Quick tips for sustainable cheat days

Posted on June 12, 2017

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Jason, a client of mine, wanted to lean up.

We talked about cheat days, also known as free days. Here is an email exchange I added on to-

After someone gets into the flow of cutting, I’m a big fan of a free day.

For some, usually big eaters, an entire day might be too much. Where instead it’s better to make it half a day, or a e.g. two hour meal. Though even the biggest of eaters need to be seriously eating over a day to screw up the rest of the week. Can be done, but very rare. For most, they get into that free day and after a meal or two realize their stomach isn’t what it was. Where even if they want to keep eating, they can’t.

Because of that, a single meal doesn’t always get the job done. Because the stomach can’t ingest as much in one sitting as it used to, it’s common to do the meal, then a couple hours later be longing for “those” types of foods again. You end up not feeling psychologically satisfied. This is where half a day, or the full day, or one meal one day and another meal another day, make sense. In a way, the idea is get to the point you’re almost longing to stop eating “those” foods. Where you feel, “I’m kinda looking forward to dieting again.” It’s similar to how people feel after a hard night of drinking. They typically don’t want to drink for a while afterwards.

One always wants to be on the lookout for the slippery slope. The cheat day which turns into a week, a month, 20 pounds later “What just happened?”

I often advise doing free meals out of the house. Or strictly buying ingredients for a single meal at home. The danger can be in buying ingredients that will outlast the meal, or outlast the day, where then having certain things around becomes an avenue for eating those ingredients more often.

For example, rather than buy a supply of cookies in the hopes of having some at a cheat meal each week, it’s better to only have enough cookies for that meal, then not have any left around during the week.

Or it’s better to go the grocery store before making the meal, get what you want, rather than have all those ingredients laying around the kitchen the whole week. It’s good to think of willpower as finite, and there’s no point in using up willpower stores if it’s not necessary! After the cheat meal, you might think “Oh, no problem. I’ll leave these cookies in the cabinet and have some again next Saturday.” But then you come home Wednesday, from a work day which kicked your ass, and down go the cookies.


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Posted in: Losing weight