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What's Your view on 'cheats'?

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  • What's Your view on 'cheats'?

    I've been lurking on the forums recently and i've seen mentions of cheats. Out of curiosity i was wondering what everyone thought about food cheats? are they an occasional indulgence, a nightly treat, or a big no no? I've seen some pretty good arguements for every view and i don't really have an opinion..yet. So...what's your view?
    "When the climb gets tough, imagine the view from the top"

    My Primal Journal

  • #2
    For me at least, cheats aren't something I plan for, they just happen sometimes. Hopefully they'll happen less and less often as I get better at cooking and friends understand what Primal really is (and maybe even get on board with it).

    I do remember hearing somewhere that, if you absolutely feel like you must cheat, at least try to go gluten- free with it.
    Durp.

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    • #3
      When I go to movies I'll take in a bag of cashews, pistachios and golden raisins (about an entire cup and half of the stuff, so yeah, it's not low calorie or low sugar l in the least. XD ) When I'm feeling badly about that butter I put on something, or the way too many dried fruits I just inhaled, sometimes I stop and consider how far I've come from the standard American diet that the foods I consider cheats are ones that I used to consider unappealing health foods or condiments that didn't count.

      One thing I am never touching again is gluten. Any time I've caved and eaten it, it's taken me a week or more to get out of the mental fog and tiredness that stuff induces. Not worth it.

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      • #4
        Don't worry about them. I've always found that inevitably the stricter I attempt to be, the greater the collapse is down the road. If you have a little ice cream now and again it should help you keep a little sanity and joy in your life.
        "One can only be a perfect physician for oneself alone. " ~ Luigi Cornaro

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        • #5
          I don't think of foods in terms of cheats or not.

          I simply figure out my values and follow them.

          What I like about PB is that it allows for me to live in a modern way that is simple both personally and socially. When my students bought me the local dessert, I didn't decline. I ate it. It was not a "cheat" it was a gift, a social welcoming, and within that 20%. If i stayed up late chatting with new friends, not a "cheat" -- it's part of the 20%.

          It is true that I hew toward 100%, with the understanding that I"ll miss a few on those days too (be 98% or whatever), but then every now and again there are days when i'm "hitting the 20%" very hard -- just due to whatever is up in that moment.

          Yesterday, for example, we started moving into our new place, and our friends ambushed us with ginger beer and fish and chips from the local shop. It was such a sweet surprise and I was so happy that they were so nice. I ate so many fish and chips and ginger beers (on, one fillet, lots of chips, and one ginger beer). Definitely not an every day occurrance you know.

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          • #6
            I think it also depends on your personal situation as well. If you don't have any extra weight to lose and have no health concerns that could be aggravated, then a cheat is not such a big deal. If you are trying to make some progress toward a goal it's different. Some people accuse Griff of being a hard ass about absolutely no cheats but, given the health obstacles he has battled, I totally agree with him. The falling off the horse and having to climb back on process in no way keeps you sane, it just makes the whole journey harder and longer. I save my cheats for things that are genuinely beyond my control in a social situation where I don't want to be disrespectful e.g. dinner at a friends house and the salad dressing has canola oil in it. Or dinner out with friends at an Asian place where the sauce may have some soy in it. Cake at a birthday party is not beyond my control. I just politely decline and move on.

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            • #7
              circumstances are usually everything in the decision making process. Ryan and I are lean and no health problems, so voila, no problems with fish-n-chips. But i would not feed such a thing to The Griff. Unless it was my home made fish with my home made celeriac chips (if he would have those) or kale crisps (if he would have those). I also wouldn't be offended if The Griff turned them all down.

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              • #8
                My aim is to make the best choice I can for very meal. Sometimes the options are limited, e.g. Work canteen, so i make a choice that is less than optimal, but it is the best choice available. I eat, don't worry about it and move on. E.g. On Friday the choices were pizza, chicken pie or battered fish. I had battered fish with peas (only veg choice) and didn't eat the batter. Not great, not the end of the world.
                My photo diary of my primal diet on wordpress

                My primal journal on MDA.

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                • #9
                  I occasionally have a cheat meal, like I let myself have pizza last night and I really regretted it!! It didn't taste great an I felt crap after I ate it. And today I have a headache.

                  If I'm stuck in a corner with no choice I'll try and choose the least harmful option. As long as you're straight back on to PB and you don't make it a regular habit then it's not the end of the world.
                  My Primal Journal

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                  • #10
                    First off, I dislike the use of "cheat," "bad," "good," "no-no," etc. with regard to food. This isn't a moral issue, although many of us have deeply ingrained issues that relate our self worth to how "good" we've been on our diet.

                    I see it as, all of life is one big series of choices, and sometimes there are better choices I could've made, and there are worse choices I could have made. And my life is one continual effort to make better and better choices.

                    The reason we avoid "cheats" isn't because they're bad or a no-no, but because the cheat foods aren't good for our bodies. Some people around here are so sensitive to certain "cheat" foods that they can't even tolerate one bite lest they get diarrhea/acne/aches & pains/etc. So, YMMV based on what your body will tolerate.

                    If you need a nightly treat, try taking a candlelit bubble bath.

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                    • #11
                      I tried a planned cheat day once per week according to the 4 Hour Body book. I didn't like the results after several weeks. It didn't spur the fat loss for me it did for the author.

                      Now, I use cheat meals for special occasions that come up such as parties and outings. I think they are fine from time to time. Sure, it's crap we are eating, but it's not going to kill us to have it once in a while.

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                      • #12
                        My cheat yesterday was eating a little more than I perhaps should/needed. Oh, and as we had dinner at my grandmum, and she really did her best to prepare something fairly healthy (because of my ED past... well, I like to say) she had fruit and whipped cream for dessert. I normally don't do fruit as it can trigger some major binges, but I ate some, and topped off with a good glob of cream - both because it tastes good, and in hope that it'd lessen the insulin spike a little with the fat, but idk.

                        A little dark choco here and there, some extra pork rinds and stuff is all a little "cheating" Really, it's just less optimal/occasional indulgences; I wouldn't, as me jane, call it a cheat per se. Cheating has a bad tone to it

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                        • #13
                          I used to cheat quite badly when I first started. The occurrences tampered off because once I really got into primal/paleo the cravings just stopped. Now whenever I eat something sweet/bread my body just screams at me to stop. So, cheating is fine for easing into this new lifestyle, but it goes away after a while.

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                          • #14
                            I see cheating as something that isn't on the regular pb but that they consider a treat... i.e. dark chocolate, dried fruits, beans, things like that. Not completely falling off the wagon. This lifestyle is one that feels so good. I can't imagine eating pizza or ice cream when I truly believe the science. But then again, I'm an all or nothing kind of person. I smoke one cigarette I'll smoke the pack.
                            Strong is the new Skinny!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by g3tL@uren View Post
                              I've been lurking on the forums recently and i've seen mentions of cheats. Out of curiosity i was wondering what everyone thought about food cheats? are they an occasional indulgence, a nightly treat, or a big no no? I've seen some pretty good arguements for every view and i don't really have an opinion..yet. So...what's your view?
                              Cheats for me are always primal or occasional white rice (sushi). For me a cheat means eating when I'm not truly hungry (emotional rather than biological hunger) or eating more than I know I need. Usually I cheat with chocolate and coconut butter or jalapeno stuffed green olives, salami and cheese. Usually this occurs during PMS.

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