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Carb Refeed - Works!

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  • Carb Refeed - Works!

    New to the forum, & certaintly glad to be here.. I've been reading MDA for probably a year, & just recently started reading through the forum.. Good stuff! Really like the info. & as an avid reader & web surfer of nutrition & health, I would say this has to be the most intelligent collection of "brainstorming", Q&A, etc. on the web.. (relative to nutrition & "wellness").. I thank Mark for bringing us all together, & giving us a platform to create the synergy going on here everday.. Good stuff! Hope life is good for all of you!

    I walk around pretty lean, & stay in decent shape, but the principles I follow may be able to assist any level.. Every body is different, but I've been running a little experiment & have to say, I'm seeing good results.. Wanted to relay

    I eat low carb on days I don't work out.. I don't do cardio (play a lot of golf though), I lift heavy weights for 30 min, 3 days a week (Monday, Wed. & Friday), & I don't eat anything until lunch.. I eat a big lunch (6 eggs, 1 avocado, banana, full fat yogurt, & cook my eggs in a lot of Olive Oil), then I eat dinner (Typically about 10-16oz of chkn, steak, salmon, etc. & maybe some vegetables).. May have a cheat meal or ice cream once a week - 10 days (or Mexican which I can't eat enough of!)

    The above keeps me around 9-10% bodyfat, pretty much on cruise control..

    I've started playing with the effects of a big "Carb refeed" (twice a week) to see if it would lean me out a little more (when I needed it.. If I'm going to the beach on Sat, I may refeed on Thr., so I'm a little more lean by the day I'll be shirtless).. For the past week I've been eating a ton of fruit & maybe a potato after my workout.. the only fruit I'm eating is Watermelon, Cantaloupe, & Honeydew.. But I really go after it & eat a lot (Thought it was better than slamming Gatorade, or starches.. Of course, never eating grains still)

    Fruit appears to be shedding water from my body (These melons may have a "diuretic" effect on my body.. Seems to be shedding water, but I also feel amazing, look really lean, & the leptin reset literally makes me feel on top of the world.. ha.. My mood jumps through the roof for the entire next day & a half or so.. Pretty interesting.. But no doubt, this is the only effect because I'm doing a good job of dumping my glycogen stores & insulin spike isn't leading to "overkill" & fat storage.. & I'm not eating junk.. Still nutritious "watery" fruits..

    I don't have a before pic, but I believe I look around 9-10% after 2 days of low carb, but after this refeed twice a week, I tighten up & may look more leaner (I understand this is simply water that I'm dumping, but could be a good tool for getting leaner looking quick for a big day.. Wedding, beach, etc)

    Here's what I looked like this morning.. Calculated feed seems to work.. (I'm 5'10.5", 163lbs)

    Last edited by abc123; 08-02-2011, 10:19 AM.

  • #2
    good deal, many around here are doing the carb refeeding
    Get on my Level
    http://malpaz.wordpress.com/

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    • #3
      Nice. Looks like you're getting good results. I'm almost exactly the same weight and height as you, but I think you're a little leaner than I am. Keep up the good work!

      Also, starch (as opposed to fruit) is generally recommended for refeeds since fructose can only replenish liver glyocgen and glucose can replenish muscle glycogen, but hey, whatever you're doing seems to be working.

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      • #4
        Just curious about your age and how long you've been following PB?

        Edit: forgot to say I love melons too and they have the same watershed effect for me
        I eat them post training and then 30 min later have a meal high in fat and protein
        Last edited by sweetp; 08-02-2011, 12:54 PM.

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        • #5
          Nice. I just started playing around with refeeds and i notice a nice uptick in energy and less burnout. I usually do rice, potato and or sweet potato. I fend this to be a significant difference from fruit. I also do the occasional fast, usually I just skip breakfast but am going to go for a 24 hour fast in the next couple days as i need to ditch some belly fat and nothing dips into that like a good fast now and then.

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          • #6
            I just turned 30.. I've been following PB for about 1 year.. I've noticed so many positive effects, only one being cutting body fat.. Love eating & training this way..

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            • #7
              Congrats, you look awesome! I have a question...is it necessary to do the refeeds on workout days? If it is necessary, is it ok to do them on nonconsecutive days? I was thinking of incorporating them, but staying low carb throughout the week (even though I lift Monday Wednesday and Friday) and doing the refeed Saturday and Sunday. I'm finding it hard to know exactly when and what days to incorporate them...wouldn't doing them on my workout days keep me out of ketosis even on my low carb days? Thanks to everyone in advance
              && It's not just about living well, it's about dying well.

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              • #8
                *I mean SHOULD I be doing them on nonconsecutive days as opposed the the weekend?
                && It's not just about living well, it's about dying well.

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                • #9
                  Instead of carb refeeding I just eat carbs every day. Seems to be the thing to do. You need about 50g of carbohydrate every day to prevent a drop in thyroid activity and you need more carbs for glycolytic exercise if you don't want to raise cortisol levels. That is the real carb requirement.
                  Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

                  Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

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                  • #10
                    For the up regulation of hormones that decline when dieting(especially in lean people), it's best to do a carb refeed on consecutive days - ie 48 hrs.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by m e g a n foxy View Post
                      Congrats, you look awesome! I have a question...is it necessary to do the refeeds on workout days? If it is necessary, is it ok to do them on nonconsecutive days? I was thinking of incorporating them, but staying low carb throughout the week (even though I lift Monday Wednesday and Friday) and doing the refeed Saturday and Sunday. I'm finding it hard to know exactly when and what days to incorporate them...wouldn't doing them on my workout days keep me out of ketosis even on my low carb days? Thanks to everyone in advance
                      Thanks! (a lot this stuff seems to be a "feel" type of thing.. I've learned to "listen" to my body closely & pay attention to the way I react & feel after eating certain amounts of carbs & different types of carbs.. Diet is never a one size fits all, but I think its true that certain principles apply to the human body in general.. ie. "carbs drive insulin, which drive fat" (I remember one of Mark's articles telling us to "learn this & own it".. Good tip )

