Refeed Day VS Cheat Day
what is refeed day?
Refeed day when we consume calculated increase in calories and have a certain things to eat (like veggies, fruits, etc) mostly through crabs. You generally set up protein 1 gram per lb of body weight, 1 gram of fat per .3-.5 lbs of body weight, and then 2-3.0 grams of carbs per lb of body weight, with the sweet spot for me being right about 2.5-3.0 grams per lb for carbs, but it varies for every person, you’ll just have to see what works for you.
So as you can see, a refeed day and a cheat day are similar but one option (refeed day) definitely the smarter approach.
What is Cheat Day?
A cheat day is basically where you just let yourself go off the tracks and you can eat anything and everything what ever you want in sight for a day. If you’re like me and have and endless pit as a stomach and love food, this could easily mess up a weeks of strict dieting, which is something I’d rather not do.
A refeed day and a cheat day have some similarities and some differences. First thing first, what are these, what do they mean? Both are used during dieting and being a caloric deficit for an extended period of time. When your body fat continually drops you have to continually keep reducing your caloric intake as well and this causes you to be lethargic, mainly because of reduce carbohydrate intake (the main source of energy).
This is where you would implement a refeed day or cheat day. A sudden increase in caloric intake for a short period of time increases leptin levels which is a hormone that regulates satiety and energy levels, and can spike metabolism. This is not only good for your energy and satiety levels, but it is incredibly helpful for your mental health while dieting. The average person can’t stay sane while just eating chicken, broccoli, and rice in a caloric deficit for an extended period of time, which is why I religiously follow an “if it fits your macros” diet/flexible diet, but we’ll save that topic for another time!
When should I have a refeed day?
There are two times I consider appropriate to have a refeed day. The first time i see fit is when your weight has plateaued (stopped dropping) for about two weeks. This might sound counter productive, but the increase in calories spikes your metabolism, so it will actually help in the long run.
The second time I would say to have a refeed day is if you’re losing weight too quickly. When dieting, you should aim to lose .5-2 lbs per week (that just depends how long you have to diet/what you’re comfortable with), but if you’re losing more than that for about 2 weeks in a row I would recommend incorporating a refeed day.
Although, there is an exception to the second time. When you first switch from a caloric surplus to a caloric deficit (begin a diet), you reduce carbohydrate intake, therefore reducing how much water your body holds. So over the first week or two of being in a deficit you most likely will lose more than 2 lbs per week but that is normal because it’s just water weight, and after the first two weeks it should become more consistent and slow weight loss.