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Is it Okay to have a cheat day?

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  • mjglantzmjglantz Member Posts: 101 Member Member Posts: 101 Member
    I don't use the word "cheat" because no food is really off limits for me. Basically use the 80/20 approach where I eat healthier foods 80% of the time. Even when I choose less than healthy foods there are nothing like what I used to eat and sometimes I just eat more than my calorie range for that day. Looking at it over the course of the week my goal is stay at or under my recommended range. That works for me.
  • lukejoycePTlukejoycePT Member, Premium Posts: 182 Member Member, Premium Posts: 182 Member
    ok, so theres no such thing as a cheat food or bad foods. there is only food and calories. if you want a glass of wine or a chocolate bar or whatever you view as naughty then you go ahead and have it. just remember that it has a caloric value and what ever your goal it must be tracked. treat your calories as a weekly total not daily. if you eat more on one day, deduct that from the next day or next 6 days. up to you. just dont go over your weekly goal. everything else around dieting is noise. nothing is gonna speed or ruin anything if you follow that basic principle. enjoy your cake.
  • Beverly2HansenBeverly2Hansen Member Posts: 315 Member Member Posts: 315 Member
    I don't do cheat days because you can't outrun your fork. I do allow myself to eat junk food within my allowance as a reward once a month though. So bunless double cheese burger with cake feels rewarding but I'm also still on track if that makes sense. I found I was eating upwards of like 4,000 calories when I tried to have cheat days it was not a great realization but it explained my lack of weightloss or gain for over 6 months.
  • azukiazuki Member Posts: 3 Member Member Posts: 3 Member
    Just call it food and either work it in or skip it. Don't label a food a "cheat."
  • ninerbuffninerbuff Member, Greeter Posts: 45,174 Member Member, Greeter Posts: 45,174 Member
    Cheating implies breaking rules. But there are no rules in calorie consumption for weight loss/gain/maintenance. You can lose weight eating fast food only as long as you're in a deficit. Not the greatest for micronutritent content, but it can be and has been done.
    IMO, there are no "cheat days". You just have to be ACCOUNTABLE for calories consumed.

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  • J72FITJ72FIT Member Posts: 5,799 Member Member Posts: 5,799 Member
    amyrluk wrote: »
    I let myself have a cheat because I have heard that cheat days can speed up your metabolism. When you hit a platue. But are there certain rules about cheat days. like how many calories you can go over. And what you can eat?
    I let myself have one yeasutrday but I think I ate to much.

    Cheat days do not speed up your metabolism. What they can do is help your diet be more sustainable since there is not an all or nothing approach. You have to be careful that the cheat does not become the norm so tread lightly...
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 20,306 Member Member, Premium Posts: 20,306 Member
    J72FIT wrote: »
    amyrluk wrote: »
    I let myself have a cheat because I have heard that cheat days can speed up your metabolism. When you hit a platue. But are there certain rules about cheat days. like how many calories you can go over. And what you can eat?
    I let myself have one yeasutrday but I think I ate to much.

    Cheat days do not speed up your metabolism. What they can do is help your diet be more sustainable since there is not an all or nothing approach. You have to be careful that the cheat does not become the norm so tread lightly...

    Welllll . . . I agree that "speed up your metabolism" may be hyperbole . . . mostly. But there's some evidence that a body can get a bit of a rev of some type, with observed effects, potentially including RMR, subconscious NEAT, body temp, workout performance, and that sort of thing, from a day of eating *well over* maintenance. But for sure, the idea that people get some kind of extra-supercharged speedy overall weight loss process by overeating once a week? Nah.

    This may be interesting, follow up lab testing after a 10,000 calorie eating challenge:



    The first RMR test is just before the 6 minute mark. I'd encourage anyone pre-diabetic (let alone diabetic!) to think about those blood glucose numbers (elsewhere in the vid), when thinking about whether cheat days may have benefits or not. There may be downsides, and not just fat (re-)gain.

    Her YouTube channel has some other high-calorie challenges, with follow-up of a more home-based nature, and some good science-based explanation of the factors that affect fat gain from an overeating episode. (The one titled "Cheat Day Results (What Happened)" after an 8,000 calorie day has some estimating formulas, even - geeky stuff.)

    What kind of changes from "more than usual calories, less than maintenance" or "some more realistic amount of calories above maintenance", but less than the absurd 10,000 calories? 🤷‍♀️
    edited June 8
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Member Posts: 39,292 Member Member Posts: 39,292 Member
    There aren't really any rules...you can do whatever you want. The only rule that's really there is the one that says you need to be in a calorie deficit over time to lose weight.
  • MahhafooznitMahhafooznit Member Posts: 24 Member Member Posts: 24 Member
    Would the treat day on Keto just eating Fat Bombs for your whole days calories?
  • paperpuddingpaperpudding Member Posts: 6,713 Member Member Posts: 6,713 Member
    Would the treat day on Keto just eating Fat Bombs for your whole days calories?

    It would be whatever you want it to be - that's the whole thing about cheat/ treat days - do them however works for you.

    From a weight loss point of view, if you eat too many calories over time, you will not lose weight though.
  • lamiller0365lamiller0365 Member, Premium Posts: 4 Member Member, Premium Posts: 4 Member
    Yes, I think one day of indulgence is good. Sometimes I mitigate the calories by tracking them over the course of several days.
  • rheddmobilerheddmobile Member Posts: 6,263 Member Member Posts: 6,263 Member
    rewair wrote: »
    Let us say your maintenance calories are 2000 a day. Let us say you had a cheat day and ate 3200 calories, you are not going to gain fat/weight by overeating 1200 calories on one day. No worries. I have found over the years if I do have a so called cheat day, which isn't a day, more like one meal I generally feel like crap after I eat it, therefore I don't do it much. Went out for Mexican last week, ate lots of chips and salsa and a big fat Chimi- heart burn city and bloated from what I can estimate to be around 200 carbs in one meal!

