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One night off per week?

So, I was thinking about having one night per week (sat) be my night "off". This would mean that after 5p, on Sat, I wouldn't count calories so I could enjoy myself. I don't think it would do too much damage and would give me something to work for each week. I'm trying to develope something I can do for the rest of my life, so I don't see the harm in this. Any thoughts?

Sun. Jan 14, 12:02pm

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I read somewhere (can't recall where) that even 500 cal extra a week can add up. I'm trying not to do the "day off" thing, myself.

I also think that having a day off from your new eating regime promotes the idea of food as a "reward" .... obviously there are many gradations of this (if your "day off" involves having a good meal that's a little more fattening that usual, probably not a big deal, but if it leads to a slippery slope of eating junk food all day, then that's a problem).

Sunday, January 14, 2007, 12:31 PM

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You should look into the Body for LIfe program. It gives you a "free day," where you don't exercise and eat anything you want.

They do this for two reasons. 1. It's very difficult, if not impossible, to stick with an exercise plan and diet program that doesn't allow room to be human.

2. By eating differently one day a week, you trick your body from getting adjusted to your new eating pattern. Eating some junk one a week throws that off and benefits you.


Sunday, January 14, 2007, 12:33 PM

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the bottom line

I think the bottom line question you need to ask yourself is, "Am I satisfied with my current rate of weight loss?"

If the answer is no... then ANY calories you add during the week will slow the weight loss even further.

With all respect to the 12:33 poster, I think any diet that talks about "tricking" your body, etc, is based on shoddy science. Junk food is junk food. See the last section of "Supersize Me", where they talk about the effect that eating just ONE McDonald's meal a week can have.

Sunday, January 14, 2007, 1:01 PM

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I have one evening 'off' per week. Every friday my husband I and go out and it's 'date night' - I promised him that I would not be so obsessed about my weight loss that I would be sitting in a nice restaurant counting calories and making prepartation requests, etc on date night. I don't go crazy with the portions and I still chose unfussy, simple dishes without heavy sauces, but I do have a glass of wine and don't freak out about the amount of butter in the preparation and if we want to share dessert we do and I enjoy every bite. I truly look forward to relaxing and savoring a well-prepared meal that's a bit richer than anything I would make at home, and my husband deals with my restrictions on junk food and calorie-laden dinners without a murmer of protest the rest of the time (even though he's not watching his weight and does enjoy some junk food). It has really worked well for both of us and is something we look forward too. It also has the effect of making certain foods a treat and not everyday food which helps my mindset towards eating them in moderation. I do understand how calories add up because i watch them carefully the rest of the week, but I need a break from time to time and date night hasn't hampered my progress in the slightest. I would say try it, but if you notice your progress has stalled or that you feel more inclined to indulge then cut back.

Sunday, January 14, 2007, 2:28 PM

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I agree, with the above poster about enjoying a GOOD quality meal on 1 night a week should not completely destroy your progress.

On the other hand, if and when you do take a "day off", make sure that you are not indulging in "binging" behavior... i.e. 1 scoop of ice cream may be okay, but 1/2 a gallon is not... same with alcohol and junk foods (although junk foods are not good at any amount, you could look for healthier alternatives to a truly junky junk food. (i.e. instead of a big bag of potato chips, try a gourmet potato chip, that's organic and contains less chemicals--Yes, it is still junk food, but at least you are not loading up with extra chemicals as well.... Of course, a Twinkie or a Big Mac is not good at any amount.... (instead, try getting a bakery cake or a home made hamburger)

Sunday, January 14, 2007, 3:45 PM

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This works for some people, and doesn't work for others. But rather than giving yourself 7 hours of freedom, it's a lot safer to make it one Free Meal, and choosing an earlier time is better, so that you're eating when you're still active and burning.

I do notice that people who maintain a healthy weight and a good figure do everything by the book Sunday night thru Friday lunchtime and then blow it on the weekend. This appears to be some kind of unofficial "real world maintenance plan", and I look forward to being one of them!!

