Can You Have A Cheat Day On OMAD?


If you’re experimenting with OMAD then you probably wondering can you have a cheat day on OMAD?

You can have a cheat day on OMAD. The long-term calorie deficit can cause a lot of distress. Therefore, it is psychologically healthy to pause from any food restriction every once in a while and allow yourself to eat what you want.

However, eating what you want doesn’t mean you can eat more food. It means that you can have some of your favorite foods but still eat less.

can i have a cheat day on omad

Will One Cheat Day Make You Gain Weight?

One cheat day won’t make you gain weight. It is normal to relax from long-term caloric restriction and eat what you want. However, if your cheat day gonna be part of your regular diet, and will significantly exceed the calories you eat, it can slow down your progress.

This means having one cheat day every blue moon it’s ok and it’s actually healthy for the body. Long term restrictions will make you appreciate your food much more so you will enjoy your food better.

However, the more often you have your cheat day, or if your cheat day will turn into a cheat week, or cheat month it can add up and you can gain the weight back.

Once you find yourself to wanting have a cheat day, the most important is to get back on track as soon as possible and don’t let one cheat day turn into many.

Is It Okay To Have A Cheat Day On OMAD?

It is ok to have a cheat day on OMAD because one meal a day is an intensive caloric restriction protocol that puts a lot of stress on the body. Having a cheat day not only can reduce that stress, but it can also enhance your relationships with food.

This means you will be able to stay more consistent in the long term. There are some tricks you can do to make a cheat day on OMAD and still eat less food.

Eat slowly

picture of eat slowly steps

Eating slowly allows you to stay fuller for longer and with less food. It takes around 15-20 minutes for satiety signals to message your brain that you’re full.

So if you just gobble on food as quickly as possible, your body won’t even register you’re eating. So you can end up eating whole 14-inch pizza and still not feel full.

But, when you slow down, you consciously chew your food for longer and stretch the time to 20-minutes, you may notice that you are already full half-way through that same 14inch pizza.

So you end up eating what you want but less. This will guarantee that your cheat meals won’t set you back and won’t ruin all that hard work that you’ve put in.

But it can feel a little bit confusing what exactly it means to eat slowly. Some people may have a very logical mind and are operating on facts, systems, and processes. So “slowly” can mean anything, right? That’s why you can see here on the checklist what are the exact steps to get you into a habit of eating slowly.

What Should You Eat The Day After A Cheat Day?

The day after a cheat day you should come back to your regular diet plan. The sooner you get back on track, the less likely you will continue with your cheat day. People fall off the wagon not because of one cheat day but because they extended that cheat day and they stopped their diet.

So if you’re doing OMAD, then you should be back on it immediately after the cheat day. In the moment of doubt, you can remind yourself how much work and effort you’ve already put into it and why is it that you really want to get results.

Everyone has those bad moments. And thinking ahead about your goal may feel totally out of reach. So don’t focus on the end result. Focus on your next meal instead. Or have a full day fasting as a price to pay.

The trick to forgetting the big picture is to look at everything close up

Chuck Palahniuk

Is It Good To Fast After A Cheat Day?

It is good to fast after a cheat day because it will reduce the impact of excess calories that you have eaten. Fasting after cheat day is a popular strategy that people do in order to have a day when they enjoy what they want, and still don’t demolish they results.

It’s like quid pro quo. You will have a all day cheat day where you can indulge in what you want followed by fasting day.

One thing you will notice is when you do OMAD for a long time, one cheat day will make you feel immediately lethargic and sluggish. This happens because body get accustomed to calorie restriction. And any radical change will create adverse reactions. This means you will feel like crap.

It’s kind of disappointing really. Because you have high expectations from the cheat day and you believe that your best food will make you feel better, but it’s only temporary. In the end, it will leave you feeling worse than before.

How To Have A Cheat Day On OMAD And Still Lose Weight?

A cheat day means you can eat what you want for a whole day. And if you’ve ever seen Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson IG account, you may have notice that this guy can eat mountains of pancakes, tortillas or sushi.

