Intermittent Fasting Cheat Days: Do They Help?

can you stick to your diet better if you
cheat on it for me the answer is yes let’s talk about cheat days so back at
the end of 2015 I was hovering about around 205 and I was actually starting
to trend back upwards I had lost like 17 pounds but I didn’t really have a clear
plan and so I read this book called the 4-hour body by Tim Ferriss and it really
changed my thinking on a lot of things and I didn’t even do the diet that he
recommends which is called the slow carb diet I did my own thing instead but one
thing I took away from that book was the importance of cheat days and really I
think cheat days have been a major reason for amount of success with
actually losing the weight and keeping it off so what is a cheat day it is
Bacchanalia basically it is eating whatever you want to eat however much
you want to eat just there are no rules except for the only rule is you have to
eat whatever you want whenever you want and not limit yourself so to me that
sounded counterintuitive like isn’t that gonna just screw up all the good eating
and everything that I did all week long if I have this day where I just
basically wreck myself but at that point I thought well I’ve never really
tried this before and I tend to be kind of an all-or-nothing person so what
would happen historically with me is I would be on a diet and then i would cheat
on it and so then I would just quit altogether because like well if I can’t
be perfect then forget it so what I found with cheat days is that it really
helps me to be super consistent throughout the week because I know that
on Sunday there are no rules so when I started doing cheat days I had decided
to really get more strict with intermittent fasting I kind of like
experimented with it but I was really kind of loosey-goosey but then I started
to say okay I’m really gonna do longer fast so I was doing like 18-hour fasts
at that point and it was so crucial to me to have that cheat day to look
forward to for example I would be in the middle of my fasting window
and I would just start to have these cravings like you know my husband would
be eating a turkey sandwich and it’d just be like cheap turkey meat from
Walmart or something but it looked delicious and so because I could tell
myself okay you can’t have that now but you can have that for lunch or whatever
you want on Sunday then it it calmed the craving down and I was able to stick
with my fasting plan so again my one rule for cheat day is no denying myself
or anything now you may think well why don’t you just try to like be pretty
good on cheat day or you know kind of curb yourself a little bit what I’ve
found is if I don’t do cheat day right so meaning I just eat whatever I want
whenever I want then through the week what I could say to myself in my head is
like well but you know you were pretty good like you didn’t have that you know
piece of chocolate whatever on Sunday that you wanted so then I don’t think
well it’s okay to cheat a little bit right now because I was good on Sunday I
can look forward to cheat day because it’s a day with no rules if you make it
a day with kinda rules then it’s like you never really get to have that break
that you so desperately need so what ends up happening is that six days out
of seven I’m a superstar and I’m eating exactly according to plan and it’s
really easy because I’ve stuck with it and then that one day I get to just go
forth and enjoy and so it really works out well for me and Tim Ferriss goes so
far to even recommend that you make a list during the week of your cheat day
foods like things you’re craving so that on cheat day you really do eat those
things that you crave throughout the week so what does cheat they look like
for me I usually wake up early you know have some coffee we have a pancake
breakfast and that’s homemade pancakes with chocolate chips and maple syrup
butter usually a couple of eggs too so it’s a pretty big breakfast I hope we’ll
get hungry again around noon which is so funny to me because I can normally I can
be you know fasting all day no problem but it was like once I start eating the
hunger starts up I usually on cheat I love to have some peanut butter ramen
which is so good it’s so bad for you but so good to me and then I just eat you
know whatever I want in the afternoon sometimes I like graze throughout the
day sometimes I just you know I’m full until supper and supper is usually
leftovers cuz I try to keep it easy one thing I do try to do is I try to always
force myself to eat something around 6:30 even if I’m not very hungry because
what I have done in the past has been kind of a mistake is like I’ll be so
full at around 4:30 I’ll just stop eating I’ll be I’m really not hungry and
then what ends up happening is Monday then you know I’m fasting for longer
than 24 hours which is a little bit more of a challenge it’s doable but it’s just
more of a challenge so that’s my experience with cheat days I’m curious
what are your experiences or maybe a more fun question is what’s your
favorite cheat day meal so thanks for watching be sure to LIKE comment
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Reader Comments

  1. ShushLorraine

    Cheat days helped me to cut back on diet sodas – so bad for you, but (I have an addiction)! When I allowed one day a week, and as many on that day as I wanted, it was easier all week long to abstain. Also, trying to not have white flour products, I allowed them on MWF only. That really helped a lot.

