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  1. #1
    cache49's Avatar
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    Cheat Day: Excessive? Opinions

    Hey guys, hope everyones well....been away for a while out of the country working but heres my deal. Quick stats: 32yo, training 14yrs, 5'6'', 175lbs realistically...12 BF or so to shoot high. I have figured my BMR and daily calories requirements to be approx 2800 given my excersise level etc. My diet is tailored to approx 2350 cals, 61gr good fats (nuts and fish), 159 carbs (most all in oats for breaky, PWO and PPWO) all other meals are low carb pro/fat, 275gr protien. Anyhow...i always feel so guilty after a week of hard work crushing back a pile of garbage on cheat day so i keep it limited. People say that a few cheat meals are a must, both for sanity and to shock your system and avoid getting in a rut. Heres what i usually reach for on cheat day.

    7am Breakfast: Three pancakes w straberrys and whip w glass of OJ

    3-4pm: Personal size ( 4small pieces) panago meatlovers followed by a Dairy Queen MINI kids sized blizzard, reese peanut butter cup (im a ice cream junkie, lol)

    Given my weight and the fact that im obvoiusly trying to cut here is this excessive? Thanx all for any opinions....cheers.

  2. #2
    scotty51312's Avatar
    scotty51312 is offline Transformation Challenge Trainer
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    I prefer to have my cheat all in one meal, and usually as a PWO meal

  3. #3
    nguadagno's Avatar
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    yeah i hear everyone talking about how serious you have to take diet and like my family got pizza last night and i felt guilty eating one slice so i just stuck to my diet, but like would one slice of pizza really kill you? obviously if it was every other meal but still, i mean im 19 i kinda wanna eat a little junk food while i can not gain 40 pounds off it hahah

  4. #4
    cache49's Avatar
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    but like would one slice of pizza really kill you?

    Hells no...it is important to cheat. I had the pleasure of training with a carded pro femal BB. She has stood on the Mr.O stage and has recently placed top ten....thats all ill say but she insisted to me that cheating was quite important, like i said, to keep you sane when your looking down the barrel of a 16 week strict low cal/carb diet. Im just curious about how much is too much? Everyone is different...i have friends that can eat whatever they like whenever they like and maintain single digits BF naturally. I am deff not one of those.....i gotta work for every pound i loose. I gain easy, but also get fat easy....lol

  5. #5
    Damienm05's Avatar
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    You're cutting. You should not cheat. Period.

    You're slowing down the pace at which you'll lose the fat big time.

  6. #6
    cache49's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scotty51312 View Post
    I prefer to have my cheat all in one meal, and usually as a PWO meal
    I think your on to something there, even if it is simply phsycological peace of mind.....i see some guys just go balls deep all day. I just cant do it....id end up with an eating disorder in the corner with my finger dwn my throat....i allready usually do my cardio twice on cheat day just to ease my mind.

  7. #7
    cache49's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damienm05 View Post
    You're cutting. You should not cheat. Period.

    You're slowing down the pace at which you'll lose the fat big time.
    Really?.....hmm, deff food for thought...literally. That being said why do almost ALL diet article and examples dissagree with this....just curious...

  8. #8
    Damienm05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cache49 View Post
    .i allready usually do my cardio twice on cheat day just to ease my mind.
    If you're increasing cardio accordingly, I take back my statement that you're really negating progress. Still, a cheat day is just too much and is bound to slowly but surely hurt your eating habits. If you feel you truly need it to stick to a diet, get in a monster full-body workout every few weeks and then eat at a buffet and stuff your face for a PWO meal - this is the best course of action IMO - understanding that when you leave the restaurant, it's over and that while you may gain some water weight from the "dirty" food, you'll be taking advantage of an anabolic state to the fullest.

    Still, don't let anyone tell you that any kind of cheat is necessary or beneficial unless we're talking about a long-term keto diet or something. If you have the willpower to stick to the diet 100% and not veer away, even for a single meal - you'll get where you want to be a lot faster.

  9. #9
    scotty51312's Avatar
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    I've actually had some self control issues and everytime i screw up i double my cardio that day to punish myself.. It would be much easier to just not screw up lol

  10. #10
    Damienm05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cache49 View Post
    Really?.....hmm, deff food for thought...literally. That being said why do almost ALL diet article and examples dissagree with this....just curious...
    Can you site some for me?

    I think that maybe for the average housewife dieter who is severely restricting calories/nutrients by just eating 6" subway sandwiches, lettuce, and Special K to the tune of 600 calories per day, the implementation of a cheat meal may convince their bodies to leave a state of starvation and allow for the release of some previously horded fat. However, that doesn't describe anyone here - we're bodybuilders and even when on a strict cut, we're still getting plenty of real food. It's calories in vs. calories out provided that starvation isn't a factor and a cheat meal/day results in excess calories which reduces progress. I mean, there's no mitigating factor bud. If you eat a couple thousand calories over TDEE on a cheat day and you're eating 500 calories below on diet days; you're negating a few days of dieting.
    Last edited by Damienm05; 03-13-2011 at 06:47 PM.

