I have just been reading a thread where people were describing their horrible reactions to cheating over christmas. A lot of diet gurus advocate a deliberate cheat meal or cheat day to reset leptin and such every so often to facilitate fat loss. I'm interested in peoples take on this. While I'm not a celiac I have no intension of deliberately eating gluten, I hate the way excess carbs make me feel so I won't be doing that either. So while I think the jury is still out on cheating, what does a fairly strict Paleo cheat with?
i dont think or eat in terms of cheat meals. every edible thing out there is a tool. you can choose to use each one as you see fit. I eat dark chocolate after dinner prolly 5 nights a week. Some would call that a cheat, i see it as another good source of fat, fiber, minimal sugar, and it puts a smile on my face.
Do we actually need a cheat day on paleo?
My understanding is you only need to refeed for Leptin if you are on a low calorie diet. People who diet by dropping calories to unhealthy levels see there leptin levels freak out and make it hard for them to stay on course. I think you can do paleo without dropping calories to levels where leptin will be effected. Unless being on a lower carb regimen means effecting leptin? Am I right?
Also Leptin is messed up by sugar, obesity and poor sleep--things I'd worry about before planning to add binges to my successful weight-loss diet...
--That said, a cheat day for me might involve a gluten free baked good and a chocolate milk--non-paleo. If we were to do a Paleo Cheat Day I'd say double your fat to add a ton more calories that day and eat fruit and nuts to your heart's content.
Cheat "days" are a bad idea in my book. Not being a militant Paleo sweating over every morsel going in my mouth, I allow for an occasional "treat", usually non-sugar because that stuff kicks off bad cravings for me. If you feel what you are eating is a challenge and crave one day a week to party, you may need to adjust your day to day eating. If it feels like deprivation, It'll never work.
Even though I managed to avoid gluten and generally grains at large, I found that sugar and honey REALLY triggered my old cravings this past holiday season. I am always impressed by those who can have just one piece of dark chocolate. Basically to accomplish that without having extra chocolate around the house, I'd probably have to have the single piece of dark chocolate delivered to my door by FedEx every day. :)
That said, I'm going to try and get through January without keeping additional chocolate in the house. If someone spontaneously offers me a piece of quality dark chocolate, well, I suppose that could be my own personal FedEx analog.
Don't plan or deliberately do cheats. If they happen, don't worry too much about them. And know your poisons, so the effects of the cheats are limited.
That is what I would say. But I know nothing about the leptin thing...
I don't really view some things as cheats. Your non-paleo meal isn't a "cheat", it's a deviation. A "cheat" would indicate that it's a circumvention of the rules to gain some sort of benefit in your endeavor.
The bodybuilding concept of a cheat meal in a CKD might just be a real "cheat meal" if it's done to it's strictest (zero fat, high starch, high protein for a short period of time to counter normally low-carb, medium-protein, high fat days)... but that's really more of a biological "hack" to top off glycogen stores and reset leptin... in this way I myself have a "cheat day" where I simply add about 2-potatoes to my friday dinner and saturday breakfast, as I normally cap less than 80gm of carbs daily.
I might go "off my diet" on purpose, but usually view the food I eat even then through a paleo lens (i.e. no gluten, avoiding legumes). This normally happens when I just can't beat a taco craving (and please don't recommend lettuce as a taco shell, I might be forced to kick-start an adorable, soft, and fluffy puppy if I hear that suggestion again).
I also don't think a lot of foods that we eat can be classified as paleo, but are benign and even helpful in our diets (i.e. rice, processed chocolate, supplements etc). And furthermore, I don't get why people get really upset if you tell them it isn't Paleo.
It isn't paleo - but thats ok.
Some nights, about once a month, I might drink beer. After that first heady draught, I will look over at my wife and tell her, "Not Paleo, Not Caring".
It's funny how things progress. Last night at my families new years eve party a special dish of smoked ribs was made for me because my family and friends know I eat a lot of meat. For christmas I received a large box of various grass fed meats fro US Welness Meats. I didn't expect any of this, because they know I will eat some of the normal food prepared for the other guests but I just won't eat very much. Basically I just eat very little of the cheat food before me and the next day go sprint and it doesn't bother me at all.
I would say a fairly strict Paleo could "cheat" with dark chocolate or red wine or gluten free beer or cider, possibly dairy if you don't typically do that. The Paleo baked goods aren't really very strict paleo either, so I would consider them almost a cheat.
I think that a perfectly paleo cheat day (for someone trying to lose weight) would involve A LOT of fruit, nuts and/or cheese.
I am not an expert by any means, but I recently did a bit of holiday cheating. I dropped several impossible-to-lose pounds, immediately after my indiscretion. I don't know if that was the cause, but I do plan to repeat the experiment in a few weeks to see if I have the same results.
(In case it's not obvious, I started that thread)
Fat and weight loss 5 Answers