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When did you start indulge or give yourself a "cheat meal"



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So what I eat is ALWAYS on my mind. I meal prep every single week and have my weeks very calculated already pre-tracked and I stay within my calories. I workout 6days a week.

But I am about 5 months post op and this weekend, hubs and I took the kids to Dave's Hot chicken, I ate the kale slaw and half a tender 4-5 fries. I felt so guilty! But at the same time it felt so good to eat with my family and it not be chicken and veggies while going out. I ate very small amount because I did not want to eat to restriction, but I was able to hang out with my family and not worry about food. Then that night we got Ice cream and I had 4 bites of hubbies delicious Cold Stone chocolate Ice cream, those 4 bites I was satisfied and didn't feel like crap. I still woke up drank my Protein coffee, did my work out and continued my normal diet.

In a way, I am happy that it didn't turn into a binge like it would normally when I would previously diet, then again I feel like I halted my progress.

Thanks for reading :)

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I guess I've been doing this all along, at least once I was allowed regular foods. I'll have a small serving of ice cream if I go to an ice cream place. I had a couple bites of cheesecake a while back. I'll have a square of dark chocolate a few times a week. I generally order chicken or fish, and not fried, with veggies at a restaurant, but I'll eat the sauces and not worry about it. I'll eat a couple fries off someone else's plate. That'a all I want is one or two.

My program is fairly simple, 60-80g Protein and 64 oz Water are the only rules I was given, (no specific calorie or carb rules) with an added recommendation of aim for 3 meals a day, about 40% protein per meal, and avoid snacking. Obviously, there is the list of good choices and not so good choices that we all know, like avoid oils and fried foods, and eat nutrient dense foods, etc. But I stopped keeping a written food journal every day because it isn't required of me, and for me, I don't want to live like I'm on a perpetual diet.

Somewhere I heard the advice to follow a 90/10 rule. If 90% of what you eat is healthy, don't worry so much about the other 10%. That resonates with me. Also, I like the concept of a "planned indulgence" instead of a cheat meal. Cheating implies doing something wrong. Planning to indulge in something is deliberate and you're in control of it. For me, that fits my life.

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1 minute ago, NickelChip said:

I guess I've been doing this all along, at least once I was allowed regular foods. I'll have a small serving of ice cream if I go to an ice cream place. I had a couple bites of cheesecake a while back. I'll have a square of dark chocolate a few times a week. I generally order chicken or fish, and not fried, with veggies at a restaurant, but I'll eat the sauces and not worry about it. I'll eat a couple fries off someone else's plate. That'a all I want is one or two.

My program is fairly simple, 60-80g Protein and 64 oz Water are the only rules I was given, (no specific calorie or carb rules) with an added recommendation of aim for 3 meals a day, about 40% Protein per meal, and avoid snacking. Obviously, there is the list of good choices and not so good choices that we all know, like avoid oils and fried foods, and eat nutrient dense foods, etc. But I stopped keeping a written food journal every day because it isn't required of me, and for me, I don't want to live like I'm on a perpetual diet.

Somewhere I heard the advice to follow a 90/10 rule. If 90% of what you eat is healthy, don't worry so much about the other 10%. That resonates with me. Also, I like the concept of a "planned indulgence" instead of a cheat meal. Cheating implies doing something wrong. Planning to indulge in something is deliberate and you're in control of it. For me, that fits my life.

I LOVE THIS!!! I do not want to fee like I am on a perpetual diet either, I want that mind set just as yours. Thank you thank you!! ❤️

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I eat anything I want. BUT, Luckily I have never liked fast food or potatoes. I can't eat fried foods. I still have a fierce restriction. These things help keep me on track

I don't buy chocolate because I still can eat a huge amount. Once I open a bar its all mine till its gone. So apart from these exceptions, I eat anything and everything. I have been on a diet all my life and I wanted to change this mindset. I try to eat well 90% of the time as @NickelChip said.

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Posted (edited)

I really don't, and that's because it's a very slippery slope for me. I have found so many alternative foods that taste good and don't leave me feeling deprived that it's not worth the inevitable guilt, the possible weight gain, and extra work it'll take to get me back to where I am now.

I'm 2 years out from my original surgery and a year out (at the end of this month) from my revision surgery. I'm so use to how I eat that I can't imagine trying to eat any of the stuff I use to eat. There's Keto bread, keto Bagels, keto English muffins, keto brownies, keto blueberry muffins, Legendary pop tarts and cinnamon Buns, mashed cauliflower (works beautifully in place of mashed potatoes), crustless pizza, pizza with cauliflower crust, riced cauliflower instead of regular rice, Monk Fruit sweetener instead of sugar, sugar free tropical popsicles, Real Good Foods keto Protein chicken nuggets, Atkins 1 person meals, Real Good Foods 1 person meals, the list goes on and on.

