Cheat meals

Do you cheat? At what point did you start adding a cheat meal into your weekly routine?

Of course we can't cheat all the time, but at what point did you take a cheat meal? What was your meal? Do you still limit the size of the meal or do you eat all you want for a single meal?


  • waleson85
    waleson85 Posts: 10 Member
    Lol I have been taking cheat meals for all long as I can remember. I don't limit the size of the meal, I go big and heavy. If I get me a fatty burger and fries i large size that sucker. Now days cheat meals depend on what the wife wants to eat lol
  • Bluetail6
    Bluetail6 Posts: 2,823 Member
    I would have to agree with @lynn_glenmont. I occasionally go over calories. But in over a year of losing weight at a nice pace, for me, and being very close to goal; I have never considered it "cheating." No offense to anyone else, but I just don't get the term.
  • Retroguy2000
    Retroguy2000 Posts: 374 Member
    I don't like the term "cheating" either. That implies you are cheating someone else to win, but it's more like the complete opposite of that.

    Some times you'll slip. Best to log it and move on, and if it's a habit then examine why. Or if it's a planned dinner you know is going to be big, you can bank some cals on the days before and after to make up for it so it all averages out for the week, or work out more on the day you're eating more.

    You'll probably get the best results from consistency, a plan you can stick to. Have healthy snacks available if needed. Listen to your body too. Some days you'll feel the need to consume more, but you won't know in advance that it's going to be five days from now during the pre-scheduled "cheat day".
  • Walkywalkerson
    Walkywalkerson Posts: 453 Member
    I prefer to call it 'off plan ' 😄
    I go off plan most weekends.
    It slows my weight loss down - but gives me something to look forward to.
    I usually do it when I have social plans so I can enjoy myself and not worry about calories.
    I still log them - but then I move on and get back on it.
  • EyeOTS
    EyeOTS Posts: 362 Member
    "Zag" isn't as catchy, but it's what I use. As in 'zig-zag' diet.
    "Treat meal" is another term I like. I still log the calories in no matter what it is called.
  • earlnabby
    earlnabby Posts: 8,177 Member
    Scheduling time to overeat seems counter productive to me. There will be days when you overeat. They happen. Sometimes you suspect it ahead of time (like the upcoming Thanksgiving in the US) and other times you don't. When they happen just log it, forget it, and stay on plan.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,204 Member
    I don't have any kind of particular diet plan to cheat on. I eat pretty well nutritionally and my wife and I cook most of our meals and we're both pretty good in the kitchen, so nutritious is also generally pretty delicious. We typically have pizza night once per week, usually Friday evening and I occasionally get a good hankering for some fried chicken or fish 'n chips or something. In the grand scheme of things those indulgences aren't particularly material to the whole so I don't really see it as "cheating". Perhaps if I had some kind of strict diet plan where pizza or something would throw me off plan I might think differently.

    Calorie wise...IDK...I don't log but I've been more or less maintaining for years now, so they must be pretty on point. I'm sure I'm under some days and over some days, but it all nets out. When I want to cut some weight I usually just dial it back on a couple of snacks, caloric beverages, and deserts and that typically works just fine for me.
  • wunderkindking
    wunderkindking Posts: 1,616 Member
    edited November 2021
    I incooperated diet breaks really early where I'd eat at maintenance as part of a strategy. I also always use a weekly calorie goal instead of fussing at daily ones. And I have times/periods/events where I know my intake is going to be high for a meal or so (thanksgiving at my mom's, birthday cake, whatever) where I just shrug and move on and get back to less caloric choices and my normal eating afterward. Sometimes I just really want a donut. I make that donut fit into my weekly balance.

    Basically I just live life and try to keep most of my choices good most of the time and it's been fine.
  • wunderkindking
    wunderkindking Posts: 1,616 Member
    Also what waleson85 up there said - when I am absolutely going to go over and it's things I REALLY want? I'm just eating it. I might shove it into my diary as 'I don't know 10000 calories' re: quick add... I just eat. That happens once a year, maybe twice, but those times are almost always situations like thanksgiving dinner with my family and I don't shove food in like it's some limited resource but I eat everything I want in whatever quantity I want. My only 'restriction' is that if I don't actually want it I don't eat it for manners.

    But it's very 'go big or go home' at those times.
  • nooshi713
    nooshi713 Posts: 4,871 Member
    I try not to because one cheat meal will wipe out my entire week’s deficit.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,279 Member
    To my thinking, cheat meals/days are like Santa Claus is to me as an adult: A pleasant myth. My body's going to count everything eventually: Who or what would I be cheating?

    Some days I eat below my calorie goal; most days right around it; some days above it; occasionally way, way above it. I like to think of those as "decisions", since that makes me feel like I'm in charge. Oh, wait: I actually *am* in charge. 😉😆

    If the issue is more about eating restricted foods, I'm not a fan of that form either. It makes more sense to me to focus on eating mostly foods I really enjoy, and fit in some less nutrient dense, more calorie dense ones when that makes sense as part of routine eating, not putting anything off limits. While I was losing weight, I resolved not to do anything to lose that I wasn't willing to keep up long term in order to stay at a healthy weight, other than a sensibly moderate calorie deficit. Now, close to year 6 of maintenance, I calorie bank (eat a little under maintenance most days) in order to have a bigger-calorie day or meal sometimes, which mostly works out pretty well. (I've been at a healthy weight since that initial loss, after being overweight to obese for about 30 years before that.)

    Different strategies will work for different people, though: If cheat days/meals work for you, go for it, sincerely.
  • TheKookyKiwi
    TheKookyKiwi Posts: 68 Member
    I'm new in my weight loss journey (this time) but yeah I've been down this road before.
    What I learned from last time, and what I'll be applying this time is:

    I know there will be days when I go over budget but as long as they're not completely useless calories then I'm not going to worry about it. Conscious choice not to eat say, a bag of chips, or a bar of chocolate, or a bowl of candy. Perfectly ok to eat dinner out with a cafe salad and glass of cider - the good experience is good for my health too!!

    Currently we tend to have one regular night out eating with friends so I know to plan for it by doing extra exercise that day and as a bonus - my local eatery are superstars - they let me customise my meal to reduce a few calories <3
  • callsitlikeiseeit
    callsitlikeiseeit Posts: 8,633 Member
    i dont believe in cheat meals.

    if i go over my calories because of a holiday or just because .... its tuesday.... okay. its a day. whatever.

    no foods are forbidden in my world. i have chocolate and ice cream and eat out all the time.

    ive lost 230 pounds.

    im doing something right.
  • Xellercin
    Xellercin Posts: 924 Member
    Count me too as someone who doesn't perceive anything as a "cheat meal". There are times where I eat in a way that's consistent with producing weight loss and times that I don't. Just like there are days that I exercise and days that I don't. Days that I focus on self improvement through reading, and days where I binge netflix.

    Overall my lifestyle serves my goals, but not every minute of every day.