Has your weight loss plateaued? Try refeed days


man eating a plate of spaghetti

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People on a low-calorie diet can get trapped in a weight-loss slump. Having one or two glorious days marked on your calendar every month — called refeed days — can help jump-start your metabolism and get you out of your weight-loss rut.

Refeeding is when a person on a diet sets aside a day every two to four weeks to indulge themselves with foods their diet normally restricts. Ideally, refeed meals are primarily carbohydrate-based to jump-start leptin levels, which regulate hunger and metabolism — great news for carb lovers; not so great for those who wish to dig into a pint of ice cream.

How does it work?

When a person goes on a diet, his or her body eventually grows accustomed to consuming less food or less of a certain macronutrient than it previously had to. After a while, the body begins to slow down its metabolism to compensate for the lower levels of energy.

Refeeding on carb-based foods helps to rejuvenate your metabolism so that your weight loss doesn’t plateau. It also raises your level of leptins to keep you from feeling hunger pangs or intense hunger during your diet.

Dieting is also more psychologically endurable when refeed days are routinely incorporated. It’s much easier for someone to resist temptation for two weeks or a month knowing a refeed day is just around the corner.

Once you have finished pigging out, you should become more enthusiastic about hopping back on your diet plan and into the gym — now that your cravings have been satisfied.