Have you ever been of the mind (perhaps influenced by a day of celebrating) to indulge in a HUGE cheat...say, a Domino's pizza, just to see how badly you might feel the next day?
I have an early lease signing, then a job interview for a potentially very lucrative bar tomorrow, and I'm about to (in my right mind) eat half a Domino's pizza in celebration, after 2 months of clean eating, just to see how it will affect me.
What can I expect? How bad has it been for you? Have you ever been so foolish?
Well the results are in...and they don't look (or feel) very good! Today when I woke up, my hands were curled up into claws, and when I stretched them out...OUCH! Even though I've never had arthritis, I can imagine this is what it feels like. My joints, especially in my hands and feet, were so stiff and sore. My skin is red and itchy. I feel like I'm in a mental fog...cant think clearly. I worked out on Tuesday, and I expected to be sore today as I went hard, but this is worse. My muscle soreness seems to be more intense than it usually is if I keep Paleo. Perhaps that's just timing. I was up all night with the worst heartburn, feeling like if I puked I would feel much better. My body was rebelling against the poison, and it just wanted it out, but I fought through it bravely (what hubris!) for the sake of my experiment. I'm also suffering from some stuffed sinuses and seasonal sneezing and watery eyes. At the start of the allergy season I had a small taste of the symptoms, but my immune system fought them off like a champ...I think I temporarily crippled it today.
No GI symptoms as yet, but I feel them coming. The most damning evidence of all however? A small zit on my nose. Oh the evils of HFCS teamed with a gluten overload, topped with processed cheese garbage and industrial meat discs. Never again.
Sorry to be so forthcoming, but the GI symptoms just rocked my world. Who knew crappy pizza could turn green?!
Did it again! My girlfriend was over at her friend Sarah's house for the night, and I had been craving junk all day long, no idea why. So I ordered Domino's again. Woof...bad idea. Usually I'm a fast learner, but I guess I have a propensity for self-abuse.
DISCLAIMER: Based on a particular response, I feel as if I should explain that this is not an advocation of eating poorly, or "cheat meals," as it were. This is simply an extension of n=1 and evaluation of results in the spirit of self-experimentation. I would never recommend an ex-heroin junkie try his old does just to see what the withdrawals are like, but I think it is useful to examine the effects/withdrawals of a backslide less immediately deadly, to really put into perspective the power of what we eat. I also think it's pretty humorous to talk about diarrhea openly on the internet. C'est la vie!
I guess I should admit to myself that I decided to cheat, but at the time I felt like I was being remotely controlled by the SAD alien mothership. From rock to bottom in 3 easy steps:
Through the magic of glycogen depletion and self-deception, one beer became eight, three eggs transmogrified into fistfuls, and chocolate cake with boiled icing seemed a more paleo option than cupcakes (c'mon...cavemen would have definitely eaten white icing over pink).
The next morning I felt like I had been eaten by a wolf and shit over a cliff. It took four eggs and a pound of bacon to revive me (go bacon!), but I still don't feel right.
OP - Glad to see you learned a lesson :)
A friend of mind nailed the "stages" of "cheat" foods:
I'm not religious about Paleo (okay, maybe I am) - but I've turned the corner on seeing S.A.D. food as celebratory. The last four months of strict Paleo has shown me just how much I was punishing my body with food.
Whenever I describe Paleo to friends, I never use the word "diet." In my opinion, "diet" and "dieting" implies that one is making a temporary change in the way they are eating for the purposes of weight loss. Scheduling a "cheat" here and there feels like dieting - as if there is a possibility that I may go back to eating S.A.D. some day.
One word: Hangover.
I tried a Paleoish diet that suggests you take one day off a week as "cheat day" and eat anything and everything you might want. I felt so horrible the following day and it took almost a week of clean eating to feel normal again. The cheat day diet lasted just that week.
I don't think it's a bad idea, because if nothing else you'll think twice about doing it again.
Last night I ate very poor quality ice cream with "modified palm oil" to prove that I am not a dirty bat-shit crazy orthorexic. Today wasn't such a great day and I have a pimple in a bad spot to get a pimple. I think I would rather be completely off-the-wall "no fucking way I'll die before I'll eat bread. Who wants to fight I'll stab your face off" before I actually do eat junk again.
I can't say how pizza is going to work out for you but my guess is not so great. Don't be dumb, mang. I know you have the power. Eat a large amount of a good paleo food that you tend to restrict like nuts and fruit instead.
Funny you should bring this up.... A friend and I started this diet on Lent (even though I'm not Catholic), and to celebrate 40 days of discipline we ate at Tyler Florence's restaurant in San Francisco called the Wayfare Tavern. I had a cocktail, beer, a popover, mac n cheese, mashed potatoes, 2 desserts (one being goat cheese cheesecake), coffee with cream and sugar, plus MORE and I didn't feel bad except for being SO INCREDIBLY FULL! I think this is a testament to the quality of the food and ingredients used.
