“Cheating on weekends means you’re willing to be 5/7ths healthy.” – Jim Mullanaphy
A carb refeed is a technique quite often used by athletes, bodybuilders and gym warriors.
It is a component of carb cycling. An individual will eat low-carb for a certain amount of days, then change things up for one day and switch from low-carb/high-fat to low-fat/high carb.
This serves various purposes, such as filling up muscle glycogen stores, adding variety to the diet and spiking levels of satiety and fat burning hormones like leptin.
A cheat meal, or cheat day, is different.
It involves one meal or one day where you can eat whatever you want. Pizza, cakes, ice cream… you name it.
A cheat meal, in my opinion at least, is different from a carb refeed. Instead of being a strategic method of increasing performance or body composition, it is a “break” from the diet and often involves eating crap.
Cheat Meals vs. Carb Refeeds
In my opinion, carb refeeds are absolutely fine from time to time as long as they contain healthy foods.
They don’t have to involve sugar- and wheat-laden garbage. They can include healthier starches like potatoes, sweet potatoes, maybe even some rice and oats.
The cyclical ketogenic diet is based around these and many people have lost a ton of weight doing it.
However, cheat meals are bad, at least for those of us who are prone to food addiction because that one cheat meal can turn into a binge and a full-blown relapse.
What do you think? Do you include carb re-feeds or cheat meals in your routine? Make sure to leave your thoughts in the comments.