I am running into a problem with my cheat days. You are supposed to allow yourself one a week, under pretty much any reasonable eating plan. In times past, I would usually be on the eating plan for maybe a day, then suddenly give into temptation and call it my cheat day, then never really get back on the plan. This time, I'm sticking to the plan. But I keep putting off the cheat day.
Maybe my problem is I'm not sure if I'm on the plan enough to warrant it. I allow myself some popcorn and peanut M&Ms when I go to the movies. We ate out one night, and I got a four-cheese pasta dish. I'm eating reasonable portions of all of this, and I can tell I am already starting to slim down, but is it enough for a cheat day? The nutritional science would seem to indicate that one pizza in an otherwise healthy and properly portioned diet doesn't affect the body much- it's the repeated consumption in a relatively short space, or a bad diet over time. I have fallen to both such habits in the past. I think I'm dealing with a slight fear of the cheat day. What if it wipes out my gains of the past week? After all, doesn't every little bit this week add up to a gain or loss next week? Alternately, the fear of repeating previous failures. What if it signals the end of the diet to my habit-trained brain?
I think maybe I'm still working through the ideas of how I eat while I'm still trying to get to my healthy weight versus how I hope to eat for the rest of my life. I think right now, I'm eating in maintenance mode, not loss mode. Now, of course, because I'm "maintaining" a smaller figure, I am still losing weight, just at a different rate.
I guess it comes down to this: as long as my diet is clean, healthy, and properly proportioned all around, is it better to allow myself small regular indulgences, as they come up and at my discretion, or one scheduled day of guilt-free indulgence to look forward to on a weekly basis?