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Thread: How To Break Through Plateaus and Accelerate Fat Burn with Carb Refeeds

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Narberth, PA

    How To Break Through Plateaus and Accelerate Fat Burn with Carb Refeeds!

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    An Introduction

    This post will be long and potentially daunting to read through. I have had several requests to write about this, and I am more than happy to do so. That being said, I AM NO EXPERT! I am not a doctor, nutritionist, dietician or body builder. I am fairly lean, but I am by no means impressive. At the time I am writing this, I am a 24yo male who will be turning 25 very soon. I am 5'7" tall, Caucasian (Italian descent), 139 lbs and I am currently sitting in my bedroom 7 minutes West of Philadelphia in a pair of size 29 black Tony Hawk shorts I bought at a Kohl's. I haven't worn a size 29 since I was 14 years old. At this time a year ago, I was about 165 pounds and bordering on a size 34. If I had to approximate my body fat right now, it would be somewhere around 12%. I am an electrical engineer and I'm logical and scientific by nature. What I will write about below are theories I have developed from my own research and personal experience, and while most of it is grounded in science, it will surely be full of my own assumptions and truisms I have developed on my own from these positive experiences.

    DISCLAIMER: This guide is written for those that are looking to lose those last 10-15 pounds that just won't seem to come off. This is written for the people trying to achieve very lean levels of body fat, which may be below the average person's homeostasis. This is not written for those with significant amounts of body fat to lose. This method requires you to have balanced hormones and a solid exercise plan. This method may backfire on those with significant amounts of fat to lose because of the stable hormones required. It may also backfire on those that do not exercise, or do not exercise at a high intensity as it requires you to deplete your glycogen stores regularly. For those individuals, I feel that the standard high-fat/mid-to-high protein/low-carbohydrate Primal plan will perform best for them.

    Let's get one thing straight: I feel that the Primal approach is the best approach for overall health, wellness and disease prevention. I believe solidly that FAT is the PREFERRED fuel for the human body, and while carbohydrates have a place, they should be consumed in limited amounts. Carbohydrates ARE the biggest problem with the American diet (along with PUFA oils, of course!). That being said, the standard high-fat/low-carb Primal/Paleo approach is not enough for many of us to achieve very lean levels of body fat. For many of us, our body WANTS to hold onto additional body fat, just in case the hunt doesn't go well for a few days. It's a survival mechanism. Maybe your body doesn't want to be 9% body fat. Maybe it wants to be 14% body fat, even if you want to be leaner. There are even people on this site who started out in very good physical condition with plenty of lean muscle mass and - GASP! - GAINED weight! These are the people I am writing this guide for.

    The funny thing about this forum is the dichotomy I see between fats and carbs. Most of us spent the majority of our lives fearing saturated fats and eating the Standard American Diet of high carbs and low-fat, processed foods. Now, we have suddenly embraced these wonderful saturated fats! We finally took the "red pill" and have seen the truth about them...but at a cost. Now, we've done the same thing to carbs that we did to saturated fats! We have developed this irrational fear of carbohydrates - that they are evil. Didn't we learn the first time by demonizing saturated fats?! The truth is, carbohydrates as a whole are not evil. They are simply much more complicated than fats. While carbohydrates should typically be limited in intake, using proper amounts of the right kinds of carbohydrates at precisely the right time can be utilized to PROMOTE FAT LOSS. This post will be about the ever-controversial and often-ignored or unheard of topic of the "carb refeed", or as body builders call it, "carb cycling".
    This post will be about indulging in carbs, but we can still do this primally. We just have to make the right choices. While it may not be the standard fat/protein/carbs ratios promoted in the Primal Blueprint, even Mark has acknowledged its effectiveness. You may read about it here:

    Carb Refeeding and Weight Loss | Mark's Daily Apple

    If you are still reading this and want to stay in Wonderland, we'll see just how far the rabbit hole goes. And yes, I do like the movie "The Matrix".

