On Cheat Days

by Andie Mitchell on November 8, 2012

Isn’t so much of the battle in weight loss mental?

Sometimes the way we frame behaviors can make all the difference. Weeks ago, I wrote about the pros and cons of taking time away from a diet plan, for the sake of recharging your mind and your motivation. I pointed out that, if you feel confident and strong in your ability to hop back on the ol’ wagon after the days off, a diet break may actually help your weight loss. Today, I’d love to talk about something along the same lines, something that’s often met with controversy. And that is: cheat days.

I define a cheat day as a day where you allow yourself to eat any food in any quantity you desire. They are meant to give you a break from the stress and perceived monotony of dieting. In my post about diet breaks, I discussed the occasional few days I’d take off to eat normally while I was losing weight. Often, these days were ones that involved a vacation with friends, a holiday, or something of the sort. I didn’t, however, call any of those days “cheat days.” There are a number of reasons why I, personally, feel uncomfortable when I hear the word “cheat” in relation to eating. The first of which is that the word seems to me to be synonymous with bingeing- a practice I don’t want to engage in [any longer] nor encourage. The second reason I don’t quite feel comfortable with the word “cheating” is that I don’t like the implication of restriction during non-cheating times.

It may just be semantics, but these are important distinctions to make.  The way I got to 268 pounds was by eating recklessly and destructively, so when I embarked on a path to lose that weight, cheating meant a return to recklessness. It meant more than a simple slip. I knew from experience how impossible it felt to pull myself out of the tail spin of binge eating.

Nowadays, I stay away from black and white thinking. Cheating, bingeing, restricting- they’re all so severe. None exists without the other. What I aim for is an overall, everyday contentment with what I’m eating. If that means a small daily dessert, so be it. Everyday is a holiday :)

It’s important to note here that my struggle is not everyone’s struggle. Some of us believe in cheat days, and maybe they serve us well. I’d love to hear from you.  What do you think of the concept of cheat days? Have you been able to successfully incorporate them into your life?

photo: skilletstreetfood

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda November 8, 2012 at 5:58 pm

I don’t diet, so I guess I’ve never really had a cheat day. For me, it works better to enjoy things as I go. If I want a cupcake, I’m going to have that darn cupcake. Just not three.

Cheat days would work for some, I’m sure. It just works better for me to have a little bit of something sweet every day.

Also, the new site design looks great, Andie!

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N November 9, 2012 at 9:47 am

Same goes for me.

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Gina November 9, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I think the same way! I call it “building it in” and just plan for it so my life works with cake or burgers or whatever. No diets, just eating and I’ve lost weight and then maintained this way!

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Lindsay @ The Reluctant Runner November 8, 2012 at 6:32 pm

I think it’s important to indulge occasionally even if you are on a weight loss journey. For me, balance looks like this: eating one or two ‘naughty’ meals a week (takeout or something I cook at home just for it’s pure deliciousness and then the leftovers for lunch the next day), one ‘naughty’ breakfast, and dessert 2 or three times a week. I will buy or make something for Friday night and then eat a reasonable amount of the desert Friday, Saturday and Sunday if there’s any left, but Monday-Thursday I don’t have any sweets. It’s easy to abstain if I know that I can have something on the weekend (and I enjoy it so much more!), but when I don’t set parameters my eating tends to get out of control. As long as I exercise regularly and eat well for the rest of my meals, I am able to lose weight with these indulgences. I don’t like to call them cheat days/meals because for me they are just a part of my balanced diet!

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Cinnamon Vogue November 8, 2012 at 6:58 pm

….in any quantity you want. That’s like if you gave up smoking and then smoked three packs in a day. Your body will have so much cravings the next day you will revert back to the old ways. Nah that won’t work. I have tried that. For me the best is to not vary the diet intake more than say 10% max for cheat days. I personally feel the best way to break the monotony is to have a huge variety of food. Not a huge quantity of food.

