On Sunday nights my wife and I reward ourselves for our hard work. I don't think of it as cheating at all. I have lost 36 lbs, and am 2 away from my target weight, so I also think I deserve an entire medium pizza if I want it...Of course, I pay for that the next morning, so I still moderate even when I cheat....reward...
Fitness Minutes: (3,958)
6/30/13 9:08 A
I agree with ROBBIEY. Calories in and calories out. "Cheat" supports a diet not lifestyle mindset. For me, that would mean restriction and set me up to feel like a failure if I happened to fall off the boat. I eat what I enjoy and know will nourish my body and soul within my caloric guidelines. That includes bacon, butter and chocolate :)
Fitness Minutes: (25,969)
6/30/13 8:06 A
I do, but it's usually one item that's a bit of a cheat since I have Type II diabetes and I don't like to see my blood sugar get very high.
Fitness Minutes: (7,937)
6/30/13 7:28 A
I think you should have a cheat meal personally. (Today being my cheat day). I don't go overboard though. Instead of not paying attention I only go over 500 calories. Advice to it would be keep snack and breakfast healthy, then eat some of what you want at lunch and some of what you want at dinner. When I say some I mean like we all know I really want a big mac, however I get a mac wrap instead. Or I really want the sushi with the spicy mayo and avocado, but I only get one order. I also saw on here somewhere that asking the waiter to box up half your food before he brings it to the table helps out alot.
I was planning a cheat day earlier this week, but that morning I got on the scale and was down 3 lbs. for the week. I was like "OK, game on. I'm staying on plan today!"
Fitness Minutes: (140,375)
6/29/13 3:04 P
I don't do cheat meals or days. I also do not deny myself anything if I want it. I just eat the things that I love in moderation and if I overeat on one thing, I still try to stay within my calories, carbs, protein and fat for the day. I am not always successful, but I try to return to my healthy and wise eating plans in the end. It has work, I have lost 17 lbs in about 6 months and I don't feel deprived.
I think the word "cheat" is a loaded word no matter what your personal choices are regarding the behavior refered to. Myself, I find that if I go to long on a highly structured meal plan then I crave the foods that I haven't been eating and if I ignore those cravings I eventually either eat way more 'healthy' food than if I had just had a small portion of the 'bad' food. I think it's learning to listen to what you're cravings mean becaue I have found sometimes a craving is you're body's way of telling you that you haven't been getting enough of a nutrient, of course others are our minds wanting that food and the challenge is learning to tell the difference. I don't plan it but if I go over calories every now and then I don't worry about it to much, I just make sure every now and then doesn't turn into every couple of days. It hasn't seemed to hinder my weight loss, I'm getting rid of weight slowly but regularly. Everyone is different but that's what seems to work for me
I feel like "cheat meals" can escalate quickly into binge sessions. Portion control, everything in moderation seems like a more balanced approach. This is a topic I have been turning over in my mind lately. On one hand, I really feel like some foods should just be avoided completely, on the other hand I know that when I look at foods in a black and white manner such as this, I end up eventually binging on less than quality choices anyways. Gotta find a balance.
I usually try to limit calories throughout the day when I know I'm going over on a meal. After eating healthy for over two years now, I've found that even on my "cheat" meals or days, I still subconsciously take smaller portions or make better choices. It's also great having the self-confidence to know that even if I have a bad day I have the ability to get back on track until any weight gain is gone.
Cheat meals are fine once or twice a week. If you're on a healthy regimen regularly, they shouldn't deter your efforts at all.
Fitness Minutes: (310)
11 6/29/13 11:04 A
I have a cheat day usually once a week where I limit it to one meal. I have lost 50 pounds even with my cheat day, so I don't think having a cheat day hurts you as long as you know its one day and you stick to your diet the rest of the time.
Fitness Minutes: (1,020)
56 6/29/13 10:46 A
You aren't cheating your body with a cheat meal, quite the opposite actually. http://www.boxingscene.com/weight-loss/5 4645.php
Fitness Minutes: (1,020)
56 6/29/13 10:44 A
Alright change the word "cheat" but a free meal does keep your body guessing, and gets better results in the end. I feel my diet is 90% structured and 10% little less structured. I eat clean most of the time but feel that there are times when I really want spaghetti or pizza and I will have it on the day I plan for it. The same goes for workouts that keep your body guessing. It is a frame of mind, you may have your non diet mentality but allowing for things you love keeps you honest and keeps your body where it needs to be. Yes I will always have to have a structured eating plan and workout schedule, I feel having something to look forward to helps me focus to my next goal. Ask any great female athlete or figure competitor and they all do the same with great success.
I don't have cheat meals or cheat days. I don't think eating so much junky food that you feel unwell is a great idea.
