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    Registered User AL459's Avatar
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    Should you have a cheat meal in a small defict/maintenance?

    I was wondering if a day over your calories will be ok to do if you are currently “trying” to eat at maintenance but have been eating in like a small deficit 90-100 calories. Should I just still eat everything that i’ve been eating and not have over calorie days, or will it be ok if i have a nice big cheat meal once a week and I would still be able to maintain my current weight if I eat like 200-300 less the day before and after the cheat meal.
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    Originally Posted by AL459 View Post
    I was wondering if a day over your calories will be ok to do if you are currently “trying” to eat at maintenance but have been eating in like a small deficit 90-100 calories. Should I just still eat everything that i’ve been eating and not have over calorie days, or will it be ok if i have a nice big cheat meal once a week and I would still be able to maintain my current weight if I eat like 200-300 less the day before and after the cheat meal.
    If your goal is to maintain your weight and your cheat meal keeps you at maintenance then i dont see why it would be an issue
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    Verified Aesthetic rhadam's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AL459 View Post
    I was wondering if a day over your calories will be ok to do if you are currently “trying” to eat at maintenance but have been eating in like a small deficit 90-100 calories. Should I just still eat everything that i’ve been eating and not have over calorie days, or will it be ok if i have a nice big cheat meal once a week and I would still be able to maintain my current weight if I eat like 200-300 less the day before and after the cheat meal.
    The body does not work on a 24 hour clock, however using a 24 hour clock makes it easier to track our daily caloric intake which can lead to an accurate weekly balance. For the most part, a running weekly total can suffice for tracking if you're daily calorie changes are minimal. We know that one day, in isolation, is relatively meaningless in regards to calorie intake.. but if one has chronic large overages or deficits you will run in to problems. So how does this all tie in to your question? If you're eating at maintenance for the week, and you have one day where you blow past your goal.. in isolation that doesn't mean much however over time you will likely add weight. Cheat meals (this term needs to die) are better utilized for those who are in a strict deficit and need the mental boost and re-feed to keep dieting. For those at maintenance, having a day where you go over your maintenance for no reason than to "treat" yourself could lead to unwanted weight gain.
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    Registered User AL459's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rhadam View Post
    The body does not work on a 24 hour clock, however using a 24 hour clock makes it easier to track our daily caloric intake which can lead to an accurate weekly balance. For the most part, a running weekly total can suffice for tracking if you're daily calorie changes are minimal. We know that one day, in isolation, is relatively meaningless in regards to calorie intake.. but if one has chronic large overages or deficits you will run in to problems. So how does this all tie in to your question? If you're eating at maintenance for the week, and you have one day where you blow past your goal.. in isolation that doesn't mean much however over time you will likely add weight. Cheat meals (this term needs to die) are better utilized for those who are in a strict deficit and need the mental boost and re-feed to keep dieting. For those at maintenance, having a day where you go over your maintenance for no reason than to "treat" yourself could lead to unwanted weight gain.



    Thanks for the response! I will make sure to kinda incorporate some good cheat meals into my maintenance calories so I won’t be adding unwanted weight in the future.
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    Registered User sunsean's Avatar
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    There are no 'treats.' No good food/bad food. Just calories.

    Weight maintenance is just basic math - keep your total calories below or above a certain level for a prolonged period of time and the results will come.

    For example, one could gain weight eating nothing but fruits, veggies, and nuts - and one could lose weight eating pizza every day. It all comes down to quantity/calories.
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    Originally Posted by sunsean View Post
    There are no 'treats.' No good food/bad food. Just calories.
    then again, you can still call some luxury food you don't eat that often a treat, whether it's due to your financial situation or hard to fit into your macros. personally, i consider halo top ice cream as a treat mostly because a tub costs five euros, but also because it feels weird to eat ice cream multiple times a week
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    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Calories are counted daily however it’s the weekly calories that will determine weight loss or gain or maintenance and monthly even more so.
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    Registered User sunsean's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by faithbrah View Post
    then again, you can still call some luxury food you don't eat that often a treat, whether it's due to your financial situation or hard to fit into your macros. personally, i consider halo top ice cream as a treat mostly because a tub costs five euros, but also because it feels weird to eat ice cream multiple times a week
    Yeah of course it depends on how you define "treat." For me it's the opposite with ice cream. I eat Halo Top almost every day because it's low calorie/high protein and fits into my cutting diet. My ice cream 'treat' is when I have real full calorie ice cream like Ben & Jerry's because I don't have it as often.

    Where do you live? Here in California a pint of Halo Top is roughly the same as B&J. Just bought 2 yesterday, they were on sale for $3.50.

    But I hear you - for me it would be like a nice meal at a fancy restaurant, only go a few times a year. Definitely a treat.
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    One cheat meal every now and then won't have big impact. You can be in a caloric deficit even if you eat one cheat meal a day, it is harder though as cheat meals usually have a lot of calories.
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