T Nation

Fasting After a Cheat Day



Just curious about your thoughts on fasting the day after a cheat day if one goes a little overboard on their cheat day. For instance if you are following the I,Bodybuilder routine and have a good workout Saturday morning and you have a scheduled cheat that day but goes a little overboard. So then on Sunday you fast with just liquids, mainly just water but maybe a little green tea and black coffee and no excercise that day. I have read a little bit about it recently and just wanted to get your thoughts on it. If one is following the I,Bodybuilder program and looking to put on lean muscle mass and using a carb/calorie cycling approach do you think this would be beneficial at all or do you think it would hinder progress? I definitely don't think it is something you would want to do all the time, but maybe could be good every once in awhile.


"For body composition, a missed meal is as bad as a cheat meal. Simply put, you don't fix a mistake by making another one.".

Or something like that... :slightly_smiling: In my opinion fasting is not a good option.


This is something I was thinking about. What happens if you go bit overboard on saturday with yo cheat?
I don't think fasting on sunday is a way to go. Why?
I am under impression that you want those radicals,bad fats or what ever you want to call it :slightly_smiling: out as fast as possible, so slowing down your inner factory wouldn't help a lot, but going totally clean with as little carbs as possible and 0 fats is what I have been practicing on those kinda situations.


I would think that cheating after a fasting day would be more beneficial personally.


i now Roman does it when hes had a big cheat day..

but i was thinking something like what about doing a day with only shakes after a cheat day

lots of protein.. minimum carbs...



Not to mention that it teaches HORRIBLE habits:

  • If you have problems controling your cheat days and limiting what you indulge in, this is a borderline (or straight) bulemia.

  • While fasting has some health benefits when done right, when it is used like the way you are suggesting it reinforces an underlying eating disorder.

In both cases, the situation needs to be addressed and delt with. Following a ''cheat then fast'' pattern is a recipe for disaster over the long run.


Ofc no one wants to go into that kind of pattern. But going overboard with a cheat meal/day during a long diet period is something that happens, even if you are mentally strong and not prone to cheating.

It's just good to see this kind of topics to actually share experiances with people about how they deal with these kind of situations.

Going into discussion about "I dont cheat", "You should never cheat!!!" or "cheating is for pussies!" is pointless imo.


You can't get fat in one day... trust me I've tried! You may look bloated and big bellied for a day but most of it is water retention and stomach content.

You CAN slow down your fat loss progress by cheating too much, but the best thing to do is still to get back on track as if nothing happened and take steps to avoid repeating that mistake.

As for training, I would perform a VERY intense UPPER BODY session the day after a huge cheat. I find that upper body (especially in pressing movements) strength goes up after a huge cheat while lower body performance decreases.


Thanks for all the replies everyone. This is definitely something that I would not fall into a pattern of. I am currently doing a weight/fat loss phase and I'm in my 6th and final week. I have lost about 20 pounds so far. Over the past 6 weeks I think I have had maybe 3 cheat meals/binges but never a full day. Next week I will be starting the I-Bodybuilder program and looking to add some mass while trying to keep as much of my new found leanness as possible. What got me thinking and wondering about this whole cheat/fast deal was as mentioned I have read a couple of things on it recently (Roman was one of them) and here in a couple of weeks I will be heading out of town for 4 days camping and riding ATV's. I will be spending have the time Thursday and Sunday riding in a vehicle and then camping out the rest of the time. So I won't have access to a fridge, mixer, stove, etc. I plan on taking as much good, clean easily transportable food as I can (cooked chicken breasts, boiled eggs, carrots, fruit, nuts, etc.) and eating clean Thursday and Friday. However, I thought I might allow myself a little break on Saturday and do some "cheating". So that got me to thinking about fasting on Sunday since most of the day will be spent packing up and driving home. From what I have read the idea behind the fast after the cheat is to force your body to more efficiently utilize the caloric overload from the previous days cheat and allow all the garbage to be moved out of your system a bit quicker by not adding food on top of it.

I have now decided against trying this. Since I am looking to add on some mass I don't really think a fast will be beneficial for me. I agree with you CT that you really can't get fat in one day. I am still planning on relaxing my diet a bit on Saturday but overdo it all day long.


What about intermittent fasting/The Warrior Diet approach?
I've been eating one meal a day(which is kinda split into pre and post workout (+ controlled veggie/protein)fasting for the rest of the day)) for a couple of months now and only thing I've noticed is increases in strength ( got the deadlift up to 420lb) and loss of body fat.

