So you’ve decided to have a cheat day (or five.) What’s the harm, really?
According to a new study conducted by the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, your week of binge eating may be setting you back more than you thought.
In a recently published study Matt Hulver and other Virginia Tech researchers found that after just five days of eating a high-fat diet, your muscles begin to change the way that they process nutrients.
“Most people think they can indulge in high-fat foods for a few days and get away with it,” Hulver told Virginia Tech. “But all it takes is five days for your body’s muscle to start to protest.”
Hulver and his team found that the way our muscles metabolizes nutrients is a lot quicker of a process than we previously thought. The long-term effects of this change include weight-gain, obesity, and other health issues.
“This shows that our bodies are can respond dramatically to changes in diet in a shorter time frame than we have previously thought,” explained in a video. “If you think about it, five days is a very short time. There are plenty of times when we all eat fatty foods for a few days, be it the holidays, vacations, or other celebrations. But this research shows that those high-fat diets can change a person’s normal metabolism in a very short timeframe.”
The research was conducted on healthy college-age students. According to the site the students were fed a fat-laden diet that included sausage biscuits, macaroni and cheese, and food loaded with butter to increase the percentage of there daily fat intake.
Muscle samples were then collected to see how it metabolized glucose. The sample revealed that despite the students not gaining any weight, the way in which muscle metabolized glucose was altered, leading to potential long-term effects.
According to the study published by Virginia Tech the new finding has sparked interest in Hulver and his team to further examine how these short-term changes effect long-term health. The team also plans to research a way to reverse the process when people begin to eat right again.