                      For me.. I find my body really only needs & uses a good amount carbs (coming from fruit & melons for the time being) right after my workout.. I still eat Yogurt, a banana, & veggies on non-workout days.. Carbs are there, but for me.. I'm very carb sensitive.. When I up my fat, & lower my carbs my body does feel better.. I feel no inflammation or bloating.. I even workout on an empty stomach now to further enhance that feeling on having nothing in your stomach & really feeling the muscles work.. It feels great to me.. BUT, I notice when I spike the carb intake after my workout, it takes advantage of an insulin rush driving proteins, blood flow, & amino acids into my muscles (super for recovery).. I also have a spike in mental mechanics (creativity goes up, my wit is quicker, I think very very positively).. So I assume the key is balance.. Find out how often you can get away with the carb cycling & what feels right.. I would try & get away with as little carbs as possible while not refeeding.. Carbs appear to drive allergies, inflammation, & those type of responses in my body.. I have a small window to benefit from carb intake, so I take advantage with veggies & fruit.. but a lot of it..

                      Lastly, potatoes (specifically sweet), & rice (brown or white) doesn't provide the fresh & clean flush of insulin into my system that fruit does.. I'm horrible with wheat & "starchy starch", so I prefer watery fruits & maybe only a little starch.. Even my skin looks & feels better when I'm eating the fruit, instead of starch..

                      I wouldn't stack high carb refeeds on consecutive days..

                      I also intermittent fast every day, & throw in a 24-hour fast once a week.. I'm finding it very easy to go 24 hours without any food now.. Probably a good sign that my body has learned to use fat for fuel, & it just seems natural to not "need" food for periods of time.. When I ate a lot of carbs in my 20's (& mostly good carbs.. I've always eaten pretty clean) I was always hungry.. Always being hungry & constantly working out your digestion system can't be good (When does detoxifying, healing, & recovery actually occur if you're always digesting food?? Immune system seems to kick in & repair when fasting..

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                      • #12
                        There is nothing wrong with consecutive day refeeds. There is a whole thread about another poster who is doing 72hr refeeds(three days in a row) with incredible success. It's about how you set it up though.

                        If you include some carbs daily(fruit, etc), then chances are you don't really need as big nor as long of a refeed as someone who is going very low carb on their lower days.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by NDF View Post
                          There is nothing wrong with consecutive day refeeds. There is a whole thread about another poster who is doing 72hr refeeds(three days in a row) with incredible success. It's about how you set it up though.

                          If you include some carbs daily(fruit, etc), then chances are you don't really need as big nor as long of a refeed as someone who is going very low carb on their lower days.
                          I agree.. This stuff is never a one-size fits all.. I personally operate better with lower carb intakes & the success of this lifestyle seems to stem from keeping insulin levels lower longer.. When I reintroduce abundant carbs, I notice congestion setting in my chest, craving of more carbs, allergy sensitivities coming back.. For me to go 3 full days in "refeed" mode is a little too long for comfort.. & like Mark said, "operating consecutive days without my normal, delicious, high fats isn't attractive to me".. However, I am eating a banana, yogurt, & a lot of veggies on non-refeed days.. still eating carbs.. Probably around 50-90g worth.. In refeed mode, (2 or maybe 3 days a week, post-workout) I'm eating 200-300g of carbs from fruit & a little starch in that one sitting, then I'm over it.. Accomplishes glycogen refill, & I actually feel a little of that "hooked on carbs" feeling I get in my stomach after my refeed.. So going consecutive days with higher than normal carb intake may tamper with a nice system I have my body running on, which is feeding off its own fat for fuel, staying satiated from higher fat eating, & not feeling that hunger pang from carb craving, induced by consecutive higher intakes..

                          Again, this is just my experience with my carb sensitive body..

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Stabby View Post
                            Instead of carb refeeding I just eat carbs every day. Seems to be the thing to do. You need about 50g of carbohydrate every day to prevent a drop in thyroid activity and you need more carbs for glycolytic exercise if you don't want to raise cortisol levels. That is the real carb requirement.
                            Yup. I find starch has 0 negative effect on me, and helps my mood and body comp, now that my body is fixed.
                            Lifting Journal

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                            • #15
                              abc123, I know this is an old thread that i'm bumping, but are you still refeeding in a similar manner and how has it been workout out for you?
                              After going VLC/keto for 3 weeks, I just tonight did a LHT bodyweight workout and finished it off with a pound of sweet potatoes, a few jumbo shrimp, a bunch of white rice and half a bar dark chocolate for dessert and I feel absolutely INCREDIBLE (if not a bit stuffed). It might only be in my head but I feel a bit more shredded and only several hours later. If anyone coming from a VLC diet that is fairly active has any doubts concerning the efficacy of carb refeeding, I beg you to give this a shot
                              Since my meal earlier in the morning contained a fair bit of fat, I finished the day with 150g fat and 200g carbs. Is it safe for me to continue this twice a week (just for the PWO meals after workouts)? I'm concerned that two 200g carb days in the context of a high fat diet (~150g fat a day) might be unhealthy...

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