Oct 15, 2011 12:27pm

HelpR HelpR
2 posts

Hello everyone, 4months ago I weighed 218.4 lb, I now weigh 189 lb. I was just wondering would it be okay for me to have a cheat day where I can eat what I want but not to much like once a week?
as long as I get straight back on my diet the next day. I weight train everyday and also go riding for 30mins. so would it be ok for me to have a cheat day? I am desperately trying to get down to 154 lbs

Oct 15, 2011 3:48pm

dianebl dianebl
942 posts

I Lost 20 Lbs! I Lost 50 LBS! I Lost 35 Lbs! I Burned 50K Calories! I Lost 5% I Ran 100 Miles! I Burned 25K Calories! I Walked 100 Miles! I Lost 20 Lbs! motivator I Lost 10 Lbs! I Burned 5,000 Calories! I Lost 5 Lbs!

that would depend. Whatever you want, no limits? no. You can easily undo the calorie deficit you created during the week in a single bingeing session. A meal where you can have a larger portions, or a small treat? Sure.

Oct 15, 2011 5:51pm

Masimuro Masimuro
5 posts

Top Contender I Lost 5 Lbs! I Lost 10 Lbs! I Lost 10 Lbs! I Lost 5 Lbs! I Lost 5 Lbs! I Lost 5 Lbs! I Lost 5 Lbs! I Lost 5 Lbs! I Lost 20 Lbs! Top Dog I Lost 10 Lbs! I Burned 5,000 Calories! I Lost 5 Lbs!

You are desperately trying to get down to 154lbs and you think about a treat day at the same time? No, stop it. Don’t reward yourself with food.

Oct 17, 2011 1:14am

FazzaManda FazzaManda
71 posts

I Lost 10 Lbs! I Lost 5 Lbs!

I think a once a week treat is something that will actually help you stay on track. But as Dianebl mentions you still need to be careful, “treat” doesn’t mean unlimited amount of calories!

For myself I limit a treat to one meal a week but only on those weeks that I have stuck to my plan and then on say a Saturday I’ll maybe have a takeaway, or something similar but still keeping in mind calories/fats/carbs.

It is possible to undo the good work you have done during the week if you over-do it so just loosen the reigns without letting go of them altogether.

Hope that helps. :)

Oct 17, 2011 12:31pm

huntercopeland huntercopeland
91 posts

Super-Ripped Gold Medalist

I see people do well with a cheat day added in and it helps them stay motivated. I’ve also seen other people erase all the good from the week with one cheat day, but it can work. Your best bet is to try it for a couple weeks and see how it works.

TIm Ferris has an interesting take on cheat days and recommends them in his slow-carb plan. You may want to check out his book: The 4-Hour Body. I got it on ebay for about $10 and it has a ton of interesting stuff in it.


Oct 17, 2011 5:59pm

Vaanja Vaanja
7 posts

I Lost 10 Lbs! I Lost 5 Lbs!

I’m no expert on anything, but it seems to me that having a ‘cheat day’ like that would only emphasize the ‘god i’m on a diet and this sucks’ part instead of embracing a lifestyle change. Wouldn’t that kind of mindset just pack the weight right back on after you met your goal?

Oct 18, 2011 8:17am

ericknight74 ericknight74
270 posts

The purpose of a “cheat day” is to act as a refeed for the body. You’re not supposed to just eat everything in sight. Higher complex carbs, low fat, moderate protein in order to increase leptin production. -EK

Nov 16, 2011 4:58pm

jstreams jstreams
4 posts

Definitely not. One binge can set you over the edge. I suggest indulging yourself once in awhile (ex. a piece of chocolate) but not hoards of food. Indulging yourself once in a while can help you NOT binge eat. Suppressing all your sweet cravings will lead you to binge eat. So just indulge on a little bit every once in a while is my advice.

