The Issue with Cheat Days

 

Why Cheat Days Are a Bad Idea & What to Do Instead

Video taken from the channel: Kinobody


 

The Importance of CHEAT MEALS For FAT LOSS (You NEED To Do It This Way!)

Video taken from the channel: Ryan Humiston


 

Stephanie Buttermore | Cheat Days, All In, and the Problem With The Fitness Industry

Video taken from the channel: Every Damn Day Fitness


 

Will a Cheat-Day Ruin My Ketogenic Diet? Keto Expert Dr. Brett Osborn

Video taken from the channel: BPI Sports


 

The Problem with Cheat Days

Video taken from the channel: Sarah Moran Nutrition


 

The Big Problem With “Cheat Days” (Do THIS Instead)

Video taken from the channel: Sean Nalewanyj


 

CHEAT DAYS / BINGE EATING / REFEEDS | What’s The Difference?

Video taken from the channel: Stephanie Buttermore


 

Addressing My Cheat Days

Video taken from the channel: Stephanie Buttermore


 

Stephanie Buttermore | Cheat Days, All In, and the Problem With The Fitness Industry

Video taken from the channel: Every Damn Day Fitness


 

Why Cheat Days Are a Bad Idea & What to Do Instead

Video taken from the channel: Kinobody


 

The Importance of CHEAT MEALS For FAT LOSS (You NEED To Do It This Way!)

Video taken from the channel: Ryan Humiston


 

The Problem with Cheat Days

Video taken from the channel: Sarah Moran Nutrition


 

The Big Problem With “Cheat Days” (Do THIS Instead)

Video taken from the channel: Sean Nalewanyj


 

CHEAT DAYS / BINGE EATING / REFEEDS | What’s The Difference?

Video taken from the channel: Stephanie Buttermore


BINGEING AND “CHEAT DAYS” Overeating or bingeing on a cheat day or meal not only results in excess calorie intake, but is often followed by feelings of guilt and shame that typically lead to another period of rigid dietary restriction. The Problem With ‘Cheat Days’ I indulge in treats often. Usually in the form of chocolate. But I refuse to call it cheating, and I think everyone else should stop using that word, too. The problem with cheat days is that they make foods feel forbidden, which makes it easier to go overboard on them.

Allowing yourself to have the foods that you want (in moderation) helps you build trust in yourself and regulate your intake without external rules. This. And this is how reckless “cheat days” where food intake significantly increases and goes completely untracked can become a pretty serious issue For example, let’s say you were following a standard deficit of 500 calories below your maintenance level. (This is what I. The Problem with Cheat Days You’ve committed to eating healthy. You want to look and feel great, and you’ve stuck to your diet an entire week already.

You feel good about how you’ve done and think you deserve a gold star or that cupcake that’s calling your name. The Problems With Cheating Aside from the most obvious potential issue here – which would be not using these methods correctly (i.e. doing it too often, turning it into a crazy binge eating session/day, etc.) – here’s what I found to be the 3 biggest problems Problem #1: “Cheating” Is A. There’s also a common misconception that cheat days can help boost your metabolism.

The general concept: When you eat less, your metabolism slows down to. Cheat days are not only pointless but can also damage your progress and relationship with food. If you do want to eat more food during a diet, a better strategy is implementing weekly refeeds where you increase calories to maintenance for a day or two. Ultimately, refeeds are just a tool you can use as you see fit. Of course, everyone’s body is different, so some people can get away with more cheat days than others and still get results.

However, as a general rule of thumb, you should have more days of intermittent fasting than cheat days. After all, they are called cheat days, they should be a special reward not a regular part of the routine. When your cheat day incorporates a lot of high-fat foods your leptin levels drop for up to 24 hours, reducing your metabolism and making it more likely to retain those added calories as fat.

BUT Leptin levels rise when your added “cheat day” calories come from carbohydrates causing your metabolism to increase. This is the goal!

List of related literature:

Another common mistake is indulging in no-holds-barred cheat days.

“Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body” by Michael Matthews
from Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body
by Michael Matthews
Waterbury Publishers, Incorporated, 2019

I never take cheat days away from myself, period.

“The Laid Back Guide To Intermittent Fasting: How I Lost Over 80 Pounds and Kept It Off Eating Whatever I Wanted” by Kayla Cox
from The Laid Back Guide To Intermittent Fasting: How I Lost Over 80 Pounds and Kept It Off Eating Whatever I Wanted
by Kayla Cox
Kayla Cox, 2018

This concept of “cheat days” to eat junk food is still counter­productive to your entire objective and should be avoided.

“Vegan Bodybuilding and Fitness” by Robert Cheeke
from Vegan Bodybuilding and Fitness
by Robert Cheeke
Book Publishing Company, 2011

I don’t love the term “cheat day” because that suggests some guilt or being bad, but call your off days whatever works for you.

“Complete Keto: A Guide to Transforming Your Body and Your Mind for Life” by Drew Manning
from Complete Keto: A Guide to Transforming Your Body and Your Mind for Life
by Drew Manning
Hay House, 2019

Itell myself that a cheat day is just a onetime thing, and I believe it.

“The Elephant in the Room: One Fat Man's Quest to Get Smaller in a Growing America” by Tommy Tomlinson
from The Elephant in the Room: One Fat Man’s Quest to Get Smaller in a Growing America
by Tommy Tomlinson
Simon & Schuster, 2020

This may involve going keto five days a week, with the weekends reserved for “cheat days.”

“Keto Diet For Dummies” by Rami Abrams, Vicky Abrams
from Keto Diet For Dummies
by Rami Abrams, Vicky Abrams
Wiley, 2019

But as your body adapts, you’ll find it’s easier to slip into ketosis, at which point the occasional cheat day won’t hurt—they’ve actually been known to break a weight loss stall after a few months of keto adaptation.

“Keto Life: Over 100 Healthy and Delicious Ketogenic Recipes” by Sahil Makhija
from Keto Life: Over 100 Healthy and Delicious Ketogenic Recipes
by Sahil Makhija
Cider Mill Press, 2019

My feeling is that most of us will continue to consume these foods on our cheat days—regardless of their potential negative effect.

“The Hormone Diet: A 3-Step Program to Help You Lose Weight, Gain Strength, and Live Younger Longer” by Natasha Turner
from The Hormone Diet: A 3-Step Program to Help You Lose Weight, Gain Strength, and Live Younger Longer
by Natasha Turner
Rodale Books,

Another advantage of the two free meals over the one cheat day is that dedicating a whole day to cheating meant people felt they had to be completely perfect for the other 6 days, and that’s really difficult.

“The Body Reset Diet: Power Your Metabolism, blast Fat and Shed Pounds in Just 15 Days” by Harley Pasternak
from The Body Reset Diet: Power Your Metabolism, blast Fat and Shed Pounds in Just 15 Days
by Harley Pasternak
Simon & Schuster UK, 2013

I think even the term cheat day implies that the way you eat is not a lifestyle or permanent.

“Made Whole: More Than 145 Anti-lnflammatory Keto-Paleo Recipes to Nourish You from the Inside Out” by Cristina Curp
from Made Whole: More Than 145 Anti-lnflammatory Keto-Paleo Recipes to Nourish You from the Inside Out
by Cristina Curp
Victory Belt Publishing, 2018

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

[email protected]

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34 comments

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  • This guy just basically takes content other people have already made, or information that’s already public knowledge and condenses it into a shorter format so you all think it’s new information and you just eat it up lol

  • I have a full day of eating whatever I want every 2 weeks, and gain… maybe 4 pounds? I don’t feel guilty after eating all that because the whole point of that day is to eat whatever I want without feeling guilty about my weight. I do have this all or nothing mindset with food, like I have to make the most out of this day. So I might eat food even after I feel full. But I feel happy and cheerful after those ‘cheat days’. I don’t feel ashamed or anything, and eat with my family. Is it ok to count this as ‘cheat days’ or is it leaning towards ‘binge eating’?

