Page 44 - NGA NATURAL mag - Winter Issue
P. 44

Winter 2017
5 Reasons to ReconsiderfffffffffffffCheat Days During Contest P PETER FITSCHEN
PHD NUTRITIONAL SCIENCES
CERTIFIED STRENGTH & CONDITIONING SPECIALIST NGA NATURAL PRO BODYBUILDER
FITBODY AND PHYSIqUE LLC WWW.FITBODYPHYSIqUE.COM
Many successful competitors cycle calories and/or carbohydrate throughout the week in some fash- ion. This may occur through having a high carbohydrate day, cheat days,
carbohydrate cycling or a number of different approaches.
Looking at the scientific literature, altering daily caloric intake throughout the week may provide a number of benefits. It may help to prevent decline in metabolic rate (although it should be noted the effect of a single high carbohydrate day on metabolic rate may not be as large as once thought).
A higher carbohydrate day prior to a hard workout may also help to improve performance during the workout and potentially increase muscle retention. However, the largest benefit to a high calorie/carbohydrate day may be the mental break it provides from the daily grind of low calories/low carbohydrates while dieting.
In an attempt to achieve the benefits of a higher calorie and carbohydrate day, many competitors use cheat days where they eat whatever they want for a day. However, this may not necessarily be the best approach for a competitor looking to step onstage at their best. Below are 5 reasons you may want to consider a controlled refeed day with set nutrition numbers rather than an all-out cheat day:
1. No Food Should Be Eliminated
There is no evidence that any individual food
will cause weight gain or prevent fat loss. Therefore,
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