or Why Your Cheat Day Is No Longer Your Best Friend
Have you ever taken your cheat day while on 4 Hour Body, and then afterwards you wish you hadn’t gone so crazy? Do you get a little depressed about the jump in the scale afterwards, and then feel like you’re losing ground but you *have* to do the cheat day because everyone says it’s necessary, but you really don’t want to? Has it made you feel all conflicted inside?
(Before I get into this, if you just want the recipe, scroll to the end.)
We know why Tim Ferriss’ book says you should observe a cheat day. The idea is your body starts to adapt to the slow-carb way of eating and becomes efficient, which means it burns fewer calories. Or some people will say you eat less than you normally do, so your body starts to go into starvation mode (if you do it right, it won’t). In both cases, the idea of the cheat day is to essentially shock your metabolism awake so you can get back to the fat loss.
The idea of eating crap, while appealing on the surface, and trying to lose weight has always created a dissonance within me. Yet I know it works. It’s just the more I’ve learned about healthy eating and what foods do to our bodies, the less I’ve felt like I can support a cheat day the way Tim describes it in the book.
There is another, better way
If you’ve been following me for a little while, you’ve probably heard me mention Jason Seib, JASSA, and/or Everyday Paleo on Facebook and Twitter.
Jason struggled with a few questions of his own, like why certain things worked when it seems like they shouldn’t, and why things only work for a short period of time and then stop.
In particular, he started working with his wife. She’d been eating a clean Paleo diet for something like 7 years but was overweight. She’d make some progress here and there, but even having Jason, who is one of the best trainers around, as her husband, she never realized the health goals she’d wanted.
So Jason started digging into research and experimenting with what he found. When it was working with his wife, he tried it on a few others. And a few more. And each time the results astounded him.
It’s about avoiding adaptation
What he found out was that when you keep your body from adapting to one form of eating, it won’t burn efficiently, and as a result it’ll burn fat faster.
Basically, he’s developed a style of eating (I hesitate to call it a “diet”) that will let you get away from a cheat day and see much more consistent results. He calls it AltShift.
In a nutshell, AltShift is a two-phase eating plan: a 5-day, low-carb shift and a 3-day, low-fat shift. Then you repeat for as long as you want. You’re eating the right foods (it’s basically what most people would consider Paleo with the addition of some dairy if your body handles dairy well), and there’s enough consistency that it’s not hard to follow, but your body never has the chance to adapt to one way of eating. The result: better fat loss.
I’m just starting, but what I’ve read really resonates with me. People who have purchased the book and have been following it a bit are seeing great results as well. It’ll be great to see people have longer-term results with AltShift, since it’s the long-run plateaus that Jason is really trying to eliminate with this protocol.
I trust Jason a lot as a coach, and the results his clients on AltShift have had are astounding. I can’t wait to show you mine (when I have some).
My recommendation: if you have $25, buy the book (I did). It’s worth it.
There are lots of recipes too!
More than half of the book is actually recipes: sauces, breakfasts, quickies, dinners, you name it. I didn’t count, but I believe there are over 80 of them, and most of them are totally slow-carb compliant if you want to keep doing slow-carb while experimenting with the shift protocol.
Jason’s wife Sheryl came up with the recipes, and they look delicious. I’ve only made one, and Jason’s given me permission to share it with you here. It was tastier than I thought it would be.
- 4 cups chopped raw cauliflower
- 6 hard boiled eggs, sliced
- 1/3 cup chopped dill pickles
- 3 chopped green onions
- 5 strips of bacon, chopped
- 2 Tbsp pickle juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- pinch of pepper
- 3/4 cup of homemade mayo*
- 2 Tbsp yellow mustard
- Begin by hard boiling the eggs and cooking the bacon to your favorite texture.
- Add the first 5 ingredients to a large serving bowl.
- In a separate small bowl mix together the pickle juice, salt, garlic powder, pepper, mayo, and mustard.
- Pour the mixture over the salad and toss everything together well.
1. The book has a great recipe for mayo, and I have another one on SlowCarbFoodie.com.
2. I made mine without pickles and it was still delicious.
If you want even more recipes or just want to check out Jason Seib’s new AltShift program, then just click here.
Have you done AltShift yet? I’d love to hear your thoughts!