Cheat day, cheat meal or none

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Curious as to what other people do / prefer.
My own preference is a "cheat meal" a week, although I don't really refer to it as cheating, more like a moment of sweet satisfaction, properly planned and accounted for. (This week I'm having a slice of cake for dessert on Friday)

Cheat day, cheat meal or none 40 votes

Cheat day
5% 2 votes
Cheat meal
32% 13 votes
None
62% 25 votes
«1

Replies

  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 9,462 Member
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    Like Litchi, I don't deprive myself of anything. As such I don't do any cheat days or somesuch. I plan my dinner (kind of) and make it fit into my calorie allowance when cooking. The idea of 'today is Saturday. I now may have abc' just doesn't mean anything to me. As I eat everything I like I'm never really in the situation where I think that I really need something special now.
  • pnrbor
    pnrbor Posts: 56 Member
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    I think it's fine if you can stick to one. I can't. I go downhill once I start.
  • dragengofit
    dragengofit Posts: 21 Member
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    Lietchi wrote: »
    I don't like the word 'cheat', seems to have moral implications which goes very badly with food in my world.

    The definition of 'cheat' can vary.

    Cheat as in 'over calorie goal':
    It happens on a fairly regular basis (by a small amount of calories), but I aim to stay on track when looking at my weekly average. I have the occasional 'way over' day (family dinner for example) but it m evens out in the long term.

    Cheat as in 'eat treat foods I don't usually eat':
    I don't deprive myself of anything, I eat foods I like all the time, both nutritious and less nutritious. The high calorie ones less frequently than the lower calorie ones, obviously, within my calorie budget.
    I have treat foods every day.

    Cheat as in 'not log my food':
    Never. Perhaps I will find a way to maintain my weight within logging, but I'm not there yet 🙂

    I agree - that is how I go about it as well :smile: I don't think of it as cheating as long as I properly plan and allow for (whatever) I want to include. Just appears like the phrases "cheat days" or "cheat meals" appear all over, so curious what others think :smile:
  • no1wf
    no1wf Posts: 36 Member
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    No such thing, I have ice cream with chocolate sauce every night, if you account for it then every day is a cheat day!
  • MaggieGirl135
    MaggieGirl135 Posts: 981 Member
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    I don’t have cheat days or meals, but most maybe would say I do. I don’t get too wired about the word cheat. I follow my calorie allotment and exercise most days. I don’t track calories at all on vacation or special events, but get right back at it afterwards. It can take a week or two to undo a week’s long vacation’s weight gain, but I’m okay with that. I’m only a couple pounds from maintenance now, but I did this all along.
  • dragengofit
    dragengofit Posts: 21 Member
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    Deviette wrote: »

    Sorry for the rant, I just really hate the phrase cheat day.

    No need to say sorry - absolutely agree :smile: as said above, just curious what people think :smile:
  • azuki84
    azuki84 Posts: 212 Member
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    Just incorporate it with your daily or weekly meal plan.
  • jtechmart
    jtechmart Posts: 67 Member
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    I've tried the cheat meal approach and I haven't found it works. When I'm cutting if I have a bag of popcorn, chips, or some breakfast bars in a few boxes, its all going to get eaten within a day or 2. Its too addictive. I'm working on no cheat meals and sticking with health foods 7 days a week. Then, on occasion when you are out with friends, or a business function, or whatever, have a slice of pizza. But, its not something I want to incorporate into my weekly diet. I wind up always binging out and it kills my progress, momentum and mood.
  • Walkywalkerson
    Walkywalkerson Posts: 453 Member
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    A 'cheat' day can wipe out my deficit for the week.
    And I find it hard to get back on it afterwards so I tend to just try and fit everything in my calorie goal.
    Obviously it doesn't always work out that way and I go way over - but I log it and move on.
    Planning to have days off plan gives my stupid brain permission to go all out - and I can consume a lot of food in a day!
    Even in a meal!
    I had a Five Guys burger and fries the other week and it wiped out all my calories for the entire day 😵
    It was delicious though 😋
  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 6,189 Member
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    Lietchi wrote: »
    I don't like the word 'cheat', seems to have moral implications which goes very badly with food in my world.

