday. I couldn't figure out how! I went to the doctor early without eating breakfast first and when I got home my husband was making our granddaughter's birthday cake. My first bite of the day was a mouthful of homemade buttercream frosting. I had several more "tastes" before going to her lunchtime party where I had cake and potato chips.

I figured that since I had already blown it for the day I would enjoy a dinner out and we went to an Italian restaurant and I had Fettuccine Alfredo. I did only watch while my husband had dessert, though (Yea, me)

Hey, I'm human and prone to messing up. Not the first time, won't be the last. I didn't gain all this weight overnight and I'm not going to lose it overnight.

I'm back on track right now, but I can't guarantee tonight or tomorrow. I'm trying!

emoticon Michelle


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ENO1986's Photo ENO1986 Posts: 20
7/2/14 2:06 P

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I agree with BENE I have a really bad sweet tooth not for soda, but for things like candy pies etc .. they put crap in their so you get addicted to it so I rather not eat like that anymore.

If I would say which would I do I would defiantly go with the meal not a whole day because with a cheat day it's way to easy to slip back into old habits and should be only done once a month which is extremely hard to do as to a cheat day you can do once a week as long as you stay in your calorie range.



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7/2/14 1:47 P

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I hate the term "cheat". I've learned the hard way that depriving myself of things I love just backfires so they're worked into my plan. For instance, I'm a salty snacker. Love chips and pretzels. So I work them in because if I don't have 12 potato chips for a snack after lunch (150 cals) then I'm going to eat a whole bag at 3. I love a glass of wine so the two nights a week that my husband is home for dinner, we have a glass of red wine with dinner. I track them and I move on.



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7/2/14 1:03 P

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I think for me it's better not to! I am afraid to tempt myself into a binge! I sometimes eat something rich and gooey, but I always record it and make an effort to account for it in my daily plan! I really wanted a donut as I came by the bakery this morning after going to the gym, but I resisted and went home and filled up on two scrambled egg whites, a slice of whole wheat toast, and a cup of Greek yogurt. (This was my second breakfast as I had Cheerios, 1% milk, and a banana at 5:30 am)

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7/1/14 11:15 P

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I wouldn't want to have a cheat anything - it's such a negative term. I track everything that goes into my mouth, with the goal of tracking before I eat it. SP gives us a range of calories, so when a special occasion comes up, I eat the low range before the occasion, track everything, then eat the low range for a few more days, then back to the middle!
8-)



Em
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CLARASMAMA40 Posts: 104
7/1/14 10:39 P

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I only give in to cheat meals on occasion and smaller portions of them. I think you can overdo it if you completely deprive yourself!

"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."


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KONRAD695's Photo KONRAD695 SparkPoints: (63,684)
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7/1/14 10:22 P

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I can't handle a planed cheat day or meal, but I do have them "not planed". Usually I can feel one coming on (like lately). I then try to hold my calorie ground and push really hard with the exercise. That way when it does happen, usually a bad snack every two weeks, I have a calorie bank waiting to balance it out.



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CAROLJ35's Photo CAROLJ35 Posts: 12,860
7/1/14 10:11 P

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I can't handle a "cheat day"! I do enough damage in one day to undo my progress in the last two weeks or more. A treat now and then is better for me.
Sweets are my weakness and the 100 Days Team has been great for me. With their encouragement I have now completed 33 days of my 100 with NO Sweets! (and I have lost 6 lbs.)


EST


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BIGDOG18 Posts: 8,906
7/1/14 5:28 P

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GARYNANN SparkPoints: (7,446)
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7/1/14 2:51 P

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I find when I try to fight my craves....I eat a lot of diff. foods and then.........end up giving into my crave...

So I believe have a smaller amt. of what you crave and get it out of your system....

Healthier choices .... emoticon

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7/1/14 2:49 P

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I don't necessarily build in "cheat days," but I notice that my lifestyle change goes to pot on the weekends. I stick to my plan during the week, when I have a routine, but once there is not schedule to follow, I slip. Any suggestions? My weekends are ruining everything!



