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cyclical ketogenic and carb loading

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  • cyclical ketogenic and carb loading

    Hi, I've been staying primal for 2 weeks now and I have some questions on the idea behind cyclical ketogenic diet when it comes to the "refeed".

    1. What's the objective behind carb loading once a week and why is it said to be anabolic?

    2. Should you bother refeeding if you're already "fat-adapted"?

    3. I have a copy of the 4 Hour Body, which I'm sure many users here know of and one of the guidelines for the "slow carb"(it really doesnt need a different name) diet is to have a cheat day, but Tim Ferriss somewhat emphasizes the consumption of massive amounts of calories on that one day, not just like one normal day of being a sugar burner. Is it really necessary to do this in order to keep your thyroid function in check? Does your body once it's fat adapted or getting there need a "shock" once in a while?

    4. What are the implications of the grain consumption during a refeed or for that matter the consumption of any of the things that are not primal for a reason? I remember reading somewhere that if you are going to avoid grains, you really need to do it for long periods at a time and that eating some even just once a week or once a month will screw your body up.

    Thanks in advance for helping me with my questions, what I'm really just worried about here is the breakdown of muscle tissue and how to avoid that, and if CKD will get my body to a certain point(fat loss and bulking) and then I can follow a normal primal diet of someone who is fat adapted.

  • #2
    Thyroid function may be affected by carb intake, but really it's caloric intake that makes the biggest difference. Low carb diets tend to blunt hunger and ake it harder for a lot of people to get adequate caloric intake on a daily basis. Time Ferriss was probably basing the "massive caloric load" recommendation on the need to make up for the displaced calories that result from a lower carb diet typically.

    And he was assuming, most likely, that on his plan you'd be working out so that you would need extra calories to begin with. Besides that, the cheat day gives you a chance to relax and not worry about what you eat for a day. While I don't think you need to make it a weekly thing necessarily, having a cheat day every once in a while, as he argued, also increased compliance with the dietary plan the rest of the time, actually increasing the positive results of those who implimented the plan. You no longer have to feel guilty if you go off for a day or two, it's ok, it might even be good for you and you can hop back on the bandwagon once again. He recognizes the realities of modern life.

    Again, consuming anything not primal is not the optimal choice, even for a refeed. However, given the realities of modern life (see above), this is not always an option. Plus (as above), allowing yourself a few cheats every now and then without killing yourself over it can increase compliance with the diet and/or lifestyle you are following.

    Refeeding serves the purpose of keeping your body "in check." If you only opperate off of one fule all the time, you cannot use the other one very effectively. Maintaining a body that is capable of utlizing all sources of fule is ideal should you ever be placed in an environment where you might not have access to a food source that you consider to be "optimal." In addition, there are certain benefits to consuming small target doses of carbs from time to time such as benefits to thyroid function (though these have been debated), keeping your metabolism active (so as not to stagnate it), and others.

    Somewhere a while back I read the theory (no idea if it's true), that consumption of carbs actually increased muscle absorption of protein. Essentially, those who ate carbs AND protein absorbed more of it into their muscles mean both that they built muscle more efficiently and that they didn't need as much overall protein since they absorbed it better. This was a hottly debated topic however and I believe no definitive word has been laid on the matter as yet.
    "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

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    • #3
      Thank you for the response, I guess if I do have cheat days I should probably just stick to pasta rather than twinkies. Another question, can you or anyone else explain the difference between Carb Cycling and Cyclical Ketosis? They sound the same to me

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      • #4
        Pasta? We frown upon wheat here.
        F 28/5'4/100 lbs

        "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."

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        • #5
          I am coming to think the carb refeed is a good idea. I did the ketogenic diet for about 4 months and had good results, but now for the past 2-3 weeks have had a terrible time with carb cravings (and have given into them -primally of course) which leads me to believe I needed/need more of a balance. I am looking at adding more carbs back into my diet from poatoes and squashes and maybe rice every so often. Not sure if I'll do a once a week refeed and go low carb the rest of the week or just have one meal with a safe starch per day. I've been re-reading Perfect Health Diet and they advocate some starches in the diet even for weight loss. Problem is that I really like high fat and high fat + starch doesn't work so well for weight loss.

          Anyways, cyclical dieting is a good idea, I think. Our body needs a change and we can't just eat the same way all the time day in and day out. It's good to change it up. I would keep your refeeds primal... keep away from grains. No sense in eliminating them from your diet if your going to have them every once in awhile. It takes quite some time for your body to repair the damage grains can do, from what I understand. No sense in eating those anti-nutrients when there are safe starches you can eat. A lot of people do eat white rice even though it's a grain. It's considered pretty 'safe'.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by CS56 View Post
            Thank you for the response, I guess if I do have cheat days I should probably just stick to pasta rather than twinkies. Another question, can you or anyone else explain the difference between Carb Cycling and Cyclical Ketosis? They sound the same to me
            No to pasta and twinkies. Think potatoes.

