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Old 08-17-2012, 12:27 AM   #1
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One off-day a week?

Has anybody had success doing one off-day a week?

I notice that after doing LC last year I do well as long as I keep my head straight. I also noticed that I don't do well if I deprive myself from certain things completely.

So, I have decided to do one off day a week. I did 2 off days this past weekend, which led me to gain and lose, but I'm down more than I was last Friday, so it works for me. I can stay LC the entire week, knowing that I can have some high carb products that I love on day X.

I want to switch to 1 day a week (Saturday). Not go overboard, not pig out, just have buns for breakfast, fruit for lunch and a higher carb diner. And maybe a cookie or 2. Also, I will be doing P90 again on Saturday and Sunday mornings and maybe once or twice during the week. (I've also been lifting weights)

Anyone have experience with this way of eating? (LC 6 days, HC 1 day?).
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:02 AM   #2
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Doesn't work for me, slippery slope, 1 day keeps attracting friends until I am eating horribly and putting on pounds.

I do occasionally have planned cheats but it is every few months, not every week. However, I do have fruit, it is fine if you have climbed the owl ladder. Sara Lee no sugar bread for toast and low carb fruit. Low carb waffles or buns made from oopsie rolls for a higher carb treat would work. Sugar is additive, be careful.
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:37 AM   #3
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I've heard of it working for some but it doesn't me! I'm like xamier it's a slippery slope for me. Plus even if I gave myself permission to do that i'd feel so guilty! That's just Me though.
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xamier View Post
Doesn't work for me, slippery slope, 1 day keeps attracting friends until I am eating horribly and putting on pounds.

I do occasionally have planned cheats but it is every few months, not every week. However, I do have fruit, it is fine if you have climbed the owl ladder. Sara Lee no sugar bread for toast and low carb fruit. Low carb waffles or buns made from oopsie rolls for a higher carb treat would work. Sugar is additive, be careful.
I am aware of that But like I said, I have that part under control as long as I have a strict weekly plan.

I have not reached the OWL phase yet - but when I do, I do plan on eating fruit on a daily basis.
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:54 AM   #5
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Low carb eating is not very forgiving of 'days off,' and it may actually cause you more harm than good.

Limiting carbs changes your body from burning carbs for fuel to burning fat. The transition often takes 3-4 days. If you get your body into fat-burning mode, and then have a high-carb day, you switch back to carb burning--a different process for the body. When you do that, you will see an increase on the scales as you gain back the "Atkins advantage"--the water that accompanies the glycogen stores that you've just refilled in your muscles with those carbs.

It would take me the next 3-4 days to lose that water and get back into fat burning, so if you carb up every week, you'll stress your body going back and forth in and out of ketosis, and that can't be positive for weight loss.

There are many plans for losing weight, and if you feel too deprived on low carb to make it a consistent WOE, you should find a plan that's more congenial.

From experience, I can tell you that losing is the easy part--maintaining is fraught with challenges. You cannot eat much differently when you get to your goal weight than when you're losing--unless you want to experience rapid regain. So my advice is to find a WOE that enables you to lose but one that you know you can live with long term.
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo41 View Post
Low carb eating is not very forgiving of 'days off,' and it may actually cause you more harm than good.

Limiting carbs changes your body from burning carbs for fuel to burning fat. The transition often takes 3-4 days. If you get your body into fat-burning mode, and then have a high-carb day, you switch back to carb burning--a different process for the body. When you do that, you will see an increase on the scales as you gain back the "Atkins advantage"--the water that accompanies the glycogen stores that you've just refilled in your muscles with those carbs.

It would take me the next 3-4 days to lose that water and get back into fat burning, so if you carb up every week, you'll stress your body going back and forth in and out of ketosis, and that can't be positive for weight loss.

There are many plans for losing weight, and if you feel too deprived on low carb to make it a consistent WOE, you should find a plan that's more congenial.

