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CELICABOY84 SparkPoints: (16,131)
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9/27/12 3:52 A

Yep, every Sunday it's usually the same thing. A whole large pizza (minus 3 slices) to myself :D
I continue to cut body fat left and right though. I eat so friggin healthy the rest of the week and bust my butt in the gym 4 days a week with lifting and cardio that I have enough of a caloric deficit to handle it weekly. One more thing, Since I started gaining muscle in the past 10 months of lifting, my metabolism has SKYROCKETED. I used to need 1900 calories to lean out, and recently have started a mild bulk. Well I'm eating ~2800 calories a day now for the last month and have only gained the expected water/glycogen store weight. I love working out

SHIPMANK Posts: 98
9/27/12 1:08 A

I do, I find it actually helps give me motivation to stay on track and not give in to temptation as compared to times when I DON"T allow myself a cheat day. But, my definition of a cheat day is not an all out calorie-fest, I still keep fat and calories in mind, I just eat something I would ordinarily pass on. 2 meals a week has worked well for me, and I can space them out to accommodate for an office dinner or special night out with my friends on the weekend!

9/27/12 1:03 A

Yes. Once a week, usually Saturday. I try to stay at the low to middle of my calorie range throughout the week so I can do this.

PSCHIAVONE2 SparkPoints: (20,650)
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Posts: 785
9/26/12 10:40 P

I plan on at least one day a month where I do not log food or count calories. I have found thaton these days I can not eat the sweets that I used to. So I may eat an additional 500 calories that day, but the 4000 to 5000 calorie days are gone.

9/26/12 8:51 P

I don't tend to take cheat days although there are days i probably eat not so well but i don't get stressed by it. I had a friend that decided to lose weight and was went full force, did everything right, exercise, ate great, had little sugarless snacks around, I was very impressed. But at one point she hit the 'plateau' and stopped losing weight. She learned that a one day break can help that, ever since she has a cheat day where she can go all out, and she takes full advantage of it. She started losing weight and she's now a skinny little thing and sticking with her 'diet' years later. She now just eats healthy 6 days of the week and lets loose on the one. Works great for her.

CALLME3NI SparkPoints: (41,553)
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Posts: 122
9/26/12 8:48 P

i don't schedule cheat days. my plan of action with SP has always been not to cut out the "guilty" foods completely but to be smart about when i eat them and how much of them i eat. i track meals and snacks every day, and as the day progresses, i base my choices on what i have left to play with on the tracker. if i have a lot of calories left by the end of the day i may go ahead and eat something that's not necessarily healthy. every now and then i go over my calorie range (some days it's 200 calories over, other days it's...more. those days are pretty rare now) but for the most part i stay where i need to be.

MKFTOU SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 107
9/26/12 8:02 P

I relax a bit on the exercise and calories on the weekend (particularly if there's an event planned). That said, I still try to stay under 2000 calories, and only have one 'cheat' meal in the weekend. These are for special occasions only and I make sure to track what I'm eating so I'll know the damage I've done.

MARIAJESTRADA SparkPoints: (42,908)
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Posts: 1,654
9/26/12 7:59 P

Nope. But, no foods are ever off limits. I just eat a lot less. If I over eat, I balance out the rest of the week. It keeps me sane.

9/26/12 7:46 P

Not intentionally!!!

SLENDERELLA61 SparkPoints: (308,668)
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Posts: 10,397
9/26/12 7:41 P

No, but I'm working to eliminate unplanned overeating days

ERICNJ28 Posts: 61
9/26/12 6:58 P

My advice would be to trim it down to a "Cheat Meal". A whole cheat day gives you license to over-eat and can potentially set you back 3-5 days. You work too hard to let that happen.
Best of luck!

MS0669 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (23,961)
Posts: 779
9/26/12 6:55 P

A great big thank you to all that have replied ! I guess you could say, you have given me some great advise or should I say - food for thought ! Thanks again !!

DAVINAJM SparkPoints: (9,287)
Fitness Minutes: (25,915)
Posts: 148
9/26/12 6:36 P

Before I used to eat whatever and then try to "diet"...which is kind of like scheduling days or weeks to eat better.

