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Avoid this on your Cheat Day (at all costs)

Posted by Joel Marion

This post is short, but you’ll be glad you read it.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions recently regarding Cheat Days, particularly about the use of alcohol.

Seems that a lot of folks are using Cheat Days as their weekly excuse to indulge not only in their favorite foods, but also a considerable amount of alcohol.

Bad idea (unfortunately, I know).

The entire purpose of the Cheat Day is to upregulate leptin levels, resetting metabolism and creating a hormonal environment conducive to fat burning.

Alcohol consumption pretty much cancels out ALL of those positive benefits.  In fact, alcohol consumption has been shown to acutely LOWER plasma leptin levels which is in direct opposition to everything you are trying to accomplish with a Cheat Day.

In the end, Cheat Days + Alcohol = Fat GAIN.  That ain’t pretty.

Now, does that mean that you can’t have a drink on your Cheat Day?  No, but anything more than 2 drinks will begin to have a negative effect.

Basically, if you’re feeling the effects of the alchohol you consumed, you drank too much.  I know, bummer.

But, you have goals, and in order to reach them it will require some level of sacrifice.  Know that, embrace it, and move forward toward your goals.

Besides, I’ve already revealed to you how you can use full blown eat-whatever-you-want Cheat Days as frequently as every 5th day to lose fat at record speed, so it really isn’t that bad ;)

That being said, if alcohol is more important that your fat loss goals that is certainly a decision you’ll need to make.  Just giving you the facts so you can make an educated decision.

Keep rockin’,


P.S.  I’m now doing virtually ALL my cooking with coconut oil – if you want to know why, click HERE

==> Why I no longer cook with other oils


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27 comments - add yours
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What prograde products do you take on what days with your xtreme fat loss diet program? I bought all that you recommended. Some are listed but I wasn’t sure about all. I know when to take the protein and bcaa’s, but can you give me some detailed instructions on metabolism, efa icon, workout, and the vgf 25+.


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I’m trying to keep my consumption low and rare enough so I can feel absolutely good from just one drink. If I feel no good effect after one drink I keep drinking more rarely so I get sensitive again :D It feels good to have a drink with a good meal and to not need more.

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Great Post Joel :-)

I always look forward to getting your articles

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Joel, I bought the XFLD and I have a question regarding cheat days. How many calories over your maintenance is acceptable? Because once I start eating, my stomach is a bottomless pit. So I usually try to create 1000-15000 deficit on the cheat day with exercise and end up around 2000 over my limit. For example right after my workout I ususually eat 4packets kashi golean vanilla oatmeal and fruit with 2scoops protein and 3-4 cinnamon raisin bagels toasted with butter. I could easily eat more but I know i should stop at that point. I’ll usually eat every 3-4hrs. Then I’ll have 36 sushi rolls and 4 sweet poatotes and fruit. Then a few hrs later something else, this week was 5 slices of real new York pizza, not fast food type. Is this too much?? I do super high intensity training and my heart monitor says i burn around 1000-1500 cals a workout and the rest of the week I eat about 1600 cals, leaving me at a net balance of around 600-1000 cals a day

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About your P.S. note: I’ve read so much about how great coconut oil is, but I HATE the taste of coconut and using coconut oil makes everything cooked in it taste like coconut. What is a healthy alternative for people like me?

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Will it work if you eat great all week- then have one cheat meal Sat. night and then one Sun night???? for a change up…. instead of one all day cheat? thx

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Yup, I’m on my 1st day of my third cycle and just spent the entire last cycle STARVING. Why? because I drank on my last cheat day. Definitely not going to make that mistake again.

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Thanks for telling it as it is. (A different Joel :-)

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Not everyone is screwing up in this way! I decided to give up alcohol until I shed at least 10 lbs of fat. That’s just phase 1. I’ll then have a fantastic glass of wine or two with a super cheat day and then get back on track. I have 25 lbs to lose total. Your tools have been a phenomenal help to me and I look forward to the end result!

PS – I am thoroughly enjoying my cheat days. I just wish they were on the same schedule as the summer food festivals here in NOLA!

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Good to know b/c today is my cheat day! Yay!
Joel, Question: I just weighed in and I’m the same weight as last cycle! I’m starting cycle 4 today. I’m definitely losing major inches but not the weight. I started the intense exercising cycle 2 and was sore cycle 2 and 3. No more soreness (was really sore cycle 2/3) now but now the weight number isn’t moving but the inches are coming off. Just wondering what that’s all about. Thanks!!!

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Are you sure you have cooked with it? Coconut Oil is quite flavorless. @ Jessica:

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I’m needing help/advice regarding the day after my cheat day (and not drinking alcohol totally makes sense – thank you did not know!). My stomach is growling so loud & am so hungry how do I get through my fast day? I really need tips please!

Thank you!

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I gave up alcohol about 30 years ago. Oh, I might have a drink on special occasioins, maybe once every year or two. But I seldom drink beer, hate wine, and do not even smoke any more, ciggies or anything else…I do take some pain meds at times, Naproxen, etc, as I have arthritis, but I have cleaned up my act 1000 from what I did when I was young and stupid.

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This is Cheat Day XFLD related but not to alcohol..its hard to maintain a good cheat when your stomach has shrunken during the diet (starting cycle 4 tomorrow). :P

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@Jessica: I’ve found that the “refined” coconut oil is much more mild in flavor. Plus, it can handle higher heat. I used the (supposedly superior) “extra virgin” coconut oil by the spoonful in my breakfast smoothie. The coconut flavor is still pretty subtle, and mostly covered up by the banana and peanut butter (the other ingredients I use is a raw egg, some raw milk, and frozen raspberry/blueberry/blackberry mix). Good luck

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Whoops! I guess I am guilty of this one. At least we can still have a couple beers.. zero alcohol would be a downer. Which is better to have wine or beer? Any difference?