From experience, I can tell you that losing is the easy part--maintaining is fraught with challenges. You cannot eat much differently when you get to your goal weight than when you're losing--unless you want to experience rapid regain. So my advice is to find a WOE that enables you to lose but one that you know you can live with long term.
I know you always mean well, but I wasn't really asking for advice. Just experiences, out of curiosity. I know myself (on LC and off LC) well enough, I think I am not going to quit doing LC, because it is the only thing that has ever worked for me (trust me, I've tried! .. and tried and tried and tried). I am also not looking to lose weight as quickly as I did last year. And if there is one thing I have learned on this forum over the past year is that everyone "low carbs" differently. Some people have success with things that others won't even give a thought (people eating high carb fruits on a daily basis, etc.). Nobody's the same and if this works for me, why not?

Last edited by NoelleSilvia; 08-17-2012 at 05:11 AM.. Reason: Edit & add
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:16 AM   #7
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I think you've just answered your own question when you said you know this works just fine for weight loss for some. So give it a try and see how it works for you. It'll either bring you some success at weight loss combined with the pleasure you seek with more variety in your food choices, or it won't work as you are hoping. So after a few weeks, it'll be easy to know you've got a way of eating that is golden for you.. or you're getting nowhere fast.

I remember when you did JUDDD awhile back, and that's a plan that allows you be be very low carb or high carb or wherever in that range you feel best at, but getting used to that Down Day for calorie control is hard for some. So good luck with this alternate plan!

Even though it won't likely keep you eating at a ketogenic diet level, that certainly isn't necessary for weight loss, so this may be just perfect for you. Let us know how it goes. Good luck!
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:17 AM   #8
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I don't think the off day should be an all out gorge fest,lol But I would focus on 'healthy,' carbs. Brown rice, yams, etc.maybe sugar free ice cream..stuff like that.

There are plans based on this way of eating that include free meals or refeeds, free days, etc..

Some people do better just planning there treats every once in awhile. do what works for YOU!

The weight gained is water and typically disappears in 3-4 days.
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:31 AM   #9
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I personally would not do this kind of plan for a couple of reasons. Most significantly is that I am not in control when I include carbs any higher than about 25g per day and I would not intentionally subject myself to how that ugly mess goes down.

That is me and my personal experience. If you feel that you know yourself well enough and want to be able to consume your favorite foods 1 day per week, you may want to look at another plan of eating because the ketogenic aspect of low carb will not be in play for any length of time and you will not ever get the benefits of it. It really takes up to 6 wks. to become fully ketogenic.

You might want to consider the possibility that your struggle with 'deprivation' may actually be a carb addiction and if this is the case, it can be a good plan to basically go cold turkey as in a strict induction and then close adherence to a vlc plan.
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:37 AM   #10
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I can just say that I got past a longish plateau after I finally stopped "playing with" low-carb. Once I decided to do it correctly, all the way to goal, I started losing steadily again. That's not to say I never slipped, but it was definitely rare or a mistake (selective eyesight when it came to reading a label, lol).

Once I reach goal (1/2 pound to go, yay!), I may have one free meal (not day) once every couple of weeks. Not sure yet.

But, like everyone else said, there's no "right" way for everyone. Having a cheat day once a week may ultimately help you get where you want to be. You can always tweak if necessary.
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:37 AM   #11
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I think the off days are PERFECT for someone in maintenance mode. I do it more often than not, and have been sustaining my weight (actually it's dropped a little bit) for over 3 months now.

I tend to just eat higher calorie rather than higher carb, because I just really love low carbohydrate foods. I occasionally will have cake or pizza on my off day, though. Experiment, see what works! But like others have said, it depends on where you are in your weight loss plan and your own personal relationship with the foods you eat.

Some may find themselves in danger of losing control of all of their eating if they let themselves cheat. I have no issue returning to carb counting and portion control immediately afterwards.

Hope this helps!
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:09 AM   #12
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I have found that I do better with allowing a higher carb allowance day to day (75-100), and making sure they are linked and balanced with protein, rather than allowing huge carb-fests (150+) one day.

75 carbs is still "moderate" carbs, especially compared to the 200+/day of the SAD. But it is low enough to keep me from regaining, and sometimes allows me to lose. (It also depends on calories for me, which is why I use the JUDDD framework to keep my calories lower)
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:33 AM   #13
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I used to be able to do that, but now that I'm older, it just doesn't work. I can eat an occasional higher carb item a few times a month, but that's about it.
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:38 AM   #14
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I think it may be ok as a treat now and then (not an all day pigging out feast) or for a celebration of some sort. My only problem with that is that I feel so darn guilty afterwards.... I hate the way I feel all bloated and such yuck!!!
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo41 View Post
Low carb eating is not very forgiving of 'days off,' and it may actually cause you more harm than good.

