Reefed is often a phrase which in fact means complete piggery! People will often abuse the need to refeed by having a week’s worth of junk food in a matter of hours. To confirm, for MOST people this is simply defeating the purpose of a refeed. Yes, you hear stories of certain athletes having quite frankly insane amounts of sugar on their ‘’high carb’’ days but let’s get some perspective. They are generally an ectomorph in body type meaning their tolerance to carbs is significantly better OR carry extreme levels of muscle mass which means they are able to accommodate the sugar surge a lot more effectively. So what entails a good refeed day and when should you have one?
One of the most common tell-tale signs that you might need a refeed day is when you go to look flat. This doesn’t mean within 5 days where you are looking a ‘’little’’ flat because this actually indicates your diet is wrong. If your calories are high enough from fats then you won’t go flat, if the diet is right for you. When you are extremely depleted having a high carb day is a great way to refill the muscles. With every 1g of carbohydrates attaching to 2g of water it helps hydrate the muscles rapidly.
Is your fat loss stalling? Often people will cut more and more food away from their diet and increase their work load in the gym. This is not always the best thing to do because homeostasis kicks in and the body becomes extremely stubborn. At this point having a strategic high carb day will help elevate leptin levels leading to better usage of body fat for energy, once again.
What Should A Refeed Look Lik?
This is very dependent on the individual. However, a great starting point is 3 large carb meals (clean) and depending on your condition (water retention around waist, lower back) you might want to go for another 3-6 meals over the next 2 days. Always avoid fructose though as it doesn’t help drive leptin levels up and it blunts insulin sensitivity.
Again, this depends on body type, work load and body fat. If you are 15-20% every 4-5 weeks, if your 12-15% every 2-3 weeks and if you are sub 10% then every 7 days without fail! Of course these are guidelines but they should offer you a good starting point to then learn about your body.
There you go, less of the justified piggery and more of the productive eating!