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Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) November 8, 2012 at 7:45 pm

I completely agree with you. I have a hard time with “cheat days” because I struggle to pull myself back on track immediately. I have always had a very all or nothing approach to weight loss so as soon as I derailed, I went wayyyyy far off track. I finally started to figure things out when I realized that it’s not all or nothing. No matter what decision I just made, I can always make the next decision a healthy one. I don’t need a whole day to eat whatever I want and “get it out of my system” – I can eat what I want anytime, with in reason, and continue on my healthy way the next meal. This change in my mentality is what’s helped me lose 70 lbs.

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Kim November 9, 2012 at 5:54 am

I agree! If I break my routine by eating a large amount of junk in one day, I find that I will continue craving it and I cannot get instantly back on track. I also like to find new recipes to keep myself from getting bored, and planning ahead for a special meal that might not be so healthy is a much better way for me to feel like I am splurging than gorging on junk food for a day.

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Stephanie Rose November 12, 2012 at 7:02 am

This is exactly why I can’t have “cheat days” and why I also struggle with eat anything I want days as well. It is so hard to pull myself back once I have given myself a little leeway.

I like the idea of moderation. If there is a cupcake that I want then I will have the cupcake but most of the time I will try and share it with someone so that I am not overendulging myself. At first it was hard leaving half a plate of food or not having the whole of something but now I feel proud and accomplished when I do it!

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Nikki November 9, 2012 at 1:24 am

I don’t exactly have cheat days, but I do have days where social engagements mean I am out for lunch and dinner and, particularly when dining at somebody’s house, I don’t have any say in how healthy my meal is. On these occasions I allow myself to go ‘off track’ without any guilt or mental anguish. It seems to work for me as I know that turning down social invitations would make me a very unhappy person indeed, and nobody like inviting someone for dinner, making something yummy and then being told “I don’t eat desert”!

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nancy November 9, 2012 at 3:40 am

I like to think about splurging at certain meals rather than cheating.

Keeping a food journal has been one of the most helpful techniques for me in terms of improving my eating habits, and as long as I can track what I’ve eaten and reflect, I usually find myself able to get back on track.

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Richa November 9, 2012 at 4:07 am

First of all, love your blog and recipes.

Along the lines of not thinking in black and white, I’d like to point out that indulgence can occur outside of planned cheating/bingeing or destructive behavior, and outside of moderation as well. Perhaps this isn’t as natural or intuitive to any one who is specifically on a weight loss journey, but I think indulgence can be incorporated without having to think about it so much, and without it being reckless.

I think that f you mostly eat healthy, and make sure you’re getting full off of those healthy things, and make sure you have energy to do the things you love and incorporate physical activity into that — if you do all of these things, whatever you indulge beyond that might occasionally pack on a few more pounds but you should be able to maintain a healthy weight given your overall lifestyle. Of course, if there is a more superficial goal at play, this would change, but then you do have to sacrifice some amount of mental health.

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Heather@SugarDish(Me) November 9, 2012 at 4:13 am

You’re right: I might just be semantics, but I completely agree that the word “cheat” just puts a bad spin on the whole thing. If I have a momentary lapse of judgement at 7 a.m. and reach for a donut, the word “cheat” makes me feel like my whole day is ruined so why bother trying. If I tell myself that this is instead of dessert later on, or I’ll do better and eat a boatload of fresh veggies at lunch THAT, for me, puts a much better spin on things. And I’m with Nancy up there: food journals and just being honest with yourself is one of the most helpful things!!

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Anele @ Success Along the Weigh November 9, 2012 at 4:53 am

I have “high cal days” and yes, back in the day I called them cheat days and it’s absolutely semantics. ;) Cheat implies you’re doing something bad and high cal says just that. Plus, I’ll be honest, I got sick of being chastized in weight loss communities for calling it a ‘cheat day.’ In the end, it’s about balance and moderation…whatever form that takes on for you.

