Will Cheat Meals or Free Days Ruin Weight Loss? {Day 12}

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Day 12 of my weight loss journal to lose 10lbs. With the holidays right around the corner, will cheat meals ruin weight loss goals? (See the other days in this weight loss journal here)

Day 12 - never giving up

Day 12: 114.8 lbs

Ok, ok! I’m starting to be hopeful again! Down almost 3lbs in 12 days and I feel great! I’m so glad I didn’t let the weekend scale report get to my head and make me want to “give up”!

I need to write this down to remind myself, It’s EASIER to stay in a diet the longer I’m in it, and the closer I am to my goals. Yesterday felt easy. I wasn’t tempted to eat anything that I wasn’t willing to track.

My Meals

Yesterday I made the most delicious food for my culinary program! I made, and ate a huge bowl of gazpacho. It’s a cold, tomato based soup with loads of veggies. It was my first time making it, and I’ll definitely be making it again. I ate it before I got a photo, so I’ll definitely have to make more.

It would be perfect mid-summer when tomatoes are in season.

For my meals, I ate

  • Eggs and Oatmeal.
  • Chicken tenders, lettuce, black beans, cheese, and ranch dressing.
  • The gazpacho soup plus strawberries and some rotisserie chicken
  • For dinner, I had a chicken leg with mashed potatoes and broccoli.

My Workout

Today I ran 4 miles on the treadmill and trained back! I also watched this video from Knee’s Over Toe’s Guy and I want to incorporate some of his exercises. Have you heard of him?

Cheat Meals or Days? Yay or Nay?

With Thanksgiving next week (and my 49th Birthday on Sunday!!) it’s likely I’m going to have a few untracked meals.

I regularly get emails from women trying to lose weight, yet on the weekends have a few too many drinks or foods off their plan. It feels like these weekend slip-ups keep you from ever reaching your weight loss goals.

But, with flexible diet (counting macros and calories), where no food is really off limits, there’s really no such thing as a cheat meal. Like I said in yesterday’s journal entry, knowing the calories of food just helps me to make the choice whether I want to waste my budget on that food or not.

However, I DO enjoy an UNTRACKED meal. There’s a big difference in my mind between a cheat meal, and an untracked meal.

So, final answer: YAY to a CHEAT MEAL (Not a cheat day)

In Favor of an occasional untracked meal:

  1. Choosing an untracked meal for a special occasion (my birthday or a holiday) is what a cheat meal was designed for. There is no reason to waste an untracked meal when you are home eating the same foods day in and day out when you aren’t being social or going anywhere. Keeping 95% of your meals tracked is definitely a win.
  2. An untracked meal for a special occasion is rare anyway. Even if you had one untracked meal in a week, there are 28 other meals that will be tracked. 1 out of 28 is only 3% of your meals for the week! If you can keep the other 27 meals tracked and on plan, it should not derail your diet.
  3. The freedom from logging the food can help some people stay on track the rest of the week. (some evidence of planned cheat meals being beneficial here)
  4. The untracked meal can still be a meal on your diet plan. But it doesn’t have to be.
  5. An untracked meal can still be a healthy meal.
  6. There is no physiological reason to “take a break” from healthy eating. Anyone that tells you there is, is probably selling junk food.
  7. I’ve never felt good at the end of a “cheat day“, but I can still feel healthy and happy after an untracked meal.
  8. Saving my cheat meal for eating out or meals with friends makes want to stay on track for the days I have nothing going on.
  9. The closer I am to getting on a bikini stage, the least likely I am to cheat or have an untracked meal. I definitely didn’t have any cheat meals or even untracked meals the weeks leading into the bikini shows.
  10. Likewise, the FURTHER I am to getting on a bikini stage, the MORE likely I am to have untracked meals. But untracked weeks is how I got to the place where I want to be in a calorie deficit again!
  11. Some meals are impossible to track. It’s just the reality. A mixed meal a friend made (like a soup or casserole) is impossible to track. Also impossible: Food on the river when there is no Wi-Fi to connect to MyFitnessPal! That happened to me a LOT this summer. On those occasions, the meal goes untracked, and I just pick up where I left off on the next meal. No need to stress about it!

Anyway, so my preference is an occasional (once a week) untracked meal. What about you? Are you team cheat day (Body for Life die hards..), or untracked meal?

That’s it for today. Be back tomorrow!

READ NEXT –> DAY 13: Believe It’s Possible to Lose Weight

day 12 will a cheat meal ruin a diet

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