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Is it Okay to have a cheat day?

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  • Diatonic12Diatonic12 Member Posts: 30,795 Member Member Posts: 30,795 Member
    It all comes down to how much of your weekly progress you're willing to give up. Weekend lollapaloozas can wreck havoc with your progress. You'll have to ask yourself that as the weeks go by.
  • mylittlerainbowmylittlerainbow Member Posts: 727 Member Member Posts: 727 Member
    I note that some of you are talking about "cheat days" during the weight reduction phase. Maybe that can be motivating in terms of keeping people on track (so you don't feel like 'the most deprived person in the world' and give it all up!), but I would probably make those very rare during weight reduction and only start to work them in during maintenance, when we have parties and social events and other things that we're opening up to again (as the pandemic permits, of course). You want to feel that you can eat more normally - i.e. less restrictively or vigilantly - once you're in maintenance.
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member, Premium Posts: 25,457 Member Member, Premium Posts: 25,457 Member
    amyrluk wrote: »
    freda78 "Who or what are you "cheating"?

    I don't know if I agree with your philosophy that I am somehow cheating myself. Because a cheat day is not a bad thing. I saw a weight watchers post of facebook. and several of the posters said that cheating actually helped them break a plauto of not loosing. I hit a platue. and a i cheated and I broke it. Cheat days are not bad. I just want information on how to do it right.

    If someone is intentionally having a high calorie day as part of a weight management strategy, then I wouldn't even call that a "cheat day." It's just a higher calorie day.
  • wunderkindkingwunderkindking Member Posts: 448 Member Member Posts: 448 Member
    I note that some of you are talking about "cheat days" during the weight reduction phase. Maybe that can be motivating in terms of keeping people on track (so you don't feel like 'the most deprived person in the world' and give it all up!), but I would probably make those very rare during weight reduction and only start to work them in during maintenance, when we have parties and social events and other things that we're opening up to again (as the pandemic permits, of course). You want to feel that you can eat more normally - i.e. less restrictively or vigilantly - once you're in maintenance.

    I mean. I've maintained about 2 weeks out of every two months the whole time. The only thing that has changed is the number I maintain AT (Ie: It drops down). Also a lot of us here average our calories out over a week, not a day to day basis. It all works.

    And not feeling deprived is pretty important DURING loss too. There is no big change when you flip to maintenance. By the end you should be losing half pound a week. Meaning what you gain back is a whole 3 apples or 1 candy bar worth of calories so might as well practice as you go, be it 'banking' calories/averaging out over a week, or otherwise working those special occasions in.
  • Annie42019Annie42019 Member Posts: 62 Member Member Posts: 62 Member
    I have two no hold barred cheat days. My birthday and Mother’s Day. These are about six moths apart for me and have worked well for the last three years. I eat my “ never” foods those days. Ribs, Pasta and tons of bread.
  • g2renewg2renew Member Posts: 79 Member Member Posts: 79 Member
    Some people do well with a 'cheat/treat meal or day'. I look at it differently.

    I do not 'plan' for a day or a meal to go 'off target' a bit. When I really feel like it is important for me to 'have a little more' or have something I normally would not have, I go ahead and do it -whether it is Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday night. I can do this without guilt or worry for two reasons, 1) I stay on target the vast majority of the time and 2) I stay away from 'trigger' foods/drink regardless of situation. Ex: my trigger is soda, so I do not allow myself full sugar or diet soda. They derail me completely!

    Different life situations may make me 'feel' hungrier or like I just 'need to have' a little something-or it could just be 'life' itself. For example, last night, my family wanted Chinese food. While it is not normally on my 'food plan', it was not an issue because all of my other eating has been on target-so no guilt or worries. I watched my portions and tracked it, and enjoyed every bite. After that meal, I returned to my targeted way of eating.

    My philosophy behind this way of looking at eating, is that this is a lifestyle change for me-not a 'diet' to think of 'when it ends'.
  • zheotherzheother Member Posts: 28 Member Member Posts: 28 Member
    My personal opinion is that if I need a cheat day I'm doing something wrong, I'd rather have a bite here and there to satisfy my cravings as long as I don't go crazy over my maintenance than go with huge restriction diet and then reward myself with a cheat day. Problem with my past attempts was that the cheat day soon enough turned into days and then weeks :D
  • sgt1372sgt1372 Member Posts: 3,877 Member Member Posts: 3,877 Member
    I don't believe in the concept of "cheat days." That doesn't mean that I never eat over my daily limit of cals on occasion but I don't treat that as "cheat" day.

    I don't "plan" for it. It's just a day that I went over and have to make up for by eating LESS on subsequent days.

    I feel the same way about "banking" calories. If you "bank" cals, it's planned and is a way to give yourself "permission" to eat over your daily limit whether you really "need" to do so or not.

    Better IMO to try to remain as consistent as possible day-to-day as you can with the understanding that you'll go over on some days and will just have to make up the overeating by eating less in the next few days.

    The result is probably the same but the "process" and thinking behind it is entirely different.
  • zebasschickzebasschick Member Posts: 375 Member Member Posts: 375 Member
    not all cheat days are alike just as not all people have the same caloric needs.

    i know a guy who eats a whole pizza, a half gallon of ice cream or more, a huge burger or steak meal, pasta, brownies and the list goes on and on for his weekly cheat day. unsurprisingly he never loses any weight because he literally eats over 3500 calories over maintenance every saturday. but he doesn't gain any weight, either, as he's tall and reasonably active. at 5' 3", i can't afford to have a 4000+ calorie day. to be fair, i don't think i could manage to eat as much as he does on saturdays.
  • paperpuddingpaperpudding Member Posts: 6,599 Member Member Posts: 6,599 Member
    sgt1372 wrote: »
    I don't believe in the concept of "cheat days." That doesn't mean that I never eat over my daily limit of cals on occasion but I don't treat that as "cheat" day.

    I don't "plan" for it. It's just a day that I went over and have to make up for by eating LESS on subsequent days.

    I feel the same way about "banking" calories. If you "bank" cals, it's planned and is a way to give yourself "permission" to eat over your daily limit whether you really "need" to do so or not.

    Better IMO to try to remain as consistent as possible day-to-day as you can with the understanding that you'll go over on some days and will just have to make up the overeating by eating less in the next few days.

    The result is probably the same but the "process" and thinking behind it is entirely different.


    the result of course is the same - doesnt matter if your over day is before or after your under days as long as the average is on target.

    I think the opposite about process though - I would rather use banked calories- hence I start my week on Monday so they are banked by the weekend - rather than paying back borrowed calories.

  • mylittlerainbowmylittlerainbow Member Posts: 727 Member Member Posts: 727 Member
    As a side question, I have noticed that many people bank calories through the week to save for the weekend. Why? Do you eat differently on the weekend than you do during the rest of the week for some reason? Or you're just saving up and planning 'treats' for yourself on days that are more leisurely? I guess I don't understand this concept. I do know that some people let themselves sleep later or stay up later on the weekend, even though 'they' say you're supposed to go to bed and wake up roughly the same time every day. So somehow these days are treated differently? I guess having been retired for many years makes me forget how these days might be different!!
  • wunderkindkingwunderkindking Member Posts: 448 Member Member Posts: 448 Member
    As a side question, I have noticed that many people bank calories through the week to save for the weekend. Why? Do you eat differently on the weekend than you do during the rest of the week for some reason? Or you're just saving up and planning 'treats' for yourself on days that are more leisurely? I guess I don't understand this concept. I do know that some people let themselves sleep later or stay up later on the weekend, even though 'they' say you're supposed to go to bed and wake up roughly the same time every day. So somehow these days are treated differently? I guess having been retired for many years makes me forget how these days might be different!!

    I am out most weekends, and my schedule is different. That means, yeah, I eat differently. Because the whole rhythm of my days has changed, I am doing more socializing and I don't have access to my kitchen for 2 out of 3 meals a day.

  • penguinmama87penguinmama87 Member, Premium Posts: 387 Member Member, Premium Posts: 387 Member
    As a side question, I have noticed that many people bank calories through the week to save for the weekend. Why? Do you eat differently on the weekend than you do during the rest of the week for some reason? Or you're just saving up and planning 'treats' for yourself on days that are more leisurely? I guess I don't understand this concept. I do know that some people let themselves sleep later or stay up later on the weekend, even though 'they' say you're supposed to go to bed and wake up roughly the same time every day. So somehow these days are treated differently? I guess having been retired for many years makes me forget how these days might be different!!

    My husband and I have a regular date night, and Sundays are our family rest/feast day as part of our religious practice. We do occasionally have midweek feast days too, and we observe some civic holidays, and I also bank for those accordingly. We also practice traditional fasting and abstinence from meat on Fridays. So no, not every day is the same. :)
    edited May 4
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 19,781 Member Member, Premium Posts: 19,781 Member
    As a side question, I have noticed that many people bank calories through the week to save for the weekend. Why? Do you eat differently on the weekend than you do during the rest of the week for some reason? Or you're just saving up and planning 'treats' for yourself on days that are more leisurely? I guess I don't understand this concept. I do know that some people let themselves sleep later or stay up later on the weekend, even though 'they' say you're supposed to go to bed and wake up roughly the same time every day. So somehow these days are treated differently? I guess having been retired for many years makes me forget how these days might be different!!

    I calorie bank, and I'm retired. It's not a weekday/weekend pattern in my case, but a preference to eat more indulgently now and then, usually social events or restaurant meals.

    I'm also in maintenance now, so everything needs to balance, no weekly deficit as a cushion unless I intentionally create the cushion.

    Daily, the deficit's not a big number, just 100-150 calories. I see no real risk or harm in doing it.

    Personalization is important, IMO. For me, this is a happier routine than balancing to maintenance calories every single day. That wouldn't be true for everyone, and that's fine.

    It's just one option.🤷‍♀️
  • mylittlerainbowmylittlerainbow Member Posts: 727 Member Member Posts: 727 Member
    Thank you. I guess all the days run together for me, even when there is no pandemic, and this pattern was something I found puzzling. I'm as likely to have a class on a Sunday afternoon as on a Tuesday night, for instance. So this is illuminating.
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