Since the late 1990’s Dr. John Berardi has published 8 scientific abstracts; 15 scientific papers and textbook chapters; presented at nearly 50 scientific, exercise, and nutrition related conferences; and published countless articles online.
His first articles at Testosterone Magazine so many years ago, provided me with the basis for everything I know about nutrition today. Now I will turn some of that knowledge over to you in the form of Nutrition Tips written by Dr. Berardi himself.
Today’s Topic – Cheat Meals
I have used the concept of cheat meals extensively throughout my 14 some-odd years of dieting and weight training.
Where has it gotten me?
When I get down to lower bodyfat levels, cheat meals help give me motivation, energy, and seem to rejuvenate my system.
When I’m hovering between 15-20% bodyfat, cheat meals pretty much only function to stall my progress.
At this point in my training, when I am under 15% bodyfat I will use a cheat meal on a Saturday night to jumpstart my metabolism and replenish the old glycogen stores. I keep the cheat meal under control by not maxing out on sugar and greasy fat. I keep the protein content high, and I use the next day (usually Sunday) to completely rest my body and let those extra calories help with recovery from the previous week’s workout.
Any other time, I leave cheat meals for the fat folk.
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The truth of the matter is that when you have a high percent bodyfat, your body is more likely to store every extra calorie in adipose tissue. If you are not already lean, skip the cheat meal.
But don’t take my word for it. Let’s see what JB has to say about it:
Tip: Skip the Cheat Meal, Fatty!
“Cheat meal frequency should be minimized when you’re over 15-20% body fat.
Basically, the fatter you are, the more likely that any excess food will be shuttled toward body-fat storage rather than muscle mass. So skip the cheat meal unless you’re lean. And even then, think of it as an alternative food meal – not a cheat. Cheat meals are usually glorified forms of dietary debauchery.
Alternative food meals allow for something a little different from the norm without the trough.”
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