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Flexibility vs. Disordered Eating

Do you allow yourself days to go off your diet? If you do, do you find yourself overeating?
I find that I need to redefine those days for myself. There should never be a day that I "allow" myself to overeat fatty food. It's just going back to bad eating!


Mon. Feb 27, 8:38am

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I have a splurge night, where I eat about 500 calories more total for the day than most days. I usually do a bit more exercise that day, and it's right back to portion control the next day.

You don't have to go out of control on a day off. Eating differently on different days is part of life. I splurge on stuff like a three-scoop sorbet in a waffle cone - a tasty treat for around 500 calories.

If that doesn't work for you, than it just doesn't, but never let yourself feel deprived, because that's no way to live healthfully long-term.

Monday, February 27, 2006, 11:01 AM

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Right now, I'm working on maintaining my weight loss, not losing more, so I allow myself more treats than I used to. On the same note, I eat less of those treats than I would've before all of this, b/c I honestly don't like eating huge quantities of greasy/fatty foods anymore; it makes me feel sick! I never thought it'd be possible that I'd stop being a "quantity" person, but really, it happened!!

When I was trying to lose weight, though, if I really wanted a "treat," I'd find a way to make it not quite so bad. If I wanted a big juicy burger, I'd skip the bun and eat it with a fork and knife. If I really wanted a bag of chips from the vending machine, I'd buy it, and immediately take a big handful and throw them in the trash. Then I'd eat what was left. If I really wanted a cookie, I'd take it out of the box, close up the box, put the box away, then go sit down, then eat the cookie. That way, going back for more was a chore. I'd do the same thing with ice cream. I'd put all I wanted or could onto a spoon, then close up the ice cream, put it away, and eat off the spoon. Sometimes I'd use a soup spoon, but that's the biggest I'd go. Way less than one scoop! And since I already put the spoon in my mouth, it couldn't go back into the carton (make up "rules" for yourself!)

The biggest thing I had to learn, though, was whether I REALLY wanted something, or if I was just bored. If it was a big treat, I'd "save up for it" for a couple of days beforehand, so I wouldn't have to make up for it afterwards (kept me more accountable). But, after a few days of being really good, I rarely wanted the treat, as it would "undo" all the hard work I had just done!

Monday, February 27, 2006, 11:34 AM

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OP here. I made "free" days for myself where I could have one big meal and dessert as a splurge. But I still found myself in the mind-set that I should have QUANTITY, and I ended up feeling sickly full afterwards. I just think it's another way to eat in a disordered way (while giving yourself permission to do so). I like the idea of eating one cookie, one spoonful of ice cream, etc. As my Dad would say, don't make a meal out of sweets!


Monday, February 27, 2006, 11:43 AM

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A day off from your diet can be good for your metobolism. Your body can get used to your eating habits a plateau.

Monday, February 27, 2006, 1:59 PM

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Maybe try and make "free" meals rather than "free" days?

Also, if you see yourself going for quantity over quality, you may not be quite ready to give yourself entire freedom. Try planning out your splurge day ahead of time. Tell yourself " on Saturday, I'm allowed to eat 2 slices of pizza and have a couple fo beers" instead of "on Saturday I can do whatever I want." Maybe make a list of the "junk" that you don't usually eat, and let yourself pick one or two to have each splurge day. Maybe you'll pick a burger and fries one week, a chocolate shake and a slice of pizza the next, a big gooey brownie and french toast w/ maple syrup the next, etc. Or, make your splurge a meal at a restaurant where you actually order whatever menu item you feel like eating the most. It may turn into a ton of calories, but, it's contained to the period of time that you're at the restaurant, and doesn't turn into an entire day of snacking on junk!

Monday, February 27, 2006, 3:28 PM

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Op again (this stuff is great!).
My free days were for ONE meal and a dessert with that meal. It's just crazy because I would still calculate the cals and they'd be SO high! What I've decided to do is to cross-section my BIG workout day and splurge meal. So I can work out like a fiend BEFORE the splurge meal, then eat it with less guilt! That way I can also offset all the extra cals I consume.
But mentally, I'm still troubled by allowing myself to overeat, regardless of it all. I mean, isn't that inherently unhealthy?

Tuesday, February 28, 2006, 1:10 PM

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I love the feeling of overeating anything and being stuffed, but mostly breads and desserts. I can force myself not to, but it feels so good to let loose. Sometimes the food doesn't even taste that good, but it FEELS good.

I think I am feeding some emotion rather than myself, and that is unhealthy (for me anyway). I haven't put my finger on why it feels so good to overeat yet. I also have some weird control issue where I HAVE TO control how much I eat and exercise, but then it feels really good to be out of control and overeat. I don't know how to help myself, let alone you, but I wanted to let you know you may not be alone.

I personally try to eat about the same every day but also give myself a splurge night or two... sometimes they get way out of hand though, but I don't beat myself up.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006, 1:48 PM

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To the OP - maybe try splitting up your splurge meal from the meal that you're allowed to have dessert with. Have a small salad with the dinner that you have dessert, and when you splurge on dinner, don't have dessert. It's still the same amount of splurging per week, but you won't also be "stuffing" yourself - a bad habit to be in anyway!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006, 4:42 PM

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Thank you! :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2006, 5:58 PM

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how about half a treat...

if I want that hamburger I take my kids with me.... I order one hamburger and share it with my kids. I eat half and my eldest eats the other half or shares it with his brother.
I do the same with ice cream treats etc.... If I buy potatoe chips for them as a treat I buy two small bags... grab a few for me from each and let them eat the rest.
I really like the ideas that everyone has shared. I will help me with the deprivation I try to avoid giving into.... I just love food too much for my own good.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006, 6:13 PM

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