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Treat/Cheat Meals - do you set any limits?

jackedrabbit

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I'm in my offseason trying to gain mass phase and I follow a strict diet (weigh foods, hit macros 100% all the time but for one or two meals each week (usually on Friday and/or Saturday nights) I like to go out with the woman and have something off plan.

Typically it's steak, greek food (kebobs, etc) or sushi or vietnamese noodle soup. I stay away from fast food, mexican food or anything that is overly greasy or cheesy (except for pizza maybe once every few months. Basically, even when I "cheat" I look for lots of lean meat, fresh veggies and tasty carbs like sweet potatoes, wheat rolls, pita bread and hummus, etc.

I also LOVE ice cream so I always get a LARGE CUP of ice cream at 2 of my favorite places nearby - I alternate between these 2 places because they have different flavors.

My question is, is this too much? I usually just eat until I'm pretty full. No rules really. Like tonight my gf and I went out for Greek food and I threw down a big Greek salad and 3 kebobs - lamb, chicken, and beef. I also had a plate of pitas with hummus. Went to the ice cream shop after and split a LARGE CUP with 2 flavors...oh so good!!!!

I just don't know if ice cream every week is bad or not but so far so good it hasn't really negatively impacted me.

I'll hold some water the next day but after being back on my offseason diet it's gone and my weight drops back to normal. I usually cheat the day of, or the day before leg day.

I don't know how often most people cheat. Is one meal a week too much? Should I cut it back to one every 2 weeks? Is having ice cream every cheat meal too much?

Just curious what you guys all do for cheats in the offseason.
 

kscowboy

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If you are just having a cheat MEAL and not a cheat DAY then eat whatever in the hell you want and as much as you want. One meal a wek will not kill you no matter what it is or how much it is. Your body will only absorb and use so much and the rest will be excreted.
 

ryanmercer

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If you are just having a cheat MEAL and not a cheat DAY then eat whatever in the hell you want and as much as you want. One meal a wek will not kill you no matter what it is or how much it is. Your body will only absorb and use so much and the rest will be excreted.
Exactly your body can only absorb so much at any one time, what it can't you will crap out (well you'll urinate excess protein)
 

jackedrabbit

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Exactly your body can only absorb so much at any one time, what it can't you will crap out (well you'll urinate excess protein)
Science behind this? No offense, but sounds kinda broscience-ish. Like shit I'd hear on BB.com....lol.

No offense intended.
 

staybig1

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I eat 2 cheat meals off season only. I try to stay to a clean diet. Build better muscle.
 

ryanmercer

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Science behind this? No offense, but sounds kinda broscience-ish. Like shit I'd hear on BB.com....lol.

No offense intended.
Plenty of science on it. Excess protein you urinate out, excess water soluble vitamins you urinate, fat via feces etc. Biology 101.
 

jackedrabbit

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Plenty of science on it. Excess protein you urinate out, excess water soluble vitamins you urinate, fat via feces etc. Biology 101.
I don't know about that. If I eat say, 1 large pizza at midnight I'm full until maybe 2pm the next day if I don't force food. The body slowly works to break it down. I highly doubt this man.

Post up some studies to back up your bio 101 claims.
 

ryanmercer

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I don't know about that. If I eat say, 1 large pizza at midnight I'm full until maybe 2pm the next day if I don't force food. The body slowly works to break it down. I highly doubt this man.

Post up some studies to back up your bio 101 claims.
Go under eat for a week. Look at your stool. Go truly over eat for a week and look at your stool. See the vast difference in volume, color, and texture?

Also just because you are still full doesn't mean anything. That means you ate what your body can absorb. I didn't say your body is only going to absorb what you'd normally have had I said excess that it can't use will be passed. Go truly binge, as in competitive eating style eating, and you'll almost certainly have diarrhea the next day due to undigested food being passed.
 

jackedrabbit

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Go under eat for a week. Look at your stool. Go truly over eat for a week and look at your stool. See the vast difference in volume, color, and texture?

Also just because you are still full doesn't mean anything. That means you ate what your body can absorb. I didn't say your body is only going to absorb what you'd normally have had I said excess that it can't use will be passed. Go truly binge, as in competitive eating style eating, and you'll almost certainly have diarrhea the next day due to undigested food being passed.
Well, I've never eaten like that before (never wanted to) but I can say that one time I went overboard on grilled bell peppers and I literally shat out whole pieces of pepper. Kinda like shitting corn..lol.

