Cheaters Never Win. Unless…

So as we prepare for the weekend, I thought I’d take a quick moment to discuss the “cheat” day.

What is this, exactly?

Right. So a “cheat” day is typically one (1) day out of the week designated as a day during which, honestly, just about anything goes food-wise. Unfortunately, this concept has evolved over the past decade. It really started during the early 2000s when the Body for Life “thing” was really gaining traction. I’m sure it can be traced farther back than that, because the idea behind it is sound and probably has built a lot of huge physiques out there.

Here’s the concept as it is intended:

1. Sunday thru Friday (or some other six-day spread of choice), work out each day.

2. Sunday thru Friday, be extremely diligent about what and how often you eat.

3. Saturday (or which ever seventh day you choose), rest for recovery and eat whatever you feel like…but try to keep it reasonable (i.e. don’t go eat a horse, but half a pizza is pretty much fair game).

Here’s how I’ve seen a lot of casual dieters take this:

1. Work out when you can.

2. Sunday thru Friday, try your best to limit bad foods.

3. Saturday, eat whatever you feel like. Seriously…whatever and however much you want.

You can pretty much see where that could go quite badly for a lot of folks. For anyone!

So here’s what I suggest…

If you really want a day to “eat whatever you want,” be very careful about what you eat throughout the week. More importantly than what you eat is, arguably, how many calories you take in and how many you burn throughout the week. If you create a significant caloric deficit Sunday through Friday, then give your body a break and chill out on Saturday.

But if you just try to pretty much eat right throughout the week (and that’s okay for most people in my opinion), be sure to hit the gym at least four times a week and be content with maintaining your current body weight. If you want to lose body weight, create that deficit on at least six days. Two days of going over will destroy an entire week of effort for most people. Trust me…I know.

Next Week…

Still thinking about what to focus on next week. If you have any suggestions, please share them. Have a specific question? I’ll research the heck out of it and give you the smartest answer the Internet (and other professional resources) can provide. Until then…

Warmest Regards,



About Aj

My name is Aj, and I am a fitness and healthy living enthusiast. Please check out my log at for more information. View all posts by Aj

4 responses to “Cheaters Never Win. Unless…

  • Ryan

    Hey Andy,
    Good work on your blog! I’ve seen research (and it seems logical) that suggests it is good to do your cheat meal after a big work out (especially weight training) because your body is actually craving calories and can better utilize what you are putting into it. I’ll look for the exact article (think it was Jim Stoppani) and respost if I find it. Keep up the good work!


    • andyisaj

      Thanks for sharing! Please do repost, and I’ll try to look that up today myself.

      When you start getting heavier into weight training, it sometimes becomes easy to over eat. After going big in the gym, I’m often tempted to go big at the dinner table. That’s cool if it’s salad and skinless chicken breast, but when dinner calls for family pizza night….

      Thanks again, Ryan. Looking forward to seeing what you dig up on that.

  • Scott

    LOL … I think your casual dieter response has (unfortunately) described my entire diet AND exercise routine in 2012 (sans the 7 weeks I was at SNCOA).

    Time for me to get back on the horse … and stop eating one daily (covered in chocolate and/or queso)!

    • andyisaj

      I hear you, Scott! Queso is G-O-O-D! My Achilles heal is chips and salsa. Not easy to avoid in the southwest–especially when they’ll just keep the baskets of freshly fried delights coming!

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