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Trying to map out the perfect cheat day... Update...

NEXT UPDATE: I took a modified cheat day on Sunday. I drank a lot of coffee and water throughout the day and I skipped the cake and ice cream while at a birthday party and didn't have any soda. I did have chips and hamburgers with buns and ketchup and a little candy and crackers and I only gained 1.8 pounds, which had me very happy... Hopefully, the weight starts coming off again, because this month (month 3) has basically been a waste so far....

SIXTH UPDATE: OK, it's Saturday and I am now 0.2 pounds less than I was last Sunday when I took my last cheat day...

If I lose another 1-2 pounds today, I think I will take a moderate cheat day on Sunday. I'm thinking maybe a cheat meal and staying away from soda and candy. I'm not craving anything and I really don't feel like like running in place for a fourth week in a row. I really wish this wasn't so complicated. I look forward to being at the point where I can say, "Eh, if I don't lose any weight this week it's not the end of the world." I know there will be weeks like that anyways, but when the last three weeks have been spend in cheat day recovery, there's something wrong there...

I still love the diet, I just need to get past this plateau, and I really think it's the cheat day that is holding me back. I wonder if taking one every two weeks would be better. I'm certainly not ditching cheat days altogether, but I don't feel like I can stay in this mode much longer when I still have 25 pounds to go to my next big goal.

Right now I'm thinking moderate cheat day tomorrow and regular cheat day next Sunday.

FIFTH UPDATE: Didn't lose any weight yesterday, so I'm still 1.5 pounds from my cheat day weight... I'm pissed... My best case scenario would be to lose 3-4 pounds in the next two days and then, I'll be a whopping 1-2 pounds down for the week... I can completely understand that there will be weeks like that, but I've basically lost no weight in the last three weeks... I'm glad the cheat days work well for everyone else, but it's just not worth it for me. I'm skipping my Sunday cheat day. I'm toying with the idea of just a cheat meal, but I don't know... I'm not having any cravings and I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything... Anyway, had to vent... :D

FOURTH UPDATE: Lost another pound, so just 1.5 pounds away from being back at pre-cheat day weight... It really is beginning to feel like most of my week is spent getting back what I got on one day of cheating and that's frustrating. Let's see how the rest of the week goes... I'm still considering dialing back the cheat day considerably, like maybe just a cheat meal....

THIRD UPDATE: Lost 2.5 pounds from yesterday, so 2.7 pounds away from pre-cheat weight... I actually feel pretty confident about getting back there pretty quickly... While I was drinking a lot of water before, I've upped my water intake and I think that might help get the stuff out of my system...

SECOND UPDATE: The last few cheat days, in addition to the weight gained the next day, I also added 1-2 pounds the following day. This time there was no gain, so I'm pretty happy about that... I just want to be two pounds less than I was pre-cheat day by the end of the week... :D

UPDATE: I took my cheat day yesterday and gained five pounds... I'm not thrilled, but I'm OK with it... My body needed to reset and hopefully that will kickstart more weight loss...

Semi-funny story... Two weeks ago, the last time I took a cheat day, I bought a bottle of Code Red Mountain Dew, which is my favorite soda my a mile and my favorite drink of anything. I didn't drink it on that cheat day, so it was sitting in my fridge for two whole weeks. On Saturday, the day before my cheat day, my wife said, "Wow, that Code Red has been in here for a long time..." I said, "I know, that's my constant test of my willpower every time I open the fridge..."

I enjoyed that Code Red yesterday, but I am kind of proud of myself that I was able to reach past it for my Aquafina for two whole weeks....


I'm 10 weeks into the diet and I've lost 34 pounds. I love the diet, but the cheat day has caused me more frustration than anything else on the diet.

The last two cheat days I've taken have resulted in gains of 4.5 pounds and six pounds and both times it took me a full week to lose that weight.

I understand the need for a cheat day to have the body reset and get the body losing more weight. I get that and I think scheduling your cheating is brilliant, rather than have someone who just cheats a little every day and then wonders why the diet isn't working.

