If you recall back to the recentÂ weight lifting and cardio posts, there were two things you needed to keep in mind. First, you should take a rest day every week. And secondly, you shouldn’t do the same thing every session, because your body will adapt.
The same goes for eating. If you’re like a lot of people, there are certain foods that you enjoy eating more than others. You might find yourself eating pretty much the same thing every morning for breakfast. And your other meals may start looking pretty similar – if not in actual food items, then perhaps in calories and macronutrient levels.
Here’s the thing…
Just as your body adapts to exercise, your body will adapt to your diet. If you eat the same thing every day or even just the same number of calories, your body will adapt. That means your metabolism will slow down. Pretty soon your fat loss will plateau. And then you’ll have to eat fewer calories and/or exercise more just to get the same results.
Fortunately, there’s a solution.
Namely, you can “trick” your body to convince it that it’s not starving. And you can also trick it by zig-zagging your calories and/or your macronutrient levels – doing so keeps it guessing and keeps it from adapting.
Now, there are a few different ways to do this:
One way to keep your body guessing is by zig-zagging your calories. For example, if you need to eat 2000 calories per day, then your goal is to have low calorie, medium calorie and high calorie days, which in the course of a week average out to 2000 calories daily.
Monday: 1900 calories
Tuesday: 1600 calories
Wednesday: 2400 calories
Thursday: 1700 calories
Friday: 2300 calories
Saturday: 2200 calories
Sunday: 1900 calories
Add that up, and it comes to an average of 2000 calories per day.
Another way to do it is by zig-zagging your macronutrient levels. This time you have low carb, medium carb and high carb days. For example, on a low carb day you might eat 20% carbs. On a medium carb day, 40% of your cals would come from carbs. And on a high-carb day, 60% to 80% of your calories would come from carbohydrates.
This is where you set up one day per week to eat more than you usually do. However, you still need to eat clean. Generally, you’ll take in the extra calories via carbohydrates and some protein.
TIP: Some people set limits, such as eating 10% to 20% more on these days. Other people just eat until they’re satiated. Either way works.
Cheat or Free Days
As the name implies, this is where you eat whatever you want for one day out of the week. Some people do it for just one meal, and then eat clean for all other meals. Others enjoy an entire free day. Whether you do it for one meal or the entire day really depends on how “crazy” you go. If you have a tendency to absolutely gorge, then you’ll want to opt for one cheat meal per week.
The physiological benefit, of course, is that it helps persuade your body to keep your metabolism roaring (by convincing it that it’s not starving). But some people find the psychological effect even more powerful. That’s because this is the day where you can satisfy any cravings you had throughout the week. And that means you’re less likely to go off your diet or gorge earlier in the week.
That’s it for this time. See you soon.
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