Periodic overfeeding, or calorie surpluses, has the exact opposite effects of chronic caloric restriction. A day or two of refeeding can offset the metabolic downshift that occurs with dieting. It can boost leptin, and subsequently testosterone, growth hormone, and thyroid to normal, pre-diet levels.
So what's the answer if you want to trim some fat while maintaining all of that muscular goodness, and don't want to suffer some of the metabolic and hormonal drawbacks of more extreme dieting methods? You may just need some cyclical dieting strategies to re-sensitize the body to the fat burning process, bust through a plateau, and lose that last layer of flab that has been holding on for dear life.
There are many cyclical dieting strategies that can work well. Here are two that I use when its called upon
STRATEGY #1: The 5-2 Refeed
If you still have some body fat to lose, I recommend spending the majority of your week in a calorie deficit.
If you are interested in body re-composition (maintaining current weight while improving quality of that weight, simultaneous but subtle shifts in muscle gain and fat loss, etc.), cycle days of lower calories to optimally burn fat with days of higher calories to support systematic recovery and muscle growth.
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