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Minervx_2
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01 Nov 2021, 5:12 pm

I have 3 separate opinions about them:

1) They can be okay if you're already at your goal weight and are maintaining. But if someone is trying to lose weight, cheat days, can throw off moment and stall progress.

2) You still need to count calories on cheat days. You can't just binge eat whatever you want and not gain weight just because it's only happening on a specific day. The amount of weight gained or lost in a week isn't based on how many surplus vs. deficits days you've had individually, but overall how many calories of the week are consumed vs. burned. If someone has a 400 calorie deficit each day, but they have a 2400 calorie surplus on their 7th day, then they lose no weight that week.

3) The reason why cheat days are not a good concept is because it reinforces the idea that you're being so deprived from your day to day eating that you need to cheat from it. If someone is on a diet where they don't enjoy the foods they're eating, they're not likely to stick to it long-term. Hence, I prefer having a small deficit each day rather than bigger deficits to justify 1 massive surplus.



funeralxempire
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01 Nov 2021, 5:26 pm

When you don't diet every day is a cheat day. :nerdy:


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smartHulk
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02 Nov 2021, 4:57 am

I prefer "cheat meal".

Usually I'm timing it to be the last meal of the day. I start from a clean slate after a natural overnight fast.

Overall "cheating" is a very important tool to maintain metabolic flexibility. When you don't have any excuse or craving to "cheat" you kind of have to do it on schedule.

I don't think you need to count calories when you are "cheating" because I don't believe you should be counting calories in general.



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02 Nov 2021, 5:32 am

If your diet and lifestyle are balanced enough, your urge for "cheating" should be moderate or lower. Then, it's okay.
If your "cheat day" makes you obsess with eating as much as you can, it means you should correct your regular eating habits.


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kraftiekortie
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02 Nov 2021, 7:49 am

My willpower sucks royally.....if I "cheat," I'll feel like "cheating" on a permanent basis.

I stopped running because of my arthritis---started only walking---immediately gained 5 pounds.



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02 Nov 2021, 8:00 am

I tend towards binge eating so I can't trust myself with cheat days, it's a slippery slope for me so I generally try to avoid things I know will lead to a binge.

Most of the time I can see this as self-love rather than depriving myself of something. There's nothing in those foods that my body needs, indeed it functions less well when I have them.



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03 Nov 2021, 10:48 pm

I think a cheat meal once or twice a month is fine. My cheat meal this month is Thanksgiving and then Christmas next month. I’m working on losing weight (I created a meal plan that consists of carrots, bananas, hummus, roast beef, hummus and raw spinach on a bagel thin, skyr and other things) and exercising for 45 minutes five times a week (my gym closed down).


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Ettina
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05 Nov 2021, 7:53 pm

Minervx_2 wrote:
3) The reason why cheat days are not a good concept is because it reinforces the idea that you're being so deprived from your day to day eating that you need to cheat from it. If someone is on a diet where they don't enjoy the foods they're eating, they're not likely to stick to it long-term. Hence, I prefer having a small deficit each day rather than bigger deficits to justify 1 massive surplus.


I agree with this. The vast majority of people who diet eventually gain back all the weight they lost (and often more) and this is a big part of why. Whatever diet you decide to do, you should aim for something sustainable that doesn't strip all the enjoyment out of eating.



smartHulk
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06 Nov 2021, 5:29 am

Ettina wrote:
Minervx_2 wrote:
3) The reason why cheat days are not a good concept is because it reinforces the idea that you're being so deprived from your day to day eating that you need to cheat from it. If someone is on a diet where they don't enjoy the foods they're eating, they're not likely to stick to it long-term. Hence, I prefer having a small deficit each day rather than bigger deficits to justify 1 massive surplus.


I agree with this. The vast majority of people who diet eventually gain back all the weight they lost (and often more) and this is a big part of why. Whatever diet you decide to do, you should aim for something sustainable that doesn't strip all the enjoyment out of eating.

I disagree. Some stuff we love and crave is just extremely unhealthy. There is no way one should ever think of incorporating something like deep fried doughnuts into their "normal" eating. You are not deprived, thinking about this food as unacceptable on daily basis, but as something you can eat as a little "cheat" once or twice a month is the healthiest mindset you can have.



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06 Nov 2021, 6:04 am

I think they are a trend with not enough research to back their purpose (which is typically weight loss). Not only that, but they can have some serious health risks.

I don't believe that food should demonized to the point where we have to have a "cheat" day or "cheat" meal. Foods are here to nourish us and enrich our lives, and when we put restrictions and negative labels on them we are setting ourselves up for failure and worsening our relationship with them. This could potentially lead to disordered eating (which is way more common than most people realize).


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06 Nov 2021, 6:11 am

smartHulk wrote:
I disagree. Some stuff we love and crave is just extremely unhealthy. There is no way one should ever think of incorporating something like deep fried doughnuts into their "normal" eating. You are not deprived, thinking about this food as unacceptable on daily basis, but as something you can eat as a little "cheat" once or twice a month is the healthiest mindset you can have.


I don't think that demonizing something that a person may find enjoyable is a "healthy" mindset. Is a donut nutritious? No. Should it be eliminated from one's diet completely (with the rare "cheat" day)? I don't think so. I see this sort of restriction as a potential setup for bingeing and disordered eating. I think finding ways to balance and moderate one's diet (while making room for food that brings us joy) is the healthiest approach!


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magz
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06 Nov 2021, 6:25 am

smartHulk wrote:
I disagree. Some stuff we love and crave is just extremely unhealthy. There is no way one should ever think of incorporating something like deep fried doughnuts into their "normal" eating. You are not deprived, thinking about this food as unacceptable on daily basis, but as something you can eat as a little "cheat" once or twice a month is the healthiest mindset you can have.

That's how I understand the idea: if your regular diet is healthy, balanced and giving your body everything it needs, confining pleasure foods to a few pre-defined "holidays" is a reliable long-time strategy of keeping this pleasure without destroying the established healthy habits.


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kraftiekortie
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06 Nov 2021, 6:34 am

I stopped running for two weeks. I gained about 2 kilograms.



magz
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06 Nov 2021, 6:51 am

Maybe not call them "cheat days" but "pleasure days"?


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kraftiekortie
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06 Nov 2021, 7:00 am

That’s a good way of looking at it.

If I were Polish, I’d be fat. Polish food is great!



magz
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06 Nov 2021, 7:23 am

Depends on how much you move.
Local experience is, the strongest factor in people gaining weight in Poland is - a car.
People often don't realize how important it is to have to walk to get things done.


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