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Old 03-22-2013, 01:40 PM   #1
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Carb Backloading?


Has anyone heard of this? I found the concept on bodybuilding sites. The idea is to save your carbs for the evening. Something to do with insulin. Apparently weight loss is a lot faster, espacially if you have metabolic syndrome.
I think I will try it. Then I can at least have a baked potato or bread with supper!
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:22 PM   #2
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I've never heard of this. But I'm always interested in new ideas.

Founds this (for anyone that's interested): This technique is very simple, once you have completed the 10 days of low carb eating, 30 grams max, on the tenth day, that night you can load up with as many carbs as you can handle. From there on, it is low carb eating during the day, training during the day to deplete your body of all carbs, and load up on carbs again at night.

I'd like to find some science behind it. I'll keep looking.

I think it's just a YMMV kind of thing. I'm sure it works great for some and not at all for others. Let us know how it works for you.
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:56 PM   #3
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Interesting. I just mentioned in another thread that I have noticed when I'm low carbing, if I have a high carb day I often lose more the following morning. I assumed it was something to do with metabolism
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:43 PM   #4
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This is in a book called "Potatoes Not Prozac". You should look into it for the why's of having the carbs at night. Has to do with serotonin/dopamine and the brain blood barrier. But she confines the potato to after dinner (a certain number of hours after eating your evening meal) and with restrictions on what to have with it. It is a very fascinating read!! I recommend it highly!
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by barrycudda View Post

Has anyone heard of this? I found the concept on bodybuilding sites. The idea is to save your carbs for the evening. Something to do with insulin. Apparently weight loss is a lot faster, espacially if you have metabolic syndrome.
I think I will try it. Then I can at least have a baked potato or bread with supper!
Let us know how it goes for you!!! I would love to see if it works. I miss potatoes.
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Old 03-24-2013, 03:43 AM   #6
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This is in a book called "Potatoes Not Prozac". You should look into it for the why's of having the carbs at night. Has to do with serotonin/dopamine and the brain blood barrier. But she confines the potato to after dinner (a certain number of hours after eating your evening meal) and with restrictions on what to have with it. It is a very fascinating read!! I recommend it highly!
Dawn- does she mentions any other veggies, or is it only about potatoes?
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:15 AM   #7
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If you eat 10 to 20g of carbs before bed it might prevent your liver from releasing some of its glycogen stores overnight as a result of the overnight fasting period. For some people when the liver does this it causes an over-reaction of the insulin response which can create hypoglycemia. The reference I am using comes from the "diabetes miracle" written by Diane Kress.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:35 AM   #8
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I think I do something like this. On Friday, I go off Atkins induction and eat a higher carb meal. I might eat a low carb meal and wait until my kids go to bed, then I eat something like potatoes (my favorite food). I noticed that if I start eating carbs earlier in the day, I crave more. If I wait until it's almost time for sleep, I feel better. Now, if I eat anything sweet, I wake up feeling jittery and have a bad taste in my mouth. With sweets I can jump back on plan (probably because I feel so crummy), but potatoes make it hard to not crave.
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:00 AM   #9
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There was an article about this in Mens Fitness a while back, but I can't remember the issue. Arnold Schwarzenegger and other famous bodybuilders used to do this in the 70's. I think the main thing is that you only do it about once every 10 days, not every night. But I really don't know, so YMMV.
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Old 03-24-2013, 01:47 PM   #10
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If you're talking about John Kiefer's "Carb Back-Load" (CBL), it's actually a bit controversial in the bodybuilding community. Kiefer has a strong, core following of bodybuilders who swear CBL is the most effective combined bodyfat "cutting" and muscle "bulking" approach they've ever done. The folks who love it, call it "melting" and claim it cuts super fast and cuts only bodyfat while gaining lean mass and without playing too much havoc with energy levels. Kiefer got a lot of attention last year when Arnold Schwarzenegger reportedly got into CBL:
[INDENT]The Governator had apparently learned about Carb Back-loading (CBL) from his staffer, Daniel, a big workout buff who had read about it on my website and in Men's Fitness magazine, where I am the training director. I'm not surprised that it stuck with him or that it piqued Arnold's interest—CBL is probably the most effective diet strategy to stay lean while adding muscle mass that anyone who's tried it has come across. And it's definitely the most fun.



