T Nation

How to Interpret Response to Re-Feeds?


#1

For anyone who has done a contest or worked with a coach to execute a legit cut:

Are there any general guidelines for how to adjust macros based on the response to a refeed?

I’ve been on about a four month cut from 203 to 185. This week, I seemed to have a big spike in my appetite. Since I’m not up against a deadline, I responded by letting myself have a few big eating days. I was averaging 2300 calories, but went up to 3,000-3,500 three days this week. Each day, I was near 500g of carbs and 150g fat.

My weight has not moved. 185. I look dry and lean. I don’t want to fall into the trap of letting my diet get out of control, but I do want to make the most of what feels like a good metabolic situation. Ultimately, I want to drop another few body fat percentage points, which will mean I need to drop a few more pounds in body weight.

So…I know it’s individual, but does anyone have examples of adjustments they’ve made based on responses to a refeed? I think I recall Stu mentioning that he looks at what happens to body weight not just the day after a refeed, but two days after. I’m just curious and fascinated by the whole “adjustment” component of getting shredded.

Thanks in advance for any insights.


#2

Refeeds are hugely beneficial if implemented properly. It sounds like you’ve stumbled upon a good method for you. You’ve been in a deficit for a while, probably haven’t given yourself a big refeed yet (which is fine), enjoyed a refeed, and now you’re looking dry and lean because the extra carbs went right into the muscles, creating more glycogen, filling you out and making you look awesome. Nice!

That’s awesome. So, you could go back to your normal plan, and do a refeed like this every 7-10 days. Ultimately, if you’re looking to get really ripped, you’ll need to feel hungry and uncomfortable, sometimes really hungry and really uncomfortable. The only way you’ll slip up is if you refeed too often or lose the discipline you had that got you here in the first place.

Again, largely individualized here. Personally, during my last prep, I noticed I look best 2 days after a refeed, the day after I tend to look a little puffy/soft, 2 days later I’d fill out, and be much harder and drier. Unless you’re contest prepping and have a weight class issue, IMO weight is largely irrelevant the day after a refeed since there’s extra water/glycogen/food weight, if you’re lean enough, paying attention to body comp is most important.

As my prep continued and I got closer to contest, I increased the frequency of refeeds from once every 8 days to once every 4 days, but lowered carbs. So, more frequent to keep the fat burning hormones going as needed, but less carbs because I didn’t need as many to get the job done. It just takes time, consistency, collecting data and seeing what works best for you.

So, if your weight hasn’t budged and you’re looking awesome, I think you could keep your current refeed numbers, and try one every 7-10 days. The more you dig in and grind it out between refeeds, the more they’ll benefit you. The point of a refeed is to “stoke the metabolic fire” and kick your fat burning hormones in the ass, which will only be effective if your body really needs it.

Hope this helps, be sure to post with any further questions and updates!


#3

Awesome. Thanks for taking the time. I like the way that refeeds seem to work synergistically with carb adjustments. Digging deeper allows for the refeed to work even better, which may allow you to dig even deeper.

Good stuff. I am locked in enough right now to pull this off. Thank you.


#4

Right on man! My first contest prep I didn’t utilize refeeds very much until towards the end, and I realized for me at least, they’re hugely beneficial and an integral part of a successful cut, especially as you get leaner. And, they’re fun :slight_smile: Keep killing it man!