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Of refeeds and diet breaks

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  • anubis609anubis609 Member Posts: 4,013 Member Member Posts: 4,013 Member
    For recovery after an injury or surgery, your nutritional requirements do increase to meet the needs for your body to repair tissue, handle physical therapy, any meds, and so on. You can consider it a diet break, but in and of itself, it is an entirely separate situation. Once you're fully recovered and able to go ease back into your usual activity, you can then go back to your deficit as planned.
  • NovusDiesNovusDies Member, Premium Posts: 8,553 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8,553 Member
    anubis609 wrote: »
    For recovery after an injury or surgery, your nutritional requirements do increase to meet the needs for your body to repair tissue, handle physical therapy, any meds, and so on. You can consider it a diet break, but in and of itself, it is an entirely separate situation. Once you're fully recovered and able to go ease back into your usual activity, you can then go back to your deficit as planned.

    That is about what I said. The crossover might have been the mental benefit of a break but that is where this is lacking right now. The surgery itself has left me feeling much better and I am off all pain and surgery related meds so even though I am still healing and not entirely comfortable I was hoping to enjoy this additional food more.

    This is not something I need solved. After 19 months of managing my mental state through this weight loss I am sure I can get my head back in the game but it may take something more than this.

    I was really posting this for anyone else. I was uptight in my weight loss for only 90 days but that has had an impact on me and I am not relaxed eating more food.
  • MelodiousMermaidMelodiousMermaid Member Posts: 274 Member Member Posts: 274 Member
    I don't recall this being discussed yet, and I'm planning ahead, so figured I'd throw it out there. Is there anything out there that pushes the diet break into any sort of macros as "preferable/ideal" for a category 3 dieter? I know it's a bigger deal for Cat 1 and a bit for Cat 2, but I'm still solidly going to be Cat 3 on this break.

    The reason I ask is that I'm considering mostly increasing fats and I recall something about 100g carbs a day, so will probably do that with mostly veggies. Hoping that's not net, because I really do not want to keep track. Since I plan to hop right back in after the break, I wanted to keep the WOE similar to what I'm currently doing (which is close to RFL). Thinking higher fat meats and cheeses with whatever fits my fancy and macro budget (with protein still high).

    On a related note, if any of you has experience/knowledge to help with this, does going from effective keto to 100g carb/day mean I need to switch to "normal diet" sodium levels?
  • MaxxittMaxxitt Member Posts: 1,262 Member Member Posts: 1,262 Member
    I don't recall this being discussed yet, and I'm planning ahead, so figured I'd throw it out there. Is there anything out there that pushes the diet break into any sort of macros as "preferable/ideal" for a category 3 dieter? I know it's a bigger deal for Cat 1 and a bit for Cat 2, but I'm still solidly going to be Cat 3 on this break.

    The reason I ask is that I'm considering mostly increasing fats and I recall something about 100g carbs a day, so will probably do that with mostly veggies. Hoping that's not net, because I really do not want to keep track. Since I plan to hop right back in after the break, I wanted to keep the WOE similar to what I'm currently doing (which is close to RFL). Thinking higher fat meats and cheeses with whatever fits my fancy and macro budget (with protein still high).

    On a related note, if any of you has experience/knowledge to help with this, does going from effective keto to 100g carb/day mean I need to switch to "normal diet" sodium levels?

    In his Facebook group Lyle McDonald said in March "Full diet break simply needs to have at least 150 g/day [of carbs] for hormonal reasons and it's more that calories need to come back up to maintenance." In terms of sodium levels, I would think that "normal diet" levels would be most appropriate as you'll not be shedding water like you do with minimum carbs.

    edited December 2019
  • anubis609anubis609 Member Posts: 4,013 Member Member Posts: 4,013 Member
    Cat 3 dieters just need to increase calories to maintenance. Protein is more or less constant (~1g/lbm in maintenance), and carbs/fat are where you would like them to be, though increasing them as already stated would be more beneficial than increasing fat, unless you're planning to remain somewhat keto, which should be apparent, has no advantage other than adherence.

    Remember that the premise behind the diet break is to train for long term maintenance when it's all said and done, so adding extra portions of the same diet food are usually what bump up calories, with maybe an occasional treat if it fits without being in a constant surplus.

    Sodium, even in the context of a mixed diet, does not need to be reduced so long as most of the foods are minimally processed. You can still consume around 3-5g of sodium without much problem, unless you're on a medical restriction.
  • mgmgmg1981mgmgmg1981 Member, Premium Posts: 31 Member Member, Premium Posts: 31 Member
    Hey! Well... I probably need this kind of break. I am now underweight (53kg / 181cm / 6% body fat) which is worrying for my health, and my friends and family are feeling concerned as well. I feel rather fine though, I eat a varierty of food, exercise regularly (5-6 times a week), but with my stats and activity level, eating ~1600-1800 kcal is far far from being enough. I know I need to eat more, stop calories counting and allow myself to chill about nutrition... Hard to let go but the day I manage to go around 1900-2000 I feel way better. Anybody with similar experience? What made you break the "diet"? What was/is your strategy? Thanks!
  • cupcakesandproteinshakescupcakesandproteinshakes Member Posts: 799 Member Member Posts: 799 Member
    mgmgmg1981 wrote: »
    Hey! Well... I probably need this kind of break. I am now underweight (53kg / 181cm / 6% body fat) which is worrying for my health, and my friends and family are feeling concerned as well. I feel rather fine though, I eat a varierty of food, exercise regularly (5-6 times a week), but with my stats and activity level, eating ~1600-1800 kcal is far far from being enough. I know I need to eat more, stop calories counting and allow myself to chill about nutrition... Hard to let go but the day I manage to go around 1900-2000 I feel way better. Anybody with similar experience? What made you break the "diet"? What was/is your strategy? Thanks!

