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Is a CRAZY cheat-day allowed?

Hello!
So my friend who is training to become a bodybuilder has been told to follow a strict diet, of course, but that one day a week he can eat EVERYTHING he wants, and it'll do nothing to his body. He'll eat a good like 5k calories that day and then be back on his usual diet the next morning. He's trying hard to convince me that it's totally possible to have a day like that a week and not gain any fat from it. I myself am trying to lose weight and counting calories each day, so of course I dreeeam of a day where I can just eat like shite for the entire day and not gain a single gram of fat, but I just don't believe it. He says the body goes into a shock of a sort and doesn't really understand what's going on, but I'm like ???? how should that be possible??? to just not ???? gain any fat from 5k calories in a single day????
Does anyone know this to be true or is it totally absurd? He's trying to convince me to have a day like that, and of course it's tempting as all hell, but it just sounds completely ridiculous... Anyone?
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Replies

  • Diatonic12
    Diatonic12 Posts: 32,344 Member
    The Shock N Awe approach to food. Do you trust your first impression about all of this?
    Do everything on your terms. Give yourself permission to trust yourself.

    How much of your weekly progress are you willing to give up. If said friend is following some brutally strict food protocol all week so he make plans for the weekend food explosion that refeed might work for him. Are you training for a competition too?

    There's refeeds and there's permission slips for just another glorified binge. Context is everything.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,046 Member
    I have days of 3000+ calories probably once a week, and I'm a smallish older retired woman. I don't see why it wouldn't work for him, I mean I've not gained by doing that.

    I think you could try it. Are you in a position to eat 5000 calories? I don't think I could eat that much but I can certainly see how a younger man who is working and exercising could be able to incorporate that amount.
  • TurquiseTurtle7
    TurquiseTurtle7 Posts: 16 Member
    If your friend is seriously bodybuilding while you're following a more typical diet and exercise routine, I would think the methods (and calories) that work for him will be different from what works for you.

    My own experience is that "free days" never worked quite the same for me as they did for my husband when he was lifting. It took me 4+ days to recover from the damage of a single "free day" and get my weight back down to where it was before, so I could start making progress again.

    What I would suggest instead is a single free meal once per week. Nothing wild, just your favorite dish with a tasty side. Make it a comfortable sized serving but don't go back for seconds. A medium-sized meal is easier to recover from.

    A scheduled free meal once a week (in my opinion) gives you something to look forward to all week, keeping cravings in check. But I would be very wary of a 5,000 calorie day. That sounds like something that might fit a very specific situation but not apply well to the average dieter who's just taking a moderate amount of exercise.
  • LoveyChar
    LoveyChar Posts: 3,683 Member
    My experience is similar to that of @cmriverside because I have one day a week, sometimes more, where I eat well above. I've maintained between 105 - 110 pounds at 5 feet for the past 4 years. If I did not have at least one day of deviation per week, I'd probably go crazy. It's possible.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,046 Member
    edited October 2020
    LoveyChar wrote: »
    My experience is similar to that of @cmriverside because I have one day a week, sometimes more, where I eat well above. I've maintained between 105 - 110 pounds at 5 feet for the past 4 years. If I did not have at least one day of deviation per week, I'd probably go crazy. It's possible.

    Apparently *someone* doesn't agree with our experience. :lol: Fine with me. I'll keep eating! Last week I had three days where I was over by 1000+ calories. That may be pushing it, by my past experience, but one day where I'm over by 1500 or more? I've been doing it for years.

    As an aside though...I log everything and I cook all my own meals, and I use a digital food scale and I've been at Maintenance weight since 2009ish. So there's that - I am pretty sure of my required calories and my personal logging system after all this time.
  • LoveyChar
    LoveyChar Posts: 3,683 Member
    edited October 2020
    LoveyChar wrote: »
    My experience is similar to that of @cmriverside because I have one day a week, sometimes more, where I eat well above. I've maintained between 105 - 110 pounds at 5 feet for the past 4 years. If I did not have at least one day of deviation per week, I'd probably go crazy. It's possible.

