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YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
11/27/12 2:33 P

Nope. I figure out a way to work in "cheat" foods into my regular diet. If I know I'm going out to eat at a restaurant, I just eat lighter the rest of the day to bank some calories for a higher calorie meal. Since this is something I have to do the rest of my life, I want to make sure it works for me, and depriving myself of good foods unless it's on a particular day is not something I can do for all of eternity :)

I'm in maintenance now, but when I was losing, I rarely ate at the top of my given calorie range on a regular basis, I was usually at the lower end. This also allowed for more splurges when eating out.

Edited by: YOJULEZ at: 11/27/2012 (14:35)
RAINBOWCHARMER SparkPoints: (82,916)
Fitness Minutes: (120,234)
Posts: 1,495
11/27/12 1:13 P

When I was in "losing" mode, we did have a cheat day every month. And the few times that I actually tracked that cheat day, I typically didn't get over 2500 calories for the day (about 1000 over my normal range). It worked well for me, and if I were to go back and do it again, I'd do things the same way. I steadily lost about a pound per week through the entire year, no matter if it was a "cheat day" week or not.

Now that I am in maintenance mode, I do not feel as deprived as I did in losing mode, so I've not felt that urge for a "cheat" day on a regular basis. We do still go out to eat every once in a while (maybe every 2-3 months?), and on those days I don't worry about tracking - though I do tend to order healthy (i.e., steamed veggies rather than fries, etc).

The biggest thing is moderation - for me that meant balancing out 29 days of being very strict with one day of not being strict.

But you have to do what works for you.

APPRIL Posts: 2,239
11/27/12 1:09 P

It's too easy to eat a 3,000 calorie meal. That's a pound you worked all week to lose.

SCTK519 Posts: 2,086
11/20/12 2:46 P

I prefer allowing myself smaller cheats throughout the week as opposed to one day since you ultimately still need to track a cheat day to make sure it doesn't cancel out the entire week.

SKYE60 SparkPoints: (1,377)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 129
11/20/12 2:28 P

Saturday is my no cook, cheat day. It works for me. I eat whatever I want in moderation . Its a Cheat Day to satisfy my food cravings-NOT to binge. gives me something to look forward to every week, so i tell myself whenever a Craving Hits, I Can wait until Saturday to eat that..usually by then the craving went away.

NAUSIKAA Posts: 4,848
11/20/12 12:40 P

Every 2 weeks or so, I have a cheat meal which is a little more restrained than a whole day. And then once every 2 months or so, I have a whole cheat day which is usually reserved for traveling, Christmas, etc.

Every week is too much but I think once every couple weeks is good. I always drop weight afterwards, even if I were on a plateau previously.

MINIMINIV Posts: 591
11/20/12 11:18 A

Once a week I have a 'treat day', especially when I'm following the Tim Ferriss Slow Carb Diet. It helps to keep the body from plateauing, satisfies cravings, & actually makes me sick of the treats and ready to settle in to another week of careful eating. My weight returns to pre-treat day weight within 1-2 days.

SPIRALDOWN SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (9,703)
Posts: 859
11/20/12 8:08 A

I save big cheats for holidays. But i believe you have to give in alittle before you give in alot. So i allow little things so that i dont gorge.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,325
11/20/12 7:55 A

one other thing to try is to make what you want fit into your ranges. any by that i mean, if you love a 1000 cal burger, find a way to make a 100 cal slider that tastes similar. if you love alfredo, have a lighter version on broccoli instead of pasta. if you love chips, thinly slice root veggies, lightly toss with olive oil and bake, turning once, until crispy. because if you find lower cal ways to have the things that you love, it makes it easier to eat them. because instead of a 1000 cal burger, you can fill that craving with a 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, or 900 cal burger instead. and knowing how to scale it up or down to fit where you need it to means that you can have it at more levels and you're learning what you can trade off to still get what you want. and that offers you more chances to succeed.

LACIEKAY SparkPoints: (7,142)
Fitness Minutes: (1,802)
Posts: 194
11/19/12 6:13 P

Thanks, sparkpeoples! I've taken all of this consideration... and i've decided that i'm going to put myself on an ''earn it'' regiment. every 5-10lbs i lose, i'll have a meal that i wouldn't normally allow myself to have. I nearly binged on friday with my ''cheat day'' justification and i'm not going to allow that to happen again.

11/18/12 12:32 P

I think you will find this SP article helpful. It discusses the pros, cons, how to do it wisely, etc.

SP Registered Dietitian Becky

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
Fitness Minutes: (86,286)
Posts: 2,489
11/18/12 10:57 A

I do, it's biweekly when we take the kids to my inlaws but my mother-in-law serves healthy food. So I'm still careful with what (how much) I eat during the day but I don't bother tracking and I have a piece of cake/pie for dessert. It's also one of the only times I don't schedule a workout but I'll usually go out to the garage with my kids and play. I'll do some jump rope, shoot some hoops and play other games.

11/18/12 10:42 A

It really is about finding what works best for you.

