How have your cheat days changed?

Hello All.

I have just started this way of eating recently and i have at least 50 lbs of fat to lose. My first Cheat day was yesterday, and well, I'm waking up feeling like crapola. I ate all the stuff I wanted during the week on yesterday, and the 'carby' stuff I have in the house I just tossed.

As expected, I'm bloated than a mug, and I have resolved to take it easy next week. I know it's supposed to be a guilt free day, but I look forward to fine tuning my cheats and scaling them back. (I did have 3 number 2s yesterday, as Tim did -- totally surprised me, but I still feel bad and bloated after yesterday.)

Have you gone through the same process where your cheat days are lessened just so you don't have to deal with the damage and or flirt with not having a net loss for the week? Or do you still go berserk?



The Best Answer

United-States flag

Yes, mine have definitely changed!! I've been doing SCD for a year (52 lbs off so far, wooo hooo!!) and in the beginning it was like racing the clock, trying to jam EVERYthing in that I could. BLECH. Berserk is a good word for it! Now, I just get what I feel like at the time, and often, it's something more tame like tortilla chips & salsa, or cheese on my meal, or some fruit. I'll still have ice cream etc, but I'll have just enough to satisfy me instead of eating an entire pint just because I could.

The psychological effect of cheat days is fascinating, because over time, we really do see those extreme foods as, well, extreme! And we really DON'T want to overindulge because we know they make us feel so awful. It's such a dramatic change from other "diets" in that way. (The quotes are there because this is not a diet to me...this is just the way I eat now.) On WW, calorie counting, low fat, etc, if I fell off the wagon and had ice cream, for instance, I'd feel awful EMOTIONALLY. I'd feel guilty and like I'd really screwed up etc. I'd feel like I might as well quit because I'd already blown it for the week. And I'd also WANT MORE ICE CREAM! LOL! Now, though, emotionally, I'm like "Well, that was nice, but I'm really sort of 'meh' about it." And physically, I may not feel so great. Might have a headache, and will definitely want a nap.

THIS IS THE MOST PROFOUNDLY LIBERATING THING THAT HAS HAPPENED IN MY RELATIONSHIP TO FOOD. I now feel like a "normal person" who can walk past whatever with a take-it-or-leave-it attitude that is truly there, instead of faking it, declining what's offered, and wishing desperately that I could eat it too. My always-slim ex was like that and I never understood it. He'd often say he wasn't really all that hungry, or that he FORGOT to eat lunch, for instance! And I'd think he was INSANE! I mean, I didn't care if I was already stuffed from dinner...if there was dessert being ordered, I joined in and had some too.

Those days are over. THANK GOD, and Tim Ferriss!


All Answers


United-States flag

Drink a lot of water on cheat day, it will definitely help!


United-States flag

Yesterday was my first cheat day. I didn't go crazy crazy but i had raisinets and pizza galore in the evening. This morning I felt hung over. :-(

Today went ok eating wise but i definitely noted some sugar cravings. I went through bucket loads of water and that seemed to really help flush my system.

The breakfast is tough for me too. I don't normally eat a big breakfast so it is a tough transition. I tend to make them in advance since i have no time to make them in the mornings. sooo they tend to be as simple as possible.

1 can of tuna

1/2 can of black eyed peas or kidney beans

1/2 or peas

all mixed together with 1 or 2 light balsamic vinaigrette dressing

lasts in tupperware for a bit. Good luck!

  • Leogurl commented May 29th 2012:

    That sounds good. I have black eyed peas in the cabinet and I have no idea what to do with them. Thanks for the tip!

  • Jake commented May 29th 2012:

    That mix sounds good to me! I would replace the peas in that recipe with a different vegetable though since the peas are fairly high carb. I treat green peas as an in-moderation food - okay to have a few tossed into a salad or a soup as a garnish, but I don't have an entire serving of peas.

  • kifAmazon commented May 30th 2012:

    I've used green beans in the mix before but couldn't think of another one that would work well with it. Any suggestions?

  • Douglas Sheehan Douglas Sheehan commented Jun 14th 2012:

    How about hot or mild giardiniera? It tastes great in tuna salad.

  • Tim Roche commented Jul 15th 2012:

    Edamame perhaps?


United-States flag

While I think cheat days are a huge variable to my long-term success on this eating plan (year and a half steady, consistent weight loss of 40+ lbs), I continue to feel hungover, tired, etc on cheat days and the day following. I have a harder time sleeping on the night of a cheat day. My body temperature seems to go way up. I have very anxious, vivid dreams, and the next day I wake up with a headache. It's totally predictable. My typical cheat day dessert is popcorn and swedish fish. I know the sugar is giving me the hangover headaches but I can't seem to stop!

I would like to change my cheat day to eating whole grains and fruits as my treats instead of candy and popcorn. While I don't enjoy my cheat days (physically), I still think they are necessary to remind me how good I feel all the days I'm following the plan. I'm just getting really sick and tired of feeling so crappy on cheat nights and the following day. The flip side is that I used to get sick all the time prior to 4HB. I do not get sick anymore. It's the strangest thing! Other than needing to refine my cheat days, my relationship with food has totally changed and I'm grateful for being able to maintain the weight loss over time.

