Recommendation: Cheat away from home

Though some people choose not to at all, most of us do enjoy a great day on the weekend where all the rules go out the window, and life is a relaxing joy of new tastes and textures. A cheat day is something that freaks some people out, but for others it is a delightful end to a week of being careful. Either way, I have one big piece of advice: don’t cheat at home. Doing so could be a huge mistake, and could put your next week in jeopardy.

This idea comes straight from the book, though it’s not focused on at great length. I discovered a great reason today to stick with eating out on cheat days: M&Ms. More specifically, M&Ms in a kitchen drawer. Needless to say, if that drawer is one that is opened regularly throughout the week, that those M&Ms are going to look more and more tasty, every time I see them.

You might have experienced the same thing, in a cupboard, a drawer, or the fridge. I know the fridge was a hard one for us, because, although we stashed away all the cheat stuff in a cupboard, anything that needs to be kept cold, or frozen, has to stay in the same place as the vegetables and the eggs, unless you have a spare fridge/freezer.

This might seem like a trivial detail, but don’t mistake the impact it can have. Especially if you’re careful during the week to avoid being around temptations, a few glances of certain things on a dark Wednesday night can be the beginning of 2 days of turmoil, where you battle for control of your food-mind.

Think beans, put beans in the cupboard, and there’s nothing else available. That’s pretty simple. Most likely, generally speaking, the hassle of leaving your house or apartment to go and get the M&Ms that made an appearance in my kitchen drawer would be enough for you to simply wipe away the idea and throw it on a list for Saturday.

Another great reason to get careful about what you’re stocking in your kitchen at home is that little bits of things can start finding their way into meals during the week, and all of a sudden, you have strayed, though subtly, away from a true slow carb diet. I had this experience with soy sauce (the gluten free kind) – it was in the fridge, and I used a splash one day. The next thing I knew, 2 weeks later, it was going in every second thing I made. Not the end of the world, but still not something I would consciously choose to be doing.

My last reason for enjoying cheat day at a distance from where you cook is simply that it’s more fun. Having someone else do the cooking, and clean up, even if it’s at your local burger joint or fast food outlet, is an experience as much as a food serving. That means it feels a bit special, and it will be more memorable. Eating some M&Ms at a movie suits me better, and I’ll remember it better, than munching on them on a Saturday afternoon, while I’m surfing the internet.

Of course there’s always exceptions, so if you’ve had a great cheat day at home, share it with everyone in the comments below! Alternatively, let us know what the best cheat meal is that you had away from home.. or the meal that was the furthest away from home! I think mine would be a delicious steak and fries I had in California a couple of months ago. Delicious, and at least a thousand miles from home.

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  3. 5 Step How to: Stop Cravings and Tame Temptation Do you find temptation around every corner? Doing your best to confine your ice cream habit to cheat day but things are slipping? Temptation isn't just for daytime soaps, but the good news...

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14 Responses to Recommendation: Cheat away from home

  • jpassmore says:

    I was going to leave a comment about it being more fun to eat away from home, but the 2nd to last paragraph covered it. That’s one of the biggest reasons I eat out, it’s fun. I see people posting cheat day stuff that they make at home and I just don’t understand it. Maybe it’s because I home cook ever other day, but I couldn’t stand to stay at home on my cheat day. It also tastes a LOT better than anything I could make ;)

    Also, yea leaving stuff in your house can be too tempting, though I was surprised at myself after my first cheat day. I bought a pint of ice cream and didn’t get around to eating it, and surprisingly didn’t touch it until next cheat day. Luck, or will power? :D

    As for my favorite meal? Man that is tough…. I’m kind of a simple guy, so it was probably just a value meal at Wendy’s or Sonics

    • Luke says:

      Hey Justin,

      Thanks for your comment! You’re right, eating out is FUN! Sounds like you’re really set on slow carb! I think once you start feeling great.. you don’t need luck or will power to stay away from that pint of ice cream.. maybe a great test ;) ?

      All the best,
      Luke

  • Ima Bovine says:

    I have only been doing the slow carb thing for about a month so I am still experimenting with what works. Tomorrow will be my first Cheat Day at home just due to my schedule and I’m interested to see how it goes, My intention is to either toss or have my husband hide my weaknesses (pretzel M&Ms being one of them). Because I have 4 kids and they are not slow carbing it, I am faced with daily temptations and I am looking forward to giving into them tomorrow – Kraft man n cheese especially! Hopefully the follow up won’t be so bad…fingers crossed.

