Refeed days to burn fat! How it works

Refeed days to burn fat! How it works

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Including refeed days to burn fat is becoming increasingly popular.

In fact, it could be one of the best kept secrets to weight loss out there!

But, first of all we need to understand how does a refeed day work?

If you are more serious about nutrition and monitoring your diet closely, including a refeed day every now and then can definitely boost your fat burning.

But there is one important rule!

Refeed days will only be beneficial when you are on a calorie deficit diet.

I’ll also explain the difference between a refeed day and a cheat day.

refeed day

What is the purpose of a refeed day?

The purpose of including refeed days is to boost your metabolism to burn fat faster and also increase your leptin levels (fat burning hormone) when on a calorie deficit diet. 

How a refeed day works

When you are on a fat loss diet you will be consuming less calories than your daily recommended calorie intake if you were to maintain your body weight.

But although a low calorie diet makes sense that you would be losing body fat, studies show that your metabolism slows down during this period.

Why? Because it is trying to conserve energy.

It actually resets itself to burn less calories during this calorie deficit phase.

This is where a refeed day can be beneficial in
kick starting your fat burning. 

You boost your carbohydrate intake for the day to maintenance level or above (everyone’s maintenance level is different depending on any factors).

By doing this you increase your metabolism rate resulting in your body being able to burn more fat.

By doing this you may feel like you have gone backwards in your fat loss journey, but in actual fact by having a refeed, you have boosted your fat loss journey.

How often should  include a refeed day?

Refeed days to burn fat should not be used as an excuse to over eat.

Nor should you be having a refeed day every second, third or fourth day.

How often you should include one will depend greatly on your current body fat percentage, your current diet and your exercise regine.

Not everyone knows their body fat percentage so if you are thinking of going on a calorie deficit diet and including a refeed day it might be a good idea see a nutritionist or expert who can help work out your current body fat.

They can help you determine how often you should include a refeed day.

But here is a rough guideline;

If you are above 20% body fat I would recommend a refeed day once every 3-4 weeks.

Between 10-20% once every 2 weeks and below 10% once per week.

cheat day vs refeed day

Difference between a refeed day and a cheat day 

People often confuse a refeed day and a cheat day.

It’s easy to do, because with both of them you are allowing yourself to eat various types of foods that normally wouldn’t be included in your daily diet. Or, if they are, they are in smaller quantities. 

Cheat days

A cheat day can be defined in different ways depending on the individual and how closely they monitor there diet.

But an overall definition of a cheat day is not monitoring your daily food and macro intake, allowing yourself to eat whatever you like and as much as you like for one day.

A cheat day unlike a refeed day, often isn’t planned for in advance.

It is usually taken when an individual feels like having a cheat day or is having sudden cravings.

A cheat day might make you feel good at the time, but it is most likely going to set you back in your fat loss goals.

Refeed days

A refeed day on is usually planned for in advance.

They are worked into a calorie deficit diet, usually  every one, too or three weeks to boost your metabolism and increase fat burning that has slowed down while in a calorie deficit.

During refeed days, although you are increasing your carbohydrate intake by 100%, you are still aware of the amount of food and calories you are consuming.

It may feel like you are having a “cheat day” because you get to eat a lot more food, namely carbs,but your diet is still being monitored and controlled.


So we’ve established that a refeed day is when you increase your carbohydrate intake by 100% for one day.

When is a refeed day beneficial?

Refeed days can be very beneficial when on a calorie deficit diet.

Including a refeed day appropriately can increase your metabolism and boost your body’s ability to burn fat.

Its like taking one step back and three forward.

What’s your thoughts on a refeed day? And what would be your choice of food on a refeed day?

Feel free to leave a comment below!

You might also be interested in my article on How to lose weight easily without counting calories.

My 21-Day Weight Loss Plan is a very easy to follow, flexible plan that requires zero calorie counting. For a closer look at exactly what is inside the plan you can check it out here. 

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