New to Paleo and is it ok to have a night off ?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 28, 2012 at 11:52 PM

Hey guys i am am new at this it's been bout 1 month and i am still trying to stick to the diet as i have alot of allergies and digestive problesm but i have a hens & wedding coming up in in next two weeks and i am worried with the finger food & other food supplied i may not be able to eat anything but really don't want to bring food with me, am i best having a break for the two nights or what else do you guys suggest?



on March 13, 2012
at 04:47 AM

Thanks guys i only cheated a little bit over the past few weeks but i am back on track, thanks for you help.

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9 Answers



on February 29, 2012
at 02:09 AM

It's a healthier way of eating...not a cult.

yes, take a night off, a day off, or a weekend off... then start right back where you left off. You'll be fine. Just don't do it OFTEN. :)


on February 29, 2012
at 12:07 AM

The goal is to take steps to improve your diet. Do not stress about 100% strict paleo perfection. I think most of us take a night off here and there especially if we are eating out with friends.



on February 29, 2012
at 02:18 AM

There isn't one correct answer here. I agree with the others IF you don't have a food allergy, sensitivity or intolerance.

If you do happen to have a true problem with one or more foods, it's not in your best interest to eat it/them because a month is not long enough to heal your gut. Your first obligation here is to heal and take care of yourself. If that's not an issue I wouldn't worry much.

What I do for such is things is eat well--a good hit of protein/fat--before I leave home and while I'm away I eat vegetables, fruit and meat as available. In my case, I have to leave all the wheat stuff alone but I usually find I can eat just fine without it. I have fasted a few times when everything was wheat-based but that's fortunately pretty rare. I can handle a little corn or rice or sugar but I'm much better off not eating than eating wheat. Similar to Happy Now, I always take some emergency rations and for a one-meal event I'll stash olive oil and vinegar for salad or cream for coffee since most places no longer offer the real thing. For a longer event, though, just avoid what would make you sick and eat what looks/tastes good.



on February 29, 2012
at 12:02 AM

Eat. Drink. Be Merry. Go back to your normally scheduled program when you get home.

If you react strongly to things like wheat or milk, obviously try to steer clear as much as possible, or take some antihistamine or immodium with you to counteract the side effects.

I'm sure you'll find something to eat though. I usually have an emergency stash of beef jerky in my bag just in case, but rarely have to resort to it.



on February 29, 2012
at 12:10 AM

You could say that sticking hardcore strict is itself stressing and thus harmful. Could raise cortisol with too much stress if it is that much of an obsession, so go ahead and have the occasional sensible night off.


on February 29, 2012
at 04:54 AM

I did strict 6 day Paleo with a cheat day once a week (all out binge day, not just a little bit here and there). Still got results, still had great blood work after several months of this regime. I got to a point where my body would react harshly that night or the next day after cheat. So now, I am pretty much 100% all of the time with no cheat days. Also, hit a plateau when I got to the last 10-15 pounds I wanted to lose. Hope this helps.


on February 29, 2012
at 04:46 AM

I must add to all the other good suggestions that you could just fast for that one meal, or even the whole day if the event lasts that long. Fasting is an important part of the diet that I'm only now adding into my lifestyle. If you truly have gut issues I would say fast, because you're not just sacrificing weight loss (or complexion in my case).

I save most of my cheat cards for going out drinking with friends, but even then I don't do beer anymore. It is also good to save a few cheat cards for eating family-prepared meals where it is important not to be 'rude' by refusing their homemade __.



on February 29, 2012
at 04:14 AM

I agree with several of the commenters here. Take care of your health - don't consume foods you're allergic to, but do take care of your mental health.

I am also a recent convert to Paleo and I try to stick to a strict 30-50g per day limit on carbs to encourage ketosis and weight loss. Every now and then I have an event for work or with friends where I know I wont be able to stick to the diet 100%. The key, I think, is to realize that it's okay. You aren't a failure if you break the diet accidentally or on purpose once in a while. Like Andy Welch said, it's a healthier way of eating, not a cult.

So, eat a balanced diet of natural meats, fruits, and vegetables. It's ok to fall (or jump/leap enthusiastically) off the wagon for a night or a weekend. As long as you recommit the morning after you are going to be fine. The stress of worrying about failing or succeeding is worse for your body in the long run than a slice of wedding cake or a few starchy canapes.


on February 29, 2012
at 02:30 AM

I'd avoid things like gluten if you have a serious reaction to them, no matter if that makes some other uncomfortable.

If you are just trying to optimize you diet, don't stress.

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