Cheat Day / Free Day

  • Hi,

    We are finishing our 12 weeks this Sunday and I was curious if it's possible to skip cheat day/free day? I find that it just ups my weight, I get out of control, I over eat, I drink alcohol... I just don't like it. I wake up next day feeling guilty..

    So my question is, is this day required or can I simply skip it? I really don't have any cravings and I really don't miss any of my old meals that caused the weigh gain... but life does have peer pressures and family does like to go out to eat etc...  

    I know one of the benefits of cheat day is that it speeds up metabolism but I can't stand going up 5 lbs after cheat day...

    Any thoughts?


  • Yes you can skip it!  You do need to take a day off from the gym to let your body rest, but you can absolutely eat clean on your free day!  LOTS of people eat clean on their free day or just have a free meal or just a snack!!  I think it is incredible that you have gotten so far that you don't even desire your free day anymore!!  Goes to show that you are making a lifelong change!!  Way to go!!

  • HASAM,

    A free day is just that - you are free to do with it whatever you wish, whatever you feel is best for you and your life.

    In regards to food, a free day isn't a free for all. I think everyone takes their first few free days and overdoes it. I sure did. Then I reigned it in. I realized how important free days are to the the LIFE part of Body-for-Life. If couldn't control myself on a free day how was I going to caontrol myself when my challenge was over? It took me two challenges to really get and have Body-for-Life beome a lifestyle for me. I would encourage you not to shy away form the free day but to face it as another challenge and use it as an opportunity  to replace old, self-destructive with new healthy, BFL habits that will enrich every aspect of your life.

    On my free days, I still eat 6 meals spaced 2.5 - 3 hours apart. I still drink at least 4 litres of water and take my supplemetns but I have little extras; like warm blueberry bran muffins with a little butter, toast with peanut butter and jam, chocolate and maybe a peice of cheescake if  go out somewhere.  

    I think the free day is the day when you learn the most about yourself.

    Just a few thoughts


  • Thank you! I told the wife I plan to skip it this week and see what happens...hopefully I lose another lb or two!

  • If you can get through a free day without really taking a free day, all the power to you.  I say go for it.  I've gone both ways on the free days, and have found it has no effect on the end results.  I did quite a bit of research on this a while back and learned the body can only process so much in a day anyway, the rest just makes it's way through.  I use the free day as a day to have a little fun, take the wife out to dinner and not worry about calories and carbs and stuff like that.  In fact, if you look at the BFL book for women, the BFL diet in that book allows you to eat something bad every day.  My wife did that once, and it worked perfectly for her.  So I think that the bottom line is that you do whatever helps you to stick with your plan and goal.

  • It also should be noted that you really can't gain 5 pounds in a day.  The weight gain after a free day is mostly just the food sitting inside you.  A few days after your free day that weight gain should be gone and some if you stick with the plan.  Funny thing is, this is also the reason many diet programs guarantee you'll lose 5-10 pounds during the first week, because you'll basically be flushing through all the food that's sitting in your stomach and intestines.  Interesting information anyway.  It's been said that some obese people can hold up to 30 pounds of unprocessed food.  So it's best not to weight yourself after a free day.  I usually only weight myself once a week, the morning before a free day.

  • I'm finishing my 12 weeks too, on Saturday!  I wish I had the guts to skipa free day towards the end, but I really needed that mental relaxation of not having the plan what to eat, or to make sure there was always chicken or fish thawed out or whatever.  Since this is a "for life" thing, I realized I could just not skip it, or I would binge uncontrollably once the challenge was done.  I am envious of you!!

  • HASAM - I hear you about the free day.  It's funny, I look forward to it all week, and sometimes think of all the things I'm going to eat that day at random times during the week.  However, when free day actually arrives, I usually don't have the desire to eat all that stuff.  I usually still eat 6 times during the day but I eat whatever I want in "reasonable" amounts rather than a pre-planned meal.  And in all honesty, although I like the mental break and enjoy the food, I am usually looking forward to starting back with the regular eating the next day.  I have learned that when I overdo it with the junk or meal sizes on free day, I feel lethargic, or even worse, I wake up the next day with terrible dry mouth and sluggishness - kind of feels like a hangover.  I dread this feeling and this often helps me stay in control on free day.

    That's awesome that you are getting to the point where you feel as though you enjoy eating the BFL way, and that you would rather do that than eat junk.  

    One Life, Live Accordingly

  • Hangover from free day! perfect word to describe it LOL

    To the wife cheat day is the most glorious day of the week- she plans for it all week, it's really cute!

  • For me I have turned the Free Day into a Free meal.  I do my small meals through the day and then that night for supper have whatever I want.  So far I havn't felt bad on the next day.  The good thing about the free day is it there when you need it.  So if something comes up where family or friends get together go out, etc. I will schedule it on my free day.

  • As Porter Freeman has always said "It's free day and you are free to take it or not".

    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

  • On Weight Watchers we have a weekly allowance. Its a lot like a "free day" if you choose to use it on one day. But it is not unlimited. I think the key is the flexibility it affords. Perfection isn't sustainable, so a free day is a "breather" or a chance to indulge a bit without going overboard. Unaddressed cravings lead to binges. That's undoubtedly why BFL built it into this plan. WW has the weeky allowance for the same reason. Use it on an as needed basis.


  • I didn't do so bad on my last cheat day! only went up 2 lbs- starting weight before cheat day was 189, after cheat day 191 (i hate the 90's), this morning 187!!!!!!! I love BFL!

  • As I progressed through my first challenge, I was able to eliminate the unhealthy "foods", or what I term edible junk, even on free days. Edible junk is the highly processed fat or sugar laden stuff.   I learned to eat for my body and not for my mind.  For me it's synergistic, because the improvement in the body also improves the mind.   Basically, it took me until past my 50th birthday to learn how to eat!  The bodies "holdup" is sometime responsible for the 2 lb or so gain you'll see after a free day.


    Once I discovered the joys of weight training, all other passions were transcended.


  • Well I for one fully embrace my free day!

    Free day reminds me that I'm not on one of my crazy diets.  Name any diet.... I've been on them all for the last 20 years!  Each one made me more and more afraid to eat the foods I love and hate myself for eating any of them.  One thing BFL is continuously giving me, is a healthy attitude towards eating healthy.  I trust the program completely and feel no guilt whatsoever on Free Day.  I vowed never to diet again after the last time, when I had locked myself in the bathroom crying because I had "failed" to resist a piece of my own birthday cake.  Never again!

    My free day is a Monday.  I always spend time with friends and family on that day, and I give them my undivided attention. Whether that be going to a restaurant or to the movies, or just sat on the couch with my feet up sharing a bar of chocolate or chinese food. I never gorge, I never feel guilty, I just have a bit of what I fancy.  Everyone is noticing a positive change in me both physically and mentally and I am much, much happier.

    I also don't measure myself or weigh myself.  I use my clothes and the mirror as a guide, and at half way through week 5, C1 I am a size smaller and still shrinking! :)

    The only thing I don't do is drink alcohol because I really DO think that would affect my workout the next day, and no one wants to do an UBWO with a hangover do they.

    Do what's right for you. Trust the program and don't feel guilty!

    Jules82 xxx