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Thread: Is Carb-binging Good? page

  1. #1
    vdm86's Avatar
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    Is Carb-binging Good?

    Primal Fuel
    Hi all,

    I have been eating Primally for about 7 months now. Since then, I have lost 56 lbs, and I feel great. I eat almost strictly primal most of the time, though I have the occasional scoop of ice cream (life's too short not to ). I almost never have grains or bread, even when going out. I've even been known to order a fastfood burger without the bun when I don't want a salad. All of that said, there are times when I want a big burger on a bun and a side of fries, and I've found I'm more successful when I indulge in those cravings on occasion instead of forbidding myself access to something I really want.

    My question stems from this. I weigh myself once a week. I tend to lose .5-1.5 lbs a week generally, but I've found that the weeks where I've binged for a meal I have also lost more weight. For instance, last week I enjoyed a burger with bun and milkshake while visiting a friend, along with a handful of salt-water taffy, and this week I am 3 lbs down. I weigh myself the same time every week, so I've limited other factors in weight variance. Is it possible that the occasional carb splurge is actually beneficial?

    I'm obviously not advocating including more grains in your diet, but could the occasional burger on a bun actually be helpful in promoting weight loss? I'm interested in others' thoughts and experiences.

  2. #2
    iniQuity's Avatar
    iniQuity is offline Senior Member
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    There's some science behind your faster weight loss. I first experienced this myself when going to my first wedding a few months after going primal. I had been pretty strict leading up to it, and planned to stay the course and enjoy the variety of meat and veggies available, but the Bride's sister (also a close friend) had gotten into cake-making and wanted feedback. I said screw it, never really been one to micro-manage my lifestyle (more on this later) so I went for it. The next day I had "lost" about 3lbs, which was huge at the time since I only ever had about 25-30lbs extra (and to date have lost and kept off about 28lbs. I'm a small guy close to my 'ideal' weight) when I was fully expecting to have gained some after the previous day, where I also had a few drinks with tonic, which is a pretty sugary mixer.

    Go find the carb-refeed threads, run a search for "carb-refeed" and read ChocoTaco's explanation for why "binging" on carbs can produce weight loss after restricting them for some time. Note though, that carb choices are VERY important and the sources you described above aren't the ideal ones.

    Anyway, here's my take:

    a) There's some actual science for this, so go find the threads I mentioned as I'm not as eloquent with explanations for it.
    b) Cortisol, the stress hormone, plays a huge part in a lot of things, body composition (ie: whether you lose/gain, or 'how you look') is directly affected by cortisol. If you notice, your account is full of positive connotations, you don't seem to "sweat" the instances where you "cheat" so naturally this doesn't stress you, cortisol stays low, you lose weight. On the other hand, some people flat out hate themselves after eating something outside of paleo/primal guidelines (THEY'RE NOT RULES) cortisol shoots up, these people may take measures to counter their "bad behavior" (fasting, exercising, etc) which further stresses the body, cortisol keeps rising... you don't lose any weight. Mindset is VERY important. Obviously, this isn't to say you should run to the nearest shit-food and down it and smile about, and do it all the time, but occasional indulgences are better had when one is happy about it, rather than not. Eating a burger with fries and a bun is something that for instance can make a social situation seem easier, your friends won't give you shit, etc and you'll be relaxed through the experience. You can of course just go bun-less, order veggies, and still feel good (as you should) but if YOU want to indulge (not just to cater to your friends) then by all means. You're already better off not eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so some isolated instances are good for the soul.

    I probably indulge in shit far too often, and my progress has stalled many times as a result, so I'm not advocating doing this all the time.

  3. #3
    vdm86's Avatar
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    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by iniQuity View Post
    Go find the carb-refeed threads, run a search for "carb-refeed" and read ChocoTaco's explanation for why "binging" on carbs can produce weight loss after restricting them for some time. Note though, that carb choices are VERY important and the sources you described above aren't the ideal ones.
    I hadn't come across this carb-refeed idea. Thanks for pointing it out! I feel slightly less crazy now.

