"cheat" meals and "free" days.

I hate to even call them that; it's kinda implying you are doing something immoral and bad. Perhaps I should refer to this as "The days when I am going to eat things or portions I normally do not now."

Do any of you do them? Do you do a meal, or a whole day? How often? Once a week, month, etc.

Personally, I do enjoy having a day where I just don't worry about weighing food, measuring out portions, etc. etc. Granted, I still log, but I actually attempt to over-guess, so that it does reflect on my weight loss.

Anyway, if you participate, whats your favorite thing to "go off the grid" with? I love a huge-*kitten* Mexican dinner with the cheese dip, guacamole, chips, something covered in sauce, and a huge margarita.

Now yours.....andddddd GO!
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Replies

  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,650 Member
    Lots of people do them...just keep in mind that it all comes down to the bottom line...if having "cheat" days or meals eats into your overall deficit, you're going to lose weight slower. Honestly, I think this is a big problem for a lot of people who have "issues" losing weight...a great many of them are being good 4 days per week or whatever...but unwinding their deficit with 3 days of whatever.

    the bottom line is the bottom line...it's all in the math. what does the math look like from week to week?
  • ewhip17
    ewhip17 Posts: 515 Member
    I do - occasionally - but I don't plan it. I try to save them for times like events, special occasions, or even for those days where I just plain need it. It also means that I can pick and choose what I'm going to use it on - a month or so ago it was lasagna at a client dinner and it was spectacular. :smile:
  • SnuggleSmacks
    SnuggleSmacks Posts: 3,732 Member
    I don't use those terms. I'm a grownup, making a grownup decision to eat something I want.
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,372 Member
    I have them, typically when I have PMS and I'm not satisfied anyway until I eat 4000 calories or something. It's sad. My last one was actually on Saturday, 2.5 slices of pizza and an ice cream sundae, because I was craving both (then I had some waffles because I was STILL hungry. I ended up at 3700 calories or something).

    The distinction between meal and day is lost on me though, typically if I end up going over, it's because of all the calories of the day, not just one meal, and I'm typically completely full by the time I reach 4000 calories anyway, whether it's in one meal or 3.

    How often? As little as I can, frankly. But I do go over typically at least once a week (although 1000 over is just a couple times a month). If I'm really hungry, I'll eat. I keep a large deficit to make up for it.
  • Need2Exerc1se
    Need2Exerc1se Posts: 13,576 Member
    edited January 2015
    I don't measure or log, so that's not an issue for me. I don't plan days to overeat, but I have them. I also have some very low calorie days.

    It seems a natural way of life to me. I would be miserable trying to eat the same calories every day.

    As to my favorite 'off the grid' meal? Pizza would definitely be a favorite. I'd rather not have pizza if I can only have 1 or 2 slices. Baby back ribs would be another.

    But more often it's when we go out to eat or throw a party or something of that nature.
  • allie_00p
    allie_00p Posts: 280 Member
    ewhip17 wrote: »
    I do - occasionally - but I don't plan it. I try to save them for times like events, special occasions, or even for those days where I just plain need it. It also means that I can pick and choose what I'm going to use it on - a month or so ago it was lasagna at a client dinner and it was spectacular. :smile:

    I do similar to this. I don't plan them because if I really want something I can usually make it fit. But if there is a special event or meal (or I'm just super hungry at the end of the day), I don't worry about it - often when I go in to track it I actually end up within most of my goals, my macros will just be a bit off for that day.
    When I see people do an entire cheat DAY, it just seems like it would be really easy to undo your overall deficit for that week if you make it an entire day. That being said, I suppose it works for some.

  • danaberge
    danaberge Posts: 117 Member
    I feel this way. If I want to eat something, I eat it. I log it and then i'm accountable for what I ate. If I go over, it's because I wanted to. There are things that I wish didn't have calories... but that's fantasy. So, If I really want it, I have it and deal with the calories.
    Many time I have turned down "okay" looking cake, cookies, treats because I just didn't feel it was worth the calories. Other times... you just have to guesstimate and enjoy. Enjoy life!!
  • On Fridays I don't log. It's just for me, and it works for me. I do know that if I go super crazy with it that it will slow my weight loss, but if I don't have it I will go crazy and quit any way. It's a mental break more then a cheat day. I eat what I want to every day, and so it's not like I'm going to go crazy and eat all the food I didn't get throughout the week. And I always have time for a good long walk or other workout on Saturday and Sunday. :)
  • amw1919
    amw1919 Posts: 74 Member
    I never plan an entire day, unless maybe Christmas or Thanksgiving in which I probably wouldn't log anything. I generally know when events and get togethers are coming up so will just be prepared for those. I try to make sure to get a work out in that day and still eat the goodies/snacks/whatever in moderation. I feel that if you have a healthy relationship with food it shouldn't be a big deal to enjoy some good treats now and then.
  • hollyrayburn
    hollyrayburn Posts: 905 Member
    Well, Yeah, I do hope we all eat what we want to lol. I, too, am a grown up, and don't have someone shoving a bottle in my mouth. ;).