Sunday, January 14, 2007, 3:51 PM

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OP here...

Thanks for all of your feedback! I have enjoyed a 13 lb. weight loss while I've been on PT (since October). I don't seem to have the same "umph" that kept me going in the begining. I have been experimenting with different ideas to keep me going. During the first few months, I did not drink any alcohol. Now I'm missing going out with my friends. I would just like to have 2 drinks on a Saturday night along with a little bit of tasty food! I don't mind losing at a slower rate if it means that I can live a "real" life that I can be happy with. I think I will be trying the one night off thing and see if I can keep losing at least 1/2 lb. per week. If it doesn't seem to be working, I'll try something else. Any other comments/thoughts will be quite helpful! Thanks, again!

Monday, January 15, 2007, 7:21 PM

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Well... maybe if you pair your "day off" from your diet with a "harder day" exercising (maybe a extra hike outside or something?) it will all cancel out!

And perhaps if you're not losing at the same rate you need to ramp up the intensity of your workouts, in general - but of course hard to tell without knowing the specifics. Good luck!

Monday, January 15, 2007, 7:30 PM

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I think sometimes people forget that others have different restrictions on their body. Though I don't particularly like fast food, I DON'T feel bad about stopping at Wendy's every once in a while and I haven't given up Saturday nights at the bar. Despite this, I AM eating a lot healthier and I have lost weight.

The all or nothing approach might work for you, but it doesn't for me, so comments to the OP like, "of course, don't eat a twinkie or a big mac" seem sort of ridiculous. Personally, always depriving myself of whatever I am craving makes me feel frustrated and depressed, which in turn makes me want to stop the whole dieting/exercising thing all together. So, I'd rather have those few beers, or decadant dessert and NOT feel guilty because I'm trying for a HAPPIER that includes losing weight but is in no means limited to it.

Not trying to sound hostile, just another opinion. :)

Monday, January 15, 2007, 7:38 PM

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you know on weight watchers we are allowed 35 extra points per week and it doesn't hurt so I think you should give it a try and see what happens find out what works for you. at the worse you will gain and then you know not to do it any more.

Monday, January 15, 2007, 10:08 PM

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to 7:35 pm poster

The comment about the Big Mac and Twinkie wasn't meant to be a blanket judgement to demean the OP... it was just a comment about considering the quality of the food... In other words, if you are craving cake, getting a good quality piece of cake or pastry, made without as many chemicals or fillers--it does not necessarily mean it has lesser calories... just that if it's of a higher quality, even if it is "junk food", it may be a bit better for you....

At any rate, an occasional splurge won't hurt anyone, unless it becomes a daily or every-other day splurge....

To the OP--

To cut the calories in alcohol drinks, try sparkling water with a little wine or something along those lines-- and if you're at the bar, get a slice of lemon or something like that in your glass of water (or spritzer)... It will "look" like you are drinking something alcoholic--maybe alternating between water and alcoholic beverages will help to limit your intake, if you're worried about it.... If you have NOT been drinking alcohol for a while, you may also find that you no longer need as much to give you a little "buzz"....

I agree-- adding an extra workout can also help to counter the "splurge day".... Even one of my friends, who is training to be an Olympic speed skater, uses 1 day a week to "splurge", so that he can relax and socialize with friends--although he is still a bit careful about portion size and quality of the food he eats when he splurges... it makes his normal "routine" meals less monotonous when he knows that he can go out and enjoy a good meal once a week.

Hope this helps!!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007, 1:13 AM

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In response to McDonald's...

*Sometimes* when we are traveling, etc., and feeling poor and need some dinner, my husband and I will split a McDonald's 2-cheeseburger value meal. It costs about $3. It comes with 2 cheeseburgers, a medium fries, and a medium soda. Generally, I eat a cheeseburger, maybe a few fries and a few sips of soda. My husband gets a cheeseburger, most of an order of fries, and most of a soda.

