If you’re having trouble getting to the next level of leanness, or you are stuck at a certain weight and can’t seem to lose any more fat, the refeed day might be just for you.
For most people, starting a diet is pretty exciting. You start to lose weight, your body fat drops and you start to look better. The first couple of weeks/month this process usually goes pretty smooth.
However, as time goes by, progress starts to slow down. Your energy levels drop, your workouts get harder and your motivation starts to slowly fade away. If you are like most people, you start to binge.. and not a bit.
Luckily, there is hope for you, and it does not involve dropping your calories even lower or doing excessive amounts of cardio.
The trick is actually the complete opposite: Occasionally overeating. Yes, you read that right, eating a lot of food. However, it is not like a cheat day, you can’t just eat whatever, and how much you want, there is more to it. Let me explain how it works..
What is a Refeed Day?
A refeed day is basically a planned increase in caloric intake, increasing carbohydrates by 100% or more. A refeed only has to be done when you are in a “caloric deficit” meaning you are eating less calories than your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure)
Refeeding has the following benefits:
Mental benefits from having a planned “cheat” day.
Decreased risk for binge eating, since you will still have limits. The risk for setbacks is much less than with a regular cheat day.
Increased leptin levels boosting testosterone, growth hormone, T3 and decreasing hunger levels.
The most powerful effect of those is leptin, which regulates hunger, metabolic rate, appetite, libido and motivation.
When you are in a caloric deficit and losing body fat, your leptin levels drop overtime. This causes your metabolism to slow down, your appetite to increase and it messes with your motivation.
Many people have a cheatday every once in a while to stop those cravings. However, this may not be the best solution to your problem. Leptin is highly responsive to glucose metabolism, so when doing a reefed, you mainly want to focus on eating carbohydrates that will turn into glucose. When performed this way, leptin levels will show a significant rise over if you had eaten a bunch of calories coming from proteins and fats.
The effect of a proper refeed is feeling better both physically and psychologically. You can even experience an increase in fat loss over the following 3 to 5 days.
However, if you DO abuse these periods of over-eating, you will simply gain too much fat and you won’t experience those benefits. That’s why it’s very important you keep in control and strategically plan a refeed day according to your metabolic makeup.
A refeed is basically taking 1 step back to take 2 steps forward. Keep this in mind while having the refeed.
How Often Do You Need a Refeed?
Everyone is different and will require different amounts of re-feeding.
Here are my guidelines for you to follow and when to include a re-feed day into your diet.
– > 20% body fat: Re-feed once every month.
– 15% – 20% body fat: Re-feed once every 2 weeks.
– 8% – 15% body fat: Re-feed once every week.
– < 8% body fat – Re-feed twice per week.
How To Set Up a Refeed Day?
Caloric intake: Raise to slightly above maintenance. For example, if your maintenance is 2800 calories, I recommend eating 3100 on your refeed day.
Protein: 1 gram per pound of Lean Body Mass.
Fat: As little as possible. Try to stay under 30 grams.
Carbs: The rest of the calories
Why so many carbs? Because leptin is highly responsive to glucose metabolism. This will give you the full benefit to increasing leptin levels.
What Carbs Should You Consume?
Low G.I complex carbs or high G.I simply carbs, it doesn’t matter. You may want to try avoid too much fructose as it has less impact on leptin levels, but it’s still okay to consume in moderation!
I like to have me some of the following carb choices:
Start Using Refeeds To Boost Fat Loss!
Start implementing planned refeed days to stay on your diet and accelerate fat loss!
I hope I gave you an idea of how to incorporate refeed days into your diet and how to set them up properly.
If you’re not currently using refeed days while trying to get shredded, now is the time to start. You will be amazed by how useful it can be.