Refined carbohydrates and sugar make us fat. In fact, these two foods are the cause of most weight gain. Sugar and refined carbohydrates cause weight gain because they are rapidly absorbed due to their lack of fibre. This causes the liver to become overloaded with energy leading to fatty liver and metabolic dysfunction (here). Both refined carbohydrates and sugar also cause weight gain because they are devoid of the minerals required for their metabolism (here).
Most People Can’t Cut Carbs
Losing weight involves avoiding all the foods that contain refined carbohydrates and sugar. To most this is a grim prospect as this excludes most foods people find appealing. In fact, the reason people fail to lose weight long term is because they cannot avoid these foods. They also make the mistake of cutting calories which makes them hungry. Eventually their temptation gets the better of them and they eat the foods they know they shouldn't. Bang, weight gain and guilt.
If you are the sort of persona that cannot do without such sugary or refined foods you're in trouble. However, all is not lost. If you accept you are going to cheat, plan it for a single meal and do it deliberately. This is the concept of the cheat meal. Think of cheat meals as a reward for good behaviour. Cheat meals minimise the damage to your metabolism because the bad foods are limited, and most of the time you eat healthy foods and avoid the bad stuff.
Supercharged Cheat Meals
Cheat meals will hamper your weight loss efforts. However, as long as you only use them occasionally, you can take two steps forward before taking one step back, and you'll still make progress. But what if I told you there was a way to take cheat meals more often, and one that doesn't require taking any steps backwards? This is the concept of the post workout cheat meal. And it allows you to eat almost what you like without having any risk of gaining body fat.
Resistance Training Allows Guilt Free Cheat Meals
High intensity exercise such as sprinting or resistance training causes some pretty neat weight loss effects. In particular, when you perform intense exercise your muscles and your liver become depleted of nutrients. This means they act like a sponge for a period of time following training. There is about a two hour window when the muscles become particularly responsive to nutrients. And we can use this time to fill them with sugar.
Glycogen Not Fat
Following intense exercise muscles and the liver are desperate for sugars. They need sugars because the exercise has depleted the tissues of glycogen. Therefore following exercise, eating sugar actually becomes beneficial. The sugar goes into the liver and skeletal muscle where it reforms the glycogen you burnt during exercise. As a result little of it is converted to fat and no damage is done to your metabolism.
Timing Is Everything
Cheat meals following a workout allow you to eat the foods you know you should almost guilt free. Such a strategy won't affect your ability to burn fat. In fact it might help because postworkout sugar can actually stimulate muscle growth. This will boost your metabolic rate and cause more energy to be burnt as fat. The trick is to train hard then eat within a two hour window. But then as they say, timing is everything.