Your Pig Day — Surprising Key to Long-term Nutrition Discipline

Eating well for life is partly about having a sound and practical plan, and (even more) about following that plan. We shouldn’t discount the importance of the “plan” part. So many “diets” or “programs” are harder to stick to than they need to be (or have a cost level few can sustain for the 10-20,000 days of living and eating we OlderBeasts have in front of us).

But this post is about the second challenge – following the plan. Let’s start with two premises:

1. We are all going to “cheat” vs. any plan sometimes (for me, that’s pizza and ice cream)

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Eating well for life is partly about having a sound and practical plan, and (even more) about following that plan. A Pig Day every so often can help you stick to a plan.

We shouldn’t discount the importance of the “plan” part.  So many “diets” or “programs” are harder to stick to than they need to be (or have a cost level few can sustain for the 10-20,000 days of living and eating we OlderBeasts have in front of us).  I start to touch on a simple suggested approach to nutrition in this post, and will go deeper on that in the future.

But this post is about the second challenge – following the plan.  Let’s start with two premises:

1. We are all going to “cheat” vs. any plan sometimes (for me, that’s pizza and ice cream)

2. For many personality types, once you cheat a little, you end up cheating a lot. Said differently, a lot of us tend to be binary in self-discipline: either you’re following this eating plan 100%, or you’re not (and if not, it’s open season).

That’s why I consciously plan a “pig day,” and urge you to try it.

How it works:  Six days a week, stick to your plan…not just “mainly,” but 100% (this is easier, knowing you haven’t completely sworn off pizza, ice cream, Doritos, whatever your things would be).  On pig day (for me, usually Saturday), eat whatever you want – and don’t spin up negative mental energy or self-criticism over it.

The pig day has several important virtues.

⇒ Knowledge of the planned pig day helps you stay “pure” for the other days…

⇒ …and if you do stay pure six days a week, you’ll be eating well 85% of the time

⇒ You might start to find good habits (and results!) you’re reinforcing six days a week start to create a little bit of binge-limiting discipline on your pig day.  I.e., it might turn out to be more of a pig half-day, or a pig meal.  If so, now you’re up to 90%+ of your time eating well.  Brothers, I say we should “declare victory” if we can live that way, sustainably.

⇒ Also—this is controversial, not proven—some believe there’s a limit to how many calories your body can absorb in a day, or in a meal. If this is true…then you’re better off eating 1,400 extra calories on a single pig day during your week, versus 200 extra calories each day of the week.

⇒ Finally, a good pig day re-motivates you to get healthy in your eating for the six days that follow. You’ve satisfied the “bad” foods urge…and maybe even created a little “useful self-disgust” which makes you extra motivated to work out and eat well as atonement!

Guys, I think people tend to overthink some aspects of nutrition planning (or they’re financially motivated to make you overthink it).  We can develop a pretty simple plan to eat right and take care of ourselves – to look good, feel great, improve athletic performance, and add more days to our life’s hour glass.

I urge you to try the pig day approach as part of the way you uniquely tackle this for your own benefit and lifestyle. Let us know what you think!

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.” (-Ralph Waldo Emerson)

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Why “Solitude + Exercise” is a Key Wellness Formula

One of the great things about certain types of exercise is that we can address two vital questions with one single action: Am I getting enough physical exercise? Am I getting enough high-quality solitude?

I’m willing to be the Oracle of the Obvious sometimes (just ask my wife or kids) But I won’t belabor the “why exercise?” question here.

But let’s discuss “why solitude?” and also “why is exercise time especially good solitude?” These should be prominent themes for any guy doubling down on body-and-soul health.

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OlderBeast: Five Things to Know About It for 2017

Happy new year, brothers (and sorry for the “clickbait” title of this post – I hate these “X things” headlines, but in this case it feels authentic… though I still won’t do it again until 2018, promise).

Since OlderBeast.com just kicked off recently, this may be the first you’re hearing of it. So, this post is to introduce the concept and suggest a few articles on fitness, nutrition and wellness to help make 2017 your greatest year yet.

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Fitness Planning & Gear , Philosophy & Motivation

Six Fitness Actions You’ll Thank Yourself For *NEXT* Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you have much to be thankful for this year, man. Even while you gratefully make note of all that, this is also a good time to think ahead.

What would you additionally like to be thankful for next Thanksgiving?

What if on Thanksgiving 2018 you could take a personal inventory and conclude:

1. I’m staying more motivated for fitness – and avoiding major backslides

2. I’m eating better (not perfectly, but better)…and I feel better for it

3. I forgive myself for not always following my fitness plans…but I hold myself more accountable to usually do so

4. I’ve varied my fitness routine, so I’m in better all-around shape than I was a year ago

5. I’m using exercise to better combat stress and make my life feel more spacious

6. If needed, I overcame aches-and-pains to do these things – instead of letting 2018 be a year of narrowing possibilities

Dude! That would be an incredible “thanks” list. So enjoy the coming weeks of 2017 wrap-up and holidays, yes. But I invite you to also make this time a springboard into a meaningful 2018. (Don’t wait for the cliched New Year’s Resolution.)

Here’s the why-and-how of six actions you can take, starting now, to add to your “thankful for” list for next year.

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Fitness Setbacks: You WILL Overcome! (Here are Suggestions to Help)

As 40+ guys living in the real world of work, family, and our own not-bulletproof anatomy, setbacks to fitness and nutrition plans are inevitable.

In the last decade, mine included plantar fasciitis (foot/heal pain), a strained rotator cuff, and sporadic right knee pain…not to mention crunch times at work that constrained exercise as effectively as any injury.

With “experience being the best teacher,” the OlderBeast tenets of fitness variety, workout/recovery sequencing, and personal time prioritization help minimize such setbacks. But still, they’ll happen – so here are a few suggestions for dealing with injuries and fitness interruptions in a way that minimizes impact, and even gets longer-term benefits from them.

4 Comments
  1. […] principals a little bit more, both on do’s & don’ts and quantity control.  Also, have a pig day or at least a pig meal once a week.  This small “planned deviation” is a […]

  2. […] is to correlate these.  If I “blow” a workout plan I often feel the urge to also act in “pig day” mode. Do yourself a big favor and stay strong on […]

  3. […] you’ll care about OlderBeast posts on getting enough rest/recovery time, or leaving a “pig day” within your diet […]

  4. […] Within a normal guy’s life, these things aren’t bad. You’re having fun, spending time with friends and family, not “obsessing” on nutrition and making it a source of stress in and of itself. For these reasons, I often have a “pig day.” […]

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