What to Do After Cheat Day Bodybuilding? [A Detailed Breakdown]

Having a break from something is a good thing. It helps you to refresh your mind and to stay motivated at something particular for a longer period of time. 

The same goes for a person who’s in the bodybuilding phase. If you’re maintaining your bodybuilding routine every single day, it’s completely normal to have a cheat day. 

But you may be wondering what to do after cheat day bodybuilding? 

The first thing that you need to do after a cheat day in the bodybuilding phase is to drink lots of water. Then consider eating a high protein and vegetable diet. After that, bump up your calorie burn to make up for your excessive calorie intake. Lastly, don’t get discouraged and continue to move forward. 

This is only a brief overview of the topic. To learn more let’s get down to the main segment!

What Is A Cheat Day?

Suppose, you’re maintaining a bodybuilding routine for a longer period of time. For this routine, you have to be on a strict diet and work out every single day. 

Now, one day you had a day off from the routine. That day you thought, you would do whatever you want. You will eat lots of junk food and you will not work out at all. But you only did it for one day.

And then, from the next day, you started to maintain your regular routine again. So the day you took off from the regular routine is called a cheat day. 

What to Do After Cheat Day During The Bodybuilding Phase?

By now, you already know what a cheat day is. So, I guess you are not happy about having a cheat day after a long period of hard work. So what you can do is, follow the steps that are given below.

If You Only Ate Junk Food

On a cheat day, the first thing that comes to one’s mind is to eat whatever he/ she wants. More importantly, if you’re bodybuilding, on a cheat day you’ll crave food more than anyone. 

Thus, it can happen that you only ate junk food on that day. But you completed your workouts properly. So, that can help you to burn the calories you consumed that day.

Don’t forget on adding almond milk on a cheat day as well. Draft down its importance, since you don’t want to miss the taste of milk. 

Also, it matters what kind of food you ate. Because every kind of food contains different numbers of calories. Some types of food and how many calories they contain have been given below. 

Fast Foods

Fast Foods
Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Pull image source

Fast foods are pizza, burger, french fries, fried chicken, sandwich etc. These kinds of food contain around 400 calories.

As fast foods contain comparatively lower calories than other junk food. So, you don’t need to eat those foods that contain the lowest calories.

So, you ate too much of these fast foods on your cheat day. So, the next day you could choose from these foods which contain low calories. Such as, you could eat one cup of apple slices which contains 62 calories. 

With that, you could eat a cup of cooked beets that contains 74 calories. Or a cup of cooked broccoli that contains 54 calories. Or, one cup of cooked brussel sprouts which contains 70 calories. Or you could eat a cup of sliced carrots which contain 50 calories.


Chocolates, potato chips, popcorn, chicken nuggets, beef jerky, peanut butter, gummy bears etc. fall under snacks. These kinds of foods contain around 600 calories 

Snacks contain a lil bit more calories than fast foods. So you have to eat those kinds of food. 

You also have to balance out the amount of calories in your body. This means if you are taking supplements such as creatine mixed with sparkling water

If you ate too many snacks on the cheat day, you could choose from these food options. These low calorie foods can help your body relax. 

Such as, one cup of cooked asparagus contains only 38 calories. One cup of cooked white mushrooms contains 44 calories. And one cup of watermelon ball contains only 46 calories.

So, after the cheat day, if you eat some of these foods, it will be great for your body. 

Group of Sweet and Salty Snacks, Perfect for Binge Watching

Rich Foods 

White sauce pasta, roasted chicken, biriyani, polao, steak etc are called rich foods. It contains around 1500 calories or more. 

Now rich food contains the highest amount of calories. So, the next day, you have to eat those foods that contain the lowest amount of calories. Some of these foods are-

One cup of arugula contains only 5 calories. A cup of sliced cucumber contains 16 calories. One cup of celery contains 17 calories. Then, one cup of cabbage contains 22 calories. And, one cup of fennel contains only 27 calories.

So, now you know how many calories you did consume. And also you know how long you have to work hard to burn optimum calories. This can be done by figuring out the best options of a cheat meal on rest days. 

Therefore, the steps that you can follow are- 

The first thing you have to do is drink a lot of water. And then eat something light for a meal before starting your workout. It will help your body to relax and you will find it easy to get back on your exercise routine. 

If You Only Skipped Working Out

Now, maybe you had a lazy day. And for that reason, you skipped working out, but you ate as your regular diet plan

If you only skipped working out, again, drink a lot of water. 

Do something to stay active such as cleaning your house, reorganizing your cabinet or closet,  finishing homework etc. Then, before starting your regular workout, do some light workouts first. 

What If You Did Both? 

Finally, if you did both, you are in a more tough position. Because you consumed a good amount of extra calories. At the same time, you didn’t work out. So you have to work harder to burn these calories.

The good news is, that it’s not a very hard thing to get back into your regular routine. You just simply have to follow all the steps that have been mentioned above.  

The steps are, first drink a lot of water, eat something light for a meal, and do something to stay active. Lastly, do some light workouts and then start your regular workout as your routine.

Is It Hard to Get Back on Track After A Cheat Day?

If you’re on a bodybuilding routine, it’s normal that you had a cheat day. Maybe you ate too much junk food but did work out. Or maybe you skipped working out but ate a proper amount of healthy food. Or maybe you did none of the things as your routine. 

If you had only one cheat day, it’s not hard at all to get back on track the next day. But before starting your regular day you have to maintain some steps which have been mentioned below. 


What should you eat the day after a cheat day?

The day after a cheat day, you should eat something light but healthy to start the day. But first, make sure to drink a lot of water. Then, you could eat some chicken soup with vegetable salad, boiled chicken breasts with some steamed vegetables, or some chicken salad with some fruits.  

Will I gain weight after a cheat day?

If you’re on your regular exercise routine and you had only one cheat day, then no. You won’t gain weight after a cheat day. But you have to keep doing your regular workouts and you have to keep eating healthy and nutritious food. 

Is it okay to fast after a cheat day?

It’s not good to fast after a cheat day. You have to put some food in your system no matter what. But, what you can do is, the day after a cheat day, you could eat something light but healthy. Because you need some nutrition to keep your body working. But you must keep doing your regular workouts.  


That’s all on what to do after cheat day bodybuilding. It’s essential to give your body and mind some rest to start something with new motivation and strength. Even if you’re maintaining a routine of bodybuilding, you can take a day off. 

So, don’t worry if you had a cheat day. Just follow the steps that have been discussed above and get back on track!

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