🔻Do you really “NEED” a cheat day every week🔻
I’m constantly getting questions about the use of Cheat Days, whether they are necessary or needed to get exceptionally lean, whether you can get ripped without them, whether you’ll get better results if you skip them, and whether they work better with or without “junk food” on the menu. Today I’m here to set the record straight on this topic once and for all.
1️⃣ No, dieting does not work better without cheat days. Sorry, but this is not debatable…at all. The research CLEARLY, undeniably shows that dieting and calorie restriction make your body WORSE at burning fat with literally every week that goes by. The “master” hormone leptin plummets, the metabolism regulating thyroid hormones T3 and T4 take a massive dive, the appetite stimulating hormone ghrelin boosts sky high, the abdominal fat boosting stress hormone cortisol gradually increases, 24 hour energy expenditure and metabolic rate decrease with every passing day. That’s what happens when you diet.
You can NOT get around those truths without increasing your calorie and carbohydrate intake on a weekly basis, more frequently the leaner you get. Sorry, it’s not possible. Your body hates dieting, and unless you go off your diet a minimum of once per week you will only make losing fat harder with each subsequent week.
Now, if you like [unnecessarily] working hard, then yes:
2️⃣ You CAN get ripped without cheat days. It will be miserable! It will require you to work MUCH harder. You will get no psychological relief from the woes of dieting; in fact, with each day and week that passes by you’ll dig yourself in to a deeper metabolic hole that you’ll need to work harder and harder to get yourself out of. It will drain you, both your time and your morale. You will hate yourself, and probably everyone around you. Basically, life will suck. But it can be done.
Essentially, if you want to diet without the use of leptin and metabolism boosting cheat days, you’re pretty much doomed to impractical, ridiculous, time consuming practices if you ever want to get lean. Period. That’s the only way it’s going to happen.
4 hours a day at the gym. A diet consisting of grilled chicken and veggies (but don’t eat too many veggies…that might screw everything up), more exercise, lower calories. Be sure to add more exercise next week, because it’s going to be even harder to lose fat. You’ll want to drop your calories again, too. Repeat!
And if that’s how you want to achieve your leanest condition…MORE POWER TO YOU. Unfortunately, it’s not even close to being practical for 99.999999% of the population.
Of course, you could just eat some PIZZA and make your life a heck of a lot easier, but if for some reason you feel better about your transformation process by ignoring science and making your journey more difficult, you can absolutely 100% get there without the wonders of pizza. You’ll probably lose more muscle than you have to, you’ll definitely work a lot HARDER than you have to, and it’ll likely take you significantly longer to reach your goals.
3️⃣ Now, does it have to be ALL pizza and ice cream? No, but a high fat, high glycemic carb cheat day is what has been shown by RESEARCH to best boost insulin and leptin levels, reset metabolism, thyroid hormone levels, and 24 hour energy expenditure to baseline levels. If you want to achieve that via maltodextrin shakes and spoonfuls of coconut oil, you certainly could, but I’ll go the pizza route. Sorry, I didn’t create science, I just report it.
So, now you have the education necessary to make an informed decision on whether you’re going to include cheat days in your program the next time you embark on a journey to get lean. If you have masochistic tendencies (like me), enjoy unnecessary self deprivation, and have no regard for science, you’ll probably want to skip them. If on the other hand you’re someone who enjoys efficiency, results without subjecting yourself to unnecessary struggle, and good food, you’ll probably want to include them.
A very hard decision, I know!
COMMITTED TO YOUR JOURNEY,
CEO/INSTRUCTOR OF SUPREME ASSAILANT
(Functional Training Specialist, Body-weight Training Specialist, Sports Nutrition Specialist, Controversy Specialist, Life Coach)
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