T Nation

'Cheating' Within Your Calorie Total?


Hi i just wondered if anybody but me does this: say i have a cheat meal at whatever time of day, i then adjust the food intake for the rest of the day (using my food log) to make sure i remain within my desired calories.

So does anybody else do this? I suppose i mainly do this to limit the damage of the cheat meal.

Is there any point to this? I've seen several author's who would say something along the lines of: have your cheat meal, then get back to regular eating asap.

I must also state that the calories reduced from later meals come from carbs and fats only, protein remains the same.

Was just curious as to if i'm the only one who does this and what your thoughts on this are?

P.S. I've only done this when trying to gain muscle, never for fat loss.


If you are trying to gain muscle then who cares if you have a cheat meal. Why adjust? Just keep eating like you would had you not had the cheat meal. If you are really trying to gain muscle and can't sway from your diet for a couple cheat meals, then trying to gain muscle must be the most miserable thing you've ever had to do.


In my third week of thibs RKD... had 100% compliance up until this weekend gone when I went home. A total of 4 meals out of 10 were swopped for two larger meals. I made better food choices at restaurant and at the family meal on sunday.

Starter - steamed crab and pork mince with corriander, soy sauce and salad.
Main - some beef/chilli/lime salad thing.
Desert - jasmine tea

Home meal:
A shit tonne of roast beef and non starchy veg... and some whisky mustard.


if you're tracking your calories, this is the best way to go about things.

i wish people would get out of the "cheat meal" mindset. food is just energy, your body doesn't know if you're "cheating" or not, it's all in your mind.

i've gained muscle and lost fat eating what some people would consider "dirty" foods (ice cream, kiddy cereal, white bread, "regular" peanut butter) IN ADDITION to so called "clean" foods like chicken breast & oatmeal.

i can do this because i pay VERY strict attention to my calorie intake and i always eat ~1.25g of protein per lb. (250g/day)

so yes, if you go off your meal plan, simply adjust the remaining calories in the day in order to hit your target. if this means you must eat nothing but lean protein the rest of the day, so be it (i've been there before). just suck it up and do better next time.


x2. I've continued to get lean when an unplanned "cheat" meal came my way. I made sure I fell into my kcal goal and was all good. The high sodium of these foods may lend to some water retention however, so don't panic.



What's your progress been like on this diet? I pondered trying it but I thought it looked more of a gimmick.





If I am ever going to "cheat" I make sure I either do it first thing in the morning or straight after a big workout.
With regards to adjusting your total calories for that day, I usually adjust the calories the day after and make sure I do HIIT training on the following day as well.


3 weeks in - strength has been going up steadily with exception of bench (shoulder injury) and squat (became unhappy with form so switched to low box squats). Dropped from 100kg down to 93.8kg this morning... body comp I couldnt tell you unfortunatly due to a shitty BIA set of scales but I'll take a better reading post diet.

The diet should really start to shine when I come off the diet straight to maintenance with minimal fat rebound. Will be doing this wiht a week of super clean eating, good nutrient pairing/timing, P+F's aplenty on off days and increased training volume.