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style frontier November 9, 2012 at 5:48 am

I don’t do diet by I maintain my calorie intakes. there are several cheat days for me though, when i just eat whatever i feel like eating without worrying about the calorie for a while. it feels good :D

xoxo
style frontier

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Danielle November 9, 2012 at 5:51 am

I let my emotions get the better of me and eat more than I was hungry for last night. I knew I was doing it, I knew that with some will power, I could stop, but I DIDN’T. I could call that a cheat day, but I don’t think that is quite right… that implies planning ahead. I think maybe a “stupid-day” couplted with a “it’s now friday, i’m going to listen to the smart part of my diet-self today” day. maybe not catchy, but thanks for listening!

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Natasha November 9, 2012 at 5:55 am

Cheat days. Well – my Husband and I indulge in a nice meal once a week, chocolate every night and 3oz. of red wine with dinner 3 x/wk…the nice meal – well that just means a dinner out or a meal cooked together – still a meal that is satisfying without making us feel bloated, or otherwise.

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Megan November 9, 2012 at 6:14 am

What I love and admire about you is how well you understand and explain the mental part of weight loss…the pro’s and con’s, the controversial and agreed upon, the personal struggle vs. the universal struggles…God has so used you!!

I personally think a “day of rest”, “cheat day”, “day off” is a good thing. Sometimes, it’s just one really good meal for me…where I try and stay on track for most of my day so I can thoroughly enjoy whatever meal/dessert I choose.

I used to do one day, eat what I want… but, as my age has increased and my free time to exercise has decreased, one free meal or two is all I can do to stay in control both mentally and physically…if you are younger and can keep a regular work out routine, you could probably do a whole day. One “free meal” or, good meal choices with a couple smaller treats in that day is all my body tolerates, and I’m good with that.

…as you always remind us, it’s personal: know your strength and weaknesses and don’t feel bad if they don’t line up with someone else’s journey to health.

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Leah November 9, 2012 at 6:33 am

Semantics are so important for me too! When I was first trying to cut out meat from my diet I felt so uncomfortable like I was giving up on all these foods I used to love – restricting. But then I spoke with someone who told me to try thinking about all of the new foods I’d get to try that I would have normally overlooked. When I started thinking in terms of what I was gaining it was so much easier! Sometimes we forget how much control we have over our thoughts and cravings :)

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Kay Rasmussen November 9, 2012 at 7:00 am

I don’t call them cheat days, but I do allow and forgive myself when I eat things that I shouldn’t. Since I gave up sugar, there are only a few things that make me want to eat it. Recently I was in GA and they have ice cream places that have Key Lime Pie ice cream. I had it twice in 2 weeks, we don’t have them here, I wouldn’t have forgotten about it. I also had Chick Fil A sandwiches 5 times in 2 weeks, we don’t have them here either. And to top off the week, a Savanah Candy Co. Pecan praline. OMG, goodness! I am back home with no regrets and still on track with my weight. I love your blog by the way, and I am old(er)! It is so much in our heads!

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Rachel November 9, 2012 at 7:01 am

I am still pretty new to my changed lifestyle so I don’t think I’m ready for “cheat” days yet. I allow myself to eat what I crave but watch the amount of what I eat. If I do mess up and go overboard, I do my best to counter my action with some extra exercise and have been successful so far. I still have a long way to go. I’ve lost 16 lbs in five weeks and would like to lose 74 more lbs.

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Bridget November 9, 2012 at 7:29 am

My experience is that my cheat days turn into cheat weeks and cheat weeks turn into cheat months. I simply can’t look at it as a “cheat” day. I certainly indulge on occassion, and because I am still in the beginning/learning stages, I indulge more frequently than I should, but I cannot label an entire day as a cheat day because the wagon I fell off would run me over and I wouldn’t be able to survive getting back on! The other problem I have is that I view too many things as “celebrations” or I actually have too many real celebrations so my old rule of only indulging during celebrations doesn’t really work either. I just need to learn to practice moderation and control!

