So you’re thinking to yourself…
How the heck can stuffing my face on a holiday help me lose weight!?
Lets take a look at whats going on with your body’s hormones when your dieting, and what happens when you overeat.
Binge eating or more specifically refeeding, as most bodybuilders and fitness fanatics refer to it is a technique that is used to boost leptin levels in the body.
When we’re constantly eating less than we need to maintain our weight (dieting), our body responds by producing ghrelin which makes us hungrier.
Leptin is produced in our fat and travels to the brain to tell it that we’re not hungry. The more fat you have, the more leptin you produce generally. But you may be thinking, “how come I have a lot of fat and I’m still hungry, shouldn’t all my leptin make me not hungry?”
To an extent, your thinking is right, but you can become “leptin resistant”.
“In leptin resistance, your leptin is high, which means you’re fat, but your brain can’t see it. In other words, your brain is starved, while your body is obese. And that’s what obesity is: it’s brain starvation.” – WebMD
So if you’re looking to lose weight, the more leptin you produce, the better.
A typical refeed meal consists of eating copious amount of carbs! These carbs will boost leptin levels which will decrease your hunger, and help boost dopamine and testosterone. Dopamine is one of the hornomes responsible for feeling happy.
Notice when your dieting or someone you know is dieting, you or they tend to be “hangry”. Hungry and anrgy! Its a brutal combo!
Now, on to the refeed day. Without knowing you or getting super specific…
When you refeed you should eat your maintenance calories or slightly above. Aim to eat your body weight in protein, keep fat to a minimum and eat the rest of your calories in the form of carbohydrates. Try to make these refeed days on a workout day. Holidays sounds like the perfect day to have a refeed day right!? Or maybe this is just an excuse so all of us can stuff ourselves guilt free during the holidays.
If you’re going the refeed route, don’t completely overdue it because you can take two steps back in your fatloss journey and end up mad at yourself for eating all that delicious pie.
The amount of refeed days depends on the individual and a number of factors. Play around with 1 every 1-2 weeks and see if that helps break your fatloss plateaus.
Happy “Refeed Day”