Category 1 dieters

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In general, category 1 dieters are athletes and bodybuilder types who are trying to get extra lean for either competition or appearance reasons. Meaning they are generally in exercise category 1, involved in fairly intensive weight and/or endurance training. Which isn't to say that there couldn't be non-athlete individuals in this category, I simply doubt they are in the majority.

Unless they are genetically predisposed towards staying lean (in which case they probably aren't reading this booklet), category 1 dieters tend to have the worst problems with metabolic slowdown and the rest of the issues I described back in chapter 3 which is the main reason that I suggest that they do a refeed as often and for as long as I do. Psychological stuff is a little less predictable, usually folks at that level are pretty good about their diets and aren't trying to fix long-standing food control issues. At the same time, dieting to extreme leanness is usually a miserable experience and the psychological benefits of free meals and refeeds are important as well.

As I mentioned already, category 1 dieters tend to be involved in either a lot (endurance athletes) or fairly high intensity (everybody else) activity. This means that they tend to deplete a lot of glycogen and exercise performance can become a very real issue along with everything else. Frankly, category 1 dieters would probably be better off with something like my Ultimate Diet 2.0 (you're probably wondering just how many times I can mention that damn thing) but not everybody wants a plan that rigid or extreme which is why I'm discussing general flexible dieting approaches here.

Because of the amount of glycogen depleting exercise that they do, overall good muscular insulin sensitivity and everything else, individuals in this category who are in exercise category 1 can 'get away' with the most during their structured refeeds. This includes both the amount of carbs that they can consume as well as the types; category 1 dieters can consume the largest amounts of carbs and tend to handle junkier stuff a little bit better. Which isn't to say that most can get away with all junk-food refeeds, simply that there tends to be more leeway.

I want to note here that the only difference between exercise category 1 and 2 dieters is that category 2 dieters should always start with the lower amount of carbohydrate recommendations; since they aren't as glycogen depleted going into the refeed, excess carbohydrates tend to have more problems 'spilling over' into fat cells. With that said, let's look at amounts of carbohydrates for each of the different length refeeds.

As per table 1, for 5 hour refeeds, a range of 1.5-3 grams of carbohydrate per pound of lean body mass (roughly 3-6.5 grams/kg for metrically inclined readers) is suggested. So for someone with 160 pounds of lean body mass, that's 240-480 grams of carbohydrates over a 5 hour span which would be divided up roughly evenly across 3 meals. That's 80-160 grams of carbs per meal. Which really isn't that much when you start looking at some of the more highly concentrated starches (some of the bigger bagels can contain 40 grams of carbs, for example and a big bowl of pasta probably contains that many carbohydrates easily).

As well, depending on the level of glycogen depletion, some people can get away with far more carbohydrates than that. Again, I strongly suggest starting conservatively and increasing the amounts based on your results. If you find yourself getting fuller (muscularly) and leaner after your refeeds, you can try increasing the amounts. If you find yourself waking up flat and puffy, you either ate too many total carbohydrates or ate too much sucrose or fructose and need to alter either the quality or quantity of your refeed.

For longer refeeds, the amounts of carbs that can and should be consumed go up as you would expect. For a 1 day refeed, somewhere between 4-6 grams/pound of lean body mass (about 9-13 grams/kilogram) is going to be appropriate. So our 160 pound lean body mass individual would consume somewhere between 640 and 960 grams of carbohydrates over this time span. Over 6 or so meals, you're looking at somewhere between 100 and 160 grams per meal or so.

If you work it out, eating this amount of carbohydrates along with protein and moderate amounts of fat will tend to raise calories to maintenance or higher levels. If you're wondering why the numbers are slightly different than what I presented in my Ultimate diet 2.0, it's because I can't be sure that category 1 dieters are completely glycogen depleted going into the refeed; hence I'm erring on the side of too few carbs rather than too many.

The reason that you don't just get fat again is that, in the short-term, incoming carbohydrates go to muscle and liver glycogen first, energy production second, and fat storage last. So under conditions of glycogen depletion, the body can handle this type of calorie overload in the short-term without getting fat. The issue of calorie partitioning is discussed in excruciating detail in, you guessed it, The Ultimate Diet 2.0.

Finally, for a 2 day refeed, dieters simply add a second day of carbohydrate overfeeding to the standard 1 day refeed. Since muscle glycogen stores will have been replenished greatly, you don't get to eat nearly as many carbohydrates or calories during the second day of refeeding. So while 4-6 grams/lb was appropriate for the first 24 hours, perhaps half of that or an additional 2-3 grams/lb (4-6 grams/kg or so) would be appropriate during the second 24 hours.

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