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Monday, 16 March 2009

Digging the Claws In

The concept of the cheat/treat/free/re-feed meal or day is discussed often around weight loss circles. There are whole diet plans based on 5-6 days of perfect low calorie or low carb eating and 1-2 days 'off'. Or the 90% rule which gives you room to eat whatever you want at some point.

As those of you who have been following a long for a while may know, I am not too good at knowing when to stop on my carb re-feed day and if I go too long feeling deprived, I just binge.

Here are my guidelines for having a high calorie/free day.

(1) Use all your calories in one meal. Don't add small amounts of treats all through the day as it just makes you want more and sometimes you lose a grip on when to stop. If you use all your extra calories up in one sitting, it means the rest of the day is just 'normal'.

(2) Don't wait until dinner for your high calorie meal especially if you are normally starving at dinner. (a) you won't have an opportunity to use up the extra calories, and (b) you won't have an opportunity to cut back anywhere else in the day without risking ravenous hunger.

(3) Have your high calorie meal at lunch or afternoon tea after eating lightly or normally before it. If it is the weekend I get up later than normal and have my normal breakfast, go to the gym and then go out for my meal. I have already skipped my pre-workout meal and morning tea and after a huge lunch I don't need afternoon tea either.

(4) Train hard before you eat your special meal. If you are going to bombard your body with carbohydrates you can at least hope some of them head straight for your glycogen depleted muscles. Plus you feel less guilty because you have already expended some extra calories.

(5) Eat fat, protein and carbs - don't try to leave one out because you will not be satisfied. Have the creamy chicken pasta or full fat cheese on your meat lovers pizza and have your dessert with full fat ice cream.

(6) Eat the whole portion - even if you are getting a bit full just keep going. It is better to be a bit stuffed than to feel hungry again a couple of hours later. Eat a main meal and then dessert. Don't save your dessert for afternoon tea or the sugar crash will have you snacking on everything in sight for the rest of the day.

(7) Savour every single mouthful. Concentrate on the taste and texture of your chosen food. See this meal as a way to pamper yourself and remind yourself that you deserve the pleasure of food when you plan for it and earn it.

(8) Make sure it is the best version of your favourite food you can get. Have the best fish and chips in town and the best bakery mud cake. Don't settle for a Big Mac, an apple pie and a caramel sunday unless you actually see them as gourmet food.

(9) Eat with someone you love. Especially if they have to put up with your whinging and cringing around food the rest of the time. Tell your loved one how much it means to you to have their support and that you are so happy you can have a proper meal with them some of the time.

(10) Forget the calories. Don't try to estimate the weight of the food so you can go home and log it in Calorie King. Just pick a round number (1,000 calories) and add that on at the end of the day.

So yesterday I did each and every one of my suggestions. When I left the house at 1pm for lunch at the pub I had eaten 323 calories and burnt 600 in the gym. Mr Katie had chicken parmigiana and I had fried baby potatoes with cheese, bacon and sour cream washed down with a single rum and diet coke [my first alcoholic drink since July last year]. On the way home I got a slice of caramel cheesecake from the Italian cafe which I ate at home with a scoop of Homer Hudson ice cream.

It was all freaking delicious, filling and satisfying. I didn't even think about dinner until about 8pm and then I just had some sugar free oat biscuits and sugar free ice cream.

The best way to have a re-feed day indeed.


  1. I'm drooling at the mouth reading this!

    Wish I was there with you to share the joy.

    You had it all under control. Another great re-feed day.

  2. Love this post! Thank you!