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Holiday season and cheat days

October through December can feel like one continuous holiday challenge, what with the stores starting so early with all the Halloween candy etc. Then there's Thanksgiving and Christmas, and in my family, my own birthday and my daughter's birthday!

Usually, my cheat days are Saturdays. But to navigate it all last year, I took the calendar down in October and marked each of those special days as a cheat day. Where there were long spans between, I chose another day midway as a cheat day. In all, I had about the same number of cheat days for the 3-month period than I would have had if they all had been Saturdays.

The result was that I was able to sail through the entire season knowing that I would not be deprived of (or feeling guilty about) any of the traditonal holiday foods and by the time the new year came, I was actually 15 lbs lighter than I had been at the beginning of October! This was the coolest thing ever, since prior to doing SCD (I've been doing it 17 months now), I'd usually find myself gaining at least 10 lbs each holiday season.

Just thought I'd pass along that tip because it was one that really worked well for me (and also made me feel like some kind of genius. LOL!)


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Hey, Gretchen!

Way to go!! I did that exact same thing from Thanksgiving to New Years Eve! I, too, lost 14 lbs in the holiday season. NOW I don't expect to lose this holiday season. I want to maintain(even though I am still losing btw!) So, I will navigate my cheat day through the holidays. Extend if I need to extend and shorten if that is the case. I am half-hoping my Hubby will be just about DONE with strict slow carbing that we can relax a bit over the holidays. Yeah that may mean a bit of gain, but nothing that can' t be lost with 5 days of slow carbing, right? :)

I find myself still keeping to 100% slow carb and doing a cheat day because I am just so used to it. I have to "wean" myself off of the cheat day(which is sometimes, if not almost always a bit bingey). But, I rather enjoy my cheat days. I find if I relax "too much" I fear I may go backwards again...which is what I am subconsciously thinking as I am in maintenance mode, BUT still losing. :P

I figure once I hit my body fat % goal, which is closer than it was a few weeks ago and gave me renewed motivation to go further. And hubby is at his goal, then I can start ramping up having less bingey cheat days, and have a more relaxed cheat weekend with Monday-Friday being closer to strict slow carb, but more of a balance as we'd be incorporating non-SCD foods during the week as well.

It's all about self-experimentation....right? Good Luck this year! :) I hope to maintain my weight throughout the holidays as well. :)


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I don't think it's as difficult as it has to be...

Halloween? Well, candy is all-around, it's up to you if you want to indulge or not.

I actually don't think Thanksgiving or Christmas will be an issue because I can eat plenty of turkey and ham. My bigger issue is when there isn't anything SCD friendly at the table. As long as there is something there that I can eat, I'm good...

  • Gretchen Linden commented Oct 16th 2012:

    Yeah, it's not difficult for me. I actually prefer my SCD days over cheat days after this long, and I agree that there are so many foods that fit in so nicely on regular days. Yep, the candy is 24/7 in the US with all the National-Let's-Make-Something-Up days the retailers come up with! (There's been so much Halloween candy literally all around me at work for 2 weeks already that I could go into sugar shock just by osmosis.....) I just thought it might be a tip for newer ones who might be thinking "Ack!! How can I face the holidays while I'm 'on a diet'?!"


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I was just thinking about this myself, thanksgiving, christmas, and my birthday are all coming up soon. I know I'll adjust but the rule is no less than 5 days no more than 9 right? For christmas and my birthday I'm gonna have to pick one or the other since they are continuous. I'll have to do some calendar crunching to see what I come up with.

  • Maria Rider commented Oct 16th 2012:

    Plan ahead now so you can adjust your weeks so they coincide with the days you want to indulge. You may find yourself one of the few that LOSES weight during the holidays instead of gains weight. :) Make that a challenge for yourself! :)

  • Juan Pinillos commented Oct 16th 2012:

    Akane, thanks for the tip! I'll seriously start planning this afternoon. I have a business trip all of next week so I'll have to make sure I stick to my diet then too (Texas so LOTS of bbq temptation). I think thanksgiving wont be too much of a problem but doubting which day to pick for christmas. My birthday is the 26th so I cant have two cheat days in a row, thinking of pushing my cheat day until the 24th (when hispanics celebrate christmas), and then postponing my birthday celebrations from the 26th til the 29th which is a saturday. This would give me 5 days in between both cheat days which i think would be good.

  • Maria Rider commented Oct 17th 2012:

    We celebrate on the 24th as well. Filipino here. I think the way to go is to choose which days you want to be most indulgent. I've went through TWO birthdays in my weight loss journey where I deferred celebrating through a dinner out or whatever....until the following weekend. :) It's no biggie. :)

  • Minnesota commented Oct 17th 2012:

    Wahh, my birthday lands on the 24th. Aside from cheat day ordeals, I always get combined gifts instead of double gifts. lol sigh. And woot Filipino heritage month btw Akane haha (this month not december).

  • Maria Rider commented Oct 17th 2012:

    Ohhh, okay. :)

  • Maria Rider commented Oct 17th 2012:

    So I figured out how to navigate the holidays....to prepare for the holidays, we'll have to have our cheat day for right before t-giving on November 16(Friday) that will give us 5 days between then we can reset it for December 1st that's 8 days

    Christmas Eve is on a Monday

    December 15th would be the cheat day before Christmas Eve with another 8 day stint for Christmas Eve being the 9th day....then it'd be 6 days for NYE.

    Then we'd have our next cheat day after NYE on Jan 6th then reset back to Saturday, Jan 12. :)

    LOTS of shuffling. :) But that's how I'd work it. :)

  • Juan Pinillos commented Oct 18th 2012:

    OK i think i have it figured out, the week before thanksgiving Im moving my cheat day to Friday, and then moving up my cheat day to thanksgiving Thursday for the next week. This gives me a good six days in between cheat days, plus I'm doing a 5K thanksgiving morning. For Christmas/Birthday its a bit different. I moved my cheat day from Saturday the 22nd until the following Monday the 24th (9 days on slow carb but that hot chocolate will be worth it). I will then stay slow carb for my birthday (26th), and continue with my cheat day on Saturday the 29th. Which gives me 4 slow-carb days in between which might be a bit short. What do you all think?


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thanks for posting this! I find planning ahead can make all the difference when navigating what might be a more challenging time. I like the calendar idea and will try it too! Since I don't celebrate Christmas it will likely be more of a dance around all the holiday parties that crop up.


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Agreed! Planning ahead is key to success. Spot on. Thanks for posting this.


  • Nancy Fairchild commented Oct 19th 2012:

    what do you think of this for halloween? "adult" halloween" will be 10/27, and i'd like to drink. if i stick to scd food and have only vodka w/ soda, would that have to count as a cheat day? i'd like to do that and then have my cheat day be actual halloween where i can sugar my face off w/ my kids.

  • Brenda 7 commented Oct 19th 2012:

    I was going to post a while ago, and then i thought of this! do you like red wine, how about wine coolers with diet 7-up, you'd stay legal for scd, if you drank those and ate scd type food, then you could have your cheat day with your kids. I think that's what i'll do at the adult party i'm going to on the 27th. I can divvy the wine up to 4 ounces w/7-up and have 4 of them i think if the wine is 8 ounces allowed x2. that is if i have to drink something.

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