Butter Cookies
Creative Commons License photo credit: Alex Bellink

The holidays are right around the corner, cookies are being baked, food is being fried and you are pumped to throw the veggies and fruit out for a day and eat a fracking cookie.

Cheating is often a part of the diet as is eating veggies and fruits. For most, cheating allows the psychological release of wanting to eat crap food again. It keeps us on point Monday through Saturday if we know Sunday is our cheat day. Some research shows it can even increase thyroid enzyme production.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s better not to cheat then to cheat, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Holidays are often the best excuse we find to cheat, so what the hell?

If you’re going to send your body to hell in a handbasket, do it in style. These below tips will keep your body in check and will severely limit the amount of damage done. Even more, you may be able to prevent what I call the “paleo hangover”.


1. Make Your First Meal Of the Day Paleo and Primarily Protein.


By eating protein as your first meal it will limit your hunger and prevent you from going all out when it comes to the crap foods. It will also start your day right, and will get a decent macronutrient balance flowing before you send it to hell.

Protein is the macronutrient often forgotten when we cheat. Most foods are sugary or loaded with fat. This large protein meal will keep your amino acid pool filled (at least for a bit) so decreased function of vital systems or cell degradation does not occur (yet).

Protein is also the director of cell communication and nutrient intake, without proper protein levels you will throw your body into chaos, never mind adding cheating foods on top of that.

There are two more rules relating to this that will greatly reduce the damage of cheating:

  1. Eat protein first at every meal
  2. Eat as much protein as you want. (More than likely, you should eat more than you think.)

Both of the above reasons are due to satiety (getting “full”) and attaining a somewhat not so shitty macro balance in your body.


2. Use Cinnamon


Cinnamon has been shown to reduce the glycemic load of a meal by up to 20%. This is HUGE. This is like eating a cupcake and your body responding as if it were a couple of apples (maybe not that extreme but you get the idea!). This is a great way to reduce insulin overload and reduce the rising of your sugar levels. 2 Tablespoons should be sufficient. You can add it to anything you would like; I add it to my coffee. Drink while you slam the cakes.


3. Exercise For 3 Minutes Pre-Meal


I do not mean a full-blown WOD before the meal (but that would be even better), just a simple exercise. I got this idea from Timothy Ferriss via the Four Hour Body. By exercising pre-meal you open up the cells lining your muscles, which will intake the incoming glucose from your meals, rather than ending up being stored as fat. To get this response just do 30 air squats, 30 push ups and 30 sit-ups directly before a meal… and yes, for time.

You can also take ALA (alpha linoleic acid) which promotes the same effect.


4. Don’t Drink Your Calories


This is completely optional as I know there are some awesome shakes you want to have on a cheat day. If you can, avoid liquid meals. This is because you will consume large amounts of calories and will remain hungry, only to eat more crap later on. If you can stick to all solid foods you will more than likely cut down on the overall amounts you digest.


5. Go to Sleep On A Paleo Meal


If you don’t want to wake up with what I call the “Paleo hangover” be sure to make your last meal (even if it’s literally right before bed) a Paleo meal. This will give your body what it needs while you sleep to repair, digest and get things back in order. It will make you feel a lot better waking up, instead of waking up like you were coming out of an exorcism.

There you have it! By following these steps you can minimize the damage on your cheat days.

Go eat some cookies for me!


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