I don’t take too many cheat days at all even though I am now in maintenance mode. And today’s results are a good example of why. I ran an hour and still gained weight.
Although it’s not totally true, there is a reason so many say that diet is even more important than exercise. That’s because it’s true if you eat a whole lot. Depending on how much you consume, even a lot of exercise cannot burn off all those excess calories.
In this case, which was on September 27, 2016, I started that day out at 74.3 kg. That was a very good number because my maintenance mode starting weight was 75.0 kg. Since I am not actively losing weight and just maintaining, anything in the 74 range is great.
I ended the day at 74.9 kg, which was a weight gain of .6 kg, or about 1.3 pounds. Let me explain how I got there.
There was a party at my house. While I didn’t totally stuff myself, I had quite a large amount of coke and some ice cream. Those were probably the culprits that really did me in on this cheat day. It’s fine. It’s a cheat day, which you are supposed to enjoy within reason. The problem is even exercise won’t do the trick to reverse all this damage if you go too far.
I lost .9 kg during the 60-minute run. Sometimes, that is plenty sufficient to lose weight on a day. But the problem is I rose dramatically earlier in the day, going from the start of 74.3 kg up to 76.3 kg. That is an increase of 2 kg, which is about 4.4 pounds. Eating that much is just not going to allow you burn it all off unless maybe you are just eating vegetables.
Recovering From a Cheat Day
Since even an hour of running might not allow you to recover from a cheat day, you have a couple of options. You can increase your usual amount of exercise for several sessions. Alternatively, you could do a full session on the next day you were expecting to take a break. I usually find it easier to just do an extra session.
Probably the most important thing is just to limit your number of cheat days and limit how crazy you go on these days. Look at this particular day for me. I rose about 4.4 pounds. Let me tell you what I did one day during full weight-loss mode. I rose 6 pounds in one day! While I lost some of that by morning, that kind of result (6 pounds) is what I am talking about when I say you need a reasonable cheat day, not hog heaven. Even if you have to weigh yourself to know when to put brakes, do it. Do whatever it takes if you really want to lose weight.
After this Day 9, here were the updated running totals and averages for nonstop jogging days in maintenance mode.
22M and -.4 kg
44M and -.2 kg
47M and -.2 kg
90M and -.2 kg
40M and break even
60M and -.1 kg
90M and -.2 kg
60M and +.6 kg (cheat day)
total 453 and -.7 kg
avg. 56.6 min jogging and -.09 kg in 8 days
The 60-minute days look really bad at this point. But it’s because of this cheat day. Over time, the results will get better as the number of one-hour jogging days increases.