So I blew it last Sunday. I've been eating strict to my macros for 16 weeks and have had 4-5 bad days total. Last Sunday Buck and Wendy brought pizza and cookies over for my wife Kisa. I inhaled it all. My daily calorie intake is supposed to be 2,600 cals and I ended up at 4,200 cals!!! BAM! It was delicious, I felt sick all night, felt hungover the next day, had a renewed sense of purpose for my nutrition program. Let's face it we're all human and it happens....and it will happen again. So here is what I've learned:
- If you go all day feeling like you're denying yourself something tasty but unhealthy, you're probably about to fall of the wagon. Usually you cave in the evening and you're probably going to fail "BIG". At this point I should be telling you about moderation and all that bullshit, but I say "Get it out of your system!" Eat enough that you're disgusted with the idea of having it again anytime soon.
- If you fail "BIG" just get back on your diet the next day. Expect at least 2-3 days with the scale moving up because of your bad day. In total it takes about 5 consecutive good days to completely erase the damage from that 1 day. In the scheme of things it's not a big deal. But this is interesting to note because many of us think we deserve a cheat day every week. You can see that if it takes you almost a week to undo an evening's worth of binge-eating then 1 day every week means you'll never make progress with your weight loss.
- Record your macros when you binge-eat. I usually have to wait until the next morning. Logging it that same night is too depressing for me. Don't hide it, log it! Logging it is your way of declaring, "Hey, I'm a friggin' human!!". And it provides a few learning experiences for you: a) how many calories are in those cheat meals. b) how long it takes to erase the damage it did to you c) if you get right back on your program it won't have any long lasting impact on your progress.
- If you are good for a long time your body will have become used to your clean calorie appropriate diet. When you binge you will feel much worse physically than you used to. Soak up that feeling, it's going to motivate you tomorrow to get back to business and also make you think twice the next time you think of falling off the wagon BIG.
Closing thoughts: learn to fall of the wagon in a "small" way. Sometime when I know I'm going to not hit my numbers because of a cheat I just say "screw-it" and binge-out. But allowing yourself a donut or a few slices of pizza once in a while even though it's going to cause you to miss your macros is good and you'll feel fine after and you won't have to pay a 5 day penalty. In fact if you fail "small" you may not even notice any negative affects. Anyway, it's all a learning process so don't beat yourself up or hold yourself to a standard of perfection. We're human and we gotta stay focused on the "long-game". You should be in this for life, so a few days here and there doesn't mean anything.