Cheat Meals Are Not Necessary!

Cheat meals have some nutritive value, and while such food can serve a physiological need, refeed meals will provide all the physiological benefits of cheat meals while maximizing fat loss.

Sometimes you want saturated fat and refined sugar, but if you get enough good fat and natural sugar from fruits, you have NO PHYSIOLOGICAL NEED for such things.

Foods that contain high amounts of refined sugar and saturated fat are considered cheat food or junk food. Junk food contains predominantly refined sugar and saturated fat (doughnuts, ice cream, cake, etc.) and has very little nutritive value.

Did You Know?
That 1 M&M? cookie at Subway has 210 calories, 30 grams of carbs, 17 grams of sugar, 90 calories from fat, 10 grams of total fat, 3.4 grams of saturated fat, 2.5 grams of trans fat, 15mg of cholestoral, 105mg of sodium and a whopping 2 grams of protein! Read Subways nutrition facts here (25.5 KB).

Cheat meals have some nutritive value, and while such food can serve a physiological need, refeed meals will provide all the physiological benefits of cheat meals while maximizing fat loss.

Why Diet?

My Diet Recommendatoins

There are many ways to diet, but I believe a diet consisting of 20-30% protein, 40-60% carbs, and 15%-30% fat is best for general healthy eating.

Non-processed, non-hormonally enhanced meat, poultry, fish, dairy, and soy are healthy protein sources.

Some may decide to avoid some of these foods because their body does not respond well to them, and because let's face it, it is often difficult and expensive to find non-processed, non-hormonally enhanced foods.

Calculate Ian Matthew's Recommended Diet Below:

Enter your daily caloric intake in the box below and click calculate.

Your Estimated Total Caloric Intake Is:

Protein: to Calories.
Carbs: ? to Calories.
Fats: ? ? to Calories.

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Calories: ?

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For vegetarians, soy is a great protein source, but I don't think men should get the vast majority of their protein from soy. Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are healthy carbs. Flax, olive oil, nuts, and fish are healthy fats.

How To Lower Your Body Fat

If you are following a healthier diet, you are not going to lose fat at an accelerated pace unless you lower your calories below maintenance, and as your body adjusts to the lowered caloric intake, your fat loss will plateau.

Therefore many will follow a different diet when they want to lower their body fat.

Calculate How Long It Will Take You To Reach Your Bodyfat Goal:

Use the calculate below to find out how long it will take you to lower your bodyfat.

Enter your weight: ? lbs.
Enter your bodyfat: %
Enter goal bodyfat: %

It will take you to weeks to hit your
bodyfat goal.

Depending upon how slowly you feel comfortable losing weight.

For example, if someone is 200 lbs and has approximately 13% bodyfat and they would like to be at around 3% bodyfat for their contest, then they need to lose 10% of their bodyweight. This equates to 20 lbs for a 200 lb person. So I would recommend dieting for anywhere from 14-20 weeks depending upon how slowly one felt comfortable losing weight. Read the article explaining the calculator here.

By increasing protein intake and lowering carbs you will elevate your metabolism. Protein digestion requires more calories than carbs.

Gluconeogenesis (utilizing protein and glycerol, which is the backbone of fatty acids, for glucose production) will further raise your metabolism because it takes more energy to convert protein and fat into glucose than carbs. This will result in an elevated metabolism and increased fat loss.

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However, lowering carbs and calories has an adverse effect on metabolism. There are many hormonal factors involved, but since your body is designed to survive rather than lose bodyfat, it eventually views this as a state of starvation and takes steps to lower your metabolism.


Before this happens, you want to raise carbs and calories (refeed) for a short period of time to put your body in a "fed" state. This will actually increase your metabolism so you can continue to lose fat at an accelerated rate.

How Often Do You Have Cheat Days?

Once A Week
Once Every Two Weeks
Once A Month
Twice A Week
Everyday (I have God like genetics)

When glycogen levels are low (following a period of lowered carb intake), increasing carbs and calories will raise insulin levels. This is great for raising leptin, which is the key fat burning hormone, but it will also increase fat transport to adipose tissue.

While cheat meal serve to increase carbs and calories, they also contain saturated fat. In the presence of elevated insulin levels, this fat will most likely be stored as adipose tissue. This is why it is not recommended to combine high glycemic carbs and saturated fat, and why cheat meals are not necessary.

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About The Author

Ian is available for personal training at BodyTech Fitness Emporium in Tampa. He is also available for online nutritional consultation regardless of where you live.

In addition to being a certified personal trainer and nutritionist, Ian is also Vice President of Sales for LMR Sports. You can contact Ian at

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