When used strategically, cheat days and binge eating can enhance fat loss. But that doesn’t mean you get to cheat on your diet after a few days of regulating what you eat or running for a few minutes on the treadmill!
Sorry, it doesn’t work that way.
Cheat days are NOT for gorging yourself with unhealthy food. That only puts you on a downward spiral that’ll booby trap your fat loss plans. Cheat days are meant to achieve goals and give you a psychological boost to stick with your diet plan.
Here are 3 tricks that you can employ with great impact to speed up your fat loss on cheat days.
Understand WHEN and WHY to cheat
Cheat days on your strict diet help spark your metabolism and safeguard it from the yo-yo effect of low carb foods. Glycogen stores need to be replenished after prolonged carbohydrate starvation or extreme exercise.
Another benefit to having cheat days is that they serve as psychological reward for your discipline and rigors. They also keep you from running out of steam and feeling overly tired or dull from the calorie deprivation involved in fat loss programs.
Leaner people often feel cold all the time as they lose weight, especially after burning off the insulating fat layer. Cheat days load up the calories, generate heat and warm you up again. Fat burning hormones like leptin also get reactivated by the spark of a cheat day binge.
So when you drop calorie intake and become thinner, leptin levels decrease and cheat days help reset the metabolic balance. This results in improved thyroid hormone levels, higher metabolic rate and ongoing fat loss.
So When NOT to Cheat?
Cheating on your diet is not an excuse to gorge yourself at will. You shouldn’t use these days just when you’re bored of eating bland food. Cheat days are meant to cycle carbs, not blindly load your body with fat and protein.
Don’t use them as an emotional outlet for stress, relying on the “food high” to cheer you up. That becomes a bad precedent, and sets poor habits which continue beyond the diet period. Stress is a part of losing weight and cheating to avoid the stress can become like an addicting drug. Don’t get hooked!
Cheat days should be part of your disciplined diet, not an excuse for slipping off the wagon. Treat it as a reward, not an escape.
Carb cycling is nice because you can eat all your favorite types of food. The only provision is that you must fit it into the overall plan and restrict them only to cheat days. Only such a disciplined approach can bring you long term rewards.
How To Use Carb Loading and Strategic Binge Eating
Carbing up is best done mid-week to spark your metabolism and avoid the adaptive response which limits the benefit of fat loss programs.
Take one or two cheat meals with foods that boost metabolism and replace glycogen in the body. Eating them towards the end of your day is best. Don’t binge or overeat.
Hormonal cheat days are flexible and fun. There are no restrictions to them. The goal is to reset fat burning hormones and replace depleted stores of glycogen.
You can’t do them more than once every week, and avoid bingeing.
Structured re-feeds are restrictive, but effective. You do them for set periods of 4 to 5 hours and are for serious dieters who want to lose fat and keep it off. You’ll be prescribed specific foods to be eaten in a particular order for a certain time.
Strategic Binge Eating loads carbs after high intensity training with weights. When muscles are drained of energy reserves, nutrients are absorbed like a dry sponge soaks up water. High glycemic index foods like carbs and fruits are best.
These binges last for only upto 3 hours following a workout and are meant to help faster recovery, repair and growth of muscles stressed by high intensity training.
So, cheat days can be fun – but unless you’re careful, it can become a double-edged sword that derails your fat loss plan. It’s a part of your 14 Day Rapid Fat Loss Plan and one of the reasons which make it the best plan to lose weight.
Learn more in this 14 Day Rapid Fat Loss Plan review here.
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