            From Mark - Carb Refeeding:
            Carb Refeeding and Weight Loss | Mark's Daily Apple

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            • #7
              And that would answer the grain issue, sounds fine to me. I thought you wouldn't feel the cravings after following it for that long? Isn't that something we're supposed to lose?

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              • #8
                I have a carb re-feed from time to time, but I don't set a date for it, ie; once a week, ect...I do it when I feel stagnated.
                I think it's a good idea to throw a curveball in there every now and then. It seems to give me a new setpoint to work foward from. Sort of resets my system for a renewed push towards better body composition.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by CS56 View Post
                  And that would answer the grain issue, sounds fine to me. I thought you wouldn't feel the cravings after following it for that long? Isn't that something we're supposed to lose?
                  2 weeks isn't that long to be following anything... give it time and you will lose the cravings for it.

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                  • #10
                    I do the best with carb refeeds. I have just started Ferris, and he is not very consistent, but basically you can still stay low carb on his diet if you meticulously eat only very low carb greens in addition to beans. I am going to alternate beans with the equal portion of tubers. Ferris believes that men can get away with one cheat meal, but women need a cheat day.

                    When I cheat I don't want all the pastries and sweets and pizzas Ferris is salivating about. I am usually going into fruit (including a bit of dry fruit), potatoes, buckwheat/millet, honey and quark binge. I might have a few caramels as well, but mostly its' the fact that I do not have to worry about the quantity and can have as much fruit as I want. When a binge is with no wheat and low fat, it is easier to lose weight off & not have negative consequences.

                    But I am switching the refeed day to Sunday from Saturday, because I find it hard to switch gears from Saturday to Sunday. I think Saturday on low carb fare will be Okay with anticipation helping, and then Monday being Monday will be psychologically easier to get back to 'normal'.
                    Last edited by Leida; 11-27-2012, 06:49 AM.
                    My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
                    When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by counterpuncher View Post
                      I have a carb re-feed from time to time, but I don't set a date for it, ie; once a week, ect...I do it when I feel stagnated.
                      I think it's a good idea to throw a curveball in there every now and then. It seems to give me a new setpoint to work foward from. Sort of resets my system for a renewed push towards better body composition.
                      I think the refeed is what was missing for me when I was LC/HF, and why weight loss stopped. I do okay with a 3 way split also, so not really a need to refeed doing that, but I try to really watch where the calories are coming from so I don't get stuck in the same rut.
                      65lbs gone and counting!!

                      Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey

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                      • #12
                        By 3 way split do you mean fat protein and carbs? I thought its generally better to consume more fat in proportion to carbs especially? I also wonder whether fat adaption is permanent, Mark has said that part of the idea here is to make your body able to consume whatever you can "find" so if it means higher carbs your body should be able to handle that without losing it's fat adaption? Can someone explain this to me further? In an evolutionary sense wouldn't those living further south or in more tropical climates be used or adapted to eating large quantities of fruit?

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                        • #13
                          Yal I actually shoot for anything less than 40% fat, and usually end up with a 3 way. I got my info from here. Perfect Health Diet: Weight Loss Version | Perfect Health Diet

                          Maintenance may look entirely different. Maybe up to about 60% fat. I can still lose at 60% fat even up to about 70-75, it is just slower. Just my n=1
                          65lbs gone and counting!!

                          Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey

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                          • #14
                            It's important to mix everything up, especially net calories in/out. Our nervous systems cannot possibly estimate calories out anywhere near as accurately as calories in. This is where being active and exercising and doing the minimum of 5 hours low-level cardio a week comes into play.

                            Creating a calorie deficit 2-3 days a week on average through targetted activity has enabled me to lose a lot of fat and gain muscle without having to decrease my calorie intake or go hungry. If anything I'm consuming more calories daily than when I started. PB explains how this is possible ... i.e. avoid CW chronic low-calorie dieting.
                            F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by paleo-bunny View Post
                              Creating a calorie deficit 2-3 days a week on average through targetted activity has enabled me to lose a lot of fat and gain muscle without having to decrease my calorie intake or go hungry. If anything I'm consuming more calories daily than when I started. PB explains how this is possible ... i.e. avoid CW chronic low-calorie dieting.
                              I am thinking that is why the LC/HF didnt work so hot for me. Because I was full on way fewer calories. For many months. As soon as I switched up the macros, and was hungrier too I guess, I started losing again. And some days, I was on the upper end of my "range" for weight loss, but still lost weight whereas I was stalling while chronically on the low end. Now I am trying to do more zig-zagging. Some high days, some low days. I know some ppl carb cycle. I havent really fine tuned it that much, though naturally some days are more than others.
                              65lbs gone and counting!!

                              Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey

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