Now, I've educated myself on what the consequences are to eating the "western diet", so a normal day is eating right. My attempt at not being so strict and rigid is to, let's say, if there's a BBQ on Saturday, I'll go and eat the foods there that I like, but in moderation, and not feel guilty about consuming meat or something with HF corn syrup because now I do it on rare occasions, it is no longer my norm.

WHOVIAN85 Posts: 861
9/26/12 6:04 P

No never take cheat days, I eat low carb and find low carb friendly snacks and desserts.

CLARK971 SparkPoints: (29,686)
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9/26/12 5:52 P

I try to work any indulgences into my meal plan. I went out to lunch yesterday and it was 750 calories. (the pumpkin muffin at paneras, which wasn't that great was 590 calories-good thing i only ate 1/2) I ate a light dinner to stay close to my range. If I would have considered it a cheat day and ate more at dinner, I would have been over my calories. If I continued to have a day over a week, the calories would add up and the pounds would creep back on.

MISSILENE SparkPoints: (63,957)
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Posts: 5,014
9/26/12 5:51 P


MEMETNT SparkPoints: (3,859)
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Posts: 11
9/26/12 3:47 P

Although I am a "newbie" to SP, I feel more accountability for my diet/exercise than I ever have before in my life. However, I don't ever want to get to the point where I am afraid to enjoy my life in every way possible. I believe moderation is the key to everything in life. Now that I am paying attention to my trackers, it has made a huge difference in what I put between my lips. I am sure there will be days that I give myself a treat, but I will not call that cheating, I will call it LIVING LIFE FULLY. And....I will get right back on track as well as try to make up for my slack with exercise!

9/26/12 3:46 P

when i was in the process of losing weight, yes. not really scheduled but it would usually end up being every other friday or saturday. since i've been maintaining for a couple years now, there is no scheduled "cheat day." i don't deny anything, that's just setting up for failure. i eat what i want in moderation. my lifestyle is regular exercise of some kind and just being aware of what i eat and balance accordingly. take it day by day and enjoy life as it comes.
i've worked too hard for my accomplishments. i won't let myself get back where i was but i want enjoy whatever food i want. so i've learned how to be smart about.

CORRALES_SCOTT SparkPoints: (49,422)
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Posts: 246
9/26/12 3:41 P

I've only started on SP recently, but already have learned that it's good for me to occasionally allow & plan for a less than optimal choice in food. Otherwise I'll end up feeling deprived and much more likely to binge than if i regularly included some small indulgence that still doesn't derail my overall meal planning.

It's a very important distinction for me that i'm NOT on a diet, i'm simply committed to making healthier nutritional choices every day. So since i'm not on a diet, there's no way to cheat.

9/26/12 3:32 P

This is a REALLY interesting topic. I can see why people allow themselves a "cheat" day, but I resonate with the person who said "this isn't a diet, it's a lifestyle, there's nothing to cheat from." I got huge and depressed by "cheating". I don't want to do that anymore. I want to make healthy choices, and when I want something sweet... i budget it (in my tracker) and I EAT IT.
Good luck finding what works for you. Occasionally an unscheduled overeating day occurs. I'm not perfect. But, when that happens (fairly infrequently), I dust myself off the next day and move on like it didn't happen.

SCHEALTHNUTT SparkPoints: (49,055)
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Posts: 1,913
9/26/12 3:26 P

Not really. Sometimes it just happens!! emoticon

SHAZG321 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 472
9/26/12 2:37 P

No, I have not done that. I do believe that it is supposed to help with your diet.

CPILLS1970 SparkPoints: (22,692)
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Posts: 28
9/26/12 2:29 P

I don't think of them as "cheats". A cheat has a negative connotation, and I think that every food can fit into my healthy lifestyle as long as I track it and make it work. Today I went out for ice cream with colleagues to celebrate something. I ate the ice cream, tracked it, and moved on. I'll probably have a lighter snack tonight. If I were on a diet, I probably wouldn't allow myself to eat ice cream, but what would I do when the diet was over? I would probably eat ice cream, but not have learned how to incorporate it into my healthy life, and probably feel like I had failed. Now I'm not depriving myself of anything, eating much healthier than I ever have, and, yes, occasionally going over my calorie allotment. Life happens, and I'm enjoying it to the fullest, and being mindful at the same time.