A McDonald's cheeseburger is 310 calories, 12g fat, 35g carbs, and 15g protein. That's about 1/3 fat, 1/2 carbs, and the rest protein. Maybe not the absolute best balance, but not horrible. There is 1g trans fat, so that's not good, but from what I understand, that may change soon. Also, if I tear off part of the bun, which I usually do, it's less carbs and a better balance of calories.

A medium french fries has 380 cals. A small has 250 cals. I know that when I eat the fries, I eat less than half the amount that would be in a small fry. So, I'll guess 125 cals of fries.

A medium coke is 210 cals, but, literally I'll have 2 sips, or sometimes just ask for ice water in addition and just drink that.

So, McDonald's dinner for well under 500 cals (my typical allotment of calories for dinner). Not the healthiest, but, not going to really hurt my diet, particularly since it's literally once every few months, if that.

Oh, on a further note, the "Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich" from McDonald's is 420 calories, far more than a cheeseburger. Now, it's definitely bigger, but, just because it's grilled chicken doesn't mean it's low calorie. Just a side note!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007, 11:35 AM

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French Women Don't Get Fat

In the book, the author talks about French women's practice of the art of compensation. French women do indulge; they just do it in moderation and they follow it with compensatory behaviors like cutting back the next few days or an increase in exercise. It you want to slow your weight loss, go with indulge only. If you want to keep your weight loss at it's current rate, indulge and then compensate. Either way, find what works for you. It's a stuggle to find the magic combination and it is different for every one of us. Good luck! LC

Tuesday, January 16, 2007, 12:01 PM

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Maybe instead of taking a night off, you could try not being quite as hard on yourself the other 6 days of the week.

My big problem with "nights off" is that for me, they can lead to binging on stuff I really don't need- I'm working myself so hard the rest of the week and eating so little that by the time friday rolls around, I'm readdy to gorge on crap.

what i stared doing instead was not restricting myself quite as much, eating carefully but not starving myself. Once I got used to eating at a certain level, I'd start eating a little less again. I never felt like I was starving and I ended up losing a pretty decent amount of weight that I've kept off.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007, 1:48 PM

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Response to 'the bottom line'

With all respect to the 12:33 poster, I think any diet that talks about "tricking" your body, etc, is based on shoddy science. Junk food is junk food. See the last section of "Supersize Me", where they talk about the effect that eating just ONE McDonald's meal a week can have.

I went through three BFL cycles, dropping my bodyfat percentage from 26 to 14.

With all due respect, you can kiss my ass because you're knocking something you've not tried, looked at or investigated.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007, 3:29 PM

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"KIss my ass"? ... woohoo, rumble in the Lounge!

3:29...fantastic job (you're a guy, right? otherwise you're too skinny now!), that's not an easy program for most people to follow. Which is probably why people "knock" it without trying it.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007, 3:38 PM

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When I give myself (planned or not) a night or whole day off, I TOTALLY overdo it. My solution?
Make sure that I don't take a day off from PEERtrainer! I make the "deal" with myself that I can eat whatever I want that day, but that I have to log all of it - INCLUDING how many calories each thing is. It's amazing how that helps reign me in! If I know someone might see that I had 3 bowls of ice cream at 450 calories each, I'm much more likely to stick to one bowl - and maybe only eat 300 calories worth!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007, 3:48 PM

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Yes, I'm a dude.

Sorry for the "ass" comment, but to blindly dismiss something like that just irks me to no end, especially when it works.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007, 4:14 PM

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Another comment about McDonald's...

1 or part of a cheeseburger is a far cry from a Big Mac!

I, too, also occasionally indulge in a SMALL burger--but I forgo the fries and usually order a water... which, of course, reduces the calories by a lot...

That's also why I stay away from the "bigger" sandwiches at any fast food burger place....

But, you need to compare apples to apples.... If you ate a Big Mac, then the calorie value increase drastically due to the mayo-based sauce!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007, 12:14 AM

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