Really I make my "cheat" days the days where I know I'm going out to eat or I'll have little choices about what I will eat for a meal or two (traveling, family, etc.) though I will still try to eat as healthy as I can. I usually don't track one day a week since sometimes I can't know what was in certain dishes.

But that has been over the last four years. I used to take serious cheat days where I did essentially eat everything and anything I wanted to. I've managed to figure out what I really love and where I want to indulge and have worked that into my meal plan.

AGOALOF150 Posts: 217
11/18/12 9:55 A

i read an article that as long as you are 90% compliant with your meal plan (cal range) ..the other 10% will not have that much of an effect on your i think that works out to 3 meals a week (or a day of cheat meals) that would be safe to deal with...however, like many others have said, its what works for you.

AURORA629 Posts: 2,393
11/18/12 9:43 A

Spark has a very good article on cheat days.

As for my cheat days, I am definitely in the scenario 2. Unlike the suggested one day a week, I take them about 9 times a year!!! (New Years, Valentine's day, Easter, my anniversary, my birthday, independence day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas). While I was still trying to lose, I took one each time I dropped a full 10 pounds. Taking them based on earning them makes it an impossibility to affect your weight. My cheat days don't significantly affect my diet because they are very rare. I have no problem going back to my normal diet after a cheat day because my diet is about fun, not deprivation. For some, one day of cheating can lead to two and three, then what diet? This is not the case for me.

BUBBLEJ1 Posts: 2,981
11/18/12 2:35 A

No, I have nothing to cheat on. Occasionally I will eat over my calories, but that isn't cheating, it is just life. If I want to eat something I will fit it into my calories and make it work, or I will go over my calories, shrug my shoulders and get on with it.

LIBBYL1 Posts: 5,933
11/17/12 9:29 P

No...but I give myself treats (in moderation) whenever...usually dark chocolate just one piece of good quality

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (256,662)
Fitness Minutes: (41,586)
Posts: 27,287
11/17/12 9:10 P

I generally suggest that people allow this - one day per every two weeks, not weekly while in the weight-loss stage. I will stress that I don't encourage a massive "Mac Attack" binge. I have always practiced what I preach. To accommodate this I have eaten toward the lower end of my range and I also keep a daily spreadsheet which has my weight (only weigh irregularly) calories, exercise (2 columns for this, one for walks and the other for other types), and general comments. I soon discovered where my cut-off point for weight-loss and weight-gain was/is by averaging them once in a while.

Now that I have reached my goal, my days for eating whatever I want is a little more frequent, today is that day! I have been maintaining for a long time now!

The benefits of allowing this is that some people end up feeling deprived which can cause cravings/binging. I found that by allowing it, it took guilt away and also took the 'free-for-all' with food away. I never used to crave before my weight-loss journey, but I developed after I started, and I started with baby-steps to dropping my calories. I didn't have to change WHAT I ate.


Edited by: SLIMMERKIWI at: 11/17/2012 (21:13)
SMOKYBLUE1 SparkPoints: (37,823)
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Posts: 1,030
11/17/12 8:49 P

my cheat day is Saturday.

LUVDANRS61 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (3,215)
Posts: 123
11/17/12 8:08 P

I too dont have a "cheat" day... I would only be cheating myself. I try to my conscious healthy choices... if something comes up and I want to treat myself I do. Since this is not a "diet" but a lifestyle there is nothing off limits. I just need to ask myself... does eating this make me feel better than being healthy and thinner? Portion control and not overindulging is the key... I didnt get to my weight doing that. Plus I always ask myself will this trigger cravings and over eating and will I feel bad about it later when I step on the scale and see no loss or a slight gain...will I still be ok with it then.

Edited by: LUVDANRS61 at: 11/17/2012 (20:09)
POWER2XCEL SparkPoints: (17,333)
Fitness Minutes: (5,561)
Posts: 362
11/17/12 7:55 P

I don't implement a cheat day. However, if there is something that I really want, I allow myself to have it. However,I will still make sure that I stay within my targeted calorie range for the day.

SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,320
11/17/12 7:44 P

A cheat day? Why? The only person your cheating is yourself. I made a decision to lose weight and change my lifestyle....cheating is not a word in my vocabulary!

STEPHEN_NANNY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (16,232)
Posts: 385
11/17/12 5:13 P

Well, what works for one person may not work for another...

I didn't allow myself a so-called cheat day until I could prove to myself that I could go a month with trying my absolute honest best, and had something serious to show for it. Since then, "cheat days" are usually scheduled restaurant visits or family occasions or a date-night where my main goal is portion control and preventing a pig-out rather than being perfect in my choices. I don't take it once every 1 or 2 weeks, rather I save them up like squirrels with acorns and use them when I really need them.

LACIEKAY SparkPoints: (7,142)
Fitness Minutes: (1,802)
Posts: 194
11/17/12 4:49 P

Just curious... do you guys incorporate a cheat day in your diet? I think it's a good idea and i've done so once a week for the first two weeks of my diet change. My aunt had to share her opinion that a cheat day is acceptable but only once every 2 weeks. I just want to know what you guys think!

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