    My Story
    I already listed my size and measurements above. I grew up in a large Italian family. I ate pasta and/or bread on a daily basis. I rarely ever ate processed junk. Mom and grandma cooked all my meals for me. Because of this, I never got "fat", but I was always a chubby kid. Late in my high school career, I started lifting weights with very minor success. Throughout college, I ramped up my activity and even took up a little jogging. By the end of college and the beginning of my post-college career, I was running about 17 miles a week and lifting 3 times a week. I was in good physical condition. I would run 5.5 miles in 45 minutes including my warm-up and cool-down with little effort. If you asked me to turn around and run a 6:XX mile, I'd have no issue. Still, I was always chubby. Now, I did a 2 week stint of Atkins back in high school with my parents just to see what it was all about, and it did work well at losing fat, so I knew for years that carbs were mostly responsible for fat gain. I wasn't willing to give up my homemade pizza, pasta and bread, so I just simply tried to run more and tried to make improvements to my diet.

    When I was 23yo and first started working after college, I weighed about 150 pounds. While in college, my roommates and I purposely moved a mile off campus so we'd be forced to walk at least 2-4 miles a day for classes. Now that I was sitting in an office all day, the weight started to creep up on me. I switched to all whole grains and even bought my own meat slicer so I didn't eat processed lunchmeat. My lunches were a whole wheat tortilla wrap with sliced homemade meats and cheddar cheese with veggies and an apple - above and beyond healthy compared to the average American. Still, my weight creeped up to 165 pounds and nearly a 34" waist at my desk job. Staring at myself in a dressing room mirror one day, I knew I needed to make a change. Remembering the success I had with Atkins, I started researching low-carb diet plans on body building sites. I eventually settled on a ketogenic diet with a much more intense weight lifting plan that I did for 7 weeks. I had great success and dropped back to 150 pounds, but I had more muscle than when I started! That was at the time the best shape I had ever been in in my life.

    While I quit keto after the 7 weeks, I maintained a relatively low-carb diet for the future. I kept my whole wheat wraps, but limited my pasta intake to no more than 2 meals a week. I cut back on bread at all times. Over the next 8 months, I got down to 145 pounds, but I was considerably stronger than I was post-college. At some point during all of this, I stumbled across Mark's Daily Apple, and that sent my entire life into a tailspin! About 3 months ago, I decided to go Primal! When I began my own Primal journey, this is what I looked like:

    Again, I wasn't exactly "fat", but I definitely had a good bit of fat to lose. After going Primal for six weeks, I felt better than I had ever felt in my life! Knowing everything I know now, Primal cannot be beat for health and wellness! However, there was one problem...

    I wasn't really losing any body fat! Yes, my waist was about 1" smaller, but after 6 weeks of no bread, no pasta, no rice, no beans, no potatoes and no milk - all the staples of my diet that I LOVED - was it really worth depriving myself of that for one lousy inch and a little bit more energy?

    Being as I've been researching body building websites for a year at this point, I knew about "carb cycling" and that body builders used it to great success for awhile. I just didn't know how it worked initially when I went on keto. However, thanks to all the reading I've been doing since going Primal, I now have a firm foothold on the "carb refeed", what it does and why it's so effective. After a brief 48 hour refeed and then snapping back into the Primal eating plan for a week, I saw more fat loss than I did on the 6 weeks of Primal.

    Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 06-01-2011 at 05:28 PM.
    Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Narberth, PA
    The Carb Refeed
    The science behind the carb refeed is pretty simple. Being as we're all familiar with the Primal Blueprint, I'll assume we all know about insulin. Insulin is the storage hormone. It shuttles energy into our cells, amino acids into our muscles, and, unfortunately, fat into fat cells. We know that obesity is the result of chronically elevated insulin, and diabetes is the result of prolonged insulin resistance. The Primal Blueprint works by regulating our insulin and allowing our bodies to achieve homeostasis, which for the majority of us is a quite lean body.

    The lesser-known but just as important hormone that drives body composition is leptin. Leptin does two major things:

    1.) Leptin inhibits appetite
    2.) Leptin tells our fat cells to release fat

    As insulin levels rise, so do leptin levels. While insulin is shuttling fat into fat cells, leptin works as a counterweight and releases stored fat from fat cells, all the while telling your brain you are getting fuller and fuller. The end result for a person with a normal, healthy metabolism is no major net increase or decrease in fat storage after a reasonable meal. The very obese are typically highly leptin resistant AND insulin resistant. This means that while the people are very overweight, they are actually starving on a cellular level. The insulin resistance causes your hormones to store all the nutrition as fat in fat cells instead of energy in muscle cells. Then, the leptin resistance never tells our brain that we're full, and it never tells any of the fat cells to release any fat. The end result is a very overweight individual that is always hungry and suffers from malnutrition.