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MCHAPPY31's Photo MCHAPPY31 SparkPoints: (5,084)
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7/1/14 2:30 P

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I try to not deprive myself but I get some kind of satisfaction when I eat something I know I shouldn't. Maybe that's my addiction. I read some good tips on here and will try them.



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7/1/14 10:20 A

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PERFECTO!

Healthy Life Changes is our Motto People!

Better choices is the answer...and yes we can have things we want and crave but the key is......"moderation"
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BROOKLYN_BORN's Photo BROOKLYN_BORN Posts: 2,347
7/1/14 9:22 A

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I don't call it "cheating" because I don't call it "dieting." I've just changed to a healthy lifestyle and that includes desserts. I just choose more carefully.

The race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running.


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DOVE52's Photo DOVE52 SparkPoints: (47,058)
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7/1/14 8:09 A

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so hard to stay on track if dont allow some variation. Important not to make it a treat and keep it in moderation



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6/30/14 8:06 P

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I was trying not to "cheat" at all, but my husband and I like to go out to eat one to two times per week and I was getting very tired of a meat and vegetable for dinner when other people were having some very tempting food. I am doing a Paleo diet, so it can be very limiting,.so the last two times I went out, I had a couple of items that I really wanted, without going overboard. I think it is really helping me not feel deprived. I also lost two more pounds this week. I continued to track everything I ate, and overall for the week I was fine. I think this will help me stick with this new way of eating.



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JACKSMOM1114's Photo JACKSMOM1114 SparkPoints: (5,501)
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6/30/14 5:25 P

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My husband and I usually have a cheat meal but we usually have it after our longest and hardest run of the week. So we don't feel bad about it. We eat well during the week and exercise all week too. No ones perfect but we don't go off the deep end in sweets every week. Everything in moderation!

emoticon



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HEALTHY-HOLLY's Photo HEALTHY-HOLLY Posts: 24
6/30/14 1:00 P

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To meal "cheat meal" means I am doing something wrong. If this is a lifestyle change, there will be an occasional cookie or cheeseburger. To say otherwise is crazy lol.

I try to plan ahead and if I know there is a cookout on Saturday I will plan the rest of my day accordingly so I can have that cheeseburger or whatever and it isn't a big deal. If my calorie are over for a day, balance it out with extra cardio if possible. If it's not possible-like the previous poster said-drop the perfectionism and realize tomorrow is another day!



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GRACED777's Photo GRACED777 SparkPoints: (19,514)
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6/30/14 12:29 P

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I just try to get everything to balance out by the week also. Sometimes I'm good about keeping treats in their proper proportions and sometimes not. If I do have a bad day, I work hard to balance it with a good day, eating wise and exercise wise. One thing that helps me is finding low cal substitutes. Another is dropping the perfectionism and realizing that tomorrow is another day.

My weight is day by day becoming more dependant upon Whose I am than on my circumstances and feelings.

Life here is a one-time deal. I want to live it well.

http://barbirwin.blogspot.com


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SPINNER86 Posts: 100
6/30/14 10:36 A

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My husband & I eat out every Fri and Sat. There is no cheating. There are no BAD foods. I try and make healthy choices at every meal. If I have a beer with dinner then I don't have a snack at night. During the week when I can control more closely what I'm eating and don't have alcohol I have a planned snack at night. Usually 1 cookie or Kashi bar with tea or a small serving of ice cream. This time around I'm not thinking about eating as a DIET but more as a way of life. Choosing good,healthy food to live and age well (I'm soon to be 56). I've lost 8 lbs in 7 wks with this new outlook and so far it is working for me.


NIRERIN Posts: 11,820
6/30/14 7:02 A

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piaqua - what i think trim180 is trying to say is that the next time there is a day where they realize that they are going overboard, that they are going to use hot sauce as a tool to help them stop the mindless shoveling. kind of like how some people will dump salt on the food left on their plate so that they don't pick at it. so it's not really a punishment, it's a tool to stop the behavior they don't want to be engaging in and give them some time and space to work out a new plan of attack.

Edited by: NIRERIN at: 6/30/2014 (07:13)
-google first. ask questions later.

PIAQUA's Photo PIAQUA Posts: 340
6/30/14 4:45 A

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Trim180:

"Next day I decide to "let go" I will add hot sauce until my lips burn and tears run down my face."

