Overeating to burn fat faster?

There's been a lot of questions and buzz going around this week regarding the CYWT Holiday edition 52%-off sale this week --

Below is an interview I did with Joel Marion to help answer some of the questions regarding strategic overeating to stimulate fat loss.

Q&A - Strategic Overeating During the Holidays

Mike:  There's been a lot of buzz going around lately regarding your Cheat Your Way Thin program, but let's go back to the beginning. How did you come up with the whole Cheat Your Way Thin anyway?

Joel:  In 2003, a week full of dietary screw-ups actually got my fat loss wheels turning after several weeks of sitting in park. It was pretty crazy. I had two big "cheat" episodes with stuff like pasta, pizza, and ice cream and ultimately ended up losing more fat and weight that week than I had in the entire three weeks prior following a ridiculously strict dietary regimen.

I knew there was something to it as I'd noticed this before. I'd always lose fat faster when allowing myself to indulge from time to time. At the time it made absolutely no sense to me, but I was curious. So I started researching what goes on in the body when we diet and what happens when we overeat. That was really how it all began.

From there it's been a ton of additional research and constant revision of the program based on working with clients and exploring what happens in the real world. (My "perfected" approach, which is the program in the book, really is nothing like what I advocated initially back in '03.) The end result is an ideal blend of research, theory, and what actually happens in real life with real people.

Mike: Very interesting. So people just eat a large pizza and a bowl of ice cream and before they know it they'll have a flat stomach? It never quite worked that way for me...

Joel: It would be nice, wouldn't it? But no, cheating itself, especially high frequency cheating (you know, when every day is a cheat day), isn't what's going to get you into phenomenal shape, but rather the strategic implementation of regular cheating into an ideal diet and exercise program that will, and that's essentially what I outline in the program.

Mike: Okay, so how do you set up the rest of the days around the cheat days then?

Joel: That's the most important part to making things work. The research has shown carbohydrate to be the macronutrient most highly correlated with leptin levels (the hormone that keeps us out of "starvation mode", so we manipulate carbs quite a bit in between cheat days.

After a cheat day, when leptin levels are high, we can get away with a low-carb approach (and that will actually yield some really nice, quick fat loss), but we don't want to hang out there too long because our friend leptin gets upset and starts doing things to piss us off.

So how do we keep him happy? By adding more carbs. And we strategically keep adding them, manipulating the macro breakdowns and types of carbs every couple days leading up to the next leptin-surging cheat day. By manipulating carbs this way, we play into leptin and can keep hormone levels elevated even when not cheating.

Mike: And you said strategic exercise is an important part of the recipe, too?

Joel: Yeah, high intensity interval training is big, especially right after a cheat day. Appropriately timed high intensity cardio can actually triple the effectiveness of the program.

Mike: Although I'm right there with you on the use of strategic cheating, I really believe things like trans-fat and high fructose corn syrup should never be eaten, even on cheat days. Do your people have to eat things like donuts and French fries to get the leptin-boosting and fat burning effects?

Joel: Absolutely not.

The reason why things like french fries work extremely well is because they combine very high glycemic carbohydrates with fat. That combination right there breeds a massive surge of insulin, which believe it or not is exactly what we want to achieve on cheat days to reverse the negative physiological adaptations of dieting.

Truth is, you don't need to eat anything that contains trans fats at all, and I generally recommend people avoid them as well. That still leaves a huge amount of possibilities, like a big Italian feast (lasagna, pasta, bread and butter, etc), pizza, and other "natural" treats that are created in an extremely processed manner.

The key is following the rules of high carb/high fat/high calories — do that and you’ll be golden on Cheat Days.

Mike: Okay, last question. You're actually in the middle of launching the "holiday edition" of the program along with some cool holiday bonuses that will tell people how to use each holiday as a cheat day and actually lose fat from now through January. And I know you are offering it for less than half price to celebrate the holiday season. How much longer to people have to grab it at the special pricing.

Joel:  This is the last full day to receive the program at the holiday discount pricing. People can access the discount page and all the holiday bonuses by visiting -

Also keep in mind that the program begins with a Cheat Day, and the holiday bonuses revolve around starting on Thanksgiving with your regular feast.

But, if they want learn how to turn that Thanksgiving meal into more fat loss, then my program will show them how to do that, along with every other holiday this year.

Mike: Thanks Joel. Strategic overeating is actually something I've used for years to help stay lean and keep the metabolism fired up.  I think you've got a great program here!

For anyone interested in learning how to use all the holiday goodies this year to burn more fat, be sure to check out Joel's program while the 52%-off sale and all the holiday bonuses are still available.

Go here:

Enjoy your cheat days!  ...and train hard!!

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer
co-author: The Fat Burning Kitchen

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