Day 35: Another Cheat Meal

Breakfast: BP Coffee
Dinner: Salmon; sauerkraut; veg shake; chocolate hazelnuts; dark chocolate; 2 Paleo treats; Nandos; Smarties

Exercise: Cycle sprints

5 weeks in.

I’ve been tracking my weight more closely over the last couple of weeks. I was 76kg this morning, so I’m down 2.5kg this week. That’s a lot to lose over a week, but given that I started at 78.5kg, it’s not so significant. I finished the first week at 77kg after starting at 80kg.

I’m in a pattern of slowly losing weight during the week, then putting a couple of kilos on with a binge at the weekend. Those kilos come off pretty quickly again, but then I’m back where I started, having made no improvement.

Weight loss isn’t my ultimate goal here, but I did expect that if I stuck to a low carb diet with occasional cheat meals, I’d lose weight overall. And I have so far, but not as much as I’d expect. I’ve basically stayed the same over the past month.

My attitude to cheat meals has changed. It used to be a cheat weekend, then a cheat day, then a cheat meal. The cheat meal used to be as much of whatever I wanted. Now I eat mostly Paleo-friendly cheats. Still I think I may need to tone down my cheat meal strategy.

Maybe I shouldn’t have “cheat” meals. I remember when I was in college, one of my mates used to go on crazy diets. He went on a ham and eggs diet for a couple of months. Literally nothing else. But every now and then he’d have a cheat day, and he would eat anything and everything. He’d spend £20+ in MacDonalds. He told me that when we constrict what we eat, our bodies adapt, and they don’t “work as hard”. Cheat meals are a shock to the system and it keeps our metabolism working properly.

Anyway, he wasn’t the paragon of nutritional health, but I’d come across the idea in other places. In this podcast with Robb Wolf, John Kiefer explains carb-backloading. Kiefer was eating boiled chicken for weeks without the kind of gains that he’d expected. He threw in the towel one night and ate enough carbs to make his eyes bleed insulin. He woke up the next day more ripped than he’d ever been. Listen to the podcast and he’ll explain it.

In general, our bodies benefit from volatility in our environments: lots of walking then sprinting, occasionally lifting very heavy weights, fast then feast. But I guess if I want to lose more bodyfat I need a new strategy.