/hb/ - Cheat Days
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Cheat Days Anonymous 3187

I've heard from various sources that a cheat day/meal once a week or so is needed in order to keep your metabolism high. Is this true? And, if so, which is better: a day or a meal? Also, how much should you eat during this to not undo the progress you've made?

Asking because I've been having a cheat day once a week for a while now. I've realized recently that on these days, I've been eating well over 2,000 calories when I eat less than 2,000 calories on other days. I don't exercise much on these days either. I feel like I've been losing a considerable amount of progress when I eat this much more.

Also, I've been using MyFitnessPal to calculate the net calorie count for each day. For example, let's say I eat 2,000 calories one day and exercise until I've burned 700 calories to reach my daily goal of 1,300 calories. Will I lose weight more consistently if I just eat 1,300 calories without putting the exercise I do into account, or is what I'm doing fine? And if this is okay, would it be better to not have a cheat day at all?

Anonymous 3190

I hate the idea of "cheat" meals and days. It's just food, as long as you don't go over your calories you won't gain, even if you only eat junk for a few months. It also (imo) implies that one is on a diet, which tends to end (like 30 day diets), instead a person should try to form healthy habits.

One "cheat" meal or day won't undo any progress just like a day of dieting won't make you lose.

But I've also heard it helps people who tend to binge often.

MFP is great but it tends to calculate calories a bit wrong (in my case too low, while I'm trying to maintain) For weightloss I calculate my tdee (https://tdeecalculator.net) and the just subtract 500cals from it. (and make sure I don't go under my bmr)

TLDR: Yes you can lose weight by not working out (but exercise is good for you), yes you can have cheat days even if they go over your calorie limit. Just make sure you're eating enough.

Anonymous 3200


I came here to post exactly that. Cheat days are b.s. Make lifestyle changes not diets!

Anonymous 3210


I generally agree with you two, but sometimes you just want to get the weight off. I personally am dieting after gaining weight from medication. Ironically the medication (SSRI) made me get more into health (cut out candy/junk food and started drinking green smoothies and exercising daily for example). Upping the dosage from the minimum to the maximum to see if it made any difference caused me to gain 40 pounds in less than 3 months…

Also wonder if cheat days are good or bad, because I've also read it can assist the metabolism. Sigh Sorry can't help you with this OP.

I also use MFP btw. I personally feel calories in-calories out isn't true. Unfortunately this is all up for debate (I'm not up for debating even on MFP, just saying there's no solid truth yet). Hard to advise you on how to log your calories, if cheat days work, if exercise is better than higher calorie restriction for losing weight etc.

No matter…hope your diet goes well! Good luck :)

Anonymous 3211

This is all nice in theory, but it doesn't work for everyone. If you have medication or any eating disorders, making permanent changes immediatly is difficult and close to impossible. When making a long term change, especially when you have other commitments that cause stress in your life, is stressful and hard to keep up. It becomes a lot easier to cope with and less stressful/taboo when you know you can do it later. Totally prohibiting yourself from indulging is ridiculous and can make you feel like a failure and stop just because of that. When you can say "hey, this was my weeks cheat day so it's not that bad. I'm not a failure." you have a lot more motivation and it works better long term.

Most peoples cheat days aren't binging, but indulging within their daily TDEE. It's just getting rid of bad eating habits in the long run, eventually people stop craving for junk food and they stop keeping cheat days. That's the point. Eventually you have revamped your idea of what to eat and what meal sizes are supposed to look like, that your notion of a "cheat day" is revamped. You want to normalize the notion of healthy meal sizes and healthy food. That's why it's good to have a contrast with your past eating habits.

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