However, a couple of days later I wanted to splurge on food I used to eat regularly. I work at Outback Steakhouse, so I was jonesing for some Coconut shrimp and Aussie Cheese Fries. I ate the shrimp, and the cheese fries, and 2 Shock Top beers....and I hated my life for the rest of the evening. I'm sure the oil used for deep-frying made me feel ill, but I know for FOR A FACT that the jack and cheddar cheese from the fries did me in. I swore off cheese at that point (except for occasionally goat cheese, parm, and feta).
I think though, that I needed to eat the fries for two reasons. One, I needed to get the want for cheese fries out of my system. And two, I needed to eat them to see how they really made me feel. So SPLURGE! Go CRAZY! It will teach you what makes you feel like shit, then you won't even want it any more.
Yes. After 2 months of strict Paleo I went and had a pizza, at about 8pm. I could only eat about half what I normally would have. By 11pm I had horrific acid reflux. It got so bad that I couldn't sleep until about 3am. I also had a headache for the next 24 hours. Never again.
Every once in a while I will. The first time I went strict paleo 100% for 4 months. After 4 months the competition I was training for was over me and some friends went out and I had Wings, Beer, McDonald Flurry and I suffered sever stomach pain.
The the point while I was in the bar I had to put my head down on the table, it was pretty bad and not worth the great taste of beer/icecream. I've had wings alone since with no issues, I can cope with one beer but I almost never drink and icecream just gives me constant phlegm in throat.
Moral of the story, I can take a small dose of things I do not normally eat, I can not take a large dose and I avoid almost everything now.
I do plan cheats occasionally, but more like, I have plans that I know may involve the possibility of eating non-Paleo foods. Back in my binging days I truly could feel myself planning the binge in my head and it's not like that at all.
New Year's Eve I had Giordano's Stuffed Pizza, that was worth it. I did feel bloated and had a carb rush/headache but the delicious cheesy goodness was still worth it.
Last month I had Cici's Pizza buffet with my daughter, that was not worth it. But, hanging out with the family and NOT being ~weird~ about my food (because they still eat SAD) WAS WORTH IT.
The deleterious effects usually wear off for me within a day. I'm okay with that.
In the last two weeks i've started occasionally eating a small bowl of white rice with sashimi if we go out to eat. I don't think in terms of cheat or not, but rice is definitely a grain and definitely pretty devoid of vitamins and nutrients. Its admittedly a less nutrient-dense starch than something like our beloved sweet potatoes, etc. i've started doing it for simple variety in my eating. Munching little granules is fun.
One thing I've learned while being paleo for over two years and lifting heavy for the past six months is that while on this strength-building regime I feel I can tolerate a greater number of foods in general. I don't really fear the effects of eating a bowl of white rice like I used to. I mean,
1) I am growing stronger at the moment so I feel my body makes better use of less-than-optimal fuel than it otherwise would, and
2) my digestive system is pretty solid so I know I'm gonna poop out everything in the morning anyhow.
I think the benefits of resistance-training with heavy weights is greatly understated in our society in general and also within our little club here. Of course it makes you feel good, stronger, maybe look a bit better, etc etc but I really think it is a feed-forward system of making you pick better food and then digest that food better. You can just handle more options I feel.
How ironic that I should stumble across this site today!
I've been Paleo for almost a year now and was hit by a HUGE realisation yesterday that I am UNABLE to cheat anymore, my body just won't allow it! I went out with friends on Friday night and had a meal at a Brazilian restaurant, some cocktails, shots and wine (yes, it was waaay too much booze - but I'm 26 years old and was having so much fun, I thought I would be fine)...... Biiiiig mistake!
At the end of the night I could not stop vomiting, my body completely rebelled against the food and alcohol, it was crazy! I felt pretty crappy yesterday as well and today I'm pretty wiped out.
I can't believe that I have become so sensitive - I was out with friends and they were both fine after the meal and drinks, and both fine yesterday as well! Granted, they both eat SAD (can I refer to it as SED as I live in England?!), so their bodies wouldn't have felt like they are being poisoned. I was wanting to blame either the food or the booze but it must have been a combination of both, although the meal consisted largely of meat and a little rice.
Has anybody else had this experience with alcohol? Can you just 'not' drink anymore, or have you had to greatly reduce the amount of alcohol that you consume? I'm not a seasoned drinker anyway so I don't know why I thought I could handle the amount that I drank on Friday (sigh). Paleo makes me feel so awesome - The extent of that cheat and the aftermath will haunt me for quite some time.
I had a similar experience a couple of months ago after eating Indian food, I spent the next day vomiting as well - My food sensitivities have increased so much in the last few months!