I don't have such a restricted diet that I feel I can't have foods I enjoy in moderate amounts. I have reduced the amount of certain foods in my diet. There are foods that I consider "sometimes foods" but I'm not cheating when I eat them. They still fit in my plan.
I would put whatever you are craving in your food tracker and just have some instead of making it a big deal.
Fitness Minutes: (137,484)
13,814 6/29/13 10:15 A
every Sunday for 4 decades
6/29/13 9:37 A
Why would I want to cheat myself when I've been working so very hard to become healthy? Because at the core of it, a cheat meal cheats me...!
Living a healthy lifestyle is about moderation, not deprivation. It's a permanent change, not a temporary diet. My goal is to become the healthiest I can be as opposed to a specific number on a scale.
Food is fuel. I eat to live. Not live to eat. It is not "good" or "bad" or a "reward" or "treat" - it is simply fuel. Since I want to get the most mileage I can - I am mindful of the fuel selection I make when I fuel-up!
I don't think of this as cheating. I decided early on that the only thing I was giving up was excessive calories (the only thing you MUST give up to lose weight). This means I revamp many dishes I like so they are not truly junk food anymore, or have the normal junk food in a much smaller portion. There are some things that neither of these tactics work very well for, so I take the occasional day off. That is exactly the way I think of it; taking a day off like you would from work. Even if I had a job I liked, I would not want to work 365 days a year. Even though I like my diet, I don't want to do that 365 days a year either. I have about 9 days out of the year that I have a definite day off. Today happens to be one of them (it is my birthday).
Fitness Minutes: (25,969)
6/29/13 6:33 A
I allow myself 1 day that I go over, anymore than that it messes with my weight loss and is harder to get back on track
Fitness Minutes: (2,987)
6/29/13 4:25 A
No. Not sure what the motivation or point of this is...
6/28/13 9:37 P
I agree with all those who took issue with the word "cheat". With that said, I allow myself one day each week (usually Saturday or Sunday) where I allow myself to go over the calorie range. I still track what I eat on that day which helps me not go totally crazy but if I'm over the calorie range I don't beat myself up about it. Often, I'm not over my calorie range on that day, but if I do happen to go over, no stress. Seems to be working, at least for now.
I'm just getting started on SparkPeople with keeping a track of everything and I must say it is a little exciting/scary looking at what I eat on paper! I'm not sure of what a cheat meal is at this stage in the game because my eating habits were a cheat to begin with. I was cheating myself out of a healthy and more happy life. I am trying to put the days of "cheat meals" behind me as I move forward, so its scary to think of having a little indulgence right now because of the fear of back-sliding into my old (just a couple of weeks old) habits. Indulgence can turn into over-indulgence with me quickly so I look forward to the day I can navigate the two!
I like your frame of mind with this. I do have one day per week that I am not so "judgemental" over my calories. I still strive to make good choices but I let myself not keep track of everything exactly. Last week I did enter in the things I chose to eat and noticed that I ate about 50% more calories that I would usually. Keeping in mind that I did make knowledgeable choices and did not allow for overindulgence. It was a bit of an eye opener, but I can't wait to feel some of the freedom again tomorrow!
Fitness Minutes: (74,005)
1,546 6/28/13 8:41 P
I don't have to cheat, since there is nothing I am not "allowed" to eat. Some things I just eat less often, and if I do, I plan my day around it. If my plans don't work out and I eat more than I should, so what? That's life. As long as I don't overeat all the time I'm good.
Fitness Minutes: (49,983)
1,073 6/28/13 5:08 P
I am not yet at this point -- maybe I'll get there one day. But it seems like unless my meals are by the book, then my body will refuse to give up the weight. I am trying to avoid sugary snacks and processed meals as well -- because even those seem to throw off my weight loss. I don't know if I'm just doing something wrong -- but for now at least, a "cheat day" is totally out of the question if I want to lose weight in any given week.
6/28/13 3:40 P
I do the behavior, but I choose different words. I never "cheat"!
You can't cheat. Your body knows how many calories came in. So I find there is little point trying to trick my mind. Thoughts are fleeting; excess calories have a tendency to stick around :)
So. I don't even *try* to cheat - I'll get caught, so why bother. Instead, I have "planned events" where I will eat over my calorie range, or eat less-than-nutritionally-perfect food.
To me, that isn't really "cheating" - that's "planning to work outside the calorie-range-for-weight-loss" or "planning to amaze my tastebuds with a treat/junk item that has little or no nutritional value" for a meal, or a day, or however-long. I don't try to fool myself. If I know I'm eating over my calorie range, I know that I can expect to see "maintenance" on the scale. And there are times where I'm willing to accept maintenance. If I know I'm eating "junk," I know I can expect to see "water retention effects" on the scale from all that junky sodium. And there are times where I'm willing to accept that.