Basically, I want my cheat day to reset my body, let me feed a craving or two and have the damage be minimal.

I've seen things about eating the regular SCD breakfast and drinking grapefruit juice before meals and I was wondering what the ideal way to go about it is.

I understand the thinking that "If you restrict a cheat day, it's not a real cheat day..." That's fine, but I'm trying to lose weight and when I lose a week's worth of dieting, it pisses me off.

Any advice would be appreciated. This really is my only complaint about the diet and I want to work through it.

  • Maria Rider commented Sep 16th 2012:

    Dylan, try to take 9 day Slow Carb Weeks instead of 14 days cause then your body will "get used to the new way of eating" and then it'll be harder. Try doing a combination of 9 day SCD weeks AND lighter cheat days if you wish. Do a cheat meal instead or cheat until like say 3pm and then eat slow carb the rest of the day. It's up to you how you do it....it's all about self-experimentation....I know it's frustrating as all heck. I'm at my goal weight but I am still slow carbing to burn that last 2.2% body fat to get to my FINALFINAL goal. :) You can do it! Keep it going!


The Best Answer

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Hi Dylan!

If you don't do damage control (SCD breakfast to start and grapefruit juice throughout the day before cheats), it could be why you COULD be gaining 4-6 lbs after cheat day. Try to do the above and perhaps incorporate those GLUT-4 exercises in the book (air squats, wall presses, and chest pulls) throughout the day and see if it helps with the cheat day weight gain.

To help with the "if you restrict cheat day" dilemma. Try to think about what "cheat day foods" you REALLY want each week...and make THOSE your "GO TO" Cheat Foods. For me, it's some baked goods I bake the day or so before OR gourmet popcorn. I try to have those each week and only enough to get a good taste in, not like gorging myself with a whole loaf of bread or something insane like that. THOUGH I would imagine throughout the day I could do it, but SCD is not just about burning fat, it is also about re-wiring your mind to think differently about food and not just use it as a comfort or whatever.

You can also keep track of any cravings you have during the week and make sure to buy your craving cheat food either the day of or the night before your cheat day.

But, I hear ya on the having to spend the ENTIRE week losing that cheat day weight. I've gained upwards of 6.8-8 lbs...lost it all before Saturday AND then some. It'd be like 1-2 lbs, but it's still a loss. And a healthy loss too!! I have found even though I'd gain only like 1-2 lbs after cheat day....it'd still take me almost the entire week to lose. So, 1-2 lbs or 6-8 lbs....everyone's body is different....and will lose at different rates. Some people GAIN weight the DAY AFTER cheat day...but then lose it. My hubby losing most of his cheat day weight at the beginning of the week, then it tapers off towards the end and sometimes he doesn't lose and may gain most weeks.

Frustrating, yes, but if you are measuring your inches and body fat and those are going down, THAT is what you should be focusing on cause THAT is the most important in the long-run. :)

Good Luck!

  • Dylan Tomlinson commented Sep 6th 2012:

    Great advice. I always gain weight the day after cheat day. The previous weeks I would gain 1-2 pounds and then gain another 1-2 the day after.

    I expect to gain after my cheat day. My cheat days are usually Sundays and I have no problem having it take me until Thursday or so to lose the cheat weight and then lose 2-3 pounds for the week. I would be ecstatic about that.

    I have at least another 30 to lose and while I don't expect to lose it as quickly as I lost the first 30, it's the wasted weeks that drive me crazy. Right now, I am one pound less than I was the last time I took my cheat day almost two weeks ago.

    Thanks for the help..

  • Maria Rider commented Sep 6th 2012:

    Yeah, I hear ya about the "wasted weeks" Think of those weeks as weeks where "your body is trying to figure things out" There are ALWAYS going to be plateaus where no matter how well you are doing on your diet and exercise, you lose very little or NO weight that week. Also, you should NOT spread your cheat days further than 9 days apart because it will make your body think "oh, is this how we are eating now? Ok" THEN it will start to stall and set a new setpoint. Have no LESS than 5 SCD days and no MORE than 9 SCD days in a row to keep things going. Good Luck!