I could be reading this wrong, but to me it seems like you plan on punishing yourself should you happen to have a really bad food day. I would encourage you not to do this. Food (and exercise) shouldn't be a punishment, you don't want to end up resenting either of them. Just say to yourself that tomorrow is another day and keep up with the normal healthy routine you have going. When we put on the weight, it wasn't magically stopped or reversed by one good day of healthy eating, and in the same vein, one bad day of eating won't ruin an otherwise healthy lifestyle.

As to the original question - I don't really have an issue unless I am going out to eat, in which case I'll order what I want and savor/enjoy it. It actually usually ends up having an effect on my eating for two days because I end up with leftovers, but it's very much worth it to me, especially since I've significantly cut out how often I eat at restaurants anyway.

Edited by: PIAQUA at: 6/30/2014 (07:12)
JANETL1's Photo JANETL1 SparkPoints: (75,601)
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6/30/14 1:13 A

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I don't so much have a cheat meal as I allow myself one "treat" per week even though it might put me beyond my SP nutritional ranges for that day. Some weeks I don't do it at all.

Proclaim His love in the morning, His faithfulness at night!


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BIOLOGYJUNCTION's Photo BIOLOGYJUNCTION Posts: 18
6/29/14 6:48 P

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It is about finding what works for you! Congrats!



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VENDIETA's Photo VENDIETA Posts: 117
6/29/14 6:05 P

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I dont have so called cheat meals or days but I allow myself for example on weekend to not count my calories because breakfast, lunch, snack are about the same as normally just dinner and other snack are different. I only do that when I spend weekends visiting parents. This hasn't been ever a problem for my progress because I normally choose foods that are quite alike to what I eat at home and it's only one day so I don't lose my control or anything else like that. It's simply rude and hard to start calculating there all my intake. It's not like I miss eating something else.



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TRIM180's Photo TRIM180 Posts: 152
6/29/14 4:27 P

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Great topic it was on my mind that if I "let go" one day I may rev up my metabolism. Not going to happen again...I drank too much at the free cocktails party. Next day hangover not enough sleep and over ate***Triple Threat. I have spent the past 3 months learning how to cook and eat healthy. I am enjoying my new meal plan and losing weight is just a benefit along with more energy and a better outlook on life. My latest addition is a spice rack and hot sauce. I can cook the same meal, like fish and vegs, and it tastes different every time with new flavors. Next day I decide to "let go" I will add hot sauce until my lips burn and tears run down my face.

"Thanks everyone" Sound reasoning to feel "everyday I eat what I want" and appreciate my new found culinary skills.

Edited by: TRIM180 at: 6/29/2014 (16:28)
Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going~Jim Rohn


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MOTHERBOARDER's Photo MOTHERBOARDER SparkPoints: (112,487)
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6/29/14 11:14 A

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sUNDAY



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UKNOWITNOW SparkPoints: (17,804)
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6/28/14 11:52 P

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Knowing that I can eat whatever I want motivates me. I am in control even when I eat my favorites. Granted, I may not eat as much of those things as I did in the past, but I eat them to keep myself satisfied so I do not feel deprived.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.


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PJB145's Photo PJB145 SparkPoints: (36,740)
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6/28/14 10:50 P

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When I started 6 months ago I had a 'diet' mentality that thought along the lines of "cheat" days. A month in I realized that is why my weight loss has always failed in the past; because I always thought of my program as having an "end" and not as a change in my lifestyle.

I don't need that day anymore. I have embraced a change, not only in the way I eat but in my attitude as well. I don't need to have a 'special' day because every day is what I make it. I can have everything in moderation (including my favorites - ribs and ice cream) as long as I plan for it within my weekly nutrition guidelines. It is very freeing to know I can eat anything. The best thing that happened to me is, because I CAN eat everything. I don't crave my favorites as much because I know,if I want it, I can eat it.

I say whatever works for you that keeps you on track is what you should do. Continued success on your WL journey.

Edited by: PJB145 at: 6/28/2014 (22:52)
"NOTHING changes if nothing changes" Remember, while looking forward to reaching your destination you need to enjoy the journey.

