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Old 01-27-2013, 04:21 AM   #31
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Wow, that's great and explains a lot. So for most people a regular ketogenic diet would be good if they are trying to get to a low BF level (above 5%) assuming that they aren't concerned with necessarily building muscle mass. However if they do want to build some muscle mass the carb cycling ketogenic diet would be better for the reasons you stated. Is that correct? I am thinking in terms of body recomposition for people who aren't necessarily trying to compete in a BBing competition. Do recommend getting a DEXA scan to find out what percent BF you are before choosing an SKD vs. CKD? Or is that not necessary because it isn't likely that someone could be as low as 5%. Meaning you can just base it on your goals CKD for fat loss/muscle build or SKD for fat loss.
My main concern is with CKD is that for someone who is following the atkins diet like myself, I might exceed my ACE if I tried a CKD. Do you know what I mean? And if that happens it could cause problems and put me right back to ground 0. Once I am at my goal weight (and I am close now), I might want to look into body recomposition. I am afraid that carb refeeding might put me over my ACE, which will start causing problems again. I am starting to suspect that my ACE might be below 50g carbs/day which will keep me on an SKD. I know your not an expert, although you sure sound like you are! What do you recommend for someone like me? Would I just keep following the atkins diet and try to build muscle any way I can even on an SKD. Assuming I might be able to build some if I am eating enough calories, or is it futile? Just curious what you think.

Last edited by Punkin; 01-27-2013 at 04:23 AM..
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:35 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Trillex View Post
Powell recommends a system of "cycling" carbs every other day -- one day of meat and carbohydrates only in the form of Atkins-induction-type fibrous veggies, followed by one day of meat and fibrous veggies along with slow-burning starches like sweet potatoes or brown rice. Powell's work with the super-obese -- some of whom he has helped to lose from 200-300 pounds of excess bodyfat -- he claims has shown him that this form of carb cycling works faster and is more targeted to fat loss than other dietary approaches. In his book, Choose to Lose, Powell says this approach increases the metabolic rate in obese bodies. I'm not sure that there is any clinical research that backs up this claim, but Powell has an excellent track record for helping super-obese individuals quickly lose a lot of bodyfat, and he has professional bodyfat scans of his clients so he has proven that these individuals do lose bodyfat without significantly sacrificing lean muscle tissue.
One question carb cycling lifts insulin levels and high insulin levels slow down weight loss?
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:46 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Punkin View Post
Wow, that's great and explains a lot. So for most people a regular ketogenic diet would be good if they are trying to get to a low BF level (above 5%) assuming that they aren't concerned with necessarily building muscle mass. However if they do want to build some muscle mass the carb cycling ketogenic diet would be better for the reasons you stated. Is that correct? I am thinking in terms of body recomposition for people who aren't necessarily trying to compete in a BBing competition. Do recommend getting a DEXA scan to find out what percent BF you are before choosing an SKD vs. CKD? Or is that not necessary because it isn't likely that someone could be as low as 5%. Meaning you can just base it on your goals CKD for fat loss/muscle build or SKD for fat loss.
My main concern is with CKD is that for someone who is following the atkins diet like myself, I might exceed my ACE if I tried a CKD. Do you know what I mean? And if that happens it could cause problems and put me right back to ground 0. Once I am at my goal weight (and I am close now), I might want to look into body recomposition. I am afraid that carb refeeding might put me over my ACE, which will start causing problems again. I am starting to suspect that my ACE might be below 50g carbs/day which will keep me on an SKD. I know your not an expert, although you sure sound like you are! What do you recommend for someone like me? Would I just keep following the atkins diet and try to build muscle any way I can even on an SKD. Assuming I might be able to build some if I am eating enough calories, or is it futile? Just curious what you think.
I'm doing Atkins, too -- the 2002 version -- and I have the exact same concerns that you have! I've been working out really hard and I someday want a body like Venus Williams -- I'm serious! Before I gained weight, I felt like I was kind of skinny and stringy but I would prefer to be shapely/muscular after dieting and lifting hard. But I wonder if I will *need* more anabolic nutrition in order to achieve that physique. Right now, I'm hoping that I have a grand slam shape underneath my excess fat and I'm hoping that losing more bodyfat will reveal that shape.