Limiting carbs changes your body from burning carbs for fuel to burning fat. The transition often takes 3-4 days. If you get your body into fat-burning mode, and then have a high-carb day, you switch back to carb burning--a different process for the body. When you do that, you will see an increase on the scales as you gain back the "Atkins advantage"--the water that accompanies the glycogen stores that you've just refilled in your muscles with those carbs.

It would take me the next 3-4 days to lose that water and get back into fat burning, so if you carb up every week, you'll stress your body going back and forth in and out of ketosis, and that can't be positive for weight loss.

There are many plans for losing weight, and if you feel too deprived on low carb to make it a consistent WOE, you should find a plan that's more congenial.

From experience, I can tell you that losing is the easy part--maintaining is fraught with challenges. You cannot eat much differently when you get to your goal weight than when you're losing--unless you want to experience rapid regain. So my advice is to find a WOE that enables you to lose but one that you know you can live with long term.
I know leo used the word advice and that was not what you wanted. But he also said in his experience...which is what I thought you did want. I think his advice through experience sounds very good...
I could not do the refeed every weekend because my body takes to long to get back into losing mode. All said I do eat off plan foods if they are something I haven't had before and want to try. I will also indulge once in a while if there is something WORTH going off plan for...but I am in pre maintenance. This works for me and you obviously feel you know what works for you . So you work your plan...don't let it end up working you.
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:07 AM   #16
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I really think the people who are truly successful are people who not only lost weight BUT also ones who have maintained for years, people who have made this a lifestyle. I like this forum because hearing from successful people who share their words of wisdom really helps me. I also think this because they have had time to really know what works for their bodies. The more I do this the more I realize that just losing weight is not being a success…it’s about feeling better and healthier, knowing what good food is, knowing my body, etc. Just last night I ate some nachos. Today, my weight has not gone up it’s the same. However, my stomach is a mess today AND I am craving and ravenous & want to eat everything in sight. Point is, for me, carbs are a trigger. Weekly indulgences would not be good for ME right now. I still have 20 lbs to lose. BUT maybe in the future I can incorporate some carbs. The only way to know is to try it out and see for yourself what happens. Keep us posted.
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:21 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoelleSilvia View Post
Has anybody had success doing one off-day a week?

I notice that after doing LC last year I do well as long as I keep my head straight. I also noticed that I don't do well if I deprive myself from certain things completely.

So, I have decided to do one off day a week. I did 2 off days this past weekend, which led me to gain and lose, but I'm down more than I was last Friday, so it works for me. I can stay LC the entire week, knowing that I can have some high carb products that I love on day X.

I want to switch to 1 day a week (Saturday). Not go overboard, not pig out, just have buns for breakfast, fruit for lunch and a higher carb diner. And maybe a cookie or 2. Also, I will be doing P90 again on Saturday and Sunday mornings and maybe once or twice during the week. (I've also been lifting weights)

Anyone have experience with this way of eating? (LC 6 days, HC 1 day?).
I have had great success though with the one free meal per week.

However, I still think one could "maintain' on your one day idea also, good luck!
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:30 AM   #18
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I never plan a cheat, but when "life happens", I forgive myself easily, and remind myself that some people "cheat" on purpose. I am more likely to go off plan to avoid hurting someone's feelings or to keep people from commenting on my "weird" choices. I'm certainly not ashamed of eating LC, but I don't want my food choices to be the topic of conversation.
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:31 PM   #19
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It's funny I have thought of this too, but when I have carbs I'm completely out of control. I can't stop eating and I'm always hungry minutes or a few hours after eating a large carby meal. Bloating sets in and then the downward spiral of not having enough carbs. I'm reaching for chips, bazooka gum, french fries after I leave work. A small fry I might add! LOL LOL. Insulin spikes up and down. It's such a rollercoaster for me.

With LC, I'm just easy....... 3 meals a day, rarely do I need a snack and if I do it's something LC and on to the next subject. My body is not talking to me constantly like it does when I'm eating carbs.

