Nutrition

Refeed Days While Cutting – Learn How To Overeat And Still Lose Weight

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The first thing that you should know is that a refeed day is not to be confused with a cheat day. A cheat day is essentially a day where you throw your macros out the window and not track anything. Cheating from your “diet” giving yourself a “free” day of eating whatever you want whereas a refeed is completely different where it’s structured and controlled overfeeding of that day by manipulating your macronutrients.

So Who Needs A Refeed ?

If you are of a higher body fat percentage, if your maintaining your current body weight, if your bulking or even if your in a slight caloric deficit and losing weight very slow/consistently then you probably won’t need a refeed. Although, the reason why you may need one is because some people could still benefit from a refeed even if they are at maintenance calories or in a slight deficit. Adding one day where they have a higher carb intake will not destroy there progress and could even help.

Refeeds are definitely more beneficial for people in contest prep, a severe calorically restricted state (maybe 500 – 600 calories a day) and carbs are getting really low (less than 100 grams of carbs a day). Furthermore, the leaner you get the more often you will need a refeed so they’re not for everyone, but refeeds can still benefit a lot of people so you should try adding a refeed into your diet and test it out.

hamburger

The Benefits Of A Refeed

  • Offset the dip in your metabolism
  • Periodically raise leptin levels
  • Help replenish glycogen stores from low-carb diets
  • Provides you with a mental break from dieting
  • Break through temporary weight loss plateaus
  • Improve gym performance

Well as we know the more we restrict our calories naturally our metabolism will begin to adapt, so as we keep cutting calories our metabolism begins to slow down. Sometimes to the point where we hit weight loss plateaus (when your weight doesn’t go down and stays the same). At this point many people start to decrease there calories and increase there cardio even more because they want to lose weight again, but you can only go so far in each direction until you start doing more harm than good. This is where the refeed can be beneficial as it will give a slight bump to your metabolism to help break through your weight loss plateau. It also provides many psychological and performance benefits aswell, e.g. you’ve been dieting for a long time and you can look forward to a day where you get to bump up the carbs/calories, giving you a mental break from your diet. You also get performance benefits since you’re restoring your muscles glycogen which will help you get way better workouts in the gym.

Training on low carb/calories can be very challenging so if you need a boost of energy taking a pre-workout can help you maintain your strength, speed and the power needed to push yourself through the toughest of workouts: Click Here To Find Out Which Pre Workout Is Right For You

Now one thing not to be alarmed about is your weight, after your refeed if you step on the scale your weight may have gone up slightly since you have introduced a whole bunch of carbs/calories that your body is not used to getting. It’s normal and the weight will begin to taper off the next day.

omg scale

How Can You Implement Refeeds ?

Well typically what you want to do is if your eating in a deficit, you will want to bump those calories back up to maintenance. For example, your currently dieting on 2000 calories so for your refeed you should bump it up to 2500 calories. Make sure most of the calories come from carbohydrates, now refeeds are going to be different for everyone since we all have different metabolisms so you will need to test and change your calories/macros until you find the right balance.

If you would like to know how to calculate your maintenance calories accurately… Click Here and if you have anymore questions about refeeds then leave a comment below.

8 thoughts on “Refeed Days While Cutting – Learn How To Overeat And Still Lose Weight

  1. Great information in this article. I have never come across ‘refeeds’ – only familiar with ‘cheat days’. I realise that I may be undereating (I eat around 1200cal a day, comprising mostly of vegetables) and refeeding may just be the answer to implement into my daily diet. The list of benefits are particularly helpful and I am glad that refeeding allows room for slightly more carbs than usual.

  2. This article takes me back. During football we called these “Carb-O-Load” days. Probably more like a cheat day based on your description, but the same general principals were at work. We would cater in specific types of carbohydrate rich foods before games or even during 2 a days. I never knew exactly why it was beneficial, but reading your article really cleared up a lot behind the actual science/biology of it. There was no question that we all performed better, but it always seemed odd to me why that was. Thank you for de-mystifying Refeed days.

  3. Thanks for explaining what a refeed day is, as I thought it was a cheat day as you also described. I just assumed it was a cheat day instead of researching what a refeed day was. It’s a new term for me.
    We all need that mental break form the strains of a restrictive diet. Thanks for a great site!

  4. Hello there, I like the idea that we can still lose weight even when we eat more, but is it really fine that most of the calories should come from carbohydrate ? because from what i know carbohydrate will transform into sugar that will cause weight gain. Or maybe with eating more, we also need to exercise more to burn the calories ?

    1. To keep it simple if you eat too much of anything you will gain weight no matter if it’s carbs, protein or fats. The reason why we eat more carbs on refeeds is to replenish the glycogen storage in our muscles and only carbs can make glycogen.

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