T Nation

Carbs or Fats on Refeed Days?


#1

Hi. Every once in a while I just have the need for a refeed - I am RAVENOUS.

Normally I do not have many carbs on off days. But on a day like today where I am just eating a lot because I am so hungry is it better to actually have more carbs rather than fat since my muscles are probably glycogen depleated?

The reasoning being that if I ate fat it would be stored as fat, whereas excess carbs would probably just go to the muscles?

Or will both be stored as fat anyway?

I kinda want fat, but if carbs would be be better I could just eat a lot of them.....


#2

Oh sarah… is retention difficult for you? I mean that in the nicest possible way.

[quote]sarah1 wrote:
Hi. Every once in a while I just have the need for a refeed - I am RAVENOUS.

Normally I do not have many carbs on off days. But on a day like today where I am just eating a lot because I am so hungry is it better to actually have more carbs rather than fat since my muscles are probably glycogen depleated?[/quote]

Are you starving yourself regularly? You should ever get to the point of being ravenous, unless it’s purely psychological. What you eat on a refeed is completely determined by your diet in general.

If you normally low carb it- then the refeed should be high carb (healthy carbs, not junk food). If you have a moderate carb diet normally then the refeed should be equally balanced just a greater quantity.

Lol… come on sarah! You know better than this. You’ve been around here long enough posting enough questions and reading enough (hopefully) that you should know better. Eating fat and storing fat are two separate mechanisms. You’re more likely to store fat with high carbs than high fat.

Your only saving grace on a refeed of high carbs is that you will need to replenish glycogen some and you might be slightly more carb tolerant. But that depends on so many other factors I can’t say for certain.

Ding ding ding… we have a winner. See you do read. Of course the excess would need to be really in excess before either is stored on a true refeed day.

Then have it. If you truly feel you need a refeed then have what you want (within reason if losing fat is still your goal). Chances are you need the refeed for psychological reasons only so if you don’t get what you want it really won’t help.


#3

I don’t know, eengrms, I think that being RAVENOUS is physiological, not psychological. For example, after prolonged calorie restriction where significant body fat is lost, leptin falls, and a handful of other hormones rise, including grehlin, causing ravenous hunger.

An amount of food that normally, under maintenance calories, would cause satiation, now WON’T. In the research I read, the hunger hormones remained abnormally high until the lost body fat had been regained. A long-term anti-starvation survival mechanism.


#4

[quote]andersons wrote:
I don’t know, eengrms, I think that being RAVENOUS is physiological, not psychological. For example, after prolonged calorie restriction where significant body fat is lost, leptin falls, and a handful of other hormones rise, including grehlin, causing ravenous hunger. An amount of food that normally, under maintenance calories, would cause satiation, now WON’T. In the research I read, the hunger hormones remained abnormally high until the lost body fat had been regained. A long-term anti-starvation survival mechanism.
[/quote]

To a certain extent maybe… but in reality as long as you are trying to stay just under maintenance (500 cals or less) and not starving yourself your body will adjust to compensate for the lower intake regardless of fat loss. In fact as you lose fat and weigh less you maintenance should go down appropriately. Also meal frequency is key. Muscle gain is another story. I think that increases hunger.

Jury is still out on leptin as far as I’m concerned.


#5

[quote]sarah1 wrote:
Hi. Every once in a while I just have the need for a refeed - I am RAVENOUS.

Normally I do not have many carbs on off days. But on a day like today where I am just eating a lot because I am so hungry is it better to actually have more carbs rather than fat since my muscles are probably glycogen depleated?

The reasoning being that if I ate fat it would be stored as fat, whereas excess carbs would probably just go to the muscles?

Or will both be stored as fat anyway?

I kinda want fat, but if carbs would be be better I could just eat a lot of them…[/quote]

I would look at retooling your diet, something isn’t working if you are experiancing this.

Any nutrient can be stored as fat, even protein.


#6

[quote]eengrms76 wrote:

To a certain extent maybe… but in reality as long as you are trying to stay just under maintenance (500 cals or less) and not starving yourself your body will adjust to compensate for the lower intake regardless of fat loss. In fact as you lose fat and weigh less you maintenance should go down appropriately. Also meal frequency is key. Muscle gain is another story. I think that increases hunger.

Jury is still out on leptin as far as I’m concerned.[/quote]

There is little in the leptin literature I’ve read that can be APPLIED to the bodybuilder’s body comp goals. The research is aimed at understanding obesity, not how to achieve low bodyfat and high muscle mass.

Actually, not much of the literature can be applied to obesity, either, except to give the pharmaceutical researchers mechanisms to target. The most promising is a drug that would allow someone to keep the weight off after dieting by keeping leptin levels optimal.

However, it is clear when the anti-starvation mechanism is kicking in, and this mechanism is fairly well understood. 500 cals is not some magic number. Leptin and other hormone levels react to a change in bodyfat levels, regardless of calorie deficit/surplus or where the levels were initially.

What you said is true in some circumstances – but ONLY for people whose hormones and metabolisms are in decent shape.

RAVENOUS hunger is a symptom that hormones (leptin and others) are not optimal. When I have reached this state, I’ve done a day-long refeed resulting in no fat gain whatsoever. (And BTW, sarah, this refeed was pizza, Haagen-Dazs, and mocha frappucinos. No fat gain from it.)

Ignoring the hunger, though, and continuing with strict diet, fat loss would stop altogether. However, metabolisms vary.

Also, ravenous hunger should not be experienced when eating to gain muscle mass. In another thread, sarah said her current goal is gaining mass. So she should not be ravenous.