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Excessive carb refeeds.....really?

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  • Excessive carb refeeds.....really?

    There are several posts out there on using carb refeeds to lean out. I believe that some level of carbs are fine, but it seems like some people have moved in to an obsession about being lean and are not considering long term health.

    I get the desire to lean out, but large and several days of carb loading, and even fasting seems close to obsessive behaviors found in other CW type diets. Mark's definitive guide to insulin should really ring some alarms for those that are carb loading. At some point, don't you care about your health more? Prolonged Insulin spikes, excess glucose = bad.

    Have you taken care of someone elderly with diabetes? It slowly robs you of life. If so, this would scare you.

  • #2
    I somewhat agree with you. However, I think most people are being pretty smart about it. To my knowledge, most people here are using Leangains style, with a daily fast (8 hour eating window with 1-3 meals) and taking in the carbs post-workout. Your muscles are at their most insulin sensitive, and your glyocgen is depleted, so most of the carbs will go toward replinishing glycogen stores. And this is an acute insulin spike as opposed to a chronically high level as would be seen if you were eating 5-6 mini-meals thoughout the day with carbs at each meal.

    Part of me still believes that high carb intake might be bad for long term health, but is that still true when they are used strategically as outlined above? I would think that something that leads to improved body composition would be a benefit for long term health, but I could be wrong. Maybe it's more healthy to just be fairly lean (as opposed to ripped) and follow a diet more in line with PB than it is to be ripped and rely on Leangains style eating.

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    • #3
      Really could have kept this in the other thread.

      Oh and ... Carb Refeeding and Weight Loss | Mark's Daily Apple

      Mark himself says "go for it, eat tons of potatoes" and says there's nothing wrong with doing this "once or twice a week" in fact, his only problem with doing it more often is "don't want to go without a nice ribeye more than 2-3 days or a week" can't say I blame him.

      So, thread... over.
      I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by yodiewan View Post
        Part of me still believes that high carb intake might be bad for long term health, but is that still true when they are used strategically as outlined above? I would think that something that leads to improved body composition would be a benefit for long term health, but I could be wrong. Maybe it's more healthy to just be fairly lean (as opposed to ripped) and follow a diet more in line with PB than it is to be ripped and rely on Leangains style eating.
        Well sure, I thought it was general knowledge that being ripped = unhealthy, or at least, not ideal. The human body isn't too keen on having no body fat (stored energy) which is why it's so hard to get to those aesthetically pleasing levels. They're not in accordance with our basic needs as humans, we need to have body fat "in case shit"... I surely would rather get trapped under a boulder today, with 15ish lbs to use up, than a few months from now when I'll only have 5lbs (fingers crossed...) know what I mean? From a survival stand point, being very lean is undesirable. However the chances of such an occurrence where you'd need to rely on your body fat to survive aren't so likely. The problem we face as a society is most people have enough body fat to afford not eating for 2-3 months.
        I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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        • #5
          one must also keep in mind that those who train heavily actually will feel better with higher carbs. I am one of those. In my opinion there is nothing wrong with carb feeding on primal carbs and that feeling better does = health.

          In my opinion, and we have seen it here, those who train hard and stay low carb can stress their thyroid.

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          • #6
            Speaking for myself, the carb loads that I do are relative to the fact that I'm pretty low carb usually. The amount of sweet potatoes or other primal carbs that I choose to up my carbs are still a lot less that your average grain eater would eat. A carb re-feed for a non-primal lifter could be something more like a pizza and that's not on for me. I don't think we're doing much harm if any with our primal carb re-feeds.