We get creative with what we cook (still have steak and chicken and stir-fry), chocolate milk has now become almond milk, 1 tbsp cacao powder, and 2-3 packets of monk fruit sweetener. Use a frother and it's AMAZING. There's chips you can get at Whole Foods that are made with soy flower or almond flower and tastes EXACTLY like regular chips (I love the BBQ and the sour cream cheddar ones). For ice cream, I get Rebel ice-cream. Low to no carbs, nearly no sugar at all, low calorie, lactose free. Tastes AMAZING. I just have no need for any cheat meals.

Edited by SleeveToBypass2023

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I feel like as long as it doesn't bother you (in terms of digestion, or mentally/emotionally), it's fine. I love what @NickelChip said about it being a "planned indulgence".

Back when I was in my twenties, one of my nutritionists said that it was good to have one moderately high calorie meal a week (ie a couple slices of pizza) because it would keep your body from going into 'starvation mode' in which it thinks it needs to save and store any calories it can. It made sense at the time, but I was also at the healthiest weight I had ever been and she worked for a local gym, so take that all with a grain or two of salt.

For me, I know I can't have a planned indulgence, at least not without being pretty darned strict about said indulgence. For example, I 'indulged' today in a piece of soft-dried sweet potato -- but because I know it's basically just a little strip of 'healthy; sugar and carbs, my dinner tonight will be lower carb to make up the balance.

My personal issues are less of a willpower - slippery slope but more of a mental anguish thing. In the past, whenever I've felt like I've done something 'wrong' diet-wise, I usually would end up either in a depressive spiral in which I blame myself, harangue myself and then end up eating my feelings -- or I'd end up punishing myself (either with more unhealthy food or by not eating at all for a few days -- neither of which were healthy reactions).

((I've been on both sides of the eating disorder spectrum, lol))

I feel like I'm probably in a good enough headspace these days that I could avoid all of that (from not feeling like I've done something wrong to begin with) but I'm just not confident enough to want to put myself in that position.

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7 minutes ago, JennyBeez said:

I feel like as long as it doesn't bother you (in terms of digestion, or mentally/emotionally), it's fine. I love what @NickelChip said about it being a "planned indulgence".

Back when I was in my twenties, one of my nutritionists said that it was good to have one moderately high calorie meal a week (ie a couple slices of pizza) because it would keep your body from going into 'starvation mode' in which it thinks it needs to save and store any calories it can. It made sense at the time, but I was also at the healthiest weight I had ever been and she worked for a local gym, so take that all with a grain or two of salt.

For me, I know I can't have a planned indulgence, at least not without being pretty darned strict about said indulgence. For example, I 'indulged' today in a piece of soft-dried sweet potato -- but because I know it's basically just a little strip of 'healthy; sugar and carbs, my dinner tonight will be lower carb to make up the balance.

My personal issues are less of a willpower - slippery slope but more of a mental anguish thing. In the past, whenever I've felt like I've done something 'wrong' diet-wise, I usually would end up either in a depressive spiral in which I blame myself, harangue myself and then end up eating my feelings -- or I'd end up punishing myself (either with more unhealthy food or by not eating at all for a few days -- neither of which were healthy reactions).

((I've been on both sides of the eating disorder spectrum, lol))

I feel like I'm probably in a good enough headspace these days that I could avoid all of that (from not feeling like I've done something wrong to begin with) but I'm just not confident enough to want to put myself in that position.

This is more what I meant when I said slippery slope. I know I end up restricting really badly if I "cheat" so it's not worth it to me. And with so many yummy alternatives, it's really just not something I feel is something I want to deal with. I've gotten myself to a stable, healthy place and I just don't see how refusing to give up "regular" indulgence foods is worth the issues it'll bring up. I'd rather do the research to find healthy alternatives that don't leave me feeling deprived, that way I can eat delicious food and stay healthy.

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8 minutes ago, SleeveToBypass2023 said:

I'd rather do the research to find healthy alternatives that don't leave me feeling deprived, that way I can eat delicious food and stay healthy.

100% with you! I've discovered I'm just as happy with a handful of lentil or quinoa chips than anything I thought I'd miss -- probably more happy, just because there's no guilt eating them. I'm early on in my Post-OP (12 weeks this coming Wednesday) but I feel like every week I find a new recipe or premade item that just amazes me. Like, "I can eat this tasty thing? Really?"

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, summerseeker said:

I eat anything I want

same.

and "anything i want" includes chocolate and chips and fried foods and sauces/gravvies and high-fat things and Desserts and pizzas and bread, etc. etc. BUT not in copious amounts (for the most part). BUT i also eat salads and veggies and lean meats and cottage cheese and tofu and fruits, also not in copious amounts (for the most part).

mind you my weight loss phase days are long behind me, but even during weight loss phase, i would occasionally have foods that were "off plan". like mentioned above, i was closer to maybe eating "what i was supposed to be eating" maybe 75-80% of the time. though my total average calories were always low regardless of what i was eating.

Edited by ms.sss

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all good comments thank you! I am on plan 90% if not 95%. I do eat the alternatives but sometimes they aren't the option (such as this restaurant) and I wasn't sure If I was alone but it seems like everyone has a different perspective. My hubs even asked if it was okay that he could eat it another time without me or something (he has no weight problems).

