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  • Carb Refeed Sluggish

    So I'm trying a carb refeed cycle to break my plateau. I've been VLC now for 4 days. Today I'm doing VLF and High carb. I really wanted to do this without sugar as that really induces my cravings. So I am eating lots of potatoes. However, after lunch I'm incrediably sluggish, I have a sinus headache (I had this last week) and just have low energy. I feel like my body weighs 200lbs. I was carbing up for kickboxing tonight but I actually would have felt better doing it on VLC! Sugar doesnt give me this sluggish effect so maybe I should just break down and have some sort of fruit..grapefruit/raisins an hour or so before I work out so I have some energy? Or should I just let this one day experiment goes and see how I feel in class? Thoughts?
    Primal since March 2011

    Female/29 years old/5' 1"/130ish lbs

  • #2
    Fruit isn't good for a refeed. You could handle some bananas, but fructose is counterproductive. You need glucose. If you've been avoiding carbs for a long time, you're probably insulin resistant. Yes, low carbohydrate diets create insulin resistance. You should start off slowly and work your way up until you're insulin sensitive again. Don't just go from 40g of carbs a day to 400g of carbs a day. Start with 150-200g of carbs and pick sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes. Remember the carb flu people get from going from 300g of refined carbs a day to 50g of veggies? Well this is the opposite of that, but with a similar feel. Once you work your way up, you can function just fine on high and low carb. I can function just fine on all eggs and steak with no veggies, and I can function fine eating 1,000g of starch in a 24 hour period, but it took awhile. My original carb refeeds were 100-150g of sweet potatoes with chicken breast after workouts. That's how I broke myself in.
    Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 11-03-2011, 11:56 AM.
    Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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    • #3
      I'm confused I thought the idea of the carb refeed plan was to only have one carb refeed day and to do very low carb the other days. So how can I work this in and get my insulin sensistivity back? Or should I just go for 100g of carb on my refreed instead of 200? I've been eating under 30g of carbs all week. I had about 1 cup of mashed (nothing added) white potatoes for breakfast and another cup for lunch. My carbs are only at 112g for today so far, which is more then I've eaten the entire week.

      Weeks prior before I started this I was more moderate as I was eating yogurt and berries everday. I haven't had potatoes/rice in a 2 months. I really can't stand sweet potatoes and I really can't stand them without adding loads of brown sugar. Interesting while on my honeymoon 2 months ago I had rice almost every day in Hawaii, but started out with real primal breakfasts but had deserts here and there as well and didnt experience this even tho I was strict primal (98% of the time) for 5 months before. Maybe rice is better for me then potatoes?
      Primal since March 2011

      Female/29 years old/5' 1"/130ish lbs

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      • #4
        Also last week I had all this sinus stuff going on. After a day of VLC it went away..maybe the carbs are feeding it again?

        Funny I felt like crap last Thursday too (I felt light headed/low energy.. which is different today I feel sluggish/tired), so I downed 3 cups of raisins than had an awesome workout, which is why I'm considereing it again.
        Primal since March 2011

        Female/29 years old/5' 1"/130ish lbs

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        • #5
          Actually want to fall asleep, this is unreal............. epic FAIL!
          Primal since March 2011

          Female/29 years old/5' 1"/130ish lbs

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          • #6
            I refeed for 3 days straight if I'm trying to cut - 4 days low carb, 3 days high carb with the first day being a high GI day and the most carbs, then slowly tapering off. You won't boost your leptin levels and insulin sensitivity from one meal. I don't do the Leangains style TKD, though you could once you become insulin sensitive again. I don't have a year to lose body fat on that plan.

            The first question is why you would ever, ever eat less than 30g of carbs in a day. There's not going to be a difference in 30g of carbs or 60g of carbs in terms of insulin reduction if all you're eating is veggies. You should be shooting for 50-60g of fibrous veggies to get your nutrition on low carb days. Are you purposely trying to do keto? Because I see that as pointless, unless you want to lose muscle mass.

            What do your workouts look like? Carb refeeds should be following intense training sessions. If you're going on walks, jogs or lifting light weights, you shouldn't be doing carb refeeds, at least to any substantial quantity. You should be performing heavy, complex exercises. A sample week would look like this:

            M: 45 mins low intensity cardio, 20% caloric restriction, 50g of carbs
            T: 45 mins low intensity cardio, 20% caloric restriction, 50g of carbs
            W: OFF, 20% caloric restriction, 50g of carbs
            Th: 45 mins low intensity cardio, 20% caloric restriction, 50g of carbs
            F: Heavy chest/back/shoulders workout, 3g carbs/lb of lean body mass, <50g fat, 10% caloric surplus
            S: Heavy legs, arms, core, 2g carbs/lb of lean body mass, <50g fat, 10% caloric surplus
            Su: 6X30 second all-out sprints, 30 mins low intensity cardio, 1-1.5g carbs/lb of lean body mass, moderate fat intake

            Each day assumes 1-1.5g/lb protein consumption, so if you weigh 120 lbs, you'd want to eat 120-180g of protein a day. I would stress 120g of caloric restriction days and 180g on workout days.