  • Maria Rider commented Sep 6th 2012:

    PLUS, you NEED the cheat days to make your body produce Leptin which is needed to control cravings...plus you need to replenish your glycogen as well.

  • Dylan Tomlinson commented Sep 6th 2012:

    Yeah, as of last Sunday, I still wasn't back to my pre-cheat weight from the previous week so I didn't take one. I realize now that I need to do it anyway...

  • Maria Rider commented Sep 7th 2012:

    It's always a good thing to keep on going with slow carbing until you get back to your pre-cheat weight, but like I said, don't go too long. Take it, then work that much harder the next week to get the deficit off and then some new loss. :)

  • Douglas Sheehan Douglas Sheehan commented Sep 7th 2012:

    Akane, What is your average weekly weight loss throughout your journey?

  • Maria Rider commented Sep 7th 2012:

    DSheehan - Hmm, I'd say it'd be more like 2-4 lbs a week. The past 3 months though, it slowed down to more like 1-2 lbs a week if I DID have a loss. I had a lot of stalls/gains on the hormonal weeks of those months. There was one week at the end of December I lost like 6 lbs O_o On GOOD weeks, I'd lose upwards of 3-4 lbs in a week. But, average about 2-4.

  • Maria Rider commented Sep 7th 2012:

    Ok, I just calculated it. Until the last 3 months of my journey....I was averaging about 9-10 lbs a month with some months being better than others. If you were to average it out for my total journey, it'd be 8.5 lbs a month. So, roughly, like I said a little over 2 lbs a week. :)

  • Douglas Sheehan Douglas Sheehan commented Sep 7th 2012:

    This is exactly what I've been trying to tell the people on this site. Slow and steady wins the race. I've always told people that 20 pounds a month is unrealistic.

  • Douglas Sheehan Douglas Sheehan commented Sep 7th 2012:

    Thanks Akane

  • Maria Rider commented Sep 8th 2012:

    Welcome DS! :) I agree! Slow and steady wins the race AND keeps it off for life...>I HOPE!< :) Heehee

All Answers


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I can't believe you're not happy with 3.4 pounds of fat loss per week. Find a sustainable diet out there that gives you better results. Ask a doctor. You've been able to shed over 3 pounds a week doing what you're doing. I'm truly wondering why you're complaining.

If you never have a cheat day you'll be sent into starvation mode. Relax and enjoy your new body and lifestyle.

  • Maria Rider commented Sep 7th 2012:

    3.4 lbs fat loss per week is definitely awesome progress. Time to focus on your accomplishments and stop trying to make your body lose "Biggest Loser" weight amounts cause that is NOT realistic NOR healthy. You'll just end up gaining it back JUST as quickly. Slow, steady, regular weight loss is the key to keeping it off for life! :)

  • Dylan Tomlinson commented Sep 7th 2012:

    Don't misunderstand me... I am thrilled with the diet and the progress I've made so far. My goal since after the first month has been 10 pounds a month after losing 20 the first month. I understand 20 a month is not realistic.

    I am just trying to make sure I don't go backwards and am making sure I can tap into the experience on this board to make sure I'm doing everything right as I reach for the next goal.

    I am ecstatic with the diet. I'm just trying to make sure I'm doing everything right as I go forward.

  • Dylan Tomlinson commented Sep 7th 2012:

    You mean I can't lose 100 pounds in three months like on that stupid Extreme Makeover show? :D

  • Eric I commented Sep 8th 2012:

    That show is so ridiculous. Ugh. I read recently that a first season contestant came out against the shows practices and has caused him some crazy health problems since he began the diet. It's so stupid to put those crazy goals on those people for the benefit of ratings. Slow and steady wins the race.

    I'm guessing from your post that you didn't read the book. I suggest you start there. I do the eggs, lentils, spinach breakfast nearly every morning. 30g within 30 minutes When on the go I make these little egg muffins. I blogged about here: http://ericisaac.com/food/egg-muffins-and-lifestyle-changes/ .

