I just ended my fall cutting phase. It has been a long road of resilience, grinding, and discipline. I am proud to have made it though.
I survived and lost about 20 pounds in the process. Woohoo. I am a boss.
Great. Now that I achieved my goal....What now? Where do we go from here?
Good questions. This part of the process where most guys and girls actually fuck up and up putting back on twice as much weight as they lost.
This is because they begin stuffing their face again immediately after they discontinue cutting.
DO NOT do this. This will put you on the express lane to FAT CITY.
I do not know about you but I am not going to piss away all my hard work during the cut phase.
I did not cut just to put the fat right back on.
But this does happen to countless people. Over and over and over again.
The trick to getting past this is inputting a refeeding phase (aka reverse dieting) right after your cut is over.
Most people do not know how to properly do that and I will cover that in this post. Too many people fuck this up.
It also does not help that mainstream fitness outlets do not cover this topic at all. This might be the most important part of cutting and actually keeping the fat off forever.
So sit tight. In this article will explain why you need to refeed and how avoid gaining back all the weight you lost.
Also how guys should handle re feeding if they used anabolics or T3 during their cut. So we have a lot to talk about.
Let's get started.
Why You Need To Refeed
A lot of you guys have been around the gym for a good bit. So I am you are more aware of your bodies than most people.
However, like other posts I have written in the past, I need to put some things in context in order for the rest of the post to make sense.
Anyway, when you put your body into an extreme caloric deficit (necessary to lose weight), your metabolism or natural T3 production will eventually slow down.
From my experience, the thyroid usually takes around 4 weeks to adjust. That is when most people see you a slow down in their weight loss.
That is why. Your metabolism slow down so your body does not breakdown and starve itself to death.
Which is what would happen if your body maintained the same metabolic production over a extended length of time while on an extreme caloric deficit.
It is purely a survival mechanism the body has installed in place to keep you alive in cases of extended non consumption periods. It's pretty amazing actually.
So fast forward to end the of your cut. You have been at a caloric deficit for 8 or 9 weeks. Your metabolism has definitely slowed down.
Your body is trying to work itself into bringing its new caloric maintenance down to whatever caloric amount you are consuming during your cut.
Now you guys are not dumb. Think about this logically.
Does it make sense to jump back to your old (pre cut) caloric intake right after your cut when your metabolism is at less than peak production?
It does not make sense to eat everything in sight after cutting. Your body will store those extra calories as fat due to lower metabolic production.
Therefore, you will gain tons of weight back in fat (likely more than weight you lost during your cut).
Just like that, in 4 to 8 weeks, you are back to fat mess you were before started your cut. If not worse.
So how do keep yourself from gaining back all weight you all during cut?
Good question. You do not want stay at caloric deficit for an extended period of time (another mistake tons of guys make).
That can permanently damage your thyroid production and mess with other parts of your body.
What you need to do allow your metabolism to slowly adjust back to itself old levels of production.
You do that by slowly adding calories back into your diet and slowly lowering your cardio down over the course of 8 weeks or so.
You need to refeed your body.
Makes sense. Right? It is a very simple concept that a lot guys fuck up.
I would say it is the #1 reason most guys cannot stay ripped for extended periods of time.
They simply do not have the discipline to keep counting calories or do early morning cardio for a couple more weeks.
Or they are putting zero thought into their cutting phases. Or both.
Do not be one of these guys. Put some thought into your post cutting phases.
Plan out how you want to refeed. Similar to how you plan out your anabolic cycle and post cycle therapy.
During post cycle therapy, we are trying to restore natural testosterone after it has been suppressed or shutdown for an extended period of time.
It takes time (a couple weeks) for our body to return to normal have full hormonal balance again. Given that their are no outstanding medical issues.
There are is a very similar process for your thyroid to return to normal production. Refeeding is like post cycle therapy for your metabolism.
We are trying to restore balance by making incremental increases in your caloric intake week by week.
This will give your thyroid time adjust and catch up. Your metabolism will slowly adjust back to full production while minimizing fat gain.
The process is simple but it requires thought to plan out. This process is very easy to mess up.
Let me lay out how you should do things.
How To Refeed
There will always be several dependents here. Such as:
- How extreme your caloric deficit was
- How big you are, body type, and how much muscle mass you have
- How long you were cutting for
- Any T3 supplementation
That is just to name a few things that you need to consider during this process.
You want to increase your calories weekly. There are some people that increase their calories by up to 80-100 per week. This is a very aggressive approach to refeeding.
While others increase their calories as little as 20-30 per week. This is a very cautious approach to refeeding. Probably the best one for beginners as well. You can gage how your body responds to the caloric increases.
I will be right in the middle at 65 calorie increase per week during my refeed. I am more experienced and have experimented in with refeeding in the past. I know what works for my body.