            Incidentally, I use re-feeds more to replenish my glycogen and give me energy for working out and adding muscle than for getting lean. I can get lean with my carbs set to very low.
            http://www.facebook.com/daemonized

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            • #7
              All great feedback. Thanks! Just hoping some don't read into these carb refeed posts and become obsessive. I feel great just being freed from any special dieting and just enjoy my food and freedom from hunger and sugar crashes.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Paleofan View Post
                All great feedback. Thanks! Just hoping some don't read into these carb refeed posts and become obsessive. I feel great just being freed from any special dieting and just enjoy my food and freedom from hunger and sugar crashes.
                Noted, and I agree that obsessive behaviors are not usually good. It just so happens some people are just naturally more curious and like to tinker. I'm not really like that, so for me measuring, weighing and accounting for my meals feels like an unnecessary chore. It's easy, however, to just eat more potatoes and lean meats on days that I work out, and eat regular fatty proteins with lots of veggies any other time. I don't even have to think about it too much. I used to over-think the process all together, thinking you had to be super exact or fail, but that's not been my experience.
                I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                • #9
                  I don't find the threads excessive at all. I think there are 1-2? I find them very informative.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by moo View Post
                    I don't find the threads excessive at all. I think there are 1-2? I find them very informative.
                    I do as well, but for a new person (and especially for someone who has a lot of fat to lose) it could be confusing/mis-leading. Especially when some people are using "non-primal" foods (like beans) to get their carb count higher. Also, some of those refeed days are NOT leangains style (Yodie) even though we would like them to be. Some are eating close to 3 or 400g of carbs in a day and lowering their fat, so they are spreading the insulin out over the whole day - or most of it. Which I think was Paleofan's main point.

                    This is all just experimentation and I am all for it. There is no perfect diet for everyone and once you get a handle on what does and doesn't work (in a general sense) then you can start to tinker. Just don't want someone that has had good success, but still has a way to go, thinking that they can speed it up by carb cycling. Most carb refeeds are to make your muscles fuller, thus giving the look of "tighter skin" and illusion of fat loss/leaning out. It does help with building/retaining muscle as well, but the sudden fat loss still needs proving, IMO. Bodybuilders do this before shows all the time. Well, that and sodium loading to help flush water. I use it sometimes myself when I feel run down.
                    People too weak to follow their own dreams will always try to discourage others.

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                    • #11
                      Well if people aren't careful enough to read that re-feeds are for people already lean and stalling then that's their problem innit?
                      and beans are pretty dang safe after soaking overnight, that is also general knowledge, so for the purpose of carb-loading they're more than okay.
                      I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
                        Well if people aren't careful enough to read that re-feeds are for people already lean and stalling then that's their problem innit?
                        and beans are pretty dang safe after soaking overnight, that is also general knowledge, so for the purpose of carb-loading they're more than okay.
                        I agree on both points. Just saying that some people won't read the whole thing (they are very long threads after all) just glean over it and get the idea that they should do it.
                        People too weak to follow their own dreams will always try to discourage others.

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                        • #13
                          I don't know... Wally B seems to have a pretty good handle on carb refeeds for himself, but it is very moderate, just enough carbs to break ketosis. He's still at about 300 lbs, I think, but losing weight consistently. Check out this thread.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jfreaksho View Post
                            I don't know... Wally B seems to have a pretty good handle on carb refeeds for himself, but it is very moderate, just enough carbs to break ketosis. He's still at about 300 lbs, I think, but losing weight consistently. Check out this thread.
                            Yeah, because he's still getting the desired rise in leptin. That's why permanent low-carbers have issues of weight loss stalling or almost stopping completely, they want to keep insulin low so badly, without knowing about how leptin can jump-start weight loss. I think his once every two weeks approach is on point.

                            The point I and some others are making is that more "aggressive" or frequent re-feeds is more geared towards leaner people. It's possible that if Wally B were to carb up more often he wouldn't experience as much weight loss, though it would be really interesting to see how he would fare. Conventional primal wisdom would dictate that he would stop losing and perhaps gain, but I don't think it's been attempted by somebody on the heavier end.
                            I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                            • #15
                              Here's the thing: carbs are only a problem for people with already impaired metabolisms. If you're lean and eat the right type (paleo) of carbs, then you're probably going to be fine.

                              I get that if you have weight to lose, you look at the threads about carb refeeds and freak out a little, but you have to consider the fact that people with healthy metabolisms don't react the same way you do.

                              Lately I stopped caring about carbs. I might go over 200-300 grams some days and I just don't care, my body is fine. You might not like it, but I have great results and I'm super fit and lean, and that's all I need to know about.

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