I’ve written and recorded a lot of evidence-based content over the years on just about everything you can imagine related to building muscle, losing fat, and getting healthy.
I’ve also worked with thousands of men and women of all ages and circumstances and helped them get into the best shape of their lives.
That doesn’t mean you should blindly swallow everything I say, though, because let’s face it—nobody is always right about everything. And especially in fields like diet and exercise, which are constantly evolving thanks to the efforts of honest and hardworking researchers and thought leaders.
This is why I’m always happy to hear from people who disagree with me, especially when they have good arguments and evidence to back up their assertions.
Sometimes I can’t get on board with their positions, but sometimes I end up learning something, and either way, I always appreciate the discussion.
That gave me the idea for this series of podcast episodes: publicly addressing things people disagree with me on and sharing my perspective.
Think of it like a spicier version of a Q&A.
So, here’s what I’m doing:
Every couple of weeks, I’m asking my Instagram followers what they disagree with me on, and then picking a few of the more common or interesting contentions to address here on the podcast.
And in this episode, I’ll be tackling the following . . .
4:41 – “Your natty expectations are unrealistic.”
17:50 – “Your BLS and TLS books are beginner lifting programs, but the macros are designed for elite athletes, and the fat recommendations are horribly low.”
25:43 – “Your books include cheat meals, but that’s an unproductive way to view food because it implies that eating off plan is bad and this can result in feelings of guilt which can lead to more off-plan eating.”
Mentioned on The Show:
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Hello and welcome to Muscle for Life. I’m your host, Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today. Now, I’ve written and recorded a lot of evidence-based stuff over the years on just about everything you can imagine relating to building muscle, losing fat, and getting healthy. I’ve also worked with thousands and thousands of men and women.
All ages and circumstances and helped them get into the best shape of their life. But that does not mean you should just blindly swallow everything I say, because let’s face it, nobody is always right about everything, and especially in fields like diet and exercise, which are always evolving thanks to the efforts of honest and hardworking researchers and thought leaders.
That’s why I’m always happy to hear from people who disagree with me, especially when they have good arguments and evidence to back up their assertions. Sometimes I can’t quite get on board with their positions, but sometimes I end up learning something and either way, I always appreciate the discussion and that gave me the idea for this series of podcast episodes, which I call says You, where I publicly address things that people disagree with.
And I share my perspective. It’s kind of like a spicier q and A. So what I do is every couple of weeks I ask people who follow me on Instagram at Muscle Life Fitness, please follow me what they disagree with me on, and then I pick a few of the more common or interesting contentions to address here on the podcast.
So if there’s something that you disagree with me on, and it could be related to diet, exercise. Supplementation business, lifestyle. I don’t care anything. Go follow me on Instagram at Muscle for Life Fitness and look for my saysyou story that I put up every couple of weeks where I solicit content for these episodes.
Or just shoot me an email, [email protected]. All right, so here is what I’ll be tackling in today’s episode. My Natty expectations are unrealistic. This comes from Marco Stein over on. And then my BLS and TLS books are beginner lifting programs, but the macros are designed for elite athletes, and this comes from Claire over on Facebook specifically, she’s objecting to the fat recommendations for women.
And last we have that. My books include quote unquote cheat meals, but that’s an unproductive way to view food because it implies that eating off plan is bad and this can result in feeling. Guilt, which can lead to more off plan eating and so forth. And I don’t have who this came from, but it is something that many people have mentioned over the years and is still talked about, not necessarily in reference to me and my stuff, just in general on social media.
So I think it’s worth addressing. Also, if you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my health and fitness books, including the number one best selling weightlifting books for men and women in the world. Bigger, leaner, stronger, and thinner. Leaner, stronger, as well as the leading flexible dieting cookbook, the Shredded Chef.
Now, these books have sold well over 1 million copies and have helped thousands of people build their. Body ever, and you can find them on all major online retailers like Audible, Amazon, iTunes, Cobo, and Google Play, as well as in select Barnes and Noble stores. And I should also mention that you can get any of the audio books 100% free.
When you sign up for an Audible account, and this is a great way to make those pockets of downtime, like commuting, meal prepping, and cleaning more interesting, entertaining, and productive. And so if you want to take Audible up on this offer, and if you want to get one of my audiobooks for free, just go to www.buy Legion.
