Refeeds and Leptin

There seems to be quite a bit of controversy sourrounding the proper scheduling of refeeds while dieting. I know no one schedule fits all but the info is way too varied. Some diets recommend one refeed or “cheat” day once or twice a week. Other articles claim that one day of refeeding does little to increase leptin or stoke metabolism. Other article say or “read” that it’s best to diet for a few weeks then take a week or two off. Do refeeds work at all? Does anyone know where I can find studies supporting or dismissing there effectiveness? Thanks

I hope there would be a roundtable discussion on leptin. Usually, a clean diet and a lowered caloric intake can get someone to around 12% body fat. But for those who aren’t naturally lean, it will take proper manipulation of leptin to achieve an even lower body fat without having your metabolism crash. It seems many authors contradict each other on how leptin is affected.

How frequent should we refeed? Do high GI carbs work better? High GI carbs + fats? Spread it out through entire day or eat most of it for breakfast/postworkout? The amount we should be refeeding?

Maybe a 1 day refeed won’t stoke the metabolism much. But if you do that refeed interspersed every 3-4 days, the overall impact over a significant amount of time could actually spike the metabolism.

When looking at refeeding and diets in general, you cannot look at one signal (leptin) alone, as a closed system. There a multiple short-term and long-term anabolic and catabolic signals.

Leptin is of course very popular, but I think the main reason it’s so popular is that it was found pretty recently and a single point mutation is responsible for select few’s weight problem.

Refeeds are probably a secret weapon in the war of getting big, muscular and lean. I’d love to read a roundtable on refeeds in general, particularly given the success of diets like The Cheater’s Diet, the Anabolic Diet and others. Some could argue that post-workout nutrition could even qualify as a refeed of sorts.

The evidence seems to suggest refeeds are brutally effective, but the mechanism is understood only vaguely. Leptin plays a role, possibly the main one, but so do other hormones, namely insulin. Dr. DePasquale also holds that anabolic hormones like testosterone are increased when carb refeeds are alternated with carb restriction (and high fat). From my own experience, I’d have to agree.

I’ve found a 36 hour refeed once-per-week works best, especially when consuming a relatively low fat menu (10-20%). For me, it has been important to realize that refeeds are not magic: you can still gain fat if you overeat, but you can eat up to a third more calories safely.

I do low cal during the week and refeed on the weekend. This seems to work well for the short and medium term. I haven’t yet decided whether a longer break might be required after an extended cut.

[quote]itsthetimman wrote:
When looking at refeeding and diets in general, you cannot look at one signal (leptin) alone, as a closed system. There a multiple short-term and long-term anabolic and catabolic signals.

Leptin is of course very popular, but I think the main reason it’s so popular is that it was found pretty recently and a single point mutation is responsible for select few’s weight problem.[/quote]

Absolutely. In fact more and more ‘people’ (experts?) are now saying that without a lot more research, it is not at all clear that you can (or want to for fat loss anyway) change leptin levels very much without actually gaining or losing fat.

Once again, try the search feature. Berardi wrote about leptin in a three part article.

I must also add that, when your goal is getting big, muscular, lean, whatever you want to call it, you don’t need any scientific studies for it. The best method is the one that works for you.

[quote]yorik wrote:
Once again, try the search feature. Berardi wrote about leptin in a three part article.

[/quote]

Right. Berardi wrote about it = end of any useful other opinions, discussion or research.

Come on! I think John would be one of the first to say that the research on this topic is at an early stage.

More searching will also produce a bunch of articles on other sites, pubmed etc… etc…many with slight (or very) different conclusions or interpretations.

[quote]virtualetters wrote:
I’ve found a 36 hour refeed once-per-week works best, especially when consuming a relatively low fat menu (10-20%). For me, it has been important to realize that refeeds are not magic: you can still gain fat if you overeat, but you can eat up to a third more calories safely.
[/quote]

The key point here lies therein. Just like with training, different bodies will need different refeeds to get the best results (hormone level changes, glycogen storage, etc). Primarily, as far as I’m concerned, refeeds should still be pretty low fat; the important variables are the amount, type, and timing of carbs.

For me personally, ‘light’ high GI carbs are a must early. If I’m doing a 30 hour re-feed (1 night and into the next day / evening) followed by a 24 hour maintanence on a UD2 type schedule, with about 5000kcal from carb over the 30 hour period, I’ll try to get my first 1/3 or so the first night from something light and sweet; fruity pebbles honestly has worked the best for me - refined rice + sugar. Over the course of the next day I’ll switch over to whole wheat pasta and bread. By the 24 hour maintenance all my carbs will be from primarily lentils- black and low/no fat refried beans, with the rest from a workout shake(s) and some vegetables.

It’s really a process of trial and error. Eating lower GI ‘cleaner’ carbs on refeed night left me full and bloated and not in the mood to consume enough calories, despite starving for the past week. According to Lyle McDonald, some people bloat and don’t do well off of certain types of food in particular as well (i.e. he mentions rice doesn’t work good for a friend of his, but everything else is just fine).

It’s up to you to experiment a bit and see what works best for you.

I have certainly been getting more and more cofused about refeeding. I have been dieing for a total of 20 weeks now. Dont worry, I have taken 2 breaks of maintanence cals during this period.BUT I think I could have speed the fat loss up far more to begin with if I had a smaller intake during the refeed day on a low carb diet. I did high pro/fat loww carb 6 days a week and 1 day of refeeding. I did take some carbs post workout which may have slowed the fat loss down for me I think. And as I mentioned, I think smaller refeeds should have been practiced. I will be back on my diet this week, with less carbs than usual.

I know that the refeed day requires higher calories, and if you are not having a day of high carbs, maybe more moderate, ie 200g then the rest would have to come from fat right? So my current plan is 2-3 pro/fat meals then 4 pro/carb meals…which enables me to get a higher number of calories.

But the more I think about it, maybe I should have had a lower intake of calories during the week earlier on in my diet and not blame the amount of carbs ingested during the carb up day. CT really stands by his recommendation that the fatter you are, the less carbs you should eat(incl the carb up day)…which makes more sense to me now, for my body anwyay…however, I have read everywhere that the carb up day should be full of carbs and will maximise the effect of the low carbs during the week??? I still have a nice amount of fat to lose in IMO

Thoughts?

GJ