Cheat meal/days

whitej1234
whitej1234 Posts: 263 Member
edited February 2019 in Food and Nutrition
Let's get a poll going :)
How often do you have them?
What are you having then?
Do you plan them in advance?
If not planned what is your trigger?

I'll start with my self. My cheat meals are not scheduled but I'm averaging a day in about a couple of weeks (in the past 7 weeks that I'm on this I had 3 days of uncontrollable cheating).
Social outings where I managed to restrain myself (even if I went a bit over the top) are not considered cheating, my triggers so far were either TOM or the day before I exhausted myself too much (to tough training and such).

Your turn!
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Replies

  • jesspen91
    jesspen91 Posts: 1,383 Member
    My 'cheat days' tend to be occasions where calories are difficult to estimate. I don't want to ruin the occasion by doing mental calculations or trawling the database for similar entries so I will allow myself a day/meal off of logging
  • Panini911
    Panini911 Posts: 2,325 Member
    Planned, usually once very 2-3mts and something I can't fit my usual way of saving calories over a few days for a big meal.

    I still eat food I like both daily and weekly and "fit in" bigger meals by working more on a weekly calorie goal VS daily.
  • lalalacroix
    lalalacroix Posts: 883 Member
    I have scheduled and unscheduled maintenance days, which for me is 1950 calories. I don't "cheat" because I don't consider any foods off limits.

    The unscheduled variety may happen due to TOM or could be because I'm feeling extra hungry and need a bit more.

    I currently have two scheduled maintenance weeks after every 10 pounds of loss. This gives me a psychological break from my deficit and helps me practice maintenance as I have no intention of regaining once this weight is off.

    No matter what I always weigh and log my food. I have learned that when I stop weighing and logging is when my weight starts creeping up again.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,993 Member
    edited February 2019
    I guess I'd need a definition of "cheating." I eat well for the most part and I'm big on nutrition...I also like to have pizza and movie night with the wife and kids every couple weeks or so and a little pub grub here and there is awesome. I don't consider those things to be cheating really. I occasionally have days where I eat all of the food, but they don't happen often and never interfered with my weight loss or maintenance.

    When it comes to my health, weight, general well being, I try to keep my eye on the bigger picture in that what I'm doing most of the time is far more important than what I'm doing sometimes, so I've never really perceived these things as "cheating"
  • ahoy_m8
    ahoy_m8 Posts: 2,853 Member
    The cheat day "free for all" concept totally does not work for me. Some days I eat over, some days under. Some weeks I count carefully, some weeks I take a break from tracking. But it all counts, whether I'm counting or not.

    But then, I struggled with binge eating in my past. (Warning: objects in rear view mirror may be closer than they appear). Something about the cheat day/meal concept is incompatible with the mindset that helps me avoid binge eating. Personal opinion.
  • whitej1234
    whitej1234 Posts: 263 Member
    Ok so let's rephrase (since cheating is something you do when your diet is not really balanced, as you guys mentioned).

    How often do you go over your diet by more them let's say 50%? So if you are aiming to 1600, how often do you end up eating 2400+ ? And could you pin point the reason?
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,731 Member
    whitej1234 wrote: »
    Ok so let's rephrase (since cheating is something you do when your diet is not really balanced, as you guys mentioned).

    How often do you go over your diet by more them let's say 50%? So if you are aiming to 1600, how often do you end up eating 2400+ ? And could you pin point the reason?

    Christmas, birthday, the odd special occasion involving super yummy food...
  • lin_be
    lin_be Posts: 393 Member
    whitej1234 wrote: »
    Ok so let's rephrase (since cheating is something you do when your diet is not really balanced, as you guys mentioned).

    How often do you go over your diet by more them let's say 50%? So if you are aiming to 1600, how often do you end up eating 2400+ ? And could you pin point the reason?

    Maybe once a month. The reason was I drank a lot and got a cheeseburger and fries at 3am.

    Otherwise, I plan everything. If I know I’m going to dinner during the weekend, I bank 100 calories a day so it balances out. I rarely go over my calories on purpose, sometimes it just happens but it’s never a “plan on going over my calorie budget” day. I can’t do that with money so, can’t do it with food either.
  • sardelsa
    sardelsa Posts: 9,826 Member
    whitej1234 wrote: »
    Ok so let's rephrase (since cheating is something you do when your diet is not really balanced, as you guys mentioned).

    How often do you go over your diet by more them let's say 50%? So if you are aiming to 1600, how often do you end up eating 2400+ ? And could you pin point the reason?