  11. #11
    LatissimusaurousRex is offline Senior Member
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    Cheat meals aren't really necessary, you just have to draw the line how quickly you want to reach your goals and how much of the "good stuff" you want to eat. Whether it be once a week, bi-weekly, or once a month, you're not helping your body burn fat/gain lean mass with these sugars, refined carbs, bad fats, and processed foods. It doesn't mean you aren't DEDICATED because you like to enjoy pizza or cheesesteaks once in a while, but it's not gonna help. I personally don't have a set cheat day, but if I feel like having something "good" I will, it's prob a few times a month though. I never feel guilty for it because my routine is good and I know I won't slip into some sort of bad diet binge. A tip though to make you're cheat meal not as bad is to make it yourself. You can buy the better alternatives (whole grain, low fat, sugar free, etc) of foods from the store and make it at home vs going to a resturant and just getting some sort of 2,000 calorie bomb. Just cause it's a cheat doesn't mean it's got to be the mother of all cheat meals.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by LatissimusaurousRex View Post
    Cheat meals aren't really necessary, you just have to draw the line how quickly you want to reach your goals and how much of the "good stuff" you want to eat. Whether it be once a week, bi-weekly, or once a month, you're not helping your body burn fat/gain lean mass with these sugars, refined carbs, bad fats, and processed foods. It doesn't mean you aren't DEDICATED because you like to enjoy pizza or cheesesteaks once in a while, but it's not gonna help. I personally don't have a set cheat day, but if I feel like having something "good" I will, it's prob a few times a month though. I never feel guilty for it because my routine is good and I know I won't slip into some sort of bad diet binge. A tip though to make you're cheat meal not as bad is to make it yourself. You can buy the better alternatives (whole grain, low fat, sugar free, etc) of foods from the store and make it at home vs going to a resturant and just getting some sort of 2,000 calorie bomb. Just cause it's a cheat doesn't mean it's got to be the mother of all cheat meals.
    Great post.

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    cache49's Avatar
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    Totally agreed.....that sheds some light on it from different perspective for me. How bad do want it and how long do you want to take to get it. Great food for thought. And Damain, what you said about eating 500 under every day and then 2000 over on cheat day...that was the exact thought that got me going on this. A weeks hard work doesnt and shouldnt equal a all out binge. Thanx guys....

  14. #14
    charcold is offline Associate Member
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    Another problem is that a cheat "meal" usually starts a cascade of trash. If I have to eat crap for whatever excuses, i seem to spiral downhill for the complete day because of the frustration of the first cheat meal anyway. I seem to accept the "well it doesnt matter anymore for today" mindset too easily. So its best for me to just completely not cheat.

  15. #15
    scotty51312's Avatar
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    agree with lat, My cheats are controlled to a extent. I'll either have a super high carb meal or a super hight fat meal but i try to avoid combinging the two

  16. #16
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    Im currently dieting and have one all out cheat meal each week

    The day of my cheat meal is a non training day followed by another non training day, i also eat it late at night and the following day is the one day i dont do cardio

    LOL

    Im still doing ok

    If u schedule a cheat meal in just make sure that u stay strict all week each meal each cardio session

    I also drop any additional fat on my cheat meal day to try and balace the books

  17. #17
    nguadagno's Avatar
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    if im bulking is it really that bad to cheat? im not talking about cheating a whole day, but lets say my family gets like chinese, is it really that bad if i eat a eggroll once a week hahah

  18. #18
    zaggahamma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damienm05 View Post
    Can you site some for me?

    I think that maybe for the average housewife dieter who is severely restricting calories/nutrients by just eating 6" subway sandwiches, lettuce, and Special K to the tune of 600 calories per day, the implementation of a cheat meal may convince their bodies to leave a state of starvation and allow for the release of some previously horded fat. However, that doesn't describe anyone here - we're bodybuilders and even when on a strict cut, we're still getting plenty of real food. It's calories in vs. calories out provided that starvation isn't a factor and a cheat meal/day results in excess calories which reduces progress. I mean, there's no mitigating factor bud. If you eat a couple thousand calories over TDEE on a cheat day and you're eating 500 calories below on diet days; you're negating a few days of dieting.
    this made me go back to my charts and go hmmmmmmmmmm
    really sheds light

  19. #19
    azizi123 is offline Banned
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    Well... For last 6 weeks the worst thing I've eaten is White rice... I plan on starting bulking diet on Monday, it's my mates b day on Friday so going out for dinner so I'm gonna get a starter, burger, chips, onion rings :-) can't wait!!!! No alcohol tho...

