T Nation

Cheat days/cheat meals

T-dawg 2 recommends cheating all day once a week. Joel Marion’s “Cheater’s Diet” recommends 2 cheat meals at different times in the week. Those of you who have tried both methods, which do you prefer, and which sped up fat loss most?

There’s a thread titled the Refeed HQ. Give it a look and it will tell you tons of info. about refeeds.

As for me, I do two 7 hour refeeds per week (on monday and friday.

TD 2.0 actually recommends two refeeding protocols.

  1. A healthy (clean foods) all day carb up.
  2. A single cheat meal of anything you want.
    I have tried both and saw similar results when one factor was observed: not going too far above maintenace calories. I tried throwing caution to the wind once and annihilated a chinese food buffet - the end result was that I went 1000 calories over maintenance. I felt like hell and put five pounds back on (yeah, some of it was glycogen and water, but some of it was fat). I recommend that you check out Alessi’s carb-bouncing tips in #209. Those recommendations have worked well for me.

Women who have tried the Cheater’s Diet, what tactics have worked best for you, especially considering the limited options for muscle-preserving supps for females? I’m combining Meltdown I with the diet, with a 1000 kcal/day deficit (including training), using Alessi’s weight training and Marion’s cardio/intervals. Going into the second week, I’ve dropped ~1% BF and a small amount of LBM (part glycogen & water? Time will tell). I’m hesitant to mess with what’s working, but want to improve the strategy if possible.

Good advice above, Patman. Iron Mike’s right – T-Dawg doesn’t call for an all day cheat, but just what he outlines (just started that diet myself). And do what Brent suggests and check out the Refeed HQ thread for a ton of info. Also, I emailed Joel Marion and he graciously emailed me a copy of a great refeed article he wrote. Tampa-Terry also has excellent advice, but I think you’ll find her opinion in the aforementioned thread, if I’m not mistaken. If not, do a search.

Of course, I did mean T-Dawg 2.

When I wrote the CD article, I was just learning about how to periodically overfeed to accelerate fat loss (basically, I was trying to figure out why the hell I got leaner after a few of what I thought to be “dietary screw ups”). Since then, I have conducted a great deal of research on the subject, have written a few more articles, and have a number of updated views. As of now, the system is much more “perfected” for both moderate and severe dieting.

Thanks for your help, Joel! Would your article in the March issue of MuscleMedia be the best place to get your newest tactics? Or is there something in another archive that would give more information?

For moderate dieting, yes. I think the approach I outlined is ideal for women, also. The cheater’s diet is just too calorically restrictive to be used without an androgen.


Thanks; I just picked up that article. So you can say you single-handedly boosted MuscleMedia’s sales. What calorie deficit would you recommend?

-500 from maintenance (this is not including energy expenditure). Also, not trying market or boost any particular publication’s or supplement company’s sales; just trying to get the best information out there. I recommend diet and training tactics, as well as supplements that I believe in.