Reframing of “cheat days” facilitated body recomposition over 12 weeks.


A 40-year-old, 5’6” former athlete and former anabolic steroid user broke strength and body composition plateaus by shifting his approach to energy intake and distribution. Recognition that there was no “cheating” – that he was choosing at all times to eat to achieve a variety of his goals (body comp, enjoyment, etc.) – led to every day becoming a motivated, appreciated effort with some days planned to be more restrained and others less so; fluctuations between extreme calorie restriction on weekdays and calorie surpluses on weekends were dampened (but not eliminated), and days with higher energy intakes were shifted to match days with greater training demands, all of which led to increased daily energy levels, recovery, overall adherence to nutrition goals, performance during training, and, thus, body composition progress.