    How much leptin that is in your system is correlated with how much fat is stored on your body. Overweight people have high levels of leptin in their system at all times, they are just resistant to it. As you minimize insulin production through eating Primally and your metabolism starts to heal, weight loss occurs. Overweight people lose large amounts of fat very quickly. It's not unheard of on this forum to see very overweight people lose 30 pounds or more of body fat a single month after going Primal! This is because their leptin levels are high. All this leptin in their system causes the body fat to melt off. As they become leaner and leaner, average leptin levels drop further and further. In short, the less fat on your body, the longer it takes to lose a certain amount of fat. Losing 10 pounds when you're 100 pounds overweight is easy. Losing 10 pounds when you're 15 pounds overweight is very difficult. This is because lean people have low leptin levels, so it's a lot more difficult to get those fat cells to release fat.
    This is where the carb refeed comes in.

    The carb feed works by temporarily boosting leptin levels. As leptin is insulin's antagonist, as insulin levels rise, leptin levels rise in kind. When you eat a prolonged low-carb diet, insulin levels are kept low and stable. The goal here is to shoot insulin levels through the roof for a small period of time. This will send the leptin levels sky high as well. Then, when the refeed is over and insulin levels regulate and you fall back into eating high-fat/low-carb, the temporarily elevated leptin levels, paired with the highly thermogenic effect of the starchy carbs (fats are for the most part non-thermogenic), your metabolism will be briefly elevated and let go of a little stored fat that normally would not get released. The goal here is to regularly reintroduce starches back into your system to keep repeating this effect. Over time, this results in huge losses in fat that may not normally be achieved.

    Now, that all sounds fine and dandy, but it's not that simple. The trick here is that you have to fine-tune your refeed. A tall, muscular, highly active man may require 400g of carbs in a day to get the weight loss going. I've seen professional body builders require 500-600g of carbs each day. If you're a smaller woman with a desk job, you may need only 100-150g of carbs. As a 24yo, 5'7", 139lb male with a desk job but a very active workout schedule, I find about 250g of carbs is good for me. It varies, so you need to figure it out for yourself. If you overeat too many carbs, you'll store them as fat tissue and the carb refeed will backfire. If you don't eat enough carbs, the effect will not be strong enough and the carb refeed will backfire. This may require patience and trial and error, but if you figure out what works for you, the results will be worth it. This is consequently why you need to have a healthy, normal metabolism to attempt this. This is for losing those last pesky 10-15 pounds, or that stubborn body fat that just won't come off that problem area.

    Timing also plays a HUGE role in the carb refeed. The key to being successful is to make sure these carbs are either burnt off or stored as glycogen for energy, not as body fat. This means that ideally, you will get all your carbs at your pre-workout meal and your post-workout meal. This is why the carb refeed days should be on your heaviest training days! That means the heavy weight lifting days, boys and girls. You shouldn't be doing carb refeeds on your low-level cardio days. You should be pairing these carbs with squats, deadlifts, military presses, benchpresses, calf presses...all the big, heavy, compound muscle movements that burn up your glycogen stores the most. If you do not lift heavy weights that often, a heavy sprint/HIIT session will also be adequate. Let's say you're an average American that works an 8am-5pm job, you eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and you work out after work. Your carb refeed day may look like this:

    7am - small breakfast consisting of low-fat, a little lean protein, veggies and some fruit (25% daily calories)

    2 pm - lunch consisting of low-fat, moderate lean protein and 1/3 of your starchy carbs for the day (25% daily calories)

    6pm - heavy lifting work-out or hard HIIT session

    7:30pm - dinner consisting of low-fat, lots of lean protein and 2/3 of your starchy carbs (50% daily calories)

    Obviously, you would want to get your pre-workout meal as close to your workout as possible, but not too close that it'll inhibit your intensity. It's tough working out on a full stomach and your intensity will suffer, so use your judgment. I would shoot to get those starches in 2-3 hours before the workout. Now, if you do this right, not only do you get the beneficial insulin and leptin boosts, but you'll burn up the carbs in the pre-workout meal and the carbs in the post-workout meal will fit nicely in your glycogen stores and not spill over into fat storage.

