Cheat Days and Chinese Food

The Bloke and I made a decision a few months ago to change our dietary habits. We were both in a food rut – eating poorly, snacking often and gaining weight to the the point where we were both at our heaviest and most unhealthy. 

We decided not to follow a specific plan or count calories. After watching the documentary ‘Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead’ on Netflix we were inspired by the idea of a diet of no processed food. We took it a step further based on the fact that I seem to have developed a minor lactose intolerance and The Bloke has rosacea and cut out sugar and dairy too. So, for the last few months we have eaten nothing but fruit, vegetables, nuts, white meat and fish, except for the occasional cheat day that we allow ourselves the chance to eat what we want. We usually don’t eat past 6.30pm, have extra smoothies if we are feeling particularly hungry or have food cravings, and our snacks consist of fruits, nuts and vegetables too. Instead of focusing on the idea of a ‘diet,’ we consider it to be more of a lifestyle change.

The cravings were quite strong at first. I’ve always been far more of a savoury enthusiast, so bread is something that has predominantly been the biggest craving I have experienced (closely followed by a sausage based breakfast from a fast-food chain). And cheese. Oh my gosh, how I’ve missed cheese. I would have quite happily given my right bum cheek for a thick cut slice of warm, doughy bread smothered in melted cheese in those first few weeks. However, it isn’t anywhere near as bad as it was before, and the cheat days really help.

It’s rare that I can do anything in moderation, but we have stuck to it and are doing well. It’s actually been a lot easier than I expected – there’s no weighing or measuring or calorie counting, we’re just not eating as much of the bad stuff as we used to.

And it’s working. The Bloke has lost about 20lbs, and I have lost 11lbs. To be fair, The Bloke seemingly sneezed and all his weight fell off, and he looks amazing. I’m starting to notice a positive difference in our sleeping habits and energy levels too.

I love my cheat days. It gives me something to look forward to, and everything that isn’t allowed on a normal day tastes so much better on a cheat day. 

One of these cheat days occurred when The Bloke and I decided to treat ourselves to a meal at Chung Ying Central in Birmingham. We had visited once before as part of a charity event and loved the appetisers that they served, so I was looking forward to trying a mini banquet. 

It. Was. Awesome. 

I fully embraced the cheat aspect of my meal and ordered all of my favourite things – cocktails, king prawn and cashew nuts, Vietnamese spring rolls, egg fried rice, steamed dumplings… gorgeous. I was so happy, particularly after the second cocktail. Of course, I was slightly less happy when I was eating grilled chicken and vegetables the next day at home, but those moments where I can treat myself without feelings of guilt or worrying about how much weight I’m gaining. 

What about you guys? Have you adopted different eating habits over the summer?

61 thoughts on “Cheat Days and Chinese Food

  1. I have been doing the same type of thing. Stopped adding any sugar, only eating fruit, veggies and occasional chicken or fish. I have cheat days too, where I get to have a brotchen or some gelato. I feel better, and I am down about 10lbs. Yay you!! Glad to hear you are both feeling better with the new way of eating.

  2. You have both done amazingly, well done!
    Cheat days are a great idea too… I seem to have more of them though at the moment!!

  3. Two points you make are so important: cutting back on “processed” food – and everything in moderation. I think we all know what junk food is, as well as processed food – it has so much stuff we don’t need. Bravo to both of you for your dedication and focus!

  4. I adopted a similar diet change last summer when I ended up with high insulin levels and lyme disease. I also eat mostly no-processed and eliminated dairy and refined sugars. I lost about 40 lbs and feel awesome. I try to limit my cheating with sugar because I was addicted like it’s a drug. And one taste will send me on a week-long binge :/

    I love not counting calories or measuring food. I was never a fan of diet or exercise. Now I find myself being more active because I feel like it, not because I have to in order to lose weight. And I eat until I’m full, which comes much faster now that I’m not eating all that crap food.

    Every now and then though…. a cheat day is definitely in order!

  5. I eat a plant based no processed foods or dairy or wheat diet. I eat this way because I have Crohn’s Disease and have issues with digesting some foods. I think we could all go non-processed and benefit from it! Good for both of you!

  6. Similar thing happened to me and my Bloke. I thought my face was bloated from eating gluten but my nose was quite slim so I realised I didn’t have a hint of a Aw line because it was fat! The bloke had a shave of what he thought was a thick rounded beard – nope mostly face fat! We’ve cut down on takeaways amp anything that our bodies react to. We have a cheat day on Friday and even then try to only include one treat, with beer or cocktails of course!

  7. I stopped enjoying reading this post when I came to the stopping of cheese and bread eating. No I didn’t though I did scream in horror.
    Well done Suzanne and your bloke!! Something that we need to embrace sooner than later!! We start a new housesit on the 1st August and that will be a good time to start as it’s in the countryside!! Thanks for the motivation 😊

  8. We’ve been doing something similar. We didn’t eat many processed foods anyway, but we’ve cut down on carbs (apart from all the carbs in vegetables!!)

    The things I’ve missed is bread (which we still eat at the weekend) and ice-lollies. I don’t eat many sweets…but it’s so hot that I do fancy ice lollies. It’s a shame there isn’t really a natural, less sweet option available. I mean, even if I freeze juice, that is still pretty sugary! 😦

  9. Chris and I are doing WW’s Freestyle program. We’ve never been able to diet before because…well…food. My husband is a chef and chocolatier. Need I really say more? But we both jumped on the WW program because it allows pretty much all fruits and veggies along with chicken, turkey, and fish. And when I say allow, it means you can have as much of the above as you want. It’s your carbs that get limited. Our first cheat day was an all-day cheat-fest that left us feeling bloated and sick. Never again. Now we plan on just one meal that we will cheat with.

  10. Great going, Suzie. I do the same – once in a while I have a cheeseburger or Chinese food or a pizza, but not more than once a week, one meal only and usually soup for the other one. Plus exercise, of course….

  11. I am starting the keto diet. Basically no grains no sugar. I said August 1st since I would be past birthdays and the like but I woke up feeling crummy and just wanted snack foods. So I said tomorrow and hoping I can make it longer than day 3 without carbs. Hubs did this last year before the holidays and like you said seemed to sneeze all his weight off. But I have already said I will need a cheat day 2 weeks after starting otherwise I will go off the deep end and binge like no one is watching.

    I am hoping this healthier habit will help with my autoimmune disease

    • That’s brilliant! Isn’t it amazing how quickly men can lose the weight haha! You definitely need cheat days so you have something to look forward to… let me know how you get on with it!

  12. hubby and I have been trying the past few years to watch what we are eating and how much. We slip back into bad habits every now and then (after 60 some years, it’s hard to stop certain things) Plus we are working on our community garden which is really helping us physically get into better shape. Keep at it, and keep us posted.

  13. I am already dairy free. However sugar and gluten are my vices. Veggies as snacks is a great idea. I am going to repeat Dr Fuhrman’s Eat to Live eating plan again, and this time stick with it!

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