Nov 16, 2011 6:48pm

bash8760 bash8760
20 posts

A cheat food in moderation is okay.
Just because you are on a “diet” doesn’t mean you can’t eat lots and well all the time. I had a small vanilla biscuit last night and stayed within my daily limit of 1200-1300 calories. Today I had a Curly Wurly chocolate because work is horrible today and it was a reward. But I’m still going to stay within my daily calorie goal. For me having a ‘treat’ every day or two but still staying within my calorie target keeps me sane.
If we have pizza or other takeaway (something that will definitely blow my calorie itake) I will make sure it’s on a day that I can do a fair bit of exercise or be careful about food for the next few days.

Nov 16, 2011 11:26pm

tomg81 tomg81
27 posts

I Lost 10 Lbs!

Although I agree with the general idea of allowing yourself a treat, I wouldn’t got as far as making it a whole treat day.

The general issue behind this is often a pattern of rewarding yourself with food. If you can learn to move your personal rewards from food to something else, you are less likely going to overeat on treats.

If you limit what you allow yourself to eat too much for too long, it is possible, that you lose control and just “have it”, which often means large quanities of the wrong stuff. Allow yourself snippets of treats you love and don’t tell yourself off for having them. If you keep a food diary, make sure you log your treats as well. You may find that one treat is perfectly fine within your daily limits.

Nov 18, 2011 1:10am

RHay RHay
59 posts

I believe that if it’s a small treat, like a piece of chocolate, is fine. But don’t binge eat or over-indulge because that would completely ruin your diet. I think that small treats every once in a while is the best way to go because in the long run you will be able to control yourself better. Depriving yourself of sweets all the time will eventually lead to binge eating, in my opinion. Good luck!

Nov 21, 2011 9:02am

daisymchll daisymchll
21 posts

I Burned 5,000 Calories! I Burned 50K Calories! I Walked 100 Miles! I Lost 20 Lbs! I Burned 25K Calories! I Lost 10 Lbs! I Lost 5 Lbs!

I also use a cheat day. I follow my diet plan similar to the weight watchers plan, where they give you extra points each week just so you can have those treats. Diets don’t need to be so restrictive. If you constantly deny yourself the things you love you have the chance to go overboard once you reach your goal and you go “off diet.” Someone else mentioned lifestyle changes in regards to not having a cheat day. In my opinion that is a wrong attitude. Your lifestyle change should include the foods you love in a moderate amount so you can be healthy and occasionally enjoy those things.

Nov 21, 2011 11:18am

WillpowerSuccess WillpowerSuc...
6 posts

Lookin' Sexy in 2012

I agree with daisy….I can’t believe how many people are so agaist a cheat day! I know many people (my self inclded) who lose weight with a cheat day…yes, it may mean it takes an extra few weeks to reacht that goal..but so what?
A. a cheat day helps boost metabolism…your body stops thinking “I need to store everything”
and B. It helpes you not cheat/fall of the wagon earlier in the week….like…ohhh i realllly want that icecream…but if i’m good until my cheat day I can have some then….insteadof "well, i’ll just have it and start my diet agai tomorrw = which becomes a never-ending cycle!

Nov 23, 2011 8:05am

Kahldris Kahldris
5 posts

Why not workout heavy one day and fit a cheat meal into your caloric and macro nutrient goals?

Nov 23, 2011 8:08am

Kahldris Kahldris
5 posts

Although I am not against cheat days strictly, there is no study that has ever shown having cheat day will boost metabolism.

People love to justify these things in their heads.

Nov 23, 2011 8:52am

ericknight74 ericknight74
270 posts

^^Untrue. Research actually does indicate that a “cheat day,” if done correctly, increases leptin production, which increases fat metabolism. It also has an added benefit of regulating other hormones which decrease during dieting. Ideally a cheat day would include 20-50% more calories than normal, mostly from low sugar carbs, for 12 or so hours. It’s not willy-nilly eating, but it’s also not the myth you present it to be. -EK

Nov 25, 2011 7:59am

Kahldris Kahldris
5 posts

Please link me to said study, I would like to see it.

Not trying to be an ass but I would actually need to see the study before I believe you.

Nov 25, 2011 8:50am

ericknight74 ericknight74
270 posts

There are several studies related to this, and I’ll link a few, but it’s not really even an issue of “studies.” It’s what the body does- basic biochem in respect to how it processes foods and their effects on hormone levels.


