T Nation

A Cheaters Q's

Stats are 165lbs, 5-6% bf, 21 y.o.
Yesterday I had a major, planned cheat day. Ive been going strict for two weeks, staying within 1500-2000 cals low carb, and I cheated on 5500+ cals. Usually on cheat days I end up feeling like shit, however not this time. Why? Because despite the massive caloric intake I never ate until I was bloated! This seems to suggest that it is that bloated feeling that follows an uncontrolled binge which causes that cheaters angst I got before.

  1. I read in a BodyOpus FAQ that a simplified approach to knowing when your glycogen stores are becoming full is to stay away from that bloated feeling, thus preventing fat gains. True?
  2. If true, can fat gain still be possible with glycogen stores being far from full? And if the subject( the dieting cheater) is being in a semi-starvation mode( i.e dieting for a week on a low cal diet).

I think oftentimes that sick feeling after pigging out is caused not only by the excessive amounts of food but by eating a lot of crap: processed foods, intolerant foods etc to which the body becomes sensitized to after avoiding for a while. For example, if you had an unkown intolerance to wheat, corn, sugar, dairy and consumed them everyday you probably wouldn’t notice much of anything, but upon removing those foods from the diet for a few days or a week (on a low carb diet) and then adding them back in high volumes (ala a refeed) you would notice the negative effects your body has to these foods. As for your other question eating fat even when your glycogen levels are low can cause fat gain and eating too many carbs or eating them faster then your body can store them as glycogen will also do the same. Hope this helps

Thanks Kelly, you gave me some new insight which I had not thought about( the food intolerance issue). Come to think of it I ate pretty clean- spaggetti with scrambled eggs for breakfast( thats bout 12 oz of spaggetti and 4 eggs mind you…=), soup with a loaf of bread post-workout, chicken…some ice cream but not the usual BOX that I used to consume before. Can I ask you about your personal opinion on carb-ups\refeeds and their role in upping the metabolism?
I certainly am leaner today, than I was two days ago despite the massive calorie intake, which in theory might have crippled lipolysis for some time…

my opinion on carb ups and refeeds is that it’s highly individual. I certainly don’t argue with the metabolic upregulation and the benefits and need for it but personally i’ve not gotten the results I would have liked with high carb refeeds at least until my bodyfat is down really low and even then it doesn’t take much carbs at all for me to go overboard but I’ve done great with high protein/fat refeeds. On that same not some bodybuilders use fat loading to fill out prior to a contest whereas it does nothing for others.

A refeed high in protein and fat would be less effective calorie vs calorie, when it comes to upregulating leptin levels, than a carb-protein refeed according to what I read? If it works better for you, great, but how low do you go on the carbs on dieting days? Since I go really low, 50-60 gms a day, and carbing up one day a week, it might have better impact then if I would go moderate carbs on dieting days.
My glycogen is NIL on sunday and I just can\t wait til breakfast. Had trouble sleeping cuz I was looking forward to those tasty carbs, so on saturday evening im going to have a big, moderate carb meal=)

I believe that fat regain occurs in this sort of situation, and certainly fat can be regained while glycogen stores aren’t yet full, even if no dietary fat is consumed.

However, you may not see the fat gain. The reason’s simple: perhaps 3000 calories were burned that day (just as a totally rough figure) and so that leaves a surplus of 2500 calories. If, unrealistically in this situation, there were no refilling of glycogen then the fat gain would be 2500/3500 of a pound, or about 0.7 lb. But since a lot did go to refilling glycogen, fat gain is less than this, and too small to measure with certainty or to observe.

But over time, do fat gains from somewhat frequent overenthusiastic cheating seriously slow fat loss results, relative to more reasonable carb-ups? I’m convinced they do.

It’s not so serious when it’s rare and only one day at a time, but it’s very serious issue when the belief is that it’s acceptable two days out of every week.

Brah,
you touch on a great point. I would like to go into this issue in detail, but suffice it to say that the bloated feeling (acute) indicates one of many things. Psychologically feeling bloated also makes us feel as if we are gaining fat (or have gained it)…but when we look at the physiology of fat gain and loss, we must take into account a number of different factors. I, like you, do diet in semi-starvation mode, so there are a number of factors at play…suffice it to say that one refeed, as you suggest will not noticeably increase fat stores BUT, there will be lipgenic activity occurring…but lipogenic activity, does not equal NFC (noticeable fat change)

Too much to say.

Vain

Thanks for all the replies guys! OK, im going into the final stage( 2 weeks) of my 6 week cutting cycle, and I will SCRAP tomorrows carbup/cheat/refeed. Instead, im gonna up the calorie intake for today, tomorrow and monday. I usually eat 1700-1800 cals a day, plus an additional cardio of about 500-700 worth of cals. I will up the carbs and eat approx 2000 cals today, 3000 tomorrow and 2500 on monday. The reason is primarily pschychologcal- I feel a bit pressed for time and a massive refeed may screw me up in the head. What are your thoughts on long term refeeds vs short term i.e one day?