As we all either know from first-hand experience, or have heard from others on this site (including Mark), carb re-feeds can be seen as beneficial to weight loss and overall health.
My question lies with calorie re-feeds. I'm not sure whether there's scientific data to support this, but a chronic caloric deficit seems to make metabolism slow down as your body strives to hang on to any food it can to ensure survival. Would eating big once a week or so put a stop to this?
Also, I feel that this was the natural way of eating back in the day, food would be scarce for maybe a week or two, and then all of the sudden it would be a feast due to a successful hunt. Would it be wise to try and replicate this?
I don't know how it works for others, but it worked for me. Over the past several years, I've lost close to 200 lbs (340/145), but I'm a post-menopausal, hypothyroid woman who had to severely restrict calories in order to lose.
Once a week, I ate freely--still primal, but much higher calorie than usual. I don't know whether it helped, but it didn't hurt, and I didn't experience any stalls at all while doing this. I never did this more frequently than once a week, and sometimes it was once every two weeks.
[QUOTE=emmie;968402]but I'm a post-menopausal, hypothyroid woman who had to severely restrict calories in order to lose.
Once a week, I ate freely--still primal, but much higher calorie than usual. I don't know whether it helped, but it didn't hurt, and I didn't experience any stalls at all while doing this. I never did this more frequently than once a week, and sometimes it was once every two weeks.[/QUOTE]
I also found that if a plateau lasted more than 10 days, a day of increased calories usually nudged the scale down again. n=1
ETA: I've found this "cycling" thing to work for exercise also. Days of intense (for me) mixed with days of just a walk mixed with days of pure rest.
It has worked for me as well. When I was stalled losing weight and my energy level started to decrease, I'd eat a huge meal or two (still the same food, just more of it) and I'd start feeling better and losing again.
I had a brief bout of calorie cycling unintentionally. I found it definitely did not hurt as long as I stuck with primal foods.
I have been doing calorie and carb re feed for years. With the calorie one, I usually go on maintenance intake level even if I'm dieting. This helps fat loss plateau. Sometimes I go with my hunger and just eat a lot on one day without having to worry about portion control. When I have carb re feed, I don't over do it. Normally, I would eat more carbs on workout days especially when I do some sprint or a steady state cardio. However this only about 50 grams more than I would normally take in. I guess this is my version of carb re feed. I have never been a fan on loading up so much carbs as I feel sluggish the next day but I do feel that calorie cycling gives me the best result for breaking plateaus.
Keep in mind this is all healthy food and since I have switched to paleo, I would eat more sweet potatoes or add 1 fruit a day.
When I was trying to lose weight, I did weekly and bi-weekly re-feeds, and they worked well.
Lost 70lbs in 8 months.
Now that I'm simply maintaining, I don't feel the need for a re-feed because I eat 3 filling, primal meals a day, and never get to the point where I have that ravenous hunger that comes from restricting calories.
My weight holds steady without any special effort.