• Roberta Mišeikienė

What to choose for weight loss: cheat day or cheat meal day?

Updated: Apr 30

You haven’t started a nutrition plan yet, haven't lost a single kilogram, yet you're already asking ‘when’s the cheat day?’ But is cheat day suitable for weight loss? Or, maybe, it’s better to choose cheat meal day?

Cheat day is common among sportspeople. Social media is filled with photos of athletosome sportsman and sportswomen, mostly bodybuilders, picturing how they eat large amounts of food: pizza, hamburgers, pies, French fries with sauces, etc.


Cheat day is a day for cheating on diet and overeating. This day is meant for overeating, so there is no following the nutrition plan and a person eats all day, large portions, fast food mostly.


You have to understand one simple thing: Athletes adhere to a strict high-protein low-carb low-fat diet for a long time, about 3-4 months, before the competition in order to make their muscles display. In addition, they exercise a lot and have low body fat percentage.



During cheat day, athletes usually replenish the reserves of carbohydrates, glycogen and fats, which are necessary for heavy training, but not for weight loss!


An overweight person, who, perhaps, has never been to the gym in his or her life, develops a misconception that to have an athletic body, you need to follow a nutrition plan and a cheat day is absolutely normal and maybe even needed. However, cheat day accelerates metabolism only in an athlete, but not in an obese person.


Do not look at the size of portions of a bodybuilder’s food, rather look at his or her muscles that are a calorie-burning machine and compare them with your muscles.


Besides, where are your six-pack abs? If you can’t see them, then don’t expect any cheat day soon.


If you’re not a professional athlete and you’ve got a lot of stock that you don’t need to replenish or rebuild, think - do you really need a cheat day?

The kilograms you got rid of in a week will come back and the expected result will get postponed. And without a result, motivation will go away...


Is there any way out? Yes, a cheat meal day!


If you stick to your nutrition plan 100 percent all week and don’t cheat, you can eat one of your favorite meals. I repeat: only one favorite meal, not all of your favorite meals at once!


Cheat meal day rules:


  • Once a week you can eat only one meal outside your nutrition plan;

  • Plan exactly when and what meal you will eat;

  • Do not reduce your calorie intake before cheat meal day on purpose because you will overeat!

  • Eat your cheat meal in the first half of the day before 4 pm instead of breakfast or lunch;

  • Don’t eat a snack after a cheat meal;

  • One meal only! It is forbidden to eat three meals at a time, for example: burger, French fries and ice cream;

  • Before eating, drink a glass of warm water (37 C);

  • Do not drink cold water or water with ice-cubes with your cheat meal! You’ll overeat!

  • Do not drink sugary drinks and juices while eating! You will get a calorie bomb;

  • If you are sensitive to the weighing scales readings, do not weight yourself for two days after cheat meal day;



Remember, it’s cheat meal day, not cheat day!


Do not forget to return to your nutrition plan!




For emotional eaters:


  • There must be no sense of guilt during cheat meal day! A sense of guilt leads to such psychological eating disorders as anorexia and bulimia. You ate a piece of cake, so enjoy it! No sense of guilt!

  • If you know what food makes you lose your self-control and overeat, give it up.

  • If you lose self-control while eating and cheat meal day becomes cheat day, you better give it up.



#cheatday #cheatmeal #nutritionplan #emotionaleating

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