How to Rebound From Cheat Days

For many North Americans we celebrate the first few days of July with a few days out of the office, which also means a few days off of your diet. The hardest part about keeping on top of your diet is balancing it  with your social gatherings, especially ones like Canada Day and the 4th of July. This blog post will not tell you to show up at the BBQ eating just the hot dog sausage without the bun, or the hamburger wrapped in lettuce. I want to help you understand the levels of cheating you should be aware of and how to rebound from those levels. So go ahead eat the buns, and eat the desert but be aware of what you’re doing.

So how much should I cheat?

If you diet hard enough throughout the week than you deserve a “cheat meal” or “meals” for that matter. In special cases like long weekends however cheat meals can turn into cheat days and can really hinder your progress rather than enhancing it.

Understanding how far is TOO FAR!

Cheating is when you break your normal dietary plan by willingly knowing what you’re eating is not going to set you forward. Don’t go out and rationalize the packaging either, if you’re going for a box of cookies and the wrapper says it’s only 100 calories, guess what you’re still eating cookies! Unfortunately, food companies are trying to convince us that the foods we should be indulging in every so often are actually good for us by creating smaller portion packages labelled 50-100 calories per serving.

UNDERSTAND THE 3 LEVELS OF CHEATING

Level 1: “The recommended cheat”: Eat until your satisfied, not more, not less, then back on your diet. This is the easiest one to rebound off of because you’re just satisfying that sugar or sweet craving you’ve been deprived of because of your diet and you’re ready to get back on the saddle again. Your body isn’t suffering from bloat or water retention the next day.

Level 2: “My pants are too tight on me now cheat”: Eating passed satisfaction, and guess what  you’ve paid the price and now your pants are too tight! This type of cheat day is much harder to rebound from, you may notice you’ve gained 3-5 lbs. the next day, you wake up with a dry mouth and a bloated stomach. If you think you’re just going to “crap” it all out, guess what your body takes 24-72 hours for your food to digest. So your body really isn’t flushing all the bad food out, it’s just getting rid of some excess food, but a lot of that food will be stored as fat or excess water.  It’ll be a more drawn out  process to rebound from this type of cheat and we’ll be getting into the process later on this blog.

Level 3: “My Stomach’s telling me NO, But my Mind, My Mind is telling me YES!!”: This type of cheat is eating passed the point of you already feeling sick. Picture an episode of Epic Meal time, where you are the one finishing the whole meal by yourself. You can call this type of cheat “gorging” or “going extremely hard” and you wake up 10-15lbs heavier, with severe bloat in the stomach, ankles and hands. The process to relieve this type of cheat involves a full day fast to recover from and a few tips and tricks to flush your body out.

So thats your laundry list of the different cheat levels you can accomplish, now on to the good stuff….

HOW DO I REBOUND FROM THIS CHEAT?!?!?!?!

Who’s that sexy guy on the basketball court?! 

It’s pretty simple, I’ve laid out a few simple rules that you should follow after a cheat meal OR day OR days for that matter.

1) Live life and move on…the damage is done and unfortunately you can’t go backwards in time. You’ve enjoyed the meals while you were eating them, some meals more so than others depending on how bad you cheated but you have to realize that your cheat meal(s) are now over for the next while and you’ll have to continue on with your diet.

2) The next morning as soon as you wake up drink 1 Litre of water. You should essentially be doing this every morning. You’ll definitely need the water because you’ll be waking up with a dry mouth from all the sodium and sugar consumed from your cheat day.

I’ve heard Mike Dolce  (famous nutritionist for many MMA athletes) on a podcast tell his audience to drink 2L of water as soon as you wake up to warm up your digestive system. Also the water will help you flush out all the toxins that you consumed the day before, and provide you a kickstart to water consumption that day. Water also will help keep your appetite at bay in case you have extra cravings for junk food after your cheat meal.

3) Consider “fasting:  This is a great way of resetting your system and I’ve used it to get into shape for my last fitness photo shoot and also get my beach body ready this year.

The fasting model in my personal experience was the easiest way for me to rebound from a cheat day. Fasting allows your body to get back on track with a quick reset button by allowing your body to properly digest the cheat meals  for 24-36 hours at a time. You’re also allowing your body to rest its digestive system after it’s been on a roller coaster ride of sugar and sodium loaded foods.

Fasting also has a great deal of benefits such as better sleep that night which in turn will increase in Growth Hormone production, allow your body to lose the excess weight you gained during your cheat days, and lastly fasting cleanses and detoxifies your system naturally.

It may not be the easiest method to follow if you have never fasted before so I recommend trying out a 18 hour fast the first time around (remember you also count the hours you sleep as fasted times) and make the first meal of the day something very low-calorie and filled with greens. For example: egg white and spinach omelette, or chicken and asparagus. If you can keep it to 1-2 meals for that day and make sure they are very low-calorie meals. I also call this the “warrior diet’ You can get a lot of great fasting information from my very good friend www.thefatlossninja.com.