    You'll also notice that every meal is LOW FAT. That's right, ladies and gentlemen. FAT is our ENEMY on a carb refeed, and eating even moderate amounts of fat could cause fat gain. We are focusing on carbs here. Try and keep your total fat for the day under 40g!!! If you are a petite woman, you may want to shoot even lower, such as 30g of fat. Remember, this includes any fish oil supplementation. If you pop 3 fish oil pills a day, you have to subtract that 3g from your allowance. Your culinary friends during a carb cycle will be water, vinegar, cooking wines and lemon/lime juice as that is what you'll be cooking your meat in. Of course, dry pans, dry grill grates and oven roasting are even better yet. Just put that butter and oil away!!!
    Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Narberth, PA
    Your First Carb Refeed
    I don't recommend diving right into an intense carb-cycling routine initially. In my opinion, every individual should start with a simple 48 hour refeed to see how their body reacts to the process. Simply eat standard Primal 5 days, then for 2 whole days, carb binge. Choose your 48 hour carb binge on more intense workout days. Let's say Day 1 is a squat/deadlift/benchpress day and Day 2 is HIIT or a nice, long, 5 mile light jog (I don't advocate heavy weight lifting on back-to-back days for recovery reasons). Those are a good compromise. Now, how do we do it?

    Let's assume you're a 30 year old male and you are 5'9" and weigh 165 pounds. I am also assuming you exercise 5 days a week at an intense level. This is a requirement for carb cycling to work!

    Fat: We'll shoot for 40g of fat intake. This will be a total of 360 calories.

    Protein: I'm a big fan of the 1 to 1.5g of protein intake per pound of lean body weight. If you're 165 pounds, let's shoot for 165g of protein. This yields 660 calories.

    According to this calorie calculator , you need 2108 calories/day for fat loss. I hate calorie calculators as they're impersonal and treat all calories from all foods equally (which we know is BS), but calories matter a lot more when eating carbs, so we'll use it as a general tool. This means that the other 1088 calories need to come from carbs, so we'll shoot for 275g of carbs as your goal.

    Simply try your best to eat those macros each day for 2 days straight. Now, carbs make you retain a lot of water, so it may "appear" that you've put on weight. Have no fear. After the 48 hour refeed is over, snap back into your standard high-fat/low-carb Primal eating habits. After 2 days or so, the water weight will leave your body. Measure your waist after 5 days and check your weight on the scale. Chances are, you will have lost a little of that stubborn weight you never could before! If you see success, consider another refeed. I would recommend going through a few of the 48 refeed periods before undertaking a scheduled cycling routine. You may find you need more or less carbs than the calculator tells you, so find your sweet spot first. I did three 48 hour sessions over the course of 4 weeks before I built my carb-cycling schedule.

    But What Do I Eat For Carbs?
    Good question. The key here is to boost insulin. Because of this, we want to minimize our fruit and vegetable intake. Vegetables have a negligible insulin response, making them a poor choice for our carb allowance. Fruit is terrible as well as it's a source rich in fructose. I would limit fruit and vegetable intake to 20% of total carbs. (NOTE: I would actually recommend one serving of fruit in the meal that "breaks your fast" to fill liver glycogen stores. Anything more can backfire.) The other 80% should be from starches. This includes:

    1.) Skinless sweet potatoes/yams
    2.) Skinless white potatoes
    3.) White rice
    These are your three best choices. All three are low toxicity and will create a significant insulin response. You could probably incorporate a serving of properly soaked legumes in there as well if you enjoy rice and beans. I've eaten an entire can of black beans that I soaked for a few hours on a carb cycle and suffered no ill effects (skinless sweet potatoes tear my gut up way worse than beans). Honestly, IMO, white rice is the best choice as it's the cleanest and gives a huge insulin response. I recommend eating it with lean protein and some fibrous vegetables to lessen its glycemix index a bit. A piece of citrus chicken breast on a big bed of white rice and some steamed broccoli makes for a delicious - and perfect - meal.

    And for the sushi loves among us - now is your time to shine!

    Here is how I stand right now after my 3 lousy 48 hour carb refeeds (this picture was taken at the time I was writing this tutorial).

    Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 06-01-2011 at 05:21 PM.
    Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Narberth, PA
    My Plan
    I've read so many so-called diet tutorials that describe the science behind diets, why they work and how you should apply the material, but it seems like no one ever provides an EXAMPLE. I will post up for all to see the exact diet, exercise and intermittent fasting plan that I will be following. I am beginning this plan on 6/2/2011 (yes, tomorrow!) so you can track my progress in this thread. Anyone wishing to attempt carb-cycling can jump in with me! Maybe we can have a pics competition?

    My Diet
    I will be eating high-carb/low-fat on my heaviest training days. On my HIIT, cardio and off days, I will be eating my typical Primal meals. High-carb days will be Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. Low-carb days will be Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. My high-carb days will look like this:

    Fat: 35g
    Protein: 150g
    Carbs: 250g

    This will give me a total caloric intake of about 1915 calories. My standard low-carb days are much less structured and macros vary, but I generally try to eat 60% calories from fat, 30% calories from protein and 10% calories from carbs. A typical low-carb day will look like this:

    My calories will be higher on my low-carb days than my high-carb days. This is technically incorrect. On a proper carb cycle, you restrict calories on your high-fat/low-carb days, then overeat calories on your high-carb/low-fat days. My body has trouble doing this as high-carb/low-fat foods are much less calorically dense. I tend to eat the same volume of food, so I take in far more calories eating Primally as the food is more calorically dense. If I do not see the results I want to achieve eating this way, I will have to suffer and restrict my high-fat calories. If you are a person that can eat low calorie when eating Primally, then I suggest you make your high-carb days the higher calorie days if you can.

    My Exercise Schedule
    My exercise schedule is quite intense, but it's necessary for a successful carb cycle since successful cycling relies on muscle glycogen depletion. Feel free to customize your own exercise schedule. You don't have to do exactly what I do. Just make sure what you're doing is INTENSE at whatever level you may be at athletically!

    Monday: HIIT
    Minute 0-1: 6.1mph
    Minute 1-2: 6.2 mph
    Minute 2-3: 6.3 mph
    Minute 3-4: 6.5 mph
    Minute 4-5: 6.5 mph
    Minute 5-6: 11.5 mph
    Minute 6-7: 3.8 mph
    Minute 7-8: 11.7 mph
    Minute 8-9: 3.8 mph
    Minute 9-10: 11.9 mph
    Minute 10-11: 3.8 mph
    Minute 11-12: 12.1 mph
    Minute 12-13: 3.8 mph
    Minute 13-14: 12.3 mph
    Minute 14-15: 3.8 mph
    Minute 15-16: 3.8 mph
    Minute 16-17: 11.3 mph
    Minute 17-18: 3.8 mph
    Minute 18-19: 11.2 mph
    Minute 19-20: 3.8 mph
    Minute 20-21: 11.1 mph
    Minute 21-22: 3.8 mph
    Minute 22-23: 11.0 mph
    Minute 23-24: 3.8 mph
    Minute 24-25: 10.9 mph
    Minute 25-26: 6.0 mph
    Minute 26-27: 5.5 mph
    Minute 27-28: 5.0 mph
    Minute 28-29: 3.8 mph
    Minute 29-30: 3.8 mph

    Tuesday: Chest/Back/Abs
    Squats: 5 reps X 5 sets (5th set is max weight, each set before that is the consecutive weight -10 lbs)
    Deadlifts: 5 reps X 5 sets (5th set is max weight, each set before that is the consecutive weight -10 lbs)
    Benchpress: 5 reps X 5 sets (5th set is max weight, each set before that is the consecutive weight -10 lbs)
    Shoulder Shrugs: 5 reps X 5 sets (5th set is max weight, each set before that is the consecutive weight -10 lbs)
    Flies: 3X8 (heaviest weight)
    Reverse flies: (3X8 heaviest weight)
    Weighted sit-ups: 3X12 (holding a 35 pound weight)

