In praise of Cheat Day
A million years ago (in my 20s) I did Atkins with great success. It was my first dieting experience, and maybe because of that I found it easy and sustainable - for awhile. After losing 60 lbs in about 8 months, although I had more to go, I felt comfortable, and once I got over an initial "fear" of eating carbs again, I let myself have some here and there. Then often. Then, I was gaining again. And since then I have never been able to stick to it for long, although I have tried many, many times.
Later after gaining all of the 60 lbs back and not knowing what to do, I read Ultrametabolism and thought it was great. Healthy eating should be what I want, right? Lifestyle change! Not "crash" diets or results that are fast but not maintainable. I was able to do it for awhile but again got frustrated and it was abandoned. Plus I freakin' HATE buckwheat.
Right now, I am about to enter my third Cheat Day on SCD, and at 10 lbs down I feel like I've had an epiphany. The Cheat Day is the thing. The thing that is currently making me in love with this way of eating, with the world and with myself for a change.
I can finally stop trying to convince myself that I don't want or need the "unhealthy" things that will make me fat. I can stop trying to console myself with dreaming about having them "once in awhile" or after some goal I may never get to or "when I'm skinny again". I can stop trying to replace the forbidden sweets and starches that I frankly love with poor substitutes that only make me want the real thing more. Best of all, I can stop feeling guilty and like a gutless, weak, undisciplined, fat loser for wanting to have some pleasure in my food. All of this has been a recipe for disaster all along, and I didn't even realize it.
I am frankly amazed at how disciplined I can be over the course of the week just knowing that I can have *anything* on Saturday. Hell, that's not even correct, because it doesn't feel like discipline. Nothing I have "given up" for 6 days a week feels like a sacrifice at all; I just do "this" Sunday through Friday and "that" on Saturday. (Maybe I am just lucky in feeling that way?) It makes sense. It works. It's awesome. I'm gonna eat a pizza with twinkies on it tomorrow and I am proud of myself for it!
I know my fat loss is good now but may slow or plateau, but as long as I am losing something per week, I am keeping this Cheat Day business in my life. I'll experiment and modify anything else!
Happy Cheat Day!
The Best Answer
Absolutely! Cheat Day has become the real goal of my diet -- I stay disciplined Sunday through Friday so that Saturday can be a marathon of gluttony. I'm training for a 10,000 calorie day, which has proven elusive so far. Even with corn dogs, half a loaf of white bread, a Double Whopper/large fries/large Coke, 2 slices of cheesecake, a bazillion breaded hot wings, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, and what seemed like several gallons of Oktoberfest, I still only came in just over 8000 calories.
And I love telling people I've lost around 40lbs while washing down cheesecake with a pint of the good stuff!
I wholeheartedly agree. It's wonderful to be able to eat whatever you want and not feel guilty about it or worry that you've blown the whole thing. It's so freeing! It really is what makes the plan sustainable for a very, very long time. We can plan our Anything Days around a holiday or any occasion. It's FANTASTIC! And a wonderful unexpected bonus for me was that some of the foods really made me feel awful, so it was crystal clear to me which foods my body has the toughest time with. I always know, now, to steer clear of wheat, for example. Wheat really does me in. I wish it hadn't taken 53 years to figure that one out! LOL
Yes, this SCD is amazing! I've tried almost every weight loss method out there and among the pregnancy clothes, I have sizes 4 to 18W. Enter SCD and it all makes sense now. I've fallen off the wagon, but came back on today, and feel fantastic.
I did really well in over 2.5 months and losing a lot in the beginning is definitely a motivaor. There will be some plateaus, but it seems to iron itself out with a tweek.
Best to you!
I love this post so much!
I feel like this way of eating is definitely something I can stick to, long-term. I LOVE the idea of having a cheat day. Guilt-free eating and you don't have to deprive yourself of anything! I have tried other "diets" in the past, which, admittedly have been successful. I actually lost 20kg (and gained over half of it back, blah) simply by eating healthy and spending hours and hours at the gym every week. But this is so much better, because - like you said - you don't have to wait "til I'm skinny again" to eat something you want/love! I actually weighed in today after my first week on SCD and have lost a little over 2kg (4.4 lbs). So stoked!
Join the 4 Hour Body Superhumans!