    In a deficit, weekly, for two days usually. I calorie cycle so I will do two days around 1700, three days around 2100 and two days around 2600 or so. It isn't exact since I don't track 100% but basically that is the flow of it.

    The higher days are higher in carbs, so essentially refeeds. I do it for adherence and improved workout performance.
  • Duck_Puddle
    Duck_Puddle Posts: 3,227 Member
    edited February 2019
    whitej1234 wrote: »
    Ok so let's rephrase (since cheating is something you do when your diet is not really balanced, as you guys mentioned).

    How often do you go over your diet by more them let's say 50%? So if you are aiming to 1600, how often do you end up eating 2400+ ? And could you pin point the reason?

    Typically weekly. My calorie goal is petty low (I’m older, shorter and quite sedentary aside from exercise). I have a higher day because I can’t usually fit many “fun” foods into my daily goal without being hungry (as my fun foods are typically high calorie, low volume and not particularly satiating). I can save 100 here, 200 there, eat less on a day with a moderate run, etc. and save all those calories up for a higher calorie day.

    I eat to my weekly goal. One of those days tends to be well above my goal-often above my maintenance (which is also pretty low).

    If you’re having completely out of control days, that’s something else.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,993 Member
    whitej1234 wrote: »
    Ok so let's rephrase (since cheating is something you do when your diet is not really balanced, as you guys mentioned).

    How often do you go over your diet by more them let's say 50%? So if you are aiming to 1600, how often do you end up eating 2400+ ? And could you pin point the reason?

    I would say very rarely to never. My weight loss calories are around 2300-2500 so going over by 50% would mean 3,450 - 3,750 calories in a day and that would be a rarity, even for a birthday or holiday or something. My maintenance calories are around 2800-3000 on average depending and if I over eat while dieting it's usually only maintenance or thereabouts.
  • kami3006
    kami3006 Posts: 4,978 Member
    whitej1234 wrote: »
    Ok so let's rephrase (since cheating is something you do when your diet is not really balanced, as you guys mentioned).

    How often do you go over your diet by more them let's say 50%? So if you are aiming to 1600, how often do you end up eating 2400+ ? And could you pin point the reason?

    I follow a weekly calorie goal so if I want something calorie dense it fits into my weekly number. I maintain on 1600 plus exercise so some days may be 1800 some may be 1400 but they average out.

    I haven't felt the need to have a blow out of a day in years since I can have what I want within my calories already.
  • Panini911
    Panini911 Posts: 2,325 Member
    whitej1234 wrote: »
    Ok so let's rephrase (since cheating is something you do when your diet is not really balanced, as you guys mentioned).

    How often do you go over your diet by more them let's say 50%? So if you are aiming to 1600, how often do you end up eating 2400+ ? And could you pin point the reason?

    very rarely. maybe 1-2days in the year? would usually cut back a few days before or add exercise to be at maintenance over that week.
  • lalalacroix
    lalalacroix Posts: 883 Member
    whitej1234 wrote: »
    Ok so let's rephrase (since cheating is something you do when your diet is not really balanced, as you guys mentioned).

    How often do you go over your diet by more them let's say 50%? So if you are aiming to 1600, how often do you end up eating 2400+ ? And could you pin point the reason?

    I would say rarely or never. I do earn a lot of exercise calories so if I want a much higher eating day then I am still in a deficit no matter what. I also track my calories weekly. If I have a higher eating day then I will usually be much less hungry the next.


  • skelterhelter
    skelterhelter Posts: 793 Member
    I usually have one meal a week where I'm loose on the logging and eat something I really, really want but don't normally eat during the week. This typically occurs on Saturdays when my friend and I grab lunch together. I rarely even go overboard with that, and don't go over my maintenance calories. If the weight comes off slower, so be it. This isn't a race and I need it to keep sane.
  • RunnerGrl1982
    RunnerGrl1982 Posts: 412 Member
    whitej1234 wrote: »
    Ok so let's rephrase (since cheating is something you do when your diet is not really balanced, as you guys mentioned).

    How often do you go over your diet by more them let's say 50%? So if you are aiming to 1600, how often do you end up eating 2400+ ? And could you pin point the reason?

    Rarely. I run a lot of mileage per week; so I'm always stuffing my face for the most part. I will say on my weekend long runs - I will eat over my daily calorie allowance by the numbers you placed above, because I need to eat all those calories back to fuel myself and provide the proper nutrition to sustain my energy levels.