BUT if I need to bulk out more than I've been able to, in order to achieve my physical goals, I wonder what that will mean to my nutrition? And how would I handle a more *anabolic* approach to nutrition, like including some re-feed days to change my hormone profile for lifting? It *seems* to me that a bodybuilding "cyclical" type diet *might* be an easy transition from a ketogenic program like Atkins. But I think it depends on the personality of the person and their individual sensitivity to high influxes of carbohydrates. So I don't have any definite answers about the best approach for me as an individual. Jeff Volek -- who is a bodybuilder and researcher that has co-written influential books on carb cycling and equally influential books on long-term keto-adaptation plans -- said:

People vary widely in their ability to metabolize carbohydrate in a healthy way, and even within a person that ability can change with age and other lifestyle factors. So it is difficult to make generalizations. Some athletes can tolerate and benefit from the intermittent use of carbohydrates as was presented in TNT, whereas I have come to appreciate that others may not be able to without disrupting their metabolism. At the end of the day, it comes down to personalization and finding out what works for you.
Dr. Jeff Volek’s Comments on TNT versus a true Ketogenic Diet. « TNT Man's Low Carb & 52DC Journey
My trainer -- who is a bodybuilding coach -- said basically the same thing about some of the bodybuilders he trains. Some bodybuilders just go completely off the rails -- ignoring their nutrition guidelines -- when they do carb re-feeds or high-calorie "bulking" diets, because they have the kind of personality that wants to dive recklessly into food the minute they're allowed to eat food that they enjoy. So he can't give them as much nutritional freedom as he gives some of the other guys that he coaches. He has to give these guys who have food sensitivities really rigid eating plans that are designed to make it easier for them to do what they're *supposed* to do.

To see what kind of person each client is, with regard to food, my trainer has his bodybuilders do a full month of blood glucose testing before they start training. He has them test their fasting blood glucose levels, then test 30, 60, and 120 minutes after each meal. And he has them keep detailed food logs of their *normal* eating habits -- weighing and measuring each portion -- for a full month. He does this testing to identify which foods the guys are most sensitive to and which foods might stimulate them to stray from their nutrition guidelines.

There are *standard* plans -- like the *main* approaches to ketogenic dieting and re-feeding -- but not all bodybuilders can take the same approach to a specific plan because each body and each mentality is so different with regard to different foods. And ketogenic dieting is only one part of a larger lifestyle of ongoing nutrition and training -- they have "bulking" diets and "maintenance" diets and "water balance" diets and "strength" diets, etc. Every year is broken down into 8-12 week segments that have specific physical goals. And as long as they do what they're *supposed* to do, bodybuilders will achieve the goals that they want to achieve -- but good coaches have to adjust the specifics of each plan to make sure that it's something that the individual personality will be able to strictly follow and that it's something from which the individual metabolism will receive maximum benefits.

I think the Atkins program allows each dieter to figure out their food sensitivities by going up the ongoing weight loss ladder and seeing how they respond to each new food category. So I feel like that's a huge advantage for transition into long-term maintenance. And my trainer had me do all of the preliminary diet testing while eating *normal* foods for a month like ice cream and pizza and chalupas and mocha lattes, so we know that my blood glucose levels are extremely normal -- no matter what I ate, my blood glucose level never went above 115 mg/dl and never dropped precipitously -- which means that I don't have an irregular blood sugar sensitivity to carbs. But I've made so much progress on Atkins that I feel like I don't *want* to eat carbs, even as part of a structured re-feed.

Plus, I honestly don't know if the carb re-feeds are a *better* approach to muscle building. Bodybuilders do it for very specific reasons -- which I can totally appreciate. And anyone who wants to *feel* their muscles, typically enjoys the muscle texture more when glycogen is packed back into the muscle tissues -- glycogen and creatine and anything that puts water and sugar into the tissues makes the texture really pop. I have seen this on other people, I've felt the difference, and I must admit that I think it's attractive.

But I really like the simplicity of Atkins -- "eat this and don't eat that" -- I feel like it's easy to follow because it's so clear and Atkins has been extremely effective for me at cutting bodyfat and I have been able to lift heavy weight in the gym while eating less than 20g carbs per day so I, personally, want to see where Atkins will take my body before I even consider a different approach. And I'm honestly hoping that a different approach won't be *necessary*. I'm hoping that high bodyfat is the only barrier between me and the sculpted physique that I'm (hopefully) building through heavy weight training.

My trainer got me a DEXA scan before I started the diet and he's scheduled a follow-up on my one year anniversary of the diet. I would like to get a follow-up now, to see my progress. But I *know* that I still have way more bodyfat than is healthy because I can see how I look now versus how I looked when I weighed 125 pounds. So I know what I look like at a healthy bodyfat percentage and I'm nowhere near that right now.

