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5/9/12 11:53 A

I definitely second Dietician Becky and Dragonchilde. We need to make a permanent adjustment in how we view foods and ditch the diet mentality forever. That blog was a great reminder. Thanks.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
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5/9/12 11:42 A

I don't cheat, because I don't diet. I have a healthy lifestyle, and what's the point of cheating on being healthy?

I allow myself to eat anything I want, within reason, and within my calorie range. Do I have days I go over? Sure! I'm not perfect, nor do I want to. But I still track, because one "cheat day" can ruin your week's efforts if you're not careful!

Here's what Dietician Becky has to say about "cheat days":

Cheating implies that foods are good or bad - which they're not. That's the diet mentality talking, and we should avoid that mentality like the PLAGUE.

5/9/12 11:39 A

Having a free day doesn't work for me. I need more structure. I plan my day so that I have a few calories left for something sweet in the evening. Especially in the beginning, I needed to be kind of rigid with my meal planning in order to firmly establish a "think healthy" attitude toward
food. Now that I have rewired my brain to think like a Spark Person, I can be a little more flexible.

Edited by: REDHATSHAPELY1 at: 5/9/2012 (11:44)
SCTK519 Posts: 2,086
5/9/12 10:45 A

I don't do a cheat day, but instead exercise moderation throughout the week. If I want something sweet, I'll have something sweet. I don't see the point in a cheat day since ultimately you still need to watch what you eat on a cheat day to make sure you don't cancel out all your progress.

What do you currently do? I don't really see why you would be concerned that you're going to binge during the week, but aren't concerned you'd binge on a cheat day. I would say it's better to exercise moderation during the week. I myself have not removed anything at all from my diet and lost 50 lbs and have kept it off for the last 3-4 years.

MOTHERBOARDER SparkPoints: (293,107)
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5/9/12 9:51 A

every Sunday for 4 decades now

5/9/12 5:43 A

Moderation is a great philosophy for those who can live by it, but I'm an extremist, so it doesn't work for me. I don't take free days usually, but "free windows." Everone's different, but this is the one addition to my eating behavior that helped me overcome my eating disorder. I used to restrict calories over a period of time, which would always lead to an uncontrolled binge of several thousand calories, undoing my progress and then some.

What I didn't understand was how much of my uncontrolled eating was done out of resentment of all the things I thought I shouldn't have. Combine this with the natural human drive to eat and be full, and urges tend to spin out of control. So now, once a week, usually the day before my hardest workout, I give myself three hours to enjoy myself. If I've been craving fried chicken, I'll go get that. If it's a huge bowl of cereal or two, I get that. If there's a special event with food involved, I'll schedule my window then. I look forward to this window all week, and any time I have a craving or an emotional trigger, I'm not tempted because I know I have my reward waiting for me at the end of the week. Now, the funny thing is, once I told myself I would be able to have whatever I wanted, as much as I wanted, the cravings went away. I don't usually end up bingeing during my free window, and I never feel out of control any more because I've set boundaries, so I know I will be stopping at such-and-such time. I usually get tired of eating before the three hour limit's up, anyway. I don't need to cram the food in, either, because I know there's always the next free window. The next day, I run it all off, and I usually have a super workout, too.

Not everyone needs the same eating structures to find success. The best way you can answer this question for yourself is to give yourself a free day and see what you do with it. You'll get a pretty good idea whether you're the type of person who would go all out on a binge or relax just enough to tow the line the rest of the week (or two) until the next window.

If, instead, you can eat small bits of what you like all week long in moderation and still make your goals, and that option ends up being more suited to your liking, then by all means, be moderate!

Edited by: PUFFINTOAD at: 5/9/2012 (05:50)
EX-PRESSO Posts: 478
5/9/12 4:31 A


I eat what I want every day (if I want to) but in moderation

MARY9819 SparkPoints: (0)
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5/9/12 4:00 A

I don't have the willpower to have a free day. Anytime I have a free day, it turns into a free 6 months :) I haven't allowed myself any treats yet since I have only been on my new diet less than a week. Once I have lost 7 pounds, I plan on eating an ice cream bar.

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
5/8/12 3:23 P

I think a free "day" enables you to go completely nuts on that day and lose it totally.

Why not have, as suggested, one treat a week? You can make it a meal you enjoy that isn't very healthful, or an ice-cream, or a jar of candy, or whatever it is that you want. But just the one thing, not an entire day.

PAMMY520 Posts: 300
5/8/12 3:22 P

all things in moderation...that means desserts and sweets and anything else your heart desires...I try to incorporate something sweet in my daily food intake as often as depriving yourself of something you love makes you crave it even long as you stay in your range you can have anything you want...I know that if I stay within my caloric range I can have my Healthy Choice ice cream fudge bar while I watch tv every can you...
but if you want to treat yourself to a free meal or day that is totally up to you...who is to stop you? It just might take you a little longer to reach your goal...also something to consider is when you do reach your goal what then? can you never have ice cream or pasta or a candy bar for the rest of your life? How sad would that be? Life is too short...make the best possible choices that make you happy

ANARIE Posts: 13,205
5/8/12 3:20 P

How about rather than having a free day, you have a planned treat once a week? The way you can have your cake and eat it, too, is by having a little less of something else at some other time. If you eat at the bottom of your calorie range 6 days a week, you can plan to go a little over on the 7th day, and it will all average out. But it should still be fairly well planned. I don't agree with the idea of a "free day," because that gives people the idea that the free day style of eating is normal and anything else is a "diet." If you want to keep the weight off after losing it, it's important not to go back to the old habits where every day is a free day. You'll always have to plan and pay some attention to nutrition and calories; when it comes to health, nothing is really free.

CASSIEFLUTE SparkPoints: (0)
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5/8/12 3:06 P

Instead of cutting out sweets, I try to be mindful of what I eat through the day so I can eat sweets in the evening. Or I find healthy versions of sweets, like Nature Valley bars, that I can eat. I know this doesn't answer your specific questions but it may help with your problem.

JANEE12 Posts: 173
5/8/12 2:40 P

Has anyone done a day during the week that is free to eat things that you avoid during the rest of the week? I have cut out sweets and now after a couple of weeks of success, I notice I am beginning to feel some cravings.
I am worried that if I have one meal a week that is something fatty and delicious, with dessert, I may begin to binge and not stop. On the other hand, I would like to be able to have the freedom to eat a bit of something sweet once a week to help me feel that I can have my cake and eat it too, so to speak.
I'd welcome any advice on the topic.

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