carb up days: how important are they?

Ok, i’m on the t-dawg 2.0 diet and i’m sorta wondering how vital the carb-up days are.

I’ve read most all of the search stuff i could find, and i read all of the recent contest posts. I noticed that most peeps used carb-up days to some extent, but a few seemed to swear against them.

So, aside from the emotional needs of that “semi free” meal or day, does there also seem to be some LBM benefits to it? Is the 100/70 enough to sustain LBM or even gain some or does that require the carb up days in order to gain and 100/70 is merely sustanance?

For past life history information I’ve done low carb (below ~20/day) for weeks/months and of course noticed a loss in LBM from that.

On my last cutting cycle a month ago, I used carb ups and benefitted greatly. In past years I would take one cheat meal a week but the carb ups seem to work better. It helped me keep the intensity in the gym better than the one cheat meal. I was carbing up every 4-6 days depending on how I felt. Now my carb ups were pretty strict. No sugars or bad foods. The foods I carbed up on were mainly oatmeal, pretzels, and bread. I kept fat to a minimum. My only fat came from fish oil which was in my last meal of the day. My breakdown on my carb up days was around 60C/20P/10F, give or take a little. Give both methods a try and see what works better for you.

i’ll put in my vote against.
mine usually start off as a refeed then goes to a binge so i find im better off just not have them at all.
Also i think it depend how lean you are. if you’re ripped to shreds then go for it however over 8-9% and its not worth it.
my 2cents

There are benefits, in that if your ketogenic for too long, your metabolism becomes less than optimal for fat burning and your progress may stall. So carbing up can “reset” your metabolism so to speak. Your body kicks out of “starvation mode” and the improved metabolic machinary burns fat at optimal levels again.

I find them useful, but you have to be careful not to binge.

I’ll put in my vote for definately. I’ve talked about my results repeatedly in the past, so I won’t rehash them again.

The voices of dissent have yet to give a good reason for their opinion despite the obvious real world success that others have enjoyed.

Whetu, this is not a flame, but if your refeeds turn into binges, then that’s not a problem with the refeed. That’s a problem with your self control. I’m not sure how you can judge refeeds if you’re not doing them correctly.

And we have Kareem (TheGhost) stating that he “reckons” the negatives far outweight the positives. Well, I reckon that it worked quite well for me, and I value my opinion more because I actually did it the way intended and have firsthand results along with MANY others. I certainly wasn’t at a low bf when I used them, and they still worked beautifully.

And they’re NOT “cheat” meals/days. That seems to be the misconception that gives people such a negative view of refeeds. I got the impression from Kareem’s interview that that was exactly what he though. Having willpower and discipline are wonderful, but dismissing a valid idea because of it just isn’t my thing.

People need to keep an open mind about this kind of thing. Try it the next time you do a low carb diet for an extended period of time. Do it EXACTLY the way it’s written. Talk to Joel if you’re having real problems with it. Then judge for yourself.

Okay, I think i’m just gonna take it slowly.

I’ll try a refeed day later this week and i’ll mainly just add more oatmeal in the morning and some more veggies in my p+c meals. I really want to avoid the headache issue i get with drastic carb up/down changes.

I’m currently on my 4th day of tdawg 2.0 and the only drawback i’m noticing so far is the same thing i ran into back when i was doing <20 carb/day, which is the lack of appetite late in day. Also a bit of tiredness in the evening.


I agree with you completely on the ghost’s interview. Some people need to keep an open mind on new ideas. Just saying something doesn’t work because you didn’t follow a plan doesn’t sound like a justified reason to me. Plus, I know refeeds worked for me.


I think that you need to eat a certain # of carbs and calories to get a benefit from the refeeds. I was eating around 1400 calories more on my refeed days and I’m what you would consider a carb sensitive person.Example- I used to be way over weight.

Arbitrarily “adding some carbs” is not the way to go. If you are going to do it, you need to have a strategical, scientific approach…otherwise, you are not going to get good results and you’ll end up deeming overfeeding a waste of time when you never even did it the right way.

Feel free to email me.


We have been around this bend a few times already:

The prime reason many don’t get the point of what these “days” are for is because they interchange and do not have a firm grasp of the following terms:
Cho Load

This post refers to the third, a cho load. If one is following a ketogenic diet there are a number of benefits for this which fall under the following categories.

These have been discussed elsewhere numerous times and I refer the reader to those. Indeed, in all three of the above cases, both Joel, myself, and others have provided a number of references that address the main points when engaging any of the days noted above:

Suffice it to say, that in each case (1.2.3), the same amount of discipline required when dieting (i.e., tracking/planning of meals) is needed on these days (with the possible exception of the overfeed).

A binge is a whole separate experience.


yeah Doc, i know what you mean and thats why i now just steer away from them for that exact reason, total lack of self control.
im a fukn pig,
no offence taken.

Okay… After reading the article joel sent me it looks like I will have to change my perception of carb-up days… lol

I’ll go for the breads deal, maybe some pasta… mmmmm

Funny thing is now in thinking about that idea the past experience is telling me i should have figured that out a while ago.

I know that I plateau without a carb up day. So do most other people i know. I also have experience with some foods not really making a difference on that carb up day, like ice cream or yogurt. And i know veggies don’t seem to help it since i’ve tried that before.

Another question… How do you avoid mixing f+c when eating pizza?

Some people can get away w/ pizza, other’s cant. You have to experiment and see what works for you. I know a number of people who do better w/ all out binges as opposed to controlled carb overfeeds; it’s individual. If you are one of those who doesn’t have success when mixing carbs and fat on an overfeed day, then you could always have a tomato pie (pizza w/o the cheese) if you were craving something similar.


Just wanted to chime in here too.

I contacted Joel back in March as my ‘refeeds’ didn’t seem very productive. In fact, progress even backed up a bit.

So, to make a long story short, I cut out the refeeds and went for a more moderate route with carbs in the am. While this worked for a while, nothing seemed to really get that last bit of fat off like near-keto. However, as we all know, very low carb diets destroy workouts and rob mass in the long run.

So, I went back to the refeed. However, I’ve changed many things this time around.

  1. Only refeed every 7-10 days. I need to really feel like death.

  2. Precede the refeed with 45-60 min moderate t-mill (sometimes fasting).

  3. The only fat I take in are my fish oils and CLA at bedtime.

  4. I make sure NOT to binge/eat till I’m sick. If I feel the urge, I just tell myself, “hey, you’ll eat again in like 1-2 hours.”

  5. I don’t eat junk. I stick to refined, simple carbs such as baked Lays/Tostitos, lots of white bread, corn pops, and maybe an angel food cake.

  6. I load on carbs all day and I don’t count calories (though it reaches about 7000kcal).

  7. I take about 1.5 grams of R-ALA throughout the day.

  8. I don’t overdo the water, to minimize bloat.

#4 and #5 have made the biggest difference. Before I would eat way too much fat (Little Debbie crap) and would eat way too much all at once. Like Joel said, it still takes will power to do this thing right.

Also as Joel has mentioned, there seem to be two routes to sucess: 1) an all out cheat, all day (f+c); 2) the strict refeed as I mentioned. Obviously then, how one metabolizes carbs will usually dictate this (For example, I was overweight most of my life and still struggle to keep the BF off; low carb seems to be the only answer).

Good luck and don’t rule out the refeed just yet.

Forgive my ignorance on the last post: I left no clear conclusion as to what has happened since I made these changes.

But this is simple. I have reaped all the touted benefits of refeeds. If you do them RIGHT and at the RIGHT times, they should work for most everyone.