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Bodybuilding FAQ - Can I Cheat Once A Week In My Bodybuilding Diet Program?

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Question: Bodybuilding FAQ - Can I Cheat Once A Week In My Bodybuilding Diet Program?
Is there any truth to the statement that a bodybuilder can actually lose fat and gain muscle better when cheat meals are incorporated on the bodybuilding diet program?
Answer: Fact is that if you follow your bodybuilding diet perfectly all of the time, the body gets used to the caloric intake and thus lowers its metabolism (caloric burning ability) in order to maintain the status quo. There are two ways to avoid this:

    Caloric Cycling: With this method you just up the calories over the weekend, mainly in the form of good carbohydrates before and after the workout in order to spike the metabolism. This method is the one that I like to use 99% of the time as it allows me to maintain my good eating habits intact.

    Once A Week Cheat Meal: Another way is to introduce a cheat meal in the diet. For those of you that constantly crave a specific forbidden food, this may be a good way to satisfy the craving and also accomplish the goal of increasing the metabolism.
The key thing to make a cheat meal work is to plan what is to be consumed and also to do portion control. Also, limit yourself to a 1-hour cheat meal, unless we are looking at a day like Thanksgiving or Christmas where a cheat day is acceptable. After all, those days only come around once a year.

Now, keep in mind that if you eat everything in site with no restrain, chances are that any benefit you may gain from the cheat meal will be lost since it may just take a whole week to burn off all of the calories consumed. In this case, fat loss results would be compromised. Therefore, still use common sense and self control in order to make your cheat meal work.

For more information on how to make cheat meals effective, please take a look at Tips 4-10 from my Holiday Survival Tactics to Staying On Track With Your Bodybuilding and Fitness Program article.

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