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D November 9, 2012 at 7:53 am

“cheat days turn into cheat weeks and cheat weeks turn into cheat months…I cannot label an entire day as a cheat day because the wagon I fell off would run me over and I wouldn’t be able to survive getting back on! ”
This is so me!!!!! Moderation is key. I think it’s important to be aware of what works for you. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you do fall off and take time to heal when you have been run over by the wagon. It’s easy to beat yourself up. Trial and error is how you find out what works. Although easier said than done many times. No cheat days for me either.

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Melissa November 9, 2012 at 7:29 am

I think using the word cheat is detrimental. It implies that your normal everyday is stringent and strict and boring and you have to “cheat” just to have something “good.”

I eat delicious food every day, including some days having chocolate or peanut butter something or other, and it all evens out at the end of each week. It works much better for me mentally.

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Liz November 9, 2012 at 7:59 am

Again another brilliant post. With a past of eating disorders, I still consider that I have a brain chip that will never leave…the propensity to be extreme, compulsive with food and black and white. I love what you said about staying about from b&w thinking.
I just read a book that has REALLY helped me and wanted to “shout out” to anyone on this board because I think MANY of us have disordered eating. It’s “The Rules of Normal Eating” by Karen Koenig. Just a thought.
When I use the word “cheat”, I’m implying that there is good and bad and I want all food to be equal in my mind. “Want” is different than “is”, but I’m getting there!
:)

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Ct November 9, 2012 at 8:34 am

I no longer like to use the term cheat days either. I feel if you are in the position to lose weigh, cheat days sometimes wipeout all the hard, dedicated effort you put into your other meals that week. No one should have a restricted mind set/diet that they get to the point that a cheat day is necessary! Like you said, moderation.

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Kayte November 9, 2012 at 9:10 am

I use my cheat day as a way of encouragement. If I make it to the gym 4 times in 1 week and eat with in my calorie range the rest of the week, then Sunday is my cheat day. If I do not do one, or both of these things, then no cheat day for me.

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Christina November 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm

It’s interesting the semantics used. I lost 60 lbs last year and up to even a few months ago, I might have said cheat day. I, like you, try not to think that way b/c if I did, I would feel like I am on a diet my whole life in order to maintain my weight loss (which i found to be wayyyyyy harder than losing). I had to re-frame my relationship with food and how I eat. It’s hard some days. Sometimes I want to eat all the brownies and burgers and fries till I’m sick, but then I remind myself that is exactly what it will do, make me sick.

So now I do my best to have moderation. I also try to do about 70% veg and some fruit. I do have a burger when I want and even fries and cake. The difference is that I have a true serving size. Even though my eyes and brain say eat more, I try to listen to my body more and give it time to tell me. I know when I’ve had enough but that is a hard voice to learn to hear.

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Ksenija @ Health Ninja November 9, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Interesting topic! I tried cheat days several times and came to the conclusion that they are just not for me. Like many mentioned before me – it is pretty hard to get back on track the next day. I also felt pretty shitty after eating amounts of food that my stomach wasn’t used during dieting and just could not handle that well. So a) I ended up lying in bed with belly ache in the evening and b) craved all the unhealthy stuff even worth the next day, which made me c) just giving in to it, since I had the feeling that it was to late anyway.
So nah, no cheat days. To have some birthday cake or a night of partying and alcohol or a take out meal once in a while works just fine for me.

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Bek @ Crave November 9, 2012 at 6:13 pm

I don’t see the point in cheat days anyways because I’m not dieting. My lifestyle choice is to simply live healthy and therefore I don’t need breaks from that because it is sustainable.

