You might be thinking, "What in the h-ll is a GORGE-MEAL?!" It is actually a term that we coined for when strict diets allow for a planned all-out cheat fest to occur on a set day every week in the diet. While the time between cheats might vary, it appears to be a weekly thing for the most part on most diets that advocate this practice.
While some of you might have read our guide on how to cheat in the article Cheaters Always Prosper, in this article we will make a case as to why we feel that PLANNED gorges are not healthy and that if long-term overall health is your goal, the unplanned cheat or scheduled clean refeed is the way to go.
If you're interested in building the body of your dreams and KEEPING it your entire life, read on. We have some knowledge-gum for you to chew on...
Here is the bottom line: A lot of people involved in physique-enhancement sports like bodybuilding, including US, have some form of mental issues. We have seen several issues that include an "all or nothing" approach at dieting and lifestyle.
People with eating problems are also prime candidates for the fitness industry and dieting in general (or overdieting). At Scivation, we preach healthy lifestyle modifications with food choices, calorie control and insulin control being top on the list.
The most extreme diet we have, The Showtime Game Over Cut Diet, even controls insulin when refeeding, thus providing a safe and healthy way to replenish glycogen stores and support thyroid function already in normal range. But when not on this diet or getting ready for a show, we are all about occasional cheat meals. These should be fun and spontaneous... and yummy!
The issue that arises in our opinion is when you have a planned GORGE. This means the standard Saturday-night carb, fat and sodium orgy that a lot of diets these days recommend after a week of strict, hardcore dieting.
This cannot be psychologically healthy. You are basically telling yourself that dieting is suffering and if you get through it, you can stuff yourself like a pig. You look forward all week to that meal. It beckons for you. And then you wake up the next day and feel like you just got punched in the stomach repeatedly by a gang of ninja-midgets.
Cheat Meal Downfalls
Here are some downfalls to the cheat meal mentality:
Dieting Is Suffering
We need to look at food as fuel and we need to learn to enjoy the foods we eat most often or find a new way to prepare them so that they can be enjoyed and will not hamper our diet goals. By having a planned cheat meal day, you are essentially tricking your mind into thinking that "healthy" food is nasty, but at the end you get to reward yourself with grease and cake and pie.
Post Cheat Meal Affects
You will not like how you look the next morning most of the time. I can recall gaining ten pounds post-cheat meal once. Sure, it might have been mostly water, but it still made he feel horrible until it subsided... two days later! Forget the beach, unless I was trying to be a whale!
Social Eating Is Fun!
If you have a planned cheat on Saturday and you have a party to go to on Friday, do you ruin the fun of the party and the FREE FOOD and eat packed chicken and green beans and wait until your Saturday cheat meal that happens to be a day when no one can join you? This is where a fun cheat meal comes into play!
If Competing, Forget The Cheating
If you plan step onstage in eight weeks or less, just don't cheat. It is as simple as that.
But When Can I Cheat?
On any diet but the Showtime Cut Diet, once or twice a week is fine. Even the Lifestyle Cut Diet allows for cheats. When you cheat is entirely up to you. We look at cheat meals as a chance to live normally and enjoy food with friends and family, and there is most definitely a physiological benefit to these, such as supporting a thyroid already in normal range and many other cool things.
Cheat meals are psychologically rewarding as well. Why ruin the beauty of NOT thinking about what to eat by planning to NOT think about what you eat? It doesn't make much sense to us!
Live large and live lean, but live healthy. By having the right outlook on life and physique improvement, you can develop the body and mindset of your dreams. In essence, you can have you cake and eat it too... and it won't be planned!