What is CKD and Refeeding?

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    • What is CKD and Refeeding?

      Okay the what is post :)

      What is CKD and Refeeding?

      Basically what a CKD or refeed is, is a periodic/cyclical carbohydrate refeed. How often depends on where you are at and what you're reading. Some say 24, 36 or 48 hours, heck even just half a day. They can be every week, fortnight or as often as twice a week. The one I did back in 2002 was once a week on a Saturday.

      Carbohydrates, generally involve all the really naughty high gi ones, though some like the 2 day refeeds may finish with lower glycemic ones (e.g. day one, high GI, day two Low GI). This is something you have to experiment with but remember, the whole point is to kick yourself straight out of ketosis and get that insulin cracking, shuttling all those carbohydrates into your muscles. When your muscles are very depleted of glycogen from low carbing and exercising, they tend to take in a little more sugars as muscle glycogen instead of fat.

      Why would we want to do this?

      Well a few reasons, one is to refill our muscle glycogen stores. Muscle glycogen helps gives us strength in our work outs, as well as provide a much better fuel when exercising intensely as well as helping muscle growth. Remember, the more muscle we have, the higher our metabolic need for fuel and the higher our fat burning. The last thing you want when dieting, is to lose muscle mass. Losing lots of muscle mass during dieting can make maintenance very difficult indeed!
      Not only that, not having the energy and strength we need for our workouts can seriously impact our calorie burning and motivation, which is really important when close to goal.

      Another good reason is hormones. Refeeds are thought to encourage leptin production. Leptin, thought to be a master hormone or an anti starvation hormone, that controls many different hormones, which are important to how our metabolism functions. E.g. I have read that leptin controls our thyroid hormones, growth hormones, leutinizing and follicular stimulating hormone (reproduction hormones) and corticotropin releasing hormone (stress response, cortisol) amongst others. When our leptin levels drop so does our fat loss.

      Leptin levels seem to correlate with our body fat levels and how much energy we take in. The more fed our body thinks it is the more leptin it makes. If I remember correctly, leptin is not stored in our fat cells but regulated by the amount of and size of fat cells which is why it doesn't really become noticeable until our body fat levels get low. This, is meant to have an effect on our appetite to tell us that we don't need to take in so much energy. When we have more energy going out then in, which happens when dieting, our body detects this and our leptin production slows down. When our leptin levels drop our appetite and carb cravings increase whilst important hormones like our thyroid hormones decrease and so does our immune system.

      [You might think, well then why is it that when I was obese and therefore I had high leptin levels I was hungry all the time.

      Just like we have insulin resistance, it seems it happens with leptin too. I assume that weight loss and exercise will help with leptin sensitivity like it does insulin.]

      Anyway, as you can imagine as we slim down and get close to goal we start to get very low on leptin. Our weight loss stops, we stall big time, our hormones go nuts (missing periods is a good sign that you're up to your neck in starvation mode!), our skin starts getting bad, we start craving sugar for no apparent reason, our appetite goes ballistic, we start catching colds left right and centre and our work outs start to suffer from sheer exhaustion.

      At this point refeeding is very beneficial and it is suggested that refeeding should start before you get to this stage. I was suffering every single one of those symptoms out of sheer stubbornness when I finally built up the courage.
      By refeeding it is suggested that our body will signal more leptin production that whilst not bringing us back to baseline will be enough if kept up regularly will keep our levels from dropping excessively.

      So what do you do during a refeed?

      Well basically you eat a high amount of carbohydrates with lowish fats and over maintenance level calories. Best carbohydrate sources are glucose and high gi starches. You want carbohydrates that are absorbed straight away so they can be shuttled straight to your muscles.
      You don't want to over consume fructose, fructose is a fruit sugar that needs to be converted in your liver, your liver doesn't hold all that much so any spillover will go to your waist line. Sugar is approximately half glucose and half fructose, of course you will also find fructose in fruit. Lactose from milk is another sugar that needs to be converted in the liver so I assume you would need to treat this the same. At the same time don't withhold it completely, refilling the liver is important too, though not all agree on this.

      Fat, you don't want to go too nuts with, but you want to have some fat so don't go overboard on cutting it out.

      I won't suggest any particular amounts on anything as this is something you need to experiment with to find what works for you. I will however provide some links that do.

      Keep in mind that bloating during a refeed isn't necessarily from the carbohydrates itself but is often from individual food intolerance's so you will need to experiment to find what carbs work best for you and you may actually find the more refined give less trouble (though that may not be the case with IBS etc).

      Supplements basic supplements like omega 3, zinc and vitamin E help with Leptin plus you may wish to take other supplements that help with carbohydrates like ALA, cinnamon, vinegar, lemon juice etc

      Exercise, normally these will involve a glycogen depleting workout before and after the refeed.


      Some links:

      These links below are old ones, they are some of the ones that I used back in 2002 I will look for some more recent ones later.

      The Ministry of Fitness: Leptin & Refeeding Article This site is gone but I found a copy of it on wayback machine, if you like it I recommend you save it in case it goes completely.

      Think Muscle: Carbing Up on the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet


      Mind and Muscle: Leptin The Next Big Thing, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6 (updated with the wayback machine as original articles appear to have gone poof)

      There were a few more things that I wanted to say but they have slipped my mind for now, too many distractions, will update if I think of anything else :)

      Oh another issue, is the psychological issue. I think how we feel about dieting plays a huge part in this too and knowing that you have a refeed coming up really does wonders when temptation pops its ugly head. It is so much easier to say no when you know you could always work it into your refeed day if you need it that bad!
      Also your less likely to feel deprived and stressed about everything, and you should feel less fatigue which I think all plays a big part on how your body handles weight loss.
      Of course in order for this to be effective you really have to get the other issues sorted out that helped you gain the weight in the first place. Whilst your glucose metabolism is up the creek or your binging is still very fresh then I would think this would do more harm then good and especially no good if you have diabetes etc!
      Low Carb in a Nutshell ~ Carb Counts ~ Research ~ Measurements/Conversions ~ Glossary


      Let me know if you think of anything else handy from the site to put here.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Sherrie: wayback ().

    • Re: What is CKD and Refeeding?



      Lyle's written another book - Flexible Dieting - which details how to plan and carry out refeeds. It's a great read, easy to understand. Highly recommend it. Even though I don't do very low carbs I still factor in a refeed every few weeks based on his research.
    • Re: What is CKD and Refeeding?

      Have you heard of the TNT diet? I have ordered the book from amazon. Oh I bought a weight lifint one as well something like The something Lifting rules for women. LOL
      Low Carb in a Nutshell ~ Carb Counts ~ Research ~ Measurements/Conversions ~ Glossary


      Let me know if you think of anything else handy from the site to put here.
    • Re: What is CKD and Refeeding?

      NROL? (New Rules of Lifting)? (for women)

      I'm familiar with NROL - for humans, lol, not specifically for women.

      I am not familiar with TNT. I've been getting most of my BB advice from bodyrecomposition.com (Lyle's site) which is probably why. I saw a TNT thread here; I'll have to check it out.