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Everyone on Occam's: Do NOT do a cheat day!?

Holy $@%*, I just found out some very disturbing information, apparently you don't get a cheat day on Occam's:


You're actually supposed to do a 'reverse' cheat day, where you eat only 50% of your calories. Thankfully I only made this mistake once (yesterday), and questioned it after gaining 1.5mm of abdominal fat overnight), versus losing fat the previous 6 days. So for those of you gaining fat on Occam's, please don't do cheat day. Do the opposite once a week. I'm going to do this tomorrow in an attempt to reverse yesterday's damage.

I might be losing my mind, but I'm pretty sure that wasn't mentioned in the book, but it's mentioned here:


  • shaun commented Feb 11th 2011:
    Hi Laura, so glad I read this, my so called 1st cheat day is tomorrow! So should I just cut out carbs on non shake meals and do everything else normal?


The Best Answer

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I do remember reading this, but I forget if it was in the book or on his blog. This also applies to people who are Geek 2 Freak'ing. The day of low calories is supposed to put your body into starvation mode, so that your body saves more of the nutrients from your future meals... while the cheat day of high calories makes your body less inclined to save extra nutrients.

Thus, the main difference between losing fat quickly and gaining muscle quickly is the apparent paradox:

Eat less once a week -> More mass

Eat more once a week -> Less mass

However, Occam's and G2F both involve eating MORE food during the rest of the week than you normally would, while fat loss involves going Slow Carb and eating about the same amount as you normally do,

  • LauraCox commented Feb 8th 2011:
    Makes sense, I always felt like every day was cheat day after starting Occam's, eating everything in sight. Today is my first starve-day then!
  • alexlarge commented Jun 29th 2011:

    What about if you're doing Geek 2 Freak workout but on SCD?? Do you still not get a cheat day?

All Answers


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Hi there, actually I think it depends on what you're aiming for.

Going nuts with food and doing sort of a daily cheat day on Occam is logical if you're aiming at huge muscle gains. But if you're aiming at a something ... less huge, based on what I've been doing until now, I think you can do Occam + Slow Carb Diet + Cheat Day (especially to increase Leptin release on that day and fat loss potential). So yes there is an arbitrage :

. If you want to guarantee fat loss while gaining muscle you need to be OK with gaining not that much muscle.

But more on this when my own "Occam + Slow Carb Diet + Cheat Day" experience will yield the results I'm after. All this should be taken with a grain of salt, as always. It's an experience anyways


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Page 206, par.1 of the Four Hour Body: "The meal composition is nearly identical to the Slow-Carb diet, as are the tenants, though we now add a starch such as brown rice or quinoa to the non-shake meals..." That's it.

If calories were supposed to be dropped by 50% for a day it would be mentioned here on page 206.

The whole point of this plan...book, really, is to experiment. If dropping calories by 50% is working for you then keep it up. But, according to the book, that isn't necessary. Besides, the link given at by Laura is for Geek to Freak, NOT Occam's Protocol.



"Eat enormous quantities of protein (much like my current fat-loss diet) with low-glycemic index carbohydrates like quinoa, but drop calories by 50% one day per week to prevent protein uptake down-regulation."

I've been trying to find info online to backup that quote for the last hour or so, but most people aren't sure what Tim is talking about. The closest thing I've found is forum posts mentioning switching up foods like exercises being a good thing occasionally.

I've been on Occam's for a week now and, personally, I'm focusing purely on the amount of protein I'm supposed to ingest matching the 1.25 per lean muscle allotment mentioned in the book. The calories I'm not quite as concerned with. To be honest, I don't think my calorie intake has been that crazy, so I don't even know how I'd cut back 50%.

At the end of the day, Tim always stresses that all these things are experimental, and will work differently for everyone. What do you guys think about the 50% day? Is it something to stress over?

  • Bouyakashan commented Feb 19th 2011:
    Same here Evan, only with no supplements, I've been on Occam but with a scaled up Slow-Card diet, meaning more SC food per meal. Feeling good. Seeing progress : Fat loss and mass gain. Will see what it leads to. Experimenting on


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So how's about my sugary snacks and the occasional bread sticks at olive garden dipped in alfredo sauce????!!

Could those count as part of my calories if it was a meal a week thing?


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Ugh. Very confused. If someone could provide clarity on this issue, it'd be much appreciated.


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I did my second cheat day on Occam's on Sunday for the Superbowl. Either way, I actually found that I ate about half as much (volume-wise) as a typical day ON occam's! Although the sugary foods I ate were plenty, haha.

I'll see how strong my willpower is for my next 'cheat/reverse' day... Hopefully I can muster the strength!


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Well, then I don't want to do Occam's! I may change my mind later.


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I'm on my fourth week and have just been following the normal cheat day idea from the slow carb. I never noticed anything in the book mentioning it, so that's what I went by. The thing is, I feel like my cheat day is a relief in that I DON'T have to eat as much as I have been all week and can relax a little bit more, so I think this is easy to accomplish. While I will have junk food when I do eat, I'm not obsessively sticking to the eating schedule and it's a nice break.

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