Nutrition

The Case for Cheating

Adding cheat meals to your diet can lead to better gains.

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The Case for Cheating

Rigorously following a strict diet undercuts your ability to increase muscle mass. Cheating all the time will undermine your ability to grow and stay lean. But including a cheat meal or two each week will increase your body’s ability to add muscle mass—if you know when to cheat and when to stay on point.

CHEATING IMPROVES FOCUS AND ENERGY

Time these so they fall the day before your hardest workouts. Consuming considerably more carbohydrates, calories, and dietary fats will improve your focus and energy. Many bodybuilders opt to include a large cheat meal in the evening two days per week as opposed to cheating all day.

CHEATING HELPS RESTOCK GLYCOGEN

On a strict low-carb diet, your body has trouble restocking the muscle glycogen you burn during training. This means the next time you train, you’ll have less stored fuel available. Prevent this by taking in fast-digesting carbs immediately after training. But a large cheat meal after training also helps replenish glycogen levels.

CHEATING RAMPS UP METABOLIC RATE

One reason you stop burning body fat while dieting is that metabolic rate (the amount of calories you burn naturally) begins to stall. Cheat meals can help keep your metabolic rate elevated, allowing you to burn more body fat over the long haul. After intense exercise, digestion is one of the ways our body expends the most calories. 

 FLEX 

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