Dr. Bell, after tracking my caloric intake throughout the week I noticed I’m consuming more calories during the weekend than the weekdays. If I have weekly calorie intake goal, is it acceptable to lower my caloric intake M-F to make up for S-S? Or is this not effective and try to achieve the same caloric intake everyday?

Many athletes allow themselves a “Cheat Meal” or a “Cheat Day” to allow some fun eating time, however a “Cheat Weekend” is overdoing it and may negate a lot of sacrifices you have made during the week. I am assuming that you are trying to lose some fat, if that is the case, you would really want to stay in caloric balance throughout the week with relatively small deviations.

While a “cheat meal” has the physiological benefit of stimulating the Thyroid Gland to increase Thyroid Hormone production, particularly of T-3 and T-4, over consumption of calories will lead to fat gain.

Most Practitioners have their best performance and body composition goals met when they stay within the + 400 calories/hour of energy balance. This means if you are trying to lose fat, you do not go below -400 Calories of Energy Balance when equating caloric intake to caloric expenditures or + 400 calories of Energy Balance when attempting to increase muscle mass and lean body tissues.

This is the primary reason for athletes eating 6 or more times/day, to maintain an adequate Energy Balance.

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