Can I cheat while eating low carb?

Ok, I hate the word cheat—it’s negative. Nobody wants to be, or to be caught, a cheat. But I will make peace with the ubiquitous dietary infraction—because what I’m about to tell you will challenge your inner perfectionist. Throughout my years in practice, I have learned that people rarely do everything they’re told, but what they do often works wonders

Jim came to see me after tracking his blood tests and finding himself fully type 2 diabetic. Excess weight and high blood pressure were unsurprising companions. Jim listened to the my Blood Code recommendations—keep carbohydrates to 5-10 grams at breakfast and 10-15 and lunch and dinner. And get some strenuous exercise on a daily basis even if it is only for a few minutes at a time.

I watched the path the blood sugars had taken over the years of test results and I fell into the perfectionist trap. I said that the time is now. That his insulin was still high and there was a window of opportunity to turn it all around and that he should go a hundred-percent!

Jim, astutely and more wisely said, “Great, I’ll do it, but I’ll also take a cheat day, once per week. I know myself and this will work better if it’s to me for the long haul.”

I was concerned—I wanted the best for Jim and his health and I greedily hoped he was all in. I know, who do I think I was. It turns out, I’ve had this lesson countless times over the years, and I am, really, starting to get it.

If good is good enough, isn’t that great?

Turns out Jim did great. Weight reduced – like a lot. And blood glucose went from moderately advanced type 2 to non-diabetic. So much energy has returned that his progress feeds on itself. You can hear Jim tell his story here.

I have since prescribed the cheat day – which in reality turns out to be a cheat half day or perhaps a cheat meal on a weekly basis. A high carb load in a vulnerable person affects metabolism for a couple days, so if it become every other day, the cheat becomes the rule.

As Holiday and dark-season eating kicks into gear, just remember a meal, and even a day, does not knock you off your horse—it’s merely a pause, one which can invigorate your commitment for the real journey of life, friends and family.