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Old 02-06-2013, 09:11 AM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cantare View Post
Disagree somewhat on the applicability of carb-up/refeeds... I'm an average Joe, certainly no extreme bodybuilder, but I found that my own weight loss stalled at 235 for ~5mo after a prolonged period of steady success on moderate LC. I still eat that way now but have thrown in occasional high(er)-carb days, mostly involving white rice, potatoes and squash (NOT typical wheat/corn/sugar 'cheat' foods)...I even tried a week of nothing but potatoes!

I do believe those breaks from routine have helped break the stall...scale is moving downward again. I don't know the mechanism but I suspect it has something to do with firing up the metabolic rate, or thyroid function, or leptin sensitivity after the body downregulates these in response to sustained caloric deficits.

I guess the advisability really depends on why you're doing it--if it's just you giving in to your old cravings for junk, you'll probably think of it as "cheating" and if you aren't already very secure in your WOE it can snowball destructively. But if you are plateaued (and I mean really stuck, not just impatient after a week of no change) and perhaps feeling low in energy, I think a carb refeed is worth considering as a deliberate strategy, if you don't let it become an excuse for anything-goes. Your body's just too damn smart, so you have to throw it a curve ball every now and then!
Another factor in the advisability is that you need to know for a fact that it will not bring up previous addictive behaviors. If one is a carb addict, and if they are going to refeed, all it's going to do is wake up the carb craving monster. In my case, it would have been better to let the sleeping monster lie. After an 8 month stall, I took someone's advice to "refeed". It set off a long battle, I gained back 80 of the 100 I had lost, and I still haven't gotten back to where I was. If I had only known what a simple "refeed" would do to me, I wouldn't have gotten within a country mile of it. Trust me, once you've fought long and hard to lose weight, do you really want to take the chance? If I had it to do over again, I'd have done things very differently.
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:39 AM   #62
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I don't really consider them cheats... I plan my non LC meals. I do it once every two weeks and only do it for a meal. I'm planning on eating low carb for the rest of my life so to me it is important to be able to eat what I want even if it is just twice a month.

However I do NOT eat sugar when cheating and try to stay away from gluten. I get terrible sugar cravings and have not had sugar in five months, so there is NO way I am letting that back in my system!

For me it works but everyone is different. I always recommend to people to try to do LC very strict for two months THEN start "trying" things. Some people will have trouble staying on plan after, others will just go right back to it.

Last edited by Bamboozled; 02-06-2013 at 09:43 AM..
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:43 PM   #63
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I can't cheat. It leads to a 2-3 month binge (and why I've gained back all my weight since november).
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:19 AM   #64
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When I was 120-125lbs I would eat LC for 6/7 days a week and then on the 7th day eat whatever I wanted. I did well with that until I just stopped going back to LC. After about 3-4 months at goal. I would say each person is different, IF you can get yourself back on plan right away go for it, but if it becomes a struggle to get back on plan, I would say just don't do it.

I have since gained it ALL back and then some... been heavy again for about 6 years and still can't seem to find my way back.
Bottom line, it takes self control, you have to decide what works for you.
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Last edited by RobbyC; 02-07-2013 at 12:21 AM..
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:42 PM   #65
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To me you cheat on a spouse or your taxes - not the way you eat.

From month 3 of weight loss on I took a day off every single month (plus Christmas day and my birthday).

It worked great for me but I'd never needed to lose weight before (no yoyoing in my past) and my body doesn't react to carbs the way others describe. I never once felt horrible the next day (bloated sure but never horrible or a carb hangover the way others describe).

I JUDDD for maintenance now and it's made me believe without a doubt that I could have taken a day off each week if I'd wanted to and still would have lost. At the time I wanted the weight off too much to mess around with more than once a month though.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:06 AM   #66
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Well I had my cheat day on Superbowl Sunday. Had a big mac meal from Mcdonalds and some chicken nuggets. Then had a few slices of pizza and some wings for the game.

Felt like crap most of the night and my tummy was going crazy. Anyways I got through the night and started Atkins again in the morning. 3 Days after the scale said I gained 2 lbs. But now a week later I have lost that 2 lbs and another 3 on top of that.

But before I had that cheat day I was stuck at 222 for a couple of weeks. Now that I changed it up my body has started losing again. I don't think I will ever have a cheat day like that again but I might have a cheat meal in a month but only if I stall again.

Now I'm sure taking a day off isn't for everyone but I think for those that can handle it it's worth confusing the body to get back to losing the weight again.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:59 PM   #67
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Now I'm sure taking a day off isn't for everyone but I think for those that can handle it it's worth confusing the body to get back to losing the weight again.
It's definitely an interesting topic. I don't think the science is solid on this, but there are theories that successful weight loss of any type is hard on the adrenals and thyroid, or may decrease leptin sensitivity. I've read a few different plans that recommend against the exact same calories or ratios for months on end for that reason.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:55 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamboozled View Post
I don't really consider them cheats... I plan my non LC meals. I do it once every two weeks and only do it for a meal. I'm planning on eating low carb for the rest of my life so to me it is important to be able to eat what I want even if it is just twice a month.
I really dislike the word "cheat" because it implies that carb meals are somehow dishonest. The leads to a cult mentality. If this WOE is for my entire life (and I believe it is) then I most certainly will carbs here and there. Our biggest carbs come from carrots, yams, onions, etc. We also add blueberries, strawberries and even bananas into our yogurt. But I don't buy and stock highly processed or "boxed" foods in our home so I am not tempted to go on sugar binges. I have always posted my plan as moderate carb bc I have always allowed healthy carbs. Every body is different and my weight loss actually stopped if I went below 30 carbs/day. I don't know why. My best weight loss weeks were at the 50-60 range which I know many on here would find high.

