So we preach a lot of things at Rapid Results, hopefully you are following quite a few of these basic principles and you are seeing amazing results in doing so.  We also preach that to keep psychologically sane, you should go off the straight and narrow for one day, or actually more appropriately, for one meal. This is good for you for so many reasons. One of them being, to satisfy your cravings and to make sure you stay on track for the next six or so days.

The problem that a lot of us have is when we start. We cannot get ourselves to stop. So one meal, becomes a whole day of just nonsense and a couple of thousand calories later, you feel awful and you want to jump straight into some cardio confessional. (This you see very often on a Monday, the cardio machines are packed with people doing longs, slow and boring cardio because they feel they need to burn off the excess calories that they consumed over the weekend.) Good luck with that by the way, it is never a clever way to do that, your results will be miniscule and you will never reach your goals.

What you should do is to get the most out of your cheat meal. Just a bit of planning and doing the right kind of workouts before and after your high calorie meal is going to make sure you use the extra calories for getting into the shape you want to be. Just to throw a spanner in the works here, a lot of die-hard bodybuilding type people will make fun of you when you mention cheat meal. To a point, I suppose, they are right. They will call it anything from planned refeeding (this has all to do with a low carb/high carb cycling diet and refeeding is basically the high carb section of their diet) basically it all means the same thing. It is a planned dietary transgression (but again, some will say “Cheat” in essence is an unplanned dietary transgression) now you are probably very confused, maybe so, but in essence you just need to define the word with the action and all will be cool.

Look at it this way. You paste a little “diet” up on your fridge for yourself. It has 5 to 6 meals on there for a day, that means you have a plan with 35 – 42 meals on their. Your one and only mission is to be 90% compliant on this meal plan, that means if you eat 31 – 38 meals from your little diet on the fridge and you go off the road for 4 of these meals, you will still reach all your goals. If you want to call it a planned reefed or a cheat is all up to you. 90% is really all you need to still be good in your own eyes and still see the kilograms and centimetres drop at regular intervals.

Another astounding reason for having a cheat is all to do with hormones. You go on a strict diet and after about 7 days your leptin levels start dropping. If that happens, the body goes into starvation mode. This means that everything that goes into your body will be stored as fat and an extra bonus is your metabolic rate slows down as well (I am being very sarcastic here of course, this is something you do not want to happen and that is why we overfeed the body every once in a while to make sure your results don’t stop dead in their tracks)

So what is the plan and how are we going to execute it?

Do specific workouts before you do your cheat meal and that is called “depletion” or pre-cheat depletion. Some say that cheat meals actually accelerate fat loss through all the weird and wonderful hormonal changes that happens in our bodies but of course the other side of the coin is always that little bit of fat gain when you throw all caution to the wind and you go for broke during your cheat meal. You obviously do not want that and this is what you should do before that planned cheat meal:

With a cheat meal comes humungous amounts of calories so let’s use it don’t we? The strategy will look like this. You must make sure your carbohydrate intake is super low the day before your cheat meal. With this low carbohydrate diet you want to do a real killer of a fat burning workout.

Right, now you are sorted for your fantastic feast meal (yet another word for a cheat meal) so with all the calories that you are consuming at the feast meal, would you not like to take advantage and use it for the greater good of your fitness goals? Thought you would say yes, of course you would like to do that, but how?

High volume training. You are thinking cardio and you are wrong. You want to do the high volume training of course but with weights, muscle building style. You want to add some lean muscle to your body, don’t you? (Ladies, I am talking to you too, because we all know that lean muscle makes you a better and more effective fat burning machine)

Two things that you should take away from this article: Go low carb the day before you do a cheat meal and hit the weights hard the day of the cheat meal. You will love the results.