Lose Weight By Eating Chocolate and Pizza: A How To Guide
By Liam Thompson
Hopefully the headline has sparked your interest and no it isn’t a mistake. It is actually possible to use chocolate and pizza as tool to help increase fat burning. I know it probably sounds too good to be true but here is why it works:
Purposefully adding a scheduled cheat day to your diet and healthy eating regime can help to prevent your body from going into starvation mode by increasing production of a hormone called leptin. When your body goes into starvation mode, fat burning is slowed down significantly and you will find it harder and harder to get results. This is especially true if you have been on your diet for a significant length of time. In fact Leptin Levels can actually drop significantly in as little as 72 hours.
Leptin, as we have said is an anti starvation hormone and a significant increase in calories especially from foods such as chocolate and pizza on purpose once a week can actually stop your body from thinking that it is starving. The result of this is that it can make you more efficient at using body fat on the days that you are sticking to your diet.
When the extra calories are provided from a cheat day or even a cheat meal, your body realises that you aren’t starving and your leptin levels are increased accordingly. This increase in leptin keeps your body from holding on to fat and excessive body weight when you are starving as a survival instinct. When leptin levels increase, your body feels as if it is fully fed and this allows you to burn more body fat as a result.
These are not the only benefits from scheduling a cheat day or overfeeding day
The sudden increase in calories from a cheat day can cause your body to increase it’s basal metabolic rate (BMR) by nearly 10% acording to some studies that have been published. Then there are also the psychological effects of having a scheduled cheat day.
You should find it easier to stick to your healthy eating plan through the week if you know you are going to have a treat or cheat at the weekend and especially if you have your favourite indulgent food to look forward to.
How often should you schedule a cheat day?
Initially if you are on a detox or cleanse diet you can have a cheat day after 2 weeks. After that you should schedule a cheat day every 2 weeks if you are over 20% body fat and every 7-10 days if you are lower than 20% body fat.
How about having a cheat meal instead of a cheat day?
If you are not comfortable with a cheat day and instead want to try the occasional cheat meal, there are a few guidelines that you should stick to. The best time to have a cheat meal is right after a good workout. This is the time when your body is fully primed to take in carbohydrates because of increased insulin sensitivity. What happens here is that any carbohydrates taken on are more likely to be stored in the muscle to replace used glycogen rather than being stored as body fat.
Obviously, this advice is recommended for people who are generally healthy and who do not have diabetes as even moderate increases in blood sugar can be detrimental to overall health. If you are struggling to lose significant weight and you are eating healthily then a cheat day or a cheat meal may just be the thing that kick starts your fat loss results again.
Liam Thompson is a Personal Trainer and Bootcamp owner in Manchester specialising in Weight Loss and Posture Correction. Check out Personal Trainer Manchester and Manchester Boot Camp for more info on personal training and weight loss in Manchester.