    Wednesday: OFF

    Thursday: Low Level Cardio
    45 minutes @ 5.5 mph

    Friday: Shoulders/Arms
    Squats: 5 reps X 5 sets (5th set is max weight, each set before that is the consecutive weight -10 lbs)
    Behind-the-neck Shoulder Presses: 5 reps X 5 sets (5th set is max weight, each set before that is the consecutive weight -5 lbs)
    Military Presses: 5 reps X 5 sets (5th set is max weight, each set before that is the consecutive weight -5 lbs)
    Preacher curls: 5 reps X 5 sets (max weight)
    Forearm preacher curls: 5 reps X 5 sets (max weight)
    Dumbbell curls: 3X8 (max weight)
    Tricep Presses (flat benchpress, hands close-gripping bar): 5 reps X 5 sets (5th set is max weight, each set before that is the consecutive weight -5 lbs)

    Saturday: Low Level Cardio
    45 minutes @ 5.5 mph

    Sunday: Core
    Squats: 5 reps X 5 sets (5th set is max weight, each set before that is the consecutive weight -10 lbs)
    Deadlifts: 5 reps X 5 sets (5th set is max weight, each set before that is the consecutive weight -10 lbs)
    Weighted sit-ups: 3X12 (holding a 35 pound weight)
    Oblique sit-ups: One set of 35 per side, unweighted
    Leg lifts lying on flat bench: 4X25
    Side-bends: 3X10 each side (holding 35lb weight)
    Shoulder raises: 3X10

    Note: I squat before every weight lifting session, but I dead-lift every other. On the consecutive week, the dead-lift days will alternate. I do not recommend dead-lifting every lift day due to the huge amount of stress it puts on your body. [/B]The importance of recovery cannot be overstated! [/B]
    My Eating Schedule
    I try to adhere as closely as possible to the Leangains-style 16 hour fast/8 hour feed window. Some says it's 15/9, but you get the idea. I only eat two meals a day, which is not ideal. My pre-workout meal will also be much further apart from my workout than I'd like it to be. If you can do better than this, I urge you to. This may be another thing I'll have to suffer with to fine-tune later down the road.

    High-carb days:
    I will break my fast at noon. The fast will be broken with lean protein, a fruit, a vegetable and a starch. This meal will have roughly 40% of my total caloric intake. I will exercise from 6pm-7pm. At 8pm, I will eat my final meal, consisting of the majority of protein and starch. The post-workout meal is your largest and most important on high-carb days.

    Low-carb days:
    I will break my fast at noon. This will be my largest meal of the day, consisting of a bigass salad with lots of fatty meat, avocado, olive oil & vinegar dressing and probably some cheese because I love cheese. I will work out from 6-7pm. At 8pm, I will eat my final meal, which will be smaller than the first and most likely be a fatty protein with veggies.

    If you choose to eat 3 meals a day, on high-carb days, your pre-workout meal should be of moderate size and moderate starch, your post-workout meal should be of large size and high starch and that third meal should be the smallest and have the lowest of the starches. On low-carb days, you can do whatever you want, but I recommend the largest meal being the meal that breaks the fast since that is when your body is least likely to store food as fat.


    Well, there you have it. That's pretty much how you do a carb cycle. If you choose to embark on this journey with me, and your metabolism is ready and able to take the plunge, I foresee great things in your future. And remember, just because we're eating low-fat doesn't mean food can't be delicious! What am I talking about? Here are some of the meals I've made during my refeeds:

    And most of all, HAVE FUN! Carb refeeds allow us to eat things that we normally wouldn't eat, so take this as an opportunity to indulge in some rice, beans, potatoes, quinoa, buckwheat or the like guilt-free!
    Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 06-01-2011 at 05:18 PM.
    Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Huntsville, AL
    That's an impressive amount of work, great job!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    ChocoTaco this is an excelllent post, I learned a lot from reading all this, good info.

    I have a couple questions man if that's cool.
    I weigh about 150-153, I'm 20 years old 5'9 and I really want to drop down to 135lbs.
    Before Primal, I ate high carb/low fat and I managed to lose weight and I got down to 135 but it was such a hassle since I was doing so much chronic cardio and I was extremely hungry all the time after long bouts of running. My body was taking a toll and I eventually gained everything back, which really sucked. I've planning to keep my carb intake <20 grams trying to get into deep ketosis, how long should i sustain this?

