The last ten pounds are the hardest. Anyone who’s ever been on a diet understands what that statement means. And there’s a reason why this will be true for nearly everyone trying to lose weight.
Your body adjusts, through the use of hormones, to slow down and compensate for your loss of body fat. If you want to continue losing weight you’ll need a strategy for certain hormones trying to prevent or slow down further weight loss.
One of the easiest ways to influence your weight loss hormones is with a weekly refeed, or cheat, day. Here’s how to do a refeed day without gaining extra weight.
Why Use A Refeed Day?
As you lose weight, and decrease your body fat, it influences the hormones directly related to weight management making it more challenging to continue losing body fat. These are the hormones responsible for hunger, saiety, metabolism, and how your body utilizes fat stores.
This is a very normal, and expected response. Your body will try to slow down fat loss with the use of hormones, essentially trying to preserve the remaining fat stores.
But what if you’ve lost a lot of weight, and body fat, and still want to lose more?
That’s the purpose of a refeed day. You can temporarily influence hormones like leptin with the type and amount of food you eat.
See Also: Atkins for beginners
How To Do A Refeed Day
A refeed day is a one day calorie surplus 25-50% above your normal calorie total. If you’re eating 2,000 calories each day, your refeed day would then be in the 2500-3000 calorie range.
It’s important to stay in a calorie deficit for the days before and after your refeed day. If you’re eating at calorie maintenance, then introduce a massive amount of calories once or twice per week, you’re going to gain weight.
Here’s what a once per week refeed day looks like.
Mon: 2.000 (500 Calorie Deficit)
Tue: 2,000 (500 Calorie Deficit)
Wed: 2,000 (500 Calorie Deficit)
Thur: 2,000 (500 Calorie Deficit)
Fri: 2,000 (500 Calorie Deficit)
Sat: 2,000 (500 Calorie Deficit)
Sun: 3,000 (1000 Calorie Surplus)
What To Eat
The primary goal of a refeed day is to influence, and temporarily spike, your leptin hormone levels. So the food you eat should be tailored towards what influences leptin. You won’t be able to eat anything and everything you want on your refeed day.
A large influx of calories will influence leptin, but the type of food is equally important.
Here’s the foods that influence leptin
Here’s the food that doesn’t influence leptin
When choosing your meals, you’ll want to eat carb dense foods with low fat. Protein will have little to no effect on your leptin levels. Fat has actually been shown to negatively influence leptin levels on a refeed day, so choose your food wisely.
Related: How to intermittent fast
Who Should Use A Refeed Day
Refeed days are actually a bit of fun, especially if you’re on a low calorie diet, but it isn’t a necessary practice for everyone trying to lose weight.
Here’s who will benefit the most from a refeed day:
– You’ve lost a considerable amount of weight
– You already have low body fat, but want to lose more
– You have high daily calorie expenditure
– You’ve been on a calorie restrictive diet for a long period of time
– You’re on a carb restrictive diet
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