It's an interesting story. I was riding the trainer at a later than normal time and happen to catch the Dr Oz show. Normally my inner monologue goes as follows:
- Dr Oz show starts.
- Look at it for a minute and digest what garbage he has now.
- Think to self, this dude is a quack.
- Change the channel to something more inspiring or informative.
He announced his Day-Off Diet. He packaged it up like it's something new, but in reality it's been around for a while in the dark little circles of the inner webs you talk about at triathlete Christmas parties and stuff of legends.
Simply put, you eat a sensible diet for 6 days, and 1 day you can eat what you want.
- Not really counting calories
- Eat healthy fats
- Eat within reason on your day off
- Pick your day off to work with your life - parties, gatherings, etc
Here's the catch, it's not that new. Dr Oz just put some marketing on it and now sells it as a diet plan to compete with the other 1000 out there.
I've been subscribing to this method since over a year ago around Dec 2014.
Before that I was racing IM distance events, eating freely while trying to keep the bulk of it "healthy", but when you burn thousands of calories in one day, two Chipotle burritos won't hurt you. Problem was I did lose weight while in the highest volume phase, but it was blind luck trying to remember if I ate too much junk in what days and how often.
Ask any triathlete that's been doing it for a while about race weight and sit back for a 3 hour diatribe into what that means.
Before IM distance races, I clocked in from 190 to 195. Not bad as I was more into weight lifting, but bulky for wanting to go long course. I focused on eating a little better and while training for IM Lake Tahoe, I was around 185 to 190. Not bad. Problem was it was hard to maintain in off season and I got to 190 to 195 again.
Flash forward to 2014 IM Chattanooga and getting some insight into macronutrients and food tracking. I'm an avid MyFitness pal tracking daily eating. I track calories, carbs, fat and protein. You need them all in the right balance to function optimally and once you get into the habit, it's easy to meet your weight goals and adjust for training and off season. I was clocking in around 170 to 175 and I wasn't starving!!!
6 days I eat pretty clean. Some traveling days for work are hard to meet the goals, but these days you can find options on the road, in airports and at hotel restaurants. It can be done.
The chosen off day, it's game on!
Challenge accepted, IHOP.
So what's the point of this post?
I always raise an eyebrow when you see the fast food deals for so much crap food for so little money when you have to pay $4 for a little tub of blueberries. Eating intentionally and being healthy about it is HARD WORK. Well worth it, but hard.
For once, a "fad" Dr Oz show was worth it's salt to watch.
The Day Off diet should be the Day Off Lifestyle.
Lets face it, fast food and crap food that tastes great and is in plentiful supply is not going away anytime soon.
Why torture yourself by cutting it completely out?
This gives you some actual real life tools to cope with trying to maintain a healthy weight and being able to enjoy the fun things as well. I'm in my offseason and I survived Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas eating like a pig for 1 day a week and I'm still keeping 170 to 175. It's not rocket science, but it takes dedication and a decision to stay on track.
Results are real, you just have to find a lifestyle that works for you and stick with it.
Just keep in mind what season you're in whether or not your day off includes 10,000 calories... it's easy to do.