No, this isn’t an article on stealthy ways to cheat on your spouse or significant other. Sorry guys!
Strict dieting can be gruesome. It gets bland, it gets mundane, and it gets psychologically taxing, especially when those cravings kick in.
Luckily, it can be extremely beneficial for your body composition to throw in a cheat meal here and there. As this article from CutAndJacked.com clearly states,
Cheat days, or what I call “refeed” days, shouldn’t be a green light for an all out sloth, but rather a strategically planned aspect of a well implemented fat loss diet.
Cheat – but with Moderation and Mindfulness
Are cheat meals worth it? You betcha!
Not only do cheat meals help you psychologically, but they also can help you physically, if proper planning is utilized, of course. Cheat meals don’t necessarily mean an all out pig out fest, but rather, it should be controlled and pre-planned.
When thinking about or planning cheat meals, the ever important hormone Leptin should be considered.
Leptin is a key hormone that basically regulates energy intake and expenditure, as well as controlling appetite and hunger. Leptin sends signals to the brain when you eat, and that will determine your satiety and your hunger. The area of the brain that receives this signals is called the hypothalamus.
Leptin is key is understanding hunger and dieting in general. The very same article has a pretty cool little explanation:
↓ Fat = ↓ Leptin = ↑ Hunger Hormones + ↓ Metabolism
↑ Fat = ↑ Leptin = ↓ Hunger Hormones + ↑ Metabolism
So that leaves us with the questions, “What does cheating on your diet and leptin have to do with each other, and how can their relationship help my six-pack?” Really it’s pretty simple once you know the mechanisms. When you partake in modern day famine, or what we would call dieting, your body’s natural defense mechanisms try to preserve you. This manifests itself when you chronically restrict calories and consequently leptin’s signals to the brain decrease, making the hypothalamus turn the dial down on your metabolism.
Cheat meals are more than what everyone generally thinks a cheat meal is. They are more of refeed days, to manipulate your metabolism into processing what you put into your body in a positive way.
You guys should go over to this article and read more in depth about it, cause it’s a very good read, very informative, and very good to understand the concept.
There you will see the amounts of macros you should be eating and when and how.