Last week, I started a new chapter of my bulk - adding even MORE cheat meals & even LESS cardio. Although this may sound AMAZING to some, to me, it’s truthfully been a bit of a nightmare.
When I was on my cut, I THRIVED having cheat meals. I was so depleted of energy that my body loved being treated to something I normally wouldn’t eat. I cherished my weekly cheats & it allowed me the balance I needed to continue with my cut, keeping me focused & satisfied.
Since I’m now eating at a caloric surplus, having 2 additional “cheat meals” a week has left me feeling pretty gross. I find that I THRIVE when I have a CLEAR PLAN for my meals, or the surplus can quickly turn into feelings of overindulging. I come from a place of binging & restriction, so sticking to a plan during the week & then allowing myself to “cheat” on tacos & ice cream on the weekends feels like I’m following the same unhealthy pattern.
What I realize I need at this stage isn’t necessarily a cheat meal, but a refeed.
So, let’s talk about the difference between a CHEAT MEAL vs. REFEED.
Only ONE meal, where you completely disregard the macronutrients & calories of that meal.
eating whatever you want & however much you want of it.
satisfies food cravings w/o restriction.
mental break from tracking your macro/calorie intake.
provides a surge in calories to boost energy & hormone levels.
conducive to binge eating/overindulging.
difficult to incorporate into a structured plan.
"cheat" foods can result in bloating & discomfort.
can lead to feelings of guilt, negatively impacting mental state.
A CONTROLLED increase of calories for a specific period of time. (Usually an increase in carbs & decrease in protein/fats.)
allows you to maintain control of caloric intake.
easy to incorporate into a structured plan.
replenishes glycogen stores to help with training & recovery.
satisfies “sweet tooth” via carb loading
restricting the amount of food consumed may not be satisfying.
controlling measurements/macros doesn't provide a mental break from “dieting”.
Which type do you prefer - cheat meals or refeeds? What experiences have you had using either of these? Let me know below!