    Also, this is my current workout routine for the week:

    Monday: HIIT & Simplefit
    Morning- Sprint outside 10 sets 30/60 rest protocol
    Noon- Body Weight Exercise Simplefit Endurance and 15 minute core work (planks)

    Tuesday: Circuit Training
    Morning- 90 minute walk
    Evening: Spartacus workout

    Wednesday: Tabata & Simplefit
    Morning: Jump Rope Tabata
    Evening: Strength Body Weight Simplefit

    Thursday: Circuit Training
    Morning: 90 minute walk
    Evening: Spartacus workout

    Friday: HIIT & Simplefit
    Morning: Sprint
    Evening: Timed Simplefit

    Saturday: Circuit Training
    Morning: Walk 60 minutes
    Evening: Spartacus workout

    Sunday: Fun day
    Mostly walking and playing basketball

    I'm really looking for some advice on how to cut down to my goal weight, I know it takes patience and diet is very important.
    I'm totally avoiding sugar, dairy, gluten, and anything processed. I will be trying to incorporate some sweet potatoes for carb refeeding and I'm going to start using fitday to check my macros daily. Sorry, if my post was kind of annoying but you seem very knowledgable haha.

    Last edited by Parkway Drive; 06-01-2011 at 06:44 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Narberth, PA
    I don't know how I feel about keto honestly. I have a very active mind and it's constantly all over the place, so I'm constantly thinking about how humans ate in the past. I think I've reached the conclusion that humans were notorious carb cyclers. Think about it. Early man did not have a refrigerator and a pantry. His dinner wasn't a piece of protein, two sides of vegetables and a salad. He more than likely ate only one thing at a time. My assumption is that man hunted and killed as the preferred source of fuel, but some days, you just didn't catch anything. On those days, you'd have to go scavenging for nuts, start digging for tubers or walk down to the mango grove and pig out on sugar. My guess is that early man either ate all fat and protein with no carbs at all, or all carbs with hardly any fat and protein. I think that's why carb cycling is so effective at getting humans lean - it's how we historically ate. We didn't mix fat and carbs. It was probably usually either or.

    That being said, I think you'd see great results by sticking with keto for a few days, then snapping out and eating no fat and all starch. It's called a CKD - a cyclical ketogenic diet. I did that for 7 weeks and saw decent results, but honestly, I like what I'm doing now a lot better. It is far more sustainable and I feel much better. Personally, I think my carb cycling plan is much better for those reasons - similar or better results with more sustainability and more energy. Keto is very restrictive, and I'd go nuts without a nice big salad at least every other day.

    IMO, you're already too thin for keto and your performance is going to suffer. I'd go keto if you had a lot more fat to lose. Try the carb cycling approach. You clearly have the body and the metabolism for it. Plus, you'll have a lot more fun with your food choices as they will be expansive and constantly changing.

    BTW, I'm not sure what a lot of your workouts are. Are they all just body weight training and cardio? Bear in mind that all these long workouts are going to raise your cortisol and be counterproductive. Plus, it'll increase your risk of injury. Why not just a short, 30-45 minute heavy weight training session 3 times a week and a few light jogs on off days? I used to do HIIT 3 times a week, but I'm honestly feeling better and seeing better results with just one session and light jogging the other two at 5.5 mph. I can do my single session much harder now and my legs like me a lot better for it.
    Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 06-01-2011 at 08:05 PM.
    Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Utrecht, Netherlands
    I'm in heavy doubt of trying this for a few weeks now. The reason is that I am simply not sure rather or not I'm the suitable person for this. I feel that I still have to much fat to lose. But I also know the measurements I make are unaccurate (no equipment and money to do accurate once, really) and I feel they are off. For example, I have a scale that tells me I'm 89kg (196 pounds) but the one at my parents tells me I'm 86kg (189 pounds). This has never really been a problem since the only thing I used the scale for was to check how much I lost, not how much I was at. The only body fat test I did was a simple one on the internet by putting in weight, height, age, waistline and neckline. It tells me I'm at 21% (I'm 6" and assuming 190 pounds).