    Hey
    You are very underweight. Your priority should be gaining. Do eating more than maintenance cals. You need to follow the advice of your treatment team.
  • mtaratootmtaratoot Member Posts: 3,799 Member Member Posts: 3,799 Member
    @mgmgmg1981 - More than a refeed or diet break, you need to eat some calorie dense food! There's a good thread at https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10247171/carbs-and-fats-are-cheap-heres-a-guide-to-getting-your-proteins-worth-fiber-also/p1 that has a link to a Google Sheet that might help you find calorie dense foods that you can enjoy to get your count up. The spreadsheet is at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12LrMGp8HiWl2FW-odoexKBMxeDTMUhwd4ooT6VoolJk/edit#gid=0

    If it were me, I'd keep tracking and logging. See what it takes to start putting some mass back on!
  • anubis609anubis609 Member Posts: 4,013 Member Member Posts: 4,013 Member
    mgmgmg1981 wrote: »
    Hey! Well... I probably need this kind of break. I am now underweight (53kg / 181cm / 6% body fat) which is worrying for my health, and my friends and family are feeling concerned as well. I feel rather fine though, I eat a varierty of food, exercise regularly (5-6 times a week), but with my stats and activity level, eating ~1600-1800 kcal is far far from being enough. I know I need to eat more, stop calories counting and allow myself to chill about nutrition... Hard to let go but the day I manage to go around 1900-2000 I feel way better. Anybody with similar experience? What made you break the "diet"? What was/is your strategy? Thanks!

    Just as a disclaimer - without any background information, if the reason you've achieved such low bf% was due to anything other than attempting to compete and place in a physique competition (which in and of itself can bring its own issues), you will need to seek support and help. I'm not dismissing your situation, but it is an extreme on the other end of the bf% spectrum that is rarely stated so openly.

    For the most part, if completely stopping activity is a potential trigger for an underlying problem, then definitely reduce the frequency of activity. Learn to eat more energy dense food, as proposed, and definitely eat more than 2000kcal, given your height, weight, and bf%. Reversing a deficit to a surplus might even be more daunting than the opposite. If nutrition monitoring is causing you to be neurotic about it (speaking from experience), then yes, take a break from counting and relearn how to enjoy life. You will likely trend towards remaining lean, which is fine, but it's okay to allow some extra bf% as well.
  • HDBKLMHDBKLM Member Posts: 464 Member Member Posts: 464 Member
    mgmgmg1981 wrote: »
    Hey! Well... I probably need this kind of break. I am now underweight (53kg / 181cm / 6% body fat) which is worrying for my health, and my friends and family are feeling concerned as well. I feel rather fine though, I eat a varierty of food, exercise regularly (5-6 times a week), but with my stats and activity level, eating ~1600-1800 kcal is far far from being enough. I know I need to eat more, stop calories counting and allow myself to chill about nutrition... Hard to let go but the day I manage to go around 1900-2000 I feel way better. Anybody with similar experience? What made you break the "diet"? What was/is your strategy? Thanks!

    The following may or may not be in any way helpful—the suggestions from @PAV888 and @anubis609 are more constructive—but at least please understand it's not meant in a snarky way: It occurs to me that we sometimes can't see ourselves in the mirror 'accurately', if not due to a diagnosable dysmorphic syndrome then in the more generic sense that since we're so used to the sight of ourselves that we can't see ourselves with the same objectivity that we can see others. To that end comparison can be helpful. With that in mind, according to this CNN report you are both lighter and taller than Michael Jackson was at the time of his death (his 5'9"/136 lbs. vs. your 5'11"/116) https://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/02/09/michael.jackson.autopsy/index.html

    My guess is that you probably wouldn't want to look even as thin as Jackson, much less significantly thinner, which your stats currently seem to indicate.
    edited December 2019
  • anubis609anubis609 Member Posts: 4,013 Member Member Posts: 4,013 Member
    mgmgmg1981 wrote: »
    anubis609 wrote: »
    Just as a disclaimer - without any background information, if the reason you've achieved such low bf% was due to anything other than attempting to compete and place in a physique competition (which in and of itself can bring its own issues), you will need to seek support and help. I'm not dismissing your situation, but it is an extreme on the other end of the bf% spectrum that is rarely stated so openly.

