Top Gym Tips

Do Refeed Days Even Work?


Most people find themselves binging on high fat foods during their refeed days and many don’t know the difference between a “cheat day” and a refeed day. The idea behind a refeed day is to hopefully increase the main satiety hormone (leptin) and also muscle glycogen levels. Unfortunately, research has shown that leptin is carbohydrate sensitive (Romom et al., 1999, Dirlewanger et al., 2000) and of course carbohydrates are needed to replenish glycogen stores

High fat foods are also more calorically dense and may lead you out of your caloric deficit and into a surplus. This is why I recommend eating at your maintenance calories, with just a sole increase in carbs. This way you get to eat more food (carbs=4kcal/g, fats=9kcal/g) and still manage to stay on track. You should also start to feel the psychological benefits of feeling full, quite quickly. Most high level bodybuilding coaches tend to recommend a big drop in fats to roughly 15%, keep protein the same and ramp up carbs until maintenance calories are hit

Lastly, it seems that one refeed day only has an acute effect on leptin levels, so a few days back at maintenance calories is best to reap the benefits and keep these levels elevated for longer. An alternative to this, is to have 1 or 2 every week, particularly when into the deep stages of a cut