But Kiefer's reputation is a bit controversial in the bodybuilding community because some of bodybuilding's prominent "science guys," particularly Lyle McDonald and Alan Aragon, analyzed the program and said that it was just a marketing gimmick. "End of day" (EOD) carb re-feeds and "post workout" (PWO) carb re-feeds have been successfully used in bodybuilding for a few decades. McDonald and Aragon -- like all bodybuilding trainers and nutrition consultants -- have promoted "cyclical" or "targeted" carb re-feeds for bodybuilders, but they say that Kiefer's packaging and promotion of CBL is just a gimmicky attempt to take basic concepts, put in random tweaks, and try to sell the plan as a miraculous new research approach. Kiefer's critics claim that his approach to nutrient timing is "randomly" scheduled, unlike (for example) Warren Willey's bodybuilding cult classic Better Than Steroids, and claim that CBL isn't actually supported by the science that Kiefer claims supports it.

There's also a bit of controversy surrounding the fact that Kiefer charges so much money for his e-book and details of his program. The biggest current *cult* bodybuilding nutrition approach is Martin Berkhan's "Leangains" and Berkhan puts all of that info on his website for free. Lyle McDonald's and Tom Venuto's books are expensive but they also put all of their info on the internet for free. So bodybuilders tend to be suspicious when consultants "reserve" information for paying customers.

The process of promoting *new* bodybuilding approaches is usually to put the information out into the community and then build a following from the success of people who try it and prove it works. Kiefer's website with pictures of cheesecake and deep dish pizza and stuff like that, which says "you can eat this and look like me if you buy my book" (next to a picture of Kiefer's rockin abs) struck some people as a gimmicky and suspicious. And it sort of seems like Kiefer took the three most popular bodybuilding diets and packaged them together as a product to sell: cyclical ketogenic feeding (because it's effective), nutrient timing (because it seems very scientific), and "IIFYM" ("If It Fits Your Macros" because dieters can eat anything they want).

But it actually doesn't matter if a bodybuilding nutrition approach, like Kiefer's, is gimmicky or expensive. It just has to produce results. And the folks who use CBL say it works really well so if a few successful competitors use CBL and win, then Kiefer's reputation in the bodybuilding community will rise and it won't matter what his critics say.
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Old 03-24-2013, 03:42 PM   #11
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Dawn- does she mentions any other veggies, or is it only about potatoes?
I know she mentions using sweet potatoes, but I am unsure if you can sub anything else. I read the book so long ago I don't remember the full details. i need to check it out of the library again. I loved reading it. She has a website too. Radiant Recovery.
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:00 PM   #12
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This is in a book called "Potatoes Not Prozac". You should look into it for the why's of having the carbs at night. Has to do with serotonin/dopamine and the brain blood barrier. But she confines the potato to after dinner (a certain number of hours after eating your evening meal) and with restrictions on what to have with it. It is a very fascinating read!! I recommend it highly!
You might be interested in the potato hack threads in the JUDDD section
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:27 PM   #13
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Idk but my dr is a weight specialist and he advocates for a low carb diet over meds, he said for a metobolic syndrome not to save up carbs at one meal, Maybe it has to do with the high insulin levels?
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:21 AM   #14
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You might be interested in the potato hack threads in the JUDDD section
Already done!! Longtime lurker on that thread.
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:34 AM   #15
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Already done!! Longtime lurker on that thread.
I've done the potato hack a couple times and lost several pounds doing it-both times I also continued to lose for a couple days after I completed the hack, for some reason. I also did not regain the weight, but was able to go back to my woe and keep going forward It's definitley an interesting experiment to try!
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:00 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Trillex View Post
If you're talking about John Kiefer's "Carb Back-Load" (CBL), it's actually a bit controversial in the bodybuilding community. Kiefer has a strong, core following of bodybuilders who swear CBL is the most effective combined bodyfat "cutting" and muscle "bulking" approach they've ever done. The folks who love it, call it "melting" and claim it cuts super fast and cuts only bodyfat while gaining lean mass and without playing too much havoc with energy levels. Kiefer got a lot of attention last year when Arnold Schwarzenegger reportedly got into CBL:
[INDENT]The Governator had apparently learned about Carb Back-loading (CBL) from his staffer, Daniel, a big workout buff who had read about it on my website and in Men's Fitness magazine, where I am the training director. I'm not surprised that it stuck with him or that it piqued Arnold's interest—CBL is probably the most effective diet strategy to stay lean while adding muscle mass that anyone who's tried it has come across. And it's definitely the most fun.



