Is it ok to have a cheat day?

So recently I gained half an inch on my waist and gained two pounds. Not a big deal, I knew what the culprit was (cocktails!!!) and I've cut it out.

Here is the problem though. To lose this short amount I need to eat about 1400 calories daily. It may take time to lose this gain as I am so short and lean. My question is, can I still eat 2000 calories one day a week or will this affect my deficit?

My usual routine was to: eat 1500 calories 5 days a week with a one 2200 calorie day. This routine meant I maintained.

My stats:
17% BF weight: 112lbs but usually 110. Height: 5ft 2
Exercise: gym x2 hours a week (mix of weights and cardio) swim 30 mins once a week and generally brisk walks thrown in so I would say this is moderately active

Thanks for the advice you can give!

Replies

  • kaizaku
    kaizaku Posts: 1,039 Member
    One day of eating bad is not gonna affect much, likewise one day of eating good won't benefit your goal. Unless you do it every day.
  • DasItMan91
    DasItMan91 Posts: 5,753 Member
    It's usually ok to have one cheat day a week as long as you don't have it every day....catch my drift. If you really worried, just the next day, do some cardio.
  • yondaime8
    yondaime8 Posts: 103 Member
    You can change your thinking from day calorie goal to week calorie goal and then based on your weekly intake have a rest day where you eat more than usually but maintain your weekly goal. If you successfully apply this, then you can have all the cheat days you want !
  • SueSueDio
    SueSueDio Posts: 4,796 Member
    charlireah wrote: »
    Here is the problem though. To lose this short amount I need to eat about 1400 calories daily. It may take time to lose this gain as I am so short and lean. My question is, can I still eat 2000 calories one day a week or will this affect my deficit?

    My usual routine was to: eat 1500 calories 5 days a week with a one 2200 calorie day. This routine meant I maintained.

    If I'm reading it right, that would give you around a 700-calorie deficit per week, so you should lose but it'll be slow (maybe 10-12 weeks to lose that 2lbs).

    What do you do on the 7th day, though? You said 5 days at 1500 and one at 2200. If there's another 2000+ day in your average week then you might need to cut back further, if it would be a 6th 1400-calorie day then that increases your weekly deficit.
  • charlireah
    charlireah Posts: 100 Member
    SueSueDio wrote: »
    charlireah wrote: »
    Here is the problem though. To lose this short amount I need to eat about 1400 calories daily. It may take time to lose this gain as I am so short and lean. My question is, can I still eat 2000 calories one day a week or will this affect my deficit?

    My usual routine was to: eat 1500 calories 5 days a week with a one 2200 calorie day. This routine meant I maintained.

    If I'm reading it right, that would give you around a 700-calorie deficit per week, so you should lose but it'll be slow (maybe 10-12 weeks to lose that 2lbs).

    What do you do on the 7th day, though? You said 5 days at 1500 and one at 2200. If there's another 2000+ day in your average week then you might need to cut back further, if it would be a 6th 1400-calorie day then that increases your weekly deficit.

    My 1500 day and 2200 is my maintaining weight but since I gained i am cutting it to 1400-2000 instead
  • LessCookiess
    LessCookiess Posts: 538 Member
    edited April 2017
    Oftentimes instead of losing weight especially when one is at a healthy weight recomposition and eating at maintenance might be better. I would also add in a strength training program. Op maybe this might be a better fit for you.
  • malibu927
    malibu927 Posts: 17,565 Member
    Oftentimes people instead of losing weight especially when one is at a healthy weight recomposition and eating at maintenance might be better. I would also add in a strength training program.

    This is what I was going to suggest. Two pounds is well within a person's maintenance range, so recomping may be a better choice.
  • charlireah
    charlireah Posts: 100 Member
    When you say recomp what does that mean? I do use weights at the gym. Started at a mere 3kg now on 5kg. Is there more I should be doing ? Thank you!
  • lynn_glenmont
    lynn_glenmont Posts: 9,942 Member
    charlireah wrote: »
    SueSueDio wrote: »
    charlireah wrote: »
    Here is the problem though. To lose this short amount I need to eat about 1400 calories daily. It may take time to lose this gain as I am so short and lean. My question is, can I still eat 2000 calories one day a week or will this affect my deficit?

    My usual routine was to: eat 1500 calories 5 days a week with a one 2200 calorie day. This routine meant I maintained.

    If I'm reading it right, that would give you around a 700-calorie deficit per week, so you should lose but it'll be slow (maybe 10-12 weeks to lose that 2lbs).

    What do you do on the 7th day, though? You said 5 days at 1500 and one at 2200. If there's another 2000+ day in your average week then you might need to cut back further, if it would be a 6th 1400-calorie day then that increases your weekly deficit.

