Health Benefits of Cheat Meals
Anyone that is on a well balanced healthy nutrition plan or a very strict diet knows about and loves cheat meals. I personally have them every weekend until I'm 2 weeks out from a shoot and I won't have them anymore. There are a lot of benefits to having cheat meals. Mentally it's refreshing, physically it will fill up depleted glycogen levels (Glycogen is a polysaccharide of glucose (Glc) which functions as the secondary short term energy storage in animal cells. It is made primarily by the liver and the muscles, but can also be made by the brain and stomach. - When these levels are low your workouts will start to suffer and you will be feeling lethargic and non motivated to workout) and you will have great workouts for the next couple days after a cheat. When your body adapts to being on a restrictive caloric nutrition plan or even a balanced plan it will find a more efficient way of burning fat and calories. Our bodies are A LOT smarter than we think and it gets used to doing the same things very quick. However,There is a BIG difference in having a cheat meal vs a cheat day. I DO NOT recommend having a cheat day! Which entitles you to have whatever you want for a whole day. I think this is just setting yourself up for failure which could lead to a possible food addiction. Your body does not need that surplus of extra junk calories. In my opinion one large meal is sufficient. Along with decreased muscle glycogen that goes with dieting, there is also a slowing of the metabolism effect. The body senses starvation and tries to lower the amount of energy it needs to continue to function on a daily basis. This means you will be burning less calories just sitting there than if you hadn't been dieting, which makes weight loss even harder. When you shock your system with a high influx of calories at once, the body's metabolism will show an increase and you'll kick start your 'furnace' into high gear once again. This will help your body to get less accustomed to running on a lower caloric level and you will start to burn fat faster again. My suggestion when to have cheat meals would depend on the level of body fat at which you are at RIGHT NOW. If your in the single digits I suggest once a week. If your still not quite where you want to be I suggest eating very clean for a 4 week minimum before having a cheat. Otherwise your just slowing your progress down if you were to have a cheat meal every weekend. If you find yourself eating so much you feel ill or you start fantasizing about cheat meals this is not healthy either. This is setting yourself up for an eating disorder. I've been down that road and it's not a healthy one by any means. Self Sabotage - My Personal Battle With an Eating Disorder
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March 8th, 2011 - 19:08
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