Cheat Days To Get Lean
Cheat days are being included in many nutrition plans (including all of the ones I create). Once thought to be the downfall of a diet, cheat days have theoretical benefits such as:
Increased Thyroid Hormone Output.
When eating small, healthy meals, we produce less T3 and T4–both important thyroid hormones that play roles in the regulation of metabolic rate. A cheat day or strategic overfeed is used in part to increase these hormones. Leave nothing left on the plate!
Increased 24-hour Energy Expenditure.
A caloric surplus from a cheat day causes the body to upregulate basal metabolic rate (BMR). Some studies have shown an increase of 9% above baseline, and it’s hypothesized that more is possible. That means your body is using more of its calories for energy instead of storage.
Increased Psychological Benefit.
The idea of able to take a day off from your diet, eat whatever you like, and be comfortable in the knowledge that you’ll still get lean. It’s hard to quantify how much that actually helps, but the majority of folks who opt to use cheating protocols cite this as one of the most significant benefits.
Try taking a 12-hour window and allow yourself any/all indulgences you desire. Don’t count calories or try to do a healthy version. This is the appropriate time for the majority of your alcohol consumption (if not all). See how your body handles this window once a week and make any time adjustments accordingly.