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    Cheat Day

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    Do you have a cheat day? I have had a cheat day once every week for the last ten years or so. I was what I used to think as a "healthy" eater, everything in moderation, whole grains, lean meats and fish, fruits and veggies. I am a very active personal trainer, so that way of eating worled for me. It kept me at a healthy weight, but I have other health issues like severe cystic acne and celulite that I felt like I could change with my diet. Not to mention, I would like to lose about 5-7lbs. I currently weigh between 111-114 lbs. and I am 5'1. I have only been "primal" for 5 weeks. I actually started off on the four hour body 5 weeks ago and slowly did away with most beans.MY diet consist of green veggies, whey protein shakes w/ unsweetened almond milk, lean meats and fish, nuts and seeds, eggs, coconut oil, avocados, and Geek Yogurt. I have eaten beans maybe twice in the last two weeks. Once a week I have a cheat day where I eat what I want and I follow the "damage control" as lined out by Tim Ferriss in his book, The Four Hour Body. Is anyone familiar with this? Any advice? I'm just wondering if it is too detrimental and possibly holding me back from weight loss goals...

  2. #2
    Glamorama's Avatar
    Glamorama is offline Senior Member
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    I have Done a cheat day in the past, but because I really went ALL OUT on those days it really did hold me back and slowed the weightloss. I also found that I could never get over my cravings if I cheated that often. Cystic acne indicates some big hormonal issues. I don't know what you eat on your cheat days, but skip the grains. Gluten stays in your system for 14-15 days after you have eaten it, so you'd be better off cutting it out entirely to see if your acne will improve.
    Dr Kruse says cellulite will disappear if you stick to primal. Normally 3-5 years, depending on your weight.

  3. #3
    Liam's Avatar
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    I have a Ferriss style cheat day every week. It suits my psychology. I've been consistently losing weight on it.

    I like the "work hard, play hard" aspect of it. I've experimented with a more relaxed 80/20 approach but find myself chipping away too often. I like the firm boundaries of the cheat day method.

    For the first month or so I went nuts on cheat day, but I got sick of feeling sick. Nowadays I have a primal breakfast, then berries and cream, a piece of cake, pizza, juice and beer for the rest of the day.

    Yes I know all the arguments about why cheat days may not be optimal, but for me the most important thing is to find something that works for you on a permanent basis. You can then improve on that later if you feel the need. Being 100% perfect is no good if 3 months later you're back to your old ways.

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    unchatenfrance is offline Senior Member
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    I don't see the point of entire cheat days. If you want to eat something non-primal, eat it, enjoy it, and move on. That's great, but deliberately going out of your way to do as much damage as possible and take steps back in terms of getting yourself off sugar and gluten makes no sense. If you're trying to quit smoking, would you have a weekly cheat day and smoke 3 packs in a single 24-hour window? Of course not. Then again, the OP's been PB for only 5 weeks. The longer you stick with primal you will find that you will start losing the desire to eat "cheat foods" anyway.

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    iniQuity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unchatenfrance View Post
    I don't see the point of entire cheat days. If you want to eat something non-primal, eat it, enjoy it, and move on. That's great, but deliberately going out of your way to do as much damage as possible and take steps back in terms of getting yourself off sugar and gluten makes no sense. If you're trying to quit smoking, would you have a weekly cheat day and smoke 3 packs in a single 24-hour window? Of course not. Then again, the OP's been PB for only 5 weeks. The longer you stick with primal you will find that you will start losing the desire to eat "cheat foods" anyway.
    Agreed 100%, as somebody who doesn't shy away from non-primal foods or sub-optimal options. It's best to do it in the moment, while trying to oppose some type of resistance, I'm not saying you should dive head-first into every cake just because you want it at that time, of course.

