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When to have refeed days?

Fighterforever473Fighterforever473 Posts: 9Member Member Posts: 9Member Member
My goal is to lose body fat. I want to lose 7kg. I am already in a healthy weight (58kg and I am 5.2ft) I am one of those skinny fat people I think. I mainly hold fat in the stomach and uppper back area. I recently started my weight loss journey. It’s only been 3 days I started. I heard about refeed days. When should you take one?! Some sites say every 2 weeks? Others say once a month?

Please give me some advise on this
Thanks x

Replies

  • Fighterforever473Fighterforever473 Posts: 9Member Member Posts: 9Member Member
    sardelsa wrote: »
    Are you planning on eating in a small deficit or maintaining/recomp? You can probably still lose a bit if you wanted so refeeds will really be beneficial in a deficit. The leaner you are the more often you should take refeeds and diet breaks. I take two days at maintenance or above every week, I even go to three when I am getting really lean (and cranky lol). I also take a 7-10day diet break (full maintenance) every 8-12 weeks. Again this works for me, you might not need to do it that often starting out.

    This podcast by Lyle McDonald should help answer a few questions if you are interested.

    https://bodyrecomposition.com/podcasts/revive-stronger-podcast-refeeds-revisited.html/

    But you don't have to complicate it especially when starting out. For body composition changes though I would definitely recommend following a progressive lifting program if not already and getting adequate protein (minimum 0.8-1g per lb bodyweight or lean body mass).

    Hey thanks for your reply!! Atm I am in a defecit. I think I’ll do a refeed every 3 weeks. I’ll check out the podcast. Thanks x
  • whmscllwhmscll Posts: 1,949Member Member Posts: 1,949Member Member
    I don’t really understand refeeds and diet breaks. Don’t they just slow down your progress?
  • PAV8888PAV8888 Posts: 5,464Member Member Posts: 5,464Member Member
    whmscll wrote: »
    I don’t really understand refeeds and diet breaks. Don’t they just slow down your progress?

    There has been some research that points out that you actually achieve better results faster if you're looking at things a few months down the road.

    After a prolonged restriction and/or when leaner it arguably becomes important for many to manage adaptation as opposed to just hammering through.

    There was a long discussion with lots of nuggets of info and many cat gifs: https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10604863/of-refeeds-and-diet-breaks/p1
  • NovusDiesNovusDies Posts: 3,300Member, Premium Member Posts: 3,300Member, Premium Member
    whmscll wrote: »
    I don’t really understand refeeds and diet breaks. Don’t they just slow down your progress?

    When you think of how long a year is and how many holidays, vacations, special occasions, etc. you start to realize that staying in a deficit for 365 days is kind of cruel on yourself anyway. As @PAV8888 says and in the thread he links there is research that shows the benefit both for physical and mental. I lost over 150 pounds my first full year of weight loss and I was only in a deficit about 10 1/2 months of the year. The rest of the time I was either eating at maintenance or higher. I don't think my weight loss was slowed down that much.
  • whmscllwhmscll Posts: 1,949Member Member Posts: 1,949Member Member
    I’ve only been in a deficit for 3 months and I’m 4 pounds from goal (only needed to drop 15 pounds). So I’m guessing I don’t need to worry about refeeds. I’ve seen the link PAV888 posted and it’s way too much info to slog through, including a very long video. I just wanted a short answer.
  • PAV8888PAV8888 Posts: 5,464Member Member Posts: 5,464Member Member
    You may want to READ the FIRST post by @Nony_Mouse carefully as YOU, a relatively lean individual looking to lean out, are a PRIMARY candidate for re-feeds, and could benefit from them much more and more frequently than say @NovusDies who may be in a deficit for a longer time period but can better tolerate it. Mind you, even Novus, ultimately, *I* think benefits from diet breaks, and hormonal up-regulation, and ultimately will come out ahead for finessing as opposed to hammering through weight loss.
    edited June 13
  • Fighterforever473Fighterforever473 Posts: 9Member Member Posts: 9Member Member
    PAV8888 wrote: »
    You may want to READ the FIRST post by @Nony_Mouse carefully as YOU, a relatively lean individual looking to lean out, are a PRIMARY candidate for re-feeds, and could benefit from them much more and more frequently than say @NovusDies who may be in a deficit for a longer time period but can better tolerate it. Mind you, even Novus, ultimately, *I* think benefits from diet breaks, and hormonal up-regulation, and ultimately will come out ahead for finessing as opposed to hammering through weight loss.