That may work for Rock. But he doesn’t need to lose weight.

Cheat days have been proven strategies to de-escalate some of the stress that consistent calorie restriction can causes. But when you go for a cheat day, it doesn’t mean you will 10x your regular food intake.

You have to do it correctly.

Skip A Meal

Skipping a meal means you eat only 2 meals a day. And you can choose whatever meal you want to skip. For instance, you decide to skip breakfast and then you eat only lunch and dinner. Of, if you’re having breakfast, then you can skip lunch.

This approach allows you for couple of things.

  • You can have a meal or two where you just enjoy yourself. This means you can eat what you want.
  • You eat only slightly more than on your regular one meal a day regime. So technically, you’re still doing intermittent fasting. Because this is just one extra meal comparing to OMAD.

So if you do it right, you can have a cheat day and still be losing weight.

checklist of skipping a meal

Skipping a meal to have a cheat day on OMAD will also give you a better experience of food. Any form of intermittent fasting enhance nasal chemosensory (source).

This means when you push your meal a little bit further in time, your food will taste better. Intermittent fasting also stimulates your olfactory (smell senses) and palatability (taste senses).

You probably know what I’m talking about if you’ve ever tried to do shopping on an empty stomach, and when you pass by the food court all the food seems to smell so much more intense.

That’s because not eating stimulate and enhance those senses.

This means when you have a cheat day, plan it accordingly so you can have a 10x better relationship with your food.

For more information check out my article How To Stick To OMAD.

Reduce Food Variety

There is a saying that the best part of a dessert is first two bites.

Another ninja trick to enjoying your cheat meal without a lot of damage is to reduce your variety of food. This is called sensory-specific satiety. This means if you have more food options, more variety, your appetite goes up (source).

So you eat more.

sensory specific satiety

But once you reduce your variety, and your options, your perceived pleasantness declines. You get literally bored and your appetite diminishes.

So you eat less.

For instance, if you’re about to have a chocolate brownie by itself, you will enjoy the most first couple of bites. After that, if that brownie is just on its own, with each bite your appetite declines. In other words, it doesn’t excite you anymore.

But if you add extra toffee sauce, grated chocolate pieces, whipped cream, and a couple of scoops of ice cream, then your variety goes up again so you get more excited and you eat everything.

That’s why we are likely to eat more in places like all-you-can-eat buffets comparing to ala carte restaurants because you have more variety at once.

Choose Small Plates

Next thing you can start doing to have a cheat meal but still be in control is to reduce your plate size. This may sound like some voodoo magic trick, but it’s backed up by real science.

Size matters.

I want you to look at the picture below. You can see here medium size black dots surrounded by large and small site circles. The second black dot on the right looks much smaller than the first black dot on the left, even if they are both exactly the same.

size contrast illusion

This is called size-contrast illusion.

It happens because we use background objects to assess the size. So any larger context figures look smaller than when surrounded by smaller context figures (source).

For instance, if you see a picture of a six-foot-four guy holding a basketball versus and 10-year old holding the same ball.

Now try to translate that into your dinner plate. Anything that is being served on the larger plates will appear smaller. Even if you want to eat less, bigger plate will influence you to add more food.

two plates different sizes

Conclusion

As you can see there several ways to stay in control of your cheat meals. This means you can have a day or two where you can enjoy your food, and still stay on track.

Doesn’t matter which trick you gonna use – they all work. You can use them even when you’re not doing any cheat days.

This will ensure you always stay on top of the game. And instead of letting the environment influence you, you can now control the environment.

Go Further with OMAD

This article is part of the One Meal A Day Diet, which I recommend you read.

In the following pages, I show you everything there is to know about OMAD, benefits, tips, and how to do it properly.

Next: Click here to learn more about omad and exercise

Michal Sieroslawski

Michal is an exercise physiologist (MSc), nutrition coach, Ashtanga teacher, and fitness blogger. He shares his successes and failures to help busy men and women squash down 20, 50, or even 100 pounds of fat without leaving their home.

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