If you’re on holiday – away from your portable meal carrier – cheat meals can become cheat days, even a cheat week. But is the weight you gain on vacation all fat?

Anthony L. Almada, founder of Vitargo Global Sciences, says:

“Many athletes follow a lower carb/higher protein diet. Combined with intensive workouts that burn between 125-175g of carbs per hour, these athletes are usually in a chronic, low(er) muscle glycogen state. Cheat meals, on the other hand, are typically high in carbs, and can add more calories than the eyes can measure.

So what happens to the extra, carb-rich calories? 

Research in human athletes has shown that the ultimate cheat meal string of carb overindulgence firstly results in more muscle glycogen. That’s why sometimes we feel we look better the day AFTER a bodybuilding competition, or just after a low carb/ketogenic diet period.

This means that weight gain (from travel/holiday) in lower carb dieting athletes, is actually added muscle mass; as carbohydrate and associated water inside muscle cells. It takes at least three days of significant overeating – at least 30 percent more calories than your body needs – to start making fat. And a good amount of that new fat prefers to deposit in the liver, making it invisible to your eyes. Cheat for more than several days though and you are on the road to making visible fat gains.”

About The Author

Anthony L. Almada – founder and CEO of Vitargo Global Sciences, LLC – began working in the nutrition industry in 1975. A UC Berkeley graduate, in 1992 he co-founded EAS, which pioneered creatine monohydrate. He is co-author on over 30 scientific journal articles and co-founder and fellow of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN).


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