    The definition of 'cheat' can vary.

    Cheat as in 'over calorie goal':
    It happens on a fairly regular basis (by a small amount of calories), but I aim to stay on track when looking at my weekly average. I have the occasional 'way over' day (family dinner for example) but it m evens out in the long term.

    Cheat as in 'eat treat foods I don't usually eat':
    I don't deprive myself of anything, I eat foods I like all the time, both nutritious and less nutritious. The high calorie ones less frequently than the lower calorie ones, obviously, within my calorie budget.
    I have treat foods every day.

    Cheat as in 'not log my food':
    Never. Perhaps I will find a way to maintain my weight within logging, but I'm not there yet 🙂

    I agree - that is how I go about it as well :smile: I don't think of it as cheating as long as I properly plan and allow for (whatever) I want to include. Just appears like the phrases "cheat days" or "cheat meals" appear all over, so curious what others think :smile:

    I'll just add that I don't necessarily plan these things. Sure, it's planned when I go to a restaurant for example, but other times it will just depend on my mood (TOM cravings, stronger than normal hunger, too tired...) I'm not really a planner 😆
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,874 Member
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    Yes, no...maybe...kinda. When I'm cutting weight I typically have one meal per week that is "off plan". I don't log and haven't since the spring of 2014 when I went to maintenance. For the most part, up until COVID I more or less maintained my weight. But I would go up around 8-10 Lbs in the winter and in the spring I would just revert to being a bit more strict in my dietary habits and my activity would naturally go up as the weather warmed.

    I put on about 25 Lbs in 2020 and 2021 that I'm currently in process of losing. Like I said, I don't log so I have a dietary plan that I follow pretty closely, but I allow one "off plan" meal per week usually (sometimes things come up, but I'm pretty good about sticking with things in general). This is most often our family pizza and movie night or my wife and I going out for dinner or preparing a higher calorie dish than we'd normally have like lasagna or something.

    I don't go crazy with it though. Pizza and movie night is 2 slices from the medium pizza my wife and I share...I'll usually have the other 2 for lunch the next day (so maybe 2 off plan days)...but that's not a huge hit calorie wise, it's just not as nutritionally good as we usually eat. Wife and I just went out this past Saturday for dinner. Restaurant portions are huge and really more than I can usually eat in one sitting these days so I almost always eat half and take the other half home. In this case I had my leftovers for breakfast on Sunday morning. Basically my "cheat" is just having a meal that isn't as nutritionally sound as most of what we eat...but I'm still usually pretty close to on target calorie wise or maybe just a bit over.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,468 Member
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    I don't find the terminology helpful (kind of the reverse, actually). Who or what would I be cheating? It just plays into the extreme melodramatic nonsense implying that eating is some kind of epic battle between good and evil . . . about sin and expiation, guilt, self-recrimination, personal failure, etc.

    * It's just food. We need to eat some.
    * Eating too much causes excess body weight, which is unhealthy.
    * Getting balanced nutrition (from whatever combination of foods adds up that way) is likely to improve health. What matters is the average over small amounts of time, mostly, such as a few days (for nutritional balance) to a few weeks (for semi-reasonable body weight.

    It doesn't need to be complicated by value-judgement words and concepts, IMO.

    Sometimes I eat fewer than my maintenance calories, sometimes right around them, sometimes over, and occasionally way over. If it averages out around maintenance calories, my weight ambles around in the same range.

    The overwhelming majority of days, I eat adequate protein and fats (the "essential nutrients" in a technical sense), and a boatload of varied, colorful veggies and fruits that put me over my fiber and micronutrient goals most days, and definitely so on average over a week or less. Once in a while, I ignore my macro or micro goals for a day or few, because I want to eat in some non-typical way, and nothing terrible happens. (OK, maybe a little water weight on the scale, but who cares? I don't.)