    I try to save the "reallly bad" days for a legitimate reason: my TOM, a birthday or event, or "because dang it, yesterday I was sick and I only ate like 600 calories and i puked those up, so F*** it, I do what I want." haha.
  • KHaverstick
    KHaverstick Posts: 308 Member
    Yes. My favorite "off the grid" meal is Mexican. We might go out for Mexican 2-3 times a month, and I don't worry about it. I've been doing it for years, and it hasn't ever interfered with my weight loss. Most of the time I do log it if I eat it, but then also I do sometimes take days off from logging, just as a mental break. I don't necessarily go crazy on those days, but I just don't log anything. Again, it has had no impact on my weight loss.
  • brandi712
    brandi712 Posts: 407 Member
    My "cheat" days are my birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Of course there are days I go over my allotted calories but these days, I don't even log
  • hollyrayburn
    hollyrayburn Posts: 905 Member
    danaberge wrote: »
    I feel this way. If I want to eat something, I eat it. I log it and then i'm accountable for what I ate. If I go over, it's because I wanted to. There are things that I wish didn't have calories... but that's fantasy. So, If I really want it, I have it and deal with the calories.
    Many time I have turned down "okay" looking cake, cookies, treats because I just didn't feel it was worth the calories. Other times... you just have to guesstimate and enjoy. Enjoy life!!

    ^yup. I Had a co-worker bring in some store bought cookies a while back. Like, generic Chips ahoy or something. Nah...I'm good, not gonna waste hundreds of calories on hard stale cookies.

    Now, If my brother makes the homemade cake with the chocolate fudge icing that was perfected by my granny.....it's on. :wink:
  • jamie_lee80
    jamie_lee80 Posts: 176 Member
    I do a cheat meal once a week, either on Friday or Saturday night. My husband and I rotate weeks to pick what restaurant we want to eat at. Whatever day it falls on I try to eat really light all day long and drink lots of water. Last week it was sushi and hibachi on Friday night( my pick), my scale was up a pound the next day and by Sunday I was back to normal. Its his pick this weekend and I am really hoping that he picks pizza! :)
  • klugity
    klugity Posts: 14 Member
    "Cheat meals" are very beneficial - mostly mentally but can be physically as well. Most people who are consistently eating well have troubles with eating the same old boring foods. Having a "cheat meal" is something we can look forward to and help us keep track on our goals. If we did not have a break from our normal food we would be less motivated to stick to it.

    "cheat meal" should be something tastey and delightful but should not be an over indulgence (which I find myself doing lol). A simple slice of pizza and a soda or a cheeseburger from culvers is a great "cheat meal." But eating a chinese buffet of 5000 calories (which I love to do) is just calories I have to burn and make up for from previous weeks progress.
  • hollyrayburn
    hollyrayburn Posts: 905 Member
    klugity wrote: »
    "Cheat meals" are very beneficial - mostly mentally but can be physically as well. Most people who are consistently eating well have troubles with eating the same old boring foods. Having a "cheat meal" is something we can look forward to and help us keep track on our goals. If we did not have a break from our normal food we would be less motivated to stick to it.

    "cheat meal" should be something tastey and delightful but should not be an over indulgence (which I find myself doing lol). A simple slice of pizza and a soda or a cheeseburger from culvers is a great "cheat meal." But eating a chinese buffet of 5000 calories (which I love to do) is just calories I have to burn and make up for from previous weeks progress.

    The problem with chinese food: you eat a ton, consume thousands of calories. you feel heavy and tired...for about 2 hours...then you're hungry again! LOL
  • RainDrops930
    RainDrops930 Posts: 46 Member
    I have a cheat meal once a week, usually on Saturday night. I exercise in the morning, eat very good until dinner. For dinner, I usually go out and eat whatever I want, then I have dessert and any other snacks I want. But come Sunday, I get right back on track until next week! It's been working for me and helping me stay on track. And I've still been losing weight!
  • Need2Exerc1se
    Need2Exerc1se Posts: 13,576 Member
    klugity wrote: »
    "Cheat meals" are very beneficial - mostly mentally but can be physically as well. Most people who are consistently eating well have troubles with eating the same old boring foods. Having a "cheat meal" is something we can look forward to and help us keep track on our goals. If we did not have a break from our normal food we would be less motivated to stick to it.

    Why would eating well mean eating the same old boring foods?
  • megstoo
    megstoo Posts: 47 Member
    I allow a cheat meal/free day once a week... Generally for me this means going out for dinner and having a burger/fries/alcohol (1 drink), or ordering take out pizza with a beer and t.v. It helps me so I don't overinduldge during the week. The cheat meal is something both my husband and I look forward too. It's not a free eat whatever you want day, it's more have things we don't constantly eat.
  • dopeysmelly
    dopeysmelly Posts: 1,390 Member
    Blow-out days are Christmas and Thanksgiving. I do have days/meals I can't realistically log, like meals out (about 1-2x per month) or business trips/vacation, but then I focus on eating in moderation and eating what I enjoy, so I don't go crazy and eat whatever.