I am proud of myself that the meal didn't end up being going into an uphill battle to get back on track. I felt guilty eating them and felt like I messed up, but just continued the next day. I feel as though that mindset is getting me out of the "diet" mentality and allowing me to live this way forever.

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Once I was through all the phases and it was ok to eat 'normally' I started to allow myself a 1/4 of a Protein based pizza once a week as Friday's is my pizza night if I am not out out so I have gone from having an entire pizza and garlic bread to 1/4 (at most) of a pizza.

I try to be good most of the time and even my little bits of 'boldness' are minor by my pre-op standards, in that I know I probably eat too many nuts at times but they are yummy and I am probably having a couple of squares of dark chocolate (good for the heart ;) ) a bit too often but they stop me feeling like I am being restricted. If I felt I was living too restrictively food wise I think I would just go back to bad habits again. I do try to avoid potatoes (a love of my life), Pasta and bread when at home but if out for a meal I may have a small amount, or take a few fries from a friends plate (with their permission :) )

I didn't go through all of this to be miserable for the rest of my life so just have to know my own limits and make the best choices for myself.

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11 minutes ago, FifiLux said:

Once I was through all the phases and it was ok to eat 'normally' I started to allow myself a 1/4 of a Protein based pizza once a week as Friday's is my pizza night if I am not out out so I have gone from having an entire pizza and garlic bread to 1/4 (at most) of a pizza.

I try to be good most of the time and even my little bits of 'boldness' are minor by my pre-op standards, in that I know I probably eat too many nuts at times but they are yummy and I am probably having a couple of squares of dark chocolate (good for the heart ;) ) a bit too often but they stop me feeling like I am being restricted. If I felt I was living too restrictively food wise I think I would just go back to bad habits again. I do try to avoid potatoes (a love of my life), Pasta and bread when at home but if out for a meal I may have a small amount, or take a few fries from a friends plate (with their permission :) )

I didn't go through all of this to be miserable for the rest of my life so just have to know my own limits and make the best choices for myself.

100% I am not going through this to be miserable, I did this to learn how to live "normally" with food. I like this!

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Posted (edited)

My first cheat meal was 4 months post op (with surgeon’s approval) now 6+ yrs post op all meals are cheat meals! Joking! Maybe 10% now. But I’m a big fan of a long term sustainable diet that you can adjust as needed. So alternate between strict and relaxed however I still prioritize Protein.

Edited by GreenTealael

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While I was losing I didn’t cheat. In saying that as I got close to my goal & then when trying to maintain, I stated developing a way of eating that would allow me to enjoy the foods I wanted to, enjoy my life & how I wanted to live it, and still maintain my weight.

Actually I don’t like the word ‘cheating’ in regards to eating. Too negative much like the word ‘diet’. To me they mean failure, weakness & punishment.

However or whatever you chose to eat now or in the future must be sustainable. It must complement your lifestyle and support your weight loss & long term maintenance. If you choose to eat in a restrictive way that means you can’t participate in social activities or makes you feel you’re missing out, it’s destined to fail. Especially if you are defining any diversions off that path as cheating. But if you adopt a way of eating that is flexible, means you can have pizza with your family or friends, or have birthday cake, or whatever & you accept this as just how you eat in your life, it will be sustainable and lead to long term success. You’ll have to consider portion size, frequency, alternative ingredients or cooking styles but it certainly isn’t cheating in my thinking.

Well that’s what I believe.

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12 hours ago, Arabesque said:

While I was losing I didn’t cheat. In saying that as I got close to my goal & then when trying to maintain, I stated developing a way of eating that would allow me to enjoy the foods I wanted to, enjoy my life & how I wanted to live it, and still maintain my weight.

Actually I don’t like the word ‘cheating’ in regards to eating. Too negative much like the word ‘diet’. To me they mean failure, weakness & punishment.

However or whatever you chose to eat now or in the future must be sustainable. It must complement your lifestyle and support your weight loss & long term maintenance. If you choose to eat in a restrictive way that means you can’t participate in social activities or makes you feel you’re missing out, it’s destined to fail. Especially if you are defining any diversions off that path as cheating. But if you adopt a way of eating that is flexible, means you can have pizza with your family or friends, or have birthday cake, or whatever & you accept this as just how you eat in your life, it will be sustainable and lead to long term success. You’ll have to consider portion size, frequency, alternative ingredients or cooking styles but it certainly isn’t cheating in my thinking.

Well that’s what I believe.

I have to agree, it has to be sustainable. I know there are other things I can eat the healthier version of foods, But sometimes you want one slice of pizza from your fav pizza joint. I had a convo with my sister who is thin and she asked me when will I get to eat normal portions- I told her well my stomach wont let me but I do small indulgences, I brought her Cookies that I made and I don't eat them however I love baking (my mom calls it projecting) but my sister told me that I have good willpower to not eat them. Instead of eating 6-7slices of pizza I am eating one with no crust. Ill eat a Protein pizza or cauliflower crust one. I am super rambling lol

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