The Free Day...Thoughts?

  • Hello all! I am about 3 weeks into the BFL program- feeling great but am curious as to what other people's free days consist of. As a big foodie, I always look forward to the free day but do feel weighed down and heavy after them. I want to know if I am going too far overboard with the free day or what do other people eat?

    Here is an example of my Saturday free day:


    normal oatmeal bake and 1tbsp pb

    1/2 donut


    Myoplex lean and tone shake


    chicken nachos


    apple and myoplex bar


    2 glasses of wine

    1 grilled chicken sandwich

    10 french fries (yes I counted them out)

    6th meal

    (not much of a meal) but 2 scoops of low fat reduced sugar ice cream.


    Now, keep in mind this is my FREE day- no way would I have had the additional bad items if it was not but I am wondering if I am self sabotoging and if I should not eat that much junk? Any feedback is appreciated!

  • I find that free days have really set me back on previous challenges. My advice would be this: if you are craving something during the week, then include it in your free day. Try not to eat things "just because it's free day". I personally try to stay away from things that are poor nutritional choices, such as doughnuts and alcohol. I just don't feel like these have any place in a healthy lifestyle.

    Congrats on making it to week 3. Keep up the good work!!!!

  • I know that I over do my free days.  However, it is motivation for me doing well the remainder of the week.  So I look at it as a good thing and a bad thing.  I am trying to get my free days a little more controled though.

  • I think your free day is totally fine. The litmus test is how do you feel physically afterward? I discovered that taking a day to have bacon, Coca-Cola, pizza, etc made me feel kind of crummy (abundant fats + sugars = headache), so I scaled down to a free meal and tried not to go overboard. I think paradoxically the free day can be kind of a mental crunch; you think "Oh my gosh it's the one day this week I can do this, so make it count!" but at the end of the day, enh, food is food. It's not like the world is going to go into a shortage of cheese danishes.

    I felt a lot better about the free day when I stopped worrying about it and if I felt like eating something bad, I would (but usually a smaller portion than usual). If not, I would just keep with the B4L eating.

    Oh, also, a note on reduced-fat, reduced-sugar ice cream: If you're gonna eat ice cream, eat ice cream. Usually the reduced-anything of a food like that is full of garbage like artificial sweeteners (which can actually mess up your liver + metabolism more than regular sugar), preservatives, and weird freaky things like modified food starch. Stick with a product that has true ingredients. When in doubt, always opt for "whole" food items.

    Good luck over the next 9 weeks!

  • I agree @mwseahorse. I do feel worse having the free day. Usually I go from having a lot of energy to being sluggish and tired. I try and narrow it down to just a meal or like half cheat/half good day.

    I didn't know if anybody experienced that the cheat day actually was counter productive to their loss, though. In the book, Bill Phillips said the cheat day will kick start the metabolism but at the same time, I wonder if I over indulge compared to most!

  • Now on week 7, I feel like Free Days are always a learning experience for me each week. Some days I have to THINK of something to splurge on as I know I should take advantage, others, I am waiting all week for it.

    I went ALL OUT on my last one and felt SICK Sunday (bunless burger, 2 beers, fries, THE WORKS). Lesson learned. However, other days, I've had one latte and 2 glasses of wine and felt fulfilled.

    The most important thing is to not stress about them. The cortisol released from agonizing Free Day will do more damage than enjoying it. After all, this entire challenge is about learning to build a body for life. Each day is an exercise in learning to make good decisions and listen to our bodies. Keeping a journel has helped me identify connectons in my eating habits and cravings.

    Keep on! Enjoy that donut!

  • I just enjoy my free days for what they are and yes I usually feel a bit crummy and bloated after them.  Today for instance, I used my free day for a mexican lunch with my husband (something I would never eat on my other 6 days) and had my fav beer, Negra Modelo.  Now my cravings are sated I am ready for another 6 days, and the bloated feeling?  Well, I consider it a reminder of why I am so careful the other days of the week.  To each their own, I just know that I am in this for the long haul, so I can not completely forgo some of the foods, flavor, I love.

  • I like all of your responses. I slipped up and had a cookie yesterday and felt SO GUILTY but then realized my "friend" came to visit today and I was actually proud that the cookie was my worst slip up during the hardest time of the month with cravings. I've been eating very clean for the most part and feel great and just like all of you, tend to feel pretty crummy when I eat anything thats bad for me. I do enjoy the free days, though. I know some people cut them out all together but I don't think I could ever!

  • When I did this challenge (unofficially) several years ago I found that my free days were actually days that I ate less, i.e. not six times a day. I am interested to see what my free day turns into this time around. I start on Jan. 2

  • The last time I did BFL, I had lost 30 lbs. I really took advantage of my free days. Diet soda, pizza, wings. Whatever I was craving. The big side effect I had was with my "bowels", because my body was used to good foods. However this time around, I will probably do the same thing I did last time and just eat what I am craving. No need to feel guilty when a free day is a treat to yourself. I see it as a reward for doing good all week.

  • I'd like to ask a question. If you can eat whatever you want on a free day is there anything wrong with spreading the free day over the week?  For example if i want to eat a pizza and drink 500ml of coke on my free day whats wrong with haveing a slice of pizza everyday with a few mouthfulls of coke?

  • Personally, I say f**k the free day.  If you can't do it with some moderation, you're just going to waste away a lot of your hard work throughout the week.  This is what I used to do before I started BFL (now in 4th week of first challenge).  Typically, I'd eat good all day long, then blow the last few hours of the night.  Going through this, I told myself that I'm just not going to blow it like that.  I have yet to cheat, even on the free day.  Besides, you just feel like crap after you eat all that junk.  It just not worth it.  I'm more impressed that combining the carbs with protein works so well.  I have energy all day.  No sluggishness or crashing after lunch.  Bluewhite, I'm going to guess that it might not be a good idea to spread it out over the week like that.  It just makes you more vulnerable to cheat with other foods, and more often.  "A minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips."  lol  Remember this:  "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels!"  That's my motivator.  Good luck to you all.

  • I eat whatever I like, chocolate, spaghetti Bol, drink copious amounts of wine.

    Then the next day I want to hit the treadmill even harder.  I think you should do what your body tells you to do. For instance at the start of BFL I gorged on my free day, all day long. Now on week 4 , things on the free day don't taste the same as you thought they would and you realise that it's just the craving that makes the food seem so good. Once you eat it you wonder what all the fuss was about.

    I eat less now on my free day than I did on week one.

    Why deprive yourself? That's what free day is for in my opinion.