But I've gone to sushi buffets and stuff before and it's not like I shit out rice and fish lol. Seaweed, sure because it's fibrous.

Ok, I understand now - you said EXCESS and that's the key here. Well good to know then.

I don't think my cheats are that crazy anyway. I think it's just the bloat the next day that fucks with my head because I do want to stay as lean as possible while I gain mass so I can keep gaining for longer. Too many guys up cals too quick and get fat within 2-3 months and have to dial it down again. Slow and steady wins..
 

ryanmercer

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Well, I've never eaten like that before (never wanted to) but I can say that one time I went overboard on grilled bell peppers and I literally shat out whole pieces of pepper. Kinda like shitting corn..lol.

But I've gone to sushi buffets and stuff before and it's not like I shit out rice and fish lol. Seaweed, sure because it's fibrous.

Ok, I understand now - you said EXCESS and that's the key here. Well good to know then.

I don't think my cheats are that crazy anyway. I think it's just the bloat the next day that fucks with my head because I do want to stay as lean as possible while I gain mass so I can keep gaining for longer. Too many guys up cals too quick and get fat within 2-3 months and have to dial it down again. Slow and steady wins..
I did that with red peppers once, looked at my stool as I always do and saw red chunks and freaked out... hour of google later decided I wasn't dying heh.
 

Ironman2010

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Never ever limit myself...if im gonna cheat, im gonna cheat realllllllll good man. I work it out this way man. Your having close to 42 meals a week( if your eating 6xs a day) if 1 out of that 42 meals is "junk" its never going to make any difference
I do find how ever sometimes when i EAT way to much, i become my toilets best freind the next day thats all
 

LIFTW8S

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If you are just having a cheat MEAL and not a cheat DAY then eat whatever in the hell you want and as much as you want. One meal a wek will not kill you no matter what it is or how much it is. Your body will only absorb and use so much and the rest will be excreted.
Exactly, gotta enjoy life.
 

hitmansb

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I never limit a cheat meal. It's only one meal, how much damage can you possibly do whenwhen you consider what percentage of it you are likely to actually absorb?
 

lbarton2287

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definitely depends around contest time, actually even contest time if you are already lean enough a cheat meal wont hurt
 

Bionic

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I may be a nerd but when I'm dieting and have a treat-meal, I stay close to my kcal amount for the meal I'm substituting but just throw the macros out the window.
 

alan7890

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i have cheat meal once per week but there is no limit on the food i eat in it
 

saps

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My outlook on cheat meals go big and go bold; very therapeutic mentally and physiologically
 

SugarFree

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Exactly your body can only absorb so much at any one time, what it can't you will crap out (well you'll urinate excess protein)
The discussion was based on unrestricted eating for a cheat meal/day.

Your reply seemst to indicate that this would be fine since they would piss out anything eaten in excess but even your own comment limits that to just excess protein. What makes you think there eating 100% protein for there cheat meal?

Any nutrient eaten in excess can be turned to fat however I would agree that protein would be the least likely nutrient to do so. However studies still can not predict how much protein a person can optimally absorb at one time so its still a big unknown and what exactly would be considered excess.

With all that said my personal opinion is go enjoy youself and eat in excess :)

As someone who carb cycles and has a 24-36 hour refeed each week Ive had experimented many different ways with this. Whether I restrict my cheats in overall calories and such hasnt seem to make that much of an overall difference. Length of the cheats for some reason seem to effect me more then what I eat during them. For example I do have better results when keeping my cheats down to 1 day, week progress starts to slow slightly when extending this to and additional night for a total of 36 hour window. This may have more to do with just the length of time I need to get back into ketosis and losing back off the regained water weight though.

In situtations like this I have wondered what is better as far as total calories for these type of cheats. The purpose is too refill glyocgen levels and to create a limited time insulin spike which should help with muscle growth/prevention of muscle loss. So if this window is aimed for gaining muscle such as a very small bulking time period, wouldnt it be optimal to be in a calorie surplus for the day...
 

heavydeadlifts

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I have two cheat days while bulking and eat whatever I want and eat a lot of it....just make sure I get in my protein and tons of sweets

Eat until I am stuffed
 

wallmonator

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Agreed with going hard or going home on cheating. I believe in the bro science of your body only being able to consume so much. After that, I will see the rest in the toilet.
 

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