When you cheat you kick your body out of fat burn and it takes 1-3 days to get back into fat burn as shown in this diagram here. If you can keep your body in a constant state of fat burn then it will continue to use calories you input and your stored calories.
I cheated three times for science. Cheat #1 I had a small slice of fruit pie and a scoop of ice cream. I was queezy for about an hour afterwards but jumped right back in without a second thought. Cheat #2 a week later. I had 1 donut and 3 donut holes. I was queezy, had a headache, and later a sore throat. I continued to eat my Medifast meals and eat every 3 hours, even though I didn't feel hunger. I was really tempted to eat more than I did but tried to focus on moderation. Cheat #3 I went completely off the plan for an entire weekend. I kept things mostly healthy but only ate 4 times a day and they were larger meals. End result: I was tired most of the weekend and felt sick a few times. The last cheat experiment really messed with my mind too. I was so nervous about how to go back on plan and for a second felt I was too far gone but calmly talked myself back into things.
Moral of the story. Cheating isn't worth it. I didn't really like how I felt afterwards, emotionally and physically. The more I cheated the harder it got to get back on track. Now I can have those junk food cravings out of the weight loss phase in moderation, if I want to that is. But as long as you are in the weight loss phase take advantage of being in fat burning mode by staying in fat burning mode and resisting temptation. You are better off and will keep your momentum and reach your goal faster. Don't cheat and if you do get back on track, we are all human, just get back in the swing of these right after. In the past when I was having an emotionally bad day I let myself go through food and would justify, "Well I already ate cake and pie so I might as well down both with some additional ice cream. I will start all over tomorrow." Don't do that, just begin again in the immediate second after cheating rather than waiting a day. That day could turn into two or three or more. Get and be healthy now rather than pushing it back for something that most often isn't as good as it looks.
When faced with temptation you can resist by:
1) Smelling the food. When donuts or cake were brought into work I smelled it for a few seconds and that satisfied me enough.
2) Focus on your goals and why you want to be healthy.
3) I found that I am the weakest to temptation when I am tried or emotional. Recognize when you are in those states and ask yourself if you really really want that item or do you just need a break from the kids or work.
4) Stop Challenge Choose Technique
The “STOP—CHALLENGE—CHOOSE” technique can break the link between a trigger (such as a temptation or an unpleasant emotion) and behavior that you want to avoid. Here’s an example of how it can work if you’re suddenly confronted with an opportunity to make an unhealthy choice:
1. STOP: Suspend action, take a deep breath, and center yourself.
2. CHALLENGE: Ask yourself:
•What’s the reality of the situation?
•What is my emotional state right now? Am I really hungry?
• On a scale from 1 – 10, what level of hunger or anxiety am I experiencing right now?
• Is my emotional state appropriate in intensity for what’s going on?
•Would a less intense response increase the likelihood of a desirable emotional outcome?
• If I let this emotional state take over, will I be closer to my goal, or further away?
3. CHOOSE: Make a choice based on the long-term outcome you want.
Whatever your choice, accept it, then continue on your healthy path.
• Observe how you feel as you make your choice.
• Determine the effectiveness of your choice. Would you choose to feel this way again?
• If not, reform your plan, and remember how you would choose to respond if a similar situation arises in the future.
Practicing all of the above has really helped me stay healthy now that I have transitioned and am eating regular food again. It could have been really easy for me to just lose the weight and then go back to eating how I used too. But what would be the point of all the effort I made to lose the weight and reboot my habits. That is why I love this program so much because it teaches people how to create healthy life long habits rather than just dieting. It is a life style change for the better for sure.