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Old 04-05-2008, 09:00 PM   #1
Alex Ji
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I feel sick (post cheat meal repercussion, Zone Diet and then some)

We just had our first cheat meal after strict (okay, 95%) zoning for 2 weeks and this is what I get?!

(As I started to write this, I had to take a little break to the bathroom -- to throw up! Man, I wasn't kidding about feeling sick.)

It's difficult to say whether we were more excited or petrified at the prospect of eating how we used to, that is, before blocks and scales, measuring cups and spoons and the clear distinction between the good and bad proteins, carbohydrates and fats became such a staple of our existence.

But today was the day; we've been eating super clean for 14 days and our leptin levels needed a jumpstart. We tried to devise our plan of attack but found with surprising difficulty where to begin our carbfest. Pizza? Donuts? Ice cream? Hell yes, ice cream! But first we needed to go to the supermarket, so along the way Sean started his onslaught with 2 fast food cheeseburgers. Effin gross is what I say. I'll have cheat meals but I still won't touch fast food. I cut them out of my life 3 years ago and don't miss them at all.

Anyway, we got to the supermarket, went straight to the bakery section and decided on some muffins and coffee. As I sat down with my 5 lb chocolate muffin, I was torn. All this great effort of discipline and now I was about to abandon it. "This is for a good cause!", I had to remind myself. Force myself to eat a muffin?! Really, who am I?

Once we got home, I cooked us up a pasta storm with sweet Italian sausages, onions, garlic and spinach. Sliced up the baguette and tossed it in the oven with pat after pat of butter and fresh garlic dazzled on top. Opened up my giant bottle of Tabasco sauce for the kill. This was like coming home, or so I thought.

I finished off my cheat meal with chocolate ice cream, rice pudding...and, as I've already mentioned, a pukie in the bathroom.

Like Barry Sears says, "You're only one meal away from being back in the Zone" and we absolutely can't wait.

Hey, did I mention yet that eating clean, measuring my food, being in the Zone works? Well, it's working for me and I'm kind of astounded actually. For a few months when I first started dabbling with the Zone Diet I was offended, angry, frustrated and miserable that I was, according to the charts, only allowed to eat 2-3 blocks per meal + 1 block snacks. This didn't make sense to me. But try and try I did and it finally clicked. My meals are not only filling but fulfilling and delicious. My cravings for sweets have measurably decreased. And I've lost 10 lbs in the 2 months. I could go on but my insulin level is through the roof right now and the dreamworld awaits me.
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Old 04-05-2008, 09:35 PM   #2
Kelly Flora
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Re: I feel sick (post cheat meal repercussion, Zone Diet and then some)

good post! I'm just starting and feel how you did in the beginning with 3 block meals and 1 block snacks. So, you have encouraged me to keep on keeping on!
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Old 04-05-2008, 09:41 PM   #3
George Mounce
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Re: I feel sick (post cheat meal repercussion, Zone Diet and then some)

Exactly, I can't eat junk anymore and well, I'm very glad for it.
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Old 04-05-2008, 10:36 PM   #4
Alex Ji
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Re: I feel sick (post cheat meal repercussion, Zone Diet and then some)

Kelly, I hope the encouragement lasts!

I can't emphasize enough how fraught with distress I was in the initial stages (many many fruitless and half-hearted attempts -- I wasn't ready, in denial, stubborn and unwilling to let go of the only way I'd known). Having to alter a lifetime of eating habits to what I now consider to be the only way, the Zone way (gawd, that sounds corny!) was not easy, but seeing the reward take place now, right now, is so gratifying. It's a lifestyle change for us. When we go shopping, we stay in the outskirts of the market. We don't buy anything in boxes except for eggs. Lucky for us we love vegetables and we've found the right proportions to fill us up every meal. We buy bulk, chop & store bulk and cook bulk. This makes preparation much easier. I also like to weigh my protein blocks (usually grilled chicken breast) and store them in storage bags so that I can grab them and go when I need to. Another thing I do with grilled chicken breast is shred them as little as possible and mix them into my salads. Shredded (versus whole) gives the illusion of getting more in volume. Hey, it works for me, man! We still have bagels and ice cream and cheesesteaks, etc. every now and again but when we do we always tell ourselves that we're only one meal away from the zone and we're satisfied. But best of all, we love what we're already eating on the Zone Diet. Happy campers we are.

Greg, yeah, why would anyone want to eat garbage, uh, junk, right? I was there not too long ago, eating anything and everything my voracious and insatiable appetite beckoned of me, especially sweets and breads. Now, I DEFINITELY prefer this way of living to the former.

I saw the light, I saw the light.
No more darkness; no more night.
Now I'm so happy no sorrow in sight.
Praise the Lord, I saw the light!
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Old 04-06-2008, 06:18 AM   #5
Jack Gayton
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Re: I feel sick (post cheat meal repercussion, Zone Diet and then some)

I had a similar experience last night. We went out for dinner last night and I decided I was going to get whatever I wanted. Before the waitress even took my food away after, I felt awful. Looked at my wife and said "This just isn't worth it". It pretty much ruined my evening because all I could do was go home and crash on the couch and complain about how awful I felt.

I think my cheats are going to be few and far between from now on. Zone can really change the way you look at things.
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:44 AM   #6
Bryan McWilliams
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Re: I feel sick (post cheat meal repercussion, Zone Diet and then some)

I am always a little surprised when folks go off the deep end on cheat meals/days. You really can't Zone well, without doing the research that will totally convince you not to fill up on garbage anymore.

I'm not being judgy here, just noting behavior that I don't 'get'.

I am pretty zone strict all work week long (egg white omelettes for b'fast, huge lunch salad. Whatever the family is having for dinner). Been at it since mid January. I still weigh and measure frequently.

I guess though, that I kinda "low level cheat" a good bit of the time. I've posted here before about my success with Zone, even though I have 2 Guiness every night. Last night and night before, I ate 1/2 of a grocery store Mrs Fields cookie (1 block, crappy ingredients, yes.) I will eat a teaspoon of cake when it's in the house. I keep a 1 serving bag of Kettle brand Thai potato chips in my desk. Takes me 3 - 4 days to snack it away. I probably eat 1 70% cocoa dark chocolate bar a week (nibbled, one square at a time). While some of these things will spike insulin, they won't in the small quantities that I enjoy. And they feel like a treat, so they are a treat.


And all these little cheats keep me satisfied, and I think, keep me from going off the deep end.

In 10 weeks of Zone and kettlebells, I've lost 20 lbs, while (according to Zone BF calculation )- adding 3 or so lbs of muscle. And I'm 51. Wearing clothes I haven't worn in years.

I am not trying to preach. But I will tell you that the more closely you manage your diet, while still allowing room for yourself to be human, the better you will do. And as we all can see, a cheap carb binge sucks.

At my company, one of the "benefits" is free snacks. You can guess what kind of crap the choices are. Before I started getting my health back, I binged on this junk all the time. So easy to wolf down 2 bags of chips, or 2 bags of cheez its. Nowadays, I head straight for the fruit, and an occasional mozzarella stick.

I gained 40 lbs over the last few years eating garbage. No more. I'll skip a meal, rather than eat crap.

There are a few things I will NOT eat:
- any storebought muffins, rolls. etc They are HUGE.
- fast food fries
- deep fried anything (except occasional tempura - yummmmm)
- supermarket candy bars etc

Tonight I will grill burgers for the family. (grass fed). We'll have home cut fries (and I'll eat one or 2). I'll have my burger on top of 1 slice of Ezekiel brand sprouted bread (1 slice = 1 block..a real zone bargain).
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Old 04-06-2008, 09:51 AM   #7
Steve Ericson
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Re: I feel sick (post cheat meal repercussion, Zone Diet and then some)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy Ji View Post
I saw the light, I saw the light.
No more darkness; no more night.
Now I'm so happy no sorrow in sight.
Praise the Lord, I saw the light!
Sandi Where did you get that quote from?
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Old 04-06-2008, 09:59 AM   #8
Steve Ericson
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Re: I feel sick (post cheat meal repercussion, Zone Diet and then some)

Bryan, I only do "little" cheats too on a fairly regular basis (A good handful of chocolate chips after dinner, some caesar dressing with salad etc). I wonder if there is any advantage to "big Cheat meals" occasionally and extremely strict eating on a regular basis, besides reminding yourself how crappy you feel?
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Old 04-06-2008, 10:16 AM   #9
Alex Ji
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Re: I feel sick (post cheat meal repercussion, Zone Diet and then some)

Jack, our cheat meal was necessitated to take place due to 2 main factors: Barry Sears and leptin.

