Here’s the best time of day to eat your cheat meal when you’re on a diet…
The other day, I had a cheat meal. It was so good, that I almost felt guilty about eating something healthy for dinner. But I didn’t. I’m a self-disciplining person, and I knew I had better things to do than let my good feelings about the cheat meal get in the way of my healthy eating goals.
If you’ve been dieting for some time, chances are you’ve developed the odd craving or two for a few of the foods on your “banned” list.
Now, researchers from Washington University School of Medicine have shown that the calories in a “cheat” meal may be less likely to get stored as fat if you eat them after exercise.
The study showed that just one 60-minute workout could help to “divert” fat and sugar into muscle, rather than fat tissue. This should come as good news for anyone who’s been dieting for some time and wants to treat themselves without feeling guilty.
Specifically, the research team found that exercise increases the activity of two enzymes — GLUT-4 and lipoprotein lipase. These enzymes are responsible for transporting glucose and fat into your muscles.
Lipoprotein lipase (pronounced lie-po-protein lie-pace) plays an important role in both the storage and oxidation of body fat. When fat is oxidized, it is converted to energy and burned. If you oxidize more fat than you store, then eventually, you’ll lose weight.
Whether LPL promotes fat storage or fat oxidation depends on whether it’s expressed in muscle or fat.
- LPL absorbs fat from the blood and stores it as body fat in fat tissue.
- LPL in muscle tissue redirects fat away from fat tissue storage and toward oxidation.
Animal studies show that mice with high levels of LPL in their muscles are resistant to the effects of a high-fat diet. Some scientists think drugs that increase LPL in muscle could represent one way to tackle the growing problem of obesity.