But Kiefer's reputation is a bit controversial in the bodybuilding community because some of bodybuilding's prominent "science guys," particularly Lyle McDonald and Alan Aragon, analyzed the program and said that it was just a marketing gimmick. "End of day" (EOD) carb re-feeds and "post workout" (PWO) carb re-feeds have been successfully used in bodybuilding for a few decades. McDonald and Aragon -- like all bodybuilding trainers and nutrition consultants -- have promoted "cyclical" or "targeted" carb re-feeds for bodybuilders, but they say that Kiefer's packaging and promotion of CBL is just a gimmicky attempt to take basic concepts, put in random tweaks, and try to sell the plan as a miraculous new research approach. Kiefer's critics claim that his approach to nutrient timing is "randomly" scheduled, unlike (for example) Warren Willey's bodybuilding cult classic Better Than Steroids, and claim that CBL isn't actually supported by the science that Kiefer claims supports it.

There's also a bit of controversy surrounding the fact that Kiefer charges so much money for his e-book and details of his program. The biggest current *cult* bodybuilding nutrition approach is Martin Berkhan's "Leangains" and Berkhan puts all of that info on his website for free. Lyle McDonald's and Tom Venuto's books are expensive but they also put all of their info on the internet for free. So bodybuilders tend to be suspicious when consultants "reserve" information for paying customers.

The process of promoting *new* bodybuilding approaches is usually to put the information out into the community and then build a following from the success of people who try it and prove it works. Kiefer's website with pictures of cheesecake and deep dish pizza and stuff like that, which says "you can eat this and look like me if you buy my book" (next to a picture of Kiefer's rockin abs) struck some people as a gimmicky and suspicious. And it sort of seems like Kiefer took the three most popular bodybuilding diets and packaged them together as a product to sell: cyclical ketogenic feeding (because it's effective), nutrient timing (because it seems very scientific), and "IIFYM" ("If It Fits Your Macros" because dieters can eat anything they want).

But it actually doesn't matter if a bodybuilding nutrition approach, like Kiefer's, is gimmicky or expensive. It just has to produce results. And the folks who use CBL say it works really well so if a few successful competitors use CBL and win, then Kiefer's reputation in the bodybuilding community will rise and it won't matter what his critics say.
Trillex,

This is a really outstanding post. I hold myself in high regard when it comes to summarizing these concepts, and could not have done a better job explaining the whole CBL/Kiefer issue in a few succinct paragraphs.

Regards,
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:07 AM   #17
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I don't know all of the science behind it but I do intermittent fasting and it is generally suggested that when you break your fast in the afternoon to do it with a high protein, high fat meal and save your carbs for later/dinner.

I don't "load up" on carbs at night though, I still try to stay relatively low carb, but I will accept some potatoes or pasta or bread in my meal.
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:53 PM   #18
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Trillex,

This is a really outstanding post. I hold myself in high regard when it comes to summarizing these concepts, and could not have done a better job explaining the whole CBL/Kiefer issue in a few succinct paragraphs.

Regards,
Stack
Thanks, Stack!

I don't usually pay close attention to the flame wars in bodybuilding, but I was kind of fascinated by the fight between Kiefer and McDonald on Dangerously Hardcore. I respect McDonald and I don't believe anyone (alive) knows the science of bodybuilding physiology better than he does. But I think McDonald's biggest problem with Kiefer is that Kiefer doesn't seem to understand the science particularly well, so McDonald kind of ignores the question of whether or not CBL actually works and McDonald just tries to goad Kiefer into arguing about the science. Maybe Kiefer doesn't really understand the physiology but *maybe* he has actually stumbled onto something that is effective. I'm interested to see if Kiefer can/will train a champion with CBL because that will answer the most important question: does the program work?
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:29 AM   #19
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Hi Trillex, can I ask you a question based on the topic of this thread, in case there are other people also at my stage. I am about at my last 5lbs of bodyfat left to lose. My next step is to start building a bit of lean muscle mass. Right now I am eating 20 to 25 grams of net carbs a day, and probably in ketosis most of the time. I chose that over carb cycling because I didn't think with my metabolic issues that carb cycling would be a good idea, until I got my blood sugar and insulin levels under control, but it is my understanding that I will need to add back carbs to build lean muscle mass. At least according to Lyle McDonald.