With God, all things are possible.

PamB


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ROBBIEY SparkPoints: (99,617)
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6/28/14 5:02 P

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yes once a week



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KASTRA's Photo KASTRA Posts: 367
6/28/14 2:01 P

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I call those meals or treats indulging. I'm not being exceptionally picky about portion sizing or content, but do try to make my choices with health in mind.

in∑dulge
inˈdəlj
verb
allow oneself to enjoy the pleasure of.
"we indulged in some hot fudge sundaes"

allow oneself to enjoy a particular pleasure, especially that of alcohol.
"I only indulge on special occasions"
synonyms: treat oneself, give oneself a treat

Maybe it's just me, but making this change to a healthy lifestyle is really and truly all about the meaning of things That's why I get hung up on the symantics. If I give too much meaning to a thing - ice cream, a trip to a favorite restaurant - it preoccupies my attention and focus from things I should be more invested in. If, however, I make that just a part of my lifestyle - albeit not a daily or weekly event - it's no big deal. I work it into the life I want to live, it's got no hold on my focus, and everything else falls in line around it. Just like cleaning my house. I like to have a clean house but don't like to clean. If I focus on my annoyance of cleaning, I'd never do it. If I connect it to the result - a clean house - I do it because it needs to be done to achieve my desired outcome. No big deal, so I get up and do dishes when there are a few, vacuum and mop the floors periodically so we do not get a dust buildup, etc. That same philosophy applies to eating right (and adding in the treats I sometimes like) as well as exercise. I want a fit and lean body, so I need to eat right and exercise to achieve that outcome.

Edited by: KASTRA at: 6/28/2014 (14:01)
Starting: 41.1 BMI and extremely sedentary
Current: 28.0 BMI with strength-training and low-impact cardio
Mini-goal: 29.9 BMI (about 164 lb) - DONE on 8/6/14! I'm no longer obese!
Mini-goal: 5K walk or run
Mini-goal: 24.9 BMI (about 136 lb)
Mini-goal: half-marathon walk or run
GOAL: 23 BMI (about 125 pounds), fit and active


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6/28/14 1:45 P

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Thanks for the advice everyone; it's really helpful to hear what others are doing. I understand the issues with using the word "cheat", but I simply thought it was the easier phrase to use that everyone would understand. I like the idea of the weekly average. What I did yesterday though was to say dinner was my "free" (is that a better word?) meal. I was on track all day but just ate slightly more then I would when I went out. But I'm still tracking the calories. Let's see if that works for me. :)



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SLIMMERKIWI's Photo SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (126,470)
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6/28/14 4:17 A



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I have always given myself permission (not 'cheat') to eat whatever I want one day per every two weeks. To start with I used that one day, but as time went on, I often went 3 or 4 weeks and sometimes more. I think that it is because I KNOW I am not depriving myself and that I CAN eat those treats if I want.

Of course, it works for some, but not others. It obviously worked for me, because I not only lost a considerable amount of weight practicing that, but have been maintaining for 3 years, STILL practicing that.

I guess it depends on how wow controlled you are the rest of the time if you allow that 'one day'.

Kris



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CLARISSABOND's Photo CLARISSABOND Posts: 426
6/28/14 2:45 A

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I eat within a reasonable range most days but a little indulgence keeps me sane. I don't think of it as cheating though, just days when I allow myself to enjoy items that a bit less nutritious. It doesn't usually take much to satisfy and I only choose items that I really enjoy.

I am always worth my best. My best is good enough for anyone.


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JUDYAMK's Photo JUDYAMK SparkPoints: (22,219)
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6/27/14 11:41 P

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I use to use my weekend days as my cheat days, I cannot do that any longer as I over indulge way more than during the week



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CSROBERTSON621's Photo CSROBERTSON621 SparkPoints: (75,010)
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6/27/14 10:32 P

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I don't think of it as a "cheat day" but I usually stick to the low end of my calorie range the whole week, and then don't worry (too much) about one of my weekend dinners. That way I get to enjoy regular evenings out without worrying about blowing my calorie budget for the week.

