Below is a super short 1-minute video from some brand-new data that was just presented at the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) Annual meeting from Dr. Bill Campbell.
I visited Dr. Campbell’s lab in May and got to hear about this data and chat with him there.
They worked to answer the question:
Should you just linearly keep the same reduction in calories, or is it better to spike calories on specific “cheat” days?
The strict “calories in / calories out” crowd would say that it does not matter since you are in the same caloric deficit in both groups. My guess before he told me the results was that the non-linear approach would be better – although I’ve been wrong many times before.
In this study, they investigated resistance trained subjects and reduced their calories by 25% over 7 weeks. They were randomized them into 2 groups: 1) continuous decrease in calories 2) intermittent carbohydrate refeed group – where they had a diet break with 2 back to back days of higher calories.
Both groups lost the same amount of weight
However, the group with 2 days of higher carbs did not lose any lean body mass (LBM) compared to the continuous group that did lose LBM.
Based off this preliminary data, it appears that having 2 days of back to back higher carbs may be beneficial during a cutting phase to keep more lean body mass and did not interfere with fat loss.