cheat or free days?

By haoleboy Latest Reply 2013-12-28 19:41:47 -0600
Started 2013-12-19 22:11:41 -0600

Do you take a day or a meal off of your normal eating regime? I understand many Type 2's do this and have even heard of nutritionists suggesting it.
Does it really help? Aren't you concerned that is really a step backwards in hitting/maintaining your A1C?

21 replies

theladyiscrazy 2013-12-28 14:49:46 -0600 Report

I have been reading this with interest. A question, do any of you plan a "sweet" or "treat" into your menus, counting the carbs? For example, today I had a homemade chocolate chip cookie (yes just one) but added it to my lunch, so it was part of my carb count there.

GabbyPA 2013-12-28 19:41:47 -0600 Report

Yes, that is how you want to treat yourself. Keeping track of them is a good guide to keeping in portion. Where I struggle is when there is a plate or a bowl of special goodies and I just take one on the run. After a day of walking by, I have lost track and it's usually not good. So keeping an accurate count is the way to go. Good job on the "just one". That can be hard to do.

JSJB 2013-12-24 18:00:35 -0600 Report

I do not think of it as a cheat day. 1 or 2 sometimes 3 time a year I eat what I enjoyed before being diagnosed with this problem I do not over do it and I am sure my numbers are up. So enjoy but do it moderately.

denipink57 2013-12-23 21:30:39 -0600 Report

if i take this all too seriously i would end up a wreck. yes i take a meal off now and then even a day off. my A1C has always been good so far.

GabbyPA 2013-12-20 21:05:09 -0600 Report

I try to focus on eating what is good for me and having a free day with those foods is always a better choice than having an old "friend" revisit and mess me up. I let a few in during the holidays, but I am looking forward to when they won't be in the house and be a struggle. I prefer not to struggle, so I keep many of my nemesis foods out of the pantry.

Glucerna 2013-12-21 22:05:55 -0600 Report

Setting up your environment so it's easier for you to stick with healthy choices makes a lot of sense Gabby! ~Lynn @Glucerna

Glucerna 2013-12-20 17:14:04 -0600 Report

I prefer the wording 'free day' or 'free meal' to 'cheat day'. Cheating sounds like we're doing something wrong. As so many of you said, eating a small amount of a food you don't usually eat every once in awhile can help prevent binging and prevent overeating without adversely affecting blood glucose control. For people who are in overall good control, a free day every now and then can be really helpful. It's an excellent topic to talk about with your doctor and/or diabetes educator. ~Lynn @Glucerna

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-12-20 18:01:42 -0600 Report

I agree with you cheating sounds like you are doing something wrong and are afraid of getting caught. I have a free day every week thanks to my doctor and keeping myself in control. It gives me the pleasure of having special treats I would not normally have. I have decided I am not longer going to deny myself lifes little pleasures. If I want a cookie, I will eat it but I also am not going to sit around after I eat it.

At the diabetes education class I attended, this topic was brought up. She said if you are a T-2 and you look at how your test results are for the week, if they stay mainly between 90-120 you can have a free day if you choose.

Even on my free day, I don't over indulge. I limit myself to 3 cookies, a regular slice of plain cake or with a little frosting but I still stick to my walking. If on my free day I spike 10 points it doesn't bother me because I know in about two hours I will be back to normal because I will have walked somewhere. If you have no will power or are going to over indulge you may want to rethink a free day.