  2. joy malone

    I love everything about this! I like that you have a cheat day (I call it a treat meal) instead of 1 meal. Ever since I watched one of your videos on IMF I can’t get the 6 miles a day out of my head! That is my goal now. I love how easy you make it and don’t torture yourself. I hate “diets”, I am just changing my mentality and eating better. I absolutely feel better and think clearer because I have changed what I put in my body. 👍🏽 great videos, keep em coming

  3. Lissette Cerniglia

    I love how simple you make this all sound!! I’m gonna start intermittent fasting and walking! Thanks for the inspiration!!

  4. mrbb33

    If this works for you great!
    I am afraid that I will keep on eating without boundaries
    Also the next day I might eat the leftovers. It’s a very slippery slope

  5. Latte Brown

    I haven't reached the point where I need a cheat day, not yet anyway. If I crave something I incorporate it into my meal of the day or the next day. I'm kind of afraid to have a free for all day of eating, that is what got me into the weight gain that I am now.

  6. naturemom57

    So do you eat one or two meals per day? Did you start with two meals per day? When and why did you transition to one meal a day?

  7. JK Campbell

    Wow!!!! I can’t believe I didn’t think of this! I used to do one cheat day a week on the Body For Life and it always kept me on track looking forward to it! I’m def going to re-incorporate it! Thank you

  8. Adele 73

    Yea cheat days are really important to me, not only to have good stuff, but it helps with self control the days after the cheat.
    For me, ICE CREAM 🍦

  9. Janet Shenefield

    I walked 2 hours after I ate some large amount of food such as 4 pieces of pizza because I felt so bad about eating all of that pizza which tasted yummy to me at the time. I also drank water as I walked/jogged both hours. I walked in my house. I IF everyday from 6pm to noon or 2pm the next day

  10. Janet Shenefield

    I have been doing this for around 2 years..I am 69. I have been eating keto or 20 carbs a day for health reasons..I want to help make sure I don't get cancer again..which I may anyway..who knows?? I feel good and have been walking 30 minutes a day knowing I could walk farther but I was too lazy!😊. But I was soo hungry..what should I do?? Change my eating window?? Or what do you think about it….any of you guys??

  11. Janet Shenefield

    I have lost from 245 to 167 in the last three years starting with stopping sugar and starches and about a year later went down to 20 carbs and keto.

  12. Dick Gori

    I'm on my first week of intermittent fasting, and I used to be very addicted to soda and candy, but after doing IF for like.. 3 days, I don't feel the need to eat those things… however I want to… it's so wierd.. but I can eat it for one day a week? Just had the idea of "Eating healthy once a week won't help you, but eating bad once a week will not harm you"?
    Despite that, I'm a little affraid of going into the slippery slope, since I've been on and off trying to lose weight for years now, only IF seems to help so far, I can stick to this (16/8) but knowing me, I want to know if I can actually still eat the food I know I have to eat at some point.

  13. Sharon Pesce

    In my eating window before my 8 hrs is up…i want to make sure I eat something i want like a pudding dessert…is that ok…cause i know i wont have food for 16 hrs. Thanks. Love your videos


    That's a great healthy all week & then on Sunday I can have my donuts..I would think one day of junkfood can't be that bad if your fasting the rest of the time..

  15. Franco Catucci

    I think i am going to start having a 1 day weekly cheat day like on Sundays no rules . Thank you. Thats why i love the OMAD lifestyle you can tweak it to your own individual needs and still see great results cause we are all different. Can you fail on the omad plan ?

  16. roadtrippinsteve

    I started contemplating the idea of a cheat day after hearing OMAD Revolution talk about it and now since you’re mentioning it I’m going to have to do it.
    I think I’m going to do it like you start eating at noon but seriously do what I want that day

  17. Eva Savill

    I know you talked about binge eating before/emotional eating, That cheat day didn't seem to trigger going back on emotional eating then, for you??

  18. Trina Hughes

    Hi Kayla , I'm so thankful I found your channel !! Great advice & I love how simple you keep things … thank you for taking the time to help others.