    I think refeed are great. I am planning to do one after 2 weeks. When you are doing a refeed do you eat at maintenance level?
  • Fighterforever473Fighterforever473 Posts: 9Member Member Posts: 9Member Member
    Thanks everyone for your replies x
  • NovusDiesNovusDies Posts: 3,300Member, Premium Member Posts: 3,300Member, Premium Member
    PAV8888 wrote: »
    You may want to READ the FIRST post by @Nony_Mouse carefully as YOU, a relatively lean individual looking to lean out, are a PRIMARY candidate for re-feeds, and could benefit from them much more and more frequently than say @NovusDies who may be in a deficit for a longer time period but can better tolerate it. Mind you, even Novus, ultimately, *I* think benefits from diet breaks, and hormonal up-regulation, and ultimately will come out ahead for finessing as opposed to hammering through weight loss.

    This is very true. The rules change drastically the leaner you are. My breaks can be much more infrequent because I still have plenty of fat stores and, as of now, there is no proven physical benefit. Mine are for mental purposes.

    I do feel like it is wise to give myself a physical break even if no known benefit from the deficit because mine has been moderately aggressive and very prolonged already. I consider it insurance because there is not a lot of information out there for people who have lost and will ultimately lose as much as I have and will.
  • PAV8888PAV8888 Posts: 5,464Member Member Posts: 5,464Member Member
    NovusDies wrote: »
    My breaks can be much more infrequent because I still have plenty of fat stores and, as of now, there is no proven physical benefit. Mine are for mental purposes.

    I do feel like it is wise to give myself a physical break even if no known benefit from the deficit because mine has been moderately aggressive and very prolonged already. I consider it insurance because there is not a lot of information out there for people who have lost and will ultimately lose as much as I have and will.

    I have not seen conclusive proof that the re-feeds and breaks work in your situation (which is an amplified version of my original situation); but:

    --I found a sufficiency of evidence that hypo-caloric regiments lead to adaptive thermogenesis
    --I did not find sufficient evidence as to the percentage of AT that is reversed and how soon after starting maintenance
    --I found a sufficiency of evidence that while adaptive thermogenesis may help reduce food costs it would not be beneficial for me and for my goal of relatively uncomplicated maintenance!

    As such I view all attempts to minimize AT (and even more so minimize long term AT) as worthwhile precautions.

    Especially since there is no convincing argument, other than length of time and even that is not clear cut, that successful implementation of re-feeds and diet breaks causes any damage.

    Not to exclude things such a mental break if one is needed, or the knowledge that one successfully implemented a controlled break.

    The ONLY worthwhile argument against diet breaks, imho, is the fear of not being able to re-implement a deficit.

    However, quite often, I see this fear (and more so inability to resume) tied into previous excessive (for the circumstances) deficits or other unsustainable practices. i.e. the person is correct in fearing their inability to return to what they were doing but this is often because they were hanging in there by their fingernails.
    edited June 13
  • PAV8888PAV8888 Posts: 5,464Member Member Posts: 5,464Member Member
    I think refeed are great. I am planning to do one after 2 weeks. When you are doing a refeed do you eat at maintenance level?

    I would, again, suggest the thread above.
    It has some very informative posts by many including anubis609.

    My MEAGER understanding (I never employed re-feeds, I mostly did diet breaks during my weight loss and usually NON OPTIMAL maintenance days, which are different than a deliberate refeed) is as follows:

    --Refeeds are at maintenance levels of calories
    --They differ from a "free day" in that the primary vehicle to boost leptin is an increase in CARBS--not an increase in protein or fats.

    So it is not an "eat all the cupcakes and muffins" day... though it might be an eat all the pancake syrup day :wink:

    Suggestions I've seen are: potatoes, rice, pasta, grains and things of that ilk. Usually for a couple of days.

    Of course low carb people would show a disproportionate change in water weight. Food in the gut, etc, etc.
    edited June 13
  • NovusDiesNovusDies Posts: 3,300Member, Premium Member Posts: 3,300Member, Premium Member
    The only argument against diet breaks in my situation would be unnecessary frequency. I am not a lean person (yet) so having a 2 week diet break every few weeks would be excessive. Bouncing between the calorie levels at a 1000 calorie deficit would hinder making the deficit periods routine. It might also slow the natural changes that occur with eating patterns over time. It would make managing the rate of loss "muddier" and obviously impact progress more than it should.

    Every six months though, in my experience, is very worthwhile. Whether or not I need the insurance is secondary to the mental benefits.

    All of the above is an opinion. Mileage varying and all that.
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