Cheat Day Diet For Fast Weight Loss

Most people don’t know that by going on a cheat day diet you can actually lose belly fat and more weight than you could while being super strict with your nutrition program.  There’s a ton of science behind it but there are some very careful stipulations you’re going to want to know about before you start rolling up to Pizza Hut.

Cheat Day Dieting Isn’t For Losers

When I first started getting pretty hardcore about my diet and initially found some of the 30 pounds of extra weight I had on my body started falling off but eventually I hit a plateau that I just couldn’t get out of to save my life.  I was slamming my head against the wall because I didn’t know what the heck was going on because I was so strict with my diet that I thought I would reach my goal in no time, but I was dead wrong.

I don’t care who you are I’m going to go out and say that dieting is hard for everyone.  Most people can’t handle it and after a few hours of momentary dedication they end up binging on half of the McDonalds menu.  And I’m not one to talk because back when I didn’t know much about dieting I was doing the same things over and over again.

cheat day diet

You see one of the HUGE reasons why I wasn’t losing any more weight was because I was being TOO strict with my diet.  Naturally when you’re eating very healthy your caloric intake will fall down as well.

When you’re body is used to eating a high amount of calories every day your genes will change with your dietary habits.  You’ll experience a good amount of weight loss just by sticking to your diet in the beginning but eventually you’ll hit a brick wall and won’t be able to to see much more weight fall off.

Why Do Cheat Day Diets Help You Lose Fat?

This is because of the hormone leptin which is responsible for telling our body if we’re getting enough caloric intake to allow fat burning to rapidly continue.  And if you’re body isn’t getting enough calories you’ll eventually lower your leptin levels causing your body to shut off all the fat burning leaving you hanging out in the rain.

This is when implementing a cheat day diet once a week is going to help boost those leptin levels allowing your fat loss to continue.  Most people who embark on a diet for fast weight loss stick to it for a while but eventually they’ll come crashing down and end up binging while going back to their old ways.

The key is to use a cheat day once a week to boost those leptin levels while also satisfying any cravings that you’ve had the past week so you can get it over with and get back to your diet.  But if you’re really overweight then I don’t think you should really be having a full on cheat day and should restrict it to 1-2 meals per week (breakfast and lunch) until you start dropping a significant amount of weight.

I use Saturdays as my cheat days and there really aren’t any rules for me on this day.  After eating large amounts of pizza, bacon cheeseburgers, milkshakes and burritos I’m usually feeling so sick of these pig-approved foods that I don’t even want to touch them for another week.

I get re-motivated to stick to my diet plan for the rest of the week while satisfying any cravings that I may have.  The day following my cheat day (Sunday) I also go on a mini detox on trade in most of my meals with vegetable juice and protein shakes.  I do this because my body is in a prime fat burning mode following a cheat day with freshly boosted leptin levels so dramatically reducing my caloric intake the following day is a very strategic approach to mega fat burning.

Is A Cheat Day For You?

Overall having a cheat day once a week is going to help you lose weight but it shouldn’t be done all the way if you have 20+ pounds to lose.  A cheat day will let you look forward to something when dieting gets rough during the week and will hopefully re-motivate you to stick to your nutrition program for the rest of the week.

P.S. – Keep an eye out for your email inbox early next week because I’m going to give you a special discounted link to a new fast weight loss blueprint that’s launching that’ll have you burning boatloads of fat around the clock…and if you’re not already on my VIP Fat Loss Insider list then go ahead and click here to get started.

About The Author → Josh Schlottman, CSCS, is an ACE certified Personal Trainer and he graduated from Sacramento State University with a degree in Nutrition. Josh takes pride in his commitment to his clients’ results by bringing out their maximum potential through positive motivation. You can reach him at
  • Reply Maria November 4, 2011, 4:26 am

    Excellent, I’m looking forward to my first cheat day. All I want is lots of whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce and some chocolate.

    • Reply Josh Schlottman November 9, 2011, 2:03 pm

      Hi Maria, make sure you stick to your diet program throughout the rest of the week to earn that cheat day.

  • Reply Debbie February 12, 2012, 9:04 pm

    Hey Josh,

    Do you still do your workouts on a cheat day too?

    • Reply Josh Schlottman February 20, 2012, 8:41 am

      Definitely! I usually lift pretty heavier weights on my cheat days because of the massive influx of calories.

  • Reply Dennis May 15, 2012, 3:06 am

    Hi Josh,

    I’ve been on a Dukan diet for 5 weeks and i have seen huge change to my body. After 3 weeks i’ve allowed 1 cheat-day and this really helps both for my motivation to keep to the diet and to satisfy the cravings for all that is good (bad). After the first cheat day i felt a bit guilty, but after a few days back on protein that went away. Had my second cheat day last saturday and it was awesome, and no guilty feelings afterwards! I’m loving this diet because it works, and the cheat day motivates you to carry on. Thanks for the bit, it really helps to know WHY this works!

  • Reply Alex October 12, 2012, 4:54 am

    Dr Mercloa, who I have immense respect for, recommends that we exercise on an empth stomach.
    I guess this is kind of impossible on a cheat day when you are at full binge all day.
    Yet you say you lift heavier weights on your cheat day?????

    • Reply Josh Schlottman May 16, 2013, 10:35 am

      Yes I’d recommend lifting heavier weights and doing more HIIT on your cheat day. The extra load of calories will give you plenty of energy. Of course, you shouldn’t workout right after eating a whole pizza!

  • Reply Excited! October 24, 2012, 2:50 am

    Thank you so much! I’ve gotten the answer to why my great weight loss diet plan that worked so well at the beginning wasn’t doing as much anymore!

  • Reply flori December 15, 2012, 7:08 am

    what do u usually eat on your cheat day?

  • Reply Raelene January 10, 2013, 7:45 pm

    I have been on a strict diet! No dairy, sugar, or bread. I did have some wheat bread at subway, and some cheese on that veggie but other than that, I been doing surprisingly well. I have been doing all veggies, peppers, ect and no salts! It’s been fun finding new ways to season things without salt and butter! I am coming to a cheat day this Saturday, but I’m so nervous that I’m going to ruin this whole week of hard work! I have been jogging everyday as well and only drinking water and black coffee. I feel so healthy mentally, but I’m looking forward to a reward/cheat day. I do have more than 20lbs I want to lose. I’d like to lose 50-60. I have had 5 kids back to back and I want to feel thin again! Also I been using pinto and black beans daily with egg whites, chicken and those veggies. I haven’t weighed in, I feel like I won’t see a difference and will give up but my clothes are very loose.

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