MSOMAMA2 Posts: 44
9/26/12 2:17 P

Normally I allow myself one day a week, like if I am going out to eat or to a bbq or party where I may eat more in a day than I normally do. I try to include something, like a piece of chocolate into my everyday eating, so I don't feel deprived and go overboard with the eating of junk food.

LKG9999 Posts: 1,747
9/26/12 12:36 P

I don't usually take entire "cheat" days unless I am traveling and tracking is problematic. During my day-to-day eating there may be some meals where I give myself some more latitude in what I eat, but I don't do it very often. Last weekend I had a date night with my fiance and ended up going over my calorie range by 250 calories; next weekend I am going to a wedding and will likely not stay within my range. So long as these are occasional blips and 90-95% of the time I am on track with what I eat, I'm still losing weight and feeling better about it.

MOJITA SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 18
9/26/12 11:59 A

I don't call them "Cheat days", but I definitely look in my schedule and plan meals around times when I know my eating choices will suffer (like football games, charity events, birthdays, etc). When one of those is coming up, I limit what I'm eating for a day or two around them and just enjoy the meal.

ROLLSTAR SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 370
9/26/12 11:45 A

I'm not really on a diet, so there's no cheating and no forbidden foods. I do have days, though, where I decide not to track and I decide I can make less healthy choices, but I try to keep those rare. Those are for special days like if we go the The Melting Pot or Six Flags or if I run a race.

But I find that I tend to feel really gross after eating junk food or eating too much. :)

9/26/12 11:37 A

The nice thing about low-carb/paleo lifestyle is that there are no strict regime to follow - eat well and stay away from the starches and sugars (e.g. carbs) as much as possible - I set my daily carb intake at 50g/day. This allows me to eat a wider range of foods without going crazy if something has a slightly higher carb.

Of course, there are days - such as yesterday - when I decided to have a dynamite roll for lunch (big mistake!) and blew my daily carbs out of the water for the entire day! emoticon Overeating carbs = getting out of ketosis and my body noticed it immediately - burping all afternoon and evening while processing the excess rice!

But even if/when I do go overboard on carbs, I can easily balance it out with my next meals and move on, get back into ketosis state and live my life with better meals...

It is a lifestyle - not a diet - not a sentence! The idea is to eat heathier (lose excess weight) and live a better life overall! And any good life deserves a bit of "fun" in it, right? emoticon

Edited by: MICKEYMAB at: 9/26/2012 (11:41)
EMMAEKAY SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 305
9/26/12 11:26 A

I don't have any forbidden foods to begin with - but I do have planned, tracked treat days where I eat in the high part or a bit above my range. This is saved for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, work parties, visiting friends, etc etc. Lately, I've been taking treat days just because I'm feeling lazy or having a craving - that's the WRONG answer.

I'm going back to my original plan of treat days no more than once a month - and I track every single thing I eat on those days.

KALIOPPE Posts: 570
9/26/12 11:10 A

Mine's on Saturday. So far my cheats have been moderate, with a few items (white rice, vanilla ice cream) I would not normally have during the week. But I'm discovering a few bites in that I don't really miss a lot of the things I thought I would - they just don't taste as yummy. So for me, a scheduled cheat day is essential, as it lets me review my eating patterns and hopefully establish healthier ones. Plus, it keeps cravings in check. Even my trainer recommended I have cheat days - otherwise denial will creep up on me and clobber me over the head. :)

BRATT6504 SparkPoints: (88,303)
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Posts: 970
9/26/12 10:46 A

Yes the day i have my kids i dont stressabout what i am eating. 4 kids with challenges developmental delay to MR.

