What is a cheat day?

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jjasmelon
jjasmelon Posts: 101
edited January 2015 in Health and Weight Loss
I'm reading a lot about it, websites saying it is essential to have atleast one during the day.

But what does it mean? Like how many calories can I eat on a cheat day?

Do you do it? & have you still lost weight by doing it

Replies

  • Liftng4Lis
    Liftng4Lis Posts: 15,150 Member
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    I don't do cheat days, because "cheating" implies I'm doing something wrong. I eat what I want everyday, in moderation and make it fit into my caloric allowance.
  • zipa78
    zipa78 Posts: 354 Member
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    Yes, I have the occasional cheat day. And no, it does not imply that I'm doing anything wrong, it's just a friggin' term that everyone "in the trade" understands.

    There are no rules for cheat days, you'll have to figure them out by yourself. What works for me will probably not work for you, but here are my "rules":

    - Must hit protein target.
    - Try to stay below 5000 kcal for the day, preferably under 4500.
    - No more than twice a month.
  • Sued0nim
    Sued0nim Posts: 17,456 Member
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    jjasmelon wrote: »
    I'm reading a lot about it, websites saying it is essential to have atleast one during the day.

    But what does it mean? Like how many calories can I eat on a cheat day?

    Do you do it? & have you still lost weight by doing it

    Just stick to your calorie defecit to lose weight and don't overthink it

    Why would you be thinking of "cheating" before you've started on your journey?

    This is where you need to ignore all the noise, tips and tricks and just focus on weighing, logging and eating at a defecit

    Once you're off the ground and finding it easier you can look at tips and decide for yourself.

    Personally I never "cheat" don't need to because I eat everything ...occasionally I've had a week or two at maintenance calories, mainly over holidays...but I still don't cheat I just log to maintenance
  • Lasmartchika
    Lasmartchika Posts: 3,440 Member
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    When I first started, yes. But only because I thought there were foods that I couldn't or shouldn't eat, so I ate a cheat MEAL once a week. But then I realized that that's not the case. As Lis mentioned above, I can eat what I want as long as I can make it fit into my daily calories. Therefore, I don't feel deprived of anything, no need for a cheat meal or day. Besides, doing that kinda kills your weekly hard work and you either don't lose and gain or you lose less than what you wanted. :flowerforyou:
  • jjasmelon
    jjasmelon Posts: 101
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    Thanks all! :)
  • malibu927
    malibu927 Posts: 17,565 Member
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    It's not "essential". I've never had one. Eat what you want in moderation, that way you won't be tempted to undo a week's work in one day.
  • Camo_xxx
    Camo_xxx Posts: 1,082 Member
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    You are doing this for yourself, for your health, for your self esteem , for your sanity, for your life. Why would you want to cheat yourself ?
    Save the cheating for doing your taxes and be true to yourself.
  • SergeantSausage
    SergeantSausage Posts: 1,673 Member
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    If you feel the need for a cheat day, then you're doin' it wrong.
  • Sabine_Stroehm
    Sabine_Stroehm Posts: 19,263 Member
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    I don't cheat on my life. To me, if you're creating cheat days, you're not doing something sustainable.
    I *do* have indulgences from time to time. I *do* celebrate things in life. I *do* eat yummy treats sometimes. I *do* drink wine.

    I don't do free for all eating as many "cheat day" posts and threads here describe.
  • Revonue
    Revonue Posts: 135 Member
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    It's not essential to have one, but if you want one every once in a while, personally I feel like they are a nice treat to have :) How often is up to you, but personally I don't like to do any more than once a week. I didn't find that it ruined my progress. The problem comes when one indulgence turns to another...and another...and another.

    Everything in moderation...including moderation! Lol!
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,867 Member
    edited January 2015
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    It's basically a "whatever" day...the amount of calories you eat or what you eat, etc is up to you...there's not like any rules or anything.

