The Big Problem With
Sean Nalewanyj here at www.
Comand in this video here I want to talk a little bit about “Cheat Days”, and why it’ssomething that you need to be very careful with, because all of cheat days can reallyeasily throw your fat loss results off track if you’re too reckless with them.
So I’msure most of you are familiar with what a cheat day is.
Usually it’s done once a weekwhere you stick closely to your diet for six days and then on one day of the week you’reallowed to reward yourself by eating your favorite foods and by eating more of them.
Now, I’m totally in favor of the concept of flexible dieting and it absolutely is possibleto eat your favorite foods on a pretty consistent basis and still get very lean, but at theend of the day fat loss still comes down to net energy intake versus net energy expenditure.
So in the big picture over the course of a few days and a few weeks you need to maintaina calories deficit by burning more calories than you’re consuming.
The problem withall out cheat days where calorie intake isn’t accounted for, is that they can pretty easilyerased, or at least hugely reduce the deficit that you’ve created during the rest of theweek.
So usually a standard deficit for fat loss would be somewhere around 500 caloriesbelow maintenance, so if you maintain that for six days then that would be a 3,000 caloriedeficit.
Now if you then go ahead and binged on the seventh day, every calorie that youeat above your maintenance level is directly counteracting that 3,000 calorie deficit thatyou had.
Now everybody has a different appetite and people do approach cheat days differentlybut let’s say you ate 1,500 calories above maintenance, which is pretty easy to do ona cheat day, most people probably wouldn’t have a problem with that, right there you’realready cutting your total calorie deficit right in half but for most people who do goall out on a cheat day and who do have a decent appetite, eating 4,000 or 5,000 calories reallyisn’t unrealistic, that’s maybe a couple of, you know, high calorie restaurant typemeals, maybe a dessert and then whatever else you’re eating throughout the day and itall adds up very quickly, and because you’ve been in a calorie deficit you’re going tobe craving those high calorie foods a lot more than normal because your body is hardwiredfor survival, it doesn’t care about you getting lean abs, it just wants to get backto equilibrium.
On top of that you’ve probably heard trainers or other experts telling youthat cheat days are actually beneficial and that you can just go ahead and eat whateveryou want because it’s going to spike your metabolism, and it’s going to shoot yourleptin levels through the roof which is actually going to make you lose more fat, this is justtotally untrue but when you hear that it gives you more permission to just, sort of go crazywith things.
Anyway, for most people if you were to eat 4,000 or 5,000 calories in a daythat would basically undo a high percentage of your total calorie deficit, in which caseyou either going to lose fat way slower than you could be or you’re not going to loseany fat at all.
On top of that, like I covered in the recent video, most people don’t eventrack their calorie deficit properly throughout the week in the first place.
So a pre-highpercentage of people who think that they’re eating, say 500 calories below maintenance,they’re actually off by quite a bit and they actually might be eating at a much smallerdeficit, in which case cheat days are going to be even more dangerous.
In extreme casessome people actually end up gaining weight even though their goal is to lose weight.
So what should you do instead, so that you can enjoy your favorite food and still gettinglean? My first advice would be, like I’ve mentioned many times before, is just to forgetthe idea of cheat days or cheat meals altogether and just focus on developing an overall lifestylewhere higher fat and higher sugar foods are just part of your regular diet but they’resimply eaten in moderation.
So rather than thinking of it as starving yourself duringthe week and eating nothing but clean foods, and then bingeing once a week on cheat foodsjust merge the two together so that your diet is mostly based on what you’d call cleanfoods, you know, high quality proteins, minimally refined carbs, fruits, veggies, healthy fatsand then once you have those basis covered allow for a round at 10 to 20% of your calorieintake to come from whatever foods you want.
They’re not cheat foods, you’re not breakingthe rules, it’s just part of how you eat because you’re a human being and part oflife is enjoying food.
So you’re getting those higher quality foods to meet your overallhealth needs and your muscle building and fat burning needs, but you’re also gettingthe satisfaction of eating the food that you like the most.
Just remember that calorieis absolutely do matter and those higher calorie foods have to fit into your overall calorieintake for the week if you want to see ongoing fat loss results.
You can lay this all outbased on preference, if you like being able to eat those higher calorie foods every singleday but in smaller amounts, then go with that.
Or if you get more satisfaction out of eatingbigger portions but having them less often, then that’s fine too.
Just make it fit intoyour overall week and laid out in the way that you the most.
Aside from that the secondthing you can do is rather than having what you’d call a “cheat day” once a weekinstead have a re-feed days once a week, and that means that rather than just bingeingand going all out, and not keeping track of anything you’re instead just going to eatat your calorie maintenance levels.
A slight surplus, it’s not a big deal but it shouldstill be around you maintenance level nonetheless.
So that will allow for probably an extra 500calories or so and usually with the re-feed day you’d get the majority of the increasedfrom carbohydrates.
That would about an extra 125 grams of carbs, which is a decent amount,to give you a good psychological boost, enjoyed some additional foods and possibly offsetsome of the typical dieting side effects that you’ll usually experience after you’vebeen in a deficit for a while.
Now, if you have been using the approach of a cheat daysand you’re able to exercise in moderation, and you’re losing fat just fine then I can’targue with that obviously and you can just continue, but if you do find that you’regoing in the cycles of the calorie deprivation followed by a huge calorie over consumptionand you’re not losing fat, then just get rid of the idea of cheat days, and numberone; start tracking your calorie intake with more accuracy and just allow 10 to 20% ofyour intake throughout the week to come from your favorite foods and secondly do a re-feedday once a week where you eat at your calorie maintenance level, because that’s goingto give you a break from your diet but it won’t counteract the calorie deficit thatyou worked for during the regular week.
As a last note here, everything that I’m sayingalso applies to bulking phases, in which case excessive cheat days won’t reduce your actualmuscle growth but it’ll just caused you to put on an excessive amount of body fat.
Re-feed days don’t apply on bulking phases because you’re already eating in a dailysurplus.
Guys, if you want to get a complete step-by-step plan that shows you how to eatand train in a way that is highly effective but also sustainable, like I have talked aboutin this video, then you can download my Body Transformation Blueprint by clicking hereor by heading to www.
Com using the link in the description.
If youenjoyed the video, as always makes sure to hit the like button, leave a comment and subscribeto stay up to date on future videos.
You can also check out my official blog over at www.
Comfor all of my latest updates, and you can follow me on social media here if you aren’talready.
Thanks for watching and I’ll talk to you guys again soon.