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Thread: Big re-feed vs mini re-feeds? page

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    muaythaimike's Avatar
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    Big re-feed vs mini re-feeds?

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    I want to start adding refeeds a few times a week and I've been doing a bit of research. Read the lean gains approach and Marks take on it but was wondering if mini re-feeds throughout the week or big refeeds on training days would be best?

    I'm quite lean and have decent definition (around 10% BF) but wouldn't mind dropping a percent or two since I'm going away in under a month.

    Also how would intermittent fasting be incorporated with this approach? I.e intermittent fast the day after a big refeed? Or just eat within an 8 hour window on a regular basis?

    Thanks.
    "My mom made two dishes: Take it or Leave it." -- Stephen Wright, comedian

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    Man that sounds complicated...

    ...I suppose you could say that I'm IFing at the moment, but I'd just say that I haven't had breakfast yet.

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    I've done both and it really depends on your goals and how you respond to high carbs.....personally I'm not effected by bloating or other negative feedback but then again I'm not overweight or insulin resistant. Right now I'm doing a 10 day carb load eating 1000 calories over maintenance....around 4500 or so, along with heavy compound weight training, pushing through as many PB as I can followed by 10 days of a VLCD with a deficit of 1500 calories or around 1500 calories consumed, adding in lighter weight training and increasing my cardio time. I'll cycle this 3 times.

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    I don't know if I could cylce 10 days high carb low fat...... Do you think 2 days a week would have a similar impact?
    "My mom made two dishes: Take it or Leave it." -- Stephen Wright, comedian

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    Similar impact, no. When I do the two day carb up it's mostly for the benefit of hormonal balance and the obvious glycogen replenishing. I use weekends for the 2 day carb up.....generally Friday night to Sunday night and always over maintenance......The 10 day is for muscle building and the 10 day VLC is for fat loss with hopes that I've put on more muscle than fat when it's all said and done......it works for me. The 2 day is basically to help the fat burning process to continue with an overall reduction of body fat. That's the theory in general and I can say from personal experience it is effective. I believe this is for an individual that is not greatly overweight.....otherwise I probably wouldn't do it.

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    muaythaimike's Avatar
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    Thanks Chefgerry. I think a two day carb up on the weekend is probably reasonable for me. I'm training for strength at the moment so I don't have to worry about bulking up. I'll defo give it a try.
    "My mom made two dishes: Take it or Leave it." -- Stephen Wright, comedian

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    MalPaz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by muaythaimike View Post
    Thanks Chefgerry. I think a two day carb up on the weekend is probably reasonable for me. I'm training for strength at the moment so I don't have to worry about bulking up. I'll defo give it a try.
    i have been playing around wth this idea too... seems you need a good span(24hrsish...) of high carb refeeds to reset leptin(up to 68% increase!) an hormones.

    most my worry is 2 days of high carb followed by a week of VLC and the possibility of screwing up blood sugar or inducing hypoglycemia....any thoughts?

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    MalPaz's Avatar
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    J. Berardi on refeeds (2003):

    Q: Do you believe that refeeds should be administered to increase leptin levels and why?

    A: Lyle McDonald (more of a leptin expert than I’ll ever be) and I just had a discussion about this with David Greenwalt and his coaching group over at leannesslifestyle.com and we both pretty much concluded that refeeds probably won’t do much for dieters in terms of leptin. For starters, leptin kicks up and down very rapidly as energy intake fluctuates. Therefore, while leptin may kick up with a 10-hour carbohydrate reefed, it’s likely to drop back down just as rapidly after the reefed is over and another 10 hours of dieting are accomplished. Therefore, a dieter may just end up with a bigger positive energy balance during those 24hours of refeeding and subsequent return to dieting.

    Since there is no data, one way or the other, illustrating what happens in dieting weight lifters when refeeding, there's only speculation. Of course, leptin itself aside, if there were some prolonged increase in leptin, we should be able to measure the effects of this leptin increase by observing increases in metabolic rate the day after the refeed. Unfortunately, metabolic increases as a result of acute overfeeding aren’t observed a day after the overfeed (or refeed). Remember, we’re not so much interested in what’s happening with leptin itself but what’s happening to metabolism. Leptin doesn’t impact fat loss. The effects of leptin do. And it doesn’t appear that refeeds impact metabolism for any longer than the day of the refeed.

    However, make no mistake about it. I am not saying that refeeds are useless. In fact, I do see other good reasons (i.e. a psychological break from dieting, increased adherence, better glycogen status, more intense workouts, suppression of the catabolic hormonal cascade associated with dieting) for refeeding besides the leptin issue. A common strategy that I use with dieting bodybuilders is to have them do a 1-day refeed once per week. This refeed usually contains 50% - 100% more energy than their daily intake from the other 6 days. Therefore if the bodybuilder is eating 1000 kcal per day, he/she will refeed on 1500 – 2000 kcal. Likewise, if the bodybuilder is eating 2000 kcal per day, he/she will refeed on 3000 – 4000 kcal. The magnitude of the re-feed is dependent on their leanness, on how low their energy intake is, and on their rate of fat loss.

    In addition to this refeeding on the micro- scale, I will usually have the same bodybuilder re-feed on a macro- scale by eating 50% - 100% more energy for a full week after every 4 – 6 weeks of dieting. The frequency and size of this macro- refeed is dependent again on the bodybuilder’s leanness, on how low their energy intake is, and on their rate of fat loss. You can think of this refeeding strategy as calorie periodization. We do it for training, why not for nutrition?

    While I have just discussed my strategies for dieting bodybuilders, I use similar strategies for most of my other athletes as well, especially the ones trying to maximize their power to weight ratios. In these athletes, however, their calories are cycled according to their recovery needs. On hard days the calories are higher while on easy days the calories are lower. Refeed weeks are used when performance starts to suffer or when fat loss slows.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MalPaz View Post
    i have been playing around wth this idea too... seems you need a good span(24hrsish...) of high carb refeeds to reset leptin(up to 68% increase!) an hormones.

    most my worry is 2 days of high carb followed by a week of VLC and the possibility of screwing up blood sugar or inducing hypoglycemia....any thoughts?
    Well if a person has health issue's regarding glucose metabolism, there may be some issue's that need to be monitored for sure. Personally I have no issues with glucose and after a week of vlc and completely depleting glycogen there is an opportunity for whats called supercompensation where more glucose is driven into muscle that normal.......anyway for the first 2 days at least I have no problems with my lifts, but it dwindles pretty quickly after and I need to adapt my training to the lower carbs until the weekend.

    I agree you need at least 24 hours of high carb low fat for the carb up, and I think 36 to 48 hours could potentially work out better for most people. These carbs ups should also be well over maintenance imo, again that needs to be monitored and tweeked going forward is the difference between success and failure........what's on paper as theory is not exactly what actually happens the majority of time as I'm sure your aware of.

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    I'm nearly finished with my 2 day carb re-feed (started on thursday) and I felt good during muay thai training. Maybe my glycogen stores have been too low recently and needed refilling but I think it has made a difference. I'll experiment with this every week and see how I get on.
    "My mom made two dishes: Take it or Leave it." -- Stephen Wright, comedian

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