I will eat whatever for like three days when I visit family. I may feel a little crappy but that's ok. When I get home I'll do a 24hr fast and then I'll be fine. If I try to be strict in these situations it gives me flashbacks to veganism. Plus Christmas treats taste good and it's not really going to hurt me that bad. Maybe a little constipation or bloating maybe some temporary back pain from the bloating or little acid refulx. I can live with that for 3 or 4 days for not having to explain myself over and over, eat good food, and not planning my meals out.
Cheating is what happens when you stop doing nice things like taking her out on dates, don't tell her you love her as often as she deserves, and tell her you aren't interested in taking dance classes, why doesn't she just take them with her friend Ron? He's a nice guy, right?
Eating food off your diet isn't cheating, it's living.
No, because every time I eat something like that, I am just disappointed by it and feel gross afterwards. :( Not to sound like a fuddy duddy or anything.
For me it's a map/territory issue. The "territory" is whether or not to depart from my paleo/primal bandwidth during the holidays. The "map" is what I would choose to call any such departure.
If I choose to eat non-paleo/primal foods over the holidays, I decidedly won't call it "cheating." Not because I consider it cheating but am in denial about it; rather, it doesn't occur to me use that frame of reference. When the enjoyment value of foods is a primary motivator (or "reward" to use the popular term), I focus on the enjoyment.
I generally feel so satisfied with my food choices that I don't crave exceptions, especially of the sugar sort. I have spent a year retooling my metabolism from sugar-burning to fat-burning, so that's probably why. The other day I came across a key lime tart in the back of my freezer, an item given me a month ago by a friend who insisted. In the spirit of a gift, I accepted it. I thought to myself, "Wonder how that tastes?" I decided to find out: cut a small slice and consumed. Sugar, wheat, gluten. No noticeable effects, and quite delicious.
Had I consumed a vast amount, I'm sure I would have felt bad effects.
Anyhow, I am "under instructions" to bring pumpkin pie or pecan pie to my Xmas dinner gathering. I have no problems doing so, because I don't plan to consume any (not a big fan of either) and I have no moral objections to consenting adults eating what they want to eat. I'll be heading toward the turkey and green beans and other veggies.
If I do pause at the dessert table and find myself wanting to take a nibble, I will. If God smites me on the spot, I will henceforth consider such choices to be "cheating." Until then...
I will be following my version of Martin Berkhan's Cheat Day Strategies For A Hedonist while I'm with my family ... I'm looking forward to my brother's homemade cherry pie! I guess I'm lucky, as having these non-paleo/PHD treats doesn't do a number on my gut nor my waistline (I actually lost weight over Thanksgiving).
My Christmas "exceptions" (rather than "cheats"):
Apart from those "exceptions" we are doing a roast leg of lamb (rosemary, garlic, olive oil, red wine), roast potatoes (grated lemon zest), steamed spinach (with seasoned side of Greek yogurt) , big bowl of olives and a huge avocado and cherry tomato salad.
Personally it is simply a case of being sensible. There will not be boxes of chocolates or sweets lying around to snack on, the desserts are divided between five of us, and the drinks... well moderation in moderation I suppose. Luckily I am not a big drinker so I'll have a few glasses of bubbly as I cook, a couple of beers later and than a mug of hot chocolate.
It's not cheating, it's called being normal and enjoying the little things in life. And because I (like many others) am not affected significantly by gluten, sugar, dairy, etc... I won't give it a second thought.
Damn, a second thought popped into my head, I'm taking a huge bottle of fish oil on my vacation with me. I'll down a good amount daily just to keep my ratio in check (which is one of the things that I really "feel").
No. There is no such thing as cheating. There are foods that I eat that don't make me sick (or fat, or cause some seemingly chronic nagging problem), there are foods that make me sort of sick, and there are foods that make me really sick. Before I put ANY food in my mouth I judge whether the consequences of eating the food are worth it. Thinking of it as "being bad" or "cheating" vs "being good" will not get you into a healthy lifestyle. Everything you eat is a choice and everything has consequences, if you're fine with the consequences, then eat it.