Binge eating + Cravings after cheat days?
Calories Carbs Fat Protein
Asda - Free Range Eggs, 3 egg
Sainsburys - Spicy & Smoky Chorizo Ring , 40 g (1/8 of pack)
Butter - Salted, 1.1 tbsp
552 0 48 30
Pizza Express - Sloppy Guiseppe Pizza, 0.75 pizza
Marks and Spencer - Lemon Lush Sorbet, 0.75 container (500 mls ea.)
Kit Kat - Chunky Peanut Butter, 33 g
Dare (Canada) - Ruffles Macaroon Biscuits Classic , 2 cookies
Sainsbury's - Sugar Ring Doughnut, 2.5 ring
Lyle's - Golden Syrup, 3 Teaspoon
Starbucks - Venti Skinny Vanilla Spice Latte, No Whip, 0.75 Venti
Mccain - Lightly Spiced Potato Wedges, 75 g (oven baked)
Haagen-Dazs - Belgian Chocolate, 300 ml
Asda Meal for 4 - Extra Strong Garlic and Herb Baguette, 1/2 baguette
Roly's - Fudge, 6 Cube
Blue Dragon - Thai Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce, 10 g
Thorntons - Classic Collection Chocolates (2010), 7 chocolate
Aunt Bessie's - Home Bake Yorkshire Puddings, 1.6 pudding
Nestle - Kit Kat Chunky Caramel, 0.75 bar (50g)
Reece's - Crispy, Crunchy (Candy Bar) - King Size, 0.45 bar (44 grams)
Iceland - Apple Pie 700g, 0.13 container (700 gs ea.)
Wall's - Cream of Cornish Vanilla Ice Cream, 100 g
Milk - Whole, 3.25% milkfat, 1 cup
Bird's - Instant Custard, 0.75 container (501 g made ups ea.)
5,259 648 223 86
Tetley (Canada) - Pure Green Tea, 4 tea bag
Tetley - Green Tea - Decaf, 2 cup
Spices - Cinnamon, ground, 1 tsp
Tropicana Pure Premium - Golden Grapefruit , 300 ml
Cadbury - Chocolate Eclairs, 3 piece (3.8g)
Ski Smooth - Toffee Apple Yogurt, 60 g pot
Redbull Sugarfree - Sugar Free Energy Drink, 1 can (250 ml)
Sharwoods - Ready to Eat Prawn Crackers, 20 g
385 68 13 6
6,196 716 284 122
This was my cheat day from two weeks ago. It is quite typical for me to eat that much food, as it is even more than Tim Ferriss himself published in the 'Damage Control' chapter..
The problem is, I try to 'limit' myself on cheat days by just having a list that totals up to around 4500-5000 calories, but then I tend to eat MORE..Last cheat day (Saturday) I consumed probably around 8000 calories for the day once I totaled it up. I ask myself, why did I have to consume so much food? Simply because it is 'cheat day' and I am not gonna have another chance to indulge for another couple of weeks? I restrict my cheat days to every 10-14 days.
The reason I do this is because it sometimes takes up to a week for all carb cravings to go away and feel 'normal' again, even though I still ended up losing more weight after 7 days of a cheat day, and continued losing up until 11 days after the last cheat day, at which point I would always start to plateau no matter what I did- until having another cheat day at least.
I was fine for the first few cheat days, but after Christmas things started going wrong.. I would find myself having bigger and bigger cheat days, and sometimes they went onto being 2 or even three days of cheating, all totaling around a similar level of calories.
The good news, however, is that I am at my goal weight of 130lbs. I am at maintenance and I am slowly progressing through 'rungs' of adding more 'slow' carbs to my daily food intake. Currently I can eat a sweet potato at lunch along with 100g beans at each meal, plus an apple in the morning and a handful of berries in the afternoon, and maintain my weight very easily, in fact I will have to be careful not to lose anymore by neglecting my food intake. I currently get 2000-2200 calories, 120-140gr protein and around 80gr carbs on a typical day. After cheat days I always reduce carbs, usually all but green veg, avocado and green tea for two days afterwards to get the glucose out of my system.
