Cheat meals to break plateaus

Hello-- what is your experience with using a cheat meal (or even day) to break a plataue? Do you notice a small gain the next day following a break through and then weight loss or other? In my experience, it seems like it reboots your metabolism ( even though proof of that is hard to find).

Replies

  • MelaniaTrump
    MelaniaTrump Posts: 2,694 Member
    edited July 2016
    Cheat meals/days = the most horrific waste of 6 months of my life.
    If it works for you, go for it. Everyone is different. I haven't studied rebooting a metabolism.
  • malibu927
    malibu927 Posts: 17,568 Member
    Your metabolism doesn't need a reboot. If you're in a true plateau (meaning 4+ weeks with no movement on the scale), then most likely you need to tighten up your logging.
  • spyro88
    spyro88 Posts: 464 Member
    I have never heard this theory.... do you mean eating high calorie meal when your weight loss has plateaued means that you will lose more weight when you go back to your usual plan? It seems like wishful thinking to me! But I would be interested to know if it's true! ;)
  • acdacd
    acdacd Posts: 8 Member
    Not true, your body has an amazing ability to adapt to dieting and exercise thus folks hit plataues and need to change things up. If it were as simple as counting calories and exercise 3x per week folks wouldn't hit plataues and/ or slow down.
  • JustMissTracy
    JustMissTracy Posts: 6,339 Member
    Taking a diet or fitness break is often a good idea. Even if it's just a short one, to give your brain a break. If anything, so you don't feel deprived, and you'll attain more constant success over the long term. I don't have "cheat" days, as there aren't really many foods I can or want to eat that are different from my regular diet, but I do let myself have what I want when I want, and every now and then I'll go over on my calories, but that's rare these days, too much work and time invested in losing all the weight. This is who I am now. Remember, Success breeds success. Enjoy your cheat meal, then log it, then carry on. Stick to the plan (CICO), and the weight should continue to come off :)
  • nosebag1212
    nosebag1212 Posts: 621 Member
    A true plateau means you're now eating at maintenance and need to reduce calories or increase activity, by true I mean your weight has been stalled for at least 3 weeks, cheat meals will do nothing for your metabolism except set you back
  • robininfl
    robininfl Posts: 1,137 Member
    I think this can sometimes work as a diuretic...So maybe you see some loss but it's water. The whoosh. Like I lose weight if I take a few days off working out, but that's not muscle and certainly not fat, it's water.

  • acdacd
    acdacd Posts: 8 Member
    Again, not true. A plataue has nothing to do with eating at maintenance and it doesn't slow everyone down. It also doesn't mean you have to cut MORE calories. Please read more on calorie cycling and other methods to break plataues.
  • acdacd
    acdacd Posts: 8 Member
    That's true Robin. I have also experienced that as well and it is most likely what Lyle McDonald talks about. To take it a step further, I notice it helps with breaking through as well.
  • RoxieDawn
    RoxieDawn Posts: 15,491 Member
    Are you looking for a whoosh?
  • SezxyStef
    SezxyStef Posts: 15,271 Member
    acdacd wrote: »
    Not true, your body has an amazing ability to adapt to dieting and exercise thus folks hit plataues and need to change things up. If it were as simple as counting calories and exercise 3x per week folks wouldn't hit plataues and/ or slow down.
    acdacd wrote: »
    Again, not true. A plataue has nothing to do with eating at maintenance and it doesn't slow everyone down. It also doesn't mean you have to cut MORE calories. Please read more on calorie cycling and other methods to break plataues.

    do you understand how wrong these two statements are?

    First statement...yes adaptive thermogenisis happens as a result of weight loss, This lowers our RMR/BMR hence you will need less calories to survive at 150lb vs 300lbs...but the only thing you need to change is to eat less food. Having a "cheat meal" or day won't change anything.

    It is as simple as maintaining a deficit in your intake. YOu don't need to exercise to lose weight just eat less than your TDEE.

    Weight loss slows down due to your body getting smaller and needing less calories to maintain.

    2nd statement a true plateau means you haven't lost any weight for at least 4-6 weeks and it means you are eating at maintenance...maybe you have a lower maintenance now but it's still means maintenance.

    when you hit a "plateau" you need to do one of two things.

    Log accurately using a food scale because you are eating more than you think

    or

    Lower your calories if you are logging accurately because your BMR/RMR and NEAT and TDEE are lower now due to weight loss.

    Calorie cycling has nothing to do with weight loss...CICO does
  • dragon_girl26
    dragon_girl26 Posts: 2,182 Member
    edited July 2016
    malibu927 wrote: »
    Your metabolism doesn't need a reboot. If you're in a true plateau (meaning 4+ weeks with no movement on the scale), then most likely you need to tighten up your logging.

    This. If it's been less time than 4 weeks, your body may just adjusting to your weight loss. My weight loss always seemed to stall for a few weeks after every 25 lbs or so, but then it would pick back up after that.
    If it's been more than 4 weeks, then you're eating at maintenance. Eating more calories (such as adding large cheat meals) is counterproductive.
    It's either one of a few things: you may be overestimating your calorie burns on exercise, you're eating more than you think, or you may be choosing the incorrect entries in the database when you log. How do you measure your calorie burns...MFP, a HRM, cardio machines? Do you own a food scale? Also, when you log, do you check your entries against the nutrition labels on the package? The MFP database is notorious for being incorrect (even if you scan barcodes or choose the green checkmark "verified" entries), so always make sure to check!
    One other possibility could be that your calorie amount is too high. Do you have MFP recalculate your calorie goal periodically? It's recommended to do that after every ten pounds of loss.
    Hopefully that gives some ideas.. :)
  • RoxieDawn
    RoxieDawn Posts: 15,491 Member
    acdacd wrote: »
    Again, not true. A plataue has nothing to do with eating at maintenance and it doesn't slow everyone down. It also doesn't mean you have to cut MORE calories. Please read more on calorie cycling and other methods to break plataues.

    I am gonna put this simple, if you have plateaued, you have somehow crept back up to eating your calories to maintain. Its easy to do. IF you have lost 8 - 10 pounds and have not changed your calorie goals, then this too needs looking at.

    And you should also understand that weight loss in not linear. Its a shame because and its frustrating but it happens. So no need to lower calories, just get the logging straight, give it some time, and if you exercise watch eating back too many calories back that may derail you deficit.

    If you truly understand about calorie cycling and this is a method that will work for you to break it, you can certainly try that.. but there is no rebooting. And the whoosh is real as you have been reading and have experienced. And actually many people drop 2 - 3 pounds at once and then do not drop any.

    Patience is your friends right now, and just keep doing what you are doing or to try the cycling if you think it is what you need, but not necessary.
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,373 Member
    Yeah, this is not how it works.