TORTOISE110 Posts: 7,987
9/26/12 10:34 A

Every once in awhile a "cheat" meal, but not a whole day. I try to keep meals around the cheat at my target calorie level. One of my favorite indulgences is a strawberry eclair at our local bakery. About every 3-4 months.... (-: Makes me realize it's been awhile!

MOTHERBOARDER SparkPoints: (292,576)
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Posts: 13,828
9/26/12 10:24 A

every Sunday for 4 decades

UGAKATE85 Posts: 2,630
9/26/12 10:24 A

Friday is date night with my husband so I don't deprive myself of much those evenings. That being said, I exercise every day except Fridays and focus on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains every day/meal except Friday night dinner. I think moderation is key so I'm not going to restrict myself all the time.

TBOURLON SparkPoints: (19,271)
Fitness Minutes: (64,653)
Posts: 522
9/26/12 9:44 A

I really LOVE this discussion. To be honest, I "cheat" almost every day - I emoticon chocolate and refuse to give it up. So I just try to be very concious of how much chocolate I'll eat in one day. Today I'm pretty fixated on this pudding parfait, but I know I'm having a 300 calorie TV dinner for lunch, and grilled chicken, rice & steamed veggies for dinner. I also am planning on a 30 minute run after dinner. It's not foolproof, about a month ago I sort of slipped off the plan and gained a few lbs, which reminded me that no, I can't "eat all I want and still lose weight." It was a good reminder, and my weight's working its way back down again. emoticon Getting back into exercising is definitely helping as well. emoticon

9/26/12 9:18 A

If the definition of diet is to take weight off and KEEP it off, I failed at every one I ever attempted throughout my entire life.

It was not until I gave up on losing weight and instead began to focus on how often and how effectively I move my body, how much of X food I eat, and--for me-- most importantly, WHY I make the choices I make that I began to change my health for the better.

So I don't think in terms of cheat days because I don't diet. I don't feel deprived of anything except the chains of self-loathing and dis-ease that I lived with for so long.

SOLYHICO Posts: 75
9/26/12 9:16 A

i don't think of it as "cheating" is about balance.
from time to time i have a day i don't bother to track but i have a pretty good mental tally of what i eat regardless. i am honest with myself, good or bad.
i know that if i eat junk i will feel gross (my stomach no longer tolerates some things) so i just don't do it
there are days (usually planned ahead because of special occasions etc.) where i know that i will be over my range...but i try to be over on "healthy" foods and not empty calories.
there are other days when i treat myself and end up going over but i plan those to occur on days when i have been very physically active so in the end my 200 calorie "overage" doesn't really impact my calorie deficit for that day.

looking back at my tracking i find that once every 4-6 weeks i have had an "anything goes" day...all vacation days and/or parties and each of those days has been followed by weight loss at my weekly weigh in so obviously occasional indulgence doesn't hurt me.
but that's me.
everybody is different. what works for me might not work for you!

SHAKEUPTAMPA SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 925
9/26/12 8:52 A

I disagree with the no diet word only for one main reason. If you are losing weight because of health issues or overweight/obese via medical standards it is a diet until you get used to it, setting yourself up for HUGE goals in my case always leads to failure. Yes, I intend to make a lifestyle change AGAIN in my life but just like running my own business, becoming great in a sport, you have to make small goals to improve to get to the big picture. Inhaling it all at once leads to rolling backwards in most cases. For me until I hit a BMI that is healthy for me it's a diet, I don't consider a cheat day to go all over crazy either (To Karen's reply) I consider it OK if I go OVER my calories by a bit, don't feel bad, I earned it and eating out is a treat to not have to cook at home every single time.

Once I am in a normal BMI even if still losing weigh I consider success of the diet and now know I implemented these changes long enough it was not a "fad" or that I reverted back. Just like improving running if you set out to do a marathon before you even do a 5K you might just kill yourself or hurt yourself badly by not making the small goals to get there. It IS a journey but the reward is so beautiful.

