If you want to get ripped, you know the well-established dietary rules that need to be followed: eat six to eight meals every day, keep your carbs in check and your protein intake high. And then there are the not-so-well-established rules, the ones that may seem counterproductive but have been proven to work, either scientifically, anecdotally or both. We like to call them “tricks” for the simple reason that not everyone has caught on to them yet. Incorporate them into your nutrition regimen and you’ll be hooked — not to mention shredded — in short order.
1. CHEAT ON YOUR DIET
You can’t get lean without adhering to a clean diet, but at the same time, occasionally straying — a.k.a. cheating — can actually assist in losing fat. This doesn’t mean you should eat fast food all day long; rather, that you can increase carbohydrate and overall calorie intake for a single day. You can even have one meal of anything you want: a pizza, a burger and fries, lasagna, etc.
WHY IT WORKS: When you’ve been dieting strictly, your levels of the critical hormone leptin start to drop. Leptin keeps hunger down and metabolism up, so when its levels fall, you essentially burn fewer calories but eat more. Overeating boosts leptin levels, which keeps your metabolism high and hunger low, allowing you to burn more calories and consume less.
DO THIS: Increase calories by 25 to 50 percent one day per week and at least double your carbohydrate intake on that day.