Do you plan your cheat meals/days?

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  • amyepdx
    amyepdx Posts: 750 Member
    I plan my cheat meals. I usually log in all my meals that I will eat that day. If I find myself left with calories and some fat. I will add in a cheat meal. Its always best to plan. If your serious about your workout you plan everything. It doesn't matter what day I cheat, as long as I plan ahead after scheduling what I'm suppose to eat for that day.

    But then why is it a "cheat" if you have the calories left?
  • PinkSuede
    PinkSuede Posts: 49 Member
    cldneria21 wrote: »
    Do you guys log your cheat meals on my fitness pal?

    I do unless I'm at a social event grazing on homemade goodies that I can't possibly begin to estimate the calories on. That's rare though. Everything else I log.
  • Christine_72
    Christine_72 Posts: 16,056 Member
    edited September 2016
    cldneria21 wrote: »
    Do you guys log your cheat meals on my fitness pal?

    The first few times i didn't (log it on the day), but then it played on my mind so badly that i ended up logging it all the next day, as i just HAD to know!! I was pleasantly surprised that half the time it wasn't as bad as i thought.. So now i prelog a few days ahead of time usually.
  • TonyB0588
    TonyB0588 Posts: 9,520 Member
    PinkSuede wrote: »
    Im wondering what methods people use for cheats meals or cheat days. Do you find its better for you personally to plan them in advance to keep cravings away or do you keep pushing til the cravings get so bad you'd almost kill someone for a bite of a brownie? And why? I know Ill have to figure out what is best for me personally but Im curious how others approach it.

    What do you mean by craving? Is it that you're very hungry, or just feeling an urge to eat something you haven't had for a long while?

    I wouldn't deliberately plan any aspect of my life around "cheating". Is your calorie goal correctly calculated based on the information you entered in MFP when you started? If you use just a little less than the suggested calories, you should feel okay, and also lose whatever your weight loss goal is.

    One approach I use is that if I see my calories running high during a particular day, I deliberately include additional exercise or physical work like gardening or cleaning in order to balance it out. On the other hand, if I work too hard and burn an excessive amount of calories, it then becomes okay to eat something extra I might not normally have had.
  • Russellb97
    Russellb97 Posts: 1,057 Member
    TonyB0588 wrote: »
    PinkSuede wrote: »
    Im wondering what methods people use for cheats meals or cheat days. Do you find its better for you personally to plan them in advance to keep cravings away or do you keep pushing til the cravings get so bad you'd almost kill someone for a bite of a brownie? And why? I know Ill have to figure out what is best for me personally but Im curious how others approach it.

    What do you mean by craving? Is it that you're very hungry, or just feeling an urge to eat something you haven't had for a long while?

    I wouldn't deliberately plan any aspect of my life around "cheating". Is your calorie goal correctly calculated based on the information you entered in MFP when you started? If you use just a little less than the suggested calories, you should feel okay, and also lose whatever your weight loss goal is.

    One approach I use is that if I see my calories running high during a particular day, I deliberately include additional exercise or physical work like gardening or cleaning in order to balance it out. On the other hand, if I work too hard and burn an excessive amount of calories, it then becomes okay to eat something extra I might not normally have had.

    This is why "cheating" is crappy word for it. The reason most of us are overweight to begin with is because we were not in control.
    When we plan it, we are IN control.

  • HisangelG
    HisangelG Posts: 106 Member
    cldneria21 wrote: »
    Do you guys log your cheat meals on my fitness pal?

