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Primal Carb Sources and Refeeding

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  • Primal Carb Sources and Refeeding

    For those who do primal/paleo carb-loads/refeeds periodically -- what foods do you use?

    I find that I feel MUCH better (more strength and energy) when I carb load a couple times a week, usually at dinner on a heavy-lifting day. So far, I've used:

    Sweet potatoes (delicious cubed and baked in coconut oil with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes)
    Winter squash

    and, to a much lesser extent:

    Apples (these tend to upset my stomach, though)

    Got any other ideas? How often do you refeed? What's your opinion on the acceptablility of fruit vs starch for refeeding purposes? Do you load up your carbs with fat/protein or eat them straight?

    Note: I'm asking in the context of fueling an active, lean body -- not fat loss.
    Last edited by BarbeyGirl; 04-08-2010, 08:06 AM.
    Nightlife ~ Chronicles of Less Urban Living, Fresh from In the Night Farm ~ Idaho's Primal Farm!

    Latest post: Stop Being Stupid

  • #2
    Sweet potatoes and bananas as well as *gasp* potatoes and white rice and less frequently corn or beans.

    Refeed about twice per week. I expect fruit would be good for refeeds only if you were fairly glycogen depleted. I eat my carbs with fat and sometimes protein. It might not be ideal, but I enjoy it a lot more than keeping it to just carbs, so I do it anyways.
    Give me liberty. Exploration of other options will be vigorously discouraged.

    Wondering something sciencey? Ask me in my Ask a Biochemist Thread


    • #3
      BarbeyGirl the consensus from what I've read is you can do it a couple different ways... but each re-feed is supposed to be longer than 5 hours...

      So say you did one re-feed every 7-10 days, it would be 50g carbs every 2 hours, for the 16 or so hours you are awake, totaling 400 carbs by the end of the day.

      If you did it once every 3-5 days, it could be cut down to a 12 hour re-feed, still refueling 50 carbs every 2 hours.
      You can get creative with the splits, but the idea is it should be longer than 5 hours to effectively raise leptin. 5 hours or less will just give a short term boost of leptin.

      Supposed to keep the fat low (50 grams or less during re-feed), and protein up.

      As for what foods to primally do it on, depending on how strict you are: fruit, veggies (not too much or you'll get too full), beans, dairy, ancient grains like quinoa (depends how strict you are again)...
      In Pursuit of Healthiness, Only to Achieve Happiness!:


      • #4
        Hey EGY,
        Do you think that this carb refeed thing is good for women who don't do much intense work (I only do one HIIT session a week) and want to loose fat? Or is it better for lean athletes who need to restore glycogen?


        • #5
          Hey Barbey - I use: sweet potatoes and other starchy root vegetables (turnip, parsnip, celery root, sometimes even white potatoes) and sometimes a piece of multigrain bread or a little brown rice if I'm really in need. I don't like fruits for refeeding because they don't make me feel snackish. Though sometimes the morning after a HIIT session, I'll have a banana and almond butter for breakfast. I usually eat those carbs roasted with some olive oil or in a stew with coconut milk, but always as part of my dinner (so fat + protein in there). I tend to eat higher carb dinners after my HIIT sessions.


          • #6
            somebody please remind me why we might want to raise leptin occasionally? Because dieting can reduce it, and the result of that is....?

            never mind, picked up the answer in another thread. : -)
            Last edited by Canarygirl; 04-08-2010, 01:21 PM.
            I'm a quitter...but I'm back now.


            • #7
              i stick with sweet potatoes, butternut squash, apples or applesauce. I usually try to consume fat & protein with these such as pureeing the sweet potatoes or squash with coconut milk, cinnamon & walnuts or stirring ground flax seed into the applesauce and adding sliced almonds. other than apples & berries, i don't eat other fruits. grapes or peaches or any of those other intensely sweet fruits make me sorta sick just thinking about the sugar rush. i probably eat these carbs 3x per week and not necessarily in conjunction with a workout but usually early in the day.


              • #8
                I do it fairly spontaneously. Sometimes I don't feel like a fatty breakfast in the morning after a weights session so I'll grab some greek yogurt, some blueberries, maybe a banana and put it together in a bowl, maybe with some whey if I feel like it. Then I'll just carry it on through the day eating baked sweet potatoes (great with cinnamon) with lean protein. Carrots, turnips, peas maybe some rice if I feel really sinful - won't kill you once in a while. By the time the day is done I'm really craving fat again so I can go to bed and dream about the bacon topped with butter I'll have the next morning. Saying that though I often find a good 24 hour fast makes me feel "clean" again after it.