  • So I have watched your entire all in series and I was just wondering, after you filmed THIS video when you were in a lean bulk, did you compete again? Or just competed the one time?

  • I’ve definitely had days where my progress had plateau’d for two weeks or more of deficit only to drop several pounds after a cheat day. When you’re in a deficit, your body is like how Smaug is with gold when it comes to fat stores. For some reason a sensible cheat day is just enough to convince your body that you’re not in the middle of some famine about to starve and then, all of a sudden, it’s perfectly happy letting that fat go.

  • Going back and watching the science backed videos, really enjoy these types from both you and Jeff! Would love to see more in the future!

  • Pepperoni Pizza ��

    Thank you once again Ryan for the amazing content �� You’re my go to youtuber when it comes to creating my workout programs ��

  • Many people have a somewhat unhealthy relationship with food. It’s awesome you have such a healthy relationship with food but you are an influencer and the people who watch your cheat days most likely aren’t in your situation and are watching because they themselves are unhealthy. I’m not trying to attack you or your channel I just think it’s important for you to take into consideration the effects your videos can have on millions of people.

  • So I’m going to completely honest. I Bing eat but then after I try and not eat at all. I have had a Bing eating day then the next day I feel so bad I don’t eat at all or very little. But that’s because I have really bad anxiety and depression and OCD(the OCD is not yet completely diagnosed but my therapist has pointed it out. Hopefully going to get it diginosed this week). But when I’m feeling good I love a good cheat day with friends going to get pizza and ice cream two food I can’t typically eat.

  • That was good. I have my refeed meal on Sunday. I will order a small pizza so I won’t be stuffed and have my natural ice cream with cookies. Thank you because I use to binge on cheat day. Now I just have a cheat meal and desert once a weak.

  • Why not just eat in moderation? Why the high calorie cheat days? The cheat days seem to be really like binges. You look more than satiated, and I wonder why you feel the need to do this?

  • Hi Stephanie! a question: first of all, I love your videos. Okay my question is that I have slow metabolism. It sucks. I mean, if I eat like cake, upto even two to three regular pieces, I suffer from stomach ache. Okay, saying this, I exercise, and drink lots of water, so no problem with that. Doing healthy stuff had helped me alot with my constipation, I have to admit…BUT, now that, I do health stuff, I do sometimes have craving for sweets, and donut. I should mention, I can never afford to eat like you do, physically, I would collapse….trust me I have a slow metabolism. So, instead of a full cheat day, I kind of sneak in a cheat meal every to to three days. Now, my cheat meal is not some huge thing, its like a burger, or maybe a few biscuits. I am sorry. I just need your guidance in my case. Please help me, because, I do not feel satisfied at the end of the day. I don’t want to give up this healthy lifestyle which I have been living for like an year, and I fear that prolonged craving may result in me breaking down eventually.

  • It took me a while, but after eating cleanly for a while, I really started losing my cravings for junk food. I don’t really desire cheat days. I eat protein cookies a few times a week, so that quenches me a bit.

  • Just love it what you say and so real not so scientific. I do intermittent fasting following you over year have been successful. And these cheat days the other channels talk about suck and would not do it, and it’s true what he said that you gain weight and takes days to shed. Keep up the great work.

  • How often do you do cheat days? What’s a good amount of days in between to maintain fat loss? Also, how often should we refeed? I find I’m not losing belly fat anymore when I cheat on the weekends. But then again I don’t sleep more than 6 hours during the week.

  • you right Ryan…I was one of those guys. I was 300…now 190 lean and strong. just dont wanna go back. cheat meals become cheat lifestyle REAL quick

  • I’m watching these out of order because I found your 1 month update first but these videos keep making me cry. I know exactly what you’re going through having been through it myself and cannot express how proud I am of you in this moment. You’re so inspiring to me especially as I go forward (I’m only a year into my recovery).

