I eat in a way now that I don't feel like I require a "treat" day (I used to call them "treat" days instead of "cheat" days.)
As someone else mentioned, sugar used to be my driving decision to have "treat" days - I'd eat really good all week and then eat something super sugary on my special day (which was usually a Friday), but then that would turn into a weekend-long junk-fest.
I finally accepted I have a sugar addiction so I cut highly-sugary foods out of my living menu. I still have fruit, and I can have dark chocolate since it doesn't trigger me - but high-sugar foods just aren't anything I eat any more.
I don't feel deprived and am happy with what I eat every day. I feel like I enjoy fruit, etc. more now.
I treat high-sugar foods as though they're a dangerous narcotic. Best to not have even a little bit because it'll trigger more and more cravings. Since such foods do nothing for me nutritionally, it's not a big deal staying away.
Many of those trigger foods contain dairy and eggs, as well, and since I'm vegan, it makes it an easy decision to say "no" to them for that reason, too.
The thing for me with Cheat days is....SUGAR IS ADDICTIVE. As with drugs you crave sugar and sugary things. If you use alternative sweetness (I prefer stevia) it is way better than all the sugar that is being consumed. Usually cheat days lead to increased sugar intake. Let's face it... a donut or a celery stick?? The old me would choose the box of donuts, but the new me doesn't really care about sweets. Read the labels on foods....carbs and sugar are very high, even on so called Healthy Foods. For me....NO CHEAT days. I am on the Ketogenics diet and I have no cravings nor do I have hunger pangs. Some days I have to remind myself to eat! Uncanny, since I used to be a junk food junkie!
My name is Nola I live in Chiefland, FL - EST
God Bless America Pray Hard, Work Hard, Track Everything, and Keep Moving.
I have never had any success when I indulged in cheat days. Now that I'm on Weight Watchers I am seeing that I can have a daily indulgence but I have to plan the rest of my day around it very carefully!
current weight: 157.5
Fitness Minutes: (14)
10 7/3/18 10:58 A
Cheat days become cheat weeks, months and years - so I don't do cheat days, I just make sure it works in my calorie intake - I am cutting down my added sugar intake and I have a sweet tooth - so usually I turn it down - not worth the headaches.
I don't find the concept of cheat day helpful, because I imagine it would make me think it is OK to eat whatever I like, it doesn't count... and that's a risk of overeating for me. All food counts, as it contains the same number of calories, whatever day it is, obviously, but a cheat day could make me forget this.
Goal weight: 58 +- 1 kg /// 128 +-2 pounds CET (Europe, Hungary)
Maintenance Lessons Learned: -go on with the healthy lifestyle learned in weight loss phase -just add healthy foods gradually to stop losing -work out every day - 30-60 minutes is enough to maintain weight and good mood -do not try to balance overeating by extreme workouts, it is not going to work -avoid overeating, instead of satisfaction you get stronger cravings
I don't do a cheat day. My current goals are to increase my fruits and veggie intake and decrease my intake of "bad" carbs and fats. It's been going very well. Last night I spent awhile debating over having a brioche bun with my turkey burger. I decided to go for it. I have been very active this week, including swimming and spring cleaning almost daily. I really, really enjoyed it. One, because I have been avoiding breads so it was a nice treat and two, because I knew I had done well all week and it it wasn't going to hurt me in the overall. But I wouldn't consider it a "cheat". Just a choice. I think having a cheat day is counter productive.
Fitness Minutes: (18,371)
6/25/18 7:51 P
If you feel the need to "cheat"...especially when you are even planning to do it ahead of time...then the Rules of Your Game need to change!
For 99% of us, our Bodies and Life don't work on a fixed, one way only schedule. For example, you should be able to incorporate extra calories for when you have exercised a lot (think of hiking for a day)… you should be able to ENJOY celebrating someone's special event (birthday, anniversary, unusual get together...) whatever day that is... you should feel free to indulge in a food you wouldn't normally eat when its available (for example, Grandma's fudge when you drop by to visit her).
Does that mean that EVERY DAY you eat extra, celebrate with food, or indulge? No... it just means you control your portions when you do those things and enjoy having the flexibility to LIVE instead of constantly "feeling deprived". A Negative Journey leads to failure fairly quickly for most of us. patti
Patti "The only thing we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." Gandalf: Lord of the Rings
Since nothing is really off limits there is no such thing as cheating in my "diet." Diet simply being the way that I eat. Sure there are days or meals when I'm not as careful and that's OK because it all balances out. Actually after 6 + years of modifying how I eat, even when I choose to eat less healthy, it is still healthier than it used to be.
Persistence is more important than perfection.
Don't assume your freedoms are assured.
If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.
274 Maintenance Weeks
Fitness Minutes: (165)
55 6/22/18 3:30 A
Having a "cheat day" would be too much of a slippery slope for me. I've tried that before, but that one day would always set me back a good 2 or 3 days.
For me the word, "cheat" doesn't have any sort of weird connotation. It means cheating on yourself and your own commitment to yourself. Some people can have a "day off" and have no problems going back "on". I'm not one of those people!
Edited by: CATSDOGSPIGEONS at: 6/22/2018 (03:36)
“And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” —Genesis 1:30
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.” —Matthew 5:7
current weight: 163.0
Fitness Minutes: (5,920)
3,827 6/22/18 2:28 A
I have what I call "splurges" or "treats" every once in a while. These are times when I treat myself to something outside of my financial budget. For example, I love shrimp but can't afford to eat it frequently, but every once in a while I treat myself to it.
