Alas the pre contest cheat meal, perhaps the biggest double edge sword in contest prep It can be extremely beneficial if done strategicly, it can also be completely counterproductive if implemented at the wrong time, and or in the wring individual, lets explore why…
1)… Concept of the cheat. The idea of implementing a cheat meal during prep in a vague overview before getting specific, is to get a spike in metabolism to keep the metabolism from being rendered dormant from long.periods in caloric deficit, to have a glycemic re fill in a low carb/and or keto diets, to offset rapid weight loss out of nowhere during prep that is not good weight loss, ect…that being said, any, or some or all of these benefits sometimes apply individually depending on what going on with that person during prep, here are some examples below.
a) the keto cheat …After starting the keto pattern, it takes about 3 days to go into ketosis, then after the first 10 days of starting the keto patter, there should be a cheat, and then a schedulers cheat every 5th or 6th day because of the non insulin spiking dormant pancreatic state that the body goes into from the carb free environment of.a keto pattern, there is a downproduction of TSH thyroid stimulating hormone. TSH is responsible for translation of t4 thyroid conversion to t3, and metabolism slows. This is a common phenomenon and often happens as early as 3 to 5 weeks into the keto prep , then fat storage begins to slow down. After someone goes into ketosis after starting the keto prep, after the first week or 10 days, there should be a scheduled cheat every 5th or 6th day. Remember, this is a cheat MEAL, it’s nor a gorge session that last all day, let’s face it, if you are on a keto pattern to begin with, it’s because you have poor sensitivity to carbs in the first place, so if you have pizza, burgers, soda, a dozen ddonuts, a bag of chips with more soda, few more slices of pizza that is left over ect, then ice cream, you will then greatly compromise the integrity of your prep, and never get ripped. A massive cheat in a non glucose tolerant person will only fill that persons liver up with hepatic glycogen, messing up progress for the next 3 days in terms of fat loss on a very painfull road back to ketosis. A burger fries and a coke, OR a couple of rolls of sushi, OR a burrito for example and that it, the idea here to spike metabolism with the meal, get back on the keto pattern , then do another cheat in 5 or 6.days to serve as a metabolism spike. This spike will keep the metabolism moving, and prevent the need to use progressively higher doses of t3 that can lead to being catabolic. Its a given that t3 is or should.be used during keto, use the cheats.to help prevent the need to use catabolic doses of t3.help Enjoy and move on, don’t gorge, it will be counter productive to say the least. Its a spike that’s it. Keto patterns can be very effective for those who have poor glucose tolerance, do your cheats wisely
B)….the low carb diet cheat/re feed
In a prep that contains low carb patterns (low carb, high protein, moderate fat) the cheat and goals of the cheat are different from the keto cheat. Here the concept of the cheat is or should be to a glycogen refill in muscles that have lower levels of glycogen from low carb structure. Some people thrive on large cheats in this situation, especially if the person has a fast metabolism, and his ahead of schedual in the prep. In a situation like this, sometimes heavy cheats are great to slow things down if someone is coming down to fast, a cheat very high in fats like a burger and fries can really stabilize someone. By the same token, I have also seen cheat meals that are more sugar and carb based make people sweat like crazy outof no where (the high carbs.in sugar out of nowhere can turn people into a metabolic furness, making them actually LOSE a few lbs, after drenching there sheets all night in sweats from their cheat. So cheats can be great to refill glycogen to get ready for another period of low carbs, and can also cause far loss from theremogenisis and metabolic efficiency from the extreme escalation in calories out of nowhere
C)…When not to cheat
There are times when some people have no business cheating….These are individuals who are way behind in their prep from starting prep to late, or worse…cheating on their diet, making themselves further behind. Sometimes someone will not be ready for a cheat until they are several week’s into prep. Sometimes it’s several week’s before someone is even remotely close to being able to reap the benefits from a cheat.~~)Its also not engraved in stone that there HAS to be a cheat. A lot of competitors that have high carb, moderate protein, low fat patterns don’t really get much benefit from a cheat and can actually be counter productive. These individuals who are blessed with being very carb tolerant and who thrive on high carbs during prep are usually not going to.benefit from.a.cheat, glycogen stores are already full, so slamming down a bunch of carbs in a cheat won’t help.
No matter what type of prep you are doing, be strategic with your cheats, if you are doing keto use it to spike, if you are on more traditional prep, use the cheat as re feed, (perhaps once a week) If you are already ripping up and coming down fast from accelerated metabolism…make it a heavy fatty cheat to stabilize you. A cheat can be a very effective tool during prep, if not implemented properly, it can be very counter productive, so be wise with your scheduled cheats and use them toyour advantage
If you wish to contact me for off-season/ pre contest prep, message me on facebook at Dave kalick, or email me at email@example.com