            And we're not curling dumbbells, here. We're benchpressing, deadlifting, doing squats, chin-ups, leg presses, standing barbell calf raises and all-out sprinting. If you must curl, use a 6' olympic straight bar and throw on as much weight as you can do 6 times. If you're doing your first set of reps more than 6 times for any exercise, you need to add more weight. I usually do the heaviest I can do 4-6 times, then take off 10-20% so I can do it 6 times, then another 10-20% and shoot for 8-10 in my third set or until failure. That being said, I don't recommend squats and deadlifts til failure. You could really hurt yourself. I do 5, 6, 8 usually. When I can do 5 on my first set, I add more weight the next week til I can do 5 again, then add more weight.

            If you're falling asleep, I recommend trying less and lower GI carbs to start with. If the problem persists, you're not working out hard enough and your carbs are partitioning to blood sugar and fat storage instead of glycogen.
            Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 11-03-2011, 12:42 PM.
            Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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            • #7
              I'm pretty small at 127lbs. I eat veggies every meal except breakfast and still my carbs were <30 g.

              Note: I walk every day but I dont count that as an exercise day

              Su: 3 sets of pushups/planks/squats : low carb, and skipped a meal
              Mon: rest day : skipped breakfast, low carb big ass salad for lunch, meat & veggies for dinner
              Tues: 30 min HIIT session, 24 30 sec exercises including pushups/wall sits/mountain climbers/burpees/planks/calf raises/bicep curls -- no more fasting, ate beakfast of cheese omelet/ big ass salad/ meat & veggies
              Wed: rest, same food as tues
              Thur: 1 hour of kickboxing in the evening.. I ate eggs with potates for breakfast/ grilled chicken with broccoli and potatoes for lunch..was planning tilapi with potatoes/spinach for dinner
              fri: same as wed
              sat: planned hike, same as wed for food

              You can see my nutrition log here: http://tracker.dailyburn.com/locker_room/activia
              Last edited by activia; 11-03-2011, 12:46 PM. Reason: updated link
              Primal since March 2011

              Female/29 years old/5' 1"/130ish lbs

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              • #8
                I will modify my plan next week to have a regular primal breakfast/ a more moderate carb/fat lunch and a high carb low fat dinner after my workout
                Primal since March 2011

                Female/29 years old/5' 1"/130ish lbs

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                • #9
                  So basically you don't do any kind of weight lifting or any kind of exercise that stresses your central nervous system. Push-ups, burpees, body weight squats, walking...these classify as "off days" and don't demand carbohydrate at all. Refeeds are for workout days, and in my opinion (and Martin Berkhan would agree), you do not work out. You could bang out that schedule on a pure ketogenic diet, so it's no wonder you're falling asleep. Your body doesn't demand carbohydrate as you don't do any activity that burns sugar. Your glycogen stores probably rarely run low, gluconeogenesis is sufficient to replenish them when you do tap into them and the constant lack of carbohydrate has your body unfamiliar with handling glucose spikes, so it's pretty much the perfect storm for a sugar crash.

                  I wouldn't recommend you do carbohydrate refeeds with this type of schedule. That doesn't mean you have to avoid eating a sweet potato or a bowl of rice every now and again, but your schedule suggests you stick to the typical low-to-moderate carb Primal Blueprint approach. Carb refeeds are tools for getting very lean, but your activity level does not suggest a body that needs to get ripped, and trust me when I say this - your body won't lose that last layer of fat unless you force it to. Your body is 80-90% diet, but this is where the last 10-20% come in. You don't have to exercise to lose visceral fat and you can diet that way, but if you want to see stomach muscles and definition, you're going to have to change your workout to one that demands carbohydrate and stresses the living hell out of your central nervous system. I can give you plenty of suggestions, but be aware it'll take some dedication. It'll be a lot more physical stress and effort, but there's a reason why barely anyone is ripped
                  Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 11-03-2011, 01:20 PM.
                  Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well I used to have one weight lifting day, but I find it hard to fit in when I'm already sore from my workouts on tuesday/thursday. I am not sure that I should be lifting on Friday if I am doing kickboxing on Thursday (which does beat up my arms/legs pretty good). I would say they I certainly lose some glyogen on this workout. I've already decided to cut out boot camp on Tuesday and do hte workout at home instead so I could do what worked best for me as I was getting too exhuasted and couldnt put enough into it to get any strength gains out of it. So maybe I'll work in a dumbell/barbell workout session on Mon and Kettleball on Wed. It's tough to isolate muscles with kettleball to do days back to back. So I'm unsure that 72 hour refeeds would work for me ever. The question is if I do this how would you recommend adding in more carbs. Honestly I dont miss potatoes or rice in my diet. I was not doing this for taste, I can tell you that much..been dreading this bland fat free day all week. Would I love to bring fruit back regulary HELL YA. However I know that isnt going to help me with my goals.