That’s b u y legion.com/. And sign up for your account. So again, if you appreciate my work and if you wanna see more of it, and if you wanna learn time proven and evidence-based strategies for losing fat, building muscle, and getting healthy, and strategies that work for anyone and everyone, regardless of age or circumstances, please do consider picking up one of my best selling books, bigger, leaner, stronger for Men, thinner, leaner.
For women and the shredded chef for my favorite fitness friendly recipe. Okay, let’s start with the first one, which is that my Natty expectations are unrealistic for most people. So what are my Natty expectations? Well, first, what is Marco talking about? He’s talking about expectations for muscle gain, I’m assuming, and maybe strength gain as well, but probably.
Muscle gain. And what are my natty expectations? Well, maybe expectations isn’t the right word. Uh, maybe more like limits and most likely outcomes. So as far as limits go for men, I would say it’s probably around 45 pounds of muscle. Period in their lifetime, starting from a normal body weight. If a guy is starting underweight, maybe he can do a bit better than that, but starting from a normal body weight, somewhere around 40, 45 pounds of total muscle gain in his lifetime is going to be the ceiling for.
Most guys. Now there are going to be guys out there who can get bigger than that. They’re just gonna be rare. So if we think of this as a bell curve, like a normal distribution, we’re now moving to the right and anybody who can get up to 50 pounds of muscle gained is certainly a genetic outlier. Maybe even a genetic freak.
They are not common, and they are usually people who have been big and strong their entire life. They’re usually the guys who were jacked at like 13 and started lifting weights at 16 and then did it for 35 years and have big skeletons and were just made to be big and strong. And then by the same token, on the other side of the curve, we’re gonna have guys who can gain maybe no more than 30 or 35 pounds of muscle.
And that could be because they don’t respond as well to training. They are just smaller people, so they have a smaller skeleton, maybe they are shorter or just have small bones. The amount of bone mass that you have, for example, has been shown to be a reliable indicator of how big and strong you can. And another factor is when they start training.
So if a guy starts training when he’s 35 or 45, he is almost certainly not going to be able to get as jacked as he would’ve been able to get if he would’ve started when he was 16, 17, 18. Now, as far as women go, you can cut those numbers in half. Basically, the average woman is going to be able to gain probably.
25 ish. 2025 pounds of muscle in her lifetime, assuming that she is starting at her normal body weight and is a normal responder to weightlifting and has a normal sized body. And if she is genetically and anatomically predisposed to being big and strong, maybe she can get up to 30 pounds or even 35 pounds.
And if she is the. If she is a very small person or just doesn’t have the body to be big and strong, maybe she can only gain 15 or 20 pounds of muscle. I don’t think Marco is referring to strength. I think he was referring to muscle, but I might as well quickly comment on strength potential. I would say her average guy can reliably work toward 3, 4, 5, 3 plates on the bench on either side, so 3 15, 4 plates on the squat, both sides, obviously 4 0 5 and five plates on.
Deadlift 4 95 and those are one rep maxes. Most guys should be able to achieve that, and it may take upward of. Seven to 10 years, but they should be able to achieve those strength standards. Now there are going to be many guys out there who can beat those strength standards, no doubt. But again, I’m just talking about the middle of the curve.
Most guys, 60 to 70% probably of guys are never going to see. One rms much higher than those numbers, and for women it’s one-ish, two-ish, two-ish, so 1 35 ish on the bench, and 2 25 ish on the squat and deadlift. Again, that’s a realistic target to shoot for for most women. There certainly are women out there who are going to be able to get quite a bit stronger than that without drugs.
All of these numbers, by the way, without drugs, 100% natural. But your average woman is probably not going to be able to get much stronger than one-ish, two-ish, two-ish, no matter what she does in the gym, and no matter how long she does it for. So now that I have shared my Natty expectations or my limits and likely outcomes, let me address the claim that they are unrealistic for most people, that most people will not be able to achieve those numbers that I just laid out.
And. I guess my reply is kind of lame because I’m just gonna say that there is quite a bit of research behind what I just shared. That’s not just my opinion. I’m really just interpreting the existing research and studies show that people do respond very differently to exercise. So that’s one factor. You know, at one end of the spectrum you have high responders, people who build muscle very quickly.