Honestly I think I'm heavily addicted to carbs. So reward meals or a day would be out of the question for me.

Good Luck to you and I hope it works.

Last edited by bmore4now; 08-17-2012 at 12:39 PM..
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:33 PM   #20
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Having a "cheat" day worked well for me in the past, but I never really did the whole day, just one meal on Sat. This time around I've eliminated the off plan meals because I can't seem to keep on plan once I've veered the tiniest bit. The last couple years has been a terrible restart cycle for me. I do great for a week or two, have an off plan meal, then another, and then 3 or 4 weeks later I'm restarting. This time I'm starting from scratch, no off plan, no breads, no potatoes, no pastas, and the big one, no alcohol.
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:54 PM   #21
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If you want to experiment with it, I'd recommend sticking to fruit, potatoes, and rice while avoiding sugar and wheat--those two things seem to have various bad effects independent of the carb load. I'd also aim for an off "hour" (one meal) and not a whole day.

Personal example: my most recent "splurge" was a batch of no-bake brownies made with cocoa, avocado, and dried dates--pretty sweet but no ill effects.
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:52 PM   #22
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Personal example: my most recent "splurge" was a batch of no-bake brownies made with cocoa, avocado, and dried dates--pretty sweet but no ill effects.
This reminds me of a recipe I once made from a historical cookbook. I love the history of food, and this was a modernized rendition of a Mesopotamian "Palace Cake". It was mostly sieved cottage cheese and eggs and butter, flavored with chopped dates and ground fennel seed. The dates were the only higher-carb item in the recipe, as I recall. It was very rich, and VERY good. Not very sweet.

I should look up that recipe again!
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:11 PM   #23
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When I was losing I took 1 meal off a week. The same night each week. I would eat usually pizza and ice cream It would be a way to subside my cravings and at least I had that one meal I could look forward to if I wanted something. I think if I didn't have a cheat meal a week I would have blown it a lot sooner.
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:27 PM   #24
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I'm going to add in a cheat meal per week. I have incredible willpower and I think it will help me white knuckle it through the week. I find if I don't do this by day 4 or so the cravings are unbearable. This week I knew Sat night was my night to have what I wanted so I've been able to stick with it.
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:41 PM   #25
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Why not just one cheat meal? A whole day every week seems a bit gratuitous.
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Old 08-18-2012, 11:23 AM   #26
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I take about a weekend off every month. This worked well for me when I had a lot to lose. Now that I am close to where I want to be, it takes me a few weeks to lose the weight I put on during my weekends off. So pretty much as soon as I lose it, I end up putting it right back on again. If I gave them up, I would probably lose more weight, but I do enjoy looking forward to my weekends.
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:02 AM   #27
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Last Christmas, when visiting my dad, I gave up low carb for the duration and went low calorie. If you are planning a cheat day, make sure you keep your calories low.

I think the problem with cheat days with a lot of people is that they eat lots of sugar, cookies etc. If you keep your cheat day at or below your calorie needs and you can quit after one day each week, it shouldn't cause a lot of trouble.

I have noticed that I go into and out of Ketosis very easily if I don't overeat.

Do be careful, it is a slippery slope to many. The only reason I went low calorie at my dads house was because of the difficulty of staying low carb without hurting the old guys feelings.
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Old 08-19-2012, 02:40 PM   #28
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Sounds like a great maintenance plan, but I won't do it when I'm still trying to lose. That one day a week would undo any losses that I may have had.
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Old 08-19-2012, 05:27 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karenann33 View Post
I'm going to add in a cheat meal per week. I have incredible willpower and I think it will help me white knuckle it through the week. I find if I don't do this by day 4 or so the cravings are unbearable. This week I knew Sat night was my night to have what I wanted so I've been able to stick with it.
This is exactly why most would say to do a strict induction and climb the carb ladder carefully...it eliminates cravings for most and helps us to stick with this woe withiut falling in and out of ketosis. jmo
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Old 08-19-2012, 09:18 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by picklepete View Post
Personal example: my most recent "splurge" was a batch of no-bake brownies made with cocoa, avocado, and dried dates--pretty sweet but no ill effects.
That actually sounds good, do you have the recipe where you could just copy-paste it or link it? (meaning not having to sit and type it all out.)
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