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Health

Cheat days are not going to boost your metabolism

16 October 2017 - 23:28

Afu

Foodaholic. Travel Buff. Smartphoneographer.

So you have a weekly workout routine and a diet plan, but there is one day everyone ticks off as a 'cheat day', eating just about anything and everything that has been restricted according to your diet. If you thought that having one cheat-day is going to boost your metabolism, then you are wrong, says an expert.

"Overeating simply isn’t going to enhance the rate you lose fat." says Michael Roussell, Ph.D, Michael Roussell, Ph.D., author of The Men’s Health MetaShred Diet (via Mens Health).

According to Roussell, certain people maintain low body-fat percentages even when they regularly over-eat. " But for every one of those people, I could show you five others that only allow themselves just five to six cheat days per year in order to maintain single-digit body fat levels," he adds. 

The notion behind 'cheat day' or 'cheat meal' is that, it fixes the reduction in the metabolic rate caused by dieting. However the opposite happens when scientists study this idea. 

For instance, researchers at Mayo Clinic conducted a research in 2006, where participants were asked to overeat by 1000 calories a day for seven days. After a week, the participants average metabolic rate had an increase by 18 calories. 

"This is just one study, but there are plenty of examples and the punch line is always the same: You never end up burning more calories than you consume,” says Roussell. He further explains that a growth in the metabolic rate is mainly temporary and it is not enough to produce a recognizable effect.

Instead of going for a cheat meal, Roussell suggests an occasional 'discretionary meal' without overdoing it. 

According to Roussell, the best way to boost metabolism is through exercise, "Lifting weights, specifically, will have the biggest impact on increasing your metabolism,." In addition to that, getting the required amount of sleep and maintaining low stress levels will help keep the metabolism more active. 


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