Language has power to frame how we think about things. I find it helpful to myself to think of my food-intake as something to be planned that strikes a good balance between optimum health-and-weight-loss goals and my need to experience and enjoy life without stressing too much. When I think in terms of "cheating" - the word itself causes a stress response within me... I'm *cheating* - I'm going to get caught! Oh no, I'm being bad! Guilty feelings! And this never leads me anywhere good.
So, yes, I go over my ranges and/or eat a little bit of junk from time to time - always planned, I plan to EAT but don't plan to CHEAT.
Fitness Minutes: (15,905)
9,717 6/28/13 3:28 P
I don't do cheat meals.
Because everything is allowed, and I'm not dieting, so how would I be cheating? Cheating implies there's a way to "win", and I'm not in this game for a competition.
If I want something that's less than healthy, I make room for it in my calorie range, and I enjoy it. Sometimes, I have days where I eat closer to maintenance that weight loss. There's even some days I may go over. What matters isn't a given meal, or even a given day, but the amount I've taken in over the week.
I for one use to OBSESS with a certain "cheat meal" if I didn't have it and eventually ended up going overboard when I finally did, so I have decided that once in a while I indulge in a little something "special", I think it's key in keeping on track.
6/28/13 2:28 P
YES! Do cheat meals and enjoy them. Don't regret and don't look back. Just don't do them all the time. Ha.
Fitness Minutes: (5,320)
51 6/28/13 2:04 P
I've been on diets that were so restrictive that I wasn't able to eat things I enjoy and that always sent me into a spiral of binge eating. I'd say that whether you fit your favorite foods into your regular food plan or plan for "cheat meals" you need to not feel deprived if you are prone to binging. Otherwise you are just setting yourself up to fail.
6/28/13 1:51 P
I don't call them "cheats" anymore. If I want something high calorie once or twice per month, I have it. I never exceed BMR though.
6/28/13 1:10 P
It works to a point. I have to be very careful about re-introducing sugar into my diet. It is like a drug for me, it becomes an uncontrollable craving if I am not careful. Regarding other junk--honestly I have lost the taste for it. For me a cheat day might include two pieces of veggie pizza or something like that. Fried foods, soda, fake foods, they all taste gross to me now and certainly no longer enjoyable. It is the brownies, chocolate, cookies, etc. that I crave but they are exactly what I need to stay away from, so for me, cheat days are not such a good thing.
Fitness Minutes: (2,996)
6/28/13 12:22 P
I have found that I can eat the greasy, heavy foods I used to love. I honestly feel horrible when I eat to much at one time trying to get my calories in for the day. Even on a cheat meal I usually only eat small potions, just higher calories.
Fitness Minutes: (2,996)
6/28/13 12:16 P
I usually choose one day a week to indulge in a "cheat" day. I plan so my husband and I can enjoy a eating day together. My husband has been very supportive of my weight loss program. He has actually lost 10 lbs. and is loving his new healthy life style. I've lost a total of 28 lbs. since March so, cheat meals are good for your psycological health and I believe marital health.
I try not to consider them "cheats" since that suggests that I'm doing something wrong. I think moderation is great! If I'm planning a high-calorie meal I'll try to eat lower-calorie the rest of the day to compensate. Usually I go over by about 300 calories once a week and am losing weight that way.
Yes. I started this 2 day diet, which am strict 2 alternated days and allow myself food that i crave the other 3 days. So M/T and Th/F am strict and W and weekend I cheat.
Fitness Minutes: (125)
6/28/13 11:15 A
I am a fan of cheat meals. I increase the calorie amount by the meal slightly but still enjoy a small amount. I try to keep control so it is easy to get back to my routine.
6/28/13 10:21 A
I never did them before but I do them now so my eating doesn't get too monotonous and so I don't feel deprived.
Fitness Minutes: (18,761)
1,243 6/28/13 10:15 A
Oh I do. Over the weekend if my boyfriend and I want to go out to eat, we will go out to eat. Like a PP said, I won't do the 2000 calorie restaurant meals, but I may have double cals for a meal (800) than I would normally. But I also usually plan for it in advance as well.
if a cheat meal means i good over my calorie rang for a day yes
Fitness Minutes: (34,713)
6/28/13 10:00 A
I guess it depends on what a cheat meal is. My usual dinner has around 500-600 calories. I occasionally allow myself a cheat meal that may have up to 800-900 calories. However, I try to avoid an all out disaster meal, like 2000 calorie dishes at some restaurants.
Yes. It works for me. I get some of my cravings in, and confuse my metabolism a bit.
Fitness Minutes: (1,020)
56 6/28/13 7:22 A
When I was really successful at this game I took one every week, used it to get the craving of whatever it was out of my system and then after that I went grocery shopping for the following week and seemed to be more focused because the junk usually made me not feel well. Interested on if anyone else does the same?