    And on cheat days you must, must must do the very simple exercises and drink the grapefruit juice (it tastes really sweet when off of sugar for a week, btw)

  • Dylan Tomlinson commented Sep 10th 2012:

    Tim has taken potshots at that show during a few of his podcast appearances... He said something like, "This amount of exercise is plenty, I don't expect people to work out four hours a day and then drag an airplan across a hangar." I laughed my ass off...


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Hey Dylan!

Although its only my fourth month on the SCD i noticed the more i eat on the cheat day, the better off i have been throughout the week, i mean, i go friggin nuts! I eat more on my cheat day than most likely my whole week, ill gain 2-3 pounds, the day after, and by two days before my next cheat day, im about 1-2 pounds lighter than the previous cheat day.

I drink alot of water throughout the day, and grapefruits, i dont like grapefruit juice and i feel like its loaded with sugar and its just not as good as eating a grapefruit for me.

I have tried skipping cheat day, and it didnt work out at all as i planned, and i felt like i was sick throughout the week. but it just does not work. Keep doing your best and try different things, eventually youll get it where you feel comfortable.


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34 pounds within 10 weeks is amazing! Well done! I know it´s a little sad and frustrating when there is no change in weight within a week, but I´m sure there are some inches coming off. Check these as well. You are doing good!

  • Dylan Tomlinson commented Sep 7th 2012:

    I'm not that frustrated. I just want to make sure I'm doing everything right so I don't go backwards.

  • Maria Rider commented Sep 8th 2012:

    Just change your eating habits/way you think about food.....then you won't go backwards cause going backwards = OMG NO! When you do. :) When you get to that stage where you are conscious about your weight and in-tune with yourself you will keep the weight off forever. :)


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I totally understand you!!!

Overall, I am loosing about 2 lbs(1 kg) per week... which I think is not much, since I have been eating sooooo little. I just dont feel hungry and end up deciding not to eat.

last friday i weighed 90.3 Kg... had my cheat day on saturday and on monday i was weighing 90kg. But since then, i have lost 200g.

From my previously weeks I can tell that there is a pattern. Cheat day, old weigh on monday, look-like stalling until wednesday, 1 lb less on friday... No idea why.

This week I tried to have breakfast every day... but I failed horribly. Only had it for two days. Still looking for something that I might be able to eat in the morning without gagging.

  • Dylan Tomlinson commented Sep 6th 2012:

    Yeah, I'm amazed that I haven't gotten to the "gagging" point with eggs after having it every morning for the last 10 weeks. Maybe the buffalo sauce helps...

  • Gretchen Linden commented Sep 6th 2012:

    Dylan -- could you try having other protein sources for breakfast besides eggs BEFORE you get to the gagging point? I have so many things at breakfast that most would consider "dinner foods". Many mornings, it's chili, or chicken and veggie soup I've made. This morning, it was a big salad with eggs, a little cheese, avocado and a little ham, with vinegar and oil.

  • Maria Rider commented Sep 8th 2012:

    What is in that buffalo sauce? Do you slather that sauce on? I found that just pouring a lot of oil and vinegar dressing on my salad really BOOSTED the fat and calories of my salads and when I started to measure it out to the correct serving (2 tbl) my weight started to shift again. I was probably getting upwards of like 300-400 calories IN DRESSING ALONE stuff like that can add up and you don't know it. So watch your salt/dressings/sauces. It could have hidden sugar or you could be overdoing it.

  • Dylan Tomlinson commented Sep 10th 2012:

    The buffalo sauce is non-caloric. I'm not crazy... :D It's just like tabasco... It's been a godsend on this diet.

  • Maria Rider commented Sep 11th 2012:

    Okee..just checking. :) I'm anal-retentive that way. :) But, that anal-retentiveness got me where I am. :) So I do not question it. :)

  • Dylan Tomlinson commented Sep 11th 2012:

    I'm psychotic about reading labels.

  • Maria Rider commented Sep 13th 2012:

    Yep, me too!! It's surprising what they put in processed stuff these days. The more natural the better, I say! :)

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