Starting Weight: 260 lbs. (November 2010)
Quasi-Maintenance: 165 lbs. (June 2011)
Goal Weight: 150 lbs. (reached December 8, 2011)

Size 22W to Size 4

Currently maintaining within 5 lbs. (+ or -) of goal. I weigh daily, but also use a tape measure and the fit of my clothes to guage how well I'm doing.
SARILA's Photo SARILA SparkPoints: (5,748)
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6/27/14 8:52 P

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I am very like you, KCLAIRE1992. Either I am in it completely, or I'm off the rails. I'm trying to work out a balance, though, and stop hanging so much on each success or failure. So what if I go over on my calories a bit one day? If I'm doing well overall, that is what is important. One unhealthy splurge didn't get me where I am now, many of them did. As long as it is just one, once in a while, I try to give myself a break.

But I have to be careful. It's very easy to slip. It starts with, "Okay, it's my birthday, I'm going to splurge!" Then it's Valentine's. Then the wedding anniversary. A potluck at work. It's been a long week and it's Friday, I'm going to enjoy myself . . . and at some point, the splurging becomes a habit. Instead of a splurge, it's just how I'm living again.

I think planning it ahead of time is a good idea. If you know you are going out, you can research where and plan what meal. Then you can try to eat lightly the rest of the day and try to work in some more exercise.

There is some really good advice here from the other posters, and I'd like to thank them for it. It can be really hard when you have that all-or-nothing mentality, that perfectionist attitude -- if I'm not hitting all the goals, what's the point? I'm trying hard to shake that. It really is about finding a new lifestyle, which is going to include sometimes having a big, juicy steak or cheesy pizza or fudge sundae. Just not all the time. Good luck to everyone!

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NIRERIN Posts: 11,820
6/27/14 4:06 P

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think of an all or nothing mentality this way: if you were to get a flat tire, then you would have to go out and slash the other three good tires. that's what you do when start thinking along the lines of "since i already went over." you take something that's manageable that you can balance out and blow it up to the point where you can't.

as far as what you do, that depends on what you want. you can call it a cheat, with all the negative connotation that comes along with it, working in indulgences, whatever you want to call it it depends on what it is. working in a half ounce square of dark chocolate is something that you're going to be able to do a lot more frequently than having a 4000 cal dinner at outback. and those are both going to be different than a 600 cal starbucks drink or a burger and fries.
the people who succeed with whatever you want to call it are the people that find ways to satisfy their cravings for the smallest number of calories. so if they love alfredo sauce the most, they might have that on broccoli instead of pasta and they might be able to do that a few times a week. the people that have issues are the people who "cheat" with a 600 cal starbucks drink and a 600 cal starbucks pastry, then head to mcdonald's for a supersized meal deal complete with 44 oz of soda, have a family sized bag of chips for an afternoon snack and then head out for a 4000 cal dinner with another 2000 of drinks. that's the point where olympic training with michael phelps is about the only thing that's going to balance out that kind of day. the higher calorie the thing you want, the less frequently you can have it. the lower calorie the item, the more you can work it in. if you wanted to have a 4000 cal dinner above and beyond your body's needs once a year, you'd only need to save up 11 cals a day to balance it out. if you wanted that same 4000 cal above and beyond dinner once a month, that's saving 138 cals a day the rest of the month. 4000 once a week? that's 667 a day and generally beyond the point that you can easily balance out.

-google first. ask questions later.

SHAZIAAFZAL1 Posts: 100
6/27/14 3:32 P

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I liked weekly average idea. cool emoticon



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COLLEENBOB's Photo COLLEENBOB SparkPoints: (18,341)
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6/27/14 3:25 P

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KASTRA, I couldn't have said it better. I'm living as I mean to go on.
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Committed to Healthy Living, not perfection, one day at a time.


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KASTRA's Photo KASTRA Posts: 367
6/27/14 1:03 P

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Like the others, I get itchy about the semantics involved in the word "cheat," but I do eat out periodically.

