Is a 'treat day' or a 'cheat day' okay?
Voices: HelpR, dianebl, Masimuro, FazzaManda, huntercopeland, Vaanja, ericknight74, jstreams, bash8760, tomg81, RHay, daisymchll, WillpowerSuccess, Kahldris, LabDaddy, jannet1, ramsker, redheadangel911, jared767, jnolley, Bogleg, FighterDiet_Jenn, jayabaluan, daisycait, and russellcat
|Oct 15, 2011 3:27pm||
Hello everyone, 4months ago I weighed 218.4 lb, I now weigh 189 lb. I was just wondering would it be okay for me to have a cheat day where I can eat what I want but not to much like once a week?
|Oct 15, 2011 6:48pm||
that would depend. Whatever you want, no limits? no. You can easily undo the calorie deficit you created during the week in a single bingeing session. A meal where you can have a larger portions, or a small treat? Sure.
|Oct 15, 2011 8:51pm||
You are desperately trying to get down to 154lbs and you think about a treat day at the same time? No, stop it. Don’t reward yourself with food.
|Oct 17, 2011 4:14am||
I think a once a week treat is something that will actually help you stay on track. But as Dianebl mentions you still need to be careful, “treat” doesn’t mean unlimited amount of calories!
For myself I limit a treat to one meal a week but only on those weeks that I have stuck to my plan and then on say a Saturday I’ll maybe have a takeaway, or something similar but still keeping in mind calories/fats/carbs.
It is possible to undo the good work you have done during the week if you over-do it so just loosen the reigns without letting go of them altogether.
Hope that helps. :)
|Oct 17, 2011 3:31pm||
I see people do well with a cheat day added in and it helps them stay motivated. I’ve also seen other people erase all the good from the week with one cheat day, but it can work. Your best bet is to try it for a couple weeks and see how it works.
TIm Ferris has an interesting take on cheat days and recommends them in his slow-carb plan. You may want to check out his book: The 4-Hour Body. I got it on ebay for about $10 and it has a ton of interesting stuff in it.
|Oct 17, 2011 8:59pm||
I’m no expert on anything, but it seems to me that having a ‘cheat day’ like that would only emphasize the ‘god i’m on a diet and this sucks’ part instead of embracing a lifestyle change. Wouldn’t that kind of mindset just pack the weight right back on after you met your goal?
|Oct 18, 2011 11:17am||
The purpose of a “cheat day” is to act as a refeed for the body. You’re not supposed to just eat everything in sight. Higher complex carbs, low fat, moderate protein in order to increase leptin production. -EK
|Nov 16, 2011 7:58pm||
Definitely not. One binge can set you over the edge. I suggest indulging yourself once in awhile (ex. a piece of chocolate) but not hoards of food. Indulging yourself once in a while can help you NOT binge eat. Suppressing all your sweet cravings will lead you to binge eat. So just indulge on a little bit every once in a while is my advice.
|Nov 16, 2011 9:48pm||
A cheat food in moderation is okay.
|Nov 17, 2011 2:26am||
Although I agree with the general idea of allowing yourself a treat, I wouldn’t got as far as making it a whole treat day.
The general issue behind this is often a pattern of rewarding yourself with food. If you can learn to move your personal rewards from food to something else, you are less likely going to overeat on treats.
If you limit what you allow yourself to eat too much for too long, it is possible, that you lose control and just “have it”, which often means large quanities of the wrong stuff. Allow yourself snippets of treats you love and don’t tell yourself off for having them. If you keep a food diary, make sure you log your treats as well. You may find that one treat is perfectly fine within your daily limits.
|Nov 18, 2011 4:10am||
I believe that if it’s a small treat, like a piece of chocolate, is fine. But don’t binge eat or over-indulge because that would completely ruin your diet. I think that small treats every once in a while is the best way to go because in the long run you will be able to control yourself better. Depriving yourself of sweets all the time will eventually lead to binge eating, in my opinion. Good luck!
|Nov 21, 2011 12:02pm||
I also use a cheat day. I follow my diet plan similar to the weight watchers plan, where they give you extra points each week just so you can have those treats. Diets don’t need to be so restrictive. If you constantly deny yourself the things you love you have the chance to go overboard once you reach your goal and you go “off diet.” Someone else mentioned lifestyle changes in regards to not having a cheat day. In my opinion that is a wrong attitude. Your lifestyle change should include the foods you love in a moderate amount so you can be healthy and occasionally enjoy those things.
|Nov 21, 2011 2:18pm||
I agree with daisy….I can’t believe how many people are so agaist a cheat day! I know many people (my self inclded) who lose weight with a cheat day…yes, it may mean it takes an extra few weeks to reacht that goal..but so what?
|Nov 23, 2011 11:05am||
Why not workout heavy one day and fit a cheat meal into your caloric and macro nutrient goals?
|Nov 23, 2011 11:08am||
Although I am not against cheat days strictly, there is no study that has ever shown having cheat day will boost metabolism.