In my dieting phase I would get 1300-1500 calories at the most, 100-110gr protein and 20-30gr of carbs made up entirely of green vegetables, up to half an avocado, coffee, green tea, a few nuts I would allow myself and spices.
Like I said, the major problems I am having are the horrible, crippling cravings I get to 'binge' on cheat days and for a good few days after cheat day. I think maybe it's because my blood sugar goes all over the place, even with a fair amount of damage control. Or maybe I am hypersensitive to refined carbohydrates..
But lets face it, my intake of sugar and junk is MASSIVE when I have a cheat day
Could my excessive intake of carbs on cheat day be setting me up for all the horrible cravings that I have to 'fight off' after cheat days? Because for a few days after, I simply long for the foods that make me feel so crap.. And how the hell my body can digest so much food is beyond me. Maybe my body is 'fighting back' against my weight loss too? I have lost over 30lbs in 3 months.
Either way, I know this is a long question, but can someone please help me? I feel as if I am addicted to food, and it almost seems to qualify as a form of binge eating. I do not want to let cravings 'overwhelm' my desire to keep my body and continue working on maintenance and eventually start Occam's in the summer/autumn.
The Best Answer
This is a great question and i know exactly what you are talk about. and it is a combination of psychological and physical. your body does take some time to get used to your new low weight but once you start to fell like this is my normal weight instead of my goal weight it will become alot easier mentally and physically to maintain. right now you mind is telling you that you are not suppose be this low in weight and i think this is part of the reason you seem to be sabotaging your cheat days. i went thru the same when i got to my goal weight 3 years ago and lost over 70 pounds. i didnt feel totally comfortable with my new body and i was constantly craving more fattening foods than i ever had. i had to start to believe that my new "goal weight" was actually my normal weight and allowed myself to fluctuate + or - 5lbs nothing more or less or i would spring into action. for a while i weight myself regularly everyday until i found that sweet spot where i could eat "normally" (but healthy) and not fluctuate pass that 5 pound threshold.
also i know some people can be lifers on scd but i think most people will have to use a less restrictive well rounded diet to maintain after they reach there goal weight. you can have burgers , ice cream, pizza everyday so a cheat day is never really necessary and still maintain your weight (this is how i lost weight before scd but it was slow 4 -8 pounds a month). you just have to choose the healthy version (that still taste good to you) and the right portion size at the right time (The Volumetrics Eating Plan book is a great resource for this) . for example a typical day maintaining the weight i was in my profile pic 192lbs was:
breakfast: 2 egg whites, 2 slices of turkey bacon, slice of avacado or 2% cheddar cheese w/ whole grain english muffin
lunch: whole grain bun or Ezekiel bun, w/ organic lean ground buffalo or grass lean fed beef part skim mozzarella, low fat mayo, baked sweet potato fries
dinner: lean protein (fish, beef, chicken) with fresh veggies
snack, apples, bananas, low cal popcorn , low cal protein bars etc
dessert (couple times a week): coconut milk ice cream, frozen yogurt, low cal popcorn, tostitos and salsa (always stopped eating 3 to 4 hours before bed)
on Saturday i would allow my self one cheat mean that was really bad like cheese cake but many time i didnt need it.
once you get the hang of it maintenance is the best time because even if you blow it one or two days it will only take a couple days to get right back to your "normal weight" and nobody will be the wiser . just make sure you track your weight everyday until your comfortable, do what you need to do when you gain too much and relax and enjoy food again in better moderation you earned it!! hope this helps
Why don't you try a cheat meal...say at lunch so you have the rest of the day to burn it off. Have it every six days so you aren't too far between treats. Don't go wild but indulge a little. Or maybe try to have healtier snacks throughout the day like fruit and yogurt. If all of the stuff you binge on makes you feel like garbage then skip it. Or you could pick one really crappy thing and just have a small amount. Since this diet is all about "hacking your body" to see what works for you maybe the crazy calorie fest isn't working for your body. It's time to try a new approach to cheat day It can be a new little experiment!
This is an extremely difficult habit to break (as I am finding out) and, in my opinion, the biggest downfall of SCD. It is initially very effective and appealing but it's effectiveness soon wears off as one approaches a goal weight.
