The Problem with Cheat Days

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The Problem with Cheat Days

You’ve committed to eating healthy. You want to look and feel great, and you’ve stuck to your diet an entire week already. You feel good about how you’ve done and think you deserve a gold star… or that cupcake that’s calling your name (especially the one with the extra layer of frosting on top). Maybe you even think you deserve a day off—a designated “cheat day.”

But are “cheat days” a good idea? Do these special days of indulgence help you reach your health goals? Or do they set you up on a seesaw of destructive eating habits?

The Argument for Cheat Days: Rewarding Yourself

Some say that giving yourself days of indulgence is giving yourself a needed break from your diet. These cheat days are a relief valve that help you stick to healthier foods.

The philosophy behind this basically goes something like this: Healthy eating requires some willpower—willpower you’ve used to keep yourself from forbidden foods—so to reward your constraint, it helps to have one scheduled day (or meal) per week where you’re allowed to eat some of the treats you’ve been avoiding. When you give yourself a window to enjoy these off-limit foods, it’ll satisfy your cravings, replenish your depleted willpower, and, some studies suggest, even increase your production of the hunger-dampening hormone leptin while boosting metabolism.

The Argument Against Cheat Days

So cheat days sound like a good thing, right? Not so fast. The the logic behind these days has more than a few flaws, and it’s due to the psychology and physiology behind them.

The Name Is to Blame

The trouble with cheat days starts with the wording.

“The very phrase ‘cheat day’ sets up enjoying a meal as something forbidden,” says Sondra Kronberg, R.D., executive director of the Eating Disorder Treatment Collaborative. “Separating foods into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ categories encourages you to associate eating with guilt and shame.” This means that instead of enjoying everything we eat, we feel bad about ourselves when we eat something we consider “bad.”

What’s more, when we deem certain foods “bad” or “cheating,” the negative name doesn’t help us pump the breaks.

“When a food is off-limits, it can develop a specific, emotional charge,” explains Melainie Rogers, RD, a nutritionist and eating disorder specialist. “You begin obsessing over it, fantasizing about, and looking forward to that ‘indulge day’ all week. Then, when you finally have access to it, you overeat.”

On the flipside, labeling foods as “good” or “healthy” can also backfire. Science shows when we think something is healthy, we’re not concerned with portion control and thus overdo it—whether it’s a “normal” day or a “cheat” day. Yes, there can be too much of a good thing.

Along these same lines, thinking of a meal or snack as “healthy” can have a surprising affect on our hunger. Studies show merely considering items we put in our mouth as “healthy” can literally make us feel hungrier—especially if we select a “good-for-you” item out of obligation over something we’re truly hungry for.

Attack of the Calories

Folks who assume they can compensate for giving into temptations—say, by holding themselves back on all days except their cheat days—are actually less likely to reach their dietary goals. This is because they’re more likely to consume a greater number of calories, not just on their cheat day but on the days following it.

Restricting ourselves throughout the week and then slamming our bodies with sugar and fat once our cheat day rolls around, can have “a massive impact on blood sugar and insulin levels,” Rogers says. “You’ll wake up the next day craving more sugars and simple carbs, and you’ll find yourself feeling pretty ragged. And if you repeatedly increase your caloric intake above baseline, you may inadvertently end up gaining more weight over time.”

Cravings serve as a sign that your nutritional approach isn’t sound. “Most cravings come from overly restricting your food intake, using food as a drug, or over exercising,” Kronberg says.

Binging Leads to Extra Cheat Days

There’s a very fine line between a cheat day and a free-fall into food binging, especially if you’re, “white-knuckling it during those other six days of sticking out a meal plan you don’t particularly like,” says Ryan Andrews, R.D., author of Drop The Fat Act and Live Lean and coach with Precision Nutrition. Once that day of indulgence comes, it’s not about enjoying the foods you haven’t had all week. Instead, you’re approaching it out of a need to consume all you can before the day goes away. “It feeds into a feast-and-famine cycle,” Andrews says.

We can thank our biology for cheat days turning into these all-out food fests. We’re wired to chase down food when we’re caught in the feast-and-famine cycle. “People will eat beyond satiety when they’re coming from a fear of scarcity,” Rogers explains.

Binging on a cheat day also makes it challenging to confine cheat-day foods only to that designated 24-hour window. “It’s very hard for people to compartmentalize their diets,” Rogers says. “‘I’m only going to have those cookies on Saturday’ can easily spill over into ‘I’ll only have a few cookies Sunday too.'”

The Solution: Stop Restricting, Start Enjoying—in Moderation

So if cheat days don’t work, are we all better off eating whatever we want, whenever we want?

Well, not quite, says Corby K. Martin, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and food intake researcher at Pennington Biomedical Research Center. “Following a healthy diet means including a number of foods—all of which are consumed in moderation,” he says. “If weight loss is the goal, this usually means three square meals a day with planned snacks, incorporating treats but in smaller portion sizes.”

Research suggests eating a balance of foods—with none of them off-limits or labeled “bad”—is the best way to reduce the kinds of cravings that can lead to a binge.

During the first week of a new diet, most people experience an increase in hankerings for coveted foods, but when people stick to a balanced weight loss diet, the tendency to occasionally overeat actually goes down over time, Martin says.

So what does a game plan for a healthy eating with no cheat days look like? Remember these three things:

1. Listen to your appetite.
“If you want to eat spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, have it!” Andrews says. “Don’t find the low-carb version with the fat-free sauce. If you actually eat what you want, you’ll likely end up eating a more reasonable amount of it.” Eating in tune with your hunger is a principle of intuitive eating, and it’s shown to have a positive effect on both your weight and your wellbeing.

2. Enjoy treats from time to time.
Research shows (and experts agree) that sprinkling reasonably sized desserts or treats into your daily diet encourages you to find pleasure in meal time again—and that pleasure will help ensure you don’t feel the need to go overboard.

So instead of confining your treats to one single day, drop them into places throughout the week. For example, enjoy: “a cookie or a few pieces of chocolate after dinner on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays,” Rogers says.

3. Savor every bite.
Once you place any item of food into your mouth, take a moment to: “taste, smell, and experience it as a whole,” Rogers says. “When you take the time to be mindful about what you’re eating, you tap into your satiety cues.”

The Takeaway

Forget about designating a cheat day to reward yourself. Denying yourself most of the week and then indulging like crazy on your one day “off,” just promotes guilt, anxiety, and shame around eating—which means you won’t likely get to the health outcome you’re looking for. Instead, make every day a great day by listening to your appetite, periodically adding in some of your favorite foods in small portions, and savoring each and every bite of everything you eat. This sustainable approach will help you think of all of your eating as enjoyable, and that’s what gets you down the road to where you want to be.

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  • Scott

    Used to have a cheat day every Saturday, I’d indulge in a lot and for a while it worked fine, I’d still lose weight. But I’d feel awful and guilty. I think it’s better to have a cheat meal as and when appropriate. Just nominate a meal say once a week and leave it empty in your diary, then use your judgement to decide what you’re going to have and in what portion. For example, a full length subway and some cookies perhaps. Just need to satisfy one craving at a time. But most of these things can fit into whatever macros you have planned for yourself. I had a full bar of dark chocolate last week for example.

  • Itell

    As with everything in life, i think it all depends on the individual. A “cheat day” works for me. In my mind it’s not cheating; it’s just the day I allow myself to eat those things that I avoid during the rest of the week. So if I want a cupcake on Tuesday I just tell myself I can have it on my designated day. And often times when that day rolls around I don’t even want it anymore. This works for me, although I know it may not for someone else. I think to be successful at weight loss, as with most everything else in life, you have to find what works for YOU and then work at that!

  • Jim

    Or you could have a “refeed” day instead of a cheat day. People think, “oh I can eat this entire pizza.” No, those aren’t the calories you want to indulge in on your “off” day.

    Instead, just eat complex carbs, proteins, and healthy fats on that “off” day. Simply instead your carb intake 1.5-3x normal daily values and 1.25-1.5x the protein. This will allow you to eat more, feel more rewarded and satisfied knowing you’re not going to gain unnecessary fat weight, over essential macros your body needs after a hard week of dieting.

    The increased carbs will increase the leptin levels within your body in order to maintain a fast and healthy metabolism. You can be in a carb and calorie deficit, but only for so long until your metabolism goes to crap. “Refeeding” yourself is good for your metabolism, diet, body, muscles, and overall 100 times better than “cheat” days.

    If you want to have a cheat day, do it once a month. Refeed depending on your needs every 1-2 weeks. If you can’t go a week without cheating, then don’t diet, you’re not doing your body and mind a favor.

    • lgsto

      Too hell with your method. Eat whatever you want….just be willing to go hit it hard and burn it back out….smh

      • Jakefromstatefarm223

        I know a lot of people who applied that mentality. Then they want to whine about never loosing any weight.

        • gennarosenatore

          well I tell you maybe I am lucky that being Italian and strictly following mediterranean diet(lot of fibers, loads of vegetables, not too much fat, and tasty as hell) I ‘d rather excercise the living daylight out of me and eat as much as I feel than dieting. And it works. In my 40s I run a half marathon in 1.55 cycle 40Ks at least 4 times a week and I am 6ft and 75 kg…..and in much better shape now than when I was 20 honestly.not to mention that excercising (especialy doing something I love like cycling) gives you a great mood whereas dieting is just depressing(feeling like a food aaccountant) My Tack on the matter is: Avoid junk and over processed food always. limit red meat 1 a week max. Fiber fiber and more fiber.And find a workout you love and do it as much as possible. You’ll be glad.

          • Kaitensatsuma

            Italian/Mediterranean seems well suited for an exercise focused health plan. Carbs are basically fuel for your body, and with pasta, beans and fish being primary foods it generally consists of damn healthy food while being tasty.

          • Jakefromstatefarm223

            I decided long ago it was better to make a lifestyle change, and not diet. I don’t eat processed foods, sugar, or refined carbs. I think we all need to do different things. I’m not knocking cheat days, or eating what you want, but that doesn’t work for me.

          • Igsto

            I want to smear you in honey, Lick it off, and have you treat me like the whore I am!

          • Igsto

            I is a failure. I lied…I’m so huge I lost my keyboard in my rolls…butterry…buttery rolls. 😉 (idiot azz pirate…come search my many rolls!)

          • lgsto

            I reported ya…ya idiot rof….lmao

          • Igsto

            Like I care. I can just do it again idiot. Go fuck yourself you dog fu€King faggot!

          • Igsto

            I’m telling the truth about myself. I’m a fat azz pirate!

          • Igsto

            …and again..and again…because I am you…and I’m a faggot…and a bottom. My butts ready!

          • Igsto

            I’ve never even seen a pussy in my life…I gave up, and went gay for my rotty.

          • Jakefromstatefarm

            Aww it aint bad, I’m banging a dog right now, I call her my girlfriend…..but she’s a dog, trust me 😀

          • Igsto

            I love me some dog rough rough!

          • Jakefromstatefarm

            Yeah, but I bet you aint been doing them as long as my mother and I have….betcha.

          • Igsto

            I heard she’s fu€King ugly

          • Jakefromstatefarm

            Not as bad as this rotten pussy chick I got. First time I EVER met a girl that had maggots coming outta that hole ( I LOVE this ).

          • Igsto

            You’re an idiot, and a bitch for banging her.

          • Jakefromstatefarm

            Looks like I win again….yawn.

          • Igsto

            My rottyy’s better I just put my azz in the air, and get pounded! Your skank azz bitch ain’t worth the time Jakeimabuttpiratefarm

          • Jakefromstatefarm

            No, do like me suck the rotty off first, or I let my girl do it, then we threesome. But the rotty bangs her sooo much better than me….dang ( rotff….lmfAo ).

          • Jakefromstatefarm

            Don’t fret, I is a pussy too !

          • Igsto

            Jakefromwhereverfaggotscomefrom I heard your pussy huge….like throwing a hotdog down a hallway

          • Jakefromstatefarm

            I’m really envious of you lgsto, you are a real man. Thx for you and your boys making my girl airtight, you guys gave her the banging I NEVER could ! 😀

          • Igsto

            Thanks for letting my bang your ass man! 😉 pussy doesn’t turn me on.

          • Jakefromstatefarm

            And vice versa my tight sphinctered friend…cooty doesn’t excite me either ( I musta REALLY got to these two …love it ) !

