Is it okay to have a cheat day once per week?

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Replies

  • danielleg0094
    danielleg0094 Posts: 38 Member
    If you are overeating by 1000 or 2000 calories once a week, it will definitely begin to add on the pounds. If you want to enjoy certain foods that don't fit into your current calorie allowance, then become more active so you burn off the extra calories. I have been maintaining a 55 lb weight loss, enjoying all the foods I want, because I get a lot of exercise. I enjoy it and it helps keep my depression under control. I don't have cheat days, but I do go out to eat occasionally (not much these days) and I eat pizza or ice cream or drink beer when I want.

    So how many cal should I eat per week? If it eat around 1200 per day for maintenance, I may go over a lil bit one day out of the week aside from my cheat day, how much should I eat on my cheat day to avoid from going over my weekly budget?
  • danielleg0094
    danielleg0094 Posts: 38 Member
    It's my opinion that a cheat day once a week is an indication that your usual eating pattern isn't a sustainable weight loss/ maintenance option for you.

    Right but I mean if I am decent one day, why should I not have a bad day out of the week? I have maintained most of my weight loss for the past 3 years
  • danielleg0094
    danielleg0094 Posts: 38 Member
    Is your cheat day because you're meeting with family / friends and eating and drinking more? Or because your calories through the week aren't sufficient so you feel hungry and blow it?

    If it's due to meeting with people, I'd cut a little from each meal during the week (one clice of toast with breakfast, a smaller serving of cereal, one less potato, a smaller portion of pasta, half the amount of cheese topping on whatever, only one small scoop of icecream etc) to bank cals for the so-called cheat day.

    If it's the latter, I'd spend a week or two logging my meals (if not already doing so), including the cheat day, and see how many cals I'm actually eating. I'd then look at whether I could even my week out a bit so that I'm not so hungry after a few days plus I'd look to see how I could also cut 500 hundred cals, on average, per week. I'd also be looking at WHAT I eat - am I eating foods that don't make me feel satiated? Could I eat more protein and veg and less carbs?

    Why do you eat 1200-1500cals a day? What's your maintenance number? You could eat that many as an average per week - and then choose whether to just spread them out through the week or go low on some days to bank for a splurge. I've only maintained fora year, but I haven't gained any pounds back. I have continued tracking and I have continued following the number of cals that MFP suggests is how many I can eat. However, although I try to eat that many each day, due to various factors that doesn't always happen, I'm more concerned about ensuing that my weekly average is on target.

    No, I eat for the sake of getting a break after being good for most of the week. I count calories every day, how can I find out how much I am supposed to eat a week for maintenance purposes?
  • danielleg0094
    danielleg0094 Posts: 38 Member
    Cheat meals turned into cheat life for me (at least food wise!) and that's how I got here in the first place. Trust me..it may be 10 pounds now..but before you know it, it may become 20...then 60...
    That's what happened when I was in my 20s, anyway, especially when I started dating! Lol Why not try eating at maintenance for a day instead just as practice?

    My 1200-1500 a day is for maintenance already, I feel like I need one bad day because I have cravings
  • MsCzar
    MsCzar Posts: 848 Member
    edited February 2021
    Is your daily menu varied and satisfying? There is a big difference between preparing and eating a wide array of delicious foods (including desserts) and subsisting on celery sticks, hard boiled eggs, skim milk and plain chicken breasts. I eat around 1200 calories daily and make sure that every morsel is 100% delicious. Pre-planning allows me to include chocolates, bread and pasta when the mood strikes me. I never feel like I'm deprived and need a calorie blow-out to feel satisfied. Maybe take a good hard look at why you feel you need a massive cheat day as often as every week.
  • danielleg0094
    danielleg0094 Posts: 38 Member
    Well, I think you should do whatever works for you, personally, in the long run.

    If that means you need to overeat once a week, ok.

    Well, for weight loss, in my opinion it is ok to eat more than what MFP has set as a goal for you whenever you want to with the caveat that you still track what you are eating and keep an eye on how many calories you are eating on average within any one week, including the calories you eat on your cheat day. - Be aware of your maintenance calories, too.

    If what you eat in a week exceeds naintanance calories you cannot lose weight on it but will gain, so don't let it get there (or only around Christmas /other important holidays you follow). Otherwise, simply be aware that you will only maintain or will lose weight slower than you would have if you did not have the cheat days.

    I am just looking to maintain, how can I tell what my caloric weekly budget is? My daily budget is 1200, I usually have one day out of the week, aside from my cheat day, where I go over 200 calories


    Where did you get the budget 1200 calories from??

    If you want to maintain your current weight, put your stats in to MFP and select maintain weight - it will tell you how many calories

    One some devices you can set your amount to weekly calories - if not, just manually multiply the daily amount by 7

    If you eat your weekly amount per week, then it doesnt matter if some days are over, some under - as long as average is around the mark

    So if your one day is 200 calories over and the other days you have eaten 200 less over the week, then it evens out

    hard to see how 200 calories over can be 'eating everything you want' though :*

    I have seen what my maintenance daily budget is and when I tried that, I felt bloated & think I would gain weight if I did that ongoing. So eat 200 less everyday except the cheat day & eat 200 more one day?
  • danielleg0094
    danielleg0094 Posts: 38 Member
    MsCzar wrote: »
    Is your daily menu varied and satisfying? There is a big difference between preparing and eating a wide array of delicious foods (including desserts) and subsisting on celery sticks, hard boiled eggs, skim milk and plain chicken breasts. I eat around 1200 calories daily and make sure that every morsel is 100% delicious. Pre-planning allows me to include chocolates, bread and pasta when the mood strikes me. I never feel like I'm deprived and need a calorie blow-out to feel satisfied. Maybe take a good hard look at why you feel you need a massive cheat day as often as every week.

