When your body nears your goal weight, refeeding might be necessary. Your body fights against lower weights, but refeeds reassure it that you’re not starving. This method helps to shed stubborn body fat! Unfortunately, controllable refeeds can turn into unbearable binges. Weight regained after a refeed is temporary ‘water weight’ that goes once you return to weight loss. Regain after consistent binging causes permanent fat gain, which needs to be worked off again.
So how can you tell whether you’re binge eating or refeeding? You’re about to find out…
Some people refeed once a week. Others interchange between a few days of weight loss and 1-2 days at weight maintenance. Either way, refeeds are scheduled according to each person’s plan.
Binges are the complete opposite. You might start the day well for weight loss success, but end up binge eating by nightfall. Binges could last for several days or just at the week-ends, depending on when the urge to binge strikes.
Refeeding involves self-control. You eat when you’re hungry and have bigger portions or more calories than when you’re losing weight.
On the other hand, binge eating is manic. You pack your plate with food, stuff it all down your throat, and then rush to the kitchen for more. You want to stop the binge, but you don’t because overeating can feel like an out-of-body experience. Besides, you can always start again tomorrow…
Refeeds are comfortable. They give you a nice break from the feeling of deprivation caused by weight loss calorie ranges. Now you can eat high calorie foods like pizza and burgers. It’s valuable time off for your mind and body, so you can sit back and relax before returning to weight loss.
Binges are very uncomfortable, emotionally and physically. Emotionally, you know overeating this much is unhealthy, but for that moment you just don’t care. Instead of stopping when you’re comfortable and satisfied, you eat more for reasons other than hunger or refeeding. Physically, your stomach is stuffed until it hurts – I often looked pregnant during my worst binges – and the thought of more food might make you feel or be sick.
4. Calorie Intake
Calorie intakes for refeeding during weight loss vary from weight maintenance to slightly into weight gain. For example, I lose weight on 1300 cals a day, so I might refeed on 1800 cals to maintain or eat 2200 cals to edge into weight gain.
Binge eating calorie intakes are HUGE. Instead of that 1800-2200 calorie refeed, a binge might consist of AT LEAST 3000 cals, most likely even higher. After a certain point, you give up counting altogether because it’s hard to count everything, and very depressing when you consider the fat you’re regaining.
Some scheduled refeeds last from 1 hour to 2 days, which is perfect for a sociable week-end. It provides time to stop dieting and focus on living. Eat those calories you’ve been saving for that special treat or holiday! Don’t bore people with diet talk or turn down high calorie snacks – chill out.
Once a binge hits, it’s hard, but not impossible, to get back on track. One binge day turns into several, and those days turn into weeks. Eventually you’re binge eating more than you’re not. A temporary spike on the scale leads to gradual increases over time until your weight loss is history! Seeing the higher scale weight is a great way to snap out of the chaos!
Be honest when you read over the differences between binge eating and refeeding. Lying to yourself will only hurt in the long run. If you’re refeeding, good for you! Keep an eye out for signs of binge eating. If you’re binging, look over the refeed descriptions to see how to change one step at a time.
If you’re tempted to let the binge eating continue, please don’t! When I was losing weight, I realised my refeeds were turning into binges, but did nothing. This led to almost 20lbs of weight regain, some of that fat. I could have reached my goal weight sooner if I’d accepted the differences between binging and refeeding. Stop the binges now or you’ll pay later….