  • Nicole Pape commented Aug 21st 2012:

    Loving the way I feel with the food during the week, as well. And I´m not even tempted to have something sweet. My grandma wanted to offer me a praline (although I told her minutes ago, that I wasn´t eating any sugar...) and I couldn´t even have had it to be kind (but of course I´m not that kind any more, to eat something just to please somebody).


United-States flag


I just finished my 3rd week and I felt exactly like you after my 1st cheat day. So I decided to start drinking lots of water around 7pm or 8pm on the night of my cheat day and I noticed I no longer have that sickly bloated feeling the next day.

It sucks because drinking so much water at night means more trips to the bathroom during the night but at least I feel better the next day.

  • vickskat commented May 28th 2012:

    i have to try that then. Makes lots of sense too, since your body hold on to water around all those carbs. Thanks!


United-States flag

I went beserk on my first cheat day, got on the scale a few days later and the weight was still coming off. Thats when I decided to go all in 100%. Now I look forward to my cheat days like a kid on Christmas morning. As you go along I'm sure you'll find that perfect cheat day balance that will leave you satisfied without making you pay for it the next day.

Wish you luck.


United-States flag

My first 2 cheat days were horrible experiences. Thought I was going to die. I ate a whole pie for one. And it took me a week to get back on schedule. That's when I went back and re-read the book. The glass of grapefruit juice in the morning helps a lot. And I still start with a 48g protein shake for breakfast. And I always do some cardio and weights that day. Nothing drastic, just in keeping with the deep knee bends. Sticking to the book has changed cheat day from sick day to fun day. I don't pre-buy bad stuff like I used to. Just enjoy the day.

And DO NOT skip PAGG on a cheat day. I did that once while not doing the other extra little things and gained and held 6 pounds for 8 days.

  • wednesdayware commented May 29th 2012:

    I've been at it for four months, only started PAGG last week. Skipping PAGG is not the end of the world, won't guarantee weight gain post cheat.

  • Leogurl commented May 29th 2012:

    Yeah I don't do the entire PAGG stack because I read the Policosanol and Green tea extract may interfere with my thyroid medication. I do take Alpha-Lipoic Acid and garlic supplements and I guess their helping but I don't think they have any effect on my weight gain post cheat day because I don't take any supplements on that day.


United-States flag

I felt very sick during my first few, then was suffering from icky hang overs for several after that. I find it's the sugar that really messes me up, so try to stick more with fruits and dairy as my treats and avoid processed white sugar. Even then, I seem to do better if I eat natural sugars with other foods vs. alone.

My cheat day this week was scheduled to coincide with our Farmer's Market - I walked the whole thing twice, there was fresh baked bread, pastries, falafel, kettle corn and tons of bad things in addition. Despite being able to pick anything there - I ended up with this amazing raw seed cracker cone filled with polenta, wild mushrooms and truffle oil, along with some fresh fruit samples. Mostly I bought a ton of veggies for the week - including three ENORMOUS cauliflowers that I could likely use as kettlebells, lol. Basically, my junk food is most people's health foods! It's like I know how I'll feel after I eat crappy, so seem happier to avoid going nuts. I did have a delicious burger with blue cheese and fries, so that was pretty decadent.

I've tried things like grapefruit juice and cinnamon, but haven't noticed much of an impact either way. I do always have coffee several times that day - mmm lattes!


United-States flag

First few cheat days were crazy for me. Always felt like crap at the end of the cheat day. Now 5 months into the SCD i don't even crave bad foods. My absolute favorite cheat day food is Greek yogurt with crushed granola bar in it. Sometimes i eat 4 or 5 of them during the day lol.


United-States flag

I just had my 4th cheat day, and the two biggest things I've noticed are that I am never as hungry as I think I am, and over time my body has been able to feel full with less and less food. For example, before I was able to eat 2 donuts and still kinda want another, but this most recent cheat day I ate 1 donut, it filled me up, and I thought I was going to be sick from how sweet it was (it was still delicious though, mmm). Also, I'm now trying to get in a bit more exercise and drink at least 3 liters of water w/ lemon.

  • Icandoit commented May 28th 2012:

    re: feeling full with less food - me, too! I keep buying/ordering too much on cheat day and giving it to my non-SCD boyfriend: "Here - eat this - I'm full." I've gotten much better lately but my eyes are still bigger than my stomach. Big change from before SCD when I could eat tons of food and never feel full.

    I've also noticed that since treats are allowed on cheat day I slow way down when eating them instead of trying to "sneak" them by eating fast. Makes no sense, but I used to do it. Cheat day with permission to eat whatever I want works for me psychologically. : )

  • Gretchen Linden commented May 28th 2012:

    DITTO to all that, Icandoit! Isn't it amazing?! I love it! :-D

  • Nicole Pape commented Aug 21st 2012:

    Me too. After breakfast I´m already so full, that I can´t have anything for lunch... Then, the next meal is coffee and cake. :) It´s kind of disappointing, that I don´t feel like having all the things I longed for during the week. It seems like all is just in my mind. That we have to trick ourselves out of the former eating habits.

Like this post? Share it!

Join the 4 Hour Body Superhumans!

Join our community and be a part of the superhuman revolution!