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Thread: cyclical ketogenic and carb loading page

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    CS56's Avatar
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    cyclical ketogenic and carb loading

    Primal Fuel
    Hi, I've been staying primal for 2 weeks now and I have some questions on the idea behind cyclical ketogenic diet when it comes to the "refeed".

    1. What's the objective behind carb loading once a week and why is it said to be anabolic?

    2. Should you bother refeeding if you're already "fat-adapted"?

    3. I have a copy of the 4 Hour Body, which I'm sure many users here know of and one of the guidelines for the "slow carb"(it really doesnt need a different name) diet is to have a cheat day, but Tim Ferriss somewhat emphasizes the consumption of massive amounts of calories on that one day, not just like one normal day of being a sugar burner. Is it really necessary to do this in order to keep your thyroid function in check? Does your body once it's fat adapted or getting there need a "shock" once in a while?

    4. What are the implications of the grain consumption during a refeed or for that matter the consumption of any of the things that are not primal for a reason? I remember reading somewhere that if you are going to avoid grains, you really need to do it for long periods at a time and that eating some even just once a week or once a month will screw your body up.

    Thanks in advance for helping me with my questions, what I'm really just worried about here is the breakdown of muscle tissue and how to avoid that, and if CKD will get my body to a certain point(fat loss and bulking) and then I can follow a normal primal diet of someone who is fat adapted.

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    Thyroid function may be affected by carb intake, but really it's caloric intake that makes the biggest difference. Low carb diets tend to blunt hunger and ake it harder for a lot of people to get adequate caloric intake on a daily basis. Time Ferriss was probably basing the "massive caloric load" recommendation on the need to make up for the displaced calories that result from a lower carb diet typically.

    And he was assuming, most likely, that on his plan you'd be working out so that you would need extra calories to begin with. Besides that, the cheat day gives you a chance to relax and not worry about what you eat for a day. While I don't think you need to make it a weekly thing necessarily, having a cheat day every once in a while, as he argued, also increased compliance with the dietary plan the rest of the time, actually increasing the positive results of those who implimented the plan. You no longer have to feel guilty if you go off for a day or two, it's ok, it might even be good for you and you can hop back on the bandwagon once again. He recognizes the realities of modern life.

    Again, consuming anything not primal is not the optimal choice, even for a refeed. However, given the realities of modern life (see above), this is not always an option. Plus (as above), allowing yourself a few cheats every now and then without killing yourself over it can increase compliance with the diet and/or lifestyle you are following.

    Refeeding serves the purpose of keeping your body "in check." If you only opperate off of one fule all the time, you cannot use the other one very effectively. Maintaining a body that is capable of utlizing all sources of fule is ideal should you ever be placed in an environment where you might not have access to a food source that you consider to be "optimal." In addition, there are certain benefits to consuming small target doses of carbs from time to time such as benefits to thyroid function (though these have been debated), keeping your metabolism active (so as not to stagnate it), and others.

    Somewhere a while back I read the theory (no idea if it's true), that consumption of carbs actually increased muscle absorption of protein. Essentially, those who ate carbs AND protein absorbed more of it into their muscles mean both that they built muscle more efficiently and that they didn't need as much overall protein since they absorbed it better. This was a hottly debated topic however and I believe no definitive word has been laid on the matter as yet.

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    CS56's Avatar
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    Thank you for the response, I guess if I do have cheat days I should probably just stick to pasta rather than twinkies. Another question, can you or anyone else explain the difference between Carb Cycling and Cyclical Ketosis? They sound the same to me

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    Pasta? We frown upon wheat here.
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    I am coming to think the carb refeed is a good idea. I did the ketogenic diet for about 4 months and had good results, but now for the past 2-3 weeks have had a terrible time with carb cravings (and have given into them -primally of course) which leads me to believe I needed/need more of a balance. I am looking at adding more carbs back into my diet from poatoes and squashes and maybe rice every so often. Not sure if I'll do a once a week refeed and go low carb the rest of the week or just have one meal with a safe starch per day. I've been re-reading Perfect Health Diet and they advocate some starches in the diet even for weight loss. Problem is that I really like high fat and high fat + starch doesn't work so well for weight loss.

    Anyways, cyclical dieting is a good idea, I think. Our body needs a change and we can't just eat the same way all the time day in and day out. It's good to change it up. I would keep your refeeds primal... keep away from grains. No sense in eliminating them from your diet if your going to have them every once in awhile. It takes quite some time for your body to repair the damage grains can do, from what I understand. No sense in eating those anti-nutrients when there are safe starches you can eat. A lot of people do eat white rice even though it's a grain. It's considered pretty 'safe'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CS56 View Post
    Thank you for the response, I guess if I do have cheat days I should probably just stick to pasta rather than twinkies. Another question, can you or anyone else explain the difference between Carb Cycling and Cyclical Ketosis? They sound the same to me
    No to pasta and twinkies. Think potatoes.

    From Mark - Carb Refeeding:
    Carb Refeeding and Weight Loss | Mark's Daily Apple

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    CS56's Avatar
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    And that would answer the grain issue, sounds fine to me. I thought you wouldn't feel the cravings after following it for that long? Isn't that something we're supposed to lose?

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    I have a carb re-feed from time to time, but I don't set a date for it, ie; once a week, ect...I do it when I feel stagnated.
    I think it's a good idea to throw a curveball in there every now and then. It seems to give me a new setpoint to work foward from. Sort of resets my system for a renewed push towards better body composition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CS56 View Post
    And that would answer the grain issue, sounds fine to me. I thought you wouldn't feel the cravings after following it for that long? Isn't that something we're supposed to lose?
    2 weeks isn't that long to be following anything... give it time and you will lose the cravings for it.

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    I do the best with carb refeeds. I have just started Ferris, and he is not very consistent, but basically you can still stay low carb on his diet if you meticulously eat only very low carb greens in addition to beans. I am going to alternate beans with the equal portion of tubers. Ferris believes that men can get away with one cheat meal, but women need a cheat day.

    When I cheat I don't want all the pastries and sweets and pizzas Ferris is salivating about. I am usually going into fruit (including a bit of dry fruit), potatoes, buckwheat/millet, honey and quark binge. I might have a few caramels as well, but mostly its' the fact that I do not have to worry about the quantity and can have as much fruit as I want. When a binge is with no wheat and low fat, it is easier to lose weight off & not have negative consequences.

    But I am switching the refeed day to Sunday from Saturday, because I find it hard to switch gears from Saturday to Sunday. I think Saturday on low carb fare will be Okay with anticipation helping, and then Monday being Monday will be psychologically easier to get back to 'normal'.
    Last edited by Leida; 11-27-2012 at 05:49 AM.
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