          • lgsto

            The best you could do is assume my identity…..bwaaaaa hahaha….you and your skank are hilarious 😀

          • Igsto

            Lmao I’m so fu€King sad. This ain’t Jakefromwhereverfaggotscomefrom. But whatev. I like being an azz pirate. Come aboard my butt boys!

          • Jakefromstatefarm

            Im really angry because lgsto, wont let me lick his ass anymore 🙁

          • Igsto

            Poor Jake..that is sad..maybe if you sprout a dick I’ll let you back in

          • Jakefromstatefarm

            I cant sprout a dick, I lied, I already have a pussy 😀

          • Igsto

            Too bad, I’m not into pussy!

          • Jakefromstatefarm

            Me neither.

          • Igsto

            Hahahaha faggot

          • Jakefromstatefarm

            Bwaaaa hahahahaha ….you idiots thought ya out smarted me didnt ya…..bwaaaaaaaaaaa hahaha ( idiots )

          • Jakefromstatefarm

            Hurts when someone gets ya goat doesn’t it? That’s what you guys get fir trying to out wit the MASTER. …idiots ( I cant laugh no more ).

          • Igsto

            BWAHAHAHAHAHA

          • Jakefromstatefarm

            Echos ladies 😀

          • Jakefromstatefarm

            Ahhh yes, the fake laughter of defeat….music.

          • Igsto

            Seriously. Peace faggot. You’re killing my buzz, and I can’t take your weak azz responses. It’s just too sad dude. I expected more fun from you, and that sissy man. Thx for the worst trolling of my life. I gotta go smoke more you’re just such a buzzkill man.

          • Jakefromstatefarm

            That comment means I gotcha…..sorry you put yourself up against superiority. …..idiot 😀

          • Igsto

            Got me how? I left to smoke weed idiot. Dude don’t you get it? We can’t get each other we’re both trolling. I was just messin around. Can’t really insult me I don’t give a fu€k, I can’t get you buttpirate cuz you don’t care. Wanna continue? Go for it. Maybe pussyman will log on.

          • Jakefromstatefarm

            But, you say your mom is ?

          • Igsto

            Jakefromwhereverfaggotscomefrom is a faggot too. He gobbles my knob!

          • Igsto

            Jakefromwhereverfaggotscomefrom I can tell you this lover boy…I’m a sheep raper!

          • Jakefromstatefarm

            Ooo me too.

          • lgsto

            A lifestyle change? I KNEW you were a faggot….wheatgrass eater 😀

          • Igsto

            I know I’m a faggot too!

          • Jakefromstatefarm

            If you think im bad off, you should see skank ugly chick. When she was a man, she actually looked better.

          • Igsto

            I heard she’s a fu€King nasty azz dog…sounds like my type. Love me a pice of nasty skank dog azz.

          • Jakefromstatefarm

            I got you beat, I won’t suck a dick unless it has puss oozing out of it….yummmm 😀

          • Igsto

            Side note twice as funny since I’m not Jakefromwhereverfaggotscomefrom…lmao he’s gonna whine like the bitch he is

          • Jakefromstatefarm

            And vice versa. …idiot. bwahahahaha 😀

          • Jakefromstatefarm

            Suuurree.

          • Michelle Fitton

            Hi, I have just been reading your blog. I find it amazing that you are in your 40s and ran half a marathon in 1.55 that is brilliant, I ran the half marathon last year in 2hrs 30mins and was 38yrs, I run the half marathon again this year and hope to do a better PB. I have also registered and got a place in the London Marathon in 2016 which will also be my 40th birthday 4 days after the marathon and I really want to do well so I am going to take some advice from your Mediterranean diet. I am a vegetarian and don’t eat fish so do tend to eat well but weekends is my downfall with bad food and wine!!

          • casper

            Places for London marathon aren’t out till October????

        • lgsto

          Well I ain’t one of the failures. Neither are other folks I know, that eat whatever the hell they want, but have hard work outs. Keep your weak weak method.

          • Jakefromstatefarm223

            I’ve lost weight, felt great, and have built a lot of muscle. So my method isn’t weak at all. I don’t need cheat days, but if you need to eat junk, and hit the gym hard to feel good go ahead. While you’re doing that I’ll continue to enjoy my weight loss, and good lab reports from the doctor.

          • lgsto

            I get the same good lab reports, idiot, and I eat what I want to eat. So give the your whacked logic why I should be eating tasteless crap, if my results arr the same or better than yours Dr. Oz…..wheat grass eating idiot.

          • Jakefromstatefarm223

            Go ahead, and eat what you want, and I will provide your cardiac rehab after you’ve had a heart attack. You can only outrun a poor diet for so long. I’m sorry if my eating healthy means I’m an idiot, but I think it’s stupid to put crap in your body. I’ve seen pleanty of patients with your mentality have strokes, and heart attacks. It’s only food if it’s so important to you that you have to be rude to people over it you have a problem. Maybe you need to see a therapist about your issues with food, or at least stop being an Internet warrior.

          • lgsto

            You’re not listening young lady, my lab reports are great, low cholesterol, blood pressure low, etc etc. You keep making your sissified excuses and eating wheat grass. You can take your cardio rehab, and shove it deep….chick

          • Jakefromstatefarm223

            Aww little lady are you getting upset? Girl you need to deal with your food issues! By the way I hate wheat grass. I’ll save it for you when you’re old, and your doctor won’t let you eat anything else. Man you are such a sissy being a slave to food.

          • lgsto

            Awww Now you’re re trying to comment like meee. Imitation IS the sincerest form flattery. …….you weak wheatgrass eating female you…..luv ya, muah ( what a weak sissy this guy is! ).

          • Jakefromstatefarm223

            I only look like a sissy, because I’m imitating your girly a$$. I guess I shouldn’t be so rough on you. I’m sure you’re a frustrated, and ignorant teenage girl who’s angry at all us men. It’s not our fault your right hand is the only thing that will touch your nasty self.

          • lgsto

            Dude….try again. You can do better I know. Go ahead, take another whack…..swing batta batta. ….SWING !!!!! bwaaaaa hahaha….what a freakin imbecile. …bwahahaha !

          • Jakefromstatefarm223

            Lmao moron. Yeah you’re winning like a delusional coked out Charlie Sheen. Please go back to your high school little lady. The Internet is no place for a little girl like you.

          • lgsto

            Try again. ..you CAN do this….despite your idiocy !

          • Jakefromstatefarm223

            Lol you’re so dumb you don’t even get that you’re not insulting me. You’re just calling me random rude names.

          • lgsto

            Oh yeah,..I’m insulting you….you KNOW it too….you bitch you (lm ASSo ) 😀

          • Jakefromstatefarm223

            Dance monkey dance! He might be done talking to you, but I just had to add that. He played you like a violin, and like the idiot you are you keep going.

          • lgsto

            The hunter, got captured by the game…..idiot. I actually cant laugh anymore…..idiots ;D

          • LaNe84

            Wow after reading these comments dude your an f’d up loser. Enjoy your trolling, and you might want to get a new screen name. I just reported you for all kinds of stuff to disquis.

          • lgsto

            Why thank you my friend 😀

          • LaNe84

            Anytime idiot.

          • lgsto

            Thank you 😀

          • LaNe84

            Seriously get the message. I get you’re a troll, but I don’t want your sick sexual replies. You took this way too far. There’s trolling, and then there’s what you’re doing. You can’t suck my anything, because I’m a woman. Stop replying to me, and stop making sexual comments to me!

          • Igsto

            Aww really!? I was going to ask you to finger my little stink star, because I wore my rotty out this morning already…and the farmer won’t let me play with his sheep.

          • LaNe84

            I can’t be your friend. I’m not allowed to play with idiots.

          • lgsto

            Whyyy THANK you !

          • Igusto

            Be my friend…let me suck your dick.

          • LaNe84

            Ok look I don’t know what your problem is, but you’ve gone beyond trolling. You’re sick. You need help. I’m a girl, and I don’t need your lewed sexual comments directed at me. I don’t want any further comments about what you want me to do to you. So back off.

          • Igsto

            Sorry thought you were a yummy man, my bad lady. Vaginas don’t interest me.

          • Igsto

            I have a well used azzhole waiting for you big guy…come over and bang me I’m a cock loving faggot.

          • lgsto

            You type too much….try too too hard.

          • Igusto

            I am. I’m a fat loser.

          • lgsto

            You LIKE me dont you….me calling you messed up crap excites ya doesnt it…..come ta poppa, and let me turn you over to my rotty….he likes bitches, after they bathe. Lmao !

          • Igusto

            I let my dog lick butter off of my dick.

          • Igsto

            I like talking about my rotty …because no one can love my tight man pusssy like he does.

          • Igusto

            idiot! idiot! They see me trolling, idiot bitches!

          • Jakefromstatefarm223

            Seriously! Please get a therapist. You need one. I’m sorry that someone has taken control away from you, and that you need to take it back by being a rude idiot, a bully, and by stuffing it down with food. Quit deluding yourself, and get help.

          • lgsto

            Bwaaaaaaa hahaha….stop STOP….YOU’RE KILLIN’ ME….STOOOPPPP ..BWAAAAAAAAA HAHAHAHA

          • lgsto

            I’ll get one, if your sick azz goes first…I promise 😀

          • Jakefromstatefarm223

            You don’t get it, because my insults go over your head, but you’re not smart enough to see that. Yes we responded back for entertainment, but you sat here thinking you were really insulting me, and we were laughing at YOUR expense. Do you get it? You weren’t being clever, or funny you were the butt of our joke. Some rainy day vacation entertainment. Call me a girl, or that I’m gay who cares? You’re some stranger on the Internet who has no effect on me, or my life what so ever. I hope one day you get your Sh!t together man. This was just pathetic, it was like trading insults with a caveman. Have a nice life, and enjoy your heart attack when it comes. I’m done, and won’t be reading any more of your responses. This went beyond entertainment to a very pathetic place on your part.

          • lgsto

            Again…..

          • lgsto

            Don’t HAFTA be smart, just dumb down about 100 ft and…..POOF ! There you are nutsack.

          • Jakefromstatefarm223

            PLEASE GET HELP FOR YOUR UNHEALTHY FOOD OBSESSION. It’ll only get worse.

          • lgsto

            I THOUGHT your were a faggot.

          • Jakefromstatefarm223

            I’d say I’m gay for you, but you’re a woman so that wouldn’t work I’m straight for you sounds silly. Besides only an uneducated idiot would call someone a branch or twig as an insult. Poor thing maybe mommy and dady will buy you a dictionary to celebrate your first period.

          • lgsto

            Enough laughter at your expense…thx you faggot you, I havent laughed AT someone in a long time……NEXT !! Rof…lmAo !

          • Jakefromstatefarm223

            Honestly you make me sad. It’s a shame how pathetic you really are. I hope you can accept your homosexuality, stop eating your feelings, and not be so angry.

          • lgsto

            Yeah, you’re right, your dad was such a lame screw, made me wanna GIVE UP the lifestyle…rof…..Lmao !!!!

          • Jakefromstatefarm223

            Also remember you are what you eat, which is why you’re such a stupid dick.

          • lgsto

            No, I’m a pussy, unlike the kind YOU are dingleberry…..( I GOTTA get better competition )

          • Igusto1

            I dumb pussy…need other dumb sissies like me…

          • lgsto

            Weak. Try again. I’ll wait….tick tock.

          • Igusto1

            Haha I’m a weak bitch pussy.

          • Igusto1

            My man pussy hurts for letting my dog pound it.

          • Igsto

            My Rottweiler shoves It deep for me…

          • Igsto

            Do my cardiac rehab…in my azz…come on you know you want to pound it!

          • Jakefromstatefarm223

            Do what works for you. My point was this doesn’t work for me, and I donn’t see the pont of cheat days. I get the same results you get, but I can work out less to get them. I’m out having fun while my friends stay at the gym extra long to burn off that large pizza they ate.