CT what is your take on this kind of dietary approach?
I've bought your Get Jacked Fast! and Jeckyll&Hide in which you always reccomend eating many smaller meals. However IF I recall well, during the IBB developing process you mentioned on forums that at some point you were eating one meal a day + periworkout nutrition .

(This post is not meant to be challenging or offensive(as it often looks like it on the internet). I respect CT greatly as well as Tmuscle community - very informative! Posed this only to see CTs opinion on intermittent fasting :wink: )

Thank you in advance!


I think it mainly depends on your goals. If you're trying to lose weight and don't care if that includes muscle weight, then fast away. If you're trying to put on muscle weight, then I think fasting is your antichrist. Can't build a brick house if you're not getting enough bricks, right?

There was an article some months ago about the quickest way to lose weight within a week (while maintaining your muscle mass). Basically, it said to eat nothing but low-fat protein all week, literally (with some shakes thrown into the mix, if I remember correctly). You can try that if you're feeling like your butt got too big from that binge-day. Maybe if you have another cheat day and go overboard, you can spend the next day eating nothing but low-fat protein sources?


Somewhat off topic, but CT, I know you and X have spoken about HUGE cheat meals in the past. Just wondering if you've ever ate more food than the equivalent of 2.5 large pizzas.. (sausage, pepperoni, ham, canadian bacon, and cheese.) Thats my personal best.

ON topic, I think CT and gyakujujijime have a good point. However, there was an article on here that discussed alternative diets, such as eating normal to large amounts of food, and then fasting one day a week i think. The author said it was a good fat loss diet for him. But i'd really have to say that this could become a damaging pattern in the long run.


I'll chime and and restate what I mentioned in my blog: I happen to enjoy my cheat days and I eat pretty much all the foods I normally deprive myself of. Because this will include things like pizza, burgers or whatever else...well, forgive me for getting overly scientific, but my tum tum hurts =(

I originally started fasting after cheat days because I was trying to find a way to mitigate the digestive aftermath of eating crappy (no pun intended) foods.

I have found, in the years since doing this, that I get lean a little bit faster; mainly because fasting is obviously creating an extraordinary level of caloric deficit; and despite that I have never lost mass while doing that.

Regarding whether this can encourage an eating disorder, I don't disagree. If you're someone who struggles emotionally with food, then this approach would not really be something you'd want to look into, as it might exacerbate whatever you're dealing with. In that case, I suspect that you'd not really be suited by using a diet that incorporated either cheating or fasting; although it is debatable of course.

Having said that I've always gotten good results of cheating protocols, whereas I know many people simply have not. For me, this is a case where I may be able to get away with certain things other many not, due in part to an admitted level of genetic freakitude.

On the other hand, it's an approach that's worked well with my clients.

Consider, though, that I work with a number of clients who would probably be less worried about losing mass than many of Thibs, as the total number of bodybuilders I train is woefully disproportionate to the number of fat loss clients I have.

Ultimately I'm left to wonder if it's something that will vary in efficacy (and thereby recommendation) by population.

Finally, I need to just stress that this is done with plan in mind, not, as has been suggested, to "make up" for an accidental cheat day. The cheats are planned, and the fast is planned.


In general would you say that a planned weekly fast gives a great risk of muscle loss or is would you recommend it as a good general strategy for fat loss?

I don't really have an obscene cheat day but I do have a carb day and I'm considering doing the fast on the day after


I've not noticed muscle loss, and in only once case have I seen it be really inhibitive.

That said, if you're seeing good progress with what you're doing and you feel like trying it, give it a shot. If you do it for 3-4 weeks and feel like you're losing size, halt.

This is Thib's house and I'm not looking to run his show, particularly in an instance where we seem not to be in accord; so if you guys have other questions about this i'd love to either answer them on my blog or in another thread.

Sorry for the mini-hijack CT!


It's personally not the catabolism and muscle loss that's I'm scared off, but rather the possible development of an eating disorder-type mentality of binging then starving. That having been said if you can avoid that, short-term fasting is not that bad.


I've been insanely strict following a 'really bad' binge day, usually just egg whites, broccoli etc. I imagine just swigging a bit o' Mag-10 throughout the day would make you feel a bit better psychologically about any lbm loss that could potentially occur.



Important distinction, and wise to avoid.

I don't know about Canada, but here in NY, eating disorders haven't been cool since 2006.

Thanks CT =)


Oh ok, cool. I definitely have no problems with binging. My carb-up/boost-the-leptin day is Spartan compared to most people's. I'll give it a go and report back (hopefully with pictures of super-abs) in 6 weeks.


Instead of fasting, I'd probably just go zero carbs the day after. No fruit, and only green veggies for carbs. The rest is fat + protein, even the morning.