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Are Carb-up/Cheat Days Absolutely Necessary?

So i’ve been reading Thib’s Refined Physique Transformation and a bunch others like the T-Dawg diet. Almost every diet plan advocates a sort of carb up/cheat day or meal and I’m wondering if they’re physiologically necessary for maintaining fat loss.

I understand the psychological benefits and whatnot, but in terms of long term metabolic and physical effects for fat loss, are there any?

Hello,

This article may be of some interest :

Regards.

I don’t use them generally but I read that it will basically trick your body into responding better to the healthy food, on top of that is the psychological benefits.

From what I learned, no they are not entirely required, unless you have a drop in metabolism, in which case you would have needed to be monitoring body temp from the start of you diet…and given a drop in temp for more than a number of days, this would correspond to a drop in metabolism.

However, not including a cheat(carb up) meal would also be dependant on how lean/fat you are. When I started my diet, I waited a month before adding a weekly carb up meal and now that I am getting leaner, I have one once a week.

GJ

[quote]Gymjunkie wrote:
From what I learned, no they are not entirely required, unless you have a drop in metabolism, in which case you would have needed to be monitoring body temp from the start of you diet…and given a drop in temp for more than a number of days, this would correspond to a drop in metabolism.

However, not including a cheat(carb up) meal would also be dependant on how lean/fat you are. When I started my diet, I waited a month before adding a weekly carb up meal and now that I am getting leaner, I have one once a week.

GJ[/quote]

I’m above 15% bf so I’m thinking of going 50g carbs per day for 2 weeks before adding in one carb up meal (PWO only) once per week. What do you think?

Yeah…That should be fine. If it doesn’t interfere with your progress, keep it in(I don’t think it will)

GJ

I learned form Poliquin that in a lean individual their ability to oxidize bcaa’s after 5 days of very low carb eating is diminished. Wether one needs a whole day or not is debatable.

I beleve one’s carb tolerance is individual and as a biosig practitioner some of the things I look at are how lean is the person and how well does the individual handle their carbs. These are two of the bigger factors in determining the type, length and frequency of carb ups.

Hey Laroyal…

Yeah, I have read snippets hear and ther from a few diff coachs of coarse, and in the end, I figure that if I continue to progress with a weekly cheat meal…I keep it in, just for the sake of been able to eat or or cook a meal with my fiance once a week.

However, I have also notice that the type of carbs make a big difference as well. I typically DONT handle carbs well at all and gain fat fairly easily and quickly from them…but with enough work(energy expenditure and a CLEAN carb up meal once a week) I dont feel it affects me too much.

I would love to get my biosignature done in Melbourne, Australia, but yet to find a place…Not that I have been looking hard enough:(

GJ

I think it’s more psychological and about improving a workout or two and recovery than recovering the metabolism

Lyle Mcdonald seems to think that the carb up day isn’t sufficient for that. Just like the body needs several days of very low intake before it goes into starvation mode and there is a hormonal response (including the metabolism slowing down), the body needs more than one day of overfeeding to reverse this process.

Lyle actually has a get shredded esque diet where he uses these principles and combines 3-4 days of very low calorie intake with 3 days of extremely high to moderate intake to lose fat and retain muscle without adverse hormonal and metabolic effects. I haven’t personally tried it, but I think he knows his shit.

It depends on you present bodyfat level and how severely you are dieting in my opinion. The leaner you are and the more restricted your diet is, the more important the carb up day is. On the other hand, if you aren’t very lean(above say 16% BF)and have yet to reduce your total daily calories much below maintenance, a carb up day is not needed.

Alternatively, I have found that I know when I need to carb up when dieting as I physically feel like the walking dead(which is about one day of carb loading every two weeks on average).

I was doing this awhile ago , and it worked pretty well. The one thing I noticed is that I would physically bonk during some of my workouts. The weights would feel about 40 lbs heavier and I was noticeably slower getting under cleans. Usually this happened later in the week, and my calories were restricted about as low as I was willing to take them.

I started doing moderate, semi-clean carb ups on Saturday, and this was then no longer an issue. Usually some buckwheat pancakes pwo w/ some fruit, then sweet potato fries or black beans with lunch, and maybe a bowl of oatmeal if I felt like it. I’d usually end up taking a nap because I’d be so drowsy from the blood sugar or whatever does that to you.

Weight still came off and I noticed no performance decreases in the gym, at least in terms of totally failing to get a good workout in.

I’m pretty sure that when your body is in a calorie/carb restricted state, the body starts adapting after around 5 days. So a “cheat” meal every 5 days throws your body off and can be beneficial when planned smartly.

[quote]analog_kid wrote:
It depends on you present bodyfat level and how severely you are dieting in my opinion. The leaner you are and the more restricted your diet is, the more important the carb up day is. On the other hand, if you aren’t very lean(above say 16% BF)and have yet to reduce your total daily calories much below maintenance, a carb up day is not needed.

Alternatively, I have found that I know when I need to carb up when dieting as I physically feel like the walking dead(which is about one day of carb loading every two weeks on average).

[/quote]

This. With the rigors of D1 athletics, there is usually one day every 2-3 weeks where I hit a wall and splurge after practice.

So do you count calories on carb up/cheat meal days?