    After losing 40 pounds I've been at a plateau for 1.5 months. I've cut on monstly anything, including dairy (except for grassfed butter for cooking), fruit and nuts. All I eat is meat and vegetables, and mostly meat at that. I eat around 2400 calories a day and nearly everyday is below 50 carbs. I walk or ride my bike for nearly everything I go to, school, friends, work, park, grocery's. So I walk at least two miles a day and ride my bike quite a lot (I don't own a car). We also go clubbing and dance once or twice a week (I stopped drinking during this one month ago). I'm the big strong guy out of my friends so whenever help is needed with lifting things I'm the one they ask and I'm glad to do this (free workouts)! Whenever I haven't lifted anything big for a while I do some pushups, pullups and squats at home. Also I am late way to much so I have to run to catch my train a few times per week :P. Since three weeks I've been going to the gym once a week.

    Why do I feel the numbers above are off? I'm generally a big strong guy, even three years ago when I was 105kg (230 pounds) I could lift more weight than any of the big muscular guys at the gym. I can do 50+ Pushups, 10+ pullups and 200+ squats in a row. When I read Tim Ferris his description of certain body weight I do not feel I'm 20%+. I can see my veins in the lower arms, have slight definition in my arms and shoulders even when not flexing. My legs don't flubber at all when I walk. I do have quite a big tummy though :P.

    I geuss I'm looking for a way to break the plateau. I have a bet that I'll look like Thor (as in the movie) before the 1st of august :P. Any tips if you think this would be the right way for me?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Northern NJ
    I'm not sure where I sit body fat % wise. I'd say maybe 16%? No way of really measuring. I'm going to join you on this though sounds like a fun way to pass the time. I'll do it all of June to see how it goes. I think I'll only go high-carb twice a week though, on the days I move a little iron which is usually Monday and Friday, the other days I am also active but probably not to the point of glycogen depletion.

    I only fore-see some things that would throw me off, or make any "success" not directly related to carb-refeeds:

    - I'm a little erratic with workouts outside of my LHT days. Meaning, sometimes I'll go all out on pull ups, dips, push ups, other fun stuff and definitely get a good workout, other days are more relaxed, maybe I work on static holds, practice handstands, etc and work up a little sweat but don't quite get a workout. I do sprint uphill once a week without fail, I consider that my HIIT and I have been wanting to get back into jogging maybe once or twice a week but it's not my favorite so I haven't gotten back to that. I do not go to a gym but have a pretty decent set up in my backyard.

    - I fast leangains style almost daily, however I have been extending my fasts on "rest" days. I'll basically skip breakfast and during lunch I'll go to a park near my job and either walk while reading or do work on the monkey bars. Sometimes I do both, a few sets of pull ups, dips, practice muscle ups for 20 mins or so, then walk and read for 30 mins then drive back to work. I break fast right before leaving work somewhere around 4-5pm, or upon getting home at 5 or 6pm. This is already having a positive effect in body comp. I'm really loving being able to do something during my break other than eat. I'm also nowhere near as hungry as I thought I'd be so I'm not depriving myself so mentally I feel really good. I still eat twice a day, but the window is much shorter on rest days. This however is only happening approx 3 times a week, which brings me to my next point...

    - I consider weekends "off" from almost everything (except eating primal) If breakfast is around, I have it (because I'd be eating it with family or my gf and I never place fasting before them) if I have time to exercise that's great, if not then I may go the whole weekend without doing a STRUCTURED workout. That being said, it's almost impossible for me to go a full day without doing SOMETHING. As I mentioned before, I have a decent set-up at home so if I'm there I have time to do a 10 min "grease the groove" workout (google that...)

    That's it, so basically the only change I'd be making is purposely going higher carb/lower fat twice a week and only for 4 total meals a week (I'd still fast those days) so we'll see what kind of effect it has.

    You say white rice may be preferable to sweet potatoes? because white rice is ALWAYS available at Casa de Iniquity so that actually would make this endeavor a LOT easier. What say you (all) on parboiled rice? I have a ton of that too and remember I quite like the taste. It's not brown rice, but it doesn't look white either. I could kill that... and will probably do sweet potatoes sometimes too, they're just more of a chore. I'm a lazy bum.

    Off we go!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Shop Now
    You guys do a lot of exercise...

    I've been doing some light-medium weightlifting 2x a week along with walking everyday and I think that's plenty for my needs. I do eat 230-250 grams of carbs la LeanGains after a workout (and 20% more calories than my maintenance levels). High carbs, reasonably high protein, and low on fat, more like up to 60g of fat, 50-60, on that range.

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