    Actually if you are eating at maintenance and overeat by 1200 once a week, you will gain 19 lbs in a year. It’s math.
  • wunderkindkingwunderkindking Member Posts: 665 Member Member Posts: 665 Member
    rewair wrote: »
    Let us say your maintenance calories are 2000 a day. Let us say you had a cheat day and ate 3200 calories, you are not going to gain fat/weight by overeating 1200 calories on one day. No worries. I have found over the years if I do have a so called cheat day, which isn't a day, more like one meal I generally feel like crap after I eat it, therefore I don't do it much. Went out for Mexican last week, ate lots of chips and salsa and a big fat Chimi- heart burn city and bloated from what I can estimate to be around 200 carbs in one meal!

    Actually if you are eating at maintenance and overeat by 1200 once a week, you will gain 19 lbs in a year. It’s math.

    Once a week is not once. Once a week for a year is FIFTY TWO times. It is a recurring pattern of behavior.. The post you replied to /quoted said once. Not once a week. For a year.

    Also holy stereotypically 'well actually-ing' someone about something they never said, batman.
    edited June 10
  • KevHexKevHex Member, Premium Posts: 206 Member Member, Premium Posts: 206 Member
    rewair wrote: »
    Let us say your maintenance calories are 2000 a day. Let us say you had a cheat day and ate 3200 calories, you are not going to gain fat/weight by overeating 1200 calories on one day. No worries. I have found over the years if I do have a so called cheat day, which isn't a day, more like one meal I generally feel like crap after I eat it, therefore I don't do it much. Went out for Mexican last week, ate lots of chips and salsa and a big fat Chimi- heart burn city and bloated from what I can estimate to be around 200 carbs in one meal!

    Actually if you are eating at maintenance and overeat by 1200 once a week, you will gain 19 lbs in a year. It’s math.

    Very true and not something many think about when discussing this topic. It is true that you focus on what you measure, whether it is blood pressure, calories, HRV, power/pace, nutrients or bank balance. Just make sure to measure and log everyday, that is the key to long term success (so if you over-eat you have the data to support your choices).

    Personally I hate the term cheat day or meal, make informed choices based on personal goals, and log what you eat. Who are you cheating eating a 2000 cal Dominos pizza???
  • rheddmobilerheddmobile Member Posts: 6,263 Member Member Posts: 6,263 Member
    rewair wrote: »
    Let us say your maintenance calories are 2000 a day. Let us say you had a cheat day and ate 3200 calories, you are not going to gain fat/weight by overeating 1200 calories on one day. No worries. I have found over the years if I do have a so called cheat day, which isn't a day, more like one meal I generally feel like crap after I eat it, therefore I don't do it much. Went out for Mexican last week, ate lots of chips and salsa and a big fat Chimi- heart burn city and bloated from what I can estimate to be around 200 carbs in one meal!

    Actually if you are eating at maintenance and overeat by 1200 once a week, you will gain 19 lbs in a year. It’s math.

    Once a week is not once. Once a week for a year is FIFTY TWO times. It is a recurring pattern of behavior.. The post you replied to /quoted said once. Not once a week. For a year.

    Also holy stereotypically 'well actually-ing' someone about something they never said, batman.

    Most people asking on the forums about a cheat day use that terms to mean once a week. A one time occurrence such as a holiday or a birthday isn’t what’s being discussed here.
    edited June 10
  • KevHexKevHex Member, Premium Posts: 206 Member Member, Premium Posts: 206 Member
    rewair wrote: »
    Let us say your maintenance calories are 2000 a day. Let us say you had a cheat day and ate 3200 calories, you are not going to gain fat/weight by overeating 1200 calories on one day. No worries. I have found over the years if I do have a so called cheat day, which isn't a day, more like one meal I generally feel like crap after I eat it, therefore I don't do it much. Went out for Mexican last week, ate lots of chips and salsa and a big fat Chimi- heart burn city and bloated from what I can estimate to be around 200 carbs in one meal!

    Actually if you are eating at maintenance and overeat by 1200 once a week, you will gain 19 lbs in a year. It’s math.

    Once a week is not once. Once a week for a year is FIFTY TWO times. It is a recurring pattern of behavior.. The post you replied to /quoted said once. Not once a week. For a year.

    Also holy stereotypically 'well actually-ing' someone about something they never said, batman.

    Most people asking on the forums about a cheat day are intending to do it once a week. A one time occurrence such as a holiday or a birthday isn’t what’s being discussed here.

    ^^^ many posts refer to cheat weekends as well, and often state that the person tries “to be good” Monday to Friday. Two steps forward and three steps backwards.

  • mikethewritermikethewriter Member Posts: 6 Member Member Posts: 6 Member
    What about a "treat" day while doing keto?
    It's completely alright to have a cheat day or a treat day while following any kind of diet. In fact, having a regularly scheduled cheat day each week can actually be good because it can reduce cravings, provides a mental break from dieting, and boosts metabolism if it's done in a healthy way.
  • royalkittty237royalkittty237 Member Posts: 1 Member Member Posts: 1 Member
    Hi,
    Yes. In fact, having a regularly scheduled cheat day each week can actually be good for weight loss by preventing binges, reducing cravings, providing a mental break from dieting, and boosting metabolism—if it's done in a healthy way. ... In fact, most don't want to or feel they need to their first few weeks of a diet.
    Expressive Therapy For Depression
    edited 11:37AM
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