When Is The Best Time To Eat Junk Food and Not Gain Weight


Let’s be honest with each other here before i start.

I don’t have a magic wand that means you can eat a LOT of junk food and not gain weight.

Sorry to disappoint you

But  what i can tell you is when will be the best time to have a bit of what you fancy without piling on the pounds if you happen to go off track with your diet for a birthday, an event or certain time of year.

Because unfortunately calories are calories and you cannot out run having fast cake hands.


When is the best time to eat junk food and not gain weight?

Simply put,

Right after you’ve been in the gym, trained hard and pushed yourself out of your comfort zone.

Yes, this requires effort in order for it to work but when you put the effort in, you will also receive the reward.

Here’s The Magic

When you hit the gym and lift weights hard not only will you be burning calories from your diet, you will also using stored fuel in the form of muscle and liver glycogen. The muscle cells become more able to use and deal with glucose form the blood stream as the demand for glucose to create energy increases within the muscle cells.

Alongside this increased demand for energy, you will also be breaking down muscle fibres and inducing micro trauma (which are tiny tears to the muscle fibres and sheath around the muscle) from your weight training sets, whilst creating a whole host of metabolites and by products from pushing the muscle that can be central to causing it to adapt and for you to see the results that you want.

Fear not, this micro trauma from weight training can be a good thing as the body looks to repair itself and come back stronger, ready for the next bout of muscular stimulus.

Alongside the micro trauma to muscle fibres, there are actually a whole host of other responses start to occur; hormones, cytokines and myokines are all released, which are central to the intracellular responses that lead to hypertrophy (muscle building) within the cell and the muscle cells themselves become more insulin sensitive and more able to deal with glucose.

This requires the action of  Glucose Transporter Type-4 (GLUT-4).

GLUT-4’s are found within both fat cells and muscle cells and are know to increase in activity directly in and around hard training sessions in the gym and more specifically with weight training, interval training and endurance training.

Unfortunately a plod on the cross trainer for half an hour doesn’t count here.

The pretty cool thing about GLUT-4 is that it essentially controls glucose transportation in and and out of cells as it binds to the insulin receptor on the cell.

From our point of view, we can use this to our advantage if you happen to have a birthday, event or special occasion that means you’re not going to ‘stick’ to a diet. Coincidentally, we can also use this science to our advantage when it comes to ‘flexible dieting’, but that’s another article for another time.

Back to GLUT-4’s.

So let’s say you’re having your ‘junk’, ‘treat’, ‘cheat’ food, whatever you want to call it.

If we place this food directly after your workout, and provided you’ve worked hard enough of course, some of that food is going to contribute to replenishing used muscle glycogen and help facilitate the repair of those muscle fibres that have just induced microtrauma.

And the nice thing about placing your food after your workout is that GLUT-4 activity is known to stay elevated long after your workout is done and dusted.


So there you have it,

No need to fret if you have something coming up that means your food might not be perfect

and don’t feel like you’ve ‘blown’ your diet just because you ate something off plan once in a while.

These clients certainly didn’t!



Yours in Health,


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Chris Mason