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Kendra November 10, 2012 at 8:57 am

I don’t think it is just semantics. I think you’ve made some valid points. The words “cheat day” automatically make me get a guilty feeling in my stomach. It sounds…unleashed, unfocused, unhealthy. I am at the beginning of a weightloss journey. Last night, I enjoyed a an indulgent dinner and a cupcake with my husband for a date night. I don’t feel guilty. I feel empowered that, this morning, I am enjoying what is to be my normal diet leading me to a healthy weight over the next few years (I have much more to lose than you did). I’ve done the whole self-deprivation thing. I’ve done the low carb, no carb, deny, deny, deny approach. My approach now? I choose wisely. I recognize that I’m not denying myself. I’m choosing what is better for me. It’s my choice to snack on cupcakes or to snack on carrots. While the carrots are a part of my regular diet, the cupcake isn’t cheating. The cupcake is a rare chosen treat. It does not control me. Oy. I hope I have said this well!

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Naomi November 10, 2012 at 2:39 pm

The problem with the cheat day mentality is that it sets you up to overreat the “cheat meal” because there’s no certainty of when you’ll ever have that particular food again. Rather, allowing yourself to have whatever you truly want, whenever it may be, works wonders. Obviously portions with these foods is important, but there’s no longer the temptation to over-consume beyond satisfaction when you know that a particular food is always available. Personally, this approach has helped my immensely and broken me free from the bondage of thinking about food constantly.

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Amy Hagerup November 10, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Fascinating post and comments too. I have recently lost 26 lbs and I too believe that we must occasionally divert from the safe food to have something special. I still like to choose healthy things but I am learning to eat those things with control – being mindful as I eat them rather than gulping them down. I believe my whole approach to eating has changed. I’d like to lose 11 more lbs and I believe I will achieve this.

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Emily @ www.main-eats.com November 11, 2012 at 7:51 am

I agree that I don’t like calling them “cheat” days but I think it is nice to let go and relax a little bit every once in a while. The most difficult part is taking those days for the right reasons-many times I have allowed myself to relax when I shouldn’t have and it gets out of control and I gain quite a bit of weight back and have a tough time getting back to my healthy ways. Mental health is so important!

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Caitlin November 11, 2012 at 5:18 pm

I don’t do “cheat days.” my mother did “cheat days” and would say “I’m so bad” and it always made me uncomfortable. If i were to assign a whole day to eating that way, i would probably binge and start an unhealthy cycle. I just try to eat healthfully most of the time and indulge when i really, reLly want to.

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aj November 12, 2012 at 6:04 am

The envied practice of moderation has eluded me for many years. No sweets or snacks for me during the week, but the weekends are indulgent. To balance this, I do a dinner to dinner fast two times a week. I have about 10-lbs to go and if the scale doesn’t budge, I will have to readjust. This has been a great chat!

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Laura November 12, 2012 at 12:56 pm

I think for me the concept of cheat days (or meals) have never really worked for similar reasons. Right now I’m working on calorie counting and making a variety of delicious foods that I love to eat, but which don’t put me over my daily caloric amount. And while this might seem restrictive, the calorie counting has been a great way to re-teach my body that it can do with less, while still eating delicious foods. (It helps tremendously that I’m not a sweets person and love both vegetables and cooking.) There has been a day or two that at the end of the day I have chosen to not enter my calories. Mostly bc I realized that I went over but felt I had good reason and knew that if I entered the calories it would start a dangerous cycle of self loathing. (We had a recent dinner party and the overage calories were an extra glass of wine and fruit and cheese for dessert which the healthy part of me knows is something to not beat yourself up about.) I knew that if I entered those extra calories I would obsess over it and that, in the end, that was an unsafe behavior for me in my “recovery.” (Yes, I’m calling my attempts at ending my cycle of overeating recovery.) Its been really helpful to identify when something isn’t “safe” and to identify both my feelings and thoughts. (I decided that the psychological mining I needed to do to find the root of my compulsive overeating wasn’t going to come until I began stopping the overeating, which is why I started a calorie restrictive diet). Both cheat days and beating myself over a couple hundred calories fall in the category of “unsafe” for me. Also thanks for the Food, God and Women recommendation. The book has been great.