I'm luckier than most people, though, because I have a trainer that I trust and I will take his advice about maintenance -- if I ever get there -- because he has given me excellent advice and guidance at each stage of this process. He's the one who recommended the Atkins diet to me and I think he was absolutely right about that. But he only tells me things in "stages" so he has not yet told me what his maintenance plan is for me because I'm still so far away from that level and he doesn't want to distract me from what I need to focus on right now. But I do believe that he has something in mind for me that he's put some thoughtful work into. And I hope that his work on my long-term nutrition plan is as tailored to my personality and sensitivities as his work is for his bodybuilding clients. And I feel like I've been diligent while dieting and that I've worked hard, so I hope I'm the kind of person who will continue that diligence on maintenance -- if I ever get there.
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:16 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Trillex View Post
I'm doing Atkins, too -- the 2002 version -- and I have the exact same concerns that you have! .
Thankyou so much, you have no idea how helpful all this information is to me. Although I would love to look like a fitness model (who wouldn't..LOL). My main concern is avoiding going back to yoyo dieting, over-exercising and being overweight. And feeling like food is controlling my life. Like you I am not sure what future pathway I will find myself on. However thanks to you, I now know at least what the pathways are and how to figure that out. Lately I have been feeling like I am not sure which direction to go in, but all your posts have cleared up a lot of information for me. I feel so relieved.
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:31 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diego View Post
One question carb cycling lifts insulin levels and high insulin levels slow down weight loss?
I honestly don't know his position on insulin. But here's what Chris Powell says about why he uses cycling to help his clients lose excess fat:
You simply alternate between high-carb days and low-carb days. This tricks your body into maximizing fat loss, conquering the dieter's plateau, and bringing long-term weight loss.
...
The back and forth between high-calorie/high-carb days and low-calorie/low-carb days revs your metabolic furnace and makes your body think it's eating enough on low days so it keeps burning calories. Just when you've completed a high-carb/high-calorie day, and your body is convinced there's no reason to be stingy by lowering your metabolism, you follow it with a low-carb/low-calorie day when you burn fat.
- From Choose to Lose
These passages don't mention it, but Powell has his clients do intense weight training on the days that follow high-carb days. So I believe he includes the high-calorie/high-carb days to give his clients "fuel" for heavy training. He claims that cycling speeds the metabolism but I think he's actually expecting his clients to burn off the excess calories and carbs in the gym, so that the training days will basically balance out the extra feeding. Bodybuilding "cyclical ketogenic diets" include full-body weight-training circuits on the day following a re-feed to deplete the stored glycogen of the re-feed and put the body quickly back into ketosis, and Powell's approach seems to be similar to that technique.

Plus, Powell's high-carb days are fed with slow-digesting starches that are balanced in the meal by fat and fiber and protein, so insulin levels *should* rise more slowly than if they were eating carbohydrates that went into the bloodstream faster.

Honestly, Chris Powell's book was recommended to me because of his advice on conquering the psychology of body transformation -- which I found to be absolutely phenomenal advice, to me as an obese person, with regard to considering myself an athlete in training. So, although I've read his book, I've never done his diet plan or followed his nutrition advice. So I really haven't made much of an effort to investigate or evaluate his plan. Powell has had a lot of amazing success with helping super-obese people lose massive amounts of bodyfat, so I respect the fact that he knows what he's doing. But I don't know that his plan works for the *reasons* that he claims it works.
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:45 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Punkin View Post
Thankyou so much, you have no idea how helpful all this information is to me. Although I would love to look like a fitness model (who wouldn't..LOL). My main concern is avoiding going back to yoyo dieting, over-exercising and being overweight. And feeling like food is controlling my life. Like you I am not sure what future pathway I will find myself on. However thanks to you, I now know at least what the pathways are and how to figure that out. Lately I have been feeling like I am not sure which direction to go in, but all your posts have cleared up a lot of information for me. I feel so relieved.
I'm glad I can help! I don't know how useful my collection of random information that I've gotten from crazy bodybuilders truly is. But I just, honestly, think this stuff is fascinating! I am truly amazed at the amount of thought and mathematical calculations that have gone into all of these different approaches to muscle gain and fat loss.

Good luck, Punkin! And congratulations on being near goal! I can't even IMAGINE what that feels like!
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