Refeed Day Example: Sample Meal Plan With Macro Breakdown

Refeeding is only as effective as our ability to execute it correctly, therefore we should feel confident that we understand the goal, the calorie calculations, the nutrient breakdown, and ultimately what foods can help us achieve this.

To provide you with a better understanding of these components, I’ve put together sample meal plans that you could follow for a successful refeed as long as the calorie of this plan aligns with your refeed calories.

Calculate Your Refeed Day Calories

Refeeding is an intentional increase in calories to bring us out of a calorie deficit (eating fewer calories than we’re burning) up to a maintenance level of calories (the number of calories we need to maintain our weight).

When we’re refeeding, maintenance calories are important because we need to be at maintenance (rather than in a deficit) to (1) continue burning calories at a faster rate, (2) increase our energy levels, and (3) give us a mental break from dieting.

In addition to increasing our calories to a maintenance level, we also need to ensure that these additional calories are coming from carbohydrates rather than protein and fats. This is because carbs have been shown to have the most effect on increasing energy levels and curbing hunger cravings.

If you don’t know what your maintenance calories are or how many carbs this would equate to, head over to our refeed calculator that was designed to tell you exactly how many calories to aim for and how many grams of protein, carbs, and fats this equates to.

We should also be tracking our food with an app like MacroFactor that is designed to make our lives easier while also allowing us to be as accurate as possible with our calorie and nutrient intake while we’re dieting and refeeding.

Food List For Refeed Day 

On refeed days we are going to be prioritizing carbs over protein and fat, but we should still be incorporating all of them into our day because they all serve important functions.

Carbs

Carbs are the most important nutrient when refeeding because of their effect on leptin levels.

Leptin is known as the “satiety hormone” because it is responsible for signaling to our brain that there is enough food coming in so it can stop sending out constant hunger signals. 

Carbs are also important for replenishing energy levels, which become depleted when we’re dieting because there is less food coming in but we’re continuing to burn calories.

Some examples of carbs that you could include while refeeding are:

Protein

Protein is important because when consumed in sufficient quantities it encourages our body to retain muscle mass or perhaps even gain additional muscle mass. Muscle mass is important for weight loss because the more muscle that we have, the more calories that we will burn throughout the day (because muscle mass helps to keep your metabolism higher).

Protein is a nutrient that should stay relatively constant because of its importance, so when dieting, refeeding, or maintaining weight it will be fairly constant.

The only thing that we should consider with protein when refeeding is the amount of fat in our protein sources. Leaner protein sources like chicken, turkey, and low-fat dairy products might be better than sources that contain more fat like beef, salmon, and eggs.

The reason for this is that when we’re refeeding we typically want to keep our fat intake a bit lower so that it doesn’t affect the number of carbs we’re able to eat. 

If the fat content from our protein sources is our main source of fat then we don’t have to worry so much about choosing leaner sources. However, if we’re including a variety of other fat sources, then it may make more sense to choose a leaner protein source.

Some examples of protein sources we could include on our refeed day are:

Fats

Fats are generally more limited while refeeding because we need most of the calories to go towards carbs and protein for the best results. However, fats still have their place because they are important for hormonal health. 

Therefore the general recommendation is to keep fats above 30 grams for men and 45 grams for women, while also keeping it below 20% of our daily calories when refeeding.

To dive deeper into fat recommendations on refeed days, check out my other article How Many Grams of Fat On A Refeed Day (A Helpful Guide).

If we choose protein sources that are higher in fat, then our fat-specific sources listed below will probably be very limited or non-existent. However, if our protein sources are leaner than we may choose more of the fat sources listed below.

Some sources of fat that could be included on a refeed day in lesser amounts are:

Fruits/Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables should also be included throughout the day while refeeding to ensure that we’re getting enough micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals. 

However, they will likely be in lesser quantities than we’re used to while dieting because we don’t want to fill up on fruits or veggies and not be able to eat enough carbs, protein, and fat to hit our calorie target.