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Chrissie Reynolds November 19, 2012 at 8:16 pm

I seriously needed to find your blog when I did. So glad I found it. Do you have email updates at all when you post?

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Sandi November 20, 2012 at 5:21 am

I like to call them “splurge” days, and I just use those days not to worry about calories, although I probably still eat 70% healthy.

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jay November 20, 2012 at 2:49 pm

from what SEVERAL others have said, a ‘cheat day’ equals a “GOOD MEAL”…several have said, either at home, or eaten out…that bothers me a bit…that implies that ALL the other meals you have that week, month, etc…are NOT “GOOD MEALS” …with websites like Andie’s and others, how can not EVERY meal be a “GOOD MEAL”? My journey is even MORE restrictive than others…I have KIDNEY failure…stage 5…AND i needed to lose weight…to preserve my kidneys and delay dialysis for as long as possible..I HAVE…I’ve lost 119 pounds in the last year…I use Andie’s Recipes and adapt them to what I CAN have…and trust me, the RENAL DIET is HORRIBLE when it comes to restrictions…no salt, ONLY the leanest of meats, no dairy, no high potassium foods, only low phosphorus foods (so NO MORE cola’s…even DIET) and you are limited to HALF cup servings of rice, pasta and approved veggies and 3 oz’s of meat twice a day…IF you have diabetes too, which MOST people with Kidney failure do…their are over half a million people living with it, and thats just the DIAGNOSED cases…thats another dietary curve ball and MORE restrictions as WELL…”Cheat days” for us? they don’t exist…if we want to continue to exist…I THANK GOD for websites like Andie’s…that I can pick, choose, and adapt to what I need to make EVERY meal a “GOOD MEAL”…since finding her website, I no longer wish I could cheat…I feel like I already AM!

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Carrie K November 21, 2012 at 9:39 am

Just found you through Pinterest and I am amazed at what I have read so far. I feel as if you have posted about MY LIFE, MY weight issues, MY large weight loss…you get the picture. I’ve bookmarked you, and plan to read daily. Looking forward to learning so much more, thank you for your efforts and sharing. :) Peace.

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Hichame November 22, 2012 at 7:55 am

Hi, I’m new to your blog. I was looking for some healthy recipes and I started to read your other articles too :) I always thought that you could eat what ever you want, the problem usually is the quantity. I lost myself 17 lbs and I love to eat (I love desserts :). I still eat desserts but not everyday and in reasonable portions. What do you think about being able to eat everything and anything ?

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Bree November 29, 2012 at 10:56 am

I have always needed cheat times in my diet. However, I never had an entire day reserved. For me it was more an I get to have whatever I want when I go out with my friends on Friday night. And that worked for me, because during the week when I was having a horrible craving for something I could talk myself through it. We’re not going to give in to our craving today, but if you still want this for dinner on Friday you can have it. It really helped me plan times and delay satisfaction. In my dieting if I give an inch, I give a mile, so having a defined time to give in helped me hold out through moments of weakness. It’s not for everyone, but it really helped me stay on track during the week.

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Marie T Smith December 2, 2012 at 8:40 am

I agree 100%… I started my weight loss journey this past March 19th, 2012 and am down 106 lbs as of today. I have had the occasional cheat days and when I just back on my plan, I seem to lose HUGE amounts… I also feel that by indulging, I get it out of my system for a while at least. Oftentimes, I feel the need to not keep up with the cheat and crave eating healthy again… so this has worked wonders for my weight loss and I see no reason to stop doing it.. I do, however, limit these days! LOL

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Meg December 2, 2012 at 9:48 am

I absolutely, whole-heartedly agree with cheat days. I generally try to keep an eye on what I eat during the work week, making a goal to do take out with my fiance one day on the weekend for whatever we are in the mood for. Chinese, pizza, whatever. I tend to bake a lot of goodies too, especially this time of year but I try to eat a reasonable amount and then give them away, bring to work etc.

