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

13

Replies

  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 46,508 Member
    edited February 2021
    Not if that cheat day blows your whole weight loss achievements. You'll be stuck at the same weight forever. People tend to want a cheat day or meal because they tend to over deprive themselves and/or think that what they cheat with is taboo. It's still just calories we're talking about.

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  • SunnyBunBun79
    SunnyBunBun79 Posts: 2,228 Member
    I think you can eat all the foods you want, if you are sticking to your calorie limit everyday. That way you wont be cheating at all. Just plan your day and fit in some fun food and make sure you eat plenty of protein!
  • danielleg0094
    danielleg0094 Posts: 38 Member
    qhob_89 wrote: »
    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

    From what I looked up your maintenance is actually around 1900. You need to change your way of thinking or you won’t be successful at losing weight or maintaining it. You have cravings because you are restricting too much. You have a similar thread you started about gaining weight based on your habits (eating late). You never answered my question there. In your other thread you said you’re eating bread, pasta, etc around midnight 2-3 times a week. Why? I’m assuming it’s because you’re starving and binge. You can continue to ask people on this forum if x behavior is going to make you gain weight or if y behavior is going to make you obese. They can only go off of the info you give them and I don’t think you’re being honest. I’ve seen conflicting info. You say you’re sticking to 1200 calories, except “one bad day” but on your other thread you say you’re eating calorie heavy foods at midnight a few times a week. (From my experience, if I was eating bread and pasta at midnight- there’s no way I’d be hitting 1200 calories!) I believe you are in a restrict/binge cycle. If you aren’t going to be 100% honest with yourself, you’re going to gain weight. 1200 calories isn’t sustainable, as you’re finding out. I feel like you’re on the same path I was 20+ times. Adjust your calorie intake, track what you’re consuming honestly, and hold yourself accountable. You’re looking for people here (without all the info) to tell you that your behavior won’t make you gain weight so you can justify maintaining that behavior. People have tried to give you helpful advice and multiple times you just shoot back the question “but will this make me gain weight?” Look through the advice, and quit obsessing over your behavior and adjust it. These forums are a gold mine of awesome information from a lot of really helpful people who have been successful! Doing the same thing over and over again, will yield the same results over and over again. If you want to be successful take their advice and info to heart.

    To answer your question about eating carbs late at night. It is around at most maybe 1500 calories on those days. yes, I eat pasta and bread. The pasta serving isnt that huge but its still big, probably a little smaller than what you would get at olive garden? Anyway, on those days, for the rest of the day I may have a smoothie or jimmy dean delight sandwich or something else on the lighter side like a salad from chipotle. To balance the pasta from midnight. Does it make sense and add up now?
  • danielleg0094
    danielleg0094 Posts: 38 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.

    So you are saying that this one day will ruin my calorie budget for the entire week?
  • paperpudding
    paperpudding Posts: 7,754 Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    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.

    Oh Ok..that is really confusing .

    could you clarify if this is what you are doing OP?



  • Redordeadhead
    Redordeadhead Posts: 1,191 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.

    So you are saying that this one day will ruin my calorie budget for the entire week?

    It can do. It depends on what you eat and how much.

    Log everything you eat for a month. Look at how many calories you're consuming per week. If you're gaining, even slowly, you're eating more than your Maintenance number. Only you can know what / where you can cut a little to ensure that your average puts you at the weight you want to be.

    Exactly this. It's all about the overall calorie balance OP.

    For a simple example, let's say my maintenance number is 2,000 calories per day (14,000 per week). If Mon-Sat I eat 1500 (total 9,000) and Sunday I eat 3,000, I will still lose weight as overall, I consumed 12,000 calories, which is below my maintenance of 14,000.

    However, if Mon-Sat I eat 1,800 (10,800, still a deficit) but on Sunday I eat 3,500, my overall weekly calories are 14,300 and I will slowly gain weight. That one day of surplus cancelled out the deficit of the other 6 days.
  • danielleg0094
    danielleg0094 Posts: 38 Member
    OP, in one of your other threads you mentioned you *thought* you were eating 1200-1500. I can't remember if you answered this question, but how are you actually measuring your intake? Are you using a food scale/measuring cups/just eyeballing things?
    If the answer is the 2nd or 3rd option I listed, there's a very high chance you're eating a lot more than you think you are.

    I usually eat out and the restaurants have the nutrition info. When it comes to snacks, those can be measured with cups & a lot of the frozen foods I eat have nutrition info on the back as you know
  • danielleg0094
    danielleg0094 Posts: 38 Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    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.

    Oh Ok..that is really confusing .

    could you clarify if this is what you are doing OP?



    That's correct. I count using mfp, my intake is 1200 calories 5 days out of the week, maybe 1400 another day & I have a cheat day on the other.
  • danielleg0094
    danielleg0094 Posts: 38 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    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.

    So you are saying that this one day will ruin my calorie budget for the entire week?

    Let's do an example. If I'm set up to lose a pound a week, I have a 500 calorie daily deficit. If I stick with that 6 days a week, and have a blow-out one day a week where I eat 3000 calories over maintenance (a thing I'm 100% capable of doing, and more, with relative ease), I've reduced my average daily deficit to zero, because the 6 days of deficit at 6x500=3000 are exactly equal to the 3000 calories over maintenance on the blow-out day. Make that blow-out another 500 calories, and I'll gain weight at a rate of a pound in just under every 2 months.

