1

votes

What do you do about so-called days off?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 18, 2012 at 9:29 PM

Do you wait until you fall of accidentally?

Do you plan to fall-off on certain days?

Do you fall-off for just one meal?

Do you just not fall-off? I would prefer to never fall off; that is my preferred answer. But that sets one up for falling of accidentally.

How do you deal with this?

Wondering

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on July 20, 2012
at 03:38 AM

@Maria - I agree with Raney, but it sounds like you realize that you have that issue and are working on the underlying problems, and some control is better than no control until you've got it figured out. Best of luck to you! :)

962f28300ea91e3327d22ccc673fb684

(50)

on July 19, 2012
at 07:38 PM

Going off of that, when i know I am going to be in a situation where there will be no paleo food for me to eat, I eat beforehand and I know I cannot get out of control because I was hungry and grabbing for the first thing my eyes laid on!

91f5be33a7ec9f59a5c528af3c75175d

on July 19, 2012
at 04:26 PM

great debate here guys, intresting read I see this way of life like a bodybuilders, if you have a cheat day you wil feel refreshed and clean and ready to go and if you dont you be ocd, and crave more and more, I like @Maria's way of doing it one day off in 14, I have one none paleo meal a week. At the end of the day, we are all different and no one here has control of what you eat unless your wife/husband are online then you may get told to tone down. Life is great and short enjoy it, but why not enjoy it healthily. treat yourself and reap rewards. my 2 pence

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on July 19, 2012
at 01:39 PM

I don't mean to be condescending in the least bit. I don't like seeing anyone, anywhere, that hasn't realized that life is a 24/7/365 endeavour; that still thinks that it is okay to "check out" from time to time. I've been through binge eating, through drug addiction, through alcoholism, and I've learned that if I'm feeling that need to escape: there is something in me that I'm not being honest about and addressing in my day to day life and emotional work, and I need to have a dialogue with myself, figure that out, and give me what I need in a healthy and integrated way.

Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on July 19, 2012
at 12:35 PM

@raney - I tried toughing it out, fighting every step of the way, etc. I ended up binging more frequently and feeling worse all the time. Planning it has given me a huge boost in quality of life. I have binge issues in response to circumstances that I'm working on fixing, but it's taking a while - until I change that, I'll have a problem, and this is the most effective way to deal with it.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on July 19, 2012
at 03:51 AM

raney, WOW, that is judgmental sounding. You disagree with the approach, say so - but why be so condescending about it?

54f75fb54778cfa947990bec1175307a

(665)

on July 19, 2012
at 12:22 AM

The key with such strategy is feel crappy afterwards. I personally can't get rid of specific food unless it is associated with unpleasant feelings afterwards. (pretty easy to do with carbs - they give me reflux and bloating very quickly)

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on July 19, 2012
at 12:10 AM

I don't mean to be rude, but: you have a physical addiction coupled with a lack of healthy emotional coping mechanisms, and you seem to be justifying and perpetuating these things. This is something you can work with; you don't have to live this way.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on July 18, 2012
at 11:56 PM

I get some weird looks ordering philly cheesesteaks "no cheese, no bread". Their response is usually something like, "so... you just want a pile of meat then?"

45ace03a0eff1219943d746cfb1c4197

(3661)

on July 18, 2012
at 11:13 PM

I'm with you, Crabbycakes.

39d290f0fc2ca0d12006a9147b3584aa

(144)

on July 18, 2012
at 09:46 PM

Just to add, I know I find carbs very "moreish" and am feel a strong urge to overeat and keep eating . . . so this kind of frightens me off as I feel so good without those baddies.

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15 Answers

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4
0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on July 18, 2012
at 09:47 PM

I would not recommend planning cheat days; the structuring of it makes it an acceptable and integrated part of your overall plan - and if you have an interest in eventually actually realizing that ideal of "not falling off" a majority of the time, you're going to need to change your attitude towards and emotional response to, food.

That is to say: the way that you use food for whatever it is that motivates your unhealthy eating, beit as an anti-depressant, to reduce anxiety, deal with stress, boredom, etc.

If you can honestly examine your attitude and patterns and don't feel that you have any form of such an unhealthy relationship with food, it will just be a matter of getting past the physical cravings, which is a much shorter term project, and one that you can accomplish with a little bit of willpower.

All that said, you will fall off. The best thing I've found to do is not dwell on it, not let myself feel guilty - because that is again fostering the same emotional response, the up and down, the self judgement that ties into this entire overall unhealthy attitude.