I also think it’s really important to eat natural foods – I’ve seen a lot of studies coming out lately about the use of butter being more positive than using Smart Balance spreads etc. I am more than happy to use butter instead ;)

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Meredith December 27, 2012 at 12:56 pm

I’ve been having such an issue with “cheat days” recently. I used to have the discipline necessary to cheat on my diet and then rein it back in the next day. In fact, I once participated in a month long raw-detox class. It was probably one of the most challenging things I’ve done so far in my life (not sure what that says about me…but there it is). I got so SICK of eating nothing but raw veggies, that one day I went to Whole Foods and bought the “huge” size container of guacamole and a bag of tortilla chips. I ate it all…in one sitting. Every last bit of that delicious guacamole and all the chips…even the crumbs. The next day I woke up and was right back on track with the detox.

These days, however, I have a really hard time rebounding from a cheat day. The cheat feels so good that I just keep cheating. I keep telling myself…tomorrow I’ll do better. But I don’t. This is the cycle I’m learning to break.

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Tom January 1, 2013 at 7:03 am

Cheat days or day off from dieting should never really exist – the key to successful weight loss is will power and portion control – I read one of the first comments on this thread – and it kind of rings true – have 1 cupcake just not 3 – this is it – don’t deny yourself anything just don’t be greedy

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Sal January 24, 2013 at 7:05 am

Saturday night is my “time off” from my diet (although I don’t really call it anything). My biggest temptations are crisps and pizza.

On a Friday and Saturday nights I let myself have a small bag of crisps. Saturday night I have a frozen pizza all to myself.

The rest of the week I maintain a diet between about 900 and 1200 calories a day, just while I’m in the middle of the weight-loss phase. When I reach target I shall be raising that somewhat to maintain.

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Kate February 3, 2013 at 12:50 am

I’m just starting out on this journey, but the idea of “cheat days” terrifies me. I can’t imagine losing the newfound control that I have. I do, however, allow myself to have a daily (still healthy) dessert.

For example, I’ve discovered that if you mix a tablespoon of peanut butter and a tablespoon of chocolate chips into a cup of vanilla greek yogurt.. It’s heaven!! So that’s my go-to dessert so that I can stay on track.

I think that maybe in a few months, after I get a routine going, and I get used to amount of food I am supposed to eat, then I might be able to try a cheat day here and there. Just not yet…

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Meg April 28, 2013 at 8:31 pm

I know this post is quite old. I just want you to know that I find your communication of your ideas about health and weight and dessert to be very helpful. I found your blog as I was coming to terms with weight and the fact that I LOVE desserts last year. Now I’m almost to where I’d like to be weight wise and eat desserts more often than my roommate considers reasonable. Thanks for your writing and your cakes. And blondies. And s’mores brownies because c’mon. Without a campfire you don’t get better than that.

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Debbie May 21, 2013 at 6:36 pm

I do have a ‘cheat day’ but I refer to it as a day off. A day off from thinking about what I’m going to eat. My week is so busy that in order to stay on track with my weight loss I have to plan and think about my meals in advance all while keeping a family on track too, so when Sunday (or whatever day it happens to be) swings around I just turn off my brain. I don’t think about fats, or calories or carbs or proteins, I don’t track. I actually don’t even eat that badly, the enjoyment for me is just not having to think for 24 hours…

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Annette June 10, 2013 at 2:57 pm

I’m a bigger fan of a weekly cheat meal, rather then a whole day. The odd time when you reach a low and just want to eat everything in site, I find it’s helpful to remind myself that on such and such a day I’ll be able to eat that and look forward to when I will be able to enjoy what I’m craving guilt free. It just makes it more manageable for when you’re having a rough day and gives you something to look forward to.

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