^^This one showed an increase of 28% in plasma leptin levels associated with a refeed.


Same here.

And this one: http://www.solorwell.com/human-hormones-notes-l…
gives a basic outline of leptin in the body and how it can be manipulated, concluding, “Best way to raise leptin is a high carb/high calorie refeed of at least two meals (eg lunch + snack).”

If you do a search for Lyle McDonald onthe topic, you can find a lot more. -EK

Jan 15, 2012 3:52am

LabDaddy LabDaddy
14 posts

EK, thanks for the links.

I’m a believer in cheat days. I lost 30 pounds (205 —> 175) over about six months incorporating one per week (usually Saturdays).

A couple of observations.

1. While I generally have no issue with my routine diet and enjoy it, I’m human and enjoy some “off limit” foods. :) I found that having a cheat day got me through the week as, during about the first 3-4 days after the cheat day, I had no desires for the “off limit” foods, and the last couple of days I could look forward to my cheat day. :)
2. As time went on, even my desire for the “off limit” foods on my cheat day diminished.

Jan 17, 2012 9:21pm

jannet1 jannet1
30 posts

I would say it all depend at you whatever you want and what you do . Well I would say that is a bad attitude. Your lifestyle change should include the foods you love in a moderate amount so you can be healthy and occasionally enjoy those things.
hormone replacement therapy

Jan 18, 2012 7:46am

ramsker ramsker
57 posts

There’s really no need to hold off and wait for a “cheat day” . . . in the end it’s calories in vs calories out. IMHO you are better off working some of those foods you want into your eating plan more often and then you are less likely to crave and binge on them—just keep within your target macros and it frankly doesn’t really matter if you have some ice cream or pizza (etc) on a given day. If you are apt to go way overboard on a cheat day, then it might not be a good choice. Up to you.

Jan 26, 2012 9:15am

redheadangel911 redheadangel911
3 posts

I Lost 10 Lbs! I Burned 25K Calories! 200 Crunch Tummy Squeezer Gold Medalist I Burned 5,000 Calories! I Lost 5 Lbs! Champion

Ramsker, I agree. Moderation is key. For example, I keep a stash of my favorite “fun size” candy bar so when the occasional urge hits (and I have calories available) I can have one and satisfy my craving without being tempted by a full size version which could wreck my intake for the day.

Jan 27, 2012 6:08am

jared767 jared767
30 posts

It’s ok to have a cheat day but don’t go too far. Calories add up fast. Of course it’s a cheat day, but you can spend the next 2 to 3 days working off the damage from that. So what’s the point of all this hard work if you’re setting yourself back at least one day. Almost 30-40% of your week is lost due to your cheat day and recovery.

A cheat day shouldn’t even be a day. It should be a meal or two on that day where you eat a lax version of your regular diet. These meals should not include deep fried meals on fast foods and 2 pints of ice cream because those are foods you need to avoid forever. There’s nothing wrong about having a little ice cream, but a pint of it?

Think about it.

Jan 27, 2012 7:08am

ericknight74 ericknight74
270 posts

Jared, I disagree. The entire point of a cheat day- if done correctly- is not about the amount of calories you consume but about how those calories affect metabolic function, in particular hormonal response. I have dieted down for three dozen bodybuilding and powerlifting events and always kept a well-planned cheat day (yes the entire day) in my diet until two weeks out of weigh-ins. Those cheat days generally included 300-400 grams of carbs (much higher than usual), moderate protein (down from 200g to around 150), and very little fat. Calorie-wise, I usually went over my cutting diet amount by 25-30%, and never had a problem making weight or looking good on stage. -EK

Jan 27, 2012 8:18am

jnolley jnolley
7 posts

I’d look at a cheat day as a maintenance day and not exceed the limits set for a maintain diet. It is a neutral day. Sometimes you just need to break up the routine. It just means it will take a bit longer to lose the weight. However, in my case, I recently hit a plateu and raised my intake a little which got me back on track.

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