This is a period usually within a training programme when calories (especially carbohydrates) are raised close or normally above maintenance level intake depending on the individual.
Its done to offset any hormonal issues that may of occurred with dieting. It also gives the body a chance to recover from fatigue and replenish your carbohydrate muscle stores which have been depleted over the course of the programme.
There are also mental benefits to this giving the individual a series of mini breaks within the diet itself. Not only can they eat more food but some of the off limits types can be consumed in larger portions. Refeeds normally last between 1-3 days.
This influx of food will often reduce stress levels, meaning a day or so after the refeed it's not unusual to see weight drop slightly (as high stress levels make the body hold onto water weight) It's also likely that during the refeed your weight will increase, but this is only due to the extra residual food in the gut itself, and the fact that carbohydrates make you hold more water (this doe not mean you've put fat on!)
The frequency of a refeed depends on the person. Indications that you require a diet break normally show in your performance, recovery, willingness to train and lack of quality sleep. It must be noted that during the refeed trying to keep fat intake as low as possible will help reduce the likelihood of exceeding calorie needs and storing fat.
We use refeed strategies with most of our clients and professional boxers/athletes at some point during their camp to give them a much needed physical and mental boostFor more info or questions contact us by clicking here.