    It'd have to be a special occasion in order for me to want to eat that much over my maintenance level and really splurge. I have been very lucky and thankful I do not seem to have those urges to do so.

  • Bry_Fitness70
    Bry_Fitness70 Posts: 2,484 Member
    I think it is more satisfying and less disruptive to allow yourself 3-4 "cheat" meals/snacks throughout the week rather than pile them all into a single day.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 25,225 Member
    whitej1234 wrote: »
    Ok so let's rephrase (since cheating is something you do when your diet is not really balanced, as you guys mentioned).

    How often do you go over your diet by more them let's say 50%? So if you are aiming to 1600, how often do you end up eating 2400+ ? And could you pin point the reason?

    Varies.

    I calorie bank, and now - in maintenance - I don't even really manage to a weekly net, it's more random than that, with more emphasis on scale weight as a control factor beyond weekly net. (Non-fluctuation scale weight, BTW: After almost 4 years of logging, I have a pretty good operational understanding about what's a fluctuation and what's not.)

    I keep my daily goal at a level that's very manageable/enjoyable and lets me tick all my nutritional boxes, but creates banked calories. This is because I enjoy having a very indulge-y experience now and then. Guessing, I probably do (goal x 1.5) once a week on average: Sometimes less often, sometimes more often? (That's 1.5 x the below-TDEE daily goal, not 1.5 x TDEE.)

    I wouldn't have answered the cheating question, BTW, because this is a plan, not a cheat. ;)
  • whitej1234
    whitej1234 Posts: 263 Member
    Christmas, birthday, the odd special occasion involving super yummy food...
    So you manage to overeat only when it is very very worth it? Highly impressed!
    lin_be wrote: »
    Otherwise, I plan everything. If I know I’m going to dinner during the weekend, I bank 100 calories a day so it balances out. I rarely go over my calories on purpose, sometimes it just happens but it’s never a “plan on going over my calorie budget” day. I can’t do that with money so, can’t do it with food either.
    I sometimes wish food budgeting was more like money budgeting. The main difference is that you never really know your income or how much you spend in precise (Sort of like trying to keep a budget when the bank statements are only estimates. Bah.
    I eat to my weekly goal. One of those days tends to be well above my goal-often above my maintenance (which is also pretty low).
    If you’re having completely out of control days, that’s something else.
    Weekly goals are such a good idea actually, was doing that for a while but now just went back to having batter and worse days, without summing them into a week (More of keeping the number of overdoing days to a minimum).
    I would say rarely or never. I do earn a lot of exercise calories so if I want a much higher eating day then I am still in a deficit no matter what. I also track my calories weekly. If I have a higher eating day then I will usually be much less hungry the next.
    That's actually interesting so let's say you would go on a very restrictive diet of 1200 cal and then do hard exercise that earns you 800 more which you eat back (total 2000), are you as hungry as you were if you would not do exercise and have 1200? Basically when you exercise hard what is easier to maintain the day with restricted food or the day with eating back calories? On days I have hard exercise I actually find it harder the next day to keep within calories so I would say from a CICO prospective only, exercise just makes it harder to stay satisfied.

    I think it is more satisfying and less disruptive to allow yourself 3-4 "cheat" meals/snacks throughout the week rather than pile them all into a single day.
    Well I do a "cheat-day" much less often then once a week, therefore I would guess a meal a week should work, though can't say this helps my to stay on track.
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    I calorie bank, and now - in maintenance - I don't even really manage to a weekly net, it's more random than that, with more emphasis on scale weight as a control factor beyond weekly net. (Non-fluctuation scale weight, BTW: After almost 4 years of logging, I have a pretty good operational understanding about what's a fluctuation and what's not.)
    That understanding of fluctuations is exactly what I want to achieve. I just really need to find the patterns my body works with otherwise I'm left guessing all the time.
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    I keep my daily goal at a level that's very manageable/enjoyable and lets me tick all my nutritional boxes, but creates banked calories. This is because I enjoy having a very indulge-y experience now and then. Guessing, I probably do (goal x 1.5) once a week on average: Sometimes less often, sometimes more often? (That's 1.5 x the below-TDEE daily goal, not 1.5 x TDEE.)

    I wouldn't have answered the cheating question, BTW, because this is a plan, not a cheat. ;)

    Yes by Goal I meant not maintenanceX1.5 but loosing weight cal goal which is usually 20%-40% less then the TDEE (depends on how strict you go).