I have a cheat day today, but I will also work out to reduce the likely weight gain. While there is no plan to eat a great deal of food, I will be eating out for lunch, which includes a large coke. That is my guilty pleasure and what I really enjoy about cheat days.
I have always admitted that I am not the most disciplined dieter. And not being perfect is part of the Pentamize weight loss system. Having a cheat day once or twice a month is a form of moderation. Some people insist on a perfect diet and perfect discipline. If that works for you, I would not discourage that. But for me, having a guilty pleasure from time to time is part of being a human and having a balanced life.
What matters is learning how much you can cheat while still keeping the weight off. I probably couldn’t have a cheat day once a week. But by tracking my diet and exercise, I have determined over the course of time that having a cheat day once or twice a month is just about the right amount that allows me to maintain my weight.
While I have occasionally broken even or lost weight on a cheat day, the typical result is to gain weight. This, of course, is totally expected. But I try to work hard on my exercise and recover within a few days from the typical weight gain.
In answering the question of how many cheat days you can have, there is frankly no one but you who can make this determination. First, just how bad are your cheat days? Are you going nuts and gaining 7 pound. Some people do this, and it would be awfully hard to recover from that more than once a month or maybe even less than once a month. But if your cheat days are more moderate than that, then twice a month may be possible. Finally, if your cheat days see you eating only a little bit more than your normal successful diet, then it might even be possible to have one once a week.
In short, you will have to test yourself to determine how many cheat days you can have. This all depends on how much you eat and how difficult it is for you personally to recover.
After my first meal, I was at 76.7 kg. This was before the “cheat day” lunch. After lunch, I went way up to 78.7 kg. That is really bad, but it was expected. I’ll be running for 90 minutes later to burn off some of these calories. It would be awfully difficult to get back to even by morning. However, that’s okay. I have time to recover.
There were about 3.5 hours in between eating and running for 90 minutes. In that time, I dropped from 78.7 to 78.3. Then, I dropped to 77.3 from the running session and 77.1 from going to the bathroom. That big lunch pretty much tided me over, and I still wasn’t hungry even at 9 at night. I may actually end up losing weight today. It just depends on how much I lose overnight. I will likely also go to the bathroom at least twice before weigh-in time in the morning. After a small snack and some water, my weight rose just a little after exercising, ending the night at about 77.5 kg.
At 7 in the morning, I had dropped nicely to 76.5 kg after going to the bathroom. Interestingly, I weighed myself at 77.0 before going to the bathroom. So the other .5 kg was a big pee.
By 9 in the morning, I had dropped some more to 76.3 kg. At that point, I was only .2 kg above yesterday morning’s weigh-in. So despite having a cheat day, I am looking at possibly breaking even or having only a very small weight gain. With 30 minutes to go, I might even lose a small amount of weight.
At this point, I have decided not to do any kind of extra exercise session. A weight gain this small on a cheat day is actually a win in my book. What you don’t want with a cheat day is to gain something like .8 kg, which I have definitely done before. And it can easily end up taking a week or more to take that weight back off. A small gain of .1 or .2 kg is practically a reason to celebrate since you cheated and still only gained a small amount. So you can just get back to your normal routine and maintain or lose weight in the ensuing days after a cheat day. Making up .2 kg (less than half a pound) is possible in one or two decent days. You might even make that all back the very next day.
At 9:30, I had my official weigh-in and was 76.3 kg. That made for a pretty small weight gain of .2 kg on a cheat day. Although it’s a gain, there isn’t much to complain about here. Read tomorrow’s blog post (Day 238) for some ideas on how to minimize weight gain on cheat days.