What I want to know is if this is true, do I need to start eating carbs again to build muscle mass? The other theories such as Taubes and Phinney, state that you can just remain in a state of ketosis and up the fats for maintenance. But I thought you needed insulin and a decent amount of glycogen storage to build muscle mass. I am assuming this because that is what body builders do.

If you could comment on this that would be great, because I am sure that there are other people who are wondering about this. Thanks.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:11 AM   #20
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:04 PM   #21
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Hi, Punkin! I've had to address the question in two posts because I wanted to include a lot of quotes to address the specific issues without misrepresenting what the original author said.

Anyway, I'm not the best person to address this question because I'm not a bodybuilder who can compare my ketogenic training and body composition progress to nutritional and training approaches that integrate carbohydrates. I'm fortunate that my family is full of bodybuilders who are advising me and constantly sending me books and articles to read, plus, growing up surrounded by bodybuilding culture and reading a lot has helped me to help my body make the best fat-loss progress that my body is capable of making. But growing up in the same house and watching my brothers prep for contests has definitely taught me that what I need to do to cut fat (at my level of bodyfat) is in a different category from what they need to do cut fat while sustaining and growing muscle.

My brothers, who are both bodybuilders, cycle carbs while cutting fat. My trainer, who is a bodybuilder and bodybuilding coach, cycles carbs while cutting fat and he has his bodybuilding clients cycle carbs to cut. But neither my trainer nor my brothers have advised me to cycle carbs (at this point) because my primary need is to cut bodyfat. And at my level of bodyfat, metabolic down-regulation has not been an issue.

Lyle McDonald definitely believes carbs are necessary for significant muscle growth AND for deep cutting in extremely low-bodyfat bodybuilders. In several books and articles, McDonald has made a clear distinction between what he believes "regular" people need to do versus what he believes bodybuilders need to do.

In his book, The Ketogenic Diet, McDonald explains why he believes cycling carbs is important for maximum muscle growth in bodybuilders during training:
In general, without specific drugs, the body must be in either a systemically (whole body) anabolic state or a systematically catabolic state. It is quite rare to see anabolic processes occurring in one part of the body (i.e. muscle gain) while catabolic processes are occurring in another (i.e. fat loss).
...
Therefore, the first step in maximizing any anabolic processes is to reverse liver metabolism from catabolic to anabolic.
...
Changing the metabolism of the liver from catabolic to anabolic requires two things: that the enzyme levels for glucose utilization are returned to normal and that liver glycogen is refilled.
...
both insulin and amino acids have profound effects on protein synthesis and breakdown. Insulin appears to primarily act by decreasing protein breakdown while excess amino acids directly stimulate protein synthesis [citation]. Therefore, it might be expected that increasing both insulin and amino acid levels would increase net muscle gain.

When carbohydrates are refed after even a few days of a ketogenic diet, the insulin response is higher than it would be under normal dietary conditions [citation]. ... Hyperinsulinemia also increases the transport of some amino acids into muscle [citation]. These metabolic effects might contribute to muscle growth during the carb-up.
...
A final way that carb-load could affect anabolism is by drawing water into the muscle cells. It has been hypothesized that cellular hydration may affect numerous processes including protein breakdown and synthesis [citation]. For example, the extreme protein losses which accompanies illness and injury is commonly accompanied by cellular dehydration, and increasing hydration helps to prevent protein losses [citation].

As glycogen depletion causes a loss of water within muscle, the increased hydration seen with glycogen compensation might affect protein synthesis similarly. However, while it seems that taking a cell from pathologically dehydrated to normal hydration improves protein synthesis, it has not been shown that increasing cellular hydration above normal levels will improve protein synthesis above normal. So this mechanism can be considered speculative at best, and irrelevant at worst.
It's important to remember that McDonald isn't talking about a "regular" person on a fat-reducing diet, but about bodybuilders who are coordinating a nutritional plan with heavy weight training to achieve a combination of goals. It is always important to remember that bodybuilders are working to increase muscle mass beyond "standard" limits and cut fat way below "normal" so McDonald is specifically addressing the needs of a particular class of athletes and so not all of the information is necessarily applicable to the needs and the metabolic environment of a "regular" dieter.

