What Are Refeeds?

If you've been in the fitness world for some time, you may have come across someone say the word 'refeed' before. If you're just getting into things though, or are haven't been reading too much on the diet side of things, this could be a new term.

What is a refeed and why do you need it?

Essentially, if you are on a very strict diet, your body is going to work against you.

As it senses fewer calories are being consumed, it's going to slow down your metabolic rate in order to try and prevent starvation.

Your body does not want to be at a low body fat - despite what you may want.

The purpose of a refeed then is to trick your body. For usually two to three days, you'll eat at a much higher calorie intake than what you're used to, trying to convince the body that it's okay to keep that metabolism going because food is going to be provided.

By doing this, once you return back to your diet, you'll be burning more calories each day and the whole process of weight loss will be that much easier.

Another big advantage to refeeds are that if you are eating a fairly low-carbohydrate diet, you're muscle are slowly going to start running low on their stored fuel source (also known as muscle glycogen).

By doing this refeed, you will provide a great deal of carbohydrates to the body, thus increasing this storage again and helping you maintain the intense workouts you are doing.

In terms of what to eat for a refeed, aim for high-carb foods, while eating little fat. As a starting point, shoot for taking in your body weight times 17-20 calories.

So, if you currently weigh 150 pounds, aim for 2550 to 3000 calories for two to three days and see how that goes. After the first few times, you can adjust it accordingly.