Move on, and focus on the positive: feel good about the fact that you have a nice rib-eye in the fridge for tomorrow, feel good about the fact that you had gone X days (weeks, months) since the last time this happened. I like to remind myself that every time, I will fall down again, but each period of momentum, each groove I get into - lasts a little bit longer than the last.

Being in touch with your body helps a lot as well, noticing every affect of these cheats - I've gotten to the point where several things are just absolutely black listed; even when I do fall off my wagon, there are rules I do not break, ever - because of the way these things make me feel. Once you get past the aforementioned physical cravings, you should come to a point of feeling so incredibly good on a regular basis that you won't want to screw that up with junk food ("nothing tastes as good as healthy feels!")

4
68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on July 18, 2012
at 11:59 PM

I rarely take a day off. I don't have the desire too. It's been almost a year since the last time. The best advice I can give is to not think about it as a "day off." Paleo isn't something I'm "on."

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 20, 2012
at 02:16 AM

Tim Ferriss suggests doing air squats at the time you're going to indulge in order to open up those glucose portals into muscle tissue and direct the excess carbs there instead of the liver where they will likely convert into fatty acids and be routed to adipose tissue. I think any type of challenging high intensity activity can compensate for short term indulgences.

2
Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on July 18, 2012
at 11:42 PM

I plan it.

The way I've been thinking about it lately is this: I have a binge-monster inside me. I want to eat real Paleo food; the binge-monster wants to eat Snickers and Oreos and cookie dough. If I try to fight it head on, I'll exhaust myself and inevitably lose. So I make a deal with the devil: once every two weeks, it gets to take charge for a day. In exchange, I stay in charge the rest of the time. So once every 2 weeks, I take precisely 24 hours to go off the deep end (and I mean COMPLETELY off the deep end: last time I ate a bag of Reese's cups, a family size bag of M&Ms, an entire jar of Nutella, a bag of Tortilla chips, 2 pieces of pizza, 2lbs of yogurt-covered raisins...). It gives me a mental break from fighting the constant cravings, so I can come back refreshed. I feel sick enough that for the next few days it's easier to resist. And it keeps the monster quiet for a while.

54f75fb54778cfa947990bec1175307a

(665)

on July 19, 2012
at 12:22 AM

The key with such strategy is feel crappy afterwards. I personally can't get rid of specific food unless it is associated with unpleasant feelings afterwards. (pretty easy to do with carbs - they give me reflux and bloating very quickly)

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on July 19, 2012
at 03:51 AM

raney, WOW, that is judgmental sounding. You disagree with the approach, say so - but why be so condescending about it?

Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on July 19, 2012
at 12:35 PM

@raney - I tried toughing it out, fighting every step of the way, etc. I ended up binging more frequently and feeling worse all the time. Planning it has given me a huge boost in quality of life. I have binge issues in response to circumstances that I'm working on fixing, but it's taking a while - until I change that, I'll have a problem, and this is the most effective way to deal with it.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on July 19, 2012
at 12:10 AM

I don't mean to be rude, but: you have a physical addiction coupled with a lack of healthy emotional coping mechanisms, and you seem to be justifying and perpetuating these things. This is something you can work with; you don't have to live this way.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on July 19, 2012
at 01:39 PM

I don't mean to be condescending in the least bit. I don't like seeing anyone, anywhere, that hasn't realized that life is a 24/7/365 endeavour; that still thinks that it is okay to "check out" from time to time. I've been through binge eating, through drug addiction, through alcoholism, and I've learned that if I'm feeling that need to escape: there is something in me that I'm not being honest about and addressing in my day to day life and emotional work, and I need to have a dialogue with myself, figure that out, and give me what I need in a healthy and integrated way.

91f5be33a7ec9f59a5c528af3c75175d

on July 19, 2012
at 04:26 PM

great debate here guys, intresting read I see this way of life like a bodybuilders, if you have a cheat day you wil feel refreshed and clean and ready to go and if you dont you be ocd, and crave more and more, I like @Maria's way of doing it one day off in 14, I have one none paleo meal a week. At the end of the day, we are all different and no one here has control of what you eat unless your wife/husband are online then you may get told to tone down. Life is great and short enjoy it, but why not enjoy it healthily. treat yourself and reap rewards. my 2 pence

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on July 20, 2012
at 03:38 AM

@Maria - I agree with Raney, but it sounds like you realize that you have that issue and are working on the underlying problems, and some control is better than no control until you've got it figured out. Best of luck to you! :)

2
90f66d30d977b07694403b469b3f85c5

on July 18, 2012
at 10:35 PM

I never really fall off accidentally, it is always a conscious choice, usually because of a particular situation where my food options are limited and I just say "oh, what the hell - this Philly CheesesteaK won't kill me". I never, ever, plan to fall-off in advance, but if I decide to in the moment, I don't worry about it. Usually right afterwards I am looking forward to getting right back on track with eating paleo, so it mostly ends up being a one-time thing. I've never gone off Paleo for more than a day, and every time I have, it has never made me feel like going back to SAD eating - just the opposite.