My increase in calories will come in carbs and fats. My protein intake will stay the same for the most part. I will explain more below.
How long is the refeeding process?
This process usually takes 8-12 weeks. Your thyroid is very resilient in the beginning of the process.
Since I do not know your specific situation, I will show you what I will be doing on my refeeding program and how I plan on timing the process.
Rebel Ray's Refeeding Program
So I start my refeeding directly after my post cycle therapy. I been consistently eating around 1700 calories a day for the past couple weeks and doing 60+ minutes of cardio.
I want to be eating at a caloric maintenance of 2600-2700. I know my body is very sensitive to rapid caloric increases so I am going to take a cautious approach.
I will instantly increase my calories to 1800 (in protein) and 50 minutes of a day (2 twenty five minute cardio sessions a day).
I will increase my calories by 65 per week and decrease my cardio session by 5 minutes a week. My increase calories will come in carbs and fats.
I will use My Fitness Pal mobile app to track my calories and exercise on a daily basis.
Structural Breakdown Of Refeed Phase
Week 1 - 1800 calories, 50 minutes/day of cardio
Week 2 - 1865 calories, 45 minutes/day of cardio
Week 3 - 1930 calories, 40 minutes/day of cardio
Week 4 - 1995 calories, 35 minutes/day of cardio
Week 5 - 2060 calories, 30 minutes/day of cardio
Week 6 - 2125 calories, 25 minutes/day of cardio
Week 7 - 2190 calories, 25 minutes/day of cardio - 5 times/week
Week 8 - 2255 calories, 25 minutes/day of cardio - 5 times/week
Week 9 - 2320 calories, 25 minutes/day of cardio - 4 times/week
Week 10 - 2385 calories, 25 minutes/day of cardio - 4 times/week
Week 11 - 2450 calories, 25 minutes/day of cardio - 3 times/week
Week 12 - 2515 calories, 25 minutes/day of cardio - 3 times/week
Week 13 - 2580 calories, 25 minutes/day of cardio - 3 times/week
Week 14 - 2645 calories, 25 minutes/day of cardio - 3 times/week
My increase in calories comes in fats and carbs. You protein intake should always stay high whether you are cutting, refeeding, maintaining, recomping, or bulking.
When you cut, you decrease calories in the form of carbs and fats. When you refeed, you do the opposite.
Weeks 1-6, I am doing cardio 6 times per week. Week 7-10, I take away a cardio session every two weeks.
Over the last 4 weeks of the refeed, I just do 3 sessions a week. That is how much I do during my regular regimes. So it is like returning to normal for me.
My refeed process is going to take about 3.5 months. If it goes as expected. If I notice, I am gaining at fat very quickly then I will decrease my weekly caloric increases to 40-50 calories per week.
Usually, keeping cardio high over the first couple weeks of the refeed helps keep fat off. So it's keep doing your cardio, at least for the first couple weeks.
But I Still Put On A Couple Pounds After Refeeding?!
Completely normal. Do not worry about it.
That is bound to happen after you have restricted your body of carbs and nutrients for an extended period of time.
Most of that weight is water and glycogen coming back into your muscles to make them full again.
As long, you are not gaining a pound a week then you are good. A pound or two a month is fine.
I usually gain 3-5 pounds back during the refeed process. It's no big deal because you will still look good (assuming you cut below 10% bodyfat).
What If You Researched T3 During Your Cut Cycle
If you researched T3 during your cycle then you will need to keep up your same cutting regime for 4 weeks after discontinuation.
This is because it will take about 4 weeks for your thyroid to get back to operating normally. In the meantime, you will have a very low metabolism.
Remember your thyroid production was suppressed or shutdown during your research period of T3.
So it will take a couple weeks for metabolic production to get back to normal. Then after that 4 week period, you start refeeding.
This will be the case for me during my refeeding period. I will keep up my cardio regime for 4 weeks and start refeeding.
There you have it. Here you have a solid guide on how to refeed.
Just remember to start this directly after you finish your cut. Do not inflate your calories too quickly or you will get fat.
Slowly bring up your calories by 50 a week and decrease your cardio sessions by 5 minutes per week to start until you are only doing 20 minutes of cardio a day.
Then take way one cardio from your weekly regime every two weeks until you are only doing 2-3 cardio sessions per week.
Do not worry about gaining a couple pounds. It is just water and glycogen.
If you are gaining back too much fat then you are going up in calories too quickly or you are not properly counting your calories.
I know some of you guys have never heard of this process but I encourage you to stay disciplined while refeeding.
It will pay off and you will stay shredded. This is how you can maintain an amazing physique and not piss away your hard work from your cut.
In part 2, we will discuss what supplies you can use during your refeed to speed up the process and help minimize fat gain.
Let's go. Until next time.
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