Also, McDonald is talking about "maximizing" results. This is important because he doesn't say it's impossible to gain muscle while cutting fat, he's addressing ways to maximize muscle gain or achieve extreme levels of fat cutting, and he is explaining why he believes the nutritional approach needs to be adjusted to maximize one over the other.

In The Rapid Fat Loss Handbook and Bromocriptine, McDonald explains why he believes cycling in a way that raises carbs to at least 150g per day at specific intervals is necessary to avoid severe metabolic down-regulation in very-low-bodyfat bodies.

From The Rapid Fat Loss Handbook:
So when you start dieting, eating less and losing bodyweight, your hypothalamus senses it and your body slows metabolism, increases your hunger/appetite levels, and alters hormone levels in a generally negative fashion.
...
there are a number of hormones including leptin, insulin, ghrelin, peptide YY (some of which you've heard of and others you'll think I'm making up) and others that 'tell' your hypothalamus both how much you're eating and how much bodyfat you're carrying.

All of these hormones respond both to food intake and how much weight/fat you have on you and act as the signals which tell the brain what's going on so that it can make adjustments.
...
the degree to which this occurs depends a lot on the level of leanness (there are other factors but I don't want to get into the details here). Meaning that someone at 10% bodyfat will tend to have far greater issues with this than someone who is at 40% bodyfat.
...
As I made reference to, how hard and how fast metabolism tends to crash on a diet depends on a lot of factors including gender and genetics (neither of which we can control). But one of the main ones is initial bodyfatness: fatter individuals can usually diet longer without needing a break from the diet (both a psychological and physiological break) than leaner individuals.
From Bromocriptine:
By inserting a day or two of high calorie, high carb feeding, you bump leptin back up (without putting on too much fat) to help avoid some of the negative adaptations to dieting. Leptin dynamics also help to explain why people who have been dieting for weeks, and who then break their diet, frequently find that weight/fat goes down at first; presumably leptin is going up faster than the body can store fat and causing good things to happen.
...
high-calorie, high-carb refeeds can bump leptin back up, and we would expect that to bump DA [dopamine] up as well. This seems to help keep the body from adapting as quickly to the diet, keeping all systems running.
And McDonald believes that glucose is the key to quickly increasing leptin levels, which means that changing calorie levels without raising carb levels would be insufficient to increase the level of leptin. From his article on bodyweight regulation:
I'd note that, in the short-term, only carbohydrate intake affects leptin levels; fat overfeeding has no effect. In addition, changes in fat mass per se don't regulate leptin in the short-term (less than 48 hours). Rather, it's the effect of glucose metabolism within the fat cell that is affecting leptin synthesis and release.
McDonald is addressing specific mechanisms, within the specific context of maximizing a particular set of results in a short period of time. He's a bodybuilding consultant so his work is largely (almost exclusively) focused on exploring different ways to *tweak* the body to circumvent some of the natural processes that work against optimal bodybuilding results. This is one of the reasons he's looking at high-carb re-feeds as the quickest, short-term way to increase leptin. He's addressing an audience that needs dramatic results to occur quickly. And bodybuilders aren't prepping a contest body to sustain for a long period of time, they will raise their bodyfat level after competition.
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:05 PM   #22
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Actually, I don't think McDonald necessarily conflicts with Phinney and Volek, I think they're just addressing different issues and different audiences. McDonald is focused on changing body composition as dramatically as possible in the shortest period of time for a primarily bodybuilding audience, while Phinney and Volek address ways to change the body's primary energy source to achieve a somewhat different set of goals for a different group of readers over a longer period of time.

Bodyfat is a more plentiful energy source on the human body than glucose because even a very lean body carries a larger store of fat than sugar. The advantage for athletes, according to Phinney and Volek, is that keto-adaptation can allow athletes to perform at a high level of exertion for a sustained period of time without exhausting their fuel source. The advantage of keto-adaptation for a person who is looking to reduce excess fat stores comes because moving to a system of primarily burning fat for fuel instead of glucose puts the body into a hormonal state of consistent and sustained fat release and fat burning. This distinction between McDonald and Phinney/Volek is the reason that my trainer has me -- an obese woman who is not prepping for a bodybuilding contest -- stay keto-adapted while he has his lean bodybuilding clients cycle carbs.