I have gone off paleo here and there, but the more I do it, the more it reminds me that I don't feel good when I eat that way, which makes it easier to not fall off in the first place.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on July 18, 2012
at 11:56 PM

I get some weird looks ordering philly cheesesteaks "no cheese, no bread". Their response is usually something like, "so... you just want a pile of meat then?"

2
7e36094a0f7a2fbad24290225405220b

(2064)

on July 18, 2012
at 09:39 PM

I never plan but try to decide at the time - Is this worth it? Most cake is not worth it, they never taste as good as you expect. White chocolate and Bailey's (coffee liqueur) cheesecake is definitely worth it, but other half eats the biscuit base for me!

2
58d456f4c4d551a697e65ada8c32ad4f

on July 18, 2012
at 09:36 PM

I don't plan on it, I love not being in pain.

45ace03a0eff1219943d746cfb1c4197

(3661)

on July 18, 2012
at 11:13 PM

I'm with you, Crabbycakes.

0
3ab5e1b9eba22a071f653330b7fc9579

on July 19, 2012
at 02:53 PM

I fast. For example I am doing an alternate day fast right now because my husbands birthday party is saturday, and it will be hedonistic. Then another fast after and I will suffer really no negative affects. Fasting always seems to get me backl on track, it doesnt matter if I unintentionally slip up or if I plan it. One thing that has changed since going paleo is that the junk food still has to be gluten free (think pizza and cupcakes!). While junk food is still junk food, gluten free prevents getting violently ill. Also if you do know you are going to be in a situation where you know there will be temptation, do a really heavy weight lifting workout before you go. This helps the excess calories go into repair, it is written about extensively on Leangains.

962f28300ea91e3327d22ccc673fb684

(50)

on July 19, 2012
at 07:38 PM

Going off of that, when i know I am going to be in a situation where there will be no paleo food for me to eat, I eat beforehand and I know I cannot get out of control because I was hungry and grabbing for the first thing my eyes laid on!

0
C192b4897c35682c4e97982e73b25b6b

on July 19, 2012
at 02:42 PM

I honestly do not set out to "cheat" - although I guess I kind of make it happen by not preparing? For example, yesterday at the end of the day my boss told me to come in @5am, after already leaving two hours later than usual. So this means I only had time to do laundry and go to sleep, in which case, I hadn't any time (or energy) to prepare food.

This morning I jumped on the chance to eat from wherever was open, since it was so early. I suppose I could have cooked two days ago, but I had no idea I'd have so much work to do.

Anyway, when I got home yesterday, I stressfully ate my way to sleep ( I know, I know. ) So last night and this morning combined, I feel pretty awful (both mentally and physically) for the carelessness, but the way I think of it is, I can restart now, I can refresh and move on. Plus, this is a life long dedication, so its not like I need to drop 25 lbs by tomorrow lol.

0
962f28300ea91e3327d22ccc673fb684

on July 19, 2012
at 01:42 PM

I think this is why the 80/20 approach really works for me- I know that there will be 20% of the time that I will not be 100% Paleo (like last night when I ate 4 pink Starburst).

However, I have also come to a place where I am not obsessing about food. Its not easy to do that, since becoming Paleo, I need to make sure I am sourcing my meat, fish and produce from a "good" place, and that I worry about the ratio of fat-protein-carbs, and "did I eat too many nuts today to throw off my omega 6-3 ratio?", and whether I consumed too much fruit to throw off my ketosis, or what am I cooking so I can eat well today?, and "shit its bagel day at work, how am I going to avoid having a bagel," the list goes on and on.

I took up a number of new hobbies, so thinking about food is secondary. When I go grocery shopping, I head right to the produce, fish dept and meat freezer, and totally avoid all of the bullshit in between. You dont need no chips or cookies. Remember food is food, having a meal is to feed your body. You eat to live, not the other way around. I mean taste is important, but you want to taste real food, not oreos (when I looked at the ingredients, I am disgusted with what someone's kishkas have to ingest.) Cleaner eating= happier GI tract. Also, I know what I can and cannot have. If its not on the paleo list (which is pretty self- defined, and cookies and chips are def. NOT on there,) I move on. I also want to believe that the evil food manufacturers of America and pharm companies are out to keep everybody fat and ill to keep producing revenue, throwing our country into a terrible cycle of illness that just hurts us.