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Jessica, I use refined coconut oil for heat cooking, and virgin coconut oil to eat such as mixed into a protein shake. I like the flavor. Refined oil has much less of a coconut flavor. I use it for scrambled eggs and cannot tell a difference.
@ Jessica:

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@ Beth:
Hi Beth,
I am on my 2nd cycle and I too have the most trouble on fast days. I am starving! I started reading the posts and someone suggested eating just plain
egg whites along with your BCAA’s. I tried this and it is a little better. I scramble up a couple of egg whites for lunch and dinner and then just drink lots of water. I am still hungry but it does help. Hopefully this will help you. Let me know if you hear any good tips. Good Luck :)

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@ Beth:
Get yourself some BCAAs either capsule or powder(research which is the most popular for taste first). I find that after I drink down my BCAAs my hunger dissipates quite a bit. Drinking plenty of water is also helpful, and if you want to change it up, having a low calorie Chicken or Vegetable Broth is allowed. whoohoo…You can do it!!!

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My thought here is that you are loosing BF not muscle mass which is great if thats what you after or vice versa.
If you are eating the right amounts of foods ie Carbs, Fat, protein etc.. then youll keep your muscle and only lose Body Fat which is what you wanna aim for when losing weight. We all need to have muscle because it has great benefits ie toned n terrific etc but mostly because having the muscle protects our organs which is vital. ( theres no good having healthy body inside if it is open to damage because the lack of muscle.
What you should do is go to a fitness instructor or PT (IF YOUR AT A GYM) and get them to do your Anthropometry (which is the mearsuring of your body BICEPS WAIST TO HIP RATIO ETC ETC to help get accurate results of how much BF, TBW etc) then youll know exactly what youve lost wether it be BF or muscle mass.
If you have a set of digi scales that measure Bfat then you can try that by putting in your age and height and it will tell you however its NOT as accurate as the measuring with tape.
This will help you to understand what your losing and why and you can actually log you info in your diary/journal so you can see your progress.
You may already know all of this but I just thought Id chuck my 5c worth in hahaha..


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I notice most diets are strict with alcohol consumption. The XFLDS is one of the most lenient. When I started the diet I didn’t realize the exercises would be so hard and time consuming. I often find myself cutting my workouts in half just so I’m not late for work or getting my kids to swim lessons, school, dr visits, play dates and anything else they may have going on. Plus my 2 yr old doesn’t sleep through the night, I’m a single mom and I start school in a couple of weeks. Bottom line: work+kids+activities+no sleep+exercise+school(coming soon)=very tired mommy with very little time. I forgot to mention the cooking part, for the past week I’ve been a walking zombie. Please help me, Joel or anyone else who can give me advice. Kate

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Interesting program. I am considering “Cheat Your Way Thin Bodyweight Workouts” as an alternative to working out at the gym. Anyone had a good experience with this?

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@ dave:

If you are going to drink, I’d say go with red wine, due to the antioxidants and such it contains. Beer should be avoided in my opinion… I dropped beer and lost about 4 lb in about a week without doing anything else!

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I’ve been doing XFLD. I haven’t been drinking any alcohol. I’ve been following the diet to a tee as well as the workouts. I haven’t done quite as much cardio as prescribed, but make an effort to walk, hike, move around, etc. But, I haven’t made any progress as far as fat loss goes! I can feel my body getting stronger as a result of the weight training – I’m not new to it and work super hard in the gym – but the pounds are definitely not melting off. At all. Am I overdoing on Cheat Days? I wonder if I’ve been going overboard and ruining all my hard work. Maybe I need some stricter guidelines? Advice?

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Hello everyone and 1st time posting here. I’m in my 3rd phase of the Xtreme and my ONLY problem is with the shake day. I’m fine with the fast day…only get a little headache late in the evening. I drink about 1 1/2 gal of water plus a little decaf tea and coffee and a couple of glasses of those lemonade no cal drink mixes. (really no problem as I’ve always drank almost a gal a day of water.) The moderate carb and depletion days are fine. I add in a LOT of steamed crisp vegies and raw. The cheat day is just an ordinary day. I’m not a big sweet, candy, cakes or such eater so I just add a gin martini to enjoy the taste and that’s fine and I don’t pig out on anything. Additionally, for all days, I reduced my calories to 1200 instead of the computed 1550 as I just can’t eat that much unless I throw in some cookies or booze. I refigured my gram requirements accordingly and it works better as I do not feel so stuffed.

My problem is with the shake day. The 1st phase I drank 3 (all I could handle) and felt horrible. Bloated, sort of sick to stomach…very fat and listless. I believe I’ve solved the problem. A protein is a protein, carb is….and so on. I’ve substituted a small shake for breakfast satisfying the requirements and the same for late after noon. The other in-between and meals I just put the protein, carb and fat grams required into another form of food.

Somebody correct me if I’m wrong but I see no problem here.

BTW, the 1st week I lost 8#s and misc inches or fractions thereof. The 2nd, stayed the same. All this while not doing any exercises other than my normal busy, active day. I had no equipment here at home and the nearest gym is 60 miles away. Today, the dumbell set arrived and I’ll begin that routine.

I am 71 and am bound and determined to get this stress induced belly off me!!!

Good luck to everyone and would appreciate any comments.

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