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  1. #1
    AdamGH's Avatar
    AdamGH is offline Senior Member
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    May 2008

    Importance of Infrequent Overfeeding

    Cool article I found:

    Itís well established that in order to lose body fat, you need to bring your daily caloric intake below your maintenance level for a certain time period. At first you lose weight, then your progress slows, and then you hit a plateau where you seemingly canít lose any more weight. If you reduce your calorie intake even further, now you start to lose muscle in addition to losing fat due to your insufficient caloric intake. Again, thatís not good because this will lower your metabolic rate, making it even harder to lose fat. Also, when you restrict your caloric intake for a period of time, your body starts to think that youíre starving, and reacts by lowering your metabolic rate and increasing your appetite. Researchers believe that the reason your body does this relates to levels of a hormone in your body called leptin. The role leptin can seemingly play in keeping you lean is yet another reason not to banish carbohydrates from your diet, since occasionally overfeeding on carbohydrates can revamp your leptin levels.

    If youíre on reduced calorie diet, leptin levels will begin to fall in your body. When leptin levels fall in the body, this effectively reduces your RMR, triggers increased cortisol production (a catabolic hormone that promotes muscle loss and makes it hard to lose fat), and also increases your appetite, essentially promoting body fat gain. Itís your bodyís defense mechanism because it thinks you are starving. To keep your leptin levels normal and hence keep your appetite sated and your RMR at optimal levels, it is helpful to have occasional over-feedings (particularly of carbohydrates). This could be one day a week where you forget all about your diet and eat whatever you want in whatever quantities you want. Most likely youíre going to consume a lot of high carbohydrate foods, which will aid in increasing your leptin levels. Try to make the majority of your overfeeding day comprised of carbs, but avoid sodas or other sources of high fructose corn syrup. Also, try to go approximately 1000 calories higher than your maintenance caloric intake for the overfeeding day to assure a good response.

    You could still lose a pound a week even with the overfeeding day. For example, if you stay at a 750-calorie/day deficit below your maintenance level during the other six days/week, and youíre 1000 calories over your maintenance during the overfeeding day, thatís still a 3500-calorie deficit for the week (+1000 - 750x6 = -3500). Since the overfeeding is only one day per week, it will not ruin the benefits of the other six days per week where youíre following a good diet, and will actually supercharge your metabolic rate to make sure you keep your fat loss efforts on track. What youíre actually doing is tricking your body into thinking that food is plentiful once again and it doesnít have to lower your metabolic rate since it no longer thinks youíre starving. Besides being important physiologically for maintaining continual fat loss, the overfeeding day is also very important mentally by giving you that one day a week to look forward to where you can overeat and not worry about it. Knowing that your overfeeding day is coming soon, youíre able to stick to your diet throughout the week.

  2. #2
    M302_Imola's Avatar
    M302_Imola is offline Knowledgeable Member
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    Dec 2007
    Glass Case of Emotion
    This is the basis of carb cylcing and the leaner you are the more refeed days you need, but don't have more than 2 refeed days per week. On refeed days I believe you still need to eat relatively low GI carbs, it's not a day to just splurge and eat whatever you like.

  3. #3
    mick86's Avatar
    mick86 is offline Member
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    Jan 2008
    interesting read, thanks

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