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Thread: Breaking my Plateau: "Counting Days" is worse than "Cheat Days" page

  1. #1
    Vman's Avatar
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    Breaking my Plateau: "Counting Days" is worse than "Cheat Days"

    Primal Fuel
    Hi, Everyone,

    I finally busted through a plateau that was driving me crazy. I was doing primal 100%, no cheats of any kind and getting plenty of exercise and my weight wasn't moving anywhere. So, for Lent, I decided to go the distance with 40 days of pure primal. I had done several 21-day periods, but this was really going to push it to the next level.

    My weight didn't move at all......until day 27. Then, suddenly, it just started falling rapidly. In the next 13 days, I lost 6 pounds bringing my total loss to 49 pounds.

    Here's the important lesson I learned: wait for the weight loss to start and then figure out a time for a break. Don't set arbitrary days. Before this 40-day period, I had done 14 days....no results....then 21 days....no results. I just needed to wait longer. Instead of setting arbitrary days to take breaks, from now on I will wait until the first pound starts coming off and then, I'll plan my next break.

    I've noticed on the forums and blogs that people don't like referring to "cheat days" as this is a lifestyle. But counting days is just as bad. Why do 21-days or 30-days or have a cheat day once a week?

    Here's a novel idea. Take a break after you've achieved results. No set dates. No set timelines. Primal works, but if you're just stopping yourself short with a pointless date, it can't do its job.

    What do you think?

  2. #2
    Gladmorning's Avatar
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    I think.... Why are you planning breaks? Ok, really, your loss is amazing and you should be proud of that. Great job. But, why even bother setting a date after success? We all have non primal days. Mine are special/social occasions only. When it comes to that time, I try to stay as primal as possible, and forget about whatever I cannot control. But, I never plan a day to eat completely off primal. Just my take.
    The process is simple: Free your mind, and your ass will follow.

  3. #3
    Allenete's Avatar
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    To me, as soon as you start taking a break from something it makes that something an effort and/or work. A "break" implies something more pleasurable and easy than whatever it is you're taking a break from. And therefore it's not going to be something sustainable or long-term.

    I find that I don't need "breaks", or want them. The way I'm eating now is satisfying enough.

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    Vman's Avatar
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    Allenete,

    Personally, I enjoy the primal lifestyle but at the end of the day, it's still some work. Whether it's making my meals all the time, working out regularly, not going to certain restaurants with my family and friends, etc. You are inconvenienced somewhere along the line with a primal lifestyle. It's not as bad as a six day a week schedule of chronic cardio, but you still have to put in some effort.

    Is it absolutely unsustainable because it takes a little bit of work or because I view as work? Absolutely not; that's a ridiculous mantra repeated by a lot of people on the forums. I've been working all my life and plan to keep doing so. I'm not a welfare queen. If it takes a little work to be healthy for the rest of my life, I'm more than willing to do it.

    In my opinion, what's more unsustainable is sticking with a lifestyle only because it's fun, easy, and natural. If I only did things that were fun and easy, I'd be a LOT worse off in every aspect of my life from health to career to personal life. Just a thought.

    I know what you're saying but I don't think viewing the primal lifestyle as requiring a little work is a guarantee that one will derail.

  5. #5
    Gladmorning's Avatar
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    Vman,

    Your take on it is probably better than most folks. My idea is... If it works for you, then keep doing it. You'll get 1000 different answers and opinions.
    The process is simple: Free your mind, and your ass will follow.

  6. #6
    magicmerl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vman View Post
    Why do 21-days or 30-days or have a cheat day once a week?
    I personally think that the '30 days' thing is a gimmick to help people try it before fully buying in. Of course you have to buy in long term, but people think 'i can do 30 days of it'.

    The important thing is to build right habits, and 'break' the bad habits of a lifetime.

    I don't buy the 'take a break' philosophy either, but last month someone brought around brownies as a dessert and I ate one to be polite (it was delicious). My contribution was to drench it in cream....
    Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

    Griff's cholesterol primer
    5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
    Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
    TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
    bloodorchid is always right

  7. #7
    The Rebooted Body's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vman View Post
    Hi, Everyone,

    I finally busted through a plateau that was driving me crazy. I was doing primal 100%, no cheats of any kind and getting plenty of exercise and my weight wasn't moving anywhere. So, for Lent, I decided to go the distance with 40 days of pure primal. I had done several 21-day periods, but this was really going to push it to the next level.

    My weight didn't move at all......until day 27. Then, suddenly, it just started falling rapidly. In the next 13 days, I lost 6 pounds bringing my total loss to 49 pounds.

    Here's the important lesson I learned: wait for the weight loss to start and then figure out a time for a break. Don't set arbitrary days. Before this 40-day period, I had done 14 days....no results....then 21 days....no results. I just needed to wait longer. Instead of setting arbitrary days to take breaks, from now on I will wait until the first pound starts coming off and then, I'll plan my next break.

    I've noticed on the forums and blogs that people don't like referring to "cheat days" as this is a lifestyle. But counting days is just as bad. Why do 21-days or 30-days or have a cheat day once a week?

    Here's a novel idea. Take a break after you've achieved results. No set dates. No set timelines. Primal works, but if you're just stopping yourself short with a pointless date, it can't do its job.

    What do you think?
    Yeah, I suppose the obvious question is: why are you taking breaks?

  8. #8
    noodletoy's Avatar
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    you've learned a valuable lesson that the body goes by its own calendar, however after a few years of eating like this, perhaps it's easier for some of us to question needing to "take a break."

    it's quicker for me to scramble eggs for a meal than it used to take me to boil water and cook pasta. i batch-cook, so always have something that can be heated up quickly. i frequently work 50+ hours a week, plus commute. no way i have time to make every single meal from scratch. but i didn't have the luxury of time before either.

    as for restaurants, i eat out often and never have a problem. however, if your family's night out means one of those terrifying chinese buffets of glop in chafing dishes, what are you really missing? if it's an occasion, just eat before you go and make the best of it.

    for so very many, it's a slippery slope of "just a little" bit or break and before you know it, you indeed are off the rails.

    find what works for you.
    As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

    Ernest Hemingway

  9. #9
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    I have yet to go to a restaurant that had absolutely nothing I could eat. The worst place was Italian and they had a grilled salmon steak on top of a Ceasar's salad. Another worst place was a sweet and savory crepe place. They also had the salmon on a salad but it was a pitiful thing with about 2 tablespoons of salmon. Still, it was food that I could eat.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 180 x 2. Current Deadlift: 230 x 2

  10. #10
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    I get what you are saying about "breaks". I do that- take a bit of time where I am lax on things like dairy and sugar and eating out, then I eat very strict Whole 30 just kind of rotate.

    I like it because the strict time makes the lax times seem more, umm decadant. I feel like if I always allowed paleo treats or cafe lattes with sugar, that I would end up with way too many treats.

    http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
    Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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