THE WASH OUT PERIOD
Let's talk about what happens when you have a refeed, free meal, or just simply fall off the rails with your nutrition.
First, the most obvious and immediate thing is you feel full and bloated. This is because of the extra food and fluids. Additionally, there's probably some sodium and other things that are hitting your GI tract that it is not used to.
Now let's fast forward to the following day. What happens? Of course we usually see that good old scale jump up. Does that mean that you just added that much body fat? Absolutely not.
You see, this initial spike is due to intestinal bulk and water retention. There is actually a period of time that has to take place before fat cells are enlarged or increased.
Don't hear me wrong, that does not take away the calories, and that bodyfat might not be added, however that initial spike on the scale will usually drop after 2 to 4 days to what the actual fat gain may or may not be.
The normal reaction is to under eat to try to offset that initial scale spike. This is not a good strategy as you end up artificially restricting your intake which could affect your training and recovery (short term) or your metabolism (long term).
The better solution (besides avoidance) is to eat the high quality food as normal, regular activity and make sure hydration is back in check.
Spikes might happen but don't continue the yo-yo by focusing on the immediate over the long term.x