As my father says, "the best taste is to be thin," or alternatively "you don't deserve taste." If you are in the weight loss stage, I wouldnt even entertain your binge monster--I don't buy that crap, and I know not to even have one bite (i know if I have a taste, its all over.) So when I look in the mirror, and I see a healthy, glowing, lean machine, I tell that binge monster to suck it because I am fabulous without her, and truly the very best taste is feeling good and feeling positive about my body.

Binge monster lurking? Go do something else instead of entertain her lunacy.

0
61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 19, 2012
at 01:21 PM

I don't plan cheat days. I am too food obsessed to plan something that I will then think about all day, week, month, whatever. I also am quite fearful that once I fall off of that wagon, it will leave me in the dust. It's far easier now that I did have a cheat while I was traveling for work and was absolutely miserable. Now, I just remember that night in so much agony in my hotel room with nothing to soothe my stomach and that flicker of a moment where I think "a taste won't hurt" falls right out of my head.

I have honestly made Paleo my lifestyle. It isn't simply a diet. I am more mindful about what I am putting in and on my body, how much waste my household is producing, what my animals eat, etc. This is the first time in my life I am enjoying what I'm doing while losing weight instead of having to count everything and feel like I'm missing out.

0
61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on July 18, 2012
at 11:11 PM

Some cheats are worse than others. I never plan for them, exactly, but there are some things I'm willing to eat more often than other things. And some things that I am just not tempted to eat. The cravings I have are mostly for "healthy food" anyway (black bean soup, how I love thee), or at least semi-gourmet (arugula salad with cherry peppers, saffron aioli and fried calamari). Stuff like Cheetos, Twinkies, and Big Macs hold zero appeal.

When it comes to things with gluten, like pastas and baked goods, I very very rarely cheat on that, because the digestive and epidermal consequences are pretty unpleasant for me, and pretty immediate so there's definitely some negative reinforcement there. I ate that stuff this weekend with some pasta, breaded chicken tenders, and lotsa beer for my friend's baby shower and have been paying the price this week. Just makes those things even less tempting next time they're around.

When it comes to beans and white rice, I probably eat those a couple of times a month. They don't have acute consequences, and I really love cannellini beans in my chicken and kale soup, and I prefer nigiri to sashimi, so I don't stress about them. I just eat them when I really want them, but it's not something I crave every day and I think it's far from the worst thing I could be eating. And, I am Southern, so once in a while I just need a big glass of sweet tea. :)

0
63479974b34930b7bedb12afa19083d3

on July 18, 2012
at 10:15 PM

I save it for when it's worth it... a social event, a holiday, something that I know I'm not going to eat often, a celebration. Let's be real - I love food, so I'm not going to deny myself those times or something specially made, but I love feeling and looking healthy just as much.

Thankfully, I'm always able to get back on track, and consciously know that while I'm eating things I'm not used to. It's never easy, but it's a good reminder of what is right and wrong for your body.

0
A2e73b869061fc20067e4ef8f26f83f0

(140)

on July 18, 2012
at 10:02 PM

I try not to think of it as a wagon that can be fallen off of. The vast majority of the time I eat real, whole, unprocessed foods. The vast majority of the time I lift weights 3x/week.

But yes, on occasion I do have (gasp!) gluten-containing treats. Sometimes I go a week or two without getting to the gym.

The more I think about eating and exercising a certain "perfect" way, the more I get neurotic and stressed out about it and the more likely I am to throw up my hands and say "eff it!"

I'm lucky, I suppose, in that I don't seem to suffer any (immediately perceptible) consequences from gluten or whatever like some people do. I don't think it is the basis of a healthy diet so I don't want to treat it as such. But it doesn't leave me writhing in pain. Though, I imagine that if it did, I wouldn't be tempted by it as much or at all.

0
39d290f0fc2ca0d12006a9147b3584aa

(144)

on July 18, 2012
at 09:33 PM

Like you, the plan is to never fall off. And so far I haven't. But then it's only been just over a month lol

Now the urge to eat sugary carbs has gone though, it's a lot easier to stay on track. I think I will keep "falling off" purely for meals out (which in our family is not very often) or if visiting friends for a meal.

39d290f0fc2ca0d12006a9147b3584aa

(144)

on July 18, 2012
at 09:46 PM

Just to add, I know I find carbs very "moreish" and am feel a strong urge to overeat and keep eating . . . so this kind of frightens me off as I feel so good without those baddies.

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