So,...how much can I pass my calorie intake line on cheat days? 300 calories? More? Less?
And also, do they really help you?
I think it helps because I've never had a platue...
As I understand it, "zig-zagging" can help you break a plateau or jump start your weight loss if you stall or, in general, to keep your body from getting used to a certain amount of calories each day which might MAKE you stall. However, I take it to still mean that you should be eating primarily healthy items even when you do this. A "cheat day" does not make you lose weight faster. In theory, it helps keep you from feeling deprived every other day of the week when you probably aren't having as many items you consider treats or weaknesses which you might indulge. It helps keep some people on track and to keep from binging due to feelings of deprivation. It does not make you lose weight faster. I suppose if you want to think of it that way, in that you MIGHT not do something that is counterproductive to your weight loss or more destructive to your progress (if you binge regularly), then I suppose you could, but that would be making a lot of assumptions and might well set you up for a lot of disappointment if you aren't careful.
I believe in cheat days but only to an extent, meaning with limits. I started out doing "mini-cheat days," one day a week, where I would eat 200 to 400 cals over my normal limit, which usually consisted primarily of more snack items than usual. However, over the last several weeks, I have started backing down even this. The last time I did it, I was particularly stressed out and overdid it (yes, I'm an emotional overeater). I got physically sick and then even more depressed when I thought about it. Ever since, I have pretty much for the most part stopped my "semi-cheat days." I plan all my meals and snacks as much in advance as I can, usually for a week, and I try to stick to it. I try to leave 100 calories open each day if I need or want something not scheduled. I preschedule 2 Dove dark chocolate squares per day (84 cals total) and I have one after lunch and one after dinner. I have treats and "nonallowed" items which are my primary weaknesses, such as pizza and frozen custard only occasionally, and in VERY limited portion sizes when I have them.
It all depends on the individual and what works for you. For me (and for most people) there are layers of reasons I ended up at 300 pounds. Most of them are all psychological/emotional-response and deliberate/subconscious self-destruction based (duh). It has taken me 20+ years to learn my triggers and my weaknesses and my downfalls. I have found (through MUCH trial and past error) that what has worked for me superbly well this time is gradually backing down things I previously thought I couldn't do without, until I now realize that, yes, I CAN live without them and do perfectly fine. If I slip and go over cals one day, I admit it, log it, hold myself accountable for it, and move on to tomorrow, where I will do better. I still believe in cheat days IF they work for you. However, as I said, you have to be careful that you can control them (and yourself on them).
They might not work for everyone or be a good idea. You just have to do what works for you.
When I used to be a nail tech one of my clients lost well over 100 pounds. She said she watched her intake through the week and splurged a little on the weekends. She didn't binge she said she just ate a little more. I think she lost 150 pounds or more I am not sure.
When I counted calories a few years back I would have cheat days and I lost weight.
This time around I do this crazy thing were I have a free calorie bank and those calories I can "deduct" when I eat a little more than usual. However, I am one of those people that decided I would just take this weightloss thing slow and easy this time. For people wanting to lose more quickly they probably should be more strict.
Cheat days, well, now they are just hours, about every week, allow me to have an indulgence, ice cream, or chips, and not feel guilty and then continue on my diet of aprx 1,200 HEALTHY calories.
My spikes on my graph are smaller. I'm happy and losing slowly. you have to find what works for you. I can 'tell' when I'm starting to yearn for something I don't normally eat, and try to satisfy the craving without going crazy. I have more control now.
so i was reading this and i eat 1200calories a day also. im not sure of your weight, height, or age but do you ever get light headed when you get up and your vision sort of goes black for like 3 seconds? well that happens to me while on a 1200calorie diet. i know not safe.... just wanted to know it it happens to other people who are on a similar diet.
ohh and about the cheat day i dont think that you should cheat the WHOLE day just have a treat but PORTIONS are the key! have a slice of cake and put the rest away. it will always be there next week. GOOD LUCK
I have my sat treat and just do more exercise to work of that delectable meal ive been waiting for all week. I dont starve myslef during the week I have three yummy meals
after not binging for like a month now ---i dont even fancy the usual crap i ate int he past in my binge purge cycle.
Im loving it!
I also know people who include cheat meals. They have maybe 2-3 meals per week when they can eat whatever and not include them in their calorie count. That is probably similar to my "banked calories" I use them for when my husband is off work we sometimes go to the local pizza pub and I drink some draft beers and eat some bbq chicken wings. And there is family reunions, birthday parties and so on. I learned years ago you have to have some leadway to prevent failure.
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