    So, yes, it can happen. Log your cheat day, even if you have to estimate. Then you'll have a better idea.

    If your weight is creeping upward over a long-ish period of time (multi-week and beyond), you're eating above your maintenance calories on average, one way or another. It could be via logging inaccurately, it could be via cheat days, it could be by overestimating exercise calories or activity level, it could be because of being a statistical outlier who requires fewer calories that most people your age/size . . . . but one way or another, creeping weight gain over a long time period is eating above maintenance calories.

    To add to that, I have seen people lose weight & after a few years they look kinda bigger. I mean the ones that have maintained their weight for the most part. I have maintained my weight for the past 3 years pretty much, no more than 10 lbs. I know it is not ideal to gain but it's not the worst either. When people lose a lot of weight, they tend to look very thin & kind of out of place sometimes. Over time, the weight fills in and they look more average, do you get what I mean?
  • danielleg0094
    danielleg0094 Posts: 38 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.

    So you are saying that this one day will ruin my calorie budget for the entire week?

    It can do. It depends on what you eat and how much.

    Log everything you eat for a month. Look at how many calories you're consuming per week. If you're gaining, even slowly, you're eating more than your Maintenance number. Only you can know what / where you can cut a little to ensure that your average puts you at the weight you want to be.

    Exactly this. It's all about the overall calorie balance OP.

    For a simple example, let's say my maintenance number is 2,000 calories per day (14,000 per week). If Mon-Sat I eat 1500 (total 9,000) and Sunday I eat 3,000, I will still lose weight as overall, I consumed 12,000 calories, which is below my maintenance of 14,000.

    However, if Mon-Sat I eat 1,800 (10,800, still a deficit) but on Sunday I eat 3,500, my overall weekly calories are 14,300 and I will slowly gain weight. That one day of surplus cancelled out the deficit of the other 6 days.

    Understood
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 25,762 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    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.

    So you are saying that this one day will ruin my calorie budget for the entire week?

    Let's do an example. If I'm set up to lose a pound a week, I have a 500 calorie daily deficit. If I stick with that 6 days a week, and have a blow-out one day a week where I eat 3000 calories over maintenance (a thing I'm 100% capable of doing, and more, with relative ease), I've reduced my average daily deficit to zero, because the 6 days of deficit at 6x500=3000 are exactly equal to the 3000 calories over maintenance on the blow-out day. Make that blow-out another 500 calories, and I'll gain weight at a rate of a pound in just under every 2 months.

    So, yes, it can happen. Log your cheat day, even if you have to estimate. Then you'll have a better idea.

    If your weight is creeping upward over a long-ish period of time (multi-week and beyond), you're eating above your maintenance calories on average, one way or another. It could be via logging inaccurately, it could be via cheat days, it could be by overestimating exercise calories or activity level, it could be because of being a statistical outlier who requires fewer calories that most people your age/size . . . . but one way or another, creeping weight gain over a long time period is eating above maintenance calories.

    To add to that, I have seen people lose weight & after a few years they look kinda bigger. I mean the ones that have maintained their weight for the most part. I have maintained my weight for the past 3 years pretty much, no more than 10 lbs. I know it is not ideal to gain but it's not the worst either. When people lose a lot of weight, they tend to look very thin & kind of out of place sometimes. Over time, the weight fills in and they look more average, do you get what I mean?

    Maybe, kind of, but not exactly.

    I lost weight 5 years ago, after decades previously of obesity. I've mostly been maintaining, but recently (re-)losing a few vanity pounds ultra-slowly.

    If I stay in a calorie deficit for an extended period, I think there's a bit of glycogen depletion that conspires with loose skin (that hasn't had enough time to shrink yet), and I'll look a bit haggard. (I'm old, so haggard is easy to accomplish.) If I eat over maintenance calories for one day, I can get a little water retention that temporarily plumps things out a tiny bit, maybe lose the haggard look somewhat. Or, if I stop losing and eat at maintenance for a while (few weeks to few months), same effect, but maybe more from a bit of glycogen replenishment, and some subtle skin shrinkage (yes, even at my age).

    Generally, there is no significant scale-weight gain that accompanies any of that, other than just the bit of extra water retention that comes from extra carbs/sodium when going to maintenance calories. That's a pound or two, maybe. It's not 10 pounds. Ten pounds over a period of time, for me, would be fat re-gain. (And I've done a bit of that, too, hence the recent re-loss of a few pounds. I know the difference.)

    I don't care, one way or another, about the appearance side of this. I'm probably one of the less appearance-sensitive women I know. These are just observations of myself.
  • paperpudding
    paperpudding Posts: 7,754 Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    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.

    Oh Ok..that is really confusing .

    could you clarify if this is what you are doing OP?



    That's correct. I count using mfp, my intake is 1200 calories 5 days out of the week, maybe 1400 another day & I have a cheat day on the other.


    Well in that case, whether you will lose weight depends on your average daily intake.

    If , on average, you are eating more than your daily allowance (and that before issues of inaccurate recording) you will not lose weight.