Leptin and why you might need a refeed day
Leptin and Why you might need a refeed day
Those who have been training for a long period of time and have found themselves down to single percent or low double digit body fat percentages. A problem can occur the slowing down of fat burning potential to spite maintaining a meticulous regiment. This occurrence can be brought on by any number of reasons. One of which I want to explore today, being lower leptin levels.
Leptin is a protein secreted from fat cells that help to send signals to the brain that allow us to know we are "well fed", and it is time to play in other words it regulates mood and appetite. Adversely, lower leptin levels are an indication that it is time to hunt for food and that playtime is over. The leptin levels also correspond with fat tissue in the body meeting that technically leaner people have lowered leptin levels than their overweight counterparts. However, it has been found with people suffering from obesity. Although they should be having a higher concentration of this protein being secreted they have found that these individuals have become leptin resistant and raising their levels does nothing to improve their health. Therefore, they do not receive the signals necessary to understand when enough is enough calorically and leaves them feeling hungry and tired.
Counter to this, when the body is experiencing an energy deficit or has a lower amount of body fat increasing leptin levels can be very effective. This is because when leptin levels are below baseline the body begins to slow down metabolic processes due partly to the decrease in free fat masses. It is believed that leptin is a cause for the slowing of weight loss during long-term diets. Administration of LinkedIn to reproduce subjects found a restoration of pre-weight loss metabolic levels and muscle efficiency.
This brings us to incorporating LOW glycemic carbohydrate refeed days into our regiment. Carbohydrates have the greatest effect in raising leptin levels because fat and protein has very little effect at all. Taking a day out of the week to increase your intake 25 to 35% over your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) the most prominent macronutrient being carbohydrates while maintaining same amount of protein as in the other day and decreasing the amount of fat intake to between 20 and 10% of your total intake. On this day your carbohydrate should be frontloaded to beginning of your eating window and shouldn’t come from low glycemic carbohydrates like ice cream and donuts and other garbage.
After a prolonged period of dieting, you may want to incorporate re-feed days periodically to keep your body on the straight and narrow to your low body fat goals. In no way are refeed days necessary. However, the impact it will have on your appetite and mood cannot be ignored.