    Do you still disapprove of the cheat day idea?
  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,841 Member
    If it were up to me, I would keep the day eating more food (no need to call it a cheat day if you plan for it!) but add in a day or more of being active. Being completely sedentary 7 days a week is horrible for you and will catch up to you in terms of health eventually.

    You may not be able to eat EVERYTHING you want in one day, even with added activity, but you could raise your calories to offset the exercise and still maintain.

    The thing is, you are not maintaining right now. You are gradually creeping. A cheat day can work for some people but the cheat day isn’t working for you. Think ahead five years, do you want to be 25 lbs overweight? Best to modify your lifestyle now, instead of trying to lose the weight in the future.
  • MsCzar
    MsCzar Posts: 848 Member
    edited February 2021
    It really doesn't matter what a bunch of strangers on an internet forum approve or disapprove of; it's all about what works best for you. If you really love your weekly cheat days and want to keep them, maybe find a way to make them serve you better... like setting a calorie or portion cap. I sometimes declare snack days where I only eat snack-y things. It satisfies my desire for chocolate, popcorn and pork rinds without overloading on calories. Bonus: the next day, I can't wait to get back to eating 'real' meals.
  • corinasue1143
    corinasue1143 Posts: 7,456 Member
    To find your weekly calorie allowance to maintain, count your calories EVERY day for a week, including your cheat day.
    Aim for that much each week for a month or two and see how it goes. If you gain a pound or two, you’ll need to cut back a little.

    If you’ve gained just a little since you started maintenance and would like to lose just a little slowly.
    After you find your true maintenance, if you cut an extra 100 calories off your cheat day, or exercise just 100 extra calories a week worth (that isn’t much). You could lose about 1.5 pounds/year. If you do both, you could lose about 3 pounds a year.
  • callsitlikeiseeit
    callsitlikeiseeit Posts: 8,633 Member
    you can undo a weekly deficit with one day. especially if you are not weighing everything on a food scale or have a small deficit.

    I don't have cheat anything. I make what I want fit. As long as I am under maintenance, being over on calories isn't a big deal.
  • FitAgainBy55
    FitAgainBy55 Posts: 179 Member
    If you've gained 10 lbs over 2-3 years that's 200 - 300+ calories per week. It sounds like you are staying on budget for 6 days and going 200-300 calories over on your cheat days. This matches your weight gain and isn't sustainable without continued weight gain.

    Having said that, there is nothing wrong with going over 1 or 2 days a week if you are under other days to compensate. I generally go over my budget 2 to 3 times per week but on other days I'm under my budget. I don't really consider those cheat days, I just consider them normal life. As long as my total weekly budget is near target, it doesn't matter how those calories are distributed throughout the week. During the week I'm generally 100 - 200 calories under each day and then on the weekends over. I personally think this is a good approach. In fact some people call this calorie cycling and use it during weight loss to mitigate plateaus.

    My recommendation is go back on a weight loss plan and lose some of the weight you've regained but stay under budget a little on those 6 days and then it will be ok to go over budget on that 7th day. I'm also 5'7' but likely a different sex and a different age -- but my goal weight is around 150lbs or less.

    My second recommendation is increase your activity -- assuming you are able bodied ... it isn't healthy (independent of weight) to maintain a completely sedentary lifestyle. Increasing your activity will allow you to eat more -- so it will not only improve your health but will give you margin in your budget for those over days.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,973 Member
    Well, I think you should do whatever works for you, personally, in the long run.

    If that means you need to overeat once a week, ok.

    Well, for weight loss, in my opinion it is ok to eat more than what MFP has set as a goal for you whenever you want to with the caveat that you still track what you are eating and keep an eye on how many calories you are eating on average within any one week, including the calories you eat on your cheat day. - Be aware of your maintenance calories, too.

    If what you eat in a week exceeds naintanance calories you cannot lose weight on it but will gain, so don't let it get there (or only around Christmas /other important holidays you follow). Otherwise, simply be aware that you will only maintain or will lose weight slower than you would have if you did not have the cheat days.

    I am just looking to maintain, how can I tell what my caloric weekly budget is? My daily budget is 1200, I usually have one day out of the week, aside from my cheat day, where I go over 200 calories


    Where did you get the budget 1200 calories from??

    If you want to maintain your current weight, put your stats in to MFP and select maintain weight - it will tell you how many calories

    One some devices you can set your amount to weekly calories - if not, just manually multiply the daily amount by 7

    If you eat your weekly amount per week, then it doesnt matter if some days are over, some under - as long as average is around the mark

    So if your one day is 200 calories over and the other days you have eaten 200 less over the week, then it evens out

    hard to see how 200 calories over can be 'eating everything you want' though :*

    I have seen what my maintenance daily budget is and when I tried that, I felt bloated & think I would gain weight if I did that ongoing. So eat 200 less everyday except the cheat day & eat 200 more one day?


    No.

    If you are eating 200 over one day, you eat 200 less across the other 6 days, not 200 less every day except the cheat day
    Would work out to about 33 less each non cheat day.

    Really hard to see how 200 is a cheat day myself , that's really not much of a splurge

    I had to re-read this numerous times, but the + 200 day is not the cheat day but IN ADDITION to the cheat day.

    So she has five days way below maintenance calories, one day that + 200 calories, AND the cheat day.