    Yes, I do. I've eaten it, so I log it. Every calorie to the best of my ability.
  • galengower
    galengower Posts: 25 Member
    I eat the same thing for breakfast almost everyday. I eat the same thing for lunch, generally, 3-4 days a week. During the week dinner is salad, or fish with vegetables. Usually I'm under after the meals and eat ice cream sandwiches, chips and salsa, or drink a beer. Days when we run or cross-train, I'm well under. Usually on Saturday or Sunday I have a soda and then eat what I want for lunch and dinner. Works for me.
  • slmacl2016
    slmacl2016 Posts: 8 Member
    I try to eat healthy every day. If I want a bite of a brownie - I take a bite or eat half, log it and work the rest of my calories around it. Sometimes when I know I'm going to want a beer or cocktail I tailor my day- eat more veggies and leaner protein so I can fit the beer into my calories for the day. I also drink more water then and walk more. It all counters itself and I don't feel guilty or like I'm cheating. I am making conscious decisions on how I'm going to use my calories. If I want pizza I stick to 1 piece or have a WW pizza and fill up on salad. Too much sodium? More water. It's Ike money - I have so much and I decide how I will spend it. Calories are no different.
  • TonyB0588
    TonyB0588 Posts: 9,520 Member
    I love Cheeerio's, the amount i want doesn't fit well in a deficit. I usually have around 200g plus pb2 and full cream milk. So i save it for an every now and then treat, rather than suffering through a piddly serving size everyday which only makes me want more..

    Serving size for Cheerios is 30g, so you really shouldn't even dream of using 200g at a time!!!

    I check serving sizes a lot more now. I would've eaten a whole pack of sweet biscuits or cookies at once, just because they taste good. Now if the package says Serving Size 4, I only eat 4.

  • Christine_72
    Christine_72 Posts: 16,056 Member
    TonyB0588 wrote: »
    I love Cheeerio's, the amount i want doesn't fit well in a deficit. I usually have around 200g plus pb2 and full cream milk. So i save it for an every now and then treat, rather than suffering through a piddly serving size everyday which only makes me want more..

    Serving size for Cheerios is 30g

    For a child maybe, but no where near enough to satisfy my craving.

  • TonyB0588
    TonyB0588 Posts: 9,520 Member
    Russellb97 wrote: »
    zyxst wrote: »
    Russellb97 wrote: »
    The best realistic advice is to have a "cheat meal" not a "cheat day". If you've worked out and ate at a deficit all week..eating a meal off your plan won't ruin your progress like eating all day long whatever you want.
    Myself.. I eat strict on plan for breakfast and lunch.. I workout.. then I will go out to dinner and just get what I want. Not much damage done at all..and it keeps me sane.

    It's nearly impossible to blow a week of deficits in one day.


    I don't like the word "cheat" for this but for the past 12+ years I have a planned 24-48 hour calorie surplus day/weekend each and every week. I look forward to it all week by taking mental notes of what I'm craving and having them guilt-free in just a few more days. I'm in control, I choose when I eat the foods that used to control me.

    Doing this every week is why I was able to lose 100lbs 12 years ago and another 30lbs since.

    I've been thinking on this post since yesterday. I thought I'd come up with a day of eating that would give me an additional 3500 calories over my 2000 maintenance.

    Breakfast is easy. I'm always down to eat and if I'm going to eat, I'm going to EAT. Here's what I'd get from Smitty's:

    - strawberry pancakes with whipped & strawberry toppings plus 4 slices of bacon: 1282 calories

    Let's keep lunch at home.

    - tuna melt sammich with cheddar cheese, a banana, 50 g Doritos [sweet chili heat], 100 g of chocolate covered almonds, 20 oz Mt. Dew: 1455 calories

    Well, that's 2737 calories. My maintenance is around 2000 depending on exercise for the day, so I'm about 737 over. Only 2763 calories to go!

    Supper is from Swiss Chalet:

    - perogy starter, quarter chicken dinner, white meat with skin, baked potato, white dinner roll, Chalet dipping sauce, coconut cream pie, 20 oz Mt. Dew: 1965 calories

    Total is 4702. I don't think I'd be hungry for my usual evening snack so I'm 798 calories short. I can always eat though, so throw in another 100 g of chocolate covered almonds (510 calories) and it's down to 288 remaining. And you know what? I would not be feeling sick or ready to puke from all that food.

    It's a lot of food isn't it?!