    • Luke says:

      Hey how’d that cheat day go?? Love to hear what you experienced.

      Must be tough when everyone else isn’t following the same plan! I know seeing temptations makes things a lot more challenging for me.. but then I think of the rewards and feeling great, and I can pass up those M&M’s ;)

      Luke

  • Dodie Jacobi says:

    NO question that eating out of the house on cheat day is safest for staying on course. The downside of eating out though, is I miss some of my home-cooked splurge foods. Tim offers the tip that when you do eat in, you throw out all cheat foods before the next day to avoid snacking. And this has worked well (though I HATE wasting food!) Guess I haven’t completely mastered the splurge day in that some just feel like they were a missed opportunity. Others are textbook in content, but leave me feeling crummy from the extra wicked carbs and fats. The ones that have been most satisfying, are the ones where I cook at home, my favorite former-slow-carb meals (which were still gluten and dairy free and agave as sweetener). Thanks for the reason to think this through and write it out for greater awareness.

    • Luke says:

      Hey Dodie, You’re right that sometimes there are home-only things you want to have. If possible it’s good to buy those ingredients, use them and then not have them around any more I find.
      Rather than throwing them out, see if your neighbours or friends would like them, or better yet, cook a big batch so all ingredients are used, and offer it to them!
      You’re very welcome, and I’m glad you found this article thought provoking and useful!

      All the best,
      Luke

  • Kendra says:

    This is really great advice, because I defiantly find myself snacking a little here & there when things are around. The biggest thing is, when I do and think I’ve blown it, then it takes me two days to get back on track!

    I have roomates so I can’t control it all but there are definitely a few trigger foods I need to get outta the kitchen!

    Also, certain cheat foods are things you get at home, maybe send those to work with a significant other, friend, or deliver them to your family (homemade cookies, cakes or candy). When all else fails, trash it! And don’t take home leftovers if you eat out!

    I’ve always hated wasting food, so this has been hard for me, but when I realized that was a reason I had gained weight I just had to think, would I rather waste this or have it end up on my waist?

    • Luke says:

      Hey Kendra,
      I think you have some great suggestions here! Thanks so much for your comment.

      I really like that!! Waste vs waist – I know which one sounds healthier to me!!

      All the best,
      Luke

  • Coolnawab says:

    Nice advice Luke,

    I have a variation – I don’t just eat out on a cheat day, I also order lotsa stuff and make sure to polish it off the same day. Here’s my diet on the last cheat day (Saturday):

    Breakfast – 1 huge lassi, about 500ml ( a yogurt-based drink made by blending yogurt with water, sugar and Indian spices – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lassi)

    Lunch – 5 small pieces rabbit mean, 2 large pieces chicken, 2 butter rotis

    Mid afternoon snack – 1 fruit tart
    Evening snack – 1 big chocolate eclair with coconut filling

    Dinner starters – Mutton sheekh kebabs, chicken kebabs
    Main course – Chicken biryani
    Dessert – 4 chocolate brownies with hot chocolate sauce & 1 scoop vanilla ice cream

    & Would you believe it, next morning after waking up I was feeling slim as a stick!

    • Luke says:

      Hey thanks for your suggestion. It sounds delicious!!
      Keep up the great work, and keep feeling slim!
      All the best,
      Luke

  • Chuck Cotton says:

    I like the distinction of cheating only when eating out and not bringing it into the house. it helps limit the cheat and you can still enjoy whatever it is you are eating out

  • Alexis says:

    With two kids and plenty of non-slow-carb food around,anyway, I’d suspect most mommies on this diet just have to buck up with the will power to do this diet one way or the other (which would include having to cheat at home most the time). It’s just crazy expensive to eat out for every meal, especially with four people going out each time. When PCH comes a-knockin at my door, I’ll eat out all 3 cheat meals on Saturday….til then I guess I’ll have to take my free m&m’s in the fridge that I couponed to have there waiting and be happy!…:) BTW, if anyone has any friends at PCH let me know*wink*

    • Luke says:

      Hey Alexis,

      It can be tough if the whole household isn’t following the slow carb regime. We’ve heard from people that they’ve converted their kids over, and that as a family it can be a lot easier to follow the slow carb regime, rather than just one person in the house. Willpower is tough!

      All the best,
      Luke

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