    Re-setting your taste buds, and what you consider "acceptable" food really does take time and you need to be away from those foods in order to let it happen. It doesn't mean you have to be so strict, but rather not flip-flop so hard or your body will never fully adjust. I won't lie, sometimes I eat pretty awful stuff (only when not sober, though) shit I wouldn't touch otherwise, but when I am of clear mind my 'cheats' are mostly eating food I didn't prepare myself but is still technically primal. Like for instance, last night I had a beer and some fried chicken with co-workers, they promised the chicken would be awesome, and it actually was! I didn't bother to peel off the batter/skin because the batter was rather light and it wasn't dripping in oil or anything like that. However, I'm sure it wasn't cooked in a good type of oil but since it's not a common occurrence for me I didn't give it much thought and just went for it.

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    john_e_turner_ii's Avatar
    john_e_turner_ii is offline Senior Member
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    I tried the Four Hour Body cheat day for about a month. I would eat anything and everything. I liked having all those crazy foods again, but I didn't find that it benefited me as far as fat loss or health.

    Now, I will occasionally have an unscheduled cheat meal when I am out with friends or family. It probably only occurs once every 6-8 weeks.

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    OK, thanks! On my first couple of cheat days I did go all out, but I was so sick that I have since then scaled them back. I do not have the problem of wanting my cheat foods after the day is over. Actually, I am so over it I don't even start to think about cheat foods 'til it's almost time for my next cheat day. Mostly, I am wondering if cheating once a week is holding back my weight/fat loss. I think it may be, I just wanted others' opinions. I guess I should REALLY scale back my cheat days and see what happens to know for sure

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    iniQuity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by perceptionfitness View Post
    OK, thanks! On my first couple of cheat days I did go all out, but I was so sick that I have since then scaled them back. I do not have the problem of wanting my cheat foods after the day is over. Actually, I am so over it I don't even start to think about cheat foods 'til it's almost time for my next cheat day. Mostly, I am wondering if cheating once a week is holding back my weight/fat loss. I think it may be, I just wanted others' opinions. I guess I should REALLY scale back my cheat days and see what happens to know for sure
    Yeah, it has to negatively impact your progress. It's best to have a momentum, to have your food fuel your workouts/lifestyle and not be a detriment to them as junk foods usually are.

    (borrowing the following analogy from Batty who by the way, I miss, anybody got a line to her?)

    Losing body fat is like emptying a pool that has objects in it (be it toys, rocks, etc) these objects are your muscles and the water is your body fat. As you slowly drain the pool the muscles will begin to show, but if you stop draining it they won't (or worse yet, if you add water back in!). Obviously, and quite unfortunately, losing body fat is not linear and you will hit plateaus along the way.

    For you, I would recommend spending two weeks or more in a relatively low-carb end (under 100g per day) while reading and digesting this thread: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread31459.html read it carefully and thoroughly. Implement it for a couple of weeks and see how you fare. Intaking clean carbs/starches in order to lose body fat is better than eating junk. It may not be as psychologically rewarding but it should be physically.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by perceptionfitness View Post
    Mostly, I am wondering if cheating once a week is holding back my weight/fat loss.
    maybe. there's certainly a possibility that exta crap and calories may be stalling your fat loss, but there's also the possibility that it could be enhancing it by kicking up your leptin for a couple of days a week. probably the only way to know for sure is to try not cheating (say, for a month) and see how things go. i think you'll find steadier loss and less desire for ice cream and chips, but don't let that scare you away from straying a little bit here and there. i'm with a couple of the others that cheating shouldn't really be planned...i eat poorly when i'm in a moment where what i'm doing is more important to me than what i'm eating, like a family gathering or friend's birthday.

  10. #10
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    CoS
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    One part of me says: what's the point of adopting a lifestyle if you're just going to delight in breaking it? If you want to eat cookies then maybe a cookie-free lifestyle isn't for you. Quit fooling yourself.

    The other part says: damn, its hard when 99% of the people around you aren't following the same diet. Do your best and forget the rest. Every little change for the better is worth it.

    That being said, my worst cheats are the occasional light beer (once a month, if that) or bit of semisweet chocolate. And even those have been justified by Mark. Maybe I need to cheat a little harder to boost my fat loss....

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