I am sure there are those who couldn't lose weight at 50-60 carbs/day so I understand that nothing works for everyone!! I love coming here and seeing all the different perspectives, stories and techniques as we all discover our healthy selves.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:11 PM   #69
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I cannot do a planned cheat day - it turns into a carb fest that doesn't end for months! I have learned this the hard way. Just got back on the low carb wagon today.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:58 PM   #70
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Touchy topic obviously...nobody wants a relapse of the carb demons! For the cases where people fell off the wagon after a refeed, I wonder what kind of carbs they used? As mentioned upthread, I've been experimenting with potatoes, to the extent of eating nothing but potatoes for a whole week. The result was NOT what I expected: minimal water-weight gain, no brain-fog, no detectable appetite increase--and it was the prelude to a whoosh upon returning to moderate LC Primal.

I'd never even think of doing a "refeed" with pasta & bread, or processed junk food...but this past week I've gone liberal with fruit (bananas & mangoes), then rice and sweet/sour dishes at a Thai place...and boom, I'm now dealing with elevated appetite, post-meal drowsiness and some weight gain from water. Rice is now back on my suspect list.

I can't help but think that not all carbs are created equal--not in the way they affect hunger, at least. Significant amounts of high-glycemic fruit, grains, sugar all make me want more of the same in short order, and the "runaway train" scenario is a real danger. But potatoes, squash, etc don't have that effect on me. Very weird. Are the "resistant starch", "archevore" and "perfect health diet" folks on to something with their starchy tubers?
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:32 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by cantare View Post
Are the "resistant starch", "archevore" and "perfect health diet" folks on to something with their starchy tubers?
It's possible. The PHD blog uses both the china study and global stats to claim wheat predicts obesity beyond just its carb/calorie load. The first steps in LC are typically to remove wheat and sugar which tends to push carbs down to the 100g/20% energy range. (A typical US eater would probably struggle to exceed this range without wheat and sugar.)

The epidemiological verdict on potatoes is bad, but the majority of US consumption is paired with soybean oil and excess heat (high GI) so it's hard to say. A boiled plain potato might be a useful diagnostic tool for someone who wants to test the relationship between glucose in the body & the wheat/sugar-centric overeating we usually associate with high-carb.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:41 PM   #72
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Ah, yes, soybean oil! I should probably add, I was definitely not doing this with potato chips--they are indeed boiled, oven-roasted or dry-fried with minimal condiments and only a touch of olive oil (per otzi's "eat MOAR potatoes" thread over on ***). So, probably a "low food reward" component to it as well; it wasn't nearly as fun as tucking into a bag of kettle chips...but it was a nice change of pace for a short time.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:04 AM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cantare View Post
Disagree somewhat on the applicability of carb-up/refeeds... I'm an average Joe, certainly no extreme bodybuilder, but I found that my own weight loss stalled at 235 for ~5mo after a prolonged period of steady success on moderate LC. I still eat that way now but have thrown in occasional high(er)-carb days, mostly involving white rice, potatoes and squash (NOT typical wheat/corn/sugar 'cheat' foods)...I even tried a week of nothing but potatoes!

I do believe those breaks from routine have helped break the stall...scale is moving downward again. I don't know the mechanism but I suspect it has something to do with firing up the metabolic rate, or thyroid function, or leptin sensitivity after the body downregulates these in response to sustained caloric deficits.

I guess the advisability really depends on why you're doing it--if it's just you giving in to your old cravings for junk, you'll probably think of it as "cheating" and if you aren't already very secure in your WOE it can snowball destructively. But if you are plateaued (and I mean really stuck, not just impatient after a week of no change) and perhaps feeling low in energy, I think a carb refeed is worth considering as a deliberate strategy, if you don't let it become an excuse for anything-goes. Your body's just too damn smart, so you have to throw it a curve ball every now and then!
I LOVE THIS! I believe this is a perfect example of what everyone needs to do. If what you are doing isn't working, and I mean really isn't working like months of no weight/inches lost. Shake it up! But also and example of the fact that WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT. The key for everyone is to FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU, AND DON'T GIVE UP!!!

Love your tenacity!
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:18 AM   #74
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Personally, I do rare planned occassion cheats knowing some social situtation will likely also result in a cheat experience. I usually do only half-day or an evening, then get back on wagon immediately next morning. It still take 3-4 days to recover from 1 cheat evening for me...

Couple of things to consider:

Homeostasis: IMO the body eventually adapts to anything you constantly do. Therefore, it is good to change things up periodically, IMO. For example, I don't remember all the inn's and outs of keto adaptation, but generally the longer you maintain ketosis the less glucose your brain needs (I think it starts out using 100g p/day, then drops to like 70g p/day, and I believe eventually gets down to like about 40g p/day making it harder to maintain ketosis over time).

Evolution/Paleo/Biomechanics: Our bodies for 1000s of years were use to eating low carb, but occassionally our ancestors would come upon a natural grove of berries/fruits/etc... and most likely would have gorged themselves. Interestingly, given that our livers can store about 300g of carbs as glycogen, it may have opperated as a little carb battery to store up some sugars durring an occasional sugar feast.

Sugar Addiction: Obviosly for those with a sugar addiction, this is the consideration that should be given the most weight. Would an alcoholic or subtance abuser be able to have a cheat day without all hell breaking loose? While sugar may not be as immediately damaging as alcohol/drugs it does cause harm (metabolic syndrome) so only those able to control their addiction should even consider a cheat day.
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Last edited by Taxbane; 02-12-2013 at 09:23 AM..
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