People love to justify these things in their heads.
|Nov 23, 2011 11:52am||
^^Untrue. Research actually does indicate that a “cheat day,” if done correctly, increases leptin production, which increases fat metabolism. It also has an added benefit of regulating other hormones which decrease during dieting. Ideally a cheat day would include 20-50% more calories than normal, mostly from low sugar carbs, for 12 or so hours. It’s not willy-nilly eating, but it’s also not the myth you present it to be. -EK
|Nov 25, 2011 10:59am||
Please link me to said study, I would like to see it.
Not trying to be an ass but I would actually need to see the study before I believe you.
|Nov 25, 2011 11:50am||
There are several studies related to this, and I’ll link a few, but it’s not really even an issue of “studies.” It’s what the body does- basic biochem in respect to how it processes foods and their effects on hormone levels.
^^This one showed an increase of 28% in plasma leptin levels associated with a refeed.
And this one: http://www.solorwell.com/human-hormones-notes-l…
If you do a search for Lyle McDonald onthe topic, you can find a lot more. -EK
|Jan 15, 2012 6:52am||
EK, thanks for the links.
I’m a believer in cheat days. I lost 30 pounds (205 —> 175) over about six months incorporating one per week (usually Saturdays).
A couple of observations.
1. While I generally have no issue with my routine diet and enjoy it, I’m human and enjoy some “off limit” foods. :) I found that having a cheat day got me through the week as, during about the first 3-4 days after the cheat day, I had no desires for the “off limit” foods, and the last couple of days I could look forward to my cheat day. :)
|Jan 18, 2012 12:21am||
I would say it all depend at you whatever you want and what you do . Well I would say that is a bad attitude. Your lifestyle change should include the foods you love in a moderate amount so you can be healthy and occasionally enjoy those things.
|Jan 18, 2012 10:46am||
There’s really no need to hold off and wait for a “cheat day” . . . in the end it’s calories in vs calories out. IMHO you are better off working some of those foods you want into your eating plan more often and then you are less likely to crave and binge on them—just keep within your target macros and it frankly doesn’t really matter if you have some ice cream or pizza (etc) on a given day. If you are apt to go way overboard on a cheat day, then it might not be a good choice. Up to you.
|Jan 26, 2012 12:15pm||
Ramsker, I agree. Moderation is key. For example, I keep a stash of my favorite “fun size” candy bar so when the occasional urge hits (and I have calories available) I can have one and satisfy my craving without being tempted by a full size version which could wreck my intake for the day.
|Jan 27, 2012 9:08am||
It’s ok to have a cheat day but don’t go too far. Calories add up fast. Of course it’s a cheat day, but you can spend the next 2 to 3 days working off the damage from that. So what’s the point of all this hard work if you’re setting yourself back at least one day. Almost 30-40% of your week is lost due to your cheat day and recovery.
A cheat day shouldn’t even be a day. It should be a meal or two on that day where you eat a lax version of your regular diet. These meals should not include deep fried meals on fast foods and 2 pints of ice cream because those are foods you need to avoid forever. There’s nothing wrong about having a little ice cream, but a pint of it?
Think about it.
|Jan 27, 2012 10:08am||
Jared, I disagree. The entire point of a cheat day- if done correctly- is not about the amount of calories you consume but about how those calories affect metabolic function, in particular hormonal response. I have dieted down for three dozen bodybuilding and powerlifting events and always kept a well-planned cheat day (yes the entire day) in my diet until two weeks out of weigh-ins. Those cheat days generally included 300-400 grams of carbs (much higher than usual), moderate protein (down from 200g to around 150), and very little fat. Calorie-wise, I usually went over my cutting diet amount by 25-30%, and never had a problem making weight or looking good on stage. -EK
|Jan 27, 2012 11:18am||
I’d look at a cheat day as a maintenance day and not exceed the limits set for a maintain diet. It is a neutral day. Sometimes you just need to break up the routine. It just means it will take a bit longer to lose the weight. However, in my case, I recently hit a plateu and raised my intake a little which got me back on track.