          • lgsto

            You idiot, I dont go to a gym, I work out 3 times a week at home, strenuously. So, like you, I’M out having fun the same amount of time as you, no gym, AND I eat what ever the hell I want. …it would work for you too, you’re just weak and scared, and have bought into all that dieting crap. I’m lean AND mean, and I eat all kinds of pie, cake sodas, burgers, skittles, snickers, meat lovers pizza etc etc. You keep eating that wheat grass weakling, and doing what the dieting ‘industry’ TELLS you too….ya sheep 😀

          • Jakefromstatefarm223

            The only idiot I see is you, and you’re an idiot for getting so upset about food. If you’re that attached to food, and need to justify your lifestyle that hardcore then you probably have food issues. Yes your labs are fine until they’re not, but I assume you’re probably young, and your eating hasn’t caught up to you yet. That’s how it works with most people. Unless you’re me my labs were bad, and now they’re good, and that’s because I changed what I ate. Why would I run to food that was harming my body? Why does it matter to you what I eat? I eat ketogenic, so no wheat grass, but I do eat meat, dairy, and vegetables. I am not on a diet this is a way of life. I’m not buying into anything, and calling me names won’t change a thing. I eat whatever I want, but I don’t want to eat any of that crap you listed. None of that is even food except for the burger. As I said eat what you want, but I’m not weak for being able to make a change. You’re weak for giving in to an obvious food addiction, and denying it.

          • lgsto

            You female idiot. Angry , are you kiddin’? Ive been laughing at YOUR stupid bhind the whole convo. Dude, im realizing that you are really too stooopid for me to be wasting keystrokes on you. Now I’m gonna be charitable, and give you another try at firing off an insult ( this guys stupidity is congenital…I’m afraid).

          • Jakefromstatefarm223

            You must haves hard time in life with such an angry vagina. Maybe changing your diet will kill some of the yeast down there. You really should lay off that wheat grass you’re in love with. It’s throwing your hormones out of whack chicke.

          • lgsto

            Insulting people is DEFINITELY not your strong suit…..stick to sucking old men’s dick, I hear you are an ACE at that……wipe that chin !

          • Jakefromstatefarm223

            I think you’re getting us confused. I hear that’s what you’re a champ at. Silly girl trolling around nursing homes for dates.

          • lgsto

            Sorry retort nancy, try again.

          • Igusto1

            I like dicks

          • Igsto

            I’m fancy Nancy….eating my bag full of dicks.

          • Igusto1

            Love old man dick…got them all over my face.

          • Jakefromstatefarm223

            The only female idiot would be one stupid enough to have sex with someone like you. Of course I’ve heard you’re actually a fat, lazy Internet warrior, who’s hung like a sun shriveled earth worm, and can’t get real women to save your life.

          • lgsto

            Sorry skank, I’m lean, with very little body fat. Cut like a diamond. I’d send you a pic, but you and your dog whore of a girlfriend of yours would jack off to it…..sorry. ( I’m having a BALL with this mongoloid idiot )

          • Jakefromstatefarm223

            Yeah that’s what a fat computer nerd responds with. What’s that sound I hear? It’s the fat on your arms flapping as you type!

          • lgsto

            You would know about hidin bhind a pc…wouldn’t ya. By the way, that bitch whore of yours wants to lap my sphincter again, IF she bathes, I might let her, but tell her my rottweiler won’t let her suk HIM anymore. …sorry.

          • Jakefromstatefarm223

            Let me tell you from a ladies POV you leave a lot to be desired. I nor would any other woman ever touch you. Why? Because you have the mentality of a 13 year old boy. No self respecting woman finds that attractive…EVER! I guess there is a plethora of drug addicts, and girls with poor self esteem for you out there, but I doubt that they’re that desperate.

          • lgsto

            Awww…you’re making me CRY !

          • lgsto

            Oh THIS must the smelly skank, look you dog ugly, dog fuckin, disease infested bitch……you NEED to get a new man… that dingleberry you have, cant defend you. YOU should have never HAD to get online and try…….oh yeah, my rottweiler said you CAN lick his balls….neither one of us will screw your smelly bhind though………skankette 😀

          • Igusto1

            I like to fu€k my Rottweiler.

          • Igusto1

            My dick fell off…now I have a pussy.

          • Igusto1

            I wish I was a man. I’m my Rottweilers butt bitch.

          • Jakefromstatefarm223

            Let me put this in terms your tiny brain can understand. You’re a loser. A dickness, balless, loser. Eat your pizza, candy, cakes, dicks, and whatever else, and live in your pretend world. We will live in the real world. Wait…that probably went over your head. Sorry I can’t seem to speak idiot… I am too pretty, classy, and make way too much money to go anywhere near a skank like you. That’s why I’m with Jake he’s not a classless, brainless, frat boy like you.

          • lgsto

            😀

          • Jakefromstatefarm223

            Now we’re both done with you. You pathetic little puppet.

          • lgsto

            Why thank you for the final attempt at an insult.Seriously? Don’t let guys rake your girl over the coals like I have…..be a better man.. for her. Idiot. PEACE ! 😀

          • Jakefromstatefarm223

            Please like you know what a good man is.

          • lgsto

            I tried…he’s stuck on stupid.

          • Igsto

            I know pleanty of them…who’ve unloaded in my azz.

          • Jakefromstatefarm223

            The only insult you seem to understand is calling someone an idiot. I guess that’s the best you can do. I wasn’t insulting you I was stating facts. Again you’re just too dumb to get it. I guess we can’t trade insults with someone as stupid as you. It was fun until EVERYTHING went right over your head.

            You do realize this isn’t real it’s the Internet? You didn’t insult me, or rake me over any coals. You’re too insignificant for me to be truely offended by your comments. Had we been in person he would have beaten you even more senseless than what you are, but online we both just laughed at you. It wasn’t worth defending my honor to to a 13 year old kid anyway. One day when you grow up you’ll understand. I’d continue, but Jake told me if I don’t stop he’ll throw all the electric devices over the balcony. So now we really are done. Enjoy being fat, having diabetes, and heart disease in a few years!

          • lgsto

            Idiot. ( what a freakin IDIOT…a glutton 4 punishment. ..I LOVE trolling 😀 Multitasking?? I’m working, AND dogging you and that flea bitten stank pussy BITCH of yours….the disease ridden skank.

          • Igusto1

            Haha I’m a flea bitten skank too! From fu€king my dog. I like dog dick.

          • Igusto1

            Wish my dick could still get hard. I’m such a pussy.

          • lgsto

            😀

          • Igusto1

            Igsto too dumb computer hard….

          • Igsto

            Hard like cocks…I like those

          • Igusto

            HAHAHAHA idiot…I am fat!

          • Igusto1

            I’m Igsto! I’m a fat fu€k! Cut like a muffin. Mhmmmm muffins. Fat bitches like muffins

          • Igusto

            Idiot…I’m a skank a dickless skank idiot

          • Jakefromstatefarm223

            By the way my girlfriend wanted me to thank you. We’ve been laughing at you all day. Lol idiot.

          • lgsto

            Your girlfriend. …wanted to thank me. I wouldnt bang that whore with a mutts dick….idiot. rof lmao 😀

          • Jakefromstatefarm223

            she said, and I quote, “I’d rather be skinned alive, have salt rubbed on my open sores, and die a slow painful death than ever let someTHING like you near me. Besides I don’t do chicks.”

          • lgsto

            Dude,…u idiot. She’s a bitch, she’s lying too you. I wouldnt do her, but a group of meth heads took a shot at her….all that screaming….yuk.

          • Igusto

            Not shocked….I’m a fat sweaty pig.

          • Jakefromstatefarm223

            Besides you’d have to have a dick to use it, and you have a vagina.

          • lgsto

            She wanted WHATEVER I got. Vagina OR dick…begged me and it would be much better than what you offer…..I told her no, she smells. Lmao.

          • Igusto1

            I lick my dogs azzhole.

          • Igusto1

            Bitches are gross! I only bang my bros haha and my dog.

          • Igusto

            I like getting sticky from dicks

          • Igusto

            I suck….dicks

          • Igusto

            Girls are skanks. Bros before hoes in my mouth.

          • Igusto1

            I’m a fatass.

          • Igusto1

            My names Igsto I like to be ass raped!

          • Igsto

            I never eat tasteless crap. I eat whatever I want…pretend to exercise. I get winded typing…no biggie. My labs are good…

          • Igsto

            I rub wheat grass on my balls.

          • Igsto

            My mother is a cock loving whore…I take after her.

          • Igsto

            I’m dying of clogged arteries…and STD’s in my sphincter.

          • Igsto

            Won’t someone please help my stretched out sphincter?

          • Igsto

            I ain’t smart neither.

          • Igsto

            I burn my calories choking my chicken.

          • Igsto

            I eat whatever the hell I want! I do whatever the hell I want! I’m fat as hell!

          • lgsto

            You wish 😀

      • MattNemoHoes

        Yes! you explained what i was gunna say

        • Igsto

          You’re stupid. You’re can’t say anything.

          • MattNemoHoes

            What I would say is gunna be the same as what you said. Lick my Ass

    • i want eat

      • Linda

        I’a­m fre­ela­ncin­g ove­r intern­et, comp­leting som­e sim­ple jobs that only require desk­top or laptop com­puter an­d ac­cess to int­ernet and I am happ­ier than ev­er… S­ix mont­hs hav­e pas­sed sin­ce i start­ed thi­s a­nd i made in tot­al 36 tho­usan­d do­lla­rs… Ba­sic­ly i m­ake abou­t 80 doll­ars/h an­d w­ork f­or t­hree to fo­ur ho­urs m­ost of the da­ys.An­d awe­some thin­g abou­t t­his jo­b is tha­t you ge­t to choo­se y­ourself wh­en to wo­rk and f­or how lon­g an­d you ge­t pai­d weekly

    • JAI SRI RAM

      fuck u

    • Unkle Amurica

      exactly

    • Maryam Sayyed Junior

      U have to measure how much calories u eat per serving.1500 calories to be accumulated per day if ur using a lot 8th energy at work.if ur not working 1200calories enough

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    • For what is worth, I have mastered the “enjoy small portions of bad things along the way” method. i.e., a snickers “bite size”, a single Twizzler, or a small sliver of pie. I really try to enjoy every bite and appreciate the moment.

      I’v been able to all but remove the desire to even want junk food. I have a cheat day from time to time also. It still comes down to calories and that is more easy said than done.

      I would argue that eating healthy consistently is a great practice. Think about it, 6 small meals a day of quality nutrition adds up in your favor.

      The challenge is that cheat days become more and more often. Fyi, I have lost 15 pounds in 2 months and I am talking about being in the so called “the last 10 are the hardest to loose” zone. This is with very moderate exercise. I am 50ish. Thoughts?

      • Jon Alcock

        hi Kevin – Im 53 and down 22 lbs this year. Just be patient the pounds will drop if you stick to it. You’ve done great in 2 months.
        I dont have designated cheat days but if im invited out then i dont sip water at the bar 😉
        Try mixing up your exercise – try something new or something you havent done for a while but enjoy. I mix up swimming, spinning, hiking and ive started jogging again now my weight is down.
        Food wise I have a couple of blogs (in norweigan) that i follow and I find “experimenting” with new healthy recipies like protein waffles or carrot cakes rewarding. This gives me “treats” without all the empty calories.
        good luck and stick with it

        • Well done Jon. I agree, mixing movement is a great practice in exercise. I do this with resistance training, but think I will make this a goal when exercising moving forward. Thank you for your comments. Keep up the good work us 50 somethings need to be diligent.

      • 0live 0il

        Kevin, don’t think about “the last 10 are the hardest to loose” zone.” Just think about staying the course until you reach your goal and then about a good maintenance plan that’s right for you. I’m 56 and, for the first time in my life, I just discovered that I’m overweight. I’m not panicking, just reversing course. I will succeed at losing 20 lbs and keeping it off. The magic words are “I WILL succeed.” Good luck to you!

    • oliver H

      Carbs and Proteins are the order of the day. They keep you fit forever

    • lizzy

      Eat Wise food. Stay healthy forever and live longer.

    • richard

      You could follow your heart always while eating food of your choice but staying healthy is a gift you give to yourself.

    • Bill

      Love Yourself. So, eat what you may love. Follow your heart always.

    • Robert

      We all love food. So, let us have the best when we get the chance to have it all.

    • julian

      Fitness freaks are always choosy. Not to blame them. Eat healthy and stay healthy is their slogan always.

      • Igusto

        Man I eat whatever I want. Donuts for breakfast, meat lovers pizza, candy for dinner. I’d exercise….it makes my chest hurt.

    • pamela

      Healthy food keeps you fit and keeps your thoughts healthy. You can propagate the same to all your friends.

