Cheat day

  • So i have been doing the program for 4 weeks now, reallly seeing results as well. Which is great, but there is something I don't quite understand. The Cheat Day (which I usually take on Sundays) does that mean NO exercising as well as NO dieting. Or can I seperate the diet and the training. In other words, can I eat what I want on a Sunday, but still do cardio (for instance) on that same day? 

  • I think it is really up to how you feel...some like to take a WHOLE day of rest from the program and eat whatever and do nothing! I personally like the idea of doing some cardio on my free day, but that's just me and I don't always do that...sometimes a complete day of rest is just what we need to make through the tough workouts ahead the next week : ) Listen to your body and do what you feel is best. I would recommend NOT overdoing the cheat/free day though...seen this derail a many challenge!

    All the best!


  • I take advantage of the "Free Day" to it's fullest! I eat my favorite foods (Lime Tostitos~YUMMY!) and rest!! I need that...a break, and so does my body. I will (when I'm not being totally lazy...hehe...) go for a nature walk/hike, or a bike ride with my family. I consider this 'relaxing exercise'.

  • Free Day is exactly that, you are free to do whatever you want. You can do cardio or not. Eat what you want or to stick to the nutrition plan.  For myself I took the day off from the gym to give my body a chance to rest, but stuck to the nutrition except for one free meal.

  • Because of my work schedule I use my free day on Sat, I still do my cardio to complete my 6 days but I eat on program the entire day and eat whatever meal I want for dinner (usually pizza).  I go back to work on Sunday and although I do not workout I eat on program.  So far this has worked well for me, but I agree with above post everyone has to do 1st what their schedule allows for and 2nd treat your free day how you see fit.   IMHO getting that day of rest does do wonders for your body in recovering from a week of tough workouts.

  • From weeks 1-3 i utilized cheat days to the fullest. but seemed that it took me 3.5 days to rebound from it. week 4-5 i did one cheat meal, granted my one meal was at least 4000 cal!! took me 2-3 days of recovering. Week 6 i did a cheat serving as i call it, any meal that i want but only one serving portion. and it only took a day to recover from water retention and what ever weight i did put on.

    In regards to cardio, i feel lethargic if i dont start my day with a empty stomach cardio session.

  • usually I dont do cardio on my free day, but I like to call it a free meal.  not eating bad the whole day

  • I'd change the "cheat" to free.  It's your day to do what you will freely.  Cheat givest the impression that you are somehow cheating or doing something negative by partaking in free day.  It's built in for your pleasure so enjoy it.

    Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right ~ Henry Ford

    Michelle Simpson ~2009 Body-for-LIFE Champion 46+ Catagory

  • I agree with philly39.....whatever works best for you and your schedule. The whole idea of a free day is to give yourself a break physically and mentally. Ideally it would all be the same day but it doesn't have to be.

    fit4life "The dream must be bigger than the pain"

  • The "cheat" or free day is important to do.  This is the one day out of the week you tell your body it is not starving.  It also helps to reset your leptin levels.  When leptin levels are low, fat loss grinds to a halt.  If you want to do more research, do a google search of "leptin", "refeeding", or "cheat to lose diet" to see what the researchers have found.  I don't gorge myself, but I eat well over maintenance and I do it care free because it works.  You will initiallly gain some water weight (much like that which you lost so quickly in the beginning), but no worries it'll be gone in a couple days and you'll still be burning fat during that time.

  • Dear all,

    I just had my first free day. I consumed about 7000 calories. Is this type of food binging really allowed? I'm thinking I should just have a free meal instead. What do you think?


  • People Champ

    At the end of the day, or week in this case, burning fat is about creating a caloric deficit. To much of a deficit and your body goes into starvation mode and works to store energy. To little and your body doesn't tap into your fat stores to find energy.

    If you are creating say a 500-700 calorie deficit for 6 days then reverse that completely on the 7th your results are going to be slower coming.

    Have a read here

    Some great info on that site about the science of fat lose.

    For myself, I went with the free meal not a full free day.

  • PEOPLESCHAMPION: I have always thorougly enjoyed my free days and ate whatever I wanted as much as I wanted. The problem is when a free day turns into 2 and 3 days of eating whatever. As long as you get right back on track the next day you wll stil see great results.

    fit4life "The dream must be bigger than the pain"

  • The way I see it, Body for Life is designed for people who are relatively new to this way of life - it's not that it won't work if you've been doing it for years (not that I'd know!), but rather that it's supposed to be a challenge for people like me, who, from a standing start, are trying to change our lifestyle, get into shape, and get healthy.

    You'll still have to burn off the calories you eat on your free day, and 7,000 seems pretty high to me anyway (I don't know how you'd consume that many???), but if it helps keep your morale up and gives you something to look forward to in the week, and thus keeps you on Body For Life for a full 12 weeks, it'll be worth it. Just think - you'll do a lot more good for yourself completing 12 weeks of Body For Life and being a bit naughty on your free day, than you will doing 6 weeks without a free day and then letting your cravings get the better of you and falling off the wagon for good.

    In that sense, I think it's useful, because some people will need it psychologically, and unless you go absolutely crazy (I have to say, 7,000 calories does sound crazy), and so long as you keep up your cardio sessions, your heightened metabolism SHOULD be enough to cope with a 'free' day. If, toward the end of the challenge you want to push through to hit your goals, you may feel like going ahead and cutting down on the 'free' part of the day, but 12 weeks feels like a long time when you're only 2 weeks in, and I for one am trying not to beat myself up too bad over taking one day off in seven.

    For me, personally, if I make it through 12 weeks (coming up to 4 weeks in now, and pretty much right on programme), I'll re-assess some goals then, and work out how 'free' I want to be in future, but for the time being I'll take that day, and continue to enjoy my challenge.

    I'm a newbie at this, but I hope that helps...

  • I am turning my Free Day into Free Meal...I have decided that I am not just enjoying my food, but binging and turning to emotional eating...eating the crap that makes me 'feel better, which I want and need to address and put an end to, or I will never be successful. Monday mornings I always feel like crap! So this Sunday I will give it a try and see how it far as 7000 does one do that anyway?? lol