Day Eighty-nine (W, 110330) — Cheat Day v. Cheat Meals

I am considering changing over from one Cheat Free Day to two or three Cheat Free Meals spread throughout the week.

Off the top of my head, the Cheat Free Day has the advantage of concentrating your desires and letting you really focus on eating well the rest of the week.

On the other hand, Cheat Free Meals would probably allow me to avoid situations which in which I feel an overwhelming urge to cheat.

Which do you think is more effective?

(If you vote, and have a fleshed-out reason you prefer one option over the others, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.  Thanks!)

BTW — if you haven’t already voted to tell me when I should do my weigh in this week, please let me know.


In brief:

  • I’m excited about the Tour Dallas this weekend and the DFW Mud Run the Sunday after.
  • I hope my massive Cheat Free Day last week doesn’t backfire and kill my progress from the past two weeks.
  • I need to buy new dress pants for work. =)


Breakfast: scrambled eggs, sausage, refried beans, kombucha, AGG, cinnamon, greens supplement

Lunch: Steak, broccoli and peppers, AGG

Lunch 110330

Steak and veggies! =)

Dinner: Hillshire Farms smoked sausage, refried beans, salsa, water, AGG

Dinner 110330

Sausage and refried beans

My son helped me with the sausage

My son helped me with the sausage

Other food throughout the day: black coffee, water, a second kombucha, natural peanut butter


5 responses to “Day Eighty-nine (W, 110330) — Cheat Day v. Cheat Meals

  1. In a nutshell, occasionally having a day or meal where your calorie intake is closer to maintenance levels for that period of time can help weight loss by reducing the metabolic slowdown that can occur during extended periods of calorie restriction. This is usually best when done in conjunction with workouts (large meal following strength training) or on workout days.

    The term is important because “cheat” implies you’re breaking the diet, and encourages people to eat crap. A “free” meal is a planned, momentary calorie increase (or sometimes carb increase depending on the diet). It’s still part of the diet. If you eat a food you normally wouldn’t eat, that’s fine, but you don’t go nuts with it. If you eat more in general than you would on the more restricted days, that’s fine, as long as it isn’t excessive.

    If a person thinks “cheat” they tend to think “a whole pizza washed down with coke followed by a quart of ice cream”, but if they think “free” or “maintenance” or some similar term, they tend to think “I can have A piece or two of pizza and a 1/2 cup of ice cream, because I can consume X calories today and still not go over estimated maintenance intake”.

    Generally, I recommend a person getting started wait until they’ve been consistent with whatever they’re restricting for at least three weeks before incorporating “free” meals on two workout days (strength training) per week, following workouts OR one “free” day per week, coinciding with one of their workout days.

    • Thanks, Drew!

      I like the free v cheat distinction. And I like the idea of planning the free meals for my workout days.

      I wouldn’t be able to do mine as the meal immediately after working out — I work out at about 5 AM before work and don’t have time to sit down and have a nice, thought out, free meal in the middle there somewhere — but maybe as lunch or dinner that same day it could work out.

      I’ll have to give it some thought.

  2. Do you prepare your steak at work? Also, what kind of steak do you use and how do you prepare it? I’ve mostly been doing chicken and I’m really getting tired of it.

    • I wish I could cook one up at work but no, I’m not that lucky.

      I go to Walmart or Sam’s and buy a flat of 6 top sirloin steaks, cook them up on the grill on Sunday night and then eat one each day during the week plus one at night some day.

      To make a great steak, IMO, try the following:

      1. Let the steaks come to room temperature before cooking
      2. Spray a little bit of Pam on them
      3. Add some cracked black pepper
      4. Add more garlic salt then you think you need 😉
      5. Flip and repeat steps 2-4
      6. Cook until rare-medium-rare
      7. (Add more garlic salt and pepper while they cook if you want)

      You’ll want to under cook them on purpose. That way, when you microwave them at work, they won’t turn into leather.

      Also, when you microwave them, set the time to 2 minutes and the power to 40-50%. Flip and repeat.

      This will also help prevent your steaks from coming out tougher than shoe leather.

      As a simple dressing you can make at work, go to the cafeteria and grab a few packets of mayonaise and some Louisiana-style hot sauce. Mix them together and you have a quick and really simple sauce which tastes great! =)

      Good luck! =)

      BTW – you inspired me to turn this into a new entry under my Recipes page. Thanks!

  3. Pingback: Day Ninety-seven (R, 110407) — Free Meals v Free Day | New John for a New Year·

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