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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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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You’ve heard it here first, if you see me on a treadmill this year I’ll give you $100

This is not a blog about why running on a treadmill is bad for you, because I do believe it serves it’s purpose of being as a convenient piece of gym equipment. This is my personal guarantee to you that if you catch me on a treadmill this year I will give you $100, and my reasons why I’m anti-treadmill.

I’m writing this post primarily because I’ve learned the proper techniques to warming up without the use of a treadmill using the techniques from the very soon to be released Dynamic Warm Up program by my good friend Dan Go. Also, I wanted to share with you some of my own personal workouts, of what I like to call Paleo Cardio, and I’ve outlined “better than treadmill” cardio workouts you can do at a field or track to get the most effective fat burning results.

So yes, just to re-iterate, I will give anybody who catches me on a treadmill or any piece of cardio equipment this calendar year $100 Canadian Dollars or $97.52 US Dollars.

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Thank you Mom!

I know Mothers day was just yesterday, but if there was 2, or even 100 day’s to celebrate the Mothers of this world I wouldn’t even complain. Heck she’s put up with me for this many years! I can’t thank my Mom enough for what she’s given me. My Mom’s the one lady who really put up with all my crazy diets and competitions throughout the years and hasn’t told me to F’ Off when I get moody from dieting, not to mention  all my crazy antics.

If you’ve ever done a bodybuilding or fitness show, had to cut weight for a sport or have lived with somebody who has done one of the following, you can more than likely understand how difficult it can be to live with that person.

I spent the weekend with my family and girlfriend, and they were really helpful in keeping me on track with my diet by helping keep the foods to cater to my paleo lifestyle and stay on track for my fitness photo shoot. My Mom lost 24 lbs in 2 months following a paleo-type diet without really ever knowing the finer details of what the paleo diet is.  Below is a quick snapshot of some of the foods we made this weekend.

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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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Office Yoga Series- Desk Setup

My good friend and amazing yoga instructor Ms. Victoria Chin came into the office to help with a put together my Office Yoga video series. Victoria and I will be going over some office friendly yoga stretches and moves to keep you from long term aches and pains.

For the first installment of our office yoga videos I wanted to start with desk setup and proper posture. The human body wasn’t designed to sit down all day, but most of you spend it day on your butts.

Take a look at the video and follow these 3 simple tips when you’re in front of the computer:

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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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Hangover Cure of the Week, Fruit Kabob’s!

An Albino Polar Bear would probably love this if they had access to it. This weeks instalment of the hangover cure is one of my favorite dishes to have after a hard nights drinking and it also serves as a hit if you’re looking for ideas at a BBQ.

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Enjoy your long weekend! 5 Fitness Reminders for the Holidays

For many of us we’ll get to enjoy a long weekend with friends and family. It can be difficult at times like this to stick to your diet and fitness plan with these social obligations. The Easter long weekend for my family means getting together and watching the kids hunt for Easter eggs and of course gorge on Mom’s amazing feasts.

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