    Apparently *someone* doesn't agree with our experience. :lol: Fine with me. I'll keep eating! Last week I had three days where I was over by 1000+ calories. That may be pushing it, by my past experience, but one day where I'm over by 1500 or more? I've been doing it for years.

    As an aside though...I log everything and I cook all my own meals, and I use a digital food scale and I've been at Maintenance weight since 2009ish. So there's that - I am pretty sure of my required calories and my personal logging system after all this time.

    I love disagrees, no worries.

    Also... I'm convinced some people will disagree simply because they can't understand how.

    I have many days like yours where I am well over, more than I should admit to, and I still maintain.

    Too blessed to be stressed, I'm eating pizza tonight and I will enjoy every bite.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,223 Member
    My young, male, bodybuilder friend could have 5 K calorie days once a week no problem.

    Me? Not so much.

    :lol:
  • paperpudding
    paperpudding Posts: 7,184 Member
    I assume someone who is training to be a bodybuilder is not trying to lose weight?
    hard to gain significant muscle mass in a calorie deficit.

    anyway for weight loss purposes you have to eat less than you burn - on an average.

    so, sure, if one's weekly calorie allowance, net after excercise, meant one could eat 5000 calories one day a week, and , say 1800 or whatever on the other days for an average of 2500 (havent done the maths, just hypothetical approximate examples ) then, sure, that would be ok

    If eating 5000 calories one day totally blew your weekly allowance - no, it won't work

  • lynn_glenmont
    lynn_glenmont Posts: 9,245 Member
    Hello!
    So my friend who is training to become a bodybuilder has been told to follow a strict diet, of course, but that one day a week he can eat EVERYTHING he wants, and it'll do nothing to his body. He'll eat a good like 5k calories that day and then be back on his usual diet the next morning. He's trying hard to convince me that it's totally possible to have a day like that a week and not gain any fat from it. I myself am trying to lose weight and counting calories each day, so of course I dreeeam of a day where I can just eat like shite for the entire day and not gain a single gram of fat, but I just don't believe it. He says the body goes into a shock of a sort and doesn't really understand what's going on, but I'm like ???? how should that be possible??? to just not ???? gain any fat from 5k calories in a single day????
    Does anyone know this to be true or is it totally absurd? He's trying to convince me to have a day like that, and of course it's tempting as all hell, but it just sounds completely ridiculous... Anyone?

    If you're not in the same situation as your friend (height, weight, % lean mass, training regimen), it's unlikely that you will ave the same results as he does from eating 5kcal a day once a week.

    Since you don't give us any of your own details (at a minimum, what's your putative calorie deficit the other 6 days a week and what have your results been with that over what period of time), it's just silly for anyone to weigh in on whether you can do 5000 kcal once a week like your friend or 1000 to 1500 kcal above maintenance once or twice a week. That may work for those posters, but we don't have anything close to enough info to judge whether it would be likely to work for you.
  • globalc00
    globalc00 Posts: 103 Member
    If you believe what this article says... then your friend is gaining fat if he eats more than his body needs, since it only takes 4 hours for that to happen from the time he swallows the food.
    https://www.theartofdoingstuff.com/calorie-to-fat-timeline/
    However if he is a calorie deficit the other 6 days to where the deficit is equal to or greater than the surplus he ate on his cheat day, then at the end of the week, he will not have gain any fat from the previous week.
  • scarlett_k
    scarlett_k Posts: 738 Member
    Try it and find out.
  • HeidiCooksSupper
    HeidiCooksSupper Posts: 3,836 Member
    Your weight is affected by the total number of calories you consume in relation to your expenditure of calories over time. You can distribute your calories any way you want, including what you call a cheat day, and your body will respond based on the total number of calories you consumed versus the calories you burned over the long haul -- days, weeks, months, etc.
  • zamphir66
    zamphir66 Posts: 582 Member
    I'm trying to construct a Way of Eating where I don't feel especially compelled to have "CRAZY" cheat days.
  • tequila5000
    tequila5000 Posts: 128 Member
    You ask if a crazy cheat day is allowed. Yes, it is allowed. The calorie police will not take you to jail. however, you likely will need more time to reach a specific weight loss goal, if you are actively organizing for these crazy cheat days, as you call it. I also don’t like the terms cheat days or cheat meals because to me, it sounds like you are being bad. You are not being bad. You are making a choice that has a consequence.
  • spyro88
    spyro88 Posts: 464 Member
    edited October 2020
    Your friend is probably burning those calories over the course of the rest of the week during his bodybuilding regime. It's not really about a single day, it's more long-term. So yeah you can have a "cheat day" but you will still only lose weight if you eventually burn those calories, they don't just disappear.
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,878 Member
    "Allowed" by who? There is no diet police and there is no grown-up who is going to step in and remove food from your plate.

