T Nation

Cheating While Cutting


To T-Nation members who have completed or are in a cutting (leaning up) phase, what is your protocol for cheat meals?

Do you have them given the 5-12 week period that you set aside for cutting? Or do you maintain a strict diet like bbers?

And for those who have been or moving towards getting pretty lean (<10 % bf), what type of foods do you eat for your cheat meals?


When I was actually cutting for a show, I didn't have one cheat meal. Those are for the competitors who come in 2nd place.

If you're just trying to lean out a bit, the occasional cheat won't kill you, but I certainly wouldn't recommend eating an entire cake one day each week. When I have to cheat, it will always be on a planned day, when I can adjust everything else. ie. Today is an off day from training for me. I plan on going out for how wings with some friends after work. So I'm eating lower cals, and low carbs all day to hopefully offset some of the 'damage' -lol



Pop Tarts. Greatest Cheat while on a low carb ever.

And I personally say don't cheat, it just makes the rest of the diet that much more difficult, why give yourself a taste of something you can't have ?


I remember watching a video of a bunch of massive guys ( bbers ) talking about cutting, and they were saying they'll have low carbs and normal cutting food for 3 days then on the 4th day they'll eat whatever they want for their first meal and their last meal and repeat.


Dorian Yates used cheat meals while getting prepared for Mr. Olympia, as said by himself.


I don't cheat...just slows up the progress and makes me crave other sweets n shit I can't have for a while.


I don't think you can compare people who take super supps and someone who probably doesn't.


Well if have Mr. O genetics, you go ahead and have that ding dong.


Why should you cheat? There are plenty of ways to make healthy bulking meals great tasting. Just test out with fruits/veggies, sauces, experiment. You don't need that sugary shit, just make your regular meals taste great.


I think you mean 'cutting' meals, not bulking.


When I last cut (back in "the day", which was a Wednesday) I used to have a re-feed day once a week. It would be on a training day and I would have a re-feed meal for breakfast and for my 2nd meal. Then hit the gym and eat healthy the rest of the day.

Except that one day I ate a whole pizza and a piece of cake at 9pm. That was a mistake, a glorious mistake.


Hm... You're right. I meant cutting.


If you're doing a ketogenic diet to lose the weight I would definitely include cheat meals in your plan. Depending and your diet, training, intensity, and body, your muscles will eventually be depleted of glycogen. Cheat meals help you "recharge". Keep it in check and I personally don't think it will harm. Just don't be a dumbass about it :slight_smile:


Read "Cheat to Lose", there is a good article about it on the site.

I broke out of a plateau by following it, and continue to see good results with the basic concept. During the week, I eat clean. On Saturdays, I eat whatever I want (chocolate, ice cream, pizza, etc.) to the point of feeling full. As long as you are consistent the rest of the week, it can actually help you to cheat, since it restores Leptin levels and keeps your metabolism stoked the rest of the week.


Does anyone know if the body tends to use fat stores for energy when glycogen is depleted, or not?


Cheat to Lose is an awesome diet. This is my last week on it and I've been on it for about 5months.


For those of us who are trying to get lean (under 10 bf) in a certain, intense time period e.g. 5-10 weeks.. talking about fat loss without muscle loss, do you still suggest a cheat meal?

If so, what type of frequency per week, what type of foods do you eat during your cheat?


Fat stores are tapped during activities of lower intensities, i.e. if you're watching T.V., sleeping or just going for a walk. Higher intensity activities rely more on carbohydrates and glycogen.


yates had much more than genes to counteract his cheating....