    My 1500 day and 2200 is my maintaining weight but since I gained i am cutting it to 1400-2000 instead

    OK. Assuming that you maintained on 1500/2200 over a substantial period (if you only did that for a few weeks and maintained, it's hard to be sure if that's spot-on for your maintenance level, or a little over, or a little under, masked by normal fluctuations), and assuming that you're able to log accurately enough that you can achieve the small difference you're proposing (1400/2000 compared to 1500/2200), you should lose just under a quarter pound a week, or just under a pound a month* -- which is a great approach since you only have 2 lbs to lose, but it will require patience on your part not to get frustrated with slow rate of loss.


    *Showing math: [6 days X (1500-1400)] + [1 day X (2200-2000)] = 600 + 200 = 800 weekly calorie deficit from maintenance level.
    800/3500 = about 23% (or almost a quarter pound)
  • Lillymoo01
    Lillymoo01 Posts: 2,865 Member
    Having a cheat day implies that you are doing something wrong when you are not. However, it is perfectly fine to have a treat day (or better yet, meal) every now and then. Food is to be enjoyed and denying yourself all the time will increase cravings in most of us. Just continue to count calories though because you don't want one day to derail all the work you have put in during that week, week after week after week.
    My advice, if you know a special day is coming up eat 100 calories less in the days eating up to it and/or exercise that little bit more so you have that extra wiggle room on the day. If it is a spur of the moment thing, still count the calories but move on guilt free. Weight loss is a journey that is a marathon rather than a sprint. One day will be nothing more than a slight bump in the road.
  • charlireah
    charlireah Posts: 100 Member
    charlireah wrote: »
    SueSueDio wrote: »
    charlireah wrote: »
    Here is the problem though. To lose this short amount I need to eat about 1400 calories daily. It may take time to lose this gain as I am so short and lean. My question is, can I still eat 2000 calories one day a week or will this affect my deficit?

    My usual routine was to: eat 1500 calories 5 days a week with a one 2200 calorie day. This routine meant I maintained.

    If I'm reading it right, that would give you around a 700-calorie deficit per week, so you should lose but it'll be slow (maybe 10-12 weeks to lose that 2lbs).

    What do you do on the 7th day, though? You said 5 days at 1500 and one at 2200. If there's another 2000+ day in your average week then you might need to cut back further, if it would be a 6th 1400-calorie day then that increases your weekly deficit.

    My 1500 day and 2200 is my maintaining weight but since I gained i am cutting it to 1400-2000 instead

    OK. Assuming that you maintained on 1500/2200 over a substantial period (if you only did that for a few weeks and maintained, it's hard to be sure if that's spot-on for your maintenance level, or a little over, or a little under, masked by normal fluctuations), and assuming that you're able to log accurately enough that you can achieve the small difference you're proposing (1400/2000 compared to 1500/2200), you should lose just under a quarter pound a week, or just under a pound a month* -- which is a great approach since you only have 2 lbs to lose, but it will require patience on your part not to get frustrated with slow rate of loss.


    *Showing math: [6 days X (1500-1400)] + [1 day X (2200-2000)] = 600 + 200 = 800 weekly calorie deficit from maintenance level.
    800/3500 = about 23% (or almost a quarter pound)

    Yes this maintenance I have been doing for 8 years now and my weight has stayed exact but my waist has shrunk thanks to the gym! Is this calorie amount ok or shall I cut it a bit more?

  • lynn_glenmont
    lynn_glenmont Posts: 9,942 Member
    charlireah wrote: »
    charlireah wrote: »
    SueSueDio wrote: »
    charlireah wrote: »
    Here is the problem though. To lose this short amount I need to eat about 1400 calories daily. It may take time to lose this gain as I am so short and lean. My question is, can I still eat 2000 calories one day a week or will this affect my deficit?

    My usual routine was to: eat 1500 calories 5 days a week with a one 2200 calorie day. This routine meant I maintained.

    If I'm reading it right, that would give you around a 700-calorie deficit per week, so you should lose but it'll be slow (maybe 10-12 weeks to lose that 2lbs).

    What do you do on the 7th day, though? You said 5 days at 1500 and one at 2200. If there's another 2000+ day in your average week then you might need to cut back further, if it would be a 6th 1400-calorie day then that increases your weekly deficit.

    My 1500 day and 2200 is my maintaining weight but since I gained i am cutting it to 1400-2000 instead

    OK. Assuming that you maintained on 1500/2200 over a substantial period (if you only did that for a few weeks and maintained, it's hard to be sure if that's spot-on for your maintenance level, or a little over, or a little under, masked by normal fluctuations), and assuming that you're able to log accurately enough that you can achieve the small difference you're proposing (1400/2000 compared to 1500/2200), you should lose just under a quarter pound a week, or just under a pound a month* -- which is a great approach since you only have 2 lbs to lose, but it will require patience on your part not to get frustrated with slow rate of loss.