      • Igusto

        Dumbass. I eat what I want. I’m fat, but who gives a dink? This morning I ate a box of donuts…diets, an exercise are for sheep.

    • kpcole

      We live to spread the love of Pasta and Pirates to the world in the name of His Noodliness, the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Ramen

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    • That sounds very reasonable, thank you.

    • joe blogg

      Piss off you mug you dont know what your talking about mate take you and your wiki peter mate out of this website.

      • Igusto

        Hahahaha idiot! They see me trolling, idiot bitches!

      • Igsto

        Hahaha you said peter…idiot!

    • Kaitensatsuma

      Or, you know.
      A bit of carb loading before a reeeeally good day.
      Not quite a “Cheat Day” because you’re just paying up front for the next day, but if you’re creative you can get food that you like.

      Veggie Lo Mein is a favorite of mine – make it with buckwheat soba noodles and you’ve got your complex carbs, protein and minerals as well.

    • Igusto

      I’m a fat failure! I eat…and eat…and fap…and eat..

    • Igusto

      I eat constantly…I need help

    • Igsto

      Refine my balls

    • Bluezy !

      I did order a large “works” extra cheese extra portabello and change pepperoni to an extra Italian sausage. I imagined I would just eat two then freeze the rest in two piece portions. It would be like 5 more meals….but but oh well I then should of bought that big Corona bottle as well and call it a major but ‘burp” happy cheat!

      • Tyler Mueller

        You have the system figured out well then. Some people when they see or hear of a cheat day they go full out, and that means for both lunch, and dinner. It is a tough topic to reach just to learn how to eat healthy every day and have little cheat meals throughout the day. Good for you though that is something to be proud of! Kepp it up!

    • i agree with you, most people see a “cheat Day” as the “eat all the crap you can day” to be honest… and then spend the other days “dieting”…. you either do a diet or you eat crap…

    • Chris Morris

      You shouldn’t “diet” anyway. It’s about making lifestyle changes that are sustainable and scalable to your goals. A diet is something you start with the intention of stopping.

      • yadadamean

        but what if you want to get to a lower body fat and then do not need to keep eating like that to maintain he weight. That would be a diet.

        • Mel

          Then when you stop eating healthily you’ll gain the weight back. It truly has to be a lifestyle change.

      • Christin Seegers

        Kudos.

      • tomatokilla

        Well said sir. Lifestyle change and re-programming the way we think. I say “we” because I’m talking about most Americans. We’re just used to eating whatever we want because a lot of things are just so accessible and pletiful. Although I disagree with government control on what/how much we eat, drinking a 32oz of Coke or equally sugar-packed beverage is not something I do (anymore) nor do I let my kids swill sugary drinks at will. I’m sure we’ve all seen young children with their parents and their physical appearance and thought, “that’s sad” because they’re all so fat and dumpy it’s rediculous. So, instead of going through the McDonald’s drive thru and sitting around eating cheesy-poofs, don’t, and instead, eat something that is not from fast food and don’t buy that stuff at the store.

      • Susan Russell

        Thank you. Precisely correct. I’ve “dieted” most of my adult life, and it wasn’t until recently I “discovered” that it was a waste of my time. A change in the way I purchased food, a very simple change, began a sustainable lifestyle change. I’m down 17 pounds and proud of it.

      • Ryan Prophet

        America has the idea that a “diet” is something you intend to stop. A “healthy diet and exercise” is key to winning the food wars, and healthy diet is not what you are thinking it means. Your diet is simply what you normally consume. Keep that definition in mind any time you are reading an article on diet or “dieting”. If the idea revolves around something you intend to stop doing eventually, mentally insert the word “fad” in front of diet to ensure you are differentiating between the two meanings.

      • hamiltonfortuna

        I think the term diet should start being used as the way we eat, not a regimen we follow and has a certain duration, this is why we read doctors requiring a ”balanced diet”, which leads me to understand we should include all macronutrients sources in our meals balanced with regular physical activity.

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    • Ajarn Ron

      What Jim said.

    • Sandy Opfer

      I have a cheat day once a week the same day each week an still count the calories I take in so I don’t go over my calorie goal an I’ve still lost 31# and I’m on my 10th week

  • I think another option is to see how many “extra” calories to you have to use at the end of the week.

    I eat less than my suggested calories and then save the extra calories for pizza on Saturdays.

  • Laura

    I just eat whatever. Its not the healthiest, but in the end all calories are still calories and if you stay under your goal and exercise regularly you’ll be good. Eating the right amounts of nutritious foods is important, but there is nothing wrong with cookies, chicharrones, fried chicken, or whatever you love; as long as its reasonable and in moderation, its all good.

    • JAI SRI RAM

      ya suck my fat dick

    • Victoria Rejuney

      This. When I tried to tell myself foods were bad or forbidden I just ended up binging on them eventually and abandoning healthy eating altogether.

  • KathleenFentonMD

    I love seeing you say that the problem is partly with the word “cheat’ day! This is how I felt when I first saw this topic come up on MFP. Like G Nice says- what works for me is saving calories, in my case for Sunday. Sunday dinner has always been special in my family. I permit myself to have a special Sunday dinner, but only up to the number of calories I have “saved up” during the week. Sometimes I actually have enough calories left to have dessert AND wine- woohoo! Especially if I get some exercise that day. Like today!

    • Hirok Ghosh

      Love you concept of saving calories.

      I have the same things my family has during celebrations.

      It’s just, that I only eat a teaspoon of ice cream or a table spoon of something I love

      And doing this I still keep to half the caloric intake and I feel so wonderful.

      Yumm

  • wilmanlop

    HOLA

  • YeahRight

    There is no problem with “cheat days”. The problem is with the religious belief that long term weight loss is even possible for all but a small part of the obese human population. Medical paper after medical paper proves statistically that NONE of the offered remedies for long term weight loss work (including the ones that use drugs that have very strong short term weight loss effects, like methamphetamine). It is not a matter of the human mind, at all, but one of very strong genetic forcing to obesity. Obese people have a higher survival advantage in a NATURAL human habitat, which is marked by long stretches of severe starvation. Obviously, modern humans do not live in such a habitat. We can, of course, adapt. Simply stop the obese from procreating and you will have a skinny, healthy LOOKING population in a few centuries. Juts make sure we will never fall on hard times, again, because, boy, are those folks going to drop like flies if we do.

    • Sutremaine

      How have human genes managed to change that much in the last hundred years?

      • YeahRight

        We don’t have to change a single gene, we just have to stop propagating the ones that cause obesity. You would have a point, of course, if all people were obese and we would have to go from an all obese to an all non-obese population. That could take a long time (on the order of ten+ thousand years, or so) if left to selection alone, but that’s not the case, at least not if obesity is a Mendelian trait or a not too complex multifactorial combination of such traits. It’s a bit like the difference from going from a wolf to a large number of dog breeds (that takes a long time), but then exchanging traits between breeds can be done in a few generations.

        Having said that, that’s not how it’s going to happen. My guess is that we will have outright genetic editing of babies within fifty years, or so. Obesity will be the least of the concerns for newly to be parents. They will want genetic health, intelligence, muscle tone, skin tone, hair, eyes, chin, nose, you name it improved (hopefully in that order…).

    • oh

  • drjonesjnr

    I say do plenty of exercise,then you can eat what you want win win XD

    • JAI SRI RAM

      ya Ido pleanty of exercise fucking your wife

    • AJ2

      True.

  • Penn

    My spouse and I keep Saturdays as our ‘no log’ day. We eat what we choose to eat, not whatever is in sight. I reject the suggestion that those that take a no log day will feel guilty, sluggish, and/or ravenous the next day. We have NEVER experienced any of the above, and we’ve never gained weight since we started this practice years ago.

    FYI – I originally stumbled on this concept from watching profiles of MMA fighters. As long as they’re not competing soon, many of them use the ‘off’ day method, leaving the restrictions behind (within reason) for just one day week to recharge.

    Whether you’re an athlete or the Average Joe type, everyone can benefit from an off day, as long as the foods chosen aren’t outlandish in calorie count and quantity.

    • dee

      I have a friend who is a personal trainer who does this same exact thing and does perfectly fine as well!

  • themanwhocan

    It comes down to how active you are. If you are less active then tone it down a notch. You simply do not need to eat as much. Breakfast featuring eggs will do it. The day could include some fruit. Then in evening pomegranate juice with 5-6 almonds.

  • Eating healthy food like salad, seaweeds and mushrooms, make our metabolism appetite
    control strategies that shall be fine and fresh overeating quality worth of good food like soul food and African spicy hot and ginger drink with fresh fish and chicken curry to rice or mash pateto with gravy;-) Man that makes me hungry uhm!!! Food is great #Thankyou! #ViveNewDemocrats!

  • AquariusMoon

    It isn’t easy……. in the beginning. After you get used to it, cheat days start to become what they are – a routine. That’s when it’s easy to adhere to it.

    I have my healthy meal days from Sunday evenings to Fridays. Fridays only up to lunch. From Friday evenings to Sunday afternoons, I can indulge, in limited quantities. Then just increase the exercise time to burn off the extra calories.

    I work my social life around these cheat days too : )

  • james lee o balaba

    I like your sounds Lil Wayne

  • dee

    Cheat days for me usually lead to intense cravings later for the food that gave me issues to begin with! I don’t have much of an “off button,” I’m afraid!

  • VincentTPackhorse

    “Eating healthfully,” please.

    Eating healthfully will make you healthy.

  • Hirok Ghosh

    The thing is I just don’t do Cheat Days.
    I just stick to the meal plan, I’ve done the same meal plan for 8.5-months and lost 25.9-kgs (59-lbs)

    And it’s still working, and my reward is greater self esteem.

    So, for me there is no necessity in even having cheat days.

  • Brewblaz

    Cheat day….

  • NothingIsWrongWithCheatDays

    Here, I fixed your article. “Nothing is wrong with cheat days.” Waste of bytes

  • BRANDY

    McDonald’s is my cheat day, the only problem is I cheat every day and speaking of McDonald’s I’m off for a Big Mac, burp….

  • gonzomatic

    The problem with cheat days is that fatties turn them into cheat weeks… And then months and so on

  • guest

    The irony of this appearing on a calorie-counting website.

  • Ffejtball

    If you’re racked with guilt over something like this then include a psychologist in your regimen. Seriously.

  • Mac Alegre

    Going on a diet doesn’t mean you must deprive yourself to food that you wanna enjoy once in a while. It’s a matter of discipline and determination to achieve your goal

  • ZiaBettina

    I have a question (I am Italian). Why “healthy” in these articles always stands for “unpleasant”? I think that if you cook good food in a healthy way, the result is good. Very good, actually. Really good. You do not have to eat processed food all the time. I wish you could come to my house and taste homemade pizza (we have a wood oven), homemade jam and cakes. All low-fat food. Lots of vegetables. And good.

  • Dorian

    Kool

  • Jayendran the Cat

    Living would be mundane if you cannot sin with food every now and then. What’s the point of being 100% fitness oriented and get run over by a bus when you are “texting” and crossing the road?

    • Matthew Richardson

      Don’t text whilst crossing the road then

  • James Vang

    @penn Thanks for sharing your experience. I am going to try it from May for couple of months and let’s see will it work for me too?

  • Soun-heyoung Kwon

    -0-

  • ttttrick

    RECENTLY,WITH ME GOOD FOOD,THEN UNFORTUNATELY,WATCH THEY CORRECTLY AT MY MOUTH.(?)

    • nazi

      The world is round what.s the advantage of good food,sushi .s natural &gravies are sticky only.But lovely was corn junk food.

      • hate?

        So if all agree with me with small foods?

        • nazi

          BLOG SAID RIGHT.& YOU .HOORAY.EATING LESS IS A METEOR THOUGHT LIKE GOD SENT.

  • test

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  • Love of Country

    Cheat days are okay if they’re a couple weeks apart and you don’t go crazy. I mean do you want to set yourself back 2 – 3 days or 4 – 5?

    Sugar, fried foods and processed foods are my main enemies. And sugary drinks? Forget about it. If they have more than 10 grams of sugar you’re just packing on the pounds. Stuff like pizza and fried chicken are basically considered garbage in my house now and only consumed once a month or whatever.

