Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A "Cheat" Day

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A woman recently emailed me and asked if I let myself have a "cheat" day. It's a great question!! I don't think that we have ever talked about here on my weight loss blog.

You want to know the truth... 
Yes, I have a "cheat" day.

I am not saying that this is what you should do. I am just trying to be honest about my own weight loss journey. In a perfect world, I would be able to follow the Weight Watchers plan all day, every day for 365 days of the year. However, that is not the case. Sometimes I need a break from my weight loss plan.

Normally, I choose Saturday or Sunday to be my "cheat" day, because those are the days we go out to eat. I do not go crazy and eat everything insight, but I do enjoy higher PointsPlus foods. On a "cheat" day I often use more than my Daily PointsPlus Target and dip into my Weekly PointsPlus Allowance, because I am not writing down what I have put in my mouth. 

If you are going to have a "cheat" day, here are a few things to remember:
1. Do not let one day become two days, a week, and a year!! Pick which day you are going to "cheat" and get back on plan the very next day.

2. Save your Weekly PointsPlus Allowance and plan to use them up on your "cheat" day. That way you have your Daily PointsPlus and Weekly PointsPlus Allowance to help cover the extra food that you are eating.

3. Exercise, exercise, exercise! When you earn extra Activity PointsPlus on your "cheat" day it will help offset the extra PointsPlus values that you have eaten.

4. Do not schedule you "cheat" day right before a weigh in. This will cause you to gain weight and discourage you from getting right back on plan.

Do you let yourselves have a "cheat" day? Why or why not?

17 comments:

Sara said...

I don't have a "cheat" day, but I do have a day occasionally where I don't worry too much. But I find on those days I actually still eat good, I just don't track my points or measure. And I'll sometimes enjoy a doughnut :)

The Skinny on Staci said...

I used to have a cheat "day," but that always turned into 2 days at a minimum. It's SO HARD to put yourself back on plan after getting off... well, for me anyway. So now, I allow myself a cheat "meal." I will enjoy a good meal on Saturday and even dessert and not worry about the points, even if it puts me over my weekly allowance. But then I do good the rest of the entire day and I don't seem to have the issues getting back on track. I can handle that!

Paula Johnstonbaugh said...

My cheat "treat" day is Monday because I weigh in on Monday morning. I kinda watch watch what I eat, but I allow myself a few extra treats on that day.

Paula Johnstonbaugh said...

My cheat "treat" day is Monday because I weigh in on Monday morning. I kinda watch watch what I eat, but I allow myself a few extra treats on that day.

mrsmarkdave said...

I absolutely DO have cheat days. I have a lot of them. I had one yesterday. It was my weigh in, and I had let myself get too hungry. So I kind of went a little crazy last night. Today, it was really hard for me to get back on plan, but I DID IT!!!
Turning a cheat day into two, then weeks, then a year (or 3) has happened to me. So, I definitely agree with your word of caution there.
I think cheat days are important because if you don't have them then you start to feel deprived and it's much easier to fall drastically off the wagon - and not get back on it.

Denise said...

Yes I allow a "cheat" day. Back in 1989 I joined WW for the 1st time and achieved Lifetime member. During that time I allowed my cheat day to be the night of my weigh-in and I ate 1/2 a Snickers bar and went to Taco Bell. I only cheated for the one meal and it helped me stay on track and satisfied my craving.
During the last 20+ years I've gained the weight back (and more). My husband and I joined WW again on January 5th. I am down 4lbs so far.. yay me...and we allow ourselves to have our cheat day during our Saturday night meal. I still count the points and keep track of the food and yes I've had to dip into my extra points only once. I find myself not wanting to cheat, but it is still early in my new journey so that may change as more of my weight comes off! Thanks for your blog!

Kathryn @ Life with the Stones said...

I allow myself a cheat day once a week, but like you said, I get back on track the very next day! I also think it's a great idea to fit in some exercise on your cheat day as well. A lot of weight loss research has shown that cheat days are actually effective in helping you lose weight and stay on track in the long run. Good to know! :)

Abby said...

I have a cheat day, typically the same day that I weigh in (Saturday's). However, I don't count points at all. I make sure that I don't use any of my weekly allowance the rest of the week, and usually things continue on a downward trend. I tried the counting the points, but I would quickly get discouraged because I was thinking about the points I was using up, and would end up having a bad week. I do something in moderation for lunch, and usually something splurge worthy for dinner. It took me a few months to figure out what worked best for me and made my weigh in's enjoyable again!

Kathryn @ Life with the Stones said...

I allow myself a cheat day once a week, but like you said, I get back on track the very next day. I think it's also a great idea to fit in some exercise on your cheat day. A lot of weight loss research has shown that having a cheat day every once in awhile is more effective for your weight loss in the long run than if you never ever allow those days. Good to know! :)

Katrin said...

I think a cheat day can work as long it is not a major binge and I agree with your #1, dont let it turn into 2 or 3 days.

JG said...

I don't like to think of it as a "cheat day," more like a "grace day." I know, semantics, but for me it's a reward for being good the rest of the week, and I think there's enough guilt in the world to go around without creating more to put on myself :)

Amanda @ His and Her Hobbies said...

I didn't think of it as a "cheat day" until I read your post, but most Saturdays my husband and I eat out and I splurge a little. I save my Weekly Points for that day so I can stay within the plan, but still eat the "fun foods".

Unknown said...

I have allowed myself a cheat day (which usually ends up being Sat & Sun) since I started in October. Saturday I usually only eat a little over but on Sundays I don't keep track since we spend it with family and I don't control what is made. Lately I have hit a plateau so I'm looking at revamping so that I stay on track on Saturday to help shed these last 3-5 lbs.

Unknown said...

I have allowed myself a cheat day (which usually ends up being Sat & Sun) since I started in October. Saturday I usually only eat a little over but on Sundays I don't keep track since we spend it with family and I don't control what is made. Lately I have hit a plateau so I'm looking at revamping so that I stay on track on Saturday to help shed these last 3-5 lbs.

Lisa said...

I gave myself a cheat day on Thanksgiving of 2008 that turned into FOUR cheat years! I gained 20 pounds. Yeah, not a good idea. But since I have been back on track starting last November, I do give myself a cheat day on the weekend. I'm like you. I don't go crazy. I just indulge a little. It seems to be working because I am losing weight! Eight pounds in two months! I think a cheat day is totally necessary to keep me sane. :)

Kathie said...

I weigh in on Thursday nights around 6:30 and I use that time after my weigh in as my cheat time (I don't even count my points). I don't know if it's neccesary the "right" thing to do but it works for me and it allows me to have those little cravings from the week. On Friday morning I'm back on plan for the next 7 days.

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