4 Types Of Dietary Departures

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One of the fastest ways to sabotage your body transformation can be summed up in 3 words: “I Deserve It.”

I have a friend, an older guy, who walks to the coffee shop each morning to “earn” his cinnamon roll and latte.

Now, he’s a smart, successful, cool businessman.  He should know that walking 8 blocks isn’t enough to “earn” 800 Calories of junk.  But the walk gives him a ready excuse to give in to his bad habits, so he persists in chowing down.

And his weight – slowly and insidiously – keeps creeping up.

If you’re reading this blog, you’re not like the majority of people who just eat whatever they feel like whenever they feel like it.  You’re motivated and determined to eat better, you just slip up sometimes.

Today I’m going to tell you about the 4 main ways you can depart from your diet plan.

The first is what I used to call a CHEAT MEAL.

This is usually full of sugary starchy treats.  Yum!

Cheat meals can be unplanned – you just get a craving and give in.  This is a true cheat meal.

The big problem with cheat meals is that people think that since they slipped off plan that the day (week, month) is ruined and just go ahead eating crap 24/7 until an arbitrary “start again” date.  Example: “I had waffles and donuts for breakfast today (Saturday) so I’ll just start again on Monday.”

This mindset absolutely KILLS your fat loss!   Think about it like this: If your car gets a flat tire, what do you do?  Change it and get on down the road.  If you slip up on your plan, fix it the next meal and get on down the road.

But continuing to eat junk is like stabbing the other 3 tires on your ride and then wondering why you never get anywhere.

If you cheat at lunch, eat your healthy snack and dinner just like you’d planned.  Get on with it.

Planned cheat meals are great.  They keep you walking the line Johnny Cash-style.  You have mad cravings for cherry pie, you look at your calender and see that Saturday night is a planned cheat and you decide you can wait another two days for your pie.

So many people feel guilty about these planned cheats though.  They think “I eat great all week.  I pay $600 a month for personal training.  Why would I have a bad meal?”

Because of this I’ve re-named planned cheat meals.  They are now REWARD MEALS.  You reward yourself for following your meal plan and kicking ass in the gym all week.

Unlike my friend walking to the coffee shop, you truly earned your piece of pie.

The second type of dietary departure is LOADING.

I use this a lot in my carbohydrate-cycling plans.  A loading day you eat things that aren’t usually a part of your diet with the the goal of refilling muscle glycogen (sugar stored in muscles).

But instead of junk sugars and starches, loading days have “clean foods.”  Fruit, sweet potatoes, squash, etc.

Occasional PLANNED loading days can accelerate fat loss and help you regulate fat loss and health hormones.

The third dietary departure is REFEEDING.

Re-feed days you follow you normal dieting guidelines (ex: 45%fat, 35%pro, 20%carb) and don’t digress from your approved food list – you just ramp everything up a bit.

So if your diet calls for 2300 Calories, a re-feed day you might eat 2800 Calories instead – all composed of the foods you’re normally eating.

The fourth dietary departure isn’t common knowledge.

I call it a DISPLACEMENT meal.

What’s a displacement meal?  Simple, it’s a form of a planned reward meal where you still eat exactly what your plan calls for, PLUS whatever cheat foods you want.

An example would be a dinner where you have your 4 cups of spinach with 7oz of spinach and drizzled with olive oil.  You eat the salad plus a few drinks and a piece of rich chocolate cake for dessert.

I like displacing cheat meals like this because we’re less likely to go completely bonkers on the reward foods if we’re eating the good stuff too.

Now for… WHY reward meals, loads, and re-feeds are part of a rapid fat loss plan:

1. Keeping Leptin Levels Up.

There are two main side effects to restricting calories: metabolic slowdown and rebound binging.

Lowered calories slows your release of leptin, a hormone that tells your body it is being well-fed and to keep up your metabolism.

With less leptin, your body thinks its starving and lowers metabolism and increases hunger.  When leptin drops, your body overpowers your willpower and you eat like crazy, even if every bit of your conscious mind is fighting it.  Truly, “the enemy within.”

Planned food increases PREVENT leptin from dropping, so the metabolic slowdown and hunger attacks don’t happen.  This isn’t so important in the first few weeks of dieting, but after you’ve lost a good amount of fat, planned overeating is necessary to keep leptin levels up.

2.  Refilling Glycogen.

Sugar stored in muscles is called glycogen.  This is what fuels hardcore bootcamp workouts.

When glycogen stores are low, you won’t be able to train like an animal.  (note: There are supplements that allow super-hard training even on low calorie diets, they’re a big part of Ripped Plan 2.0)

Training while on a diet has two main purposes: burning calories and keeping – or building – lean muscle.  If you can’t bring energy to your training, it’s hard to do either.  That’s why it’s a good idea to plan a re-loading day into your rapid fat loss plan – you’ll be able to keep training at the top level.

3. Mental Vacation.

Ask anyone who has gone through a body transformation: The toughest part of dieting isn’t the diet, it’s knowing you won’t be able to give in to cravings until you’re done.  Planned meals give you a “mental vacation” from feeling deprived.

Lots of people quit dieting in the first week because they don’t think they can stand giving up their favorite comfort foods for such a long time.

Having a planned break allows you to keep your sanity until your diet ends.

But this is where it gets tricky… reward meals give you a mental vacation, but they can also increase the intensity of cravings.  (Especially grain-based foods, which activate the same addiction centers in your brain as heroin!)

If you can break through the wall and see how great you look and feel your cravings will subside.  When you constantly remind yourself how good “cheat” foods taste, you’ll have to keep fighting crave attacks.

So if you can cowboy up and close your mental door until your next planned break, reward meals will definitely help.    If you can’t close that mental door you’ll make your life miserable thinking about milkshakes, pasta, and cookies.

I always think the best of people, and believe they can do it with the right plan and guidance.

Which Type Is Best For My Plan?

Cheats/rewards, loads, re-feeds, and displacements all work to keep leptin levels high.

Loads are best for re-filling glycogen stores.  (Cheats can also do this, but fake sugars – ala corn syrup – don’t refill glycogen, they just store as fat)

When it comes to the mental part, everyone has a different trigger.  I loves me a greasy cheesebuger, onion rings, and booze.  Some people would kill for sweets and pastries.  Others live and die for breads and pastas.

This mental divergence means we will all have different foods for reward meals.

Ideally, the worst cravings we have would be for fruits.  But since that isn’t the case just remember that the cleaner you eat on your reward meals, the easier it will be on your body.

A final caveat: I mentioned it earlier, but it bears repeating – if reward meals cause you to go ahead and blow a whole week out of your diet, stay away from them.  It’s like potato chips, if you eat one, you eat the whole bag.  Would have been better just to skip that first chip.

Final Thought

I hope you can see now that you don’t really need cheat/reward meals – you can rock a fat loss plan with the right loading and re-feeding schedule.

Your body has absolutely NO PHYSICAL NEED to eat junk, it is purely psychological.

In January I’m putting together a coaching group for Wold Fitness Ripped Plan 2.0.   I’ll give you the exact plan you need to lose as much fat as you want – faster than you thought possible.

First notice will go to my newsletter subscribers, so if you haven’t signed up yet, enter your email in the box on the top right of this page.

Talk soon,

~ Luke Wold

One Response to “4 Types Of Dietary Departures”

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