                    I'm petty dedicated that is for sure! I really really want to lean out more!!!!

                    Although my hunger tends to be lower when I eat more carbs/less fat strange?
                    Primal since March 2011

                    Female/29 years old/5' 1"/130ish lbs

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                    • #11
                      Why do you have to do kettle bells? And why do you have to do bodyweight stuff? Why can't you scrap those entirely and free up those days? I don't see any reason why you couldn't make your Tuesday and Wednesday heavy lifting days, then make your kickboxing day your "come down" isocaloric day, then make the rest of your days walking and OFF days. I just think 75% of your activity classifies as fuckarounitis and you're doing nothing more than making yourself sore with no positive impact - that is, unless you consider muscle loss and soreness a positive impact.

                      Even more perplexing is why you have three rest days worked into a schedule that shouldn't even tire you out. I do more on Monday and Tuesday than in your entire week and I only have one rest day. To be completely blunt, if I were your body, I would see no reason to break out of a plateau, either. Carbs can be a very effective tool to break plateaus, but your routine is built for a low-carber and I see nothing in there that would demand your body to re-composition itself into an athletic build. I'm not trying to be harsh. You just have to realize that you're getting sore because you're wasting your time doing exercises that don't build muscle and create injury. The heavy, complex, low-repetition exercises will promote muscle growth and actually keep injury at bay because it strengthens your joints, bone and connective tissue. You're breaking down muscle and wearing out your joints with high repetition activities that do nothing to force your body to get stronger. Read the Fuckarounditis article I posted above because I think it'll be an eye-opener. Again, not trying to be mean, but I feel obligated to be honest with you.
                      Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 11-03-2011, 02:21 PM.
                      Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Alright I can give that a try. Suggestions on workouts for Tues/Wed? I've done in the past things like, deadlifts/lounges/quads/bicep curls/tricep/ chest press with free weights I suppose I'll just go back to doing that stuff. I thought kettleball training was better because it was more functional movements.
                        Primal since March 2011

                        Female/29 years old/5' 1"/130ish lbs

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                        • #13
                          It depends what you're going for. If you're looking to be a thin gymnast with a marathon runner build, maybe kettebell's would work for you. If you're looking for a strong, lean look, I would stay far away. The beauty of refeeds is you can taylor your days to your schedule. You eat 2-3 days where you can eat more food and indulge in carbohydrate and 3-4 days where you can have the fattier foods you like. It's very sustainable, so choose the days that you refeed wisely. Being a 25 yo man, I obviously make my refeeds on Fri/Sat/Sun as I'm more likely to eat more food and drink beer on the weekends, so the caloric and carbohydrate buffer is there. I'm far more disciplined at work, to Mon-Thurs is my restrictive days. What days are you most likely to overeat or indulge? That's what you want to base your schedule around so if you do "cheat" it'll have the least significant impact.
                          Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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                          • #14
                            I'm pretty strict primal, and I happen to love kickboxing for getting rid of my frustrations. I go months without a cheat. I dont like to drink much period as I get sick so easily. I tried cheat days in the past and they just stalled my weight loss and caused cravings. Honestly "indulge in carbs"...haha without fat or sugar its going to be difficult for me to get carbs in!!! Once I add fat/sugar than there goes my weight loss... so If I HAVE to eat carbs I will, but its going to be more then a burden then an indulgence. I will try adding fruit back in and go back to pounding a quart of strawberries pre/post workout, now that is GOOD in a few weeks. I think I'll just do moderate carb/ moderate fat days on my lifting days. I'll try to pound more vegetables and cut back on my fat, but I cant promise its going to be pleasant or sustainable. I also hate being hungry at work. I find it easier to skip meals on the weekend. I'll just go for a long hike or go snowboarding for the day if I really want to enjoy some yummy desert (there's the fat/sugar)
                            Primal since March 2011

                            Female/29 years old/5' 1"/130ish lbs

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                            • #15
                              Do you have any meal ideas that would consist of that low fat and all those carbs (no sweet potatoes) without sugar or grains? I will eat white rice.
                              Primal since March 2011

                              Female/29 years old/5' 1"/130ish lbs

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