CCORWIN1 SparkPoints: (7,263)
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Posts: 53
9/26/12 8:49 A

When I started this journey I did have a "Cheat Day" once a week. But I have noticed as the time has passed that my so called cheat day doesn't happen. I track all week long and then on the weekends I don't track but I don't really eat any different on the weekends, even if we go out I still try to make the same choices as if I were tracking. During the week I will have a Ice cream sandwich if I feel like it. This is my weakness and I found when I told myself no I ended up binging on them, so I choose to go ahead and have one if I want. I try to stay at the lower end of my calorie range and that way if I do have one it doesn't throw me off. Each day is a day to learn. Good luck!

DIVIERO968 Posts: 184
9/26/12 8:33 A

I choose one day on the weekend when I allow myself to have some treats. Even on those days I am still careful about what I am eating. While I enjoy the freedom I don't want to undo all of my hard work too much.

FATNOMORE4REAL SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 91
9/26/12 8:31 A

I agree with Unident, it is time for us to forget the word "diet" and "cheat". I has been a yo yo dieter for the greater part of my adult life and it was not until three months ago that I got in my mind the determination to change my life style for good, I started to eat healthy and exercise almost 100 % of the time and in the event that I found myself in a situation that I may need or I would want to slightly deviated from my way of "living" than I just do so and I go right back to the way I have chosen to live my life now.

I can tell you that I feel great, I do not feel deprived and so far I have lost 19 lbs and I have the energy to work out everyday without feeling like I'm going to die.

I don't know about you guys, but I want to treat my body like it is going to keep on going forever like the energizing bunny!!!!

Wish the best to all of you :-)

KAREN91 Posts: 1,655
9/26/12 8:11 A

No I allow myself a treat or something thats not a good choice now and then but I don;t allow a whole day of bad choices.

MULYZA Posts: 92
9/26/12 8:04 A

Yep! I look forward to it and plan it ahead of time! Even when its a cheat day I don't go completely crazy, so I like to figure out what 'm having and then look forward to it.

N16351D Posts: 2,349
9/26/12 7:55 A

Absolutely yes!

EMOFORTRESS SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 224
9/26/12 7:51 A

Every Friday!

It's the end of the week, so we usually have a take away. But we've recently had a new kitchen installed and lived off fast food, so we've banned ourselves from anything for 4 weeks.

You have to allow yourself some freedom, as this is a lifestyle, NOT a diet!

Kat x

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
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Posts: 2,489
9/26/12 7:42 A

I just allow them to come up naturally. I do plan ahead for one though. But say, my husband plans on take me out for dinner (which we don't do too often, we have young children), or its one of my children's bdays or when my SIL and BIL were visiting and they took us out for dinner. I still try to make healthy choices and I don't stuff myself but I don't go crazy trying to count every calorie either. I also try to be really spot-on with all my other meals that day so I can have one meal where I let my hair down a bit.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 9/26/2012 (07:44)
LADONIA SparkPoints: (39,743)
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Posts: 358
9/26/12 7:12 A

I allow myself one night a week for snacks and drinking just to be realistic about this but usually try to do it on a day when I can get a long AM workout (Saturday) so I can burn more before the festivities.

SHAKEUPTAMPA SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 925
9/26/12 7:12 A

I allow myself a day a week, my week starts on Sunday just like SP. I don't NEED it but with life and stuff we do like to try to enjoy a casual meal out here and there.

I had a cheat day on Sunday and went over calories by 120, not horrible, just got back to the gym the next day. Yesterday I went over by 4 calories I think it was not a cheat day just had a medical issue and got stuck eating out or I wouldn't have had dinner till after 10pm, I made the best choices I could (this was after a planned eat out lunch that I did choose by intake values)

Balance is key in everything, if you stop allowing yourself to enjoy things you will binge and fall right off. I eat red velvet cake multiple times a week, about 2oz of it weighed and cut thin but it fits in my values and I make my goals in each department!

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
9/26/12 5:43 A

When you're not on "a diet" you never have to "cheat".

Healthy balanced diets include some days of optimum choices, and some days of less than optimum choices. That is balance.

MS0669 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 779
9/26/12 5:27 A

Just wondering how many SparkPeople members take a scheduled day or meal off fromi tracking and just eat some of the forbidden foods? If so, how often.

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