    Anyway, don’t get me started on all that stuff, lol. Bottom line ….. cheat days are great just don’t use it as an excuse to eat a whole box of cookies and a gallon of ice cream and don’t have your cheat days more than twice a month. This diet works and if you do 20 or 30 minutes of cardio every day too then you will lose weight ….. at least 2 pounds a week and it will stay off. Also, one last thing ….. stop eating until you’re absolutely stuffed. You have to make some concessions to lose weight and keep it off but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare, either.

  • Well I always felt cheat days were better then deprivation on a being fulfilled aspect even though its still technically toying with what could be deemed as a bad habit

  • Taminikaj

    burning it out is the best method!

  • That;s best thing you can do!

  • Nancy Marenchin Ayers

    I follow LCHF, and enjoy it because i feel really good on it. once every 2 weeks or so i will have a couple slices of my favorite takeout pizza, and i do log it. big deal. my carbs balance out over the week, and it makes me happy. i’m able to hop right back on track the next day with no detriment.
    to each his own! 🙂

  • Juza

    I dont have to cheat. I eat Subway everyday because Jared says it makes you lose weight.

    And a large Diet Coke of course.

  • Cheat days are what I would recommend to people who used to eat unhealthy and I as a trainer want to get them started with a healthier food plan. So I don’t let them loose all bad nutritiun habits all at once. But keep the cheat day between limits and don’t eat too many unhealthy things. For some people this works and for some it doesn’t.

  • just my thoughts

    The Lord is kind! Miracles happen everyday! So glad that Mr Brown had faith. How do you like them Apple’s Greedy Pat Houston?

  • Martin Friedmann

    please delete this comment

  • bdog

    I am a competitive kickboxier. If I didn’t have a cheat day every week I would simply die

  • i think you eat is the better and healthly eat and your experience any of the above.

  • Wow ! I love it 🙂 I love eating all the time but I have to stop myself now and then to avoid fats but thats the good arguments mentioned here. A way out indeed 🙂

  • Njl12345

    the problem is temptation. after you fight off the initial urge to eat bad it gets easier. also, i find regualting the portion size helps you fight urges i was eatting every 2 hrs so my body did not have urges for fattier sugary foods because it was getting a constant fuel intake

  • christina

    i think its absolutely fine to have cheat days because lets face it a handful of fries or a cupcake or something sweet is not going to affect your diet or how you eat its not like you are changing your good eatting habits you are just satisfying that sweet tooth or whatever craving its when you have that craving and you dont eat that something then you will be thinking about it nonstop

  • christina

    i am a vegetarian i dont believe in diets i just believe in healthy food diets dont work because how long can you eat a restricted food plan for i eat healthy organic fresh stuff i dont always eat every thing organic but i love vegetables and making salads coming up with stuff like i love greens and nuts and seeds fruit and all its all about thinking outside of the box find the things you really like and find some awesome recipes they are endless on pinterest lol my favorite

  • Makinarus Borokian

    Indeed, Cheat Days are the times when things could start getting out of control. Unless people are really careful, cheat days sounds like a self-defeating idea. They could do better doing “a little cheat” every time they eat, or go full abstinence.

  • Robert Vincent Peace

    It’s not important what you eat, the important thing is how you digest them. Eat whatever you want but do exercise daily.

  • CHEATER CHEATER PUMPKIN PIE EATERS.

  • Wileiry

    He is crying poor him

  • Joey

    Or… You can try eating normally and not let calories control and dictate your life. All counting calories will do is give you an eating disorder.

    • Victoria Rejuney

      Not necessarily. I am saying this because I already have a disorder, and drove myself crazy over what I could and couldn’t eat, binging, purging, etc. Counting calories has given me a better idea of what foods have what calories, and which exercises burn the most, and using that information to better determine what my body needs and doesn’t need, and now I have tools to better manage what I do, instead of like before where I would be super restrictive for several weeks, and then go right back to extreme over eating and bulimia. I am learning that I am not a horrible person because I happen to want to eat pasta or a piece of cake every once in a while, and as long as I exercise, then I can eat how I feel, without having that horrible anxiety that used to make me just throw up.

  • Maryam Sayyed Junior

    In dieting u can cheat and succeed

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  • PSC

    Since when is a cheat day a “glut” day? The idea of a “cheat” day is to keep eating the same healthy foods you eat every day, just without actively recording the calories.

  • You have to not completely indulge yourself into a total binge fest. Moderation is key, and it’s best to actually try to consume healthy foods even when you think you deserve a reward. Committing to a healthy lifestyle should not be seen as a punishment.

    Also remember the calories in and calories out, it’s not bad to sometimes have something. But just don’t overdo it.

  • Jakefromstatefarm223

    I don’t see the point of cheat days. All it ever did for me was throw me off track, and make me feel sick. People get the wrong idea, and way over indulge.

    • Ffejtball

      Sounds more like *you* got the wrong idea and over-indulged.

      • Jakefromstatefarm223

        I over indulged once, learned a lesson from it, and found cheat days with small indulgences still weren’t worth it. I have friends who complain that they don’t loose any weight… as they eat an entire pizza alone in one sitting. Many people think a cheat day is an excuse to go hog wild. Food is for nourishment, and there’s very little nourishment gained from cheat day foods.

        • Ffejtball

          Balance in all things. I don’t view cheat days as such, I view them as part of a recovery day. That pizza? Totally fine to eat pretty much whenever one wants, provided they don’t do as your friends did and eat the whole thing in one go. Portion control is a really simple way to develop some self-control.

          And that’s the thing here: When people constantly hold back from things they want they add an element of stress to their lives. They’re basically turning fun into work.

          Point being there are psychological elements here that are being totally glossed over, and damn near everyone reading this article and these comments would do well to take some turpentine to that lacquer.

  • Derek

    Everyday is a cheat day.

  • Kitten4687

    We have a cheat “meal” on a Saturday and it has worked for nearly a year but last Saturday we didn’t bother and this Saturday all we had was jacket potatoes with a nice pudding jam roly poly . It felt weired not eating takeaways full of fat but it still satisfied us . I do agree if you just conquer each craving at a time you’ll be fine.

  • my life = cheat day+cheat day+……

  • Shazia Ijaz

    Why is it that some people eat a lot of crap and still maintain their weight, while others exercise, eat healthy but have a really hard time loosing weight. Is it all about metabolism.

  • jocelyn

    jock bock hi

  • I think this is a great article that promotes healthy ideas-rather than having one single “CHEAT” day, enjoy a little something more periodically, but with moderation. I think it makes dieting easier. Also, it lessens the pressure and stress of attempting to eat perfectly each and every day.

  • Also, I feel that if I work out at the gym, along with eating healthier, not only do I succeed faster toward my goals, but I have less of a desire to consume bad foods. And, when I start seeing the great results, it even drives me further to continue what I am doing, and staying away from the junk foods.

  • Yummy food! All discipline starts in the brain, takes practice and can be difficult.
    Love is the same at times, but in no way is perfect?

  • Bleddyn

    We stopped bringing sodas home from the Market, we reward ourselves by occasionally enjoying a soda when we go out. We stopped bringing candy and other sugar loaded items home from the Market, we reward ourselves by occasionally sharing a candy bar at local gas station. My family has lost nearly 100 pounds in the past couple of years and I got my A1C down to a tolerable 5.7 and now some click baiting ad based article wants to question my wisdom? This article is Sofa King stupid.

  • denverbroncosrock

    Cheat days are an integral part of a weight loss program. If you are doing it right it can reap great benifits but you have to disciplined!

  • WendyMcDonald813

    The Problem with Cheat Days…

  • Walter McGhee

    Horray! The 48,000th useless site about eating I’ve come across!! You win a prize!!

  • Chris

    It should be called a “re-feed” day or “cheat meal” at best, but never a “cheat day”. If you’re dieting down and dropping weight, you should eat at maintenance once per week and up your carbs, especially if you’re on low-carb. I’m sitting at single digit body fat and I have a big 2k+ calorie meal each week that’s high in carbs. How I do it is every Saturday evening I’ll have my re-feed meal. Throughout the day I’ll mostly fast and end up eating about 200-500 calories throughout the morning and early afternoon. After that, I’ll do a hard lift and then have my big meal. I’ll have 2k calories to spare for that meal since my maintenance is around 2600 at the moment. Wherever I decide to go eat, I’ll make sure to figure out in advance what I’m going to get so that I can hit my calorie goals and I usually pick something with high carbs and moderate protein. Where people go wrong is by eating bad the whole day and not knowing where they’re at calorie wise, which usually results in them being at a big surplus and undoing most of the progress if not all of the progress they have made all week. Turning it into one big meal will allow you to eat enough to feel satisfied without hindering your progress.

  • Its sweet 🙂

  • Humanity_Knows_No_Bounds

    I’ve read in places where it says to allow yourself a cookie or a dessert every now and again. It will keep you from hitting that craze where you down an entire box of donuts yourself.

    Even the fittest of people eat those things at times. The problem with cheat days is the fact that people call them cheat days. Why not call them “bonus days”. Put a positive spin on it.

    • jtwizz

      i’ve done weight watchers before, and i loved their idea of the flex points… i use the same concept in my calorie counting now, allowing myself to take “bonus calories” on any given day. for me, knowing that it’s not totally forbidden, decreases the urge to indulge, and decreases any guilt after the fact if i do happen to indulge.

      • Humanity_Knows_No_Bounds

        They also make food like healthy yogurts that taste similar to desserts. So people can use those as well to trick themselves into getting that dessert taste they crave.

        Plus, people can use desserts as a way to motivate themselves. Set a goal, whether it be a week or two weeks, and if the goal is hit then you treat yourself to a reward.

        So many positive ways to spin it, just like you said you do, that have far better outcomes.

        • Victoria Rejuney

          I sort of set goals like this. Oh, so you want a piece of cake? How many calories is that? Well, better get to exercising so that cake that you want doesn’t go over your budget.

        • Lesley Hetherington

          I have done 2 x 13 week stints of Weight Watchers and had a coach – she often reminded me that what I called “treats” were not treating my body well, as they are always, for me, sugar filled foods which do not help me so I try not to call them “treats” or think of them as treats but just things that I eat that are not good for me!! It seems to help me, hope it helps you too.

  • Ashish

    It is very important to feel that we are not punishing ourselves by dieting and trying to loose weight . So we should allow ourselves to eat little junk food after a few days of diet and must work out a little extra on the ‘Cheat Days’ . We can also have some green tea on the days we have junk food .
    On regular days , we should never force the issue and the workout should not be too intense . We must try to workout just before we eat our breakfast so that the metabolism is high when we have a breakfast . Lunch and dinner should be lighter than breakfast and in dinner and we should avoid food and just have juice . Before we go to sleep we should do some basic and easy exercises .

  • Tucker Heisenberg

    Cheat you only go around once #TARFUH15 so eat

  • Maria Lammes

    carb cycling helps you keep your body from setting lower metabolic setpoints

  • The big brother

    If you don’t treat yourself
    you cheat yourself

    • Atriom Chep

      makes sense…

      • failgoogle

        2logic4me…

  • Abalasei-Donosa Constanta

    Thank you

  • mephisto1025 .

    I eat whatever I want I love my metabolism an I got that 8 pack for the bitches . Fellas get yuh stomach game on early b/c trust when I say you ain’t hitting it right if yuh abs ain’t tight . why y’all think girls go ape shit for a wash board besides the look she knows you hitting dem guts boy . Hahaaa *

    • Hope

      That’s…incredibly unattractive.

      • mephisto1025 .

        FOH*

        • Hope

          Let me revise that.

          YOU are incredibly unattractive, in a way for which no number of visible abdominal muscles can compensate.

          • mephisto1025 .

            Ok my turn revise this GTFOH . #team shredded

          • Hope

            I rest my case.

          • mephisto1025 .

            So rest it an once again GTFOH *

          • mephisto1025 .

            Then rest it an once again GTFOH *

          • Hope

            What’s with the aggression? Trying to make up for your tiny dick?

          • mephisto1025 .

            Get yuh Korny ass outta here

          • Hope

            Nope.

      • mephisto1025 .

        Bwhaaaaa an I’m
        Suppose to care .

        • Hope

          You clearly do care, given that you’re SO PROUD of your “8-pack” for the female dogs you’re evidently trying to attract. I wouldn’t be so proud of that if I were you.

