Cheat meals… the time of the week that many people look forward to almost as much as the weekend. It’s your opportunity to eat something you don’t normally have on your nutrition plan. You get to indulge a little and “live it up,” so to speak. Yet, there are some things you should consider if you want to optimize your cheat meals and use them to your advantage.
When it comes to cheat meals (also referred to as refeeds), many people have this preconceived notion that if you want the best results possible, you need to be 100% strict all of the time with your nutrition and never stray off of the plan. While that may be true for some people, such as competitors leading up to a show, for the general population who is merely trying to improve their health and physique, a cheat meal is a great way to maintain your sanity. After all, you’re not getting on stage where your life somewhat revolves around your meals and training.
That being said, the research does not show any true benefit for including cheat meals in your nutrition plan. However, it has been noted that there seems to be a psychological benefit that can come from it. The dedication to a strict nutrition plan can take its toll on many, and for that reason having a cheat meal each week can provide you with a sense of relief from the strict nutritional regimen and also help reduce your cravings.
So, let’s dive into three ways you can optimize cheat meals to improve your results.
1. Time It After a Hard Workout
The best time to have cheat meals would be after your hardest workout of the week. For many, they would place this following a leg day, but some even place it following a heavy chest or back day if those are some lagging body parts they are looking to bring up.
Following an intense workout, you have an increase in insulin sensitivity. This increase is what can aid in shuttling a high carbohydrate meal into the muscles to start the recovery and rebuilding process as well as replenish your glycogen stores that are now depleted due to your workout. It may even be wise to lower your carbohydrate intake around 48 hours prior to your cheat meal to help further deplete your glycogen stores until you have your cheat meal.
While the best time to fit in this meal would be within 60 minutes following your training session, it has been found that insulin sensitivity can stay elevated for upwards of around six hours. This provides you with more than an adequate amount of time to get in a cheat meal.
It would be wise to dig a little deeper into the topic of cheat meals as many take things to the extreme, and this can absolutely negatively impact your results. Cheat meals are not meant for you to go out and eat anything and everything you want just because it’s a “cheat meal.” You still want to have some restraint and pull back on the reins a little bit. Also, you’re going to want to pay close attention to the scale as well as your overall body fat levels. Should you see an increase in body fat, you’re going to want to rethink your cheat meal strategy.
Cheat meals are meant for you to be a little more lenient with one of your meals during the week. Increase the carbs a little bit, increase the fats a little bit. But overall, you still want to put a heavy focus and emphasis on protein. It’s not meant for you to go eat a gigantic bowl of pasta, rolls, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, French fries, cheesecake, and then on the way home, hit up your favorite ice cream joint to finish off your gluttony with a banana split.
Have some self-control with your cheat meals and increase your caloric intake slightly with the meal. It’s not a free for all to go consume 3,000 calories in one meal just because it’s a “cheat meal.”
2. Increase Your Water Intake
Water is incredibly important and not solely because your body is made up primarily of it. There are tons of benefits when it comes to staying hydrated (such as how it can improve fat loss).
One reason to focus on drinking more water surrounding cheat meals is that many of the foods and meals we enjoy during a refeed are high in sodium. This increase in sodium can cause you to bloat and hold water – causing you to look puffy, soft, and blur your musculature. Therefore, by consuming more water, you can help flush out the excess sodium and prevent this side effect from taking place while still restoring glycogen levels and filling out your muscles.
Additionally, when you drink water surrounding cheat meals, it can help keep your hunger in check and allow you to feel a little more satiated, so you don’t overeat. Having a cheat meal is one thing but gorging on everything in sight is another. A trick to helping prevent blowing your calories out of the stratosphere is to drink a glass or two of water before cheat meals. This will start to fill up your stomach and trick your brain into thinking you are getting full. That can help flip the switch and reduce ghrelin levels (a hunger hormone).
3. Leverage Glucose Disposal Agents
You want to maximize your cheat meals, right? After all, you don’t want to simply enjoy them but not really show a benefit to your physique, correct? That’s where leveraging glucose disposal agents or nutrient partitioning agents come into play.
Through the use of these remarkable supplements, you are able to eat more carbohydrates without worry, as you can maximize your muscle volume following cheat meals by simply utilizing these agents. Many people have a feeling of regret following cheat meals and worry that they’re going to put on a ton of body fat from their splurge. With glucose disposal agents and nutrient partitioning agents, you can prevent this from happening.
These specific supplements help put the carbohydrates from your cheat meals to work for you rather than against you. They are responsible for helping your body utilize the carbohydrates and sugars as energy storage rather than shuttling it into fat cells and increasing your body fat percentage.
Another benefit of a nutrient partitioning agent is the fact that they help you properly break down your meal. You can’t utilize what you can’t break down. Don’t waste all of those carbohydrates when you can use them to improve your results and physique.
If you want the best supplement to help you maximize your cheat meals and aid in providing you with the results you demand, try Evogen Evolog. This advanced nutrient partitioning agent can help you maximize digestion, glucose optimization, and muscle volume.
There are no quick results when it comes to adding quality lean muscle mass or cutting body fat. However, you can “cheat” your way to better results through cheat meals and the inclusion of Evogen Evolog. Try it today and cheat your way to success! We promise we won’t tell everyone your little secret.