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I need a refeed week.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

March
30
2011
Get in my belly.

Get in my belly.

The past 12+ weeks of cutting have been awesome: I’ve had plenty of energy, my motivation has been off the charts, my cardio has improved drastically, my strength is up and the fat has come off consistently and with no stalls. This past week, however, I’ve been feeling pretty sluggish, my strength is down and mentally I’m having trouble focusing. I’m so close to my goal that I could simply push through for another couple of weeks with no change to my diet, but I’m afraid that could lead to muscle loss or even injury. Feeling weak and lethargic sucks.

I think for the remainder of the week I’m going to do a “refeed”: the same clean foods I always eat (I’m not talking about junk food here), but more calories and more carbs. It’s still March and I’m already pretty much at my goal of 7% body fat, so I really don’t mind if this extends my cut by a week or so (and who know, maybe it won’t at all).

In fact, part of me considered ending the cut now. I mean, I’ve already lost another pound since Sunday and I’m probably around 7.5% body fat right now. I’m very happy with how I look at this body fat level, so continuing to cut when I’m feeling this way is kind of pointless. But I set the 7% goal, and I’m going to reach it. I think 8% body fat is probably going to be my target from now on, however. I don’t even plan to maintain 7% body fat, so at this point continuing to lose fat is more of an exercise in self-discipline than anything else.

John Stone Fitness Comments

15 Responses to “I need a refeed week.”
  1. NFW!!! Dude, you are .5% away from your goal. Your body is starving, to be sure, and this is where it GETS TOUGH. Far be it for me to even comment given the way you have always inspired myself and thousands of others, but I really think you just need a pep talk. You’re at about mile 24 of a marathon.
    It is WEDNESDAY. You have 3.5 lousy days until Sunday measurements! You probably have 10 lousy days to goal!!! Stay the course my friend. If anything, I know you’d be reluctant to do so, but perhaps THIS is the time to jump on a fat burner for the remaining 10 days and perhaps pick up some energy from it at the same time. Even without that suggestion (and I can see you rolling your eyes!) YOU will be much happier looking back at this if you stepped up and pushed through. Perhaps time to increase your water intake. Adjust your training to guard against injury if you are feeling fatigued. Also, set up a photo shoot day for two weeks out as motivation and to capture all your hard work in detail. Stay thirty my friend.

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    • Dude, chill. πŸ™‚ I’m not stopping my cut. I’m eating a little more (and still 100% clean) for a few days because I’m feeling as weak as a kitten and absolutely exhausted.

      You need to remember than the body fat goal is secondary to everything else. Health and fitness are my top priorities now, and if you keep that in mind you’ll see that FOR ME this is the smartest thing to do. If you want to diet down to a given body fat percentage while feeling horrible and taking fat burners, then I invite you to do so… I’m not doing that. I’ll still reach my goal, but I’m not going to do it while ignoring everything my body is telling me.

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  2. I agree with you John, I’ve been cutting for 12 weeks as well and feel the same way, it flat out sucks! I’m going to soldier through this week and then do a refeed. Dont let anyone sway you from your decision, you’ve been doing this long enough to know when YOUR body is trying to tell you something.

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  3. John, whatever you choose to do regarding your cut (excuse the pun, but cutting it early, or not) you’ve achieved phenomenal results and true professional. Well done!

    However, having “lurked” for a good 5 years I guess I know a little about you from what I read in your blog, and I think if you don’t do the 7%, even though, as you say, it’s kind of a paper exercise from where you currently stand, I think it will niggle you.

    Enjoy the refeed – I know your muscles will, and of course you’ll get that extra spring in your step.

    Mark

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  4. I’m as chilled as a cucumber. I hear you. You know your body best and do have your own reasons. Not trying to “armchair quarterback” but rather provide a cheering section if one is needed (or wanted!). And, not for nothing, but I have been at 7% before and it is grueling: light-headed, faint, weak, irritable. Believe me, I get it. Be extra good to yourself right now, too, you deserve it. It’s a good time to get a massage. Peace.

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    • I appreciate your intentions, I know you mean well and I was not referring to you specifically in my response to Craig. I choose to put myself out there, and so having my choices critiqued and dissected is part of the package. That doesn’t mean I’m going to agree with everyone, though. Ultimately I’m going to make the right choice for me.

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  5. Good plan John! I’ll be interested to see the results in next week’s measurements. I’ve always been quite “carb sensitive” (as in, I lose fat a lot faster when I keep my carbs fairly low and make the rest of the calories up with healthy fats), but I’ve never really experimented with refeeds.

    I have to say, having the level of self control you have (i.e. you decide to do something, and then do it) is something we should all strive to cultivate in our own lives. It’s what I’m aiming for, anyway. πŸ™‚

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    • I seem to have the “all or nothing” thing down pretty well, but my moderation skills need a lot of work. Moderation is the hardest thing for me, and that’s something I’ve been struggling with for years. I’m getting better at it, but staying below 10% for the rest of the year is going to be a real challenge for me.

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  6. Just to give you guys an idea of what I’m talking about here, today’s meals will only be ~400 calories (total) higher than normal, most of that coming from clean carbs.

    I would not be surprised if the extra food, which really isn’t that much at all, doesn’t affect my fat loss progress this week.

    Any suggestion that a few days of clean refeeding is somehow breaking my cutting diet is just flat-out wrong. Refeeds while cutting are commonplace. The only uncommon thing is that I’ve manged to go more than 12 weeks without one.

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