There was a thread on the Atkins Community Forum about whether it is ever okay to "cheat". There was a lot of good discussion from both camps (yes, it's okay and no, it's never okay), but two members' comments were so helpful to me that I wanted to share them here.
Kittycatwoman52 said this:
Atkins is not a diet. It is changing the way you eat for a lifetime. The idea of a "cheat day" is very counterproductive to the concept of Atkins, for the following reasons:
1. You are messing with your metabolism. After detoxing your body from bad carbs, you inject a large amount of these bad carbs that spike your blood sugar.
2. You are choosing to reject the basic precepts of Atkins by insinuating that bad carbs are a treat of some sort rather than an unhealthy substance that is bad for you.
3. You are putting a few minutes of flavor (which won't be as good as you imagine) over the progress that you have made while following the Atkins way of eating, throwing yourself out of ketosis, reinvigorating cravings and possibly derailing your entire eating plan. Many folks who plan one cheat day end up not coming back for months.
Bottom Line: A cheat day is a bad idea, but as a grown-up you will do what you want. Just remember, doing exactly what you want is what brought you to Atkins to begin with.
And Sealyh said this:
Here are two quotes from The End to Overeating by David A. Kessler, that are so important to me that I posted them in my notes on my iphone for quick draw:
Intervention begins with the knowledge that we have a moment of choice- but only a moment- to recognize what is about to happen and do something else instead .
Play the tape until the end. The cognitive strategy is to become well practiced in recognizing when you're having euphoric recall and selectively remembering only the good parts. Then in your mind, play the scenario out to the end and think " this is what's going to happen. It will feel good for two minutes, and then I'll feel terrible.
Thanks, Kitty and Sealyh! I'm going to print these out and put them in my purse, so I can reach in and grab them the next time I am tempted to eat bad, unhealthy food. My physical cravings have been gone for a year and a half, but my emotional cravings continue to this day!
To read the entire discussion on the Atkins Forum, right click here.
If you are interested in finding out more about The End of Overeating, right click here or here.