Monday, May 23, 2011

12 Week Body Transformation continued - Cheat Days

One of the strategies I used during my 12 week transformation was the use of cheat days. Cheat days are basically a day where you take a break from your diet and eat whatever you are craving or were craving while dieting. The primary function of cheat days was to allow for a psychological break from strict dieting and also as a reward for strict dieting. There are also supposedly physiological benefits as well such as boosting leptin and increasing metabolism. I'm not sure how true this is or how much the physiological benefits help fat loss, but I know the psychological benefits definitely made dieting easier.

I scheduled cheat days every 14 days, which I felt was a good time period between cheat days for me. Every 7 days would have been too short as I've done it this way before and progress was very slow, sometimes almost none at all as I might have a accumulated a 3,000 calorie deficit the previous 6 days of the week but then eat it all up in the one cheat day!

Early on in the diet, my cheat days consisted of me eating anything I wanted starting from 4 pm to 9 pm. I would eat Chinese buffets, noodles, pasta, breads, chips, cookies....basically whatever I was craving and wanted to eat on that day. There was no regard for calories, protein, carbs, or fats...and everything was fair game! Cheat days are always great at the beginning but I always felt terrible by the end. I would stuff myself so full and just eat random things because I could. Regardless, I still made great progress doing this but knew I had to do it better as the diet went on.

As my diet neared the end of the 12 weeks, my cheat days turned into "cleaner" cheat days and what are also considered "refeeds". The difference between refeeds and cheat days is that refeeds are high carb, moderate protein, and low fat. LOW FAT is the key here and really limits a lot of the foods that I was able to eat on cheat days so it definitely wasn't as "fun" as the cheat days were. No more ice cream, donuts, high fat pastries, or fattening meals like lasagna, mac & cheese, or even ribs.

Eating high carb and low fat allows your body the same benefits as cheat days except the fat gained from the refeeds will be much lower. I've seen recommend guidelines that say to keep the fat around 50-60 grams of fat on the refeed day. An example of some of the foods I would eat on a refeed: bagels, pasta, breads, pretzels, and noodles. I also didn't feel as bad after these refeeds as I did after the cheat days. Moving from cheat days to refeeds allowed me to make even better progress than before!

-Intro to my 12 week transformation

-Important Key Points to My Body Transformation

1 comment:

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