Reasons For a Refeed

From Michael Mastrucci (@themacrodiabetic)

Simply put, a refeed is a STRUCTURED increase in caloric intake (i.e. NOT a cheat meal/day or eating like an idiot). Regardless, wouldn’t an increase in calories in a cut be counterproductive? First, let’s take a look at reasons for a refeed.

You see, when spending longer periods of time in a deficit you can start to suffer from the effects of feeding your body less energy than it needs. This comes in many forms, but most notably things like decrease in performance/sleep quality/recovery, increase in hunger/cortisol, and more. Thus, a refeed serves to:
1. Improve mood, recovery, sleep, etc.
2. Increase energy, metabolic rate, and neat energy.
3. Physical/Mental relief from being in a cut.
4. Refill Glycogen.

When all is said and done, at the very worst, it might set you back a day or two of your deficit. But in the long run it’s no question the pros FAR outweigh the cons.

While a refeed can take different approaches, a good rule of thumb is to ensure you get enough protein (generally 0.8-1g per lb of body weight), low-moderate fat intake (depending on how many consecutive refeeds and the reason for them), and the rest of your calories to easily-digested carbs.

Remember that the goal is to get fuel back to your muscles as efficiently as possible. Choosing carb sources easily absorbed and not bombing your system with extra fiber and making digestion more difficult is something to consider when planning your refeed out!

However, you don’t need to default to chicken, broccoli, and white bread to hit your refeed cals. By all means use it as a mental break as much as a physical one and enjoy…carb up!

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