When they lift weights who gain strength very quickly, or even who improve their cardiovascular fitness very quickly. And then on the other extreme, you have people who exhibit either no response or sometimes even a negative response to exercise. Now, the chances that you are a non-responder or a very low responder are very low by definition.
Similarly, the chances are you are. Not a very high responder. Most of us are somewhere in the middle. I, for example, have been a slightly better than normal responder to exercise, but I’ve also been hindered by the fact that I have a small skeleton. I have small bones, like six inch wrists, circumference, for example, seven inch circumference ankles, and I have long legs.
I’m six two with long legs, and that makes squatting harder. I have. Arms that makes bench pressing and overhead pressing harder. And my long legs and long arms basically cancel each other out on the deadlifting. My long legs are bad for it. My long arms are good for it. And so I’ve been an okay dead lifter, basically.
Maybe. Maybe good. Not great, just good. My onem has been in the past, the highest I believe. Probably four sixties, and that’s pretty good. Considering that I wasn’t following pure strength training programming, I was following beyond bigger, leaner, stronger 1.0, which was a reverse pyramid, push pull legs with some body building stuff thrown in.
And now I’m following beyond bigger, near Stronger 2.0. The program that is currently in the book that I updated last year, and I am getting back to my previous. Prs. So my deadlift one RM is probably about 4 45 right now, and I’m making steady progress on it. So I hope to be in the high 400 S one RM by the end of this year.
I think that’s doable based on my slow but steady progress. On the strength front. As far as muscularity goes, I’m not going to be gaining any more muscle to speak of. The best I can hope for is probably not even a pound per. At this point, it’s probably less, but I still can gain some of the old strength that I had back and I may be able to get a bit stronger beyond that.
But based on my experience now lifting properly for 10 plus years, it is clear to me that 3, 4, 5. Is going to be it for me. If I were willing to get fat, if I were willing to gain 30, 40 pounds, and most of it would be fat mass, some of it would register as lean mass because it would be additional glycogen in the muscles, for example, water and muscles.
But if I were willing to get a lot fatter, carry around a lot more weight, maybe I could get a bit stronger than three, four. But 4 56 for example. No way. It’s just not in the cards genetically. So anyway, getting back on track here. Marco was referring specifically to people who do not respond well to training and who struggle to gain muscle and strength, and he assumes.
That there are many more of those people out there than there are. He also doesn’t realize that research shows that exercise non-response is mitigated by changing different training variables. For example, studies show that increasing workout intensity, increasing workout frequency, increasing workout volume, are all viable ways to get non-responders to start responding and true.
Training non-response is potentially exaggerated by how research measures what non-response is. So for example, a study may find that 10% of the participants didn’t experience any muscle growth after, let’s say 10 weeks of resistance training and then label them non-responders. That doesn’t mean though, that their body didn’t respond in ways that weren’t measured, like strength gain or improvements in insulin sensitivity or fat.
Research also shows that in the case of hypertrophy, some people respond better to higher rep ranges. Some people respond better to lower rep ranges. Now most people are going to respond more or less equally well as far as muscle building goes, but lower rep ranges are going to produce more strength.
And so again, in the case of a guy who is struggling to gain, let’s say, just 30 pounds of muscle, the assumption should not be that he can’t do it. It’s just not possible. For him, it should be that the standard approach that works for most guys doesn’t work for him, and so then he’ll have to find what does work for him by playing with those training variables that I mention.
And then there is diet to consider as well. I’ve heard from many, many, quote unquote hard gainers over the years, and almost always, these were guys who just didn’t have big appetites. They thought they were eating a lot more calories than they actually were. Sometimes protein as well. And so what was happening is they were not consistently in a calorie surplus, which is necessary to maximize muscle and strength gain, especially when your newbie gains are behind you.
And so in many cases, these were guys who were maybe lower than average, slightly lower than average responders to training, but they were not eating enough food and often they were pretty active outside of the gym. Sometimes they had jobs that involved physical labor or. Just were walking around a lot for whatever reason.
Clocking in many thousands of steps every day, so high energy expenditure, sometimes also just high neat types, non-exercise activity, thermogenesis, people who just move around a lot, so burning a lot of calories, not eating enough calories. So often in a slight calorie deficit, let’s say four or five days out of the week, they are in a slight deficit, and then the remaining days, they are maybe in a slight surplus, so their weight doesn’t really change over time.
It fluctuates a little bit throughout the week, but it is more or less the same over time. However, just being in that deficit four or five days per week, even if it’s small, can be enough in some guys to make it very hard. Gain muscle and strength, but one for one, once we corrected their diet and in some cases corrected their training program, although often it really wasn’t the training, it was just the diet.
And when we did have to address training, sometimes we needed to add volume. Sometimes we needed to play with different rep ranges. Have them train heavier more often, or lighter more often. So doing more sets of four, five, and six, and focusing more on compound exercises. Or sometimes doing more work in higher rep ranges, eights, tens, twelves, of course, still focusing on compound exercises.
And so one for one, we were able to get the needle moving. And the good news is if you’re a guy or a girl, you don’t need to gain that much muscle to have the look that you probably want. The look that most guys. Term is probably 30 ish pounds of muscle gained with plenty of it in the upper body, and then a body fat percentage, maybe around 10% or so where you have abs and you’re gonna have some vascularity and you look very fit.
And for women it’s probably 15 ish pounds of muscle gained in the right. Places on their body. Most women are gonna have to work more on their lower body to get what they want than their upper body. And as far as body fat levels go, something around 20% is what most women like. That’s where you still look feminine, but you look very athletic and you look lean, but you don’t look jacked.
You don’t look like a bodybuilder. And I would say that the vast majority. Of people can accomplish those things. The number of guys out there who can’t gain at least 30 pounds of muscle if they’re willing to work hard and be patient is very small. And the number of women who can’t gain 15 to 20 ish pounds.
Very small. If you wanna learn more about this topic, and if you want to get an idea of what your potential for whole body strength and muscularity is, go over to legion athletics.com, search for naturally, and you’ll find an article that I wrote on how much muscle you can gain naturally. And there are some calculators in there that allow you to put in some information about your body and get a sense of how big and strong you.
Okay. Let’s move on to the next contention here. The next point of contention, this comes from Claire via Facebook and my BLS TS books are beginner lifting programs, but the macros are designed for elite athletes and the fat recommendations are particularly low, horribly low. She says, and I understand where she’s coming from because the macros in BLS and tls.
Are a very different way of eating. For most people, they’re so far removed that they may seem like they’re designed for elite athletes, but that’s not really the case. Multiple studies show that there is no one size fits all diet for elite athletes, different types of athletes need different types of diets depending on.
What sport they play, what it requires. Is it a power sport? Is it endurance sport? Is it a strength sport? And ironically, the calories and macros that I give in BLS and T Ls don’t really resemble any of those diets because I am teaching people how to make big changes to their body composition quickly.
And safely and healthily. And that is very different than what elite athletes are trying to achieve, which is maximum performance. Now, as far as body composition diets go, I would say that uh, BLS and TLS are moderate. They’re middle of the road. They are not how elite bodybuilders eat, at least many of them.
For example, it is not uncommon for bodybuilders to get as little as 15% or even 10% of their daily calories from fat, especially as they get leaner and are trying to eat as many carbs as they can to have some energy for working out and just in general to feel a little bit less like they’re dying. And so they often will keep their protein very.
And bring their fat down to very low levels so they can just squeeze in as many carbs as possible. And in the case of BLS and tls, the general recommendation is getting 30% of your calories from protein, 45% from carbs, and 25% from dietary fat. If you wanna go up to as high as 30% from dietary fat, that is fine.
But when cutting, I recommend that most people start around 20 to 25% and see how they do. Now, why those numbers? The protein intake is gonna come out to about one gram per pound for most people, and several studies show that somewhere in that range of 0.8 to one gram of protein per pound, per body weight per day is ideal when you are not just cutting, actually just ideal in general.
For preserving muscle and maximizing muscle and strength gain if you can gain muscle and strength even when cutting, it’s just a good number. And if you are muscular and lean, wanting to get really lean, you may even want to eat more than that. You may want to go as high as 1.2 or even 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day, and eating about one and a half to maybe 1.75 grams of carbs per pound of body weight per.
Is going to give you a lot of flexibility in your meal plan. Chances are you like carbs and you want to eat a lot of carbs, and eating a lot of carbs is also going to mean better workouts for basically everyone, and especially with more intense weightlifting. and studies even show that high carb diets are better for gaining and maintaining muscle than low carb diets.
So that’s why I have always given people a high-ish carb diet as the default, and then told them that they can reduce carbs and increase dietary fat if they want, if they don’t like high carb or they don’t do well with high carb and they would prefer they just do better with more. That’s okay. You can bring the carbs down and bring the fat up and find the sweet spot for you.
The non-negotiables, I would say would be the calories. You have to make sure that your calories are in the range that they need to be in to create the deficit or the surplus, or to just stay at maintenance and protein intake. That is also non-negotiable if we’re talking about body comp. A higher protein diet or a high protein diet is just better than a lower or low protein diet period.
Carbs and fat though are negotiable, not as important. Again, most people are going to do better with higher carb and lower fat, but if you know that’s not you, or if you are not sure and you want to see the difference between higher carb, lower fat, And lower carb, higher fat, totally fine. Now, just to comment quickly on the amount of fat that I recommend people eat, let’s talk about a study that was conducted by scientists at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
And in this experiment, researchers analyzed the hormone levels of 259 women 16 times throughout two menstrual cycles. And what they found is that those who ate the most fat, which was about 36 to 49% of their daily calories had. 4% higher testosterone levels than those who ate the least amount of fat, which was 18 to 32% of daily calories.
And the differences in estrogen, progesterone, follicle stimulating hormone, lutin hormone, all involved infertility, menstruation were also so small as to be insignificant. Similarly, a study conducted by scientists at the National Cancer Institute involved the analysis of the hormone levels. 43 men who followed two diets that provided different amounts of dietary fat.
So we had one group which got 19% of their calories from fat. The other group, 41% of calories from fat. And after five and a half months, the scientists found that the men in the high fat group had just 13% higher testosterone levels than those in the lowfat group. And while that may sound like a pretty significant outcome, that may sound.
Something that could impact your body composition. Other studies show that it is not enough to make a difference in terms of muscle or strength gain. And lastly, just to comment on health implications, the current weight of the evidence is that something around 0.3 grams of fat per pound of body weight per day is all you need to maintain optimal.
and if you want to go lower than that when you’re cutting, for example, that’s totally fine because we’re only talking about what, a couple of months for most people between two and four months. And if going to, let’s say 0.2 grams of fat per pound of body weight per day helps you better stick to your diet, just helps you enjoy your cut more because it allows you to eat more carbs and that’s what you prefer when you’re cutting.
There’s nothing wrong with that. It may negatively impact your hormone. A little bit, but not enough to make a significant difference in any way. And remember, calorie restriction does the same thing, but we’re not afraid to restrict our calories to lose fat because of what it may do to our hormone profile temporarily.
No, we know that. Yeah, our body doesn’t want to be in a calorie deficit, and it also doesn’t want to get less fat than it needs. But so long as we know what we’re doing and we are not massively restricting calories and then restrict protein and maybe eating a really inappropriately low fat diet, we know that once we bring our calories back up to normal and once we bring our dietary.
Up from, let’s say 0.2 to 0.3 or maybe even 0.4 grams per pound of body weight per day. Again, depending on your preferences that the negative side effects quickly dissipate. Within a month or so, maybe even sooner, we will be back to normal.
If you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my health and fitness books, including the number one best selling weightlifting books for men and women in the world. Bigger, leaner, stronger, and thinner. Leaner, stronger, as well as the leading flexible dieting cookbook, the shredded.
Okay, let’s move on to the final topic for this installment of Saysyou, and that is cheat meals. My books include cheat meals and anonymous. We, I don’t have a a note on who this came from, but thinks that that is an unproductive way to view food. Because it implies that eating off plan is bad and then that can make people feel guilty, and that can lead to more off plan eating and so forth.
And I understand this sentiment, and I agree that it can be problematic, although I haven’t come across anyone I can think of in the many years I’ve been doing this who was failing because of. Cheat meals because they were called cheat meals and not free meals, for example. But I can agree that it can contribute to problems if the cheat meal is understood in the context of labeling certain foods good and healthy, and other ones bad and unhealthy.
That is unproductive, assigning moral values to food good. Bad food is not only not true because no foods are good or bad in and of themselves. It can lead to developing an unhealthy relationship with food. It can lead to feeling guilty when you eat, quote unquote bad foods or stressed when you eat those foods.
You’re anxious about eating because you’re not sure which foods are good and bad, or how bad bad foods are. It can also lead to overeating. It can lead to undereating binging and so forth. Similarly claiming. Individual foods are healthy and unhealthy is misleading because while you can say that some foods are more conducive to good health than others, which by definition would be healthy, quote unquote, none, no foods.
Can meaningfully enhance or impair our health unless they’re eaten frequently. And now we’re talking about the diet on the whole, which can be more accurately characterized as healthy or unhealthy or maybe good or bad. So if your diet is healthy, if you regularly eat a variety of nutritious foods that promote good health, while it is semantically correct to say, Ice cream is unhealthy in that that food is not very nutritious.
It is not very conducive to good health. It doesn’t promote health. It’s not unhealthy in that it will negatively impact your health. So if your diet is healthy, if you’re eating a lot of nutritious foods, that ice cream is actually not. Unhealthy in the way that most people understand it. For that to be a problem, you’d have to eat way too much ice cream way too often, in which case your diet would no longer be healthy, right?
By the same token, if your diet is unhealthy because you eat too much non-nutritious food in too little nutritious stuff, a serving of vegetables is technically healthy because those vegetables do foster. But it’s not enough to make a difference in your health because you’re gonna have to eat several servings of those vegetables every day more often than not, to experience real, tangible health benefits.
In which case now we’re moving your diet in the direction of being healthy. Now I make all of that very clear in my books and articles and podcasts. No food is good or bad or he, or unhealthy, at least, uh, in the way that many people think or many people understand those terms. And so in that context, in the context that I provide in my work, a cheat meal.
Is defamed. It’s just the same as free meal, unplanned meal, or any other moniker. It doesn’t really matter how you refer to it at that point. Something else to keep in mind is cheat meals. Regardless of what the name implies, call them. Whatever you want are useful. They are good for your mental wellbeing.
They are maybe even good for your physical well. As well, and research backs that up. So long as cheat meals are planned, which I talk about in my books, pick one or two meals per week and pen them into your calendar cheat meal. Even think about what you’re gonna have that if you do that, it can improve your.
Compliance, it can improve your ability to just stick to your meal plan on the whole and over the long term, which is the key to not just succeeding in dieting, but in training as well. You don’t have to be perfect. You just have to be mostly good most of the time. And again, studies show that cheat meals can help with that.
They can also ease feelings of restriction and restraint. Are inevitable when you get deeper into a cut, even when you know what you’re doing. When you are using the principles of flexible dieting, you’re eating foods that you like every day and you’re eating on a meal schedule that works for you. When you’re restricting your calories consistently over time you do start to feel it and cheat meals can function as an effective release valve for that pressure that builds.
And finally, research shows that regular planned cheat meals can also increase motivation to just keep going, to keep working towards your body composition goal. And those three benefits are things that anybody who has lost a considerable amount of fat and incorporated cheat meals into that process.
Has experienced and understands. Those are things that we really don’t need science to tell us are true because they’re very easy to experience firsthand. But it is cool that there is good evidence for them in the literature. And so what all of that means is you shouldn’t feel guilty when you indulge.
You should plan your indulgences and make sure you don’t go way overboard. Don’t eat 8,000 calories or. Thousand calories in a cheat meal, keep it reasonable for me. For example, 1500 to 2000 calories is great for me. That is maybe even a little bit more than is necessary, honestly, but that is very satisfying.
And so if I’m gonna have a cheat meal when I’m cutting, what I will usually do is just eat a bit less throughout the day. So if I am eating some carbs at lunch or maybe some carbs in the middle of the morning or in the afternoon, usually that would be in the way of fruit. That’s when I’ll have my fruit servings in the morning.
For example, when I wake up, I have a banana, and then in the middle of the morning I might have some blueberries or strawberries. And then in the middle of the afternoon, I’ll have some more blueberries or strawberries. Or maybe if we have apples, I’ll grab an apple. So I might cut all. Out in preparation for my cheat meal just to create a bit of a calorie buffer so I can go into that meal and really enjoy myself and end the day around maintenance.
I’m totally fine if I’m in a slight surplus even when I’m cutting, because who cares? It’s one day per week, right? Maybe two if you want to be very indulgent, and so long as those surpluses aren’t enough to significantly cut into the deficit of the week total, the. Deficit And the worst case scenario would be to wipe it out, right?
So the worst case scenario would be to come into the weekend, let’s say with a cumulative calorie deficit of 1500 calories, and then over the course of the weekend, overeat by 1500 or maybe 2000 plus calories. Cuz your body’s not going to store every excess calorie as body fat. So let’s say over the course of the weekend, you overeat by 2,500 or 3000 calories.
Unfortunately, you are going to almost certainly have regained. , all of the fat that you lost in the week. So that is the one caveat with cheat meals is you do have to make sure that they are not too excessive and don’t do cheat days. Those can really get out of hand, especially if you add alcohol. It is very easy to end a cheat day, several thousand calories over your expenditure, and if you add alcohol, you’re gonna be storing fat more efficiently.
Cheat days. Make it too easy to screw up your diet. So don’t do cheat days. Do cheat meals, and if you want to further optimize your cheat meals, if you can go high protein and high carb, that is going to be better. If we’re talking about fat gain from an individual meal, then high fat, but don’t worry too much about that, just try to keep the calories in a reasonable range.
It’s okay if you end the day in a slight surplus. Try not to go too much higher than maybe 300. 500 calories over your expenditure for the day, which would basically cancel the fat loss of one day of dieting because chances are you are sustaining a daily calorie deficit of probably 300 to 500 calories.
So with your cheat meal, if you’re going over your expenditure, three to 500 calories, again, you’re not gonna store every additional calorie as fat. But let’s just keep it simple and assume that you’re not gonna lose fat on that day, obviously, and you are going to. Canceling the fat loss of one other day during the week, but that’s not a big deal.
That’s totally fine. And also, if you want to view your cheat meals as rewards for following your meal plan throughout the week and doing well, that’s totally fine. Some people say that that lens is unproductive, and that looking at those meals as well deserved meals for quote unquote being good can then lead to excessive feeling.
Guilt when you’re being bad and can create too much focus on eating food versus improving health and body composition. I just haven’t really seen that pan out. In actuality, what I’ve seen is many people succeed in. Losing fat and gaining muscle and then keeping it off and really just transforming their physiques.
Reporting that cheat meals helped because they did make it easier to stick to the plan, to stick to the meal plan throughout the week when they knew that come Friday or Saturday evening, they were gonna go to their favorite restaurant and they were going to indulge and they did not have to feel bad about it.
Quite to the contrary, they knew that doing that was actually going. Improve their chances of long-term success. All righty, friends, that’s it for this episode of Muscle for Life. Thanks again for joining me today. I hope you liked it. I hope you learned at least a few things you can use to improve your fitness and reach your fitness goals faster.
And next week of course, I have more coming. I have a monologue on how. Athletes and coaches think about their fitness goals. And although it says fitness goals, what I talk about in that episode really applies to any goals. I also have another q and a coming where I’m gonna be talking about D, load timing, birth control, and performance and popular exercises I don’t like.
And there is going to be another installment of Best of Muscle for Life too, where I share. Picked morsels, little snippets, highlights from some of the most popular episodes that I have recorded over the years. All right. Well, that’s it for this episode. I hope you enjoyed it and found it interesting and helpful.
And if you did, and you don’t mind doing me a favor, please do leave a quick review on iTunes or. Wherever you’re listening to me from, in whichever app you’re listening to me in, because that not only convinces people that they should check out the show, it also increases search visibility, and thus, it helps more people find their way to me and learn how to get fitter, leaner, stronger, healthier, and happier as well.
And of course, if you want to be notified when the next episode goes live, then simply subscribe to the podcast and you won’t miss out on any new stuff. And if you didn’t like something about the show, please do shoot me an email at mike muscle for life.com. Just muscle f o r life.com and share your thoughts on how I can do this better.
I read everything myself, and I’m always looking for constructive feedback, even if it is c. I’m open to it and of course you can email me if you have positive feedback as well, or if you have questions really relating to anything that you think I could help you with, definitely send me an email. That is the best way to get ahold of me, Mike, at multiple life.com.
And that’s it. Thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you soon.