Free shipping & returns on all US orders
Shopping Cart ()
Have a question? Call us now: 888-908-4258

James Krieger on the Science of Diet Breaks and “Refeeds”

Written by:
James Krieger on the Science of Diet Breaks and “Refeeds”

If you want to know what the latest science has to say about how diet breaks and “refeeds” affect fat loss, you want to listen to this podcast.

The first few weeks of a cut are usually smooth sailing. You aren’t that hungry, your energy levels are good, and you’re still enjoying your workouts.

Somewhere around the four- to six-week mark, however, the other shoe begins to drop. You’re starting to feel hungrier leading up to meals and less satisfied after. Your energy levels begin to sag, and especially in the afternoons. You’re no longer progressing in your workouts, which are feeling harder and harder.

There are two schools of thought on what to do next:

  1. Grit your teeth and keep dieting so you can move on to the fun stuff as soon as possible (maintaining and lean gaining).
  2. Take periodic diet breaks where you increase your calorie intake to maintenance for several days or weeks, then continue dieting after your reprieve.

Many diet break advocates say that taking a break here and there can speed up your metabolism, help preserve muscle mass, and even “hack” your hormones to supercharge fat loss.

Others claim diet breaks offer no real benefit beyond “feeling good” and are only necessary if you’re too “weak” to stay the course.

Who’s right?

That’s what I ask James Krieger in this episode.

James is an accomplished researcher and writer as well as a lifter who knows what it’s like to diet down to extremely low body fat levels, and in this episode he tells you everything you need to know about the real science behind diet breaks and refeeds.

In this episode, you’re going to learn:

  • Why people incorporate diet breaks and “refeeds” into their cutting regimens
  • How taking diet breaks affects fat loss, muscle retention, and metabolic rate while dieting
  • When you should or shouldn’t take a diet break
  • The pros and cons of diet breaks versus continuous calorie restriction
  • How to take an effective diet break
  • And more.

Click the player below to listen in . . .


6:06 – Why do people do diet breaks?

10:30 – What did your research find regarding diet breaks?

13:11 – For most people, isn’t the bulk of their total daily energy expenditure really their resting metabolic rate?

17:54 – How can you use diet breaks effectively?

23:56 – Is the weight loss related to a reduction of cortisone levels?

24:48 – Where can people find you and your work?

Mentioned on the Show

Thinner Leaner Stronger by Mike Matthews

Research Review: Intermittent vs. Continuous Calorie Restriction for Fat Loss

James’ Website

Oh and if you like this episode want to be notified when new episodes go live, then head on over to iTunes, Stitcher, YouTubeSoundcloudSpotify, iHeartRadio, or Google Play and subscribe.

Lastly, if you want to support the show, please drop a quick review of it over on iTunes. It really helps!

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

If you like what I have to say, sign up for my free newsletter and every week I'll send you awesome, science-based health and fitness tips, delicious "diet-friendly" recipes, motivational musings, and more.


If you want a "paint-by-numbers," step-by-step blueprint for building a muscular, lean, strong body...faster than you ever thought possible...then you want to check out my bestselling books.

Here's a little sneak peek of what you'll learn inside...

  • The 7 biggest muscle building myths & mistakes that keep guys small, weak, and frustrated. (These BS lies are pushed by all the big magazines and even by many trainers.)
  • How to build meal plans that allow you to build muscle, lose fat, and get healthy with ease…eating foods you love (yes, including those deemed “unclean” by certain “gurus”)…and never feeling starved, deprived, or like you’re “on a diet.”
  • The 5 biggest fat loss myths & mistakes that keep women overweight, disappointed, and confused. (These BS lies are pushed by all the big magazines and even by many trainers.)
  • An all-in-one training system that delivers MAXIMUM results for your efforts…spending no more than 3 to 6 hours in the gym every week…doing workouts that energize you, not wipe you out.
  • A no-BS guide to supplements that will save you hundreds if not THOUSANDS of dollars each year that you would’ve wasted on products that are nothing more than bunk science and marketing hype.
  • And a whole lot more!

The bottom line is you CAN achieve that “Hollywood body" without having your life revolve around it. No long hours in the gym, no starving yourself, and no grueling cardio that turns your stomach.

My book will show you how. Get it today and let’s build a body you can be proud of.

Bigger Leaner Stronger

Bigger Leaner Stronger

Thinner Leaner Stronger

Thinner Leaner Stronger

If you enjoyed this article, get updates. It's free.

100% Privacy. We don't rent or share our email lists.
Leave a Comment!

More from Muscle For Life

Sign in to Muscle For Life
or use your MFL Account