the difference is when you need it, how to conduct

Every athlete and even the average person who adheres to strict diets for weight loss knows that in the process of losing weight, from time to time there come periods when the usual system of training and diet ceases to bring results. A further decrease in the calorie content of food becomes dangerous, there is not enough strength for training, and nervous tension grows. Oddly enough, but you can overcome the situation without lowering the calorie content, but on the contrary, increasing it. In the world of sports, tricks have long been invented on how to deceive the body, which are called cheat meal and redfeed, and what is the difference, you will learn from our article.

What is a cheat meal?

Translated from English, “cheat meal” means “fraudulent food.” This concept has come into the lexicon of ordinary people who are losing weight from bodybuilding. Anyone who has ever been on a diet, especially a long one, knows how exhausting it is. A strict diet does not always mean avoiding the amount of food consumed. Usually you have to give up tasty and favorite dishes, replacing them with healthy ones, but not distinguished by their taste attractiveness. It is possible to achieve external beauty in this way, but the state of mind is disturbed and can lead to breakdowns, as a result of which the multi-week effect achieved by inhibition in nutrition will be lost.

To protect against such a danger, an interesting way was invented that allows athletes on a diet to feast on goodies from time to time. Approximately once a week, an athlete allows himself to eat almost everything his heart desires, while the form is not lost, and according to the observations of many, this technique even helps to improve it.

How does it help to lose weight and is it useful for everyone?

You can understand the benefits of cheat meal only by understanding the processes that occur in the body during a diet and during a period of “sudden” overeating. While a person follows a strict diet, his metabolism slows down and the body begins to save internal fat reserves, just in case. Parallel vigorous training increases levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. As a result, the athlete trains intensively, consumes a minimum of calories, but there is no effect of losing weight, since the body has adapted to the situation and has learned not to waste excess reserves. Naturally, mental stress in a similar situation grows.

This is where cheat meals come in. Having eaten something tasty and beloved from the forbidden list, a person dramatically reduces the level of psychological stress. In other words, he just enjoyed the food and felt good. Secondly, the intake of additional calories unexpected for the body accelerates metabolism and this effect lasts for several days. In this way, the state of stagnation in weight loss, known in sports as “plateau”, can be overcome. And thirdly, most professional athletes and people who follow a healthy diet, but practice cheat meals, find that after a few days of loosening, returning to a rigid diet and training is also a pleasure.

How to carry out correctly?

Fasting days in the form of cheat meals does not mean that you can eat everything for days. There are also rules, a system and restrictions here. First of all, it should be remembered that such belly holidays are not suitable for everyone. They are useful when:

  • You are strictly following a low-carb diet for at least 3 weeks;
  • you have already managed to reduce weight by 15-20%;
  • you train at least three times a week for 30-60 minutes, and the rest of the time you live an active life (do not spend a day on the couch or at the computer).

Playing sports

To achieve the desired effect from a cheat meal, follow these rules:

  1. At the initial stage of training and a cheat meal diet, it is better to carry out no more than once a month, then you can allow yourself to unload once a week.
  2. On “meal day” you should not overeat all 24 hours. Non-diet foods and meals should be included in the diet in the first half of the day so that the body has enough time to digest.
  3. Don’t eat in a hurry, on the run, watching TV or reading. Let yourself fully enjoy your meal.
  4. One day should correspond to the consumption of one delicious meal.
  5. Alcohol is prohibited even in small quantities.

For more information about the rules for conducting a cheat meal for weight loss, see the articles: “How to use cheat meal for weight loss?” and “Learning to spend a fasting day”.

Eating pizza

What is a refeed, and how is it different from a cheat meal?

Refeed is another way to stimulate metabolism, however, a slightly different plan. Translated from English, reefed means “download”. If, during a cheat meal, a person adhering to a diet allows himself a one-time intake of something tasty, then a refeed involves an increased intake of carbohydrates throughout the day: for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The purpose of the reception is to replenish energy reserves.

When is a refeed needed?

The carbohydrate loading process should be as tightly controlled as the food indulgence. It is necessary to calculate exactly what and how much to consume. It is necessary to use a refeed if:

  • for some reason, you are in a state of energy hunger and glycogen stores have dramatically decreased;
  • you are preparing for a competition during which more energy will be required than usual;
  • you belong to the category of skinny people who constantly lack calories;
  • you are stuck in the process of losing weight as a result of the fact that the body is overworked from a constant lack of calories.

Girl eating flour

How to carry out correctly?

On a loading day, the amount of carbohydrates consumed should be increased by at least 50%. If you are too thin, then you can do more. Carbohydrates should be consumed in the form of pasta, bread, potatoes, and sweet fruits. At the same time, you should reduce the amount of consumed proteins and fats. Low fat intake will not pose the risk of fat accumulation, and increased leptin production will reduce hunger. As a result, glycogen stores are increased and metabolism is activated.

Thus, the difference between refeed and cheat meal is in the duration of the absence from the diet, but the goal is still the same – it is to accelerate the metabolism and overcome the “plateau” that has come.

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