View Full Version : Help from the refeed experts

04-21-2003, 04:56 PM
I could use a little help from the refeed experts on this board. Here's the background:

I've read a lot about leptin and refeeds, but most of the questions/answers posted are not geared at a competitive female bodybuilder. I'm a natural figure athlete (figure in my fed is very lean, comparative to bodybuilding, just not as thick) with two comps coming up - state champs in three weeks and world champs in seven weeks. I follow the anabolic diet for cutting, and carb load using low gi carbs (primarily oatmeal) over 36 hrs each weekend (roughly 500 grams of carb). I'm down to 11% bodyfat - upper body is very lean and vascular but lower body is lagging. This is the leanest I've been; however, for a decent placing at the world champs, I need to get a couple bodyfat% leaner.

My diet stalled two weeks ago so I increased cardio - currently do three 20 min HIIT sessions/week and three-four 30 min steady state, moderate intensity sessions on top of lifting three times/week (all compound movements, combination of strength and hypertrophy training). My diet has stalled again, and this past week I've become extremely fatigued with poor sleep patterns. Strength hasn't dropped yet, but my cardio endurance is dropping.

My kcaloric intake averages 1500 kcals/day (staggered in ranges of 1200 - 2000 kcals on carb load day). With my activity level, I don't feel I can drop kcals further or increase cardio more without significant muscle loss. From my research, I should begin refeeds, but I'm apprehensive about 1) water retention from high GI carb intake, and 2) the potential for the refeed process to completely fail me. On Saturday, I did a mini-refeed to feel it out - 6 hours post workout - and ended up with 280 grams of carb (rice cakes and oatmeal) and ~2300 kcals. I felt pretty good on Sunday, had a great sprint workout, but woke up very fatigued again and barely made it through my 30 min steady state elliptical cardio session this morning.

I could really use some help with the following questions:

How often and how long should I refeed?

How many grams of carb and kcals should I intake? I'm assuming I was too conservative on Saturday. I'm refeeding right now, and plan to eat ~3000 kcals today. BTW - maintenance kcals for me are 2300; BMR is 1700 (5'10, 137 lbs., 32 yrs old, ~11% bodyfat).

What specific foods should I use, considering I'm female and working toward BB competition level leanness - I'm trying to avoid dairy and wheat products. Keep in mind I currently only carb load with oatmeal - I'm very conservative. :-)

What should I supplement with on a refeed day? I'm natty, but do use thermogenics (ephedrine hcl, caffeine, yohimbine hcl), for both the thermogenic effect and to elevate my extremely low blood pressure.

Should I workout differently during a refeed?

I appreciate any help you guys can provide.

04-21-2003, 05:21 PM
If you haven't read the following article it provides a lot of answers to many of your questions:


04-21-2003, 05:28 PM
Yep, I've read it. I think I've read everything out there; however, a lot of the information deals with people > 10% bodyfat.

I just wanted someone (another competitor or someone who's gotten very low bodyfat from this approach) to qualm my fears. I put in a lot of work and am very disciplined, and I'd hate to see it come undone.

04-21-2003, 06:16 PM
And keep in mind I've been dieting hard, have a lot of pressure to place well at the worlds, and am a little psycho right now. That's why I'm looking for reassurance. :-)

04-21-2003, 06:31 PM
being as hesitant as you are - you might try one big refeed broken up --> maybe 2 or more refeeds in the week split 3/4 days apart. i don't think the water retention should be an issue as you are still 3 wks out from the next show and you can lose any excess water in less than a day or two (jump in the sauna or tanning bed).

i find that all wheat products make me bloated on refeeds so, besides oatmeal, i would try brown rice, peas, and sweet potatoes for complex carbs.

good luck at the comp!

i think you could drop the yohimbine during refeed as you probably are not going to be burning fat just then. continue with the other supps.

04-21-2003, 10:51 PM
JJFigure, aren't you calories a little low for your activity level?

04-22-2003, 06:11 AM
Yes, Ironman8. I went through my last diet log, and I was actually averaging more kcals than I am right now. when I bumped my cardio, I should have bumped my kcals - I'm rectifying that error now. :-)

04-22-2003, 11:51 AM
Heh heh, that's good :thumbup: