News No Comments 3 August 2018

THE HOLIDAYS ARE COMING! DOES “STEPPING OUT OF LINE” REALLY SABOTAGE THE RESULT?

 

Have you been told that only the weekly deficit counts? Let’s talk about it!
The “one-off” calorie excess does NOT lead mathematically to put on weight or stop the slimming process, on the contrary, sometimes the psychological benefit can be a plus (just don’t go overboard), let me explain:
LET’S TAKE AS AN EXAMPLE A 70KG MALE WITH AN ESTIMATED DAILY CALORIC CONSUMPTION OF 2500KCAL FOLLOWING A CALORIE-CONTROLLED DIET:

TDEE 2500 KCAL
KCAL IN SUN-MON (FRI?) 2000KCAL
DAILY DEFICIT FROM SUNDAY TO MONDAY(FRIDAY?): -500KCAL
SATURDAY: CHEAT MEAL

Theoretically the Cheat Meal might cancel the weekly caloric deficit and therefore sabotage the long-term result. This is true if it is repeated too frequently, if we are not thin enough, if we do not train correctly or if we are metabolically not very flexible. Let’s now see why an athlete or anyway a person with a good level of fitness should not be afraid of a “one-off” cheat meal.

Let’s analyze 2 basic concepts.

Concept 1: man is not a closed calorimetric system and has no 100% efficiency. You have to play on percentages (that can be manipulated within certain limits) of metabolic inefficiency.
Concept 2: the caloric excess leads to a synthesis state (anabolic). Here timing and TRAINING play a key role. Synthesize new weight does not mean synthesize new fat. The macronutrient in excess, the w.o, timing and 1000 other variables affect the calorie breakdown between myocyte and adipocyte. Lean mass can also be synthesized (supercompensating phenomena).

Let’s suppose now, that the deficit is maintained from Sunday to Friday and on Saturday you step out of line so much that the weekly deficit is annulled (perhaps not chronic but one-off).
On Sunday I actually consume 2500kcal but I have 2000 available; I will take 500kcal from my fat reserves, and the same applies till Friday. In the meantime, the muscle damaged by the training and calorie deficit enters a state of “alarm” for the catabolic signal and the probable negative nitrogen balance.
We know that:

- If we consume almost exclusively carbohydrates BUT with a low/zero fat intake, these kcals "settle with difficulty” and, once the glycogen reserves are full, part of the calorie excess will be dispersed as heat and not stored as fat. Moreover, if a depletion job is carried out, the glycogen reserves will be supercompensated up to three times so, in this case too, l’no carbohydrate calorie excess will be stored as fat BUT only as additional glycogen.
- If we eat mainly proteins, they will go to reverse the nitrogen balance from negative to positive and a new proteosynthesis will start. The calorie excess will be used in part for protein synthesis, in part by theADS and in part dispersed as heat.
- If we use mainly fat, it depends by the protein and glycaemic quantity and therefore, by the circulating insulin. In a situation of insulin calm, part of the lipid excess, above all if from a low-fat diet, will probably go to restore the muscle lipid reserves. (Take anyway care about strong lipid excesses).

Summarizing: cancelling the deficit does NOT always mean cancelling the loss of fat and slow down the improvement, on the contrary, I remind you that with the same fat mass, with more lean mass, the % of BF will be lower (because we are talking percentages).
The classical cheat meal will not be mainly one of the 3 macronutrients, but a mix of the three. According to the dominant micronutrient, we can reduce it in the other meals of the day, reducing the quantities. Moreover we must remember that a cheat meal does not mean binging! Common sense first of all.

Have a good holiday and a good Cheat Meal!


Author: Mattia Lorenzini
Personal trainer, expert in sports nutrition and author of the informative project CorporeSano – Food&Training System

Contacts: corporesanofitness.com

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