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  1. #1
    rockstareddy's Avatar
    rockstareddy is offline Senior Member
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    Question Cheat Meal?!

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    I have recently thought about the cheat meal concept which gets thrown about more and more in the health community.

    I thought I'd share my article with you guys if interested, but also, can you tell me if you cheat?
    i.e. do you explicit decide to go against some health principles?
    For what reasons? (be honest!)
    and to what extent do you cheat when it happens?

    Cheat Meal?!


    My views are clear in the article but I would be really interested to see what this concept looks like in the primal community.

    Thanks
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  2. #2
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    jimhensen is offline Senior Member
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    I have lost 30 pounds in the past two months with two scheduled cheat meals a month. They are necessary for me to stay sane. A diet that is too restrictive causes me to become obsessed with foods I can't eat, which causes me to binge, which causes me to give up on the diet completely because I "ruined the diet and might as well." I think there are a lot of people that are like this. I have heard that there is research that says people that are less strict about their diets are more successful in the long run. I have not read this research though, I have just heard it exists. I believe it though.

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    I knowingly and willing choose to cheat. And more and more, I find I cheat less and less.

    Last month, I knowingly had garlic fries at the Gordon Beirsch & and Oktoberfest Beer. I hurt for 2 days with stomach cramps.

    very very sad
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    I typically have a cheat day once a month. I don't feel to great the next day so I try to limit my cheat days. I typically go all out, like Tim Ferris suggests in 4HB. For instance, I am flying to see my parents 2nd week of November. I've been pretty strict the past 3 weeks so I have already planned a menu (lol)

    Chocolate chip pancakes (home made moms recipe)
    A snickers bar or 2.
    Mash Potatoes and corn
    Ice cream with apple pie.
    Of course not all in 1 sitting, but throughout an entire day.

    It'll be fun at the time and my body will not care much for me the next day but I will reward it by returning to my primal ways at the stroke of midnight.

    I'm not sure if it has the effects Tim Ferris talks about, or carb refeeds but I do like to indulge in these treats once in a while. I like to tell myself I am eliminating a set point or triggering something in my body that steps up the fat burning game (I've lost 52 lbs since April and still have another 30 to go)

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    I won't back down on things like gluten/dairy free. I only eat real food. I don't have so much cheat meals as dessert cheats. If I had to give up ALL sweets, I'd just say screw this and one day find myself face down in a plate of Costco cake. Much better to make my own real food sweets and eat them reasonably.
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  6. #6
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    Personally I believe that "scheduled" cheats are probably not a good idea in the long run. In the beginning it may be necessary, since that is when cravings are probably at their highest, but prolonged use of scheduling cheat meals seems mentally unhealthy. When I think of scheduling a cheat meal I imagine someone marking down a day, two weeks from now, and just waiting and waiting for that day to come. As was mentioned in the article, it probably is a signal that the person on said diet doesn't enjoy it and will not integrate it fully into their life. To them its just that, a diet, not a lifestyle. I don't have a problem with cheat meals though, because hey, we're all dynamic and have random cravings throughout our lives. If I want some chocolate or a big tub of ice cream every once in a while, I'm just gonna eat it, get that craving gone, and move on with things.

    Then again, I've never had a serious weight problem or food addiction, so I'm sure its different for others.

  7. #7
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    I cheat very rarely (once every 6-12 weeks). Sometimes I've actually planned to cheat and then when it came time I just chose not to. The fact that a lot of the cheat food now makes me feel ill when I eat it (ie: brownie, fried onions) makes it unappetizing. If I am going to cheat I try and have a very good reason for it, mostly due to the need to enjoy a social situation. I'm always afraid of the slipperly slope so I try to be extremely careful, must be very special... Someone threw me a bridal shower and spent hours baking a cake, or making a pasta salad.. I'll have a piece (in this case it turned into several). Or sharing an ice cream with my little sister on her 10th birthday. Or flat out just enjoying every aspect of my Hawaiin honeymoon indulging in all the local fair. There was the one instance where I have indulged on a piece of bread at a good restaurant (I was having particularly bad sugar cravings that day and kind of decided to make it a cheat day).