  • Yesss I was wondering why you have energy after you eat so much. And don’t fell heavy and lazy after. Bc I guess that’s bengeatting

  • Loved this video! I have been implementing refeeds for a while, however, my best results come after short vacations where I did not track and just indulged. The psychological benefits of taking a break from dieting have helped me to over come plateaus! Thanks for breaking this down! ❤

  • During a cutting diet with a certain timeframe, it really is pointless and counterproductive to have cheat days or cheat meals even. A proper re-feed (no junk) at maintenance levels or with a slight caloric surplus every fourth day is fine and helps with tricking the body not to go in starvation mode and also helps with sanity.
    If the goal is to get lean on a more flexible timeframe, cheat meals can be spaced every third re-feed (12 day intervals) or incorporate a cheat day once a month.
    During maintenance above method works great.
    During bulk, cheat days once a week is common practice.
    I’ve cut to 6% in 12weeks with no cheats and I’ve cut to 6% in 24weeks with epic (10k calories plus a day) monthly cheat days. It all comes down to how much time you’ve got and your level of discipline.

  • This is my first time commenting on a video. Keep doing what you are doing. I feel like you are real, and it shows through what you are doing!

  • Please continue to film such informative videos like this! You are such a smart and hard working woman who justifies your points with evidence-based research, so it further improves your plausibility. You’re not just one of those fitness enthusiasts who only want to look good, but you’re sharing your experience with these fun “experiments” (not to say that you don’t wanna look good, because you definitely already do!). Your message is clearly what people need to hear more often because you have such a honest relationship with food while continuing to live your life healthily without restrictions. You’re amazing and I highly admire and respect you:)

  • So make sure to train on cheat days so calories still stay low.
    I’ve lost 5 stone doing that.
    eat clean 5 days and train 6 days a week and train on the weekends plus eat things I like and the weight still drops.

  • Iincluded am one of those people and I’ve been lessening my caloric intake, though because puberty is at hand in these stages of my life, I’m not exactly sure how I should continue and what type of exercise I should do if I don’t go to the gym

  • Can you do a video for females of different ages? Because I know some young teens who watch their weight but don’t exactly know how because most videos are aimed at 18+..

  • I really appreciated this discussion. If anyone is aware of instructive videos on how to do a refeed for competition prep, please let me know!!

  • This is what I do already. Even though I’m bulking I can’t be bothered to keep one day in a week where I go crazy with my diet. Also my appetite ain’t very good so even if I try and cheat and consume a really high amount of calories over my maintenance I seem to really struggle to do that which is kinda annoying as I’m trying to bulk.

  • Can I have a few perogies on this diet? I’ve been super keto for 15 days and want to go nuts over my carbs! I’m eating under 18 carbs per day mainly eating fish and greens and eggs �� and �� and olive oil and bulletproof coffee and keto pizza �� with pork rinds and can honestly say all I want is perogies! They have 10 carbs per perogie would love to eat like 5 of them today is it too soon? I load them with butter and sour cream so my fat will still be high however 50 carbs in just potatoes and pasta seem crazy let me know keto people

  • There are times when I do cheat days, but I end up doing refeeds instead. Even on cheat days, I have a pretty hefty caloric deficit.

  • It took me a while, but after eating cleanly for a while, I really started losing my cravings for junk food. I don’t really desire cheat days. I eat protein cookies a few times a week, so that quenches me a bit.

  • wanna say thanks for filming/posting this video. going through a rough patch and the “binge from negative emotions” is keeping me from reaching for trash and the illusion of immediate comfort.

  • Very informative and helpful. What do you recommend to do in order to stop binge eating and just have a regular cheat day? Btw new subscriber ��

  • I was on a diet for a month. Lost 15lbs. Then on my brothers bday I said “fk it, ima cheat today”.

    It took me 15days later to burn the weight I gained that 1 day…

  • I love your approach to food and fitness. What you never said during this video (although it was everywhere) was that you are able to have a healthy approach to indulging because you are happy with yourself and how you look. So many people are not. Even though I haven’t heard you specifically talk this way, you’re a model of a woman loving and appreciating herself…. keep it up!

  • In my experience, I go through the exact opposite symtoms after a cheat day….no energy, high sugar cravings, food focus, increase in my appetite, etc…:(