Long while back I went to a wedding and though I typically don't care for cake (even in my prior life!) I was like I'M EATING A LOT OF FUCKING CAKE TODAY. I had already been a few months primal, mostly low-carb and had lost quite a bit of flab. I fully expected to have something negative happen but I actually lost a few pounds, perhaps due to the massive amounts of carbs/sugar I ate that day.
Gotta agree here, in that if you schedule "Cheat Days", it just sets you for a fall(i.e. Stalled weight loss). Being Primal is about living healthy/happy/free of CW. if you cheat(20%), no biggie, just start back again on being Primal. We all have cheats. Try to make them Primal(lots of GREAT recipe ideas here), and as stated earlier, you will start to crave those CW foods less and less. Good luck, and Grok On!
I make it optional; I do tend to eat higher carb on Saturday, but neither I or the SO go crazy like we used to with the restricted foods. And after last Saturday, when a slice of bread pudding gave me mild abdominal cramps for three days, I'm going to have to sadly acknowledge that my "cheat days" need to be more strict on the gluten grains.
If you're good with rules and requirements, a cheat day can work. Both my SO and I are big on self-discipline, and I am fairly adamant that if it ain't Saturday and it ain't primal, it ain't going in my belly.
Awesome post-Cheat Day story. We went to California Adventure during Cheat Day and myMike had a bowl of pasta (really his only non-paleo food item that day). Next day, he got on the scale and was five pounds heavier. He got off, walked over to me, and said in a completely deadpan voice, "F--k pasta."
That's why I love him.
My Primal Meanderings
The only way I've been able to lose weight consistently (2-3lbs/ week) has been with adding cheat days. But I think the most important part of this is that during the week, you have to undereat. You can't just be eating all the primal foods you want and then gorge on cheat days. You have to deplete your glyocogen so that when you cheat, there is no overflow which would turn to fat. The reason slow carb diet works is because during the week, calories and carbs are very low.
What I do is IF M-Th. I eat 1 or 2 meals a day. Usually salmon and greens or beef and veggies. Very low carb and very low calories for the day. Then Fridays and Saturdays I up my calories as much as I can and eat as much carbs as i can. I stay primal. Sundays I play it by ear. i'm usually too full to eat more then 1 meal on Sunday. By Monday I'm happy to go back to my IF and eat less.
I have found that eating this way, I've lost all cravings for food and snacking. I literally have to force myself to eat more on weekends.
I've experimented with different ways of eating. But this is the only way that I've been able to guarantee a 2lb lost per week. I've lost 15lbs in 2 months since I started eating this way. Oh and I'm hardly ever hungry even on my 1 meal days. Oh and I crossfit 4 days a week. But I was doing that before and didn't lose a single pound. So it is the eating that determines weight loss, not the workout.
My husband and I only started a few weeks ago too, around 5 like you, and we had our first cheat night on Sunday night. We ordered a pizza and wings... and while it all tasted very good, we both felt sick all night afterward. He had a lot of stomach cramping. I felt like vomiting, and just had an overall feeling of being unwell. We will be trying something else next time we have a cheat day. Non-primal pizza is not on the menu again any time soon!
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I think it really depends on the individual. If you're 20 and significantly overweight, it might not matter much to have one cheat day (assuming you still avoid gluten). If you're 50 and just a few pounds away from your ideal weight, you're probably going to stall. Add in the relative health of your body, how long you've been eating Primal, what your workout was that day, how high your stress level is... it all depends.
Me? I try not to plan cheat days. The way my mind works, I'd be fantasizing about them all week, and that would set me up to eat stuff I shouldn't even before my planned "cheat".
I don't have entire "cheat days" anyway. One meal or food or party or whatever is plenty, at least for me. And when I do eat stuff that's less than optimal, I still avoid wheat.
Seriously, a few days ago I ate some pretty large meatballs because a friend of mine was craving Italian food for lunch. I completely forgot that the usual way to make meatballs is with breadcrumbs because MINE don't have any. Before I even got home, I was bloated and gassy, and the next morning my body had thrown a temper tantrum by gaining almost 5 pounds overnight.
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My Primal Meanderings