    *Showing math: [6 days X (1500-1400)] + [1 day X (2200-2000)] = 600 + 200 = 800 weekly calorie deficit from maintenance level.
    800/3500 = about 23% (or almost a quarter pound)

    Yes this maintenance I have been doing for 8 years now and my weight has stayed exact but my waist has shrunk thanks to the gym! Is this calorie amount ok or shall I cut it a bit more?

    No, I wouldn't cut a bit more in your circumstances.

    On rereading the OP it sounds as though these two pounds and half inch are a recent, short-term gain from cocktails (does that mean one night or one weekend, or an ongoing new habit of having one or more cocktails every day or week that you weren't having before? Did you account for these cocktails in your calorie logging? Were they making you go over your 6X1500/1X2200 maintenance calories?

    Depending on the answers to those questions, and on whether you're continuing to drink extra cocktails compared to your maintenance habits (especially if you're not logging the calories), it might only take a few weeks on the reduced calories to drop the two pounds and the half-inch (because it might be mostly water weight).
  • charlireah
    charlireah Posts: 100 Member
    charlireah wrote: »
    charlireah wrote: »
    SueSueDio wrote: »
    charlireah wrote: »
    Here is the problem though. To lose this short amount I need to eat about 1400 calories daily. It may take time to lose this gain as I am so short and lean. My question is, can I still eat 2000 calories one day a week or will this affect my deficit?

    My usual routine was to: eat 1500 calories 5 days a week with a one 2200 calorie day. This routine meant I maintained.

    If I'm reading it right, that would give you around a 700-calorie deficit per week, so you should lose but it'll be slow (maybe 10-12 weeks to lose that 2lbs).

    What do you do on the 7th day, though? You said 5 days at 1500 and one at 2200. If there's another 2000+ day in your average week then you might need to cut back further, if it would be a 6th 1400-calorie day then that increases your weekly deficit.

    My 1500 day and 2200 is my maintaining weight but since I gained i am cutting it to 1400-2000 instead

    OK. Assuming that you maintained on 1500/2200 over a substantial period (if you only did that for a few weeks and maintained, it's hard to be sure if that's spot-on for your maintenance level, or a little over, or a little under, masked by normal fluctuations), and assuming that you're able to log accurately enough that you can achieve the small difference you're proposing (1400/2000 compared to 1500/2200), you should lose just under a quarter pound a week, or just under a pound a month* -- which is a great approach since you only have 2 lbs to lose, but it will require patience on your part not to get frustrated with slow rate of loss.


    *Showing math: [6 days X (1500-1400)] + [1 day X (2200-2000)] = 600 + 200 = 800 weekly calorie deficit from maintenance level.
    800/3500 = about 23% (or almost a quarter pound)

    Yes this maintenance I have been doing for 8 years now and my weight has stayed exact but my waist has shrunk thanks to the gym! Is this calorie amount ok or shall I cut it a bit more?

    No, I wouldn't cut a bit more in your circumstances.

    On rereading the OP it sounds as though these two pounds and half inch are a recent, short-term gain from cocktails (does that mean one night or one weekend, or an ongoing new habit of having one or more cocktails every day or week that you weren't having before? Did you account for these cocktails in your calorie logging? Were they making you go over your 6X1500/1X2200 maintenance calories?

    Depending on the answers to those questions, and on whether you're continuing to drink extra cocktails compared to your maintenance habits (especially if you're not logging the calories), it might only take a few weeks on the reduced calories to drop the two pounds and the half-inch (because it might be mostly water weight).

    Over the last few months instead of having a vodka Diet Coke when out with friends I would have cocktails instead and I did account for those extra calories but perhaps miscalculated or my body didn't burn off all that sugar. I didn't go crazy on the cocktails and drink excessively but it's the only thing that has changed.

    I so hope it will only take a few weeks! Haha

  • ChristopherLimoges
    ChristopherLimoges Posts: 298 Member
    Cheat days are alright.
  • TimothyFish
    TimothyFish Posts: 4,925 Member
    Don't call it a cheat day. Just figure out how many calories you need for one week, subtract the calories for that one day from that, then divide the rest by six to determine what you need to eat on the other days.
  • Duchy82
    Duchy82 Posts: 560 Member
    It's entirely up to you, if you want to have a day of higher calories a week then do so, you are in control, just be aware that having a smaller deficit may mean it takes longer to lose those 2lbs it's all about your own perspective.