4

votes

How often is it ok to have a 'cheat meal?'

Commented on April 19, 2015
Created November 12, 2012 at 4:17 PM

For any of you out there who doesn't know anyone who is paleo, I bet you guys can relate.

So it's my friend's birthday next week, and we're going out for a meal. Brilliant, I thought. Only it turns out it's a 'set meal'. So for starters it's either potato skins, probably fried in some unknown oil, or garlic bread. Pizza or pasta for mains. Ice cream for pudding, and free soda.

Of course I want to go and celebrate with my friends, but none of them know about my ways of eating. I can't pull the 'gluten intolerant' card with them, because I only started paleo two weeks ago and I don't want to be awkward.

So, is it ok to just go and enjoy the meal? Just don't worry about what I eat? I don't have any intolerances and eating junk doesn't give me any side affects (just makes me fat if I eat too much :P) so it'll be fine, right? Being a teenager everyone around me is constantly eating junk. SO I figure if they're ok, I will be too. But I suppose I could bring my own money and ask for steak...

I'm still trying to lose weight though. This won't hinder it that much, will it? I'm starting to wonder whether I'm overthinking this...

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on April 17, 2013
at 03:33 PM

Eat a good red meat high fat meal before you go, then hang out and don't eat. Don't feel weird about it, have fun! Have a bite of birthday cake. Nobody will notice you aren't eating if you're running around the table talking to your friends, and you won't feel tempted because the fat will keep you full. That's what I'd do!

Medium avatar

(310)

on November 14, 2012
at 01:20 AM

True true, I had cake at a birthday a few days ago and I've had pizza a couple times in the past few weeks, and I'm totes fine. As long as you're eating healthy most of the time you're fine.

0e395acc856e3353f3f5892e6b09b0e7

(1227)

on November 13, 2012
at 01:53 PM

I went to my 50th high school class reunion in 2010 (yeah, I'm old) The buffet was crap food. I put enough on my plate to cover it and then didn't eat but a few bites. I claimed I was too excited to eat. (I was most excited about wearing a size 10 red silk designer dress when I had been a size 16 in high school) I felt and looked great and it was all due to being mostly paleo. Good luck at the wedding. You'll be fine.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on November 12, 2012
at 10:37 PM

Great answer! Indulge your taste buds with a bit but don't fill up on junk!!!

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on November 12, 2012
at 07:04 PM

Agreed. Even 50/50 works in a pinch!

7b20db75b09540914bd0c852e868a9d6

(454)

on November 12, 2012
at 05:19 PM

I agree, eat a small meal before you go so you're not starving, and if you want to eat some junk food just have a little.

Bcc4479de4f16939076e0a00e2db1261

(94)

on November 12, 2012
at 05:07 PM

If I know I'm going out or to a party, I usually will fast all the way up until that time. I try to eat the meaty options....like wings.

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15 Answers

best answer

9
785efa3950951957e65fa17efb25b078

(452)

on November 12, 2012
at 06:14 PM

You will be fine. 80/20 rule applies - you need to enjoy life too.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on November 12, 2012
at 07:04 PM

Agreed. Even 50/50 works in a pinch!

Medium avatar

(310)

on November 14, 2012
at 01:20 AM

True true, I had cake at a birthday a few days ago and I've had pizza a couple times in the past few weeks, and I'm totes fine. As long as you're eating healthy most of the time you're fine.

6
0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

on November 12, 2012
at 05:17 PM

I'm going to go out on a limb, here, as someone who attends social events and is perfectly comfortable not eating if there's nothing appropriate.

It's up to us as individuals to decide what's an acceptable level of "cheat" or "slide" and you'll figure out for yourself over time what's really worth it and what's going to make you feel ill, bloated or whatever -- I'm not saying this to be flippant, there's lots of 80/20 paleo eaters out there who do marvelously well with the occasional pizza or rice bowl, or who just suck it up and deal with the bloat and nausea for a few days afterwards.

But it's also okay to just not eat, and to enjoy everyone's company, and if they ask, have your thoughtful, non-dogmatic, socially acceptable answer ready. Ultimately, you decide what you eat and what you don't.

0e395acc856e3353f3f5892e6b09b0e7

(1227)

on November 13, 2012
at 01:53 PM

I went to my 50th high school class reunion in 2010 (yeah, I'm old) The buffet was crap food. I put enough on my plate to cover it and then didn't eat but a few bites. I claimed I was too excited to eat. (I was most excited about wearing a size 10 red silk designer dress when I had been a size 16 in high school) I felt and looked great and it was all due to being mostly paleo. Good luck at the wedding. You'll be fine.

5
8e323afb2e0ba3d104091f7e47815b40

(450)

on November 12, 2012
at 07:07 PM

For me, a small junk-food "cheat" easily spirals into a 24 hour "may as well gorge on everything on the banned list now" binge. It's all mental, but very damaging all the same. These days I prefer to not even take a bite, but I'm more pro-active about making the dinner plans. I will tend to invite people to my house, offer to cook, offer to bring something, choose the restaurant myself (after much research) Not helpful for this meal I'm afraid, but after a while it becomes second nature. Also, you have to get used to people thinking you're weird. When you're the fittest, thinnest, most muscular of your friends it gets easier.