Free days are not a bad thing for those of us who can enjoy them. I would never have thought of them nor would I do it without my doctors permission. He looked at my log book and my A1C and then he told me I could have the free day. I have not had any problems with it.

dagger1234 2013-12-20 16:24:53 -0600 Report

I think a cheat day is awesome. Lolz but I soon realized my cheat days will turn to a habbit and my turn daily. If you can handle your will power and normal eat healthy, why not? Just don't go overboard

Nick1962 2013-12-20 14:10:21 -0600 Report

I'm with jigsaw below on this. I do, but not often and within reason. It stops the cravings that would otherwise cause me to "binge", and in some cases it actually kicks the metabolism up by not being so dietetically sedintary.
An A1c covers about 90 days, so one or two meals won't make much of a dent, but it is a good indicator if you've taken a few too many free meals.

tabby9146 2013-12-20 12:00:57 -0600 Report

it seems to help me at times, and other times I want more!! I do have cheat days and they usually are not planned ones. I can not kick my craving for chocolate candy!! I allow myself to have it, not sugar free so much, just regular and I just try to note how many carbs and have it with a protein but I do go overboard.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-12-20 10:06:07 -0600 Report

Once I got my A1C down and my blood sugar under control, my doctor gave me a Free From Diabetes Day. My free day is Sunday or a day that is a holiday. This does not mean I sit down and eat an entire pack of Oreo's, no. I eat a candy bar, cookies, cake or pie or what ever else I want. Usually its is my day for a piece of fried chicken.

It is one day and one day is NOT going to affect your A1C. I never look back or consider it a step backwards. Just because you have one of your favorite foods doesn't mean it is going to kill you or harm you. It may cause a spike but it is just one day so it doesn't bother me at all. Of course your free day has to come with common sense. I eat what I want with common sense. If during the middle of the week I want a cookie, I test to make sure I can have it.

Thinking everything you eat is bad for you, the end result is fear of eating and you are not thriving. I do not mess with my mental health because I use the power of positive thinking. So I ate a cookie and spiked a few points. It isn't the end of the world and I take a walk and I am fine.

tabby9146 2013-12-20 12:03:21 -0600 Report

I can't stop at one cookie, but I don't eat a whole lot of them either, same thing with some other things too, can't stop at one chocolate covered cherry this time of year! I might have two or one and a few hrs later another one and I am satisfied. I definitely eat more sweets than I should most of the time, though in the past, I did not I was stricter. I have to really be careful, because controlling by D&E I know I have to be careful, but the longer I have been able to control this way, the more it seems I want to cheat and with more than what I used to, so I just work harder at it now and sometimes if I have eaten too much of something, at home, usually that is where it happens, I just exercise more that day

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-12-20 13:07:36 -0600 Report

Tabby you have to balance everything out. I don't look at it as cheating. Nothing says you can't treat yourself. I think people who can't control themselves are the ones with the problems or the ones who are so afraid they are going to have a little spike are the ones who deny themselves the small pleasures.

I eat what I want when I want it based on my numbers. I might have a little spike of about 10 points but if my blood sugar is at 101 the 111 is still in my safety range. I don't worry about spiking unless it goes over 150 which is rare.

haoleboy 2013-12-20 17:44:35 -0600 Report

unfortunately Joyce, indulging in those small pleasures is what got me into this mess. and yes I have a problem. at one time I weighed 325 pounds .. I have a big problem. I now weigh 160 pounds and seem to be able to control myself just fine. I had to make a complete lifestyle change and in order to do that I completely changed my way of looking at food. I have also quit smoking and drinking and cheating on those once a week doesn't happen either.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-12-20 17:48:25 -0600 Report

Haole each person has to do what is right for them. If you can't do it that is fine. However, I learned will power because indulging is simply mind over matter.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-12-20 19:54:15 -0600 Report

I am strong and independent and I enjoy every second of it. When you do community work, you need those two attributes.

jigsaw 2013-12-20 05:40:07 -0600 Report

Occasionally, and seldom, I cheat by eating foods that I normally avoid. I keep the quantity very limited however. If my blood glucose goes beyond the #s that I am comfortable with, I take a 1/2 hour walk around the block. A brisk walk almost always brings my levels back to normal. Gets the urge off my mind, and has little efferct on my a1c when I do this. The entire 20 years that I have had diabetes, my a1c has always hovered around 6.0 +/= a tenth of a point or two.