It’s nothing new that dieters often find themselves in a troubling situation where they end up cheating on their diet. The same happens to many Ideal Protein dieters.
It all starts with that “it’s just a little.”
Initially, you think that a bite of something off protocol won’t make much difference and you will make it up in the long run. Or, some people just can’t fight off the craving. Either way, you would end up feeling badly and eventually having to muster your motivation again.
In the long run, however, cheating on a weight loss program has a much more damaging impact. Let’s see how those little cheats make you regret it dearly.
How Does Cheating Undermine Your Weight Loss Progress
You Lose the Momentum
Suppose, you cheated just one day. You might think,
“That was just one day — it isn’t so bad and it’s not like I am going to do it again.”
Well, not true.
You didn’t lose one day, you lost the “momentum” that you have been working on up to that point. Even if you get back on track immediately, it will still cost you one more day of compliance (at the least) to get back to the progress point where you were before cheating.
Weight loss is like climbing up a hill on a bicycle. Stop pedaling forward and it’s bound to roll backward. Now, you will have to spend an equal amount of time and effort to gain back the lost ground.
Needless to say, your one day of cheating costs two days of recovery. So in that week, your weight loss progresses 5 days instead of 7 days.
You are Overworking Your Pancreas
Ideal Protein itself is a powerful weight loss program. If you have a small cheat on the protocol, you might still lose some weight.
You may be thinking that’s a good news thing, isn’t it?
Fairly speaking, yes and no!
Yes, because you started Ideal Protein to lose weight, right? But as you cheat on the diet, you are overworking your pancreas to produce insulin in order to absorb the extra calories.
You probably know it already, Ideal Protein works towards getting your physiological functions to a healthy state and a healthy pancreas is the key to attaining that.
The Emotional Damage
Cheating has a profound impact on your psychology.
Suppose you cheated and still made some progress. This will lead you to believe that it is “ok” to cheat since, apparently, you didn’t face any consequences.
What happens next?
Next time you would be much more comfortable cheating, which is a slippery slope. Maybe, this time you will cheat for two days instead of one. Because, well, you are still losing weight. The reality is, there are consequences. Maybe you lost 2 pounds that week but you could lose 3 or even 4 pounds if you hadn’t given in to the temptations.
The second consequence of cheating can be even more damaging. Even though you may “get away” with cheating, deep down you can hide from yourself. That feeling of guilt will slowly take a toll on you and diminish your self-esteem and confidence. Those two things are your best allies in weight loss motivation.
Little Cheats Add Up
Most likely, once you get away with one day of cheating, you will keep coming back. Chances are, it will become more frequent and before you know it, you have increased the cheat portion size.
Remember that you still need to burn those little extra calories you have consumed and gradually they will add up to be a giant monster you have to slay. This means extra effort, slower weight loss, and extra time spent on the protocol.
That is entirely not desirable. Is it?
The Factors You Need to Mind
You may think that sweeteners are sugar-free so, let’s use them to the heart’s content especially when craving some sweets. The thing is, whether it has sugar or not, sweet foods actually increase your appetite.
This happens because artificial sweeteners are low in sugar and hence they trick your brain from associating sweetness with high-calorie intake. As a result, you will crave more sweets and tend to reach out for sweet, comfort foods over nutritious ones.
An article published by Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine said:
“Experiments generally have found that sweet taste, whether delivered by sugar or artificial sweeteners, enhanced human appetite. Animals seek food to satisfy the inherent craving for sweetness, even in the absence of energy need.”
What does that mean?
It means as you lean on to sweeteners more often, your cravings will increase and you will want to take a bigger portion size, ultimately leading to overeating or off protocol food choices.
Healthy Fats (Like Nuts and Avocado)
Ideal Protein takes a modified ketogenic diet approach where you will eat low-carb, low-fat, and high-quality, adequate protein.
As stated, Ideal Protein in a low-fat ketogenic program. Some dieters often eat more than what’s allowed on protocol thinking it’s a keto diet and it’s ok to indulge a little more healthy fats.
