While both are beneficial only one is optimal.
A cheat meal usually turns out to an all you can eat buffet of food, most likely consisting of food that has high fat content. Although this meal can be put in to place for mental ease and with the intention to fill glycogen stores, quite a bit of damage can be done as far as hindering progress.
A refeed day can be very helpful and still provide mental comfort as well as filling the glycogen stores. Being strategic with this method ensures that glycogen stores are being filled with very little chance of those extra calories being turned into fat. Due to the fact that a refeed day consists of mainly carbohydrates. (Granted you implement the refeed correctly).
Which leads me to the second part of this post.
The body uses carbohydrates as a primary source of fuel. When fed an abundance of carbohydrates the glycogen stores will be filled and the glucose stored will be used to aid in recovery and energy for training. Vs. a high calorie possibly(most likely) high fat meal where as the energy breakdown, storage, and utilization is sub optimal in regards to achieving physical changes and increasing training output, which ultimately leads to more fat being used for fuel.
So how do you decide how to structure your refeed day? Simple.
You double your normal carbohydrate intake distributed evenly throughout the day. Granted you are indeed eating structurally and are in a true caloric deficit implementing a refeed day will aid in fat loss by increasing leptin levels slightly and if you really want to raise those leptin levels maybe a refeed week would be your route, but that’s for another post.
Article written by Jessie Casas of Bold Strength Fitness.
Contact Jessie firstname.lastname@example.org or by Phone (312) 206-5102.
Coaching includes: structured meal/macro planning. Customized training/exercise planning. Weekly check ins and assessments. Unlimited support. Weekly 1 on 1 phone call.