Counting Calories Sucks – The Cheat Day

by James on January 9, 2011

in Low Carb,Nutrition,Training Thoughts

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I looked down at the display on my Polar Watch. Fifty-seven minutes on the exercise bike, less than 200 calories. Hmm.

So, I spent an hour cranking away, at an admittedly slow pace, and burned 211 calories. Hmm. Looks like I did nothing to negate that McDonald’s Cheeseburger…and I had more than one.

Why did I eat three cheeseburgers, two-thirds of a pizza, an entire chocolate bar, a bottle of wine and some cocktails last night? Because I was hungry and that’s what I wanted.

Did I go to the gym this afternoon out of guilt? No, I was bored and wanted to read some of Gary Taubes new book. Which is why I was loping along on the bike. Even if you look back at one of my 20 mile bike rides I still fell short of canceling out that pizza.

The cheat day serves a purpose. First, it keeps me honest throughout the week. I make a mental list of everything I want to eat on Saturday and I usually end up eating it. Second, it helps maintain or increase my metabolism. I am not starving myself during the week but I do eliminate carbs. I like carbs, I like pizza, cheeseburgers and fries. The weekly cheat meal lets me eat all of this.

There is a caveat, Saturday morning I was 216 and this morning I weighed 223…Seven pounds. Fortunately that seven pounds comes from water retention and not fat. When the carbohydrates are shuttled into muscle as glycogen the have to take quadruple their weight by taking water with them. The insulin spike also causes the kidneys to retain more water.

I didn’t undo a few weeks of hard work in one night off the diet. By Tuesday morning my body will reset itself, I’ll weigh 215.8 or thereabouts and will be looking forward to Five Guys Burgers or a huge bacon egg and cheese bagel from e’Levin in Chicago.

Until then I’ll be eating protien and fat in the form of steak, bacon, eggs and other delicious items.

I had to laugh at the people sitting next to me at Whole Foods this morning when they commented that my box of bacon from the hot foods bar was going to make me fat and kill me. I proudly retorted that I had lost 70 pounds since April 2010 avoiding grains and embracing bacon.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Ellen January 9, 2011 at 3:17 pm

I love Atkins!

Mike Stenger January 10, 2011 at 12:48 pm

You sure did tell them sitting next to you at Whole Foods! Keep up the awesome work and thanks for leaving a comment on my cheat day post :-)

James January 18, 2011 at 5:28 pm

We prefer low-carb or high-fat to Atkins.

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