Edited by: MICHELLEXXXX at: 6/22/2018 (02:30)
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever exercises faith in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
current weight: 105.0
Fitness Minutes: (626)
6/22/18 1:35 A
Before, I lost my weight for good many moons ago! I followed a fairly strict diet with what I called a "freedom day". I didn't have a set day but, I did do it one day per week. With sensible eating and an exercise plan I lost 100lbs..Life was great I was on my way or so I thought! Eventually, 1 day slipped into every day and I gained back the 100 plus an additional 32 for good measure! What ended up working for me and does to this day is a food log I track everything. I lost all of the weight over a 2 year period and the extra 32 I had put on. When we deny ourselves, then bargain with ourselves, and then reward ourselves, it's a form of self sabotage in my mind. Just be sensible, and make healthy choices with extras added in always move more. The weight will come off!
July Minutes: 0
Fitness Minutes: (41,684)
27,437 6/21/18 11:50 P
What I DO do, is give myself permission to eat whatever I want. Initially it was one day every 2 weeks (more frequently *can* stall weight-loss). I never felt I was being deprived because I wasn't, whereas if you *forbid* yourself from eating whatever BECAUSE YOU ARE ON A DIET, then you WILL fail - either by falling off the wagon, or getting to your goal and then going back to what you were doing before.
I have been maintaining for a number of years now, and I still practice my 'permission' method, however now it might be once every week, but there are times it might even extend to once in three or four weeks. I also still weigh all of my food and enter it into the Nutrition Tracker, warts and all.
I am not doing something so restrictive that I have to cheat on it one day every week.
"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand." ~ Randy Pausch
"There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results." ~ Art Turock
"We have a saying in Tibet: If a problem can be solved, there is no use worrying about it. If it can't be solved, worrying will do no good." ~ 7 Years in T
I'm another one who is aggravated by the terminology of "cheat" (just what or whom is being cheated?), but I actually agree with the action / choice as being a useful approach for some people.
I'm more comfortable with using the analogy of calorie intake / expenditure being the same as a financial budget. Since bodies aren't calculators, it makes a lot of sense to me to look at the weekly (or even monthly) budget of intake and expenditure, and focus on maintaining the trend (whether it be losing or maintaining) over time. With this approach, the idea of "spending" (eating) a little bit less each day in order to allow for a higher priced (higher calorie) choice once per week or per month, which will still stay within the overall budget for that week / month --- well, that makes perfect sense! In my mind, it is no different than choosing to skip purchasing your "usual" morning coffee every weekday and putting those funds aside to pay for an extra activity every weekend, or for something more extravagant once per month.
The approach itself can be a great one for many people so that they can avoid feeling deprived and can enjoy some indulgences that are a bit too "expensive" to fit in to a daily budget. It is really good for allowing someone to maintain overall control, while avoiding the stress of assessing every choice during the week (the single decision of "if I want it on "treat day" then I'll have it then, but NO for now" is a lot less stressful than having to do choice-by-choice decisions).
For myself, I'm not as structured with following my "budget", so I determine on a choice-by-choice basis whether something is a worthwhile "investment". I plan each day with all of the essentials covered, but with some room for extras if I should want / need them. This lets me add in "treats" daily if I should want to, but I do make sure that they fit in to the overall budget! I find that, for me, the trend works out just fine.
Just like everything else diet related, the choice of how to approach the "budget" is a very individual thing. The only "common" theme that I have really seen is that there does still need to be some control / moderation in any approach (the "free for all cheat day" doesn't appear to work for anybody), and that it has to make the overall diet / lifestyle easy and enjoyable for the person, or there is no chance of it becoming a longterm lifestyle suitable for maintaining a healthy weight.
Sir Terry Pratchett:
"Science is not about building a body of known 'facts'. It is a method for asking awkward questions and subjecting them to a reality-check, thus avoiding the human tendency to believe whatever makes us feel good."
1SUZIQ11 brings up a good point. The term "cheat" has highly negative connotations for some people, so I don't like to think of it as cheating either. I try to work it into my calories for the day, and once in a while if I go over I don't beat myself up about it! In my opinion, overall health is more about a person's habits (good or bad!) rather than what they do once in a while.
I don't like cheat days for myself, it's too easy to make myself feel sick if I indulge all in one day. So I just work my treats into my daily calories. Most days I have enough for a frozen yogurt or some chocolate, and I still eat out pretty often, too.
"There is no right or wrong, tomorrow only comes for those with the power to overcome the challenge." - Asteroth, Catherine
Pounds lost: 162.0
Fitness Minutes: (2,464)
6/21/18 9:03 A
I'm a calorie/portion control counter. :) As long as I can fit it in my calorie count, I can have it. I eat 12-1500 calories per day and most days I can fit in an ice cream bar. No need for a "cheat" day. I'm not cheating! :D
Pounds lost: 39.4
Fitness Minutes: (99,878)
2,208 6/21/18 8:54 A
I think this idea works for some people and not for others, especially depending on their goals. It's usually important to have some sort of limitations, such as one regular size Snickers is ok, 3 is not.
Does any one give themselves a cheat day? I remember when Richard Simmons came out with this and I am so glad he did! I have picked Saturday as my cheat day. If I craved a snickers bar all week, well Saturday is my day to have that Snickers bar.