                • #9
                  .... hmm i thought the whole point of a leptin carb refeed was

                  - lower fat and protein and spike carbs through primal sources(potatoes/winter squash & starchy tubers, fruit if you eat it)
                  - only for those doing INTENSE weight lifting/HITT because otherwise you would (theoretically) fill glycogen stores that were never depleted thus gain fat/weight
                  - do it throughout the day, not one big carb gorge meal

                  or maybe you would want a huge carb spike/splurge all in one and not throughout the day as to raise leptin better? i know fat doesnt raise leptin and is why it is usually discluded from refeeds, and protein has a high satiety and extra is used as glucose so you want to keep it to the necessary amount(which you'd prolly receive from primal carb sources)

                  i could be totally wrong here reading others carb ups and experience...
                  Get on my Level


                  • #10
                    Zoe, It can be used for athletes to improve performance, but the main goal is to reach that little last bit of stubborn fat for even non-athletes... Actually it would hinder the performance of athletes to go try to achieve that low of BF IMO.

                    And Canary leptin is a very influencing hormone that if manipulated could help you achieve lower levels of BF then your "set point", but some believe it is unsafe to do this, so Im giving this knowledge out under the agreement that anyone who wants to use it will do some research first and make a decision on their own.

                    Short version:
                    Leptin gets into the Blood brain barrier through OB-R receptors, then activates DA receptors to release dopamine, which then raises Corticotropin releasing hormone (normalizing lots of hormones) and USUALLY brings now Neuropeptide Y (normalizing or eliminating cravings).

                    Corticotropin releasing hormone influences Adreno-corticotropin-releasing-hormone, which controls your adrenal glands and cortisol, testosterone, aldosterone, ect...

                    I believe TRH (released by the hypothalamus) is influenced by CRH also... and TRH controls Thyroid stimulating Hormone and so on to T4/T3...

                    Im not going to give you the entire hormonal map haha, im going to say that leptin influences a number of hormones that influence your health and body composition.
                    In Pursuit of Healthiness, Only to Achieve Happiness!:


                    • #11
                      Also, to clarify the post above my previous one, re-feeding will only raise leptin for a few hours if done for 5 hours or less. You really want to reach for at-least a 12 hour re-feed to get leptin up for another good week or so.

                      And yes the guidelines are low-fat, moderate protein (too much will make you too full), heavy lifting workout the day after the re-feed... Working out during the re-feed is a no-no because this interferes with the hormonal regulation. Start it after a workout, and then do a workout a couple hours after the next of the re-feed or the day after.
                      In Pursuit of Healthiness, Only to Achieve Happiness!:


                      • #12
                        I'm really interested in this one and have a question that sounds silly but really want to know - what about beer? Since it is a fermented grain, does it contribute to the leptin enhancement? Or does the alcohol cause enough damage to brain chemistry and/or hormonal systems to nullify effects of a carb heavy day? Of course I am not talking about drinking for 12 hours straight, but thinking of a beer (or 2) on a Friday night after regular primal carbs throughout the day.


                        • #13
                          Thanks so much for answering my question, EGY. I am just starting out my fat loss (I need to loose about 30-35 lbs) but a carb re-feed just sounds really nice... I don't know if I am just kidding myslef but do you think that this would work for me, or is it a good idea to just not go there untill I have only a few pound left? I really want to loose the fat and low carb is pretty slow for me compared to some of the stories I read here.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by EGYnutrition View Post
                            BarbeyGirl the consensus from what I've read is you can do it a couple different ways... but each re-feed is supposed to be longer than 5 hours...
                            Thanks, EGY -- this is helpful! Could I pester you for references where I can read more? (Ever in pursuit of the WHY behind the WHAT...)
                            Nightlife ~ Chronicles of Less Urban Living, Fresh from In the Night Farm ~ Idaho's Primal Farm!

                            Latest post: Stop Being Stupid


                            • #15
                              Barbeygirl To be honest I've got about 6 or 7 books of Lyle McDonald's with LOADS (hundreds and hundreds) of references, but it's all at my house, and Im 2 hours away from there right now, but when I go back I will post some. In the mean time, I will look for a few on some of the websites I use (hard-drive crashed yesterday, lost all my bookmarks)...

                              Hahah so many excuses Im sorry but it all happened at once, I'll do my best though.

                              And Zoe, if you're just starting out with fat loss, the re-feeds might do a little more harm then good (really depends on insulin sensitivity). I usually don't recommend re-feeds until people have exhausted the other more natural routes and are at low BF. The reason besides insulin sensitivity is also leptin, the more BF you have the more leptin you have, and the more stable it will be.

                              When guys and especially girls try to get to low bf the re-feeds are important. Girls actually have more leptin than guys too ( you girls lucked out) because of the higher circulating levels of estrogen, which seem to act like leptin in certain cases. But then again, it's also very important for girls to keep their leptin up because of their ability to birth. Low levels of leptin during pregnancy are a big no-no.

                              Hope this all helps, might of gone of on a tangent haha
                              In Pursuit of Healthiness, Only to Achieve Happiness!: