Cheating: How We Do It, React, and Bounce Back

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 20, 2012 at 1:46 PM

Do all of us need to cheat? No; but the reality is that some of us do cheat on occasion, whether it's a "binge" or a conscious loosening of the reins for a meal or a day.

There are a few threads on cheating, but I'd like this on to focus primarily on how we "bounce back" after doing so (in an effort to, you know, think positively and perhaps support/encourage the board members who struggle with cheating).


  1. How do you cheat?
  2. How does your mind/body react?
  3. How do you bounce back?

How I cheat: I give myself a "hormonal cheat meal of insanity" once a month. I go apeshit on paleo-approved foods (i.e. nuts). I also usually eat out, which opens up the possibility of checking out a menu and thinking/saying, "HOLY GOD LOOK AT ALL THE THINGS I DON'T NORMALLY EAT!" So yeah, I'll eat the bread that's brought to the table. I'll order dessert. I'll stuff myself silly.

How I react: Bread gives me crippling stomach pains. Sugar opens up my cravings. I feel quite gluttonous, but if/when I cheat, I consciously do so with the good stuff (no Wonder Bread, no Snickers bars), so I wave my little white flag of dignity.

How I bounce back: I follow-up with a fast of at least 16 hours. No matter WHAT, I wake up the next day and have a vigorous workout. Regardless of what I previously ate, I tell myself to come back with a vengeance (instead of chiding myself for "being bad"). I follow up with a simple fast-breaking, post-workout meal (usually a small sweet potato and a nice piece of salmon). Then I'm good as gold and go back to my usual eating routine for the next 28 days or so.

How do you do all of the above?

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3 Answers



on October 20, 2012
at 03:45 PM

  1. I eat something makes my joints flare up-- lots of nuts, red meat, chicken, lots of legumes, that's pretty much it. I don't cheat much these days.

  2. My joints flare up (rheumatoid arthriti)

  3. I used to IF to recover, but then I realized that just set me on another cycle of cheating/binging. Now I just proceed as normal... I maybe have a smaller meal next time, but I don't skip meals. It's important to keep eating regularly. Otherwise, fasting begets binging and vice versa, ad continuum.


on October 20, 2012
at 03:33 PM

  1. When I cheat I usually go crazy and eat everything I want for 24 to 48 hours and then go back to strict paleo. I know consuming lots of sugar at one time is bad for my liver but once I get the taste of junk food in my mouth I just want more of it.

  2. I usually get bloated and feel bad about myself. My digestive system gets all out of whack too.

  3. I typically intermittent fast for 16 hours the next day after cheating to cut some of that body fat and then hit the gym extra hard to make up for it.

Recently I just finished 25 days straight of paleo eating with no cheating. After I finished and cheated for the first time in almost a month, junk food didn't taste nearly as well as I remember. I think in the future I am going to end up cheating less frequently because I am realizing that it isn't worth it. The longer I am on the paleo diet the more my tastes are changing away from wanting to cheat at all.



on October 20, 2012
at 07:49 PM

I guess it depends on your definition of a cheat. I drink a couple of beers a week, I consider that part my of diet, not a cheat.

I have only CHEATED once. On my birthday my mom made me the cake she has made for 32 years. I had a piece and it was delicious! I followed it with a 24 hour fast and three days of super clean eating. -- It was definitely worth it, and at once per year I am not going to sweat it.

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