    Most days, I can include some less nutrient-dense, more calorie-dense foods (chocolate, wine, other desserts, deep-fried whatever, etc.) mostly for pure enjoyment, and stay within calories while still hitting nutritional goals. I can't see why I should exclude them, or why that would be "cheating".

    If cheat meals or cheat days are a concept that works for you, go for it. Me, I don't like drama.
  • dragengofit
    dragengofit Posts: 21 Member
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    A 'cheat' day can wipe out my deficit for the week.
    And I find it hard to get back on it afterwards so I tend to just try and fit everything in my calorie goal.
    Obviously it doesn't always work out that way and I go way over - but I log it and move on.
    Planning to have days off plan gives my stupid brain permission to go all out - and I can consume a lot of food in a day!
    Even in a meal!
    I had a Five Guys burger and fries the other week and it wiped out all my calories for the entire day 😵
    It was delicious though 😋

    That's the way it works for me as well :smile:
  • dragengofit
    dragengofit Posts: 21 Member
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    So far it seems (from this very scientific research, counting 18 participants which may or may not include those of you that have commented), we have 50% cheaters and 50% "non-cheaters" B)

    diewxfjjpdjp.png

    I agree with all of you above that simply states "because I consciously allow it, it's not cheating" or "If I go over my goals, I simply wont spend any energy feeling bad about it". Still appreciate hearing everyone's thoughts though <3

    All of us have our different backgrounds and journey's and it wouldn't be realistic to expect one single approach to weight loss to suit all. If we could, weight loss would have been easy for all, as everyone would know what to do without any trial and error.

    In my case, because I have too much going on, I tend to need planning to succeed. For me to succeed with a full (weekly) day of eating whatever I felt like, it would have the consequence that in order not to wipe out my entire weekly deficit (chocolate, just saying), I would need to work harder than I can really manage right now. (I spend ~30 hours a week training dogs for competition, and while it does burn some energy, it's nothing like a proper workout focusing on myself). It's a priority I've set for myself, and it requires me to plan - I'm good with that. Still like the occasional treat, though. And if I stumble, that's OK, just part of the process. :smile:

  • dragengofit
    dragengofit Posts: 21 Member
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    Lietchi wrote: »
    I'm not really a planner 😆

    Not everyone could (should?) be :wink: :D
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 9,462 Member
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    Lietchi wrote: »
    I'm not really a planner 😆

    Not everyone could (should?) be :wink: :D

    I'm completely rubbish at planning! Sunday I spent an hour in the kitchen mixing, grinding, cooking, and mixing some more a herb blend for a dish I wanted to cook. And then realized I was missing 4 of the 8 actual cooking ingredients next to the spice mix. Ugh. And of course shops are closed here on Sundays. So I had frozen pizza for exactly these emergencies (and because it's quite tasty). Which had more calories, but it still fitted. And honestly, even if it didn't. Then I would have been over by around 100cal.
  • scarlett_k
    scarlett_k Posts: 812 Member
    edited February 2022
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    I'll eat a whole gluten free pizza hut pizza maybe once every 3 months or something and not care if I go over. Otherwise no I just stick to my goals as much as possible and don't see the point in "cheating". Who am I cheating? Why is it necessary? I'm eating how I want to eat on a daily basis anyway.
  • dragengofit
    dragengofit Posts: 21 Member
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    yirara wrote: »

    I'm completely rubbish at planning! Sunday I spent an hour in the kitchen mixing, grinding, cooking, and mixing some more a herb blend for a dish I wanted to cook. And then realized I was missing 4 of the 8 actual cooking ingredients next to the spice mix. Ugh. And of course shops are closed here on Sundays. So I had frozen pizza for exactly these emergencies (and because it's quite tasty). Which had more calories, but it still fitted. And honestly, even if it didn't. Then I would have been over by around 100cal.

    The bold - hate it when that happens.. Then again, it rarely does as I'm (almost) a compulsive planner. :laugh: