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Is it Okay to have a cheat day?

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  • Diatonic12
    Diatonic12 Posts: 32,344 Member
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    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.
  • mylittlerainbow
    mylittlerainbow Posts: 822 Member
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    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.
  • Annie42019
    Annie42019 Posts: 85 Member
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    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.
  • zheother
    zheother Posts: 28 Member
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    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
  • sgt1372
    sgt1372 Posts: 3,993 Member
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    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.
  • zebasschick
    zebasschick Posts: 1,067 Member
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    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.
  • paperpudding
    paperpudding Posts: 9,119 Member
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    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.

  • mylittlerainbow
    mylittlerainbow Posts: 822 Member
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    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!!
  • wunderkindking
    wunderkindking Posts: 1,615 Member
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    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.

  • penguinmama87
    penguinmama87 Posts: 1,158 Member
    edited May 2021
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    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. :)
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 33,021 Member
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    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.🤷‍♀️
  • mylittlerainbow
    mylittlerainbow Posts: 822 Member
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    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.