I think Tim's ultimate goal was to foster a spirit of healthy eating and self control as well as experimentation. Sometimes i think he underestimated people's psychological attachment to food!
I think you know the answer to your own question. It's extremely difficult to break but I am having some success at present having a small dessert after my main meals on heavy training days (x3 a week). Best of luck.
SamGreen - I have to say I'm impressed w/ your cheat day binge! I had previously thought of you as son controlled and restrictive. One of the reasons I'm stopping this diet (besides the fact that I'm basically at my goal weight) is b/c I think the cheat day promotes unhealthy binging habits. I've been trying to stop the diet now for two weeks and every time I say I'm not going to cheat excessively on the weekends, I wind up doing it anyway out of habit. Then I'm forced to be ultra restrictive during the week to try to make up for it and not gain much weight.
My advice to you is the same as to myself. Try to start your 'cheat day' as just a normal day - eating non-SCD foods but not binging or eating tons of junk. Maybe allow yourself one dessert that day. If you are successful in this one day, do it again...THE NEXT DAY - don't wait a week. Keep doing this day after day as long as you don't binge. Work in your cravings one at a time (having a dessert every day or two). This is a healthly way of eating and you should be able to maintain no problem this way. Obviously you should monitor your weight just to make sure you don't start gaining - but I doubt you will if you keep your overall calories in control.
Good luck and keep me posted as to how it goes!
Try not to get into a habit of eating like this too often. I was doing incredibly well on the SCD for several months, hit my goal weight and low body fat and failed miserably on maintenance because I was eating like it was cheat day everyday. I'd try to go back to eating 1400 calories + SCD rules and then go right back to binge eating because of the bad cheat day cravings.
I ate just as much if not more than what you ate for a full month (and then some more ) and all the weight I lost plus extra got piled on really fast. (heck I couldn't fit into my "fat pants")
It got to a point where I could keep shoveling in food and my brain essentially turned off the function that told me I shouldn't eat anymore. (seriously, I was noshing non stop for 10 hours straight, sometimes hitting the 10,000 calorie mark. I was eating like a bulimic without the vomiting part)
All that insulin spiking can't be good for you health wise. You're still young but you do want to think about your long term health so even if I was upping the calories during the week with small cheats, I would advise not to binge eat like that every week.
On my last cheat day I went overboard. I didn't gain a ton of weight from it and was able to lose it again fairly easily - but the mentality of the day scared me a little, I felt like I was on a rampage eating my way through everything I could get my hands on.
I've done a few cheat days where it was scheduled on a work day, so I had the normal SCD breakfast and lunch and didn't have access to everything in the world, and that naturally limited the damage to a 4 hour window.
Today I'm trying a different tactic because I want to go to an indian buffet lunch but not go nuts for the rest of the day. I'm going to set up some 4hb food in the crockpot so for the rest of the afternoon and evening the smell of that will be all through the house tempting me, and it will be the most accessible food.
Feeling like I really understand where you are coming from tonight! I was supposed to have a "cheat meal" today, which I did successfully for lunch. However, I then ended up turning today into a full cheat day, which I'm not supposed to do as I am trying to be on the last mile. I think I'll end up losing this next week still, just probably not as much as if I were able to limit myself. (Totally agreeing/feeling @Beorn86 's answer here too)
One thing I was remembering today is that sugar/sweets stimulate the brain by activating beta endorphin receptor sites (these are the same chemicals activated by heroin and morphine). So if you feel (like I did tonight) -that you just CAN'T help yourself, in part you are struggling with the strong emotions/feelings of pleasure and addiction to the sweet in your brain. (For anyone with people in their family with actual alcohol/other drug addictions in your family (as I have) I don't mean to downplay that with sugar analogy).
Long term, I think my goal is to live 90% SCD with occasional fruits, dairy, and a sweet or two on days I train/workout more added in. For now -I think in order to reduce to just 1 cheat meal (which for me really is 1 meal and 1 dessert), I'm going to make it Saturday night (so I don't do it all day Saturday, and right now I don't seem to be quite strong enough to have a cheat lunch and be able to close the floodgates:) We'll see how it goes.
Good luck and let us know how things go! We're all rooting for you!