As we crest the rise of the hill leading up to the release of the Xtreme Fat Loss Diet, I’ve been getting hit with a lot of emails. Which is great, because it gives me an opportunity to interact with people on a more personal level, and really help out.
The problem with emails is that they only go to one person, and a lot of that information could likely benefit nearly all of my readers; to that end, I want to share some of the more common ones I get with you.
This post is going to be about Cheat Days, because I have been getting more Cheat Day questions than I know what to do with. Not surprising, considering how prominently Cheat Days are featured in XFLD Some of them are really great—they have to do with timing workouts and some other cool stuff.
It’s like people just don’t GET it.
Here is a sample of some of the questions I’ve been getting:
“Roman, normally I get about 1800 calories per day. On my Cheat Days I’m getting about 3000, sometimes 3200. Is that okay?”
Well, that depends. If you are eating 3200 calories before 2pm, and then eat another 3200 after that, then it’s okay. If your entire caloric intake for the day is only 3200, you’re screwing up. Double or triple it and get back to me.
“Generally I have NO carbs at all. Not even any. So for my Cheat Days, I’m adding in some yogurt (13g carbs) and having oatmeal for breakfast. I’m male, 6’1’’ and 160 at 18% body fat by the way. What do you suggest?”
You are literally screwing this up in every way imaginable.
Firstly, you need some more carbs to grow some more muscle, which you desperately need at your height and weight.
Secondly, 13g from yogurt and then a bowl of oatmeal isn’t a Cheat Day, it’s a diet day for anyone sane.
Check out my blog post on calorie calculations.
“For my Cheat Days, I’m trying to have fast digesting but healthy carbs, like fruits, some waxy maize, and then good protein. To me, this seems more beneficial than eating junk food. The way you guys spin it, it seems like you’re saying you HAVE to eat crap.”
This is actually a really interesting question, and I’m glad I get to address it here.
Certainly, you don’t have to eat junk food.
The main thing to note is that Joel’s research suggests that for the best benefit, you should be eating carbs and fats together while getting a surplus of calories. Can you do this with fruits and healthy oils? I’m certain you can.
I just don’t know how convenient it is.
Mainly, if you’re looking at it from the perspective of stomach volume, how much “healthy” carbs are you going to need to eat to get the same calories from a few slices of pizza?
How long can you do that before feeling “full” gets in the way of the program, because it hampers your ability to eat enough calories to get the positive effects of over-feeding?
I’m not saying it’s impossible; I’m just of the mind that it’s just less practical and therefore less effective. Not to mention, all of that is completely discounting the fact that most people are using Cheat Days because they like the freedom to eat whatever they want, and in most cases that’s “forbidden” food.
In an ideal situation for you, if you were able to get the same number calories and identical macronutrient breakdowns from ‘healthier’ foods, would you have the same results? Probably. Would you be better off than someone who was eating junk food? No idea.Personally, I think you’re going to be A LOT better off allowing yourself some latitude–afterall, that IS the purpose of the Cheat Day.
But if it makes you happy, go for it.
“Roman, you and Joel always talk about these huge Cheat Days, and it seems cool for you. But I just worry about eating that many calories. I know you have science to back it up and you’re lean as anything in all your pics and videos so you seem real with it—but level with me. REALLY, how much do you eat on Cheat Days? And is it really just really junky foods?”
Check these vids for my Cheat Day battle.
In this video, as I begin to dig in, I’m confident, happy and even a little euphoric as I begin to crunch and munch my way to an ice-cream filled heaven:
In this video (about 15 minutes later) I’m realizing quickly that 20 scoops of ice cream is a bit more challenging than I’d thought initially. Less than halfway through, I come to see like MANY, MANY situations in my life, I may have let my ego guide me down a path I should have viewed with a bit more trepidation:
Another 20 minutes later, I’m hurting. Just before this video (and it’s a shame we missed it) was that magical transition from “it’s so good…it’s SO good” to “it’s so bad…oh, my God this is so, so bad.” We’d also started making friends at Ben and Jerry’s as the spectacle of two trainers eating ice cream on camera draws some questions:
Less than 10 minutes later, I’m pretty much done.
I feel like I can keep eating…as long as I’m not eating ice cream. I want to vomit or die, in no particular order. I tap out with little shame.
So, as you can see, that I LOVE my Cheat Days. Just truly love them. This was a bit much, of course, and I certainly do NOT endorse or recommend this to anyone as a habitual thing, I’ve just personally wanted to eat a Vermonster (or try) for a few years now.
The thing is, I went on to eat a lot for the rest of the day. It’s just that I had to eat solid foods. Ice cream just did me in. I doubt I’ll eat Ben and Jerry’s for about a month.
Ultimately, the rule for Cheat Days is eat WHATEVER YOU WANT, just don’t eat until discomfort. I ate a bucket of ice cream, and stopped when I knew it was time.
I did this with 100% confidence in the program, because I have 100% confidence in Joel and the science, so I KNOW with 100% certainty that even eating a Vermonster (or failing at eating one) isn’t going to take me away from where I want to be.
PS – Don’t forget to pick up the Xtreme Fat Loss Diet!