Anyone who is doing LeanGains wants to know one thing and one thing only - are they still allowed to have cheat days?

Cheat days are a highly coveted thing for almost any dieter because to them it means a break from feelings of deprivation. They've been sticking with intense dieting for as long as they can remember and if they can even get just a tiny bit of reprive, it's well worth it.

So, what's the real deal with cheating while intermittent fasting?

Let's look at some of the facts that you need to know.

Why Intermittent Fasting Works Well With Cheat Meals

The nice thing about intermittent fasting is that due to the fact that you are going to be taking in so many calories total during that eating window over the short period of time, this tends to lend very well to cheating on foods without going over your calorie budget.

If you typically have a meal of 1000 calories for instance, this opens plenty of doors for what you can have for that cheat meal without necessarily going over your daily calorie target.

For you, this means less risk of fat gain while still getting to have that cheat.

You'll simply schedule the cheat meal to take place during your eating window and you'll be all set.

Choosing The Foods You'll Cheat With

Now, when it comes to the specific foods you'll have during that cheat, you're going to be best off opting for high carb, low fat foods as often as possible.

What's even better is if you can do a glycogen depleting workout just before you plan to have the cheat, meaning a high-rep, high-tension session.

Do this and your muscles are going to be especially primed to taking up the glucose that you just burned off during the session, making the cheat meal highly effective.

When you then go and consume your high carb, low fat foods, they'll spike insulin levels, which will then cause the glucose to be driven right into the muscle tissues where they get instantly converted to muscle glycogen.

The end result is very little fat gain.

Good foods therefore would be choices such as bagels, pasta, rice, bread, cereals, as well as perogies. All of these contain very little fat so will work ideal for this situation.

Making Sense Of Leptin And Using This To Your Advantage

Finally, the last piece of the puzzle that you need to put together is how often you should be cheating. The answer to this question will of course depend on your goals, but for best fat loss results, aim to cheat no less frequently than once every three weeks.

When on a lower calorie diet, the body is naturally going to start to slow down the metabolic rate and this is largely due to the action of the hormone called Leptin.

By having a cheat periodically, you'll help to restore Leptin back to its original baseline concentration, which then means that you'll experience a faster metabolic rate and from there, faster fat loss progress once again.

So there you have some of the key points to remember about how cheating fits in with your intermittent fasting plan. Just like any other diet, done right, cheating can be highly beneficial.

About the author: Shannon is a fitness trainer and freelance writer who has written for Bodybuilding.com.

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