  • The problem is that people that have been having cheat meals several times a day for the past few years still feel entitled to cheat meals within a week or two or starting their diet. Their flawed thought process usually goes like this: I want to look like a fitness model > Fitness models have cheat meals > Therefor I’ll have a cheat meal.

    I have to explain the flaw in this thinking to new clients all the time. Those who realise that they’re not entitled to a cheat meal yet will always get the better result. Refeeds are programmed into a diet more than cheat meals and it still heavily depends on several factors if a client actually gets one.

    In an instant gratification society, the fitness industry is still one place where you have to put in the time and effort to get the results. But unfortunately this doesn’t resonate with most people which is why they resort to ‘crash’ diets which allow cheat foods to try and get the quick result which never lasts.

  • failgoogle

    i just want some PIE!!

  • I know we definitely tend to have more “cheat” days once we have the one…who knows, it may be a better approach to remove them completely. You also need to work on re-training your brain to no longer associate food with relaxation and watching TV, etc.. You want to just think of food as a necessary fuel. Of course, that is easier said than done! 🙂

  • Cheat days are just an excuse to be weak. I never allow myself to have them. They always catch up with you.

  • Dominique Armand

    Healthy fats healthy proteins and carbs and no soda just water and my body cannot take a diet what I do is I eat healthy and I have my cheat days and is up to you to pick what you will eat and drink my body is always asking me for protein and carbs add those to up and with exercise and a good nite sleep and plenty of water I will be fine

  • My2cents

    You have to accept the fact that some people can eat whatever they want and don’t put on weight others have to watch their intake and exercise religiously. Life isn’t fair, whoever told you it was lied.
    As far as cheat days, I don’t bother to have a day where I can cheat. I eschew bread and any processed foods, but other than that, I’m free to eat what like. After a month, you won’t miss it. A big bowl of strawberries is a great dessert.

    Once the appetite dragon is asleep, don’t wait it up with a cheat day.

    • Jakefromstatefarm223

      I think people forget that everyone is different. People see results from different things. I can’t do cheat days. After trying it once I made myself sick, and felt lethargic for days. Once I stuck to it for a few weeks I found I didn’t miss my cheat day food anymore. I have a healthy alternative for everything I used to eat.

  • Ellis Boyd

    I let go of the calorific foods. I eat the bad stuff at christmas, easter, someone’s birthday etc. Probably 10-12 days a year. Other than that I really don’t.

    In the end you must choose between eating bad, feeling bad and looking bad, or eating good, feeling good and looking good.

    Unless you make the decision to be a different person, you are wasting your time at the gym, stressing yourself out losing 10lbs only to gain it back again plus more. What’s the point? Just enjoy your food, avoid mirrors & scales and be happy.

  • Amber Halvorsen

    There’s nothing wrong with cheat days. Don’t let these articles dictate your diet. If cheat days work for you and help you stay on track keep doing it. I was avoiding cheat days because people kept hammering it into my brain that they were bad. Then I started doing cheat days and I dieted more regularly and kept that day as a goal. If I went over my calories on one of the days before my cheat day then I couldn’t have the cheat day. Yes I have fast food on my cheat days because there’s nothing at MdD’s or Chick Fil A that’s satisfying that’s under 600 calories. And if I get that chicken sandwich yes I want the damn fries too!!! And that’s what I eat on my cheat days.

  • ScoutItOut999

    Bottom line for me is stick to moderation best you can. I did weight watchers for many years and this helped to become more conscious of moderation and what it “costs” to binge!

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  • The Solution: Stop Restricting, Start Enjoying—in Moderation

    This is the key to not over indulge into massive cheat days.

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  • gaulrappkj17

    This is great. Americans are awesome at saying, “Well if I eat this chocolate cake, it is okay, because I have been eating clean all week, and I deserve it!”. There is so much wrong with this way of thinking, and thank you for this article because it totally backs this up. I once read in a dance magazine, that if we listened to our body, we wouldn’t have to worry about dieting. Take a second, and think about that. How many times in the last month have you overeaten? That adds up!

  • Asskickin Chicken

    I use a modified version of the Carb Nite diet with pretty good success and I try to limit myself to a Cheat Meal as opposed to a cheat day. Even then, it’s more of a matter of eating what I want as opposed to eating how much I want.

  • Carlo Kokoth

    The “problem” with cheat days is, IMO, just matter of taboos and croud mentality.

    You’ve basically commited to living a heatlhier life. By “cheating”, you will slighly lower the benefits, but net result is still [excuse the expletive] motherfuckingly longer life expectancy.

    Now, in economic terms, are the few extra cents of life worth the extra load (ie. battling the temptation and possible feelings of guilt) and the loss of one of the of kinds joyful enjoynment ? (plese, don’t kill your inner child)

    Will you “work” your whole life, never stopping to enjoy the fruits of your labor ?

  • Citrus Fruit

    I defnitely agree with the language being a major problem. I tend to call mine “Treat Yo-self day” or just a “free day”.

    Rather than taking it as a day to go buckwild on “bad foods”, I view mine as a day to take a break from obsessively logging everything that goes into my mouth, and the caloric/macro content of said food.
    I take Sundays off, I have a family dinner every week on Sunday and I sure as hell don’t feel like trying to figure out the calories and macros in food I didn’t prepare. I want to have a good time with my friends and I’m gonna. Sometimes I’ll go out for a pancake breakfast with my boyfriend or a Sunday brunch. Sometimes I eat as normal until that dinner. I plugged my free day meals into MFP one day to get a rough estimate of how I was eating that day, and it turned out I was eating pretty close to maintenance anyway. No harm done really.
    Like most things in diet and fitness, whether or not free days are helpful or harmful to you is personal and not the same for everyone. For me it was very helpful, I could take a break from being so very mindful and just enjoy food. I continued to lose weight at a steady pace and had no trouble resuming my logging habits the next day. That might not be the case for everyone, and you’ve got to figure out for yourself how well you handle taking a break like that.
    One thing is for sure, denying your self the things you love is a surefire recipe for failure. I’m a huge fan of If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) style eating. You can almost always make room in your plan for any kind of treat while still hitting your goals for the day if you plan ahead for it. And that my friends, is the best way to stick to a meal plan ;D

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  • Al Hrabosky

    I like to start the day with a dozen jelly donuts and a pot of coffee. What on earth could I possibly eat on this “cheat day”, salad?

  • RecMtnBiker

    A few years back I lost a little over 50 lb. in response to health issues. What made dieting tolerable was doing it in weight losses of about 10 to 15 lb. at a time, with breaks of maintaining a weight level while enjoying good food for while, and then resuming dieting. To maintain that weight loss, it takes biking and weight lifting, and eating mostly lean healthy food, but with a little junk food as long as the amount of junk food is in moderation.

    • MR. BOBO

      True

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  • Igusto1

    Fatass right here!

  • Igusto

    I’m a faggot!!!

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    I make sweet sweet love to my Rottweiler!

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    Man…I am so fat….600lb life fat

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    I’m an idiot.

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  • MR. BOBO

    Libturds always cheat.

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    I’m trolling my Nutz all over your faces!

  • I call my higher calorie days “Reward Days”. There’s no cheating involved, they are planned and earned.

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  • IHateFatChicks

    I don’t do “cheat days”. The problem with them is that fat/obese people see every day as a cheat day. It’s ridiculous.

    • Louise

      that’s pretty offensive, seeing that a lot of people are fat/obese on this thread who are actively losing weight through diet and exercise – you’ve just slapped them down with your judgements. Comments like yours just act as discouragement for people, I guess that’s what you’re trying to do – so you can keep feeling superior. If you’re obese and reading this and working hard to lose weight – don’t worry about twats like these – keep up the good work 🙂

      • IHateFatChicks

        Being fat/obese is a choice. It’s not something they’re “born with”. If you’re fat/obese then, by definition, you’re unhealthy. Change it.
        It’s about diet, NOT working out, for chrissakes.

        • Louise

          oh, so you’re going to continue to shit on people using your poorly thought out justifications. Again if you’re fat/obese and you’re doing something about it, keep up the good work, don’t let idiots dissuade you! You can do this!

          • IHateFatChicks

            You shit on yourself by being obese. You disrespect yourself. You’re shortening your life. I’m fresh out of sympathy and empathy for fat losers, like you.

        • Louise

          Oh, so you’re going to continue to shit on people using your poorly thought out justifications. Good for you, I hope you feel good about that. As I said, if you’re obese and working hard – don’t let idiots dissuade you! You can do this!

          • IHateFatChicks

            That facts are irrefutable. You’re one of those “team jeebus” obese slobs. Enjoy a life of chronic illness, poor health and an early demise because of your terrible choices, lack of exercise and disgusting dietary habits.

          • Louise

            Now you’re not making any sense. You speak of health & fitness yet discourage those seeking it. I think your true colours are showing. You’re a troll. When you bring others down you are showing the world one thing: you are already beneath them. Enjoy your life.

          • IHateFatChicks

            Honey, nobody’s discouraging you from eating less. You disgust me, and should disgust yourself.

          • Louise

            why would I be disgusted with myself? See, I knew you were a troll right from the start – (your name gave you away) – all I had to do was press a few buttons and viola. I’ve done the world a favour. Read the last line of your comment over and over again. It’s so true…. you’re not only low but you like your own comments (the definition of sad). Again, Enjoy your life! See you, I’m off out for a run 😛

          • IHateFatChicks

            Obesity should disgust everyone. Especially fat women like you.

  • PartyMomXOXOXO

    I have cheat meals and snacks sometimes but when Im done Im done yall. I eat like for fruit snack packs but if I stop from eating a lunchable or chips or like ice cream sandwich i can keep my hips in check shug.

  • Great post! If only the media could stop promoting the all or nothing habits around healthy eating. Do the best you can with what you have infront of you and try to eat more nourishing food than food that takes away energy.

  • redsn0w89

    Great article!

  • Владимир Иванов

    Везде все пишут разное… мне кажется , я уже запутался в этом всем. Так каков вывод то?

  • Владимир Иванов

    Вообще не понятная тема. Кто что говорит… Мнение диаметрально расходятся. Если достаточно в неделю кардио, то раз в месяц можно читануть)

  • Felicia

    I do cheat meals once a week or once every other week. They’re usually at dinner so I’m not tempted to turn it into a cheat day! There are a few exceptions when my cheat meals are actually a cheat day (major holidays, my birthday, vacation).

  • Katrin Friedrich

    I read this blog post with great interest, because before I really begun to think about a healthy lifestyle and healty food patterns, I had integrated a weekly cheat day into my diets. Besides, nowadays I’m not convinced of the concept of a diet at all. In my experience it is true, that a cheat day leads to a higher desire to eat the forbidden food. At my cheat day I have had no limit and was allowed to eat everything. In the end of the day I always felt bad because of two reasons. First I felt ashamed because I ate all the unheathy und usually forbidden food. Second I was in a bad mood because of the physical consequences of overeating: queasiness, tierdness and listlessness. I needed at least one or two days to recover from that cheat day.

    Nevertheless I share the same experience like other recommenders do: As long as I orderly keep just a weekly cheat day, I lose weight. But obviously you can see the problem: as long as. I had several cheat day diets and for a about nine month I had no problem to follow the cheat day concept and lost a lot of pounds during my diet. But I don’t succeed to keep my lower weight for the long-term. That is, what I’m looking for: I’m not searching for a diet for a limited period of time but for a lifetime. The cheat day diet (and I guess this is true for all diets) didn’t work in the daily life. It is very hard to combine birhtdays, partys, spontaneous meetings, dinner dates and all the other daily decisions which are linked to the question of what to eat with that one weekly cheat day.

  • Kent

    One can always just balance their diet with exercise? I have 7% body fat and my primary intake of protein is buffalo wings.

    • james pogrebetsky

      Having low body fat doesn’t bahr someone healthy. Exercising to eat like crap, is back asswards

      • Kent

        I’m extremely healthy by all measures, ricecakes. I enjoy distance running, lifting weights and eating rich meals. We’re not talking little debbies here, just rich proteins like steak/chicken plus raw vegetables and whole grains/fiber.

        • Victoria Rejuney

          I like how people get offended by your eating habits, like it’s really any of their business in the first place, and second of all, they are not your doctor and just make assumptions about your health based on the fact that you have the audacity to enjoy buffalo wings, which aren’t even necessarily unhealthy.