Some fruits and veggie options that we could add to our meals while refeeding are:

Want to learn more about the best fruits for gaining muscle?  Check out my other article: The 20 Best Fruits For Muscle Gain.

Refeed Example: Sample Meal Plans 

The following are examples of refeed days for 2500, 3000, and 3500 calories. All of which aim to maximize carbohydrate intake while keeping protein in adequate amounts for muscle retention, and minimizing fat intake.

If you’re looking for a customized meal plan that is tailored to your likes/dislikes and refeed requirements, then contact us here!

2500 Calorie Refeed Meal Plan Example

2500 Calorie Refeed Sample Meal Plans

318 grams of Carb / 53 grams of Fat / 189 grams of Protein

Meal 1: Yogurt Bowl

  • 1 cup 0% Greek Yogurt
  • ½ cup Mixed Berries
  • ½ cup Granola

Meal 2: Chicken Stir Fry

  • 5 oz ground chicken
  • 1 ½ cups rice
  • ½ cup roasted asparagus
  • 2 tbsp sauce of choice

Meal 3: Protein Cereal

  • 1 serving Protein Powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 ½  cups cereal

Meal 4: Ground Beef Pasta Bowl

  • 5 oz extra lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup pasta
  • ¾ cup pasta sauce
  • 1 cup veg of choice (peppers, onion, spinach)
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese

Meal 5: Snack Plate

  • 4 Slices deli meat
  • 30 grams crackers
  • 1 cup grapes

3000 Calorie Refeed Meal Plan Example

3000 Calorie Refeed Sample Meal Plans

435 grams of Carbs / 54 grams of Fat / 198 grams of Protein

Meal 1: Yogurt Bowl

  • 1 cup 0% Greek Yogurt
  • ¾ cup Mixed Berries
  • ½ cup Granola

Meal 2: 

  • 1 cup dried fruit

Meal 3: Chicken Stir Fry

  • 5 oz ground chicken
  • 1 ½ cups rice
  • ½ cup roasted asparagus
  • 2 tbsp sauce of choice

Meal 4: Protein Cereal

  • 1 serving Protein Powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 ½  cups cereal

Meal 5: Ground Beef Pasta Bowl

  • 5 oz extra lean ground turkey
  • 1 ½ cups pasta
  • 1 cup pasta sauce
  • 1 cup veg of choice (peppers, onion, spinach)
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese

Meal 6: Snack Plate

  • 4 Slices deli meat
  • 30 grams crackers
  • 1 cup grapes

3500 Calorie Refeed Meal Plan Example

3500 Calorie Refeed Sample Meal Plans

541 grams of Carbs / 59 grams of Fat / 210 grams of Protein

Meal 1: Yogurt Bowl

  • 1 cup 0% Greek Yogurt
  • ¾ cup Mixed Berries
  • ½ cup Granola
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup/honey

Meal 2: 

  • 1 cup dried fruit
  • 30 grams pretzels

Meal 3: Chicken Stir Fry

  • 5 oz ground chicken
  • 1 ½ cups rice
  • ½ cup roasted asparagus
  • 2 tbsp sauce of choice

Meal 4: Protein Cereal

  • 1 serving Protein Powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2  cups cereal
  • 1 banana

Meal 5: Ground Beef Pasta Bowl

  • 5 oz extra lean ground turkey
  • 1 ½ cups pasta
  • 1 cup pasta sauce
  • 1 cup veg of choice (peppers, onion, spinach)
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese

Meal 6: Snack Plate

  • 4 Slices deli meat
  • 40 grams crackers
  • 1 cup grapes

Other Refeed Resources


About The Author

Amanda Parker
Amanda Parker

Amanda Parker is an author, nutrition coach, and Certified Naturopath.  She works with bodybuilders, Olympic weightlifters, and powerlifters to increase performance through nutrition and lifestyle coaching.