Medium avatar

(15)

on April 19, 2015
at 03:49 AM

Thats what I'm afraid of. Binging. I'm told that after your initial 30 days to have 1 cheat meal but I'm afraid it will end up ruining my mental dedication

5
34997c76c8ce232f28942f233e180f18

on November 12, 2012
at 04:57 PM

I say if you know you'll be fine afterwards go for it. The problem is that people seem to become more sensitive to cheats after being Paleo for a while. Since you're 2 weeks in, I think you'll be fine.

If you're trying to lose weight but don't want to avoid going out, then just don't eat too much of the bad foods. If you've lost weight already, then this could be a good way of seeing if cheats cause you to stall.

Don't eat too much, opt for the potato skins, and try to get water instead of soda.

7b20db75b09540914bd0c852e868a9d6

(454)

on November 12, 2012
at 05:19 PM

I agree, eat a small meal before you go so you're not starving, and if you want to eat some junk food just have a little.

2
193b7fb0fec8913d5ebb3b99a04d21c6

(2918)

on November 13, 2012
at 05:55 PM

I'm on the fence about this. If you weren't just starting out, I'd say you'd know how you'd react to the meal. Not just the bodily/stomach effects but also the triggers to get you to eat like crap ongoing. The other half of me says that a great way to make you hate your new diet/lifestyle is to limit yourself in a social situation.

Happy medium? "Gorge" on potato skins and pick at the pizza toppings. Skip the dessert and soda.

Also, the whole theory about coming out after already having a big meal? I don't know about you, but that's a great way for me to eat twice. I can't resist a lot of social food scenarios very well.

2
Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

on November 12, 2012
at 07:03 PM

Eat a big healthy meal before you go out. Then eat what you want there, but if you're already full, it should be less.

Other than that, it shouldn't be a big deal. I relax for special occasions.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on November 12, 2012
at 10:37 PM

Great answer! Indulge your taste buds with a bit but don't fill up on junk!!!

1
Cfafbe60ac903f9108b6e00875749193

on April 17, 2013
at 11:15 AM

Cheat meals can mean many different things to different people and their appropriateness should be considered by fitness professionals relative to each client. Facts about cheat meals are banded around without hesitation by many without any consideration to individual situations. Many talk about them as if they are essential to progression, some plan and schedule them into a plan. Essentially it comes down to the person???s relationship with food, their tendencies to binge or overindulge, their ability to resist poor quality foods and their emotional attachment to that meal. Food is often a control mechanism for many in a world that is very hard to have any control over. We all have different relationships with food, and imposing your will on those with emotional frailties is irresponsible and often damaging. Food is not just an energy source, it is much more to our social being and should be treated as so.

1
2e777bbcd49262eb31a24f821abec6bc

(1974)

on November 13, 2012
at 01:37 PM

Go have fun! But remember the next morning that it was one meal and get back on track. I enjoy waking up the next morning and working out really hard after a big cheat then eating mostly raw fruits and veggies for the next 5-10 hours. It gets me back on track and prevents weight gain really well for me.

1
Ac04066a888a3f0b66f9a2935a6117c3

(315)

on November 12, 2012
at 07:01 PM

I have a night of pizza and beer about once a month with friends. I eat a late lunch so I will not be very hungry and then I limit it to 2 slices and one beer. It probably slows down my weightloss but it works for me.

0
142d7e06e608cff536ab78e6ca78ce38

on April 28, 2013
at 11:27 AM

Only you will know you will react mentally. It's one thing not reacting physically and if you can have this meal and not feel guilty then go for it.

0
21d66573380603eeab7ed7c7edca0649

on April 28, 2013
at 06:30 AM

dude. i just ate 7 tacos and a mulita and i feel like i want to die right now. Im so upset about it, but man were they good.

0
089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on November 12, 2012
at 07:53 PM

if you think it won't turn into a binge and knock you off track, then i think it's okay. i don't cheat because i can't afford it, health wise, but if it doesn't get you sick...

i also wouldn't worry about what others think. i've gone out to restaurants and just sat there with no food. my friend's wedding was last year and we had a 5 course meal where i ate nothing. i just told people that none of these foods were allowed in my diet. yeah, i got weird looks and tons of questions, but i don't mind standing up for my body.

0
8f87879387f2a357db7c33008ff9a04a

on November 12, 2012
at 06:13 PM

For me it seems that my "cheats" would include something with soy sauce. Im not going to avoid some yummy grilled meat and veg just because it has soy sauce. My favorite meal out is a red curry. That is about as "cheat" as I get. Soy sauce, peanuts, factory farmed meat and it all surely cooked in crap oil. But I will never allow grains back into my diet.I just CAN'T it seems. I tend to avoid the conversation about my food choices by getting a salad with protien on it..no one bats an eye.

0
E58d839e75d4a9a2ceaf40392ba6cfd7

on November 12, 2012
at 05:07 PM

Sometimes it just can't be avoided. I feel ya! Try being pregnant like me and going 4 months w/o being able to stick to Paleo cus of nausea!! It's been dreadful! I think that if you were to have 1 small cheat a week it wouldn't hurt your results that much. But again, it depends on how much 'cheat food' your consuming....1 slice of sprouted grain bread, vs 4 slices of pizza is much different!

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