  • Cheat days are definitely a negative thing for me. I go all out, and eat an absurd amount, and then feel sad and guilty for a few days afterwards – which often impacts my motivation to exercise or eat healthily. I really work better when I am “on a roll”.

  • Rob Bale

    The only way drinking a cup of green tea has been found to reduce my fat is after I’ve walked and plucked the tea leaves on my own, everyday. 😀

    • Victoria Rejuney

      Seriously. Why do people think that tea is magical somehow? My mom bought me this wu whatever apple cleansing tea (it’s funny, because “woo” is right in the name), that is supposed to be good with weight loss and “cleansing”. I just think that it tastes good. Other than that it is just expensive tea.

  • Thumbs_up

    Maybe your cheat day will mass up with your whole diet program. Be conscious and aware of your health is essential to not lose every gain which you had during your diet program.

  • Andrew Mutz

    when I’m using fitness pal I may end up eating a bag of chips or cheese puffs. though after I come back from the pit of wanting I mark down what I ate and deal with the consequences… last week there were two bags of cheese puffs… as I can see no real harm to my diet… salt and cholesterol are way off though.

  • NEVER diet. It will screw up your mind and body in the long run. Make sure you eat enough calories, especially from veggies, fruits, whole grains, eat enough CARBS, yes CARBS! Look up a high carb, low fat vegan diet. You get to eat as much as you want every single day and you can lose weight whilst doing it. Plus by going vegan you’ll avoid the biggest diseases like heart disease and cancer…just look up Nutritionfacts on YouTube and watch the documentaries “Forks over Knives” and “Vegucated”….and thank me later 🙂

    • Jordan Blake

      Whole Foods addict here. So many people complain about the high prices. I complain about high medical bills. The US medical practitioner, unfortunately, treats you when you are a trainwreck from eating foods that would be defined as plastics in other countries, while the traditional Chinese medical doctor considers her/himself a failure if you become unhealthy.

      • Victoria Rejuney

        Which foods would be defined as plastics?

        • Jordan Blake

          The chemical compound azodicarbonamide is a dough conditioner present in certain sandwich breads and is classified as an industrial plastics chemical. It is also used in certain frozen meals, strudels, pizza crusts, croutons and frozen PB&J uncrustables.

          • Victoria Rejuney

            It isn’t a plastic. It is a foaming agent that can be applied to more than one use, including plastic, which isn’t the same thing as being plastic.

    • Victoria Rejuney

      No offense, but youtube videos and documentaries are not scientific evidence. Unless there are some peer reviewed scientific studies then I can not take it seriously. Heart diseases and cancer can hit anyone, no matter what their diet is. Of course some preventative measures can be taken such as diet and exercise, but anyone can get cancer at anytime, because cancer is extremely complex, and there are many types, and one single cure or preventative measure is, well, impossible. This also leads down the dangerous path of victim blaming. “Well, if you had just had eaten a vegan diet then you wouldn’t have cancer.”

      • Yes, excuse me. That was my opinion half a year ago. Although I still believe nutritionfacts is a great source of information on YouTube, and the videos are always supported by real evidence. You’re right, heart disease and cancer can hit anyone, but having a vegan diet can definitely lower your risk, that has been proven time and time again. Vegan diets don’t protect you from cancer, they simply lower your risk for some types.

  • Chris Morris

    This is what I wrote for a lean habits group when posed with the question of good/bad foods:
    1. Labeling foods good/bad is just as detrimental as labeling people. Rather than good/bad, food should be looked at as fuel towards a goal. And just like fuel in a car there is going to be a small part that may not help us run efficiently, but that’s what the filter (habit) is for. Ask yourself, will this food help, hinder, or have little impact overall on my goals? If it hinders, see if there is a way to scale it back/make it healthier so that it has very little impact (or even ends up helping), then enjoy it with no guilt.

  • Marryanne

    So close to be true!

  • For me the secret is having a good cleansing, detoxing system that naturally clears it away – nice and simple that fits in with my lifestyle.

    • Victoria Rejuney

      I’m not trying to be rude here, but medicine/science does not recognise detoxing/cleansing in this way. It isn’t a real actual thing that the body does. The only detoxing that is recognised are when people go to rehab to detox off of heroin or alcohol. This other detoxing is completely made up, and is usually passed off by companies trying to sell expensive smoothies, supplements, and gadgets. It is what people in the science community refer to as snake oil.

      • Hi Victoria, great to have an opinion – even better to do some extensive research on a matter to understand it will make all the difference. I’m not sure which science you follow because the science studies behind detoxing is vast.
        Put aside the companies/people and what they say and look at the pure, raw facts or results derived from detoxing/cleaning out impurities from the body. X-Ray and CT Scans show the visible effects.
        The liver has a function, among others, to filter and remove toxins ultimately from the food and drink we consume as well as the air we breath – removing these toxins is paramount to our survival and being alive. Not made up, actual fact. Unfortunately the liver is not designed to deal with the intensity of toxins in our environment so “expensive smoothies and supplements” are really designed to help the process and support the body to give it that extra capability to remove those impurities more effectively. There are people that have committed their lives to understanding how the body functions and how to best support its functions – The company that I work with has over 40 full time scientists / nutritionists / dietitians with over 400 years combined experience in working with supplements that support the body to function at its best. Not only are these studies peer to peer reviewed but independently tested by Institutions like the Skidmore College to be accurate and factual. Hope this helps you find out more, king regards, Jason

  • Suzan

    I usually sprinkle in my cheating through out the week. Though I found I’m slowly losing the urge to do so. It’s worked pretty well for me so far.

  • Sara Fuller

    I like the idea of a cheat meal instead of a cheat day. Because you are still feeding your cravings and refueling will power except its only one meal of extra ‘bad’ foods instead of two or three.

  • LOLsies

    How do you cheat food because I wanna lose weight but I don’t know how to cheat MY FOOD!?

  • DM

    I think that we sit on our butts far too often and for too long. That is the main reason people plump up too much. Eat what you want, in moderation, with overall well being in mind. No regular salt, sugar or carb overdoses for your body size and type. Things will work out.

  • LOLsies

    Thank you

  • Sara_Kay0316

    I really enjoyed this blog. I see a lot of people struggling with this in college. I started eating healthy around Jan. and stuck to it for a month. The one day I decided to have a cheat day I went way overboard and haven’t got back to those same good eating patterns since then.

  • The best option to live healthy is eating juices, vegetables and doing a lot of sports 🙂 of course you don’t have to be on a diet but a little more attention to what you eat wouldn’t harm your body. Being independence from sugar and fast food is a important thing you’re body will be grafteful of.
    Stay sporty and healthy bro 🙂

    • james pogrebetsky

      And steak. You forgot steak. The thing human beings have been eating for 200,000 years.

  • Tyler Mueller

    I can totally relate to this article for many different reasons. My roommate is big into weight lifting, and eating healthy during the week. Originally he had his cheat day on Fridays where he could eat an unhealthy food. Soon after it became a cheat weekend
    which then means he was only eating healthy for four days a week. I also noticed with him he would then use fast food as a reward. So after taking a test or finishing a difficult project he would reward himself with fast-food. I understand you’re not always going to be able to healthy, but if you set a day as a cheat day you will want more of those. So instead I would suggest he tries to eat his healthy diet every day of the week, and once and awhile have an unhealthy food during the day. But his mind set gets made up that he needs to cheat every meal on cheat days, which makes it difficult for him the other days of the week. Thanks for posting this article now I understand better why he tends to cheat his diet, instead of switching his life to a healthy lifestyle.

  • Cory Brown

    I don’t have weekly cheat days. I’ve been counting calories for about 2 months now and if I want a snack I have a snack. It just comes off my calorie count. I’m at 1000-1100 cals a day and I have found cream cicles in a yellow box at walmart are only 70 cals a bar.

    • james pogrebetsky

      Youre starving yourself. There isn’t a nutritionalist on the planet that would look at your diet and say that it’s a good thing. For you to replace the few calories you actually eat, with empty junk calories, is double fold!

    • Victoria Rejuney

      I would up your calories up a small bit, this website only recommends as low as 1200 and won’t recommend any lower than that out of fear that it then becomes unhealthy. Other than that, I’m about the same. If I want a snack or treat, and have enough calories in my budget, then I go ahead and eat it, or I do the exercise necessary to burn off the calories. There are also good tasting treats that are relatively low in calories, like your creamcicles you get. That doesn’t mean that this is all I eat, it just means that I allow myself to eat it if everything else is in check.

  • Candy

    It was teachers day all this week so my husband and I bought our teacher daughter a nice cake and I did cheat and I have Had two portions of cake , but they were average size. My blood sugar has only gone up two points and the cake is done as well !!! I have to be very careful, but we all had a nice time with our kid so it was worth it Candy G

  • love this

  • Mariah28

    I’m eating a HUGE burger with French fries right now, I’m sorry

    • Victoria Rejuney

      baked pasta with fried eggplant last night. burned off enough calories during the day.

  • Jennifer Jane Ellingsworth

    once you learn what to eat. it’s easy and you can cheat as long as you go back to the mindset of daily health, in my opinion.

  • Anastasia Beaverhausen

    While I appreciate all the positive and useful comments, no one has addressed what, for some of us, is the real problem: addiction.

    I have eschewed all my vices because I had to. There was no such thing as one drink or one joint. More was always better, and it was never enough. Unfortunately, now I have the same problem with food, which is why the sentence, “If you actually eat what you want, you’ll likely end up eating a more reasonable amount of it” is simply untrue for me.

    The only way I can maintain my weight (I lost 70 pounds over 3 years) and my sanity is to entirely avoid sugar, white flour, etc., and exercise regularly (which has become its own addiction, albeit a healthy one!). Once enough time has passed, it becomes a, more or less, permanent change. That said, I do occasionally go on binges, but like all addicts, I’ve learned to let it them go and move on. They’ve become fewer and further between as time goes by, and no longer sabotage my weight maintenance or my general health.

    I’d be curious to hear about this issue from others in recovery.

    • Victoria Rejuney

      I am trying to just eat in moderation instead of restricting myself completely. Things aren’t perfect, but they are going better than they were. I have an eating disorder where I can be doing really well for a while, and binging and purging later on. Sometimes for a few weeks. Sometimes for just one day. I am now trying to be more mindful about my portions, but it isn’t easy. I tried the whole cutting certain foods out completely, and it just didn’t work for me. It would be that cycle of depriving myself for a few weeks or months, and then always going right back to where I was.

      • Anastasia Beaverhausen

        It’s a balancing act, for sure, and everybody has different issues when it comes to food. How much simpler life would be if food was only a means of survival! Simpler perhaps, but likely duller, as well. Hang in there, Victoria.

    • Tara Hope

      Hi Anastasia. Thank you for your post. There are several 12 Step Recovery groups that address food addiction and offer a lot of support. There’s also a really good book about food addiction called “Food Junkies: The Truth About Food Addiction”. I have been free from food cravings, overeating, weight gain and weight yo-yoing for a long time (12 years +) and that’s nothing short of a miracle for me! But I can’t do it alone. And I’m grateful I don’t have to. I’ve met so many wonderful people in my journey.

      All the best to you.

  • Sheryl

    Spot on! I love this article!

  • james pogrebetsky

    You don’t need an ounce of carbs. They aren’t a necessary nutrient. Calorie deficit tho is a different matter.

  • Christin Seegers

    Junk is junk, regardless of how it’s worded. This doesn’t mean it’s “okay” to eat whatever you want for one day. I try not to eat junk. I try to eat healthy but I’m not perfect. I don’t eat junk cause I’m on a diet. I don’t eat junk cause it’s not healthy.

  • St. Louis Behavioral Medicine

    Thank you for this post! I like what you said about the wording…making certain foods seem forbidden. For some, forbidden is something they seek, and so this only sets that person up for failure in weight loss.

  • St. Elizabeth Healthcare

    Great tips! I like your simple list at the end, especially about listening to your appetite. Sometimes if we just focus on eating what we need, we could find ourselves actually eating right for our bodies!

  • St. Anthony Health Care

    Deprivation is the hardest when it comes to weight loss. Sometimes just having a treat can make all the difference in staying on the overall plan. Great post, thank you for all the tips!

  • smitty123

    Best advice I ever got was to never let yourself be too hungry or too full. Find that sweet spot between mildly hungry and satisfied.

  • asdfggg

    You can have a medium-cheat day. Obviously not anything extremely unhealthy or binge-worthy, but some things that you would normally not eat AND in moderation.