4) Drink Teas: The reason I drink teas the next day is to help flush out the toxins and water weight that your body is holding on to.

Just recently, after my fitness photo shoot I went on a 2 day Epic cheat adventure. My list of meals for the 2 days looked like the following, WARNING THESE ARE NOT PALEO DIET FRIENDLY MEALS!:

Apple Pie
Oatmeal
Snickers bar
Water
Coke
6 Chicken nuggets
Small McDonalds Fries
Oreo mcflurry
Macaroon
Donut
Eclair
bag of ketchup chips
plaintain chips
reeses peices
yogurt covered almonds
chocolate covered cashews
chocolate covered almonds
Blueberry pie from McDonalds

This is a perfect example of “eating with your mind and not listening to your stomach” I went up 13Lbs. in 2 days. I felt like I just threw away 6 hard weeks of dieting in 2 short days, and I couldn’t get my body back at all. Needless to say, I fasted the next day and just stuck to drinking teas to help curb my appetite and aid as a diuretic to help flush out all the toxins I consumed. I went back down 13lbs. just 24 hours later.

I recommend using green tea, and dandelion root tea, as they are both the strongest natural diuretics that also help curb your appetite. I’ve experienced the best results from drinking 3-4 cups of tea after a cheat day.

5. Exercise Just because you’re cheating on your diet doesn’t mean that you should give up your entire fitness regimen. After a cheat meal, go for a walk outside and let your body digest the food you’ve consumed. Make sure you get back into your proper training regime the next day,  and get a proper cardio session in. My personal favourite fat burning combo is a “complex workout” which I covered in a previous blog post entitled “How to get the most effective workout in the hotel gym

Cheating: The Final Verdict

I say go for it! As my fellow Torontonian Drake says YOLO “you only live once”. Enjoy the finer things in life, and the devilish food that tempts us, but be aware of the drawbacks that they provide and also how to properly rebound from them. What do you think? Should you be cheating or not cheating on your diet?

I love to hear your questions and feedback on cheat meals/days and how you tackle them and rebound from them.

If you like my blog please feel free to share this with your fellow co-workers and working world people.

 

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7 day Paleo Plan for the Ripped Caveman Look

Ever since I’ve started living a Paleo-like lifestyle I’ve read many articles how the paleo diet is designed to help reduce inflammation, build a healthier lifestyle, clean skin, better teeth…yada yada yada.

The benefits of going paleo go on and on, but at the end of the day paleo or no paleo, we all want to look good when we take our shirts off around the pool this summer.

“So why can’t the paleo plan help me look great naked?!”

Well, before I begin I want to get it out in the clear that I believe the paleo plan is great! I love it, I follow it 80% of the time, and the other 20% I allow myself to eat the finer things our modern world has provided us like snickers bars and nutella.

How good can the Paleo diet be without a proper “Meal Plan”?

The reality of the paleo diet is, there are differences to what is and what isn’t paleo. Depending on which paleo leader you listen to, some say milk can be allowed, some say it can’t. Some use protein supplements and some don’t.

The one and only thing that they all have in common is that they all believe in natural food sources that were available pre-agricultural era and to get as much of it as possible. That is what I found to be the staple of my 6 week meal plan and where I excelled the most in was following this meal plan to a tee.

There is no need to be the first person through the mine field, I’ve already done the work for you!

I’ve lived the paleo lifestyle for roughly 2 years and have had the opportunity to try many different paleo recipes throughout this journey. I consider myself a mad scientist in the kitchen using my body as the frankenstein for many of these recipes. With that being said, based on my personal experiences using a paleo plan. I agree, that it does reduce inflammation, you feel healthier and energetic but with the recipes available, if you don’t have proper structure to how much and how often you should be eating you won’t be rocking a 6 pack at the beach. So I wanted to put the naysayers to sleep and prove to them that I can devise a paleo meal plan to looking great naked.

When I first started the paleo diet I was looking for a new type of diet that could accommodate my lifestyle, all the while keeping me looking good and feeling healthy. The diet did just that, the area of the paleo diet that I find to be not as helpful was assembling all the recipes together to make a full meal plan that will get you into the best shape possible. So I basically used myself as a science experiment and put myself through what I call a “Paleo Diet Meal Plan for the ripped caveman look”

If you follow my on instagram @christiangolez you’ll see that I began posting pics of my progress in April and kept all my followers in the loop, and show that I’d get into beach body shape just in time for the summer, and also a booked photo shoot that I just completed. Take a look at my transformation from April 15th 2012 to June 15th 2012.

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6 Tips to getting your 6 Pack ready for the beach in 6 Weeks

On April 11th, my good friend  Mike called me up and told me that he won an all-inclusive vacation to Cancun through his company for top sales, and his girlfriend used up all her vacation days earlier in the year so he wanted somebody fun to go party with him. It was a hard decision, okay not really..obviously I said HELL YA!