  20. #20
    baseline_9's Avatar
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    How dare you talk about burgers chips and onion rings

    You ungratefull bastard

    Lol just kidding

  21. #21
    azizi123 is offline Banned
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    :-p when it comes to it, il prob feel bad, and order steak and a jacket potato or something... I need will power tho to order shit' as I dnt plan on any cheat days/meals for 12 weeks starting Monday :-)

  22. #22
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    Ideally if you keep it narrowed down to a single cheat meal, that would be your best bet. A cheat 'day' is too excessive IMO. It would be great to schedule this meal late in the day, on a day before an intense workout such as legs. Sh!t, even as a pre-workout meal wouldn't be a bad choice. The point here is you can have the cheat meal and still put it to good use to some extent.

    Sorry if any of this has already been said, I didn't read all the replies.

  23. #23
    musclestack is offline Productive Member
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    The way Damien put it is also my perspective. Let's say with a calorie deficit of 200 calories per day created from eating under TDEE, you are in a 1,400 calorie deficit for the week. Accompany that by a calorie deficit created by cardio of about 500 calories a day, and you're basically at almost a 5,000 calorie deficit. If you go and have two value meals at McDonald's consisting of 2,000 calories apiece, you've basically thrown away about 80% of all the hard work you've done that week.

    And after you've had that cheat meal...........was it really worth it??

  24. #24
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    Now I will say that if you do things right; there can be mitigating factors. I don't want anyone reading what I said in black and white and then killing themselves.

    If you deplete muscle glycogen with a very low-carb day accompanied with a couple intense cardio sessions in the 48 hours preceding a huge cheat meal, you can buy yourself a "buffer zone" for carb intake. Meaning that before excess carbs spill over into fat stores, you can probably get in a pretty nice cheat meal. But remember, this doesn't apply to things like donuts, cakes, and loaded baked potatoes that are more fat than carbs and super high in calories. But you know, a bunch of Cracker Jacks, Rice Cakes, Angel Food with strawberries - the low fat sweets. Even if you did make some poor choices, you could negate enough of the calories to neutralize any real damage with this technique provided you don't lose control and binge. You've still gotta keep an eye on the calories obviously but my point is, dieting is a lot more complex than just calories sometimes.

    But yeah, if you're just eating indiscriminately based on foods that you've been craving in large quantity and it's not a "carb refeed" to any extent, just as I stated before and Musclestack reinforced, you're wasting your hard work.

    As you read this, you're probably thinking: "Yeah, but I don't want to eat rice cakes and baked potato chips for my cheat meal." - Haha, that's the point; everything good comes at a cost. Ask anyone who used their CKD carb-ups as an excuse to eat whatever they wanted, failure was imminent and at a permanent cost to their eating habits.

  25. #25
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    I work too dam hard to cheat and the guilt kills me, i've been cutting 6 weeks and had 2 slices of pizza and bitched about it for 3 days..

  26. #26
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    Yeah. Even if the cheat is responsible, I'm not a big enough man mentally to handle the mental side effects that come with it - especially when water weight is a factor. I accepted that I make myself far less miserable by just embracing the cravings and never rationalizing a cheat. In fact, I think most people would be better off psychologically to do the same, which is ironic since cheating is supposed to alleviate the psychological anxiety of a diet.

  27. #27
    musclestack is offline Productive Member
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    Damien-I can totally relate to the carb refeed days on CKD leading to bad eating habits. I was so strict with what I ate during the week that when Sunday rolled around, I was eating things that I wouldn't have even considered eating if I had been on a more balanced diet. A CKD, if done properly, is not for the weak-minded, even if you CAN eat a lot of 'junk food' during the week (which I didn't by the way; kept it all EFAs). It's very difficult to stick to starchy carbs on refeeds.

    OP-Sorry if it seems as though I'm hi-jacking. Hope this post can, in some way, contribute to answering your questions though.

  28. #28
    Damienm05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by musclestack View Post
    Damien-I can totally relate to the carb refeed days on CKD leading to bad eating habits. I was so strict with what I ate during the week that when Sunday rolled around, I was eating things that I wouldn't have even considered eating if I had been on a more balanced diet. A CKD, if done properly, is not for the weak-minded, even if you CAN eat a lot of 'junk food' during the week (which I didn't by the way; kept it all EFAs). It's very difficult to stick to starchy carbs on refeeds.

    OP-Sorry if it seems as though I'm hi-jacking. Hope this post can, in some way, contribute to answering your questions though.
    Yup, glad you posted this. As Fireguy said a while back in a post I'll never forget, "If people just learned how to eat in the first place, an extreme diet like CKD would never be implemented in the first place."

    Really got me thinking. Anyway, sorry OP if I'm contributing/causing any derailment here but I think it's a good addition to the thread as it relates closely. If I had to narrow it down to a general thesis:

    Avoiding cheat meals by implementing impulse control will ultimately teach better dieting habits. The notion that if you don't have one, you'll eventually go nuts and eat everything in sight goes out the window when you've already proven your dedication.

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