||02-24-2013 08:17 PM
Originally Posted by Punkin
I am one of those people who has to count calories because I have a tendency to overeat, regardless if I am LC or not. A couple of days ago I feel off the wagon. Funny thing was that when I fell off, instead of having half a loaf of bread or a box of cereal and a carton of milk. I ate a bag of walnuts, some hard cheese, and some pork tenderloin.
Ok, so I am now back on the wagon, but I was wondering if I did the right thing. Because all that extra fat, surely went right to my fat stores as I definitely ate more calories than I burned that day. Then I started thinking, maybe I should have fallen off the wagon differently, overeating carbs instead of fat. Because at least the extra carbs would have just been converted into glycogen and stored in my muscles for later use. This would have been better than adding fat to a body that already has plenty of fat, and is difficult to get off once stored.
What are other people's opinions on this? If you are going to fall off the wagon is it better to fall off with carbs or fat? Or should it have been protein?:stars:
I totally see where you're coming from. It's a REALLY complex question! Insulin is not just a "fat storage" hormone, it's also an "anabolic" hormone that is key to muscle synthesis. Insulin also feeds nutrients into muscle tissue so spikes in insulin don't automatically feed all dietary nutrients into fat cell storage. Bodybuilders typically do ketogenic diets to "cut" bodyfat before competitions *but* an important part of their ketogenic fat-cutting process includes the feeding of MASSIVE amounts of carbohydrates (typically) two days per each week of the ketogenic cycle. We can see, from decades of bodybuilding practice -- including detailed training journals, photos, physical measurements, body composition scans, and loads of other collected data -- that the re-feeds don't (typically) lead to measurable fat gain in bodybuilders following re-feeds. They quickly gain "weight" because their depleted glycogen stores are re-fed with glycogen and water -- and this method of depletion/refeeding "supercompensates" glycogen stores to higher than normal levels.
We know that it is common for bodybuilders to significantly cut fat while frequently re-feeding massive amounts of carbohydrates on a regular basis (hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of grams of carbohydrates per day more than once per week) -- and we know that the ketogenic cycles that are combined with re-feeds are processes that have allowed contemporary bodybuilders to cut fat more quickly and to significantly lower levels than previous nutritional approaches -- but this is not necessarily information that is useful to a *typical* dieter who is trying to cut bodyfat. *Well-constructed* bodybuilding re-feeds are carefully calibrated to primarily restore muscle glycogen (rather than liver glycogen stores). The carb amounts are based on lean body mass and are carefully timed, on a schedule that is designed to replenish glycogen stores without a level of over-feeding that could/would/should result in fat gain. Some forms of sugar are avoided -- as Literate Griffin pointed out: although fructose is a dietary sugar, the liver immediately converts fructose into triglycerides and so the body treats fructose as a fat instead of a carbohydrate. And very importantly, bodybuilding re-feeds are coordinated with a weight training regime that (theoretically) primes the muscle tissues to take advantage of the anabolic feeding of raised insulin levels.
Aside from the fact that bodybuilding re-feeds are carefully calibrated, there are also important metabolic issues to consider in people who are not bodybuilders and who have a history of excess fat storage. If the dieter has a high level of primary insulin resistance -- the type of insulin resistance that we're all born with, rather than the type that develops as a result of aging or from chronically-raised insulin levels that are the result of the frequent feeding of large amounts of insulin-raising food -- then that person may be genetically programmed to preferentially store any dietary nutrients as fat. So a person with higher-than-normal primary insulin resistance may not have the same results following a high-carbohydrate re-feed as a bodybuilder who has a low level of primary insulin resistance and a lower physical set-point for fat storage.
It isn't *easy* for bodybuilders to cut bodyfat -- mostly because they're starting with such a low level of bodyfat that the body activates survival mechanisms to protect the remaining fat stores. However, although their bodies fight to *retain* their remaining fat stores, they may not actually be as prone to *storing* dietary intake as fat as a person with a history of excess bodyfat and insulin resistance.
Your question is super complicated because bodybuilding ketogenic diets rely on and succeed from the fact that a glycogen-depleted body will restore glycogen deposits instead of converting the excess dietary carbohydrates of a high-carb re-feed into fat and storing them in fat stores. So I can see the logic behind thinking about whether a high-carb re-feed might be more advantageous than over-feeding on fats. But not every high-carbohydrate meal that is fed to a glycogen-depleted body will accomplish this goal. And not every person's body is metabolically predisposed to appropriately take advantage of a re-feed. And doing a re-feed without careful guidelines may not produce the best results. And the scale isn't the best guide to determine whether this process will work for an individual because "weight" gain isn't the same thing as "fat" gain. So it's kind of a gamble, in my opinion, for people who aren't doing an established bodybuilding regime.