Saturday, March 5, 2011

Cheat Days and What to Expect the Day After...

By: Alex Liska
We all know how intense dieting can become; from weighing all our portions of protein, to measuring teaspoons of fat, 1/2 cup to 1cup of greens and so on and so forth... This can all become quite a psychological burden and start to take a toll on our lives. Considering that most diets when trying to lose body-fat are calorie-reduced, our bodies can become alarmed and start to fight back by holding on to everything that we eat! This is basically an emergency state that our body is programmed to enter when it detects starvation. 
That is when having a CHEAT MEAL may come in handy... I don't recommend a CHEAT DAY! Here is the difference: If you plan to cheat all day long you will go overboard and consume thousands and thousands of calories, not only can you get sick from this but in the long run you may cause metabolic damage. The smartest thing to do is to have a WEEKLY CHEAT MEAL. This meal can consist of a burger and fries combo, a dessert of your choice etc... And it will actually HELP you lose fat by JOLTING your metabolism! So, unless you are 2-3 weeks out from a bodybuilding show, GO AHEAD AND INDULGE! 

The Difference Between a CHEAT MEAL and a RE-FEED (MILD CHEAT DAY)...
What some bodybuilding/figure athletes will do is have a RE-FEED DAY which means they consume MORE CLEAN CARBOHYDRATES (from sources such as oats, whole wheat pasta, yams, sweet potatoes, etc..) on that particular day. On this day they will replace 2-3 meals or some may just replace one meal with a large serving of complex carbs and healthy dietary fats; NO PROTEIN! The purpose of  this is to re-fill muscles with glycogen and provide a metabolic boost!

It is entirely up to you whether you are going to take the CHEAT MEAL approach or the RE-FEED but take into account what you have been doing for the days/weeks leading up to this as it may be more convenient to have one option versus the other. I recommend the cheat meal for those on carb-restricted diets and the re-feed for those following a diet more moderate in carbs.

What to Expect the Day After:
By consuming a large amount of calories, whether from clean complex carbs or from a cheat meal, your body will go into a slight shock and hold onto water the following day. So don't panic if you feel slightly bloated the next day or if your clothes fit a little tighter than usual. Throughout the day continue to sip on water and continue to EAT CLEAN and the bloating/water retention will go away.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Alex L.:)


  1. love your shoulders girl :)

    always writing awesome things!

  2. Interesting.. Cheat meal is straight forward, I didn't know about the definition of a 'refeed'. Regardless, it's re-assuring you recommended a 'cheat meal' in there and I feel it's best suited for social events.

    I'll see if I can employ this strategy one day but I've been eating so cleanly and plentiful that I have no feel to...

    PS: Looking great