Break Day Vs. Break/Cheat Day

Day 276

This is one of the most important blog posts I have written so far. It is important to talk about exercise break days because these are one of the types of days that can destroy your weight loss plan.

The main thing I want to talk about is the difference between a break day with good diet discipline and an undisciplined break day that includes too much food. The worst thing is to have an exercise break day that also becomes a diet cheat day. However, let’s assume you don’t want to have a combined cheat and break day. Even still, you need to differentiate between a break day with good diet discipline and one with lax diet discipline.

When you take a break day, it’s possible to almost break even. But it’s also possible to gain a lot even if it’s not a cheat day. I can easily compare the last two days to show you just how big this difference can be.

Day 274 was a break day with relatively poor diet discipline. Conversely, Day 275, although not a break day, would have resulted in a much smaller weight gain. Day 274’s break day resulted in a gain of 1.2 kg with typical food intake. And this was not even a cheat day. Yet, that is still over 2 pounds of weight gain on a single day. Conversely, before starting my run yesterday, I was only .2 kg over.

Let me tell you the difference between these two days and the dramatic 1 kg difference. On Day 274, I did not know it was going to be a break day. Instead, I made that decision at the end of the day. Thus, I was not focused on maintaining a high discipline level all day. On the flip side, I decided to exercise more discipline yesterday because I knew it was time to recover from the really bad break-day result.

On Day 274, I started at 76.3, went up to around 79.4 at the max, and then got back down to 77.5. On Day 275, I started at 77.5 and got up to around 79.2. That then dropped to around 77.7 by exercise time. What this means is that, although my max weights on these 2 different days were within .2 kg of each other, my increase during the day on Day 274 was much more. Let’s do the math. An increase from 76.3 to 79.4 is 3.1 kg. Compare that to Day 275. I increased from 77.5 to about 79.2, which is 1.7 kg. Thus, my much improved diet discipline gave me a 1.4 kg advantage on Day 275. Thus, by the time I ended the run and got down to 76.4 kg, I had lost 1.1 kg for this period.

As you can see, numbers throughout the day are impossible to predict with pinpoint accuracy. But the huge 1.4 kg advantage in terms of diet allowed me to turn a 1.2 kg gain on Day 274 into only a .2 gain before the run on Day 275. And that large 1 kg difference is what put me in position to lose 1.1 kg on Day 275 by final weigh-in time.

As you can see, there is a big difference between a break day with solid diet discipline and a break day with poor discipline. It is a good idea to plan your breaks 24 hours in advance so you will be ready to exercise some extra discipine. That is not required. But as you can see from this example, there is great value in planning in advance. But even if you don’t, you can make up for it the next day like I did on Day 275 in this 2-day example.

On Day 276, I may have celebrated a little too much, including a bit of ice cream and cake. My weight rose to about 79.1 by 9 at night. It would be better to keep this in the mid 78 range or below. However, if quite a bit of it is due to water, this is not a bad thing.

Ouch. I woke up and was still 78.4 kg. This was bound to eventually happen on some day. My weight has been pretty consistent lately about dropping .8 kg or more overnight. Today was only about .5 because my weight was about 78.9 at bedtime. However, this first morning weigh-in was at about 6:30 in the morning. That is approximately 5 hours before the official weigh-in. Thus, things will hopefully work out like they usually do by that time. I will soon do a 90-minute run.

Running for 90 minutes produced a nice drop today. I weighed in at 76.9 kg, which was a loss of about 1.3 kg. These numbers are all within an expected range based on my extensive Pentamize tracking. More importantly, the day has essentially been somewhat saved. I will either break even or lose or, at the absolute worst, gain a fairly small amount. It was looking extremely bad when I got up but is not quite as bad now.

The most I could get down to today was 76.7 kg, which was a .3 kg weight gain. This is the day after a huge loss of 1.1 kg. So maybe this is to be expected or at least a natural partial “bounceback.” It’s time to eat now and get something to drink, as I don’t feel like waiting any longer. I am accepting today’s weight gain and will move on and try to lose some tomorrow.

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