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    YogaBare's Avatar
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    Jerking your metabolism around

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    There's a lot on the forum at the moment about the effect of long-term low carbing on metabolism versus re-feeding days which are supposed to kickstart your metabolism again. I was wondering if anyone has links to scientific findings on all this? The yo-yoing makes sense to me on one level, but is it really good to keep 'shocking' the system?

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    Apex Predator's Avatar
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    I'd think it's more in line with human history to not eat the exact same amount of calories day in and day out- nature has short, medium and long term cycles of food availability.

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    Here's a link to a Leangains article on this topic (though it's focused a little more on having a bigger 'cheat'/feast day, but he also mentions calorie/carb refeeding as a more regular thing):

    Cheat Day Strategies For A Hedonist | Intermittent fasting diet for fat loss, muscle gain and health

    From personal experience, when I go through a period of time, say 1-3 weeks of eating super low carb, then i have a big carb day, the next day I am less bloated and have dropped weight. My body likes consistency, but not routine (that seems like a contradiction, I know.) If I feed it consistently good food, and periodically alter some small aspect of what I'm doing, say eat 3 meals a day whenn I normally eat two, or have some extra carbs and lower fat, or eat my dinner 2-3 hours later than I normally would, somehow my body seems to function better. Eating the same thing in the same way day after day really has a negative affect on my mood.

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    YogaBare's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link BestB - great article! I also found one from Mark: Carb Refeeding and Weight Loss | Mark's Daily Apple

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    YogaBare, I read the article you posted - it was good, and seems to get down to the point quickly. One thing that confuses me is why Mark seems so against carb refeeds for more overweight people...clearly there are lots of folks on this forum who have a lot of at still to loss and don't function well being low carb (under 50g). I think carb refeeds can be really valuable for everyone on the spectrum, but that's my $0.02

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    Quote Originally Posted by Apex Predator View Post
    I'd think it's more in line with human history to not eat the exact same amount of calories day in and day out- nature has short, medium and long term cycles of food availability.
    What he said. Imo most of the time, the best question to ask oneself when in doubt is "What would our hunter-gatherer ancestors have done?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by BestBetter View Post
    YogaBare, I read the article you posted - it was good, and seems to get down to the point quickly. One thing that confuses me is why Mark seems so against carb refeeds for more overweight people...clearly there are lots of folks on this forum who have a lot of at still to loss and don't function well being low carb (under 50g). I think carb refeeds can be really valuable for everyone on the spectrum, but that's my $0.02
    I think it has to do with leptin levels. If you are lean and eating low carb your leptin gets depleted quite quickly. A refeed boosts leptin and balances your appetite and metabolism. An overweight person doesn't have the same leptin depletion issues, therefore a refeed is not necessary. Probably helps from a psychological perspective though. I just had my first "cheat day" in a month (lots of nuts, a pint of mascarpone and strawberry ice cream (OMG), and a bag of chocolate-covered hazelnuts) and I have to say - I feel great! I think knowing you can splurge every now and again keeps you motivated. I read an article on that too...

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    Quote Originally Posted by NobleSavage View Post
    What he said. Imo most of the time, the best question to ask oneself when in doubt is "What would our hunter-gatherer ancestors have done?"
    What I'm going to say will be pretty controversial for this site... but the one aspect of this life style that doesn't resonate with me is the referral to "what our ancestors did". I find it purely speculative. The reality is that we can't know for sure what our ancestors did! I prefer to go with the scientific research - there's a a lot of it.

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    I'm not calorie cycling much this summer, every day is an eat day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fiercehunter View Post
    I'm not calorie cycling much this summer, every day is an eat day.
    Is that working for you? Are you at a maintenance stage?

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