Just some background info. I've been dieting and trying to lose bodyfat since March 12, 2003 and progress has been good. I've gone from about 207 lbs to about 178 lbs in this 5 month period. I know I have lost no LBM.. in fact all my muscle groups have gained significant strength. I have 2 questions.
1) This past weekend I decided to allow myself to relax and cheat all I want since I haven't done that in 5 months. So for 2 days I literally ate anything I wanted to with no limits. Afterwards on Monday, I went from 178 up to 185 (always weighing myself in the mornings). I said to myself, ok it's just temporary water weight and it'll go away. But now it's Thusrday, and I'm still 182.. 4 pounds higher than my low from prior to the binge weekend. Surely all the water weight has to be gone by now? Did I seriously gain 4 pounds of fat from 2 days of cheating? If so, that is seriously depressing and I vow never to cheat like that ever again while dieting. I am so frustrated that 3-4 weeks of progress has been lost. Or does it simply take longer than 3 days to lose all the water weight gained from binge eating?
I consider myself to be someone with slow metabolism.. perhaps I'm not someone who can get away with cheating while on diets?
2) How long is too long for dieting? It's been over 5 months. While progress has been steady (with the exception of the situation explained by my last question), is dieting and being in a constant caloric deficit good for me for extended periods? I have not yet reached my goals, but should I lay off the diet and resume it later.. or should I simply continue until I hit my goals no matter the duration of the diet?
Thanks in advance for any advice guys!