Is it possible to cheat too much on a cheat day?
So I finally reached my goal weight on Xmas day (a cheat day). I cheated a lot that day - probably about 6,000 calories. I finished the rest of the week on SCD, then on my next weigh-in (New Year's) I had gained 4lbs!!! I cheated on New Years too (same amount - a binge) and haven't weighed myself yet. I'm nervous though - did I undo the last 10 weeks of work in one day? Is it possible to cheat too much on a cheat day?
The Best Answer
To put it bluntly- yes. It's soo easy to clock up a large amount of calories and carbs/fat in a short space of time.
I know I go all out on cheat days- literally. I had 2 cheat days on Christmas Day and Boxing Day- both added up to around 15,000 calories. I definitely don't recommend doing this though, except for times like Christmas- it's always best to stick to the once a week, even when your at your goals (you just add a few more carbs in the week until you stabalise over time).
The upside however, is that this diet is very powerful and changes your metabolic pathways in order to blast through any fat gain gain in a few days. It's been a week since my last cheat day and my results are I have lost 4lbs, and I am only 2.5lbs from my goal weight of 133lbs. I am down a total of 26.5lbs in 11 weeks. Not bad for the holiday season !
This is why I have found this to be the easiest, most enjoyable and sustainable ways of eating I have ever tried. I did Atkins last year and lost 104lbs from 228lbs, but it's unsustainable in the long run for most people. I gained back 35lbs but restarted SCD/TLM in October.
The amount you gained is totally NORMAL It's mostly a lot of fluid retention from the carbs and salt. See my blog post on water retention for more info and how to combat it.
I can definitely say that the secret to avoiding fat gain and using cheat days are your advantage are doing ALL the damage control -it really does help. In fact , doing damage control, I have actually lost weight after a couple of cheat days, or stayed mostly the same after most of them so far. I only have them once every 8-14 days though, when I feel I 'need it'. It helps to adopt this thinking too.
Another secret behind cheat days are that is boosts your metabolic rate up again by spiking leptin and thyroid hormones- so it reverses any metabolic slowdown from carb/caloric restriction on all other days and tricks your body into the 'just started dieting' mode over and over again. So they are are necessary in this sense.
So don't worry- you DIDN'T undo any progress, and you will see even more progress this coming week!
I held onto my Christmas cheat day bloat for nearly a week. I was in the same calorie range as you.
Your weight is only part of the picture. What are the rest of your body measurements doing?
There may be different things at work.
It may be hormonal (eg. water retention from PMSing or TOM).
It may be water retention on your muscles from exercise.
It may be excessive salt that hasn't been flushed out. This is likely if you've had a lot of cold cuts. They're basically salt marinaded meats.
Up your water intake to 4-5 litres/day and watch your salt intake.
Here's what I am doing for cheat day:
I do a SCD breakfast (40-50 grams of protein) on cheat day.
Then before my first cheat meal I have half a grapefruit with a cinnamon coffee.
I drink at least 5 litres of water (with lemon and ice) throughout the day.
I also drink green tea/mate throughout the day.
I'm eat more frequently during my cheat day so I basically throw in GLUT4 exercises whenever I go to the washroom.
I limit my cheat period to 12 hours with the main eating occuring before 8pm.
The next day:
I drink 5 litres of water at least. 1 litre green tea
-Only have 1/2 cup of lentils with lunch. The rest of the meals I have only veggies and protein. This was not a conscious effort initially as there was no way I could stuff lentils into me for breakfast the day after Cheat Day.
This time I've upped my water and I've gotten most of my cheat day bloat down in 48 hours.
I don't think you've undone your hard work. I know it's a bit nervewracking but have faith. You've done so great so far. A large part of SCD is trying to figure out the quirks of your own body and applying that knowledge to losing the weight and maintaining the weight loss.
Not to brag, but I hit 10,768 documented (Livestrong) calories on my second cheat day and lost 3.5 pounds of fat the next week. I think I can say without fear of contracdiction that I would NOT, after 10 months of this regimen, be able to do that again. I felt perfectly OK, too, at the end of the day. the next week I couldn't get to 7,000 before I went into toxic shock.
Tim shares that its not a bad idea to consider dropping out breakfast from your binge day and stick to a protien rich one more in line with the diet. Thankfully for me it hasnt come to that yet, but its going to.
Good job on getting to your goal weight! At 53 I am unsure its possible to meet my goal but I fully intend to try.
Only 6000? What, were you sick or something?
I once had aand lived to tell the tale. I don't think you can have too much food on Cheat Day without making yourself sick.
And @SamGreen is right; fluid retention is normal, and you will retain fluid when you change your intake of protein, carbs, and sodium very suddenly like that. I've not been on the diet since shortly before Christmas, and I'm 20 pounds above my last weigh-in (of which I know at least 15 is fluid), so don't feel too bad about 4 pounds.