    Minus my wedding day/honeymoon I have had a cheat meal < 10 times since I started primal in March.

    I am planning to have one of my favorite pieces of pizza (white spinach from upper crust) on my birthday next May, and my favorite desert (Friday's brownie obsession or the flourless chocolate cake at chart house). I'm also sure I'll enjoy some non-primal pie on thanksgiving and christmas with my family.

    The key for me is not making them a regular thing, and certainly not making any of this "staples" of my diet. If I think I've screwed up too much I tend to just throw in the towel and go down the screw it I'll eat whatever I feel like it road, which I dont want to go back to. Which is why the SAD diet never worked for me long term.. 1 cookie a day turned into 2..2 turned into 3... then after awhile ..am I really "dieting" anymore? As a recovering sugar addict I need to be careful... I guess similiar to an alcoholic. Also feeling ill after eating anything too far gone, has actually been a great detterant. As well as the fact that I thuroughly enjoy eating the primal food! I do love my meals, which makes not-cheating so much easier! ...only thing I really have a hard time with facing is those baked goods at panera --but I've stayed away from them!
    Last edited by activia; 10-25-2011 at 01:36 PM.

  8. #8
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    I don't plan "cheats", except very occasional things like a birthday treat, where I might have a particular favorite like carrot cake that I don't want to have regularly but really enjoy once in a blue moon.

    There are days when I don't worry about what I am eating (Thanksgiving, for example), because those days are about eating yummy food with your family, not about obsessing over macronutrient ratios or body fat percentage. That said, even on those days I don't go nuts on bread because it gives me an upset stomach if I eat much. And I stick to reasonable amounts of dessert because sugar makes me nauseous now when I eat a lot of it. Eating too much of that stuff would ruin the fun by making me feel sick, so I don't.

    What I do is plan certain indulgences, like going out for sushi, so that they mesh well with my life and give me the most benefit. When is the best time to eat a huge wad of fish and rice? Right after you have done an intense barbell lift session. So I go to sushi with my fiancee on Fridays after I lift, and get all-you-can-eat. My appetite is huge because I just worked out, and I get way more than my money's worth in both post-workout nutrition and enjoyment. I don't think that's "cheating". I think it's just eating certain things when they give you the most benefit, and not when they don't.

    And then occasionally I have something I probably shouldn't eat, "because fuck you that's why", to borrow a phrase from Rivvin. Those, I don't plan, and I don't worry about them either. The cookie monster has been slain in my life, and I'm well past the point where a tiny deviation will throw me off track for days or weeks. That was the old me. The new one is much better.
    Today I will: Eat food, not poison. Plan for success, not settle for failure. Live my real life, not a virtual one. Move and grow, not sit and die.

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  9. #9
    rockstareddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimhensen View Post
    I have lost 30 pounds in the past two months with two scheduled cheat meals a month. They are necessary for me to stay sane. A diet that is too restrictive causes me to become obsessed with foods I can't eat, which causes me to binge, which causes me to give up on the diet completely because I "ruined the diet and might as well." I think there are a lot of people that are like this. .
    Do you think that scheduling cheats implies a certain "diet" mentality rather than "lifestyle" mentality? Is this WOE eating restrictive? or enjoyable? Diet mentalities are rarely maintained in the long run. Doesn't it conflict with the healthier 80/20 rule in the primal blueprint?
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimhensen View Post
    I have lost 30 pounds in the past two months with two scheduled cheat meals a month. They are necessary for me to stay sane. A diet that is too restrictive causes me to become obsessed with foods I can't eat, which causes me to binge, which causes me to give up on the diet completely because I "ruined the diet and might as well." I think there are a lot of people that are like this. I have heard that there is research that says people that are less strict about their diets are more successful in the long run. I have not read this research though, I have just heard it exists. I believe it though.
    That's an emotional problem, not a problem with "diet."

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