    Of course it's possible to eat over but some people forget that if you had a 3,500 calorie deficit going in you'd have to eat 3,500 calories above maintenance to wipe it out. You got it.

    My day usually is like this;

    Morning:
    Pancakes with maple syrup, sausage and donut #1 - around 1,000 calories

    Mid-Day:
    Fast food burger, fries and shake/ice cream - around 2,000 calories

    Early evening:
    Large meat pizza, donut #2 - around 2,000 calories

    Later evening
    large bowl of ice cream - around 1,000 calories

    Extras:
    During the day I'll have a few other treats - around 500 cals

    For the day I'll be between 5,000-7,500 calories

    So eating the way I do the calories add up quickly and I know I'm a bit extreme with this, but it's how I've lost 130lbs.

    Very interesting. Yesterday I did Breakfast 416, Lunch 511, Dinner 286, Snacks 369; Exercise 219 - Remaining Deficit 447. Even if I ate the 447 calories, my total would only be 2029. And I don't feel hungry or develop any cravings, nor feel a need for a cheat meal or cheat day.
  • TonyB0588
    TonyB0588 Posts: 9,520 Member
    edited September 2016
    TonyB0588 wrote: »
    I love Cheeerio's, the amount i want doesn't fit well in a deficit. I usually have around 200g plus pb2 and full cream milk. So i save it for an every now and then treat, rather than suffering through a piddly serving size everyday which only makes me want more..

    Serving size for Cheerios is 30g

    For a child maybe, but no where near enough to satisfy my craving.

    Nowhere on the package does it say child, but your choice I guess. :)

    Anyway I'm off. Looking at your profile I see it's about midday for you now, and midnight for me.
  • writemusic4him
    writemusic4him Posts: 317 Member
    edited September 2016
    When I started my weightloss, I wanted to become a healthier person, not just lose weight. I didn't just want to be skinnier, but feel better and have better health. For me this including eating healthier foods, not just counting calories and finding a way to fit unhealthy foods in. It took a long time of slowly changing my habits a little more all the time til I was eating more healthy foods than unhealthy foods. I have been working on reducing my sweet tooth lately.

    that said when I first started, I did allow and work in a cheat meal. We grew up having pizza on friday nights. So I allowed myself some pizza on friday nights. When I did any other things like a cheat day or a meal during the day like Sunday lunch or something, I always messed up too much and ruined all the work I did during the week.

    Lately I have been allowing myself an "indulgence" instead of meal or day. If I do good on my diet and exercise all week, then I'll allow myself maybe a Starbucks drink or a krispy kreme donut or something. I don't have to be perfect, just done really well. If I wasn't that great because i was stressed all week and already got a starbucks a time or two, then I bypass any indulgences for the week and stay on track with my diet.

    I guess you could say I've grown with it all, refined it along the way, adjusted for what works for me, etc.
  • writemusic4him
    writemusic4him Posts: 317 Member
    A lot of times hunger has to do with not eating enough protein or fat in a meal. Having a balanced meal with protein, carbs and veggies/fruit, with enough fat in the meal should help hunger. And eating every 3 hours helps a ton too.
  • Return2Fit
    Return2Fit Posts: 226 Member
    I plan them or else run the risk of losing control.
    I am weak when it comes to diet. I need those weekly cheat meals... >:)
  • ultra_violets
    ultra_violets Posts: 202 Member
    edited September 2016
    I eat 1000-1200 calories a day six days a week, but Fridays I eat pretty much what I want. I don't think of it as a cheat day, but as a treat day. If I want cheese fries at lunch, I'm having them. And later, maybe I'll have a piece of cake and one of those little Friendly's sundaes in a cup. I'll nibble and graze, and generally I don't gain at all or I'll gain a pound. I can live with that.
  • shinycrazy
    shinycrazy Posts: 1,081 Member
    I'm a big believer in the mantra proper planning prevents piss poor performance. I generally plan all my meals a day or two in advance. So if I know that I'm having Indian food on Friday night, I'll eat lighter Thursday and the earlier meals on Friday to help give me some wiggle room. Another example, yesterday I left my breakfast and lunch at home and had to make due with the cafeteria at work. I fit my breakfast in and went out for lunch with a friend. Since I already had my dinner planned. I knew what I had available for lunch. Planning makes it way less stressful and I'm less likely to binge because I know when and what my next meal is. I can also plan around cravings and make them fit. Good luck!
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    While I personally don't label foods as good/bad/cheats/clean, I'll never understand the rage in these forums at other people choosing to use these labels.