  • nana

    I have a cheat day, for me its essential. Lost 120 lbs, 3+ years keeping it off. Most people are not animals so a cheating day doesn’t turn into eat everything you can stuff in your mouth.

  • DetroitSinkhole

    I enjoy a low carb, high fat, no sugar, rarely eat grains, diet. I have given myself permission to eat outside of my normal routine, i.e. a s’more while camping or chips and crackers at a party. I rarely “cheat” because I wake up the next day feeling bloated and crappy and craving carbs.
    My body tells me what it needs and it’s a great feeling to eat when I’m hungry and be completely satisfied with nutritious food. I don’t feel deprived….I feel great!!

  • Nathan Stotts

    Cheat days are simple, I love my cheat days. I have one once a week. And it’s usually only a few hundred extra calories…typically on a day that I golf though. I do not have my cheat day on my rest day.

    My cheat day is generally when we go out to eat…I usually splurge on some sweet potato fries. Still get a Turkey burger, or something lighter to compensate.

    It’s knowledge…it’s all about knowledge. Educate yourself in a healthy lifestyle, and you will increase productivity whilst living a healthier lifestyle, and will decrease the effects of a cheat day.

  • griddark

    I have the occasional cheat meal, I try to manage my calorie budget around it but don’t stress if I go over. The reason you call it a cheat meal is because it’s not part of your regular diet. You wouldn’t eat it normally. I use it mostly for get together where trying to work out the calories of the meal isn’t worth the effort, and I’ll also try to burn it off.

    If your diet can’t survive the word or the idea behind it, you’ve got bigger problems.

  • Jason

    A big part of it is It helps me eat good most of the time. A lot of people still like to have that one cupcake once a week or a couple beers w the guys every couple weeks. I find when I go very strick on a diet for a long period I end up just falling off bc I want those bad foods and I end up going out of control when I finally get it. If I know I have have a couple pieces of pizza on Sunday and watch the game I do better and I look forward to it. There’s no right way for every human to eat and diet the same.

  • patstar5

    Well a cheat day on a ketogenic diet can kick you out of ketosis, then I feel absolutely horrible. So I have learned not to cheat because it isn’t worth it in the end.

  • Tara Hope

    There’s good, sound advice in this article – moderate, mindful, guilt-free eating with balance. People who can learn to moderate their food intake and “Enjoy treats from time to time” are fortunate. Some – perhaps many – cannot. Food issues are always on a spectrum with, say, people who have no issues with food on the left and people with serious food issues on the right (e.g., morbid obesity, morbidly underweight from anorexia and/or bulimia). Eating disorder treatment centres/clinics often use the behaviour modification approach suggested in this article. Which is fine, provided food addiction is not an issue. That’s another can of worms altogether. Moderation of things like cookies and chocolate isn’t going to happen for the many who have serious addiction issues. It’s not a sexy topic – no one wants to hear about abstaining entirely from foods containing added sugars. But if it helps anyone out there to know they’re not alone because even the best, most sound advice just doesn’t work, that makes me happy. The best book I’ve found thus far on the topic is by Dr. Vera Tarman, an MD specializing in addiction. I’ll post a photo of her book, “Food Junkies: The Truth About Food Addiction”.

    One size doesn’t fit all. I’m so grateful we have options.

    Thanks again for the article!

  • Natasha Verma

    Semantic debates aside, just because some of us need a period of indulgence does not mean we have undone our progress. And speaking of psychology and stats, you guys are a bit too obsessed with what you eat and critical of how others eat, which is rather the precise opposite of healthy eating if you ask me. It smacks of eating disorder. You have all managed your eating disorders into some weird, strictly controlled lifestyles that work for you; which really doesn’t mean that it works for others. It just means you have a niche industry of people buying in to this as a hobby competitor sport and a reason to write a lengthy article.

  • Kristen Jay

    “Cheat days” undermines the whole point of tryi ng to lose weight and stay healthy. You have to change your eating habits for good.You can’t indulge in garbage anymore.

    My biggest problem after losing weight was going back to eating sweets almost every day and snacking on chips. Now I know I have to stay disciplined all the time or I will lose complete control. Essentially, I have to be mindful of my weight every day in order to avoid a relapse.
    I have lost 20 pounds and need to lose 40 more.

  • Michelle Kaether

    This is a great post! As someone who once was severely anorexic & bulimic, and starved herself down to a weight that was ridiculously low for my height and age at the time…learning about eating in a balanced & healthy manner literally saved my life. I became a personal nutrition health coach at a local holistic health food store at fifteen years old, and began my journey towards healthy living while working there. I conducted hours of nutritional research, experimented with gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan diets, and began buying all my own food & cooking all of my own meals, so that I could experience the unique nutritional benefits and challenges that each lifestyle presented. I learned about alternative protein and nutritional sources, alternative medicines, essential oils, and began hiking frequently and seriously training for a half-marathon run, my running taking me everywhere from the desert regions in California, to Yellowstone National Park, to the Dakota Badlands, Devil’s Lake State Park in Wisconsin, to the swealtering heat in Louisiana. Four years later, I have survived a brutal 3-month military-structured boot camp, am happily married, pregnant with our first child, running my own household (my husband & I have a lovely, very large apartment together) and am still continuing my journey in healthy, balanced living. I am still a passionate runner to this day, and I plan to raise my child to learn from the get-go what it means to live a truly healthy, full life! I still can hardly believe, looking back, that I made it through what I did….but I can honestly say that my experience with food, body image, and life has been changed forever through the discovery of nutrition.

  • I practise moderation, whether it’s healthy eating or indulging. So yes, I do have pizza, fried chicken, sausages, burgers, dessert and wine or beer but on most days, I try to eat relatively healthy to prevent lethargy.

    It helps me remain the same size as during my college days, and maintain healthy BMI and body fat levels. And I still get to eat sinful food.

    • Driver

      I’m going to need a judge’s ruling on that one.

      haha

      • You’re incredibly naughty 😛 I keep a blog. Photos are there 😛

  • Christine Lovely

    I’m so bummed to keep reading stuff like this! This is why I was fat for so long. Savor my food? Are you kidding!? Take hunger queues? If I had the ability to do this stuff I wouldn’t be fat! I’m addicted to sugar. It took years for me to find the skinny coach, but once she told me that sugar lights up the same area in my brain as drugs I knew I was an addict! Cheat days are bad! But theyre bad simply because if you eat what your addicted to you’re never going to be able to quit eating it in any real way. If I was a serious coke addict and I did coke once a week- I’d be in rehab by the end of the month!!!!

  • Mark Ellis

    Cheat Day!!! Seriously, Why would you have a whole cheat day. You could easily consume well over 5000 calories having a cheat day.
    A cheat meal, once a week works just fine for me. As well this method has been scientifically shown to increase leptin levels which can help further weight loss progress. Remember it’s not a diet it’s a lifestyle change.Have what you want when you want as long as it fits with your daily calorie limit!!

    Why undo all your hard-work indulging in a all day binge.

  • eric

    i appreciate this article. I look at it a little differently. For me I track total number of calories per day. On weekdays i target 1800 / day. On weekends i allow for 2750 / day. things seem to work out fine.

  • Nelly

    My weight maintenance rule(for life)
    1- eat unprocessed food 99% of the time

    2- exercise solid at least 3x/week(include 20-30 cardio + big muscle weight) to speed up metabolism

    3- drink when thirsty, sleep 8-9 hrs

    4-avoid stress. It’s a health mandate!

    5- don’t cut off any macro group(it’s not sustainable)

    6-Enjoy life! Eat what you really, really, really want (check 3 times with yourself) and work out to burn it off. No guilt.

  • When I did, “Body for Life,” the cheat day worked for me. Actually, sometimes I didn’t even want anything extra on the cheat day and didn’t feel the need to stuff myself. What worked best about cheat day is I could go out to eat or to a holiday meal or to someone’s home and feel I could eat everything I wanted, including dessert. It is no fun to go out to eat or to someone’s home and feel you have to eat differently than others.

  • Ndvoice

    I know some people that have been successful, with much weight loss, doing one cheat day per week. But I know for myself, it’s not a good idea. It’s too easy to continue to eat the “cheat” foods & ditch my regular routine. Instead, I plan and if I really want a special treat, I plan that in too. Over the holidays, I managed to squeeze in some fudge & cheesecake, while continuing my weight loss goals. Small portions, planned & accounted for – and I didn’t feel like I “cheated”. I simply budgeted, in the same way I would budget for a new fab pair of shoes lol. It’s taken me 10 years of dieting fails to finally “get it right”, make progress & fix my disordered way of thinking about food. Cheesecake is not “bad” and I can no longer have the “all or nothing” mentality. This blog post is spot on!

  • Alicia

    I disagree with the article. I lost 50 pounds with a schedule in which i had about a 600 calorie deficit 5 days a week, plus working out about 4 of those days week (weight lifting, jogging, walking, swimming) and I had a day off every Saturday where I ate anything I wanted and as much as I wanted and Sunday was something like an eat-to-maintain day. The “Day Off” system motivated me to work even harder to earn the day off, Helped me stick to my plan and practice delayed gratification, added fun to the proceedings,added a prouctive weeklycycle mentality, renewed my motivation for the week to come, and was easier socially (all my close friends knew and often planned for my days off to go out for dinner or ice cream, or bring me cookies and their knowledge and support was so encouraging!)

  • Carol

    What is the greatist that was mentioned after this article to help you with food choices, is it an app?

  • Cai

    Just don’t diet, period. Find an eating regimen you can stick with through more weight loss AND weight main, and you’re good to go.

  • Ultimately, you want to reach the stage where “cheating” is not needed. A stage where you would eat a balanced diet that includes veggies and “bad” foods (there are no such thing as bad foods). but In order to get there you have to employ some form of cheat meal. It took me many attempts to get healthy but the one I found that works the best for me is a planned “cheat meal” every 2 weeks. and it doesn’t have to be an all out binge. It can be something I am craving. Over the years my cravings have changed because of the small changes I’ve been maintaining for my diet. From a pizza craving to a gourmet lettuce burger. So it can be a useful tool in weaning your body off processed sugar and switching your pallet to like more healthy types of food.

  • Pat Travers

    This is really good advice. It’s they way I operate these days and Myfitnesspal keeps me in check!

  • I feel that if it fits your macros you can eat anything. As long as your proteins and fats are in and complex carbohydrates are consumed, then accounting for whatever calories left in your daily eating you can eat anything you want to without going over your maintenance calories. The problem is that people want a whole tub of ice cream instead of a serving or a scoop of it. Self control and discipline needs to be developed in our way of eating because it should be a lifestyle and not something temporary that we do. I needed to learn that myself and now I have mastery of me and not my mind with its mental cravings. It can be done but tenacity and persistence should be exercise.

  • Billy

    Cheat days rule! 6 months into slow carb diet. Down 52lbs. Knowing “Faturday” is never more than a week away makes it easier to deal with cravings during the week. I don’t know if this is true, but in some slow/low carb circles, it is thought that a weekl cheat day keeps the body from resetting its metabolism. For me the results speak for themselves. Cheat days rule!

  • QUITURBITCHIN

    How about a cheat meal not day I personally like to stay on trac it’s much harder to take off than put on

  • Ad

    Perhaps discipline and will power should be taken into account. Eating anything you want, all the time, or cutting everything, all the time.. Is that real strength and discipline? Arguably real discipline is sticking to a set philosophy whilst still allowing yourself the occasional treat.

    This could come in the form of the occasional treat on a day-to-day basis. Personally, I have a “cheat day” once a week. It doesn’t get absolutely crazy, I just allow myself some processed and sugary food that I usually avoid. I still run a calorie deficit for the overall week despite the cheat day. And there is research out there that suggests running a calorie deficit for too long a period can impact a man’s testosterone production. Part of my cheat day incentive is to reset my hormones.

    Food is something that we all can enjoy, and whilst I find wholesome, home made food to be far more enjoyable than many people realise… Its still nice to have some guilty pleasures. So I encourage cheat days if you’re a well disciplined, rational individual who likes a nice dopamine rush from some less healthy food!.. But just remember, don’t go too crazy.

  • Teresa

    My cheat days turn into cheat weeks and when I give myself an inch I take a mile so I’ll stick to healthy eating all the time. It prevents crazy food cravings for me as well.