Do you ever hit major plateaus in fat loss? Keep eating a low calorie diet yet can’t seem to loose any fat, how ever much you bust your ass in the gym? You may be suffering from low levels of Leptin in your body and need a re-feed… Re-feed? To most fitness junkies this is a familiar word although most people don’t even have a general understanding of Leptin levels and shy away from re-feeds in the fear of putting on weight…. There are hundreds of amazing explanations online but most of them go all scientific and confusing on us… No body got time for that shit.. So i’m going to tryyyyyy to explain this as simply as possible so you can have worry free re-feeds and burn that fat away.. YIPPEE
So Leptin is a metabolic, anti starvation hormone found in the body. Leptin levels are reduced by a calorie defect of a reduce of body fat. When Leptin levels decrease, a message is send to the brain to pretty much say..don’t burn any body fat and eat more food.. This is why you can be dieting super strictly, training like mad and still loose no weight. Sucks right? On top of this you find your self super hungry all the time where the brain is telling you to eat more food. This makes dieting super hard! You may also find your workouts are slacking from a lack of muscle glycogen stores for energy…. Sound familiar?
So how do we increase leptin levels? We eat a shit ton of carbs?!?! CARBS CARBS CARBS. Yes thats right. And not just the slow GI ones either. You can go to town on carbs. This is what we call a re-feed. It is a process of eating over your daily calorie allowance with a high percentage of carbs to bounce your body back out of starvation mode by raising the leptin levels. Don’t get too excited. This is not just a blow out cheat meal. You can kind of look at is as a controlled cheat meal...
To carry out a perfect re-feed you must increase your daily calorie consumption with carbs. You will eat 50%-100% more carbs than on a normal day from any carb sources containing no sucrose or fructose. Sucrose and fructose have no effects on leptin levels so we dont need these. While doing this you will reduce your fat intake to a minimum. This means eating no fatty foods and grams of fat you do consume will be a miniscule amount from the other foods you are eating. Protein intake must be taken to 1g per lbs of body weight.
The re-feed will usually be done over a 24 hour window every 4-7 days. The lower the body fat levels are.. the lower the calorie consumption.. the more often you will need to re-feed. You will generally find each re-feed can be slightly higher in carbs every time as well. I have been known to have re-feed days rocketing up to 700g of carbs!!! Your muscle glycogen stores will also be replenished which will give you amazing energy levels and strength in your workouts :).. Your shouldn’t worry too much about veggies on re-feeds as they contain a high level of fiber which will make you feel super duper full and may prevent you from eating enough carbs.
Best Carb Sources:
- Fat free Icecream
- Fat free Frozen yogurt
- Fat free Chips
- Cereal (frosties are the bombbbb)
Bellow is one of my favorite hearty re-feed meals. I will usually have a portion of this, followed by a huge tub of frozen yogurt and maybe a stack of pancakes with frosties on! Doesn’t get much better than that!!!!
Low Fat, Pumpkin Risotto
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 6 mushrooms
- 2 handfuls of chopped green beans
- 300g roast pumpkin
- 200g arborio rice
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1tsp paprika
- 1tsp cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups of vegetable stock
- 400g cooked chicken breast
- 400g low fat cottage cheese
Chop the onion, mushroom and garlic and combine in a pan on low heat with the turmeric, cumin, paprika, salt pepper and a splash of vegetable stock. Fry for around 3 minutes until the onion is browned. Add the rice and stir allowing it to absorb the flavor. Add the first cup of stock and stir regularly until all the liquid has absorbed. Once all the stock has been absorbed add the second cup of stock and continue to stir on a low heat. When all the liquid has been absorbed, check the rice has been cooked all the way through then chop and add the roast pumpkin and the green beans along with the cottage cheese. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes then remove from the heat. Serve and top with sliced chicken breast. ENJOY
p.s don’t weight your self after re-feed day. You will be heavier!