    Just keep in mind that the bottom line is the bottom line...I know people who completely undo 4 or 5 days of deficit eating with one cheat meal and then they complain that they don't lose weight...they don't lose weight because they're being stupid. When I was trying to lose weight, the most I would go to is maintenance.
  • Moriarty_697
    Moriarty_697 Posts: 226 Member
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    I do cheat days and I'm still losing weight. I've tried to improve them of late so it isn't really a lost day, more just a lost meal. I don't really care about the semantics. To me, it's a cheat day because I'm cheating on my healthier routine and I'm more than good with that. I just try to keep them to a minimum and then I make damn sure I crawl back on the wagon the next day.
  • lacroyx
    lacroyx Posts: 5,754 Member
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    I keep my calories intake at maintenance levels and do cheat day once every 2 weeks. Typically it's pizza and beer. Oh and I follow different version of IIFYM ( If It Fits Your Macros) on cheat days. I do If It Fits Your Mouth
  • avskk
    avskk Posts: 1,789 Member
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    I have a theory that "cheat days" are a tool of the diet industry designed to undo the work done in the rest of the week so that people stay fat and keep buying fad diets. Seriously, why else is this idea so pervasive?

    If you want to succeed, be consistent. Figure out what you're actually doing -- creating a calorie deficit -- and stick with it. If you want a day or two to indulge, eat less on the other days so your weekly or monthly deficit remains constant. Stop calling it "cheating," because this isn't a test or a teenage romance. Track it faithfully so you know whether you're wiping out your deficit; if you are wiping out your deficit, stop splurging so much. This method doesn't have a catchy name, but it does actually work.
  • Marianna93637
    Marianna93637 Posts: 230 Member
    edited January 2015
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    I didn't do it for the first 6 weeks (didn't think about it). I don't actually call it a cheat day, because I'm not cheating, it's a relaxing day. That means I allow myself to go over my limit, but I still log everything, I still make healthy choices (for the most part) I just just eat more or higher calorie foods.
    For example if I go out, I know I will go over, because most restaurants have high calorie foods, for example PF Changs, the average is 800. Or I want to have a couple of drinks, even if I drink it as a skinny Margarita, a couple can be 2-300 calories.

    By doing this, I know I'm not depriving myself, there is a day when i can eat something I wouldn't normally eat on regular days, so it's not a neverending restriction.
    By the way I only go over 400-500 calories at the most, I couldn't think about eating 2000.

    This week I didn't really have one, Friday i went over with 250 (it just happened) I don't think that qualifies as a big deal, I was saving it for Saturday, but then plans changed, I didn't go out, so I actually did well.

    You can have a cheating day and still lose, because losing is not based on 1 day. You can have 6 excellent days and 1 not so great and you're doing a good job. If you have a cheating day 3 times / week, then that's not gonna work.
  • scottacular
    scottacular Posts: 597 Member
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    jjasmelon wrote: »
    I'm reading a lot about it, websites saying it is essential to have atleast one during the day.

    But what does it mean? Like how many calories can I eat on a cheat day?

    Do you do it? & have you still lost weight by doing it

    It's not essential, but they can be fun and not cause any hindrance to your long term goal. I used to do them on a Saturday after weighing myself on the Friday and would always be 1 lb lighter at least the next time. There are no rules to them, it's free reign to eat whatever you want in whatever quantity you desire. No calorie counting involved. But on the flipside, the feelings of guilt and how you feel inside may well suffer. This is why I stopped doing them years ago. I believe cheat meals are a better way to go, an occasional extra meal on top of your macros allowance where you can indulge in something. No counting involved, just a big plate/bowl of whatever you fancy. How often this happens depends entirely on your goal, how close you are to it, your energy levels, performance in the gym, etc.
  • cardbucfan
    cardbucfan Posts: 10,410 Member
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    I eat everything within moderation all the time. I've been doing this for 4 years and have been maintaining within a 5 lb range for three of those. I've recently put myself back in losing mode to strip off some more body fat. When I keep my calories under 1800, I lose weight and I try to log everything even if I go over.

    There are those occasional events that come along though (like weddings, holidays, special once a year celebrations) where I have zero intention of logging. I will workout extra hard during the week, eat lighter during the week or day if it's an evening event and then just enjoy myself. If I don't lose any weight that week I know why (and even if there's a gain it's typically because of sodium) but I'm in this for the long haul and I refuse to spend time at a party logging or keeping track of every nibble I have especially when I don't make it. I don't consider it "cheating" because this is how I do it and what works for me.
  • _Terrapin_
    _Terrapin_ Posts: 4,301 Member
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    In West Virginia it is a day spent on the river.