We have a financial budget that allows us to eat out from a restaurant once or twice a paycheck (so about once every week to two weeks). For those meals, I still try to make responsible choices and stay within my calorie range. Sometimes I go a bit over, but so long as it isn't by 1,000 or more calories, I just try to be a little more diligent about my calories the rest of the week, maybe add 5-10 minutes to my workouts each day, and it has no impact on results. Still, I intentionally aim to lose just 0.5 to 1 pound a week (I eat pretty close to maintenance) so if you have a more aggressive goal, it might be tougher to squeeze in.

On a very rare occasion - like anniversary, Thanksgiving, Christmas dinner - I'll have meals where I don't care what the calorie count adds up to, because I'm going to have a pleasant holiday or special event with loved ones rather than getting a measuring cup to get picky about my gravy quantity. I tend not to lose any weight those weeks, and in fact, typically see a gain the week after in the form of sodium that will take a few days to even out. But, I have a great time and just keep on keeping on the following weeks.

As to the semantics of the word cheat... Well, I plan on eating like this until the end of my days unless I'm medically required to change. I can't exactly skip those special events unless I want to become a hermit, and it would add unnecessary stress to those special events if I get particularly picky about the contents of my plate and each of their ingredients. Since I don't plan on doing that after I'm at my goal weight, there is zero reason to do that now. Using that logic, I'm not doing anything I shouldn't be doing. So, it's not cheating. It's just living life.

Starting: 41.1 BMI and extremely sedentary
Current: 28.0 BMI with strength-training and low-impact cardio
Mini-goal: 29.9 BMI (about 164 lb) - DONE on 8/6/14! I'm no longer obese!
Mini-goal: 5K walk or run
Mini-goal: 24.9 BMI (about 136 lb)
Mini-goal: half-marathon walk or run
GOAL: 23 BMI (about 125 pounds), fit and active


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EELPIE's Photo EELPIE Posts: 2,669
6/27/14 12:18 P

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lol...I don't call it a "cheat meal" I call it going out to dinner once a week and eating moderately well, which for me means only a couple of drinks (wine, vodka club, etc.) not ordering the most fattening thing on the menu, skipping dessert.

I might have to watch a little more closely what I eat the next day...but oh so worth that little indulgence!

Try thinking of you calorie intake on a weekly basis...not a daily one.

Let me whip out a calculator....

Ok, so say your daily range is 1220-1500. That equals 8,400-10,500.

Now...you enjoy going out to eat every Friday nite. So - during the week, try to stay around 1300 a day (or so) for 6 days that gives you a total of 7,800. Minus that from your total of 10,500 - that gives you 2,700 calories to play with for the day you eat out.

Does that make sense?

Edited by: EELPIE at: 6/27/2014 (12:54)
The best exercise in the world is to bend down and help someone up.


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ICEDEMETER's Photo ICEDEMETER Posts: 712
6/27/14 11:57 A

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While I personally have an issue with the semantics of "cheating" (just who or what is being cheated?!), I totally believe in having room in my life for going out for dinners!

I don't know if this would work for you, but what I have done is pay more attention to my weekly and monthly averages instead of the individual days. For me, this means that I track everything, including those dinners out, and keep an eye on how it works out for the week or the month. If my usual days at home work out lower or mid-range, and my dinners out put me slightly over my range for that day, but the average for each week or month ends up inside my range - then I'm good!

This might be a way of looking at it that works for you, because it lets you be 100% tracking, but still gives you room to have your dinners out.

Start weight: 240 lbs
Goal weight: 155 lbs (reached March 7, 2014)
Revised Goal weight: 150 lbs (reached May 27, 2014)

Afraid of a colonoscopy? Believe me - they are much less frightening than surgery and chemotherapy.

Colonoscopies allow polyps to be removed before they can become cancer, or let cancers be found before they are too widespread. If you are 50 or older, or have any symptoms, please don't let fear stop you from covering your butt.

Get checked!


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KCLAIRE1992's Photo KCLAIRE1992 SparkPoints: (916)
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6/27/14 11:45 A

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Do people on here who are trying to loose weight give themselves a "cheat" meal or day? I'm thinking about doing it for a meal eaten out once a week, but I'm worried about it thought because I'm the kind of person who is either 100% staying on track and counting really well or I'm binging. Any tips on how to treat yourself occasionally without totally overeating the entire day?



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