We’re all locked into the mentality (and correctly so) that our meals should be of moderate size most of the time, neither all-out food fests nor birdlike portions. Often I hear the question, Is it okay to have cheat meals? The answer depends on your goals.
For those trying to lose a meaningful amount of bodyfat in a short time period, the answer is no. If you can barely see your abs and you have a contest or photo shoot in a few weeks, there’s no room in your nutritional program for junk or gorging. For some reason, a lot of people seem to think that it’s their God-given right to have an entire cheat day each week in which they chow down on anything that doesn’t move. That’s a surefire way to stay smooth and uncut. If you must cheat while trying to lean out, make it a small amount of sugar-free yogurt or Jell-O, not a whole cake or box of cookies.
For those trying to gain muscle, I recommend at least one meal a week at which you make an absolute pig of yourself. The majority of the food you shovel in at this binge should still be quality protein and carbs. Buffets are an excellent place to do that. You may even be surprised to find that some of your best workouts occur the day after these food ‘overdoses.’ Your metabolism will be stimulated and tricked into processing more nutrients temporarily. One or two binges a week can go a long way toward adding muscular bodyweight. To binge or not to binge? It all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. IM