Most people have heard about the Zone here and in one of Dr. Sears' book, he advocates cheat meals as a reminder of how straying away from the Zone will leave you feeling like, to sum it up most gracefully, crap, but what exactly is Leptin?

Leptin (from the Greek word leptos, meaning thin) is a 16 kDa protein hormone that plays a key role in regulating energy intake and energy expenditure, including the regulation (decrease) of appetite and (increase) of metabolism.

After some reading on this protein hormone called leptin and its relationship to insulin, carbohydrates and fat loss, a cheat day/meal, as it's been truly and duly noted, seems to be essential in getting those leptin levels back to normal and fat-burning-operational mode. There's an interesting article in T-Nation called the Leptin Manifesto (not entirely w/f/s):

Quote:
We know that leptin levels decrease by about 50% after only one week of energy restriction, but fortunately, it doesn't take nearly that long for leptin to bump back up with a substantial increase in caloric intake. In fact, research has shown that it only takes about 12-24 hours. (27, 55, 61) So, the answer to the fat loss catch-22 lies within strategic dietary cheating.

By strategically cheating with high calorie foods (and yes, even stuff like pizza, ice cream, wings, cookies, burgers, fries, etc.), you can give leptin and metabolism a major boost mid-diet which sets you up for plenty of subsequent fat loss when you resume your reduced calorie eating regimen. This means greater net fat loss week after week, and ultimately, a much more realistic, maintainable way to bring you to your leanest condition.

In order to get a strong leptin response from overfeeding, there needs to be plenty of carbs in the mix. In fact, the relationship is so strong that research conducted by Boden et al. at the Temple University School of Medicine shows that leptin levels will not fall even in response to all-out fasting so long as insulin and glucose are intravenously maintained. (16) Pretty interesting stuff!

Because of this carbohydrate-insulin-leptin relationship, it makes sense that foods combining both carbs and fat (like those mentioned above) work best for reversing the adaptations caused by calorie restriction because of the synergistic insulin response they produce. But even more importantly, this relationship gives us an indicator of just how important and useful carbohydrates are on "diet" days.
So, you see, Brian, we took this upon ourselves as a challenge and dove straight into carb heaven/hell last night and immensely curious to see what the outcome in the next coming weeks will disclose for us. Did I think I was going overboard? Not really. Did I anticipate such a negative reaction from my body? Bloody hell no. But, it was eye-opening to say the least and reaffirmed the path we're on. Honestly, it just took this one time, of what we considered a moderate cheat meal, to realize "Hey, we don't miss this at all!" and we both declared afterwards that eating in the Zone was it for us. The article from T-Nation about leptin and our decision to make this an experiment is only one angle, of course, and each individual needs to assess their own diet needs, goals and experiment through a trial and error basis and see what works. It's definitely a process but worth every effort, block by block. We're staying in the zone, baby.
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Old 04-06-2008, 10:37 AM   #10
Bryan McWilliams
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Re: I feel sick (post cheat meal repercussion, Zone Diet and then some)

I guess I had heard the leptin info, but forgot it.

So far things have been going so well for me, that I haven't had any thoughts to take a different approach. I guess if I hit a big weight loss stall, I might give the big ole binge a shot. But I think a piece fruit pie is about as big a gorge as I could do, given my feelings about food.

I used to be a major carb binger. Whoole bag of potato chips in a day, 3 - 4 fistfuls of pepperidge farm goldfish, cookies, bagels, on and on.

After the past 10 weeks, none of that appeals to me at all. Like I said earlier, I still have a bit of a sweet tooth, but a bite or 2, rather than the whole damn thing, satisfies me.

I am also trying real hard to avoid over confidence (the sin of pride?). I have only been at this for 10 weeks after all. I am no expert. I know too well from experience how easy it is to throw myself under (not just off) the wagon.

It will be really cool to hear you guys' results in the weeks hence. Thanks so much for starting the conversation.
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