    Interesting. What posts did you perceive as rageful? I didn't perceive any that way, which makes me wonder if you are referring to quite pleasant posts noting things like "I call them X" or "I don't use the term cheat, but what I do..." and so on.

    I didn't necessarily mean this exact OP but more of an observation of an overarching theme on MFP. With over 20K posts i'm assuming you've read plenty of heated debates on "clean eating" and "cheat days" here, I know I have in the several years i've been on this site.

    Clean eating debates, sure (still no rage, though). Not cheat meals and heated debates so much. Usually people just say "I don't care for the term cheat, but..." as here. I've seen people oppose the whole idea (or the terminology) also, but not express rage about it. I was mostly confused because you brought it up here so I thought you were referring to the posts here.

    Like I said it was just a general observation of the forums from my perspective before I gave my opinion on the OP. I'll have to disagree on the rage part though as I believe I've seen quite a bit but perhaps nastiness is a better word. Regardless I should have been more specific so I apologize for the confusion.

    Here's a pretty typical cheat day/meal thread: http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10430674/cheat-day-yes-or-no/p1

    I actually think the concept (eating more leniently or more calories or having a day off tracking) can be useful for some people, although not everyone, and I don't like it when people claim it's inherently not or bad. I don't use/care for the term "cheat meal" but I know what many people mean and it's usually the same thing I do -- just because you use it doesn't mean you actually feel like you are "cheating," especially if it's planned, of course, although people do get weird about food so I see why some are wary of the term and will warn against it. I honestly see that as well intentioned and a point usually worth discussing, even if it's something I (with no EDs in my past, lucky me) am less likely to be bothered about,* so that's why I get sensitive to the notion that posts like that are mean or nasty or rage-y or whatever. If that's not what you meant, we are talking past each other, no biggie.

    *I also happily use the term "junk food" without thinking the items described are literally junk or shameful to eat or whatever (or even without nutrients -- I call peanut M&Ms junk food, and yet peanuts are nutritious).

    I guess I'm just confused why you're still quoting me and saying we're talking past each other when we're essentially saying the same thing other than the rage comment you don't agree with.

    Because I didn't know if we were saying the same thing. I saw your post as a jab at people saying perfectly pleasant things like "I don't call it a cheat day, but..." as I did. I said we might be talking past each other since I had no idea what posts you were talking about (and I think the rage thing is your imagination, probably).
    I've seen people say things like you're still overweight because you cheat or your life must be sad if you live that way. Those kind of comments seem unhelpful and nasty to me personally. It's my perception and I didn't mention anyone specifically.

    I haven't see such comments, but I actually think it's far kinder and better for discussion if you DO politely disagree with comments you think are inappropriate, such as those, when you see them, so if you are misreading the person it can be cleared up. Even more significant, and my issue here, if you refer to specific comments rather than talking vaguely about people being mean and rude in a discussion, then you don't have people in the discussion wondering if they were meant and feeling misunderstood or like their comments are being distorted. I certainly read a comment like yours in the discussion as referring in some way to comments IN THE DISCUSSION or why else would it be there.

    Anyway, not rageful, just interested in discussion and what leads to communication overall. Obviously if you think I'm off-base here, ignore me, but you asked why I responded/quoted and that's why.

    I haven't noticed people really bothered by others calling it a cheat meal, but (as I said before) I have seen many explaining why they don't. I continue to wonder if you are assuming that explaining this means you are bothered by what others do, and I think (if so), that's an inaccurate interpretation.