  4. #4
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    It's your body telling you it's not alright with what it gets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iniQuity View Post
    There's some science behind your faster weight loss. I first experienced this myself when going to my first wedding a few months after going primal. I had been pretty strict leading up to it, and planned to stay the course and enjoy the variety of meat and veggies available, but the Bride's sister (also a close friend) had gotten into cake-making and wanted feedback. I said screw it, never really been one to micro-manage my lifestyle (more on this later) so I went for it. The next day I had "lost" about 3lbs, which was huge at the time since I only ever had about 25-30lbs extra (and to date have lost and kept off about 28lbs. I'm a small guy close to my 'ideal' weight) when I was fully expecting to have gained some after the previous day, where I also had a few drinks with tonic, which is a pretty sugary mixer.

    Go find the carb-refeed threads, run a search for "carb-refeed" and read ChocoTaco's explanation for why "binging" on carbs can produce weight loss after restricting them for some time. Note though, that carb choices are VERY important and the sources you described above aren't the ideal ones.

    Anyway, here's my take:

    a) There's some actual science for this, so go find the threads I mentioned as I'm not as eloquent with explanations for it.
    b) Cortisol, the stress hormone, plays a huge part in a lot of things, body composition (ie: whether you lose/gain, or 'how you look') is directly affected by cortisol. If you notice, your account is full of positive connotations, you don't seem to "sweat" the instances where you "cheat" so naturally this doesn't stress you, cortisol stays low, you lose weight. On the other hand, some people flat out hate themselves after eating something outside of paleo/primal guidelines (THEY'RE NOT RULES) cortisol shoots up, these people may take measures to counter their "bad behavior" (fasting, exercising, etc) which further stresses the body, cortisol keeps rising... you don't lose any weight. Mindset is VERY important. Obviously, this isn't to say you should run to the nearest shit-food and down it and smile about, and do it all the time, but occasional indulgences are better had when one is happy about it, rather than not. Eating a burger with fries and a bun is something that for instance can make a social situation seem easier, your friends won't give you shit, etc and you'll be relaxed through the experience. You can of course just go bun-less, order veggies, and still feel good (as you should) but if YOU want to indulge (not just to cater to your friends) then by all means. You're already better off not eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so some isolated instances are good for the soul.

    I probably indulge in shit far too often, and my progress has stalled many times as a result, so I'm not advocating doing this all the time.
    +100 on your take on cortisol. Stress is such an important piece of this puzzle. When you stress out over eating something, then weigh yourself hourly to see the affects, this will take a worse toll on your body then the substance you consumed.

    I read a quote and I'm not sure where, but it stuck with me "It's better to eat the wrong thing with the right attitude, then eating the right things with the wrong attitude."
    Self-realization. I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  6. #6
    iniQuity's Avatar
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    I read something, also forgot where that said "Eat right, exercise, die anyway." (I think it was actually meant to advertise food commonly seen as shitty) and I thought it was very witty and oddly poignant. Clearly, this isn't to say "fuck up, because everyone is going to die even if they try to be perfect" but it is a reminder that all your efforts aren't going to stop the inevitable. What we're aiming to do is enjoy life as much as possible before it's over, eating right and exercising SHOULD aid in making life FUN, but if it's not doing it for you, then adjust. Maybe eating super clean makes you miserable, then it's not worth it and you should allow yourself some slips, maybe your routine at the gym is no longer motivating, time to switch it up.

    Eat right, exercise, die anyway.

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    Excellent outlook if you ask me.
    Self-realization. I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  8. #8
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    Well spotted vdm86. When you're in tune with how your body's responding and coping, you're well primal.

    Always a good idea to challenge your body. Otherwise, almost any kind of resistance can develop.

    I agree it's good to relax a few times in a while.
    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.

  9. #9
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    I spent the first week of January decorating with my father. Wine to excess every night, beer frequently, lots of fat and meat but also lots of pasta and sweet potatoes, plus an excessive dose of turpentine fumes from diluting oil paints to get that pristine glossy look on the woodwork. Lost weight anyway. Also lost weight during the Christmas period of all to excess, beer bread and pasta, more wine and little exercise. Must be the excess meat and animal fats.

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