    Some people find that they create enough of a deficit through their daily activity and choices that they can have a big "cheat day" and it doesn't impact their weight management negatively. Others find that it does impact them. It's going to depend on the interaction between your regular daily activity and the exact dimensions of your "cheat day" (for some people going all out is 9,000 calories, for others it might be 2,500). Nobody can predict which group you will fall in or even that it won't change over time.

    I would say that most people who struggle with weight management (that is, many of the people who wind up asking this question) have no problem consuming stupid huge amounts of food in a single day or even meal (I include myself in this category, I could easily have a 10,000 calorie day if I just ate whatever I wanted in whatever quantities I wanted). For many of these people, trying to have "free" or "cheat" days and maintain a certain body weight (or lose weight!) will be a recipe for frustration. I personally would hate to diet six days a week only to cancel everything out on the seventh. I'd rather consistently meet a calorie goal, regularly consuming foods that I enjoy, and progress in a more straightforward way.
  • NovusDies
    NovusDies Posts: 8,940 Member
    "Allowed" by who? There is no diet police and there is no grown-up who is going to step in and remove food from your plate.

    Some people find that they create enough of a deficit through their daily activity and choices that they can have a big "cheat day" and it doesn't impact their weight management negatively. Others find that it does impact them. It's going to depend on the interaction between your regular daily activity and the exact dimensions of your "cheat day" (for some people going all out is 9,000 calories, for others it might be 2,500). Nobody can predict which group you will fall in or even that it won't change over time.

    I would say that most people who struggle with weight management (that is, many of the people who wind up asking this question) have no problem consuming stupid huge amounts of food in a single day or even meal (I include myself in this category, I could easily have a 10,000 calorie day if I just ate whatever I wanted in whatever quantities I wanted). For many of these people, trying to have "free" or "cheat" days and maintain a certain body weight (or lose weight!) will be a recipe for frustration. I personally would hate to diet six days a week only to cancel everything out on the seventh. I'd rather consistently meet a calorie goal, regularly consuming foods that I enjoy, and progress in a more straightforward way.

    Adding to this one of the things I decided for myself a long time ago is that I would always have rules even when a specific calorie limit is not one of them. I want there to be a difference between before and now. If I have a rule like always eating a fruit or vegetables course before diving into a high calorie main course (vacation/holiday rule) I am asking myself to make smarter decisions than I did before. I am careful to try and follow this rule but I admit I have broken it. That is not really the point though. I never have my permission to go completely unchecked again. That is how I got to be so heavy.

    I do live within a calorie budget most of the time and it has been worth it. An unchecked 'cheat' day is not really much of a prize. Being a healthier weight and all the things that are easier because I am a healthier weight has been routinely waking up to Christmas morning.
  • ehju0901
    ehju0901 Posts: 239 Member
    In my experience, it hasn't worked for me. Never hurts to try though.