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Can You 'Cheat' on Your Diet and Still Lose Weight?

How Cheat Meals and Cheat Days Affect Your Weight Loss


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I agree that no food should be considered ‘bad’. The jury is still out on those various famous diets that restrict certain kinds of foods...most people end up losing weight on these diets due to good old fashioned calorie deprivation. Report
I still firmly believe in the calories-in, calories-out theory despite any beliefs to the contrary being claimed these days. A 300 calorie slice of pizza may not be as "healthy" as a 300 calorie serving of homemade lentil soup, but if the pizza makes my diet sustainable, it's worth having. Otherwise, the craving for pizza will just keep building up until I wind up eating half a pizza, feeling guilty, and going off my eating plan altogether.

I now practice Intermittent Fasting using the 16/8 protocol. During my 8 hour window I eat 2 small meals. I eat a healthy breakfast of either eggs and bacon with a fresh orange or steel-cut oatmeal with chopped walnuts and cinnamon. Th, my second meal with include ONE of the following seven choices per day--an Entenmann's donut, a slice of pizza, a Chinese take-out egg roll with a cup of egg drop soup, one fried chicken breast, a one cup serving of spaghetti with 2 meatballs, a bagel with cream cheese, or a small cheeseburger with fries. That covers the gamut of my favorite foods----- I really don 't crave any others.

Meanwhile I've lost 80 pounds doing this with a daily walk, multivitamin and mineral supplements and 8 glasses of water daily. I LOVE this way of eating. It may not sound healthy to others, but I think carryong 100 pounds of excess weight around with pre-diabetes and high blood pressure was a lot less healthy. I have no issues anymore. I am also finding now that I can go several days without any of my seven indulgences, and I don't miss them because I know they are never off limits. Report
I learned to be quick to forgive myself when my exercise/diet took a bad turn. Begin from where I stumbled, staying true to my goals anew. Report
Sometimes you get the results you wanted,
sometimes you don't.
What matters is that you did your best.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie Report
I like the idea of "banking" some calories during the week. I like the more positive description of "treat" vs "cheat." The word cheat is a negative word for me. I think with this information from the article I can go away with the skills to not entirely sabotage my hard work. Report
I don't do cheat days, or cheat meals. But... nothing is off limits, only limited. All things in moderation. I am not doing any fad diet, magic pill, super shake - none of that garbage. Just watching what I eat, and exercising more. Today my wife wanted to go to Burger King. Well, I ate a Whopper, small fries, and Diet Coke. I adjusted the rest of my day to make that 600 calories fit. No cheating, but occasionally treating. Report
I don't cheat...I treat. I find that allowing for an occasional treat keeps me from going bonkers as I try to lose or maintain lost weight. Knowing that I CAN have the treat once in a while means that I'm not tempted to cheat myself out of the benefits of daily healthy eating. Once you start cheating, it's too easy to keep cheating. A treat is something you work towards. Cheating is simply not being honest with oneself. Report
Thanks for a good sensible article. Report
I'm not on a diet, I'm making long-term lifestyle changes. This way, there's no cheating, as there are no foods off limits. Report
Yep, I use this strategy myself to keep my sanity! I try to stay around 1400 calories a day during the week, sometimes a few hundred more calories on the days I do intense workouts, but on the weekends I seem to get really hungry. I figured that if I eat no more than 2000 calories one or two days a week it's not going to hurt my weightloss. Sure enough, I still am losing weight doing this! Report
I read this article every once in a while and always find something new. Personally I don't have "cheat" days because nothing is really off limits. That doesn't mean that I don't choose less healthy foods sometimes, or eat more than I'd like other times. that is life.
I track my food and look at the weekly balance; that helps me understand why I've lost, gained, or maintained right now I'm in maintenance and have been since April 2013.

My approach works for me and it's important that we figure out what works for each of us. Report
all diet advice has to be right for you and your lifestyle. Personally a cheat day for me becomes a binge eating session, but I know it is great for some. Report
I hate the word "cheat" when it comes to eating. It implies that you're doing something bad and should feel guilty. If you plan properly, you can include your favorite foods - in moderation.

You can eat within your calorie range, and eat nothing but junk on a "cheat" day. But the after-affects aren't so pleasant. You might have water weight retention and bloating from too much salt, sugar cravings after too many sweets, an upset stomach from too much fried foods, a hangover from too much alcohol. Is it really worth the suffering the next day?

Instead, if you plan for a treat in your daily program - regardless of whether you're counting calories, carbs, or points for a specific plan, you won't go overboard with any foods. Report
Cheat days are awesome! And so effective, for the calorie spike and metabolic response but even more so for the psychological effects! Ive been pretty impressed with the idea of a cheat weekend that I read about, there is a pretty good program based around this idea, I reviewed it here if anyone is interested:
ekends Report

if you follow the cleanse you can see great results especially if you do clean eating. also if you get the spark you will feel amazing! if you have any questions just ask! if you become a new retail customer make sure you put my ID number in the sponsor part 150565952! if you don't want to try the cleanse there are so many other options! so let me help you shed some pounds for this summer! this isn't some kind of spam I just want to help others feel healthy like people have done to me!

don't forget that when you sign up to be a retail customer to put my ID in the sponsor part 150565952 Report

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