Remember that fats have a lot more calories per gram compared to any other food and our body prefers to burn the dietary fat over stored body fat.
Take Avocado for example. Once Avocado consists of 2.7g of protein, 12g carbs, and 21g fat. While those are good fats, you still have to burn them.
Since the primary weight loss in Ideal Prtoein comes from fat loss, you will end up with slower progress.
Here are some fat sources that you need to watch out for: Butter, Cheddar Cheese, Cottage Cheese, Yogurt (low fat), Avocado, Dairy, Nuts, and Seeds.
Ideal Protein completely restricts any type of alcohol during Phase 1 and for good reason. Consuming alcohol is almost always a bad idea when on a diet.
Dieters often think they can drink one vodka soda or a small glass of wine on a keto diet and get away with it. In truth, they are getting away from accountability.
Our body burns alcohol first as a fuel source over anything else. Hence, when the body is using alcohol as a primary source of energy, the excess glucose and lipids end up as adipose tissues or fats.
Even worse, it’s easier to give on to temptations while you’ve been drinking. Even the a very motivated dieter will have a hard time resisting the urge when intoxicated.
That’s not all. A recent study revealed that mice given ethanol for three days showed a significant food intake increase. The study suggests that alcohol can actually set off hunger signals in the brain, leading to overeating.
Sadly, as humans, our “guesstimation” or “eyeballing” is usually pretty unreliable. Try eyeballing a tablespoon of peanut butter and compare to an actual portion of it.
Chances are, your guessed one tablespoon actually equals two. Now, put this fact to eyeballing your food portion. The margin of error is astonishingly bigger.
You may have heard that a palm’s worth of chicken or fish is 3 ounces, or the cream cheese you usually spread over your bagel is a teaspoon. But eyeballing your portions can sometimes make these estimates off by more than 100 calories.
That means you need to weigh food to get a more accurate understanding of portion sizes.
Sauces and Dressing
While sauces are a great way to spice up your food and make them more delicious, they still contain calories and carbs that can overall slow losses or even throw you out of ketosis.
You should use only the Ideal Protein approved dressings and sauces to stick to the protocol. Get some recipes here.
If you are on a diet, maintain Journal. Journaling fosters:
- Tracking progress
- Identifying trigger patterns
- Increasing awareness
- Identifying areas/foods of concern
- Extra calories
When you are not journaling, you have no way to track your efforts and the results.
Let’s discuss in a bit more detail:
Journaling keeps you accountable for your eating. It helps you keep track of good habits and identify and change any bad habits.
Think about it. You will obviously feel bad if you have to write in your journal that you have cheated that day. On the other hand, it is encouraging to note down you ate your daily 4 cups of veggies.
Helps You Remember
You are busy and it is hard to remember if you drank 20 oz of water or 40. Have you taken all your vitamins for the day?
Writing these things down will help you remember to stay on protocol and get all your required foods.
Remember, Ideal Protein has done all the work for you and you just have to follow the plan to be successful!
It Is Part of the Protocol
YES! Keeping a food journal is part of the scientifically developed Ideal Protein protocol. It will help you be successful!
We would not ask you to do it if did not help you! We want you to be successful and reach your health goals and part of that success plan is keeping a food journal. It has been proven that people who keep a food journal are more successful on their health journey than those who do not.
It Will Help You Maintain Your Goals
Not only will it help you while you are following the plan, but it will also help you as you phase off and enter into maintenance.
As you start to reintroduce new foods back into your eating, it is vitally important that you keep track of what you are eating. It can help you see where you need to make changes or even if you are eating enough to maintain your health goals. Keeping the weight off can be one of the hardest parts, but if you journal, you will be more successful!
To help you fight those cravings and stay away from cheating on diet, we offer complete support and guidance. You can always reach your coach via our electronic coaching system.
If you still have questions or struggling to get over cheating and lose weight, it’s best to schedule a consultation at the earliest.