I’m at that time in my ‘cut’ where I will start introducing refeed days, so I thought I’d write an article on the topic, about why they are beneficial.
First of all, what is a refeed day?
A refeed day is a day is basically where you increase your carbohydrate intake, increasing your calories up to maintenance level or slightly above.
Who are refeeds for?
Refeed days are only needed to in your diet if you are cutting and in a calorie deficit which means consuming fewer calories than your total Daily energy expenditure.
If you are in a calorie deficit, especially if you have been in a calorie deficit for a long time, than including a refeed into your diet will really benefit you in your fat loss goal.
The purpose of a refeed day
When you get deep into your cut and are on much lower calories than your body is used to, you find yourself with no energy, are easily annoyed and always hungry!!! So a refeed day is essential, it will make your workouts better, you will feel happier and feel as if you have a lot more energy.
When in a caloric deficit for a long period your metabolism drops, meaning you burn fewer calories, and also your T3 and leptin hormone levels will drop in attempt by the body to spare body fat. (P.s Leptin is one of the best fat burning hormones).
So one of the main reasons for a refeed day is to help boost your metabolism and help restore your T3 and Leptin hormone levels.
The body tries not to lose fat, as its main goal is just to survive. When you change your calorie intake to fewer calories than your metabolic rate and metabolism will slow down and soon your total daily energy expenditure will be a lot lower than what it originally was when you first started dieting, resulting in you needing a lower calorie intake to continue to burn body fat.
With a slow metabolism and low T3 and leptin levels it becomes much harder to burn body fat.
So including a refeed day into your cutting diet will be really beneficial as it will boost your metabolism and these specific hormones and allow you to continue to burn body fat at an optimal rate.
Look at a re-feed as 1 step back, but 3 steps forward.
How often should you have a refeed day?
It’s all personal preference, everyone is different and will require different amounts of refeeding.
The leaner you are the lower your T3 and leptin levels will be so the more frequent you should include re-feeds into your diet.
How many carbs should you consume on a refeed day?
This is different for each individual. I’ll use myself for and example
Total Daily Energy Expenditure = 3500 calories
My current calorie intake while cutting = 3000 calories
My macronutrient split = 190g protein, 350g carbohydrates and 100g fat
What my refeed day looks like:
Protein = 190g
Carbohydrates = 475g
Fat = 100g
Total calories = 3500
Personally as I have quite high carbs already, because my daily energy expenditure is so high, I keep my protein and fat intake the same as what they are throughout the diet, but you can drop protein and also drop fat down somewhat to consume more calorie from carbohydrates if you wish.
The type of carbs you should consume?
Have some fun, consume any carbs of your choice are fine, low G.I complex carbohydrates and also high G.I simple carbohydrates it does not matter, just consume carbs!
Some of the carb choices for me which I personally like to include in my refeed days are:
- Even some sweets!
Anything containing carbs is absolutely fine.
I hope this article helps!
I wish the best of luck to whoever is reading this and is on a diet.
Thank you for reading.
Feel free to Contact me for more information.