    For the most part, if completely stopping activity is a potential trigger for an underlying problem, then definitely reduce the frequency of activity. Learn to eat more energy dense food, as proposed, and definitely eat more than 2000kcal, given your height, weight, and bf%. Reversing a deficit to a surplus might even be more daunting than the opposite. If nutrition monitoring is causing you to be neurotic about it (speaking from experience), then yes, take a break from counting and relearn how to enjoy life. You will likely trend towards remaining lean, which is fine, but it's okay to allow some extra bf% as well.

    Hey @anubis609 -- thanks for your help & insights. Again this is quite mind-opening for me right now. I was also surprised with this super low BF% when I got to weigh myself on a scale that had this feature. It may or might not be super accurate but it's definitely too low and linked to my very low weight.

    To me, the biggest move will be to stop calorie counting and just eat mindfully like I always did before. There's no reason to fear this and gain some weight. I don't look good and training has reach some sort of plateau. It's pretty counter-productive when you think of it because I put so much effort to exercise and prepare meals but can't reach these higher kcal counts.

    It's all about mindset. I'm hungry constantly, I should just hear my body signals and skip the methodic approach this is not tight to my eating habits!

    Thanks again for your feedback...!
    Have a good day.

    Sounds like you're aware of the situation. Handle it as best as you can. I wish you success.
  • bmeadows380bmeadows380 Member Posts: 2,878 Member Member Posts: 2,878 Member
    I know the information is here somewhere, but after 219 pages......

    I plateaued for over 18 months and regained over 25 lbs. Then in June of 2019, I finally started losing again, getting 17 lbs off in 6 months. After the holidays, I started losing at a faster clip finally in January, and am down another 18 lbs as of this morning.

    I consider the holidays to be a diet break, so its been almost 3 complete months at steady weight loss. I still am 100 lbs above healthy BMI, and I'd like to lose at least another 40 lbs before December.

    My question is, when should I schedule a diet break? Should I really be doing it soon, or with my stats, can I put it off until the end of May? I have a week's vacation schedule for then if it doesn't get canceled, which would be a good time for it, but that's going to be 5 months from my last break.

    though I admit, even though my head knows its healthy and a very good part of losing weight, my other self is balking at the idea, afraid to take the break as its afraid I wont' be able to restart afterwards.....
  • PAV8888PAV8888 Member Posts: 7,500 Member Member Posts: 7,500 Member
    I know the information is here somewhere, but after 219 pages......

    I plateaued for over 18 months and regained over 25 lbs. Then in June of 2019, I finally started losing again, getting 17 lbs off in 6 months. After the holidays, I started losing at a faster clip finally in January, and am down another 18 lbs as of this morning.

    I consider the holidays to be a diet break, so its been almost 3 complete months at steady weight loss. I still am 100 lbs above healthy BMI, and I'd like to lose at least another 40 lbs before December.

    My question is, when should I schedule a diet break? Should I really be doing it soon, or with my stats, can I put it off until the end of May? I have a week's vacation schedule for then if it doesn't get cancelled, which would be a good time for it, but that's going to be 5 months from my last break.

    though I admit, even though my head knows its healthy and a very good part of losing weight, my other self is balking at the idea, afraid to take the break as its afraid I wont' be able to restart afterwards.....

    So you lost a, presumably substantial amount much greater than 25lbs over a ??? time period.

    Then, over 18 months, you had a regain of 25lbs at a rate of a bit more than 0.32lbs a week, or a surplus of about 160-170 Cal a day.

    Then you went into a deficit, and lost 6 months and 17lbs, so, about 320-350 Cal a day deficit. Then you increased the deficit to 2.5months and 18lbs, so, about 830-875 Cal a day deficit. You have about 100lbs left to lose. (the numbers may need to be double checked, I sort of run them on a napkin :wink: )

    So there is the mental and the physical.

    How are you tolerating the deficit? Mentally? Physically? Do you have any re-feed days (not diet breaks, but one or two re-feed days) that you do from time to time? Have you done any recently?

    What was the situation during your 18 months of slow gain? Were you just trying to maintain but failing due to hunger? Due to changes in types of food eaten? Were you trying to lose and thinking you were in a deficit but weren't?

    You're effectively 10lbs down from your previous low at this point if I've read it right.

    Thinking back at my own loss, I will admit that I might be tempted, in your place, to continue losing at this point while focusing on sustainable long term choices.... what I call finding things you can do long term.

    THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU SHOULD NOT MODULATE THE SPEED OF LOSS. And/or have re-feeds.

    What I don't know is if I would engage in an extended diet break unless you are viewing it as a new test of longer term maintenance?

    So I might, for example, do a re-feed for a couple of days and then change my current almost 2lb a week loss to a closer to 1lb a week deficit a while? Basically you're probably aiming for 1000 Cal and getting 850 Cal. I would personally slow things down a bit to a deficit of no more than 25% of TDEE, which in conjunction with the occasional re-feed and the occasional maintenance week would probably bring it down to between 20 and 25% of TDEE.

    Which brings us to the original diet break question, which to my mind involves several as opposed to a single week of maintenance eating... have you considered just going for a maintenance week during the vacation, or was that what you had in mind when you said diet break?

    Just some random thoughts for you to consider together with everything else :smile:
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