Later that evening after my workout I took my shirt off, looked in the mirror and realized that if I went on vacation today,  I personally wouldn’t be happy with the way I looked. So I grabbed my iPhone and took my “BEFORE” shot on the left. For the next few days I would look at that picture and look at myself from my competition days and get hungry to get into the best shape of my life again. Not that I would say my before picture is humiliating because I stay relatively lean throughout the year, but my training and diet weren’t as intense or serious as I knew it should be to get into “Beach body shape.” I was simply in maintenance mode during that time.

Below pic April 11th 2012 to June 2nd 2012

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Hangover cure of the week, Don’t Drink! 4 Tips to Avoid Social Drinking

My co workers and many circles of friends  live for the weekend. I truly do love them and love to be around them, but I made a promise to myself that for the rest of 2012 that I’d cut drinking alcohol to once a week.

One of the reasons I plan on doing this is because I’ll be going on a vacation to the Bahamas in June for a few days, and in between that time I’ll be doing a fitness photo shoot for my site. I want to make sure that I’m in great shape for this shoot so I decided I’ll be staying away from alcohol until then.

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Ground Turkey Stuffed Paleo Peppers

Since I started this site, one thing on my list of  recipes to make was a paleo stuffed pepper. Surprisingly, I’ve actually never made stuffed peppers. So I was determined to do both last month when I had Easter dinner with my family.

Peppers are a great source for vitamins A,C,K they are also used to help decrease the blood cholesterol, boost immunity and kill bacteria that could lead to ulcers. I didn’t want to show up empty-handed to my parents house so I made this paleo inspired meal to get my family eating healthier. This dish only took about 45 minutes all together, but I was feeding for 6 and this dish was easily enjoyed by everybody!

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Protein Paleo Pudding

When I decided to go Paleo, I accepted the fact that I’d have to say goodbye to a lot of the deserts that I loved so much. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still indulge in birthday cakes and chocolate bars now and then. However, I try to keep my non paleo meals to once a week or what some of you may call a “cheat day”.

The one dessert that I loved so much and wanted to find a way to keep was “pudding’. So I decided to come up with this quick solution I made during break at the office.

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Who says you can’t have dessert after a workout? Try Stuffed Almond Butter and Chocolate Protein Bar Bananas

After a workout you want to be replenished. If I’m having a low carb day I crave sugar or some sort of sweets. Usually, I’ll have a scoop of almond butter or a protein shake to satisfy that craving and it does the trick. This time though, I wanted something with a bit more substance so I gave this new recipe a try. I took this recipe out of Jamie Olivers cookbook and substituted the chocolate for a protein bar.

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Meetings all day? Keep an emergency stash of goods to keep your eating habits healthy

It’s common in the morning to wake up  late and not have time to prepare your meals for the day  just so you can make it to the office in time. Sometimes you’re running so behind you can barely get a coffee in the morning! Here’s a remedy to get your caffeine fix along with your much needed protein for muscle repair.

I like to keep a bag of protein powder at my office or in my gym bag close by, as some days I ‘m running from meetings to meetings I may miss having a meal or not eat at all. I took a snapshot for you  of what I keep in my office cupboard to prepare for busy days. 2 unopened boxes of almond milk, a bottle of almond peanut butter, agave syrup and bag of protein powder.

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Easter Leftovers? Try this Paleo Passover Lamb Recipe

I went to visit my favorite butcher La Boucherie Fine Meats at the St Lawrence Market in Toronto this weekend. I was pleased to see how busy they were with the amount of customers that flocked to the St. Lawrence Market on the weekend. It could also be that this past week National Geographic recently ranked St Lawrence Market as the WORLDS best food market. This landmark has been serving the city of Toronto fine meats, foods, cheeses for over 200 years.

My good friend Dina at La Boucherie was telling me that they the lamb skewers were a popular hit this week, with Passover and Greek Easter all landing around this time of the year. So I thought I’d give the lamb a shot and try my hand at a paleo lamb recipe.

This is a great meal for a hungry family also! Lamb is very filling with one serving of lamb containing 331 total calories and it’s high in cholesterol also. This stir fry isn’t considered a “leaner” stir fry if you’re looking to put on size this would be a good meal to make as lamb is loaded with vitamins, minerals and 28g of protein. 4 oz of lamb has roughly 27g of fat which is higher than your recommended daily fat intake.

Just say no to the combo with Soda! Here’s a perfect substitute to help wash down your foods.

The other day I went to the food court for lunch with my colleague and I was convincing him not to get the his Greek chicken salad with a soda. My sarcastic humour told him that he may as well have ordered a bag of jelly bellys to wash his salad down.

I insisted that he drink water instead. His reasoning for his choice in soda was that water was too “boring”? I could tell my guilt trip kicked in, so he caved in and bought the water. As he was paying, he started to mumble how really wanted the soda, so before we sat down I asked the lady behind the counter if I could have a lemon. She looked at me odd, so she went to the back and got me one!

I told my colleague to try putting lemon wedges in your water to add some pizzaz to your daily fluid intake.

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