  19. Daniel Holmes

    I've settled on Thursday as my cheat day, because it's the day of my quiz night and I have a couple of drinks when I go to it, so I just play fast and loose that whole day!

  20. Dave Beecher

    my first cheat day was yesterday after 15 day fasting, but all fruit, you saved me today, we are all different, thank you for saving my program:)

  21. Erdal Estay

    So you’re still doing OMAD even though you’re at your goal weight? I would want to start living more normally when I reach my goal weight but then would I start gaining weight again?

  22. D S

    You made my day with this video. I've been on intermittent fasting for three weeks and eating really healthy, but I have been craving cookies like nuts so I ate a lot of them today hahaha .. still planning to get back on track tomorrow

  23. Tasneem Rahman

    So I feel like you kind addressed this but I’m going to ask again for clarification

    I basically eat relativity healthy all 7 days but I’ll sneak a tiny piece of chocolate or a ice tea in

    Do you think that’s worse than having just a cheat day?

  24. Deb Catz

    I'm worried that i will gain all the weight back that i lost during the week, if i cheat one day and eat everything i want, sounds like an exercise in futility

  25. Pon Papas

    Thank you! I've been doing Intermittent Fasting for 2 months now and I was actually wondering about cheat days because I've done it and nothing really happened, pounds still on the way down and I usually cheat with Pizza, burgers, fries after fasting and beer and well basically the good BAD stuff lol SUBSCRIBED!

  26. valentina morales

    Hi I love you book and the hole fasting I do have a quetion why am I sooo hungry lately? at I been facing for months now but am not getting the results cause i do have an autoimmune disease Raumatriod arthritis that make it hard to even walk anyway I just need some guidance to stop the super hunger that am experiencing that before I was able to eat one time and be good thank you

  27. Denis Prieur

    hi Kayla! on intermittent fasting, doing the 20/4 and sometimes i do OMAD, i've lost 22 pounds and the good thing is, i'm now off all of my médications!! I was diabetic, and i reversed it completly! Off my high blood medication too! just that is incredibly awsome! but since i'm an ex diabetic person, i'm kind of afraid of that Sunday cheat day! I was an overeater before, and i'm scared that if i cheat on Sunday, i would be back at my bad over eating pattern! but if you say that if you go back on your strict intermittent meal during the next 6 days, it would be ok, then i am eager to cheat on that Sunday…omg a pizza would be so good, or chinese buffet in montreal canada is sooooooo good…but yet so bad for me, Don't forget, i was diabetic!!! lol! Thank you Kayla!

  28. nagina hussain

    I’ve been dieting for 6 weeks now eating low calorie healthy meals, I’ve lost fair bit of weight, but getting back to the point on my cheat days I just don’t enjoy them whereas on a normal day I have such bad craving for sweet stuff, never the less I try to fulfil my cravings on cheat days 😳

  29. Brenda Doty

    Hey my name is Brenda an I have a few questions about ur cheat day. How do u get back on track On ur Monday? Don't u start getting hungry earlier since the day before u ate earlier during the day?

  30. MrsPink64

    I call them treat days. I don’t have a set day of the week. I schedule them in. So if I will be going for lunch with a friend, that is my treat day.

  31. Dick Gori

    Wait, so that's your cheat day? Then how may I ask do you eat on the other 6 days? I thought fasting would still allow you to eat those craving foods when you want it, so been days where I do eat pizza after a fast. Almost makes me think we should be doing Keto with the fast.


    watching all your videos from beginning my cheat day starts 4pm saturday (date night) till 4pm Sunday (so Sunday morning I can go out for breakfast after church then enjoy our supper early which is how i grew up…my fasting is 20/4 Mon – Friday 4pm – far its easy and I don't beat myself up if something like a work luncheon meeting comes up…I've lost…slow and steady

  33. S Rod

    The day after my cheat day I’m usually still so full I make myself a peanut and oatmeal protein shake that holds me over till the next day.

  34. Tiffany Johnson

    My sorta cheat day is on Friday. I usually try to do OMAD, but on fridays I eat two meals. But I still try to stay away from sweets and lots of carbs. When I eat lots of carbs it harder to fast the next day. OMG… She REALLY said peanut butter ramen! That is crazy!

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