With regard to glycogen, in addition to glycogen's theoretical role in hydrating muscle tissue for protein synthesis (as noted in McDonald's quotes above) the water and sugar that glycogen pumps into muscle tissue firms the muscles up and helps them show more attractively. Bodybuilding is a sport that is judged by aesthetics, so the look and feel and general texture enhancements that glycogen makes to muscle tissue is vital to success in competition. That's one of the many reasons bodybuilders deplete glycogen and restore it before competition. Glycogen depletion allows glycogen "super-compensation" to overfill muscle glycogen stores and produce greater and more aesthetically-pleasing volume.

Another key difference between McDonald and Phinney/Volek is that McDonald believes that the level of lifting power that bodybuilders need in the gym has to be fueled by a sufficient supply of glucose, which is one of the reasons why McDonald believes it's important to restore muscle glycogen prior to training. Biologically, within the human body, intense bursts of strength and speed are fueled by glucose. Sprinting or lifting heavy weights are fueled by glucose. While keto-adapted, there is still always a supply of glucose in the bloodstream that can be pulled into muscle tissue to fuel bursts of this type of activity, even when very few dietary carbohydrates are consumed. Personally, I haven't had any problems lifting in the gym and I've spent 10 months eating less than 20g carbohydrates per day -- but although I am lifting heavy for my gender and size and physical condition I'm not lifting anywhere near the volume of a bodybuilder in training, so I'm definitely not an example of a successful low-carb lifter. I'm just saying that my back gets the fuel from somewhere to lift 45 pound dumbbells in the gym even though I've been very low carb for quite a long time.

Jeff Volek is a bodybuilder who, despite being an expert researcher on ketogenic performance and an advocate of the low-carb lifestyle, has co-written books on muscle performance and training, and those books focus on carb cycling for optimal weight training. "TNT Man" (a blogger who started weight training and carb cycling at age 62 after reading a carb cycling book that Volek co-wrote) addressed this issue with Volek after reading The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance, asking if Volek advocated keto-adaptation for optimal weight training or if Volek advocated the type of carb cycling that Volek wrote about in his book The TNT Diet, and Volek responded with the following:
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.
So Volek said basically the same thing you've said: people who can handle carbohydrates in a healthy way can find carb cycling useful, but people who have bodies that can't handle carbohydrates in a healthy way may be better off not trying to integrate carb cycling into their nutrition and training plan. The way I interpret Volek's advice -- and he's done a lot of research so I trust that he knows what he's talking about -- it depends on finding the right combination to effectively address your main metabolic challenges and your individual physical goals.

I haven't read Gary Taubes -- my body recomposition education and reading list has come almost exclusively from guys in the bodybuilding community (brothers, cousins, uncles, my trainer, close family friends, ex-boyfriends) all competitive bodybuilders who are supporting me on my program, so I haven't read authors that aren't favorites in the bodybuilding culture -- but Phinney and Volek (who are absolute cult favorites in the bodybuilding community even though I don't personally know any bodybuilders who stay keto-adpated) definitely establish that dieters can find a keto-adapted nutrition level for maintenance. And there are plenty of online communities of endurance athletes who are not overweight but who are keto-adapted for other reasons who prove that keto-adaptation doesn't necessarily have to be about cutting bodyfat. And McDonald's work definitely doesn't dispute this, The Ketogenic Diet goes into a lot of detail about the protein-sparing (muscle maintaining) advantages of adapting to ketosis, so McDonald definitely says that maintenance is compatible with a ketogenic diet. But "maintenance" and "maximum muscle growth" aren't the same thing and I think that's where there's a discrepancy between the approaches advocated by Phinney/Volek versus McDonald.

You're keto-adapted and you're at a low enough level of bodyfat to visually judge gains from weight training. So maybe your best approach would be to start a progressive weight training program while you're keto-adapted and see (a.) if you can lift heavy while keto-adapted, and (b.) if you can make the gains that you want to make without using dietary carbohydrates. You don't necessarily need the level of anabolic performance that McDonald is writing about because you're not working toward contest goals. And you have acknowledged some metabolic challenges that make carb cycling potentially problematic for you. So why not see how far keto-adaptation can take you?

And some current movements in bodybuilding don't advocate post-workout high-carb intake to raise insulin levels. Apparently, a small rise in insulin levels is as effective after workouts as a higher insulin rise because insulin sensitivity in muscle tissue is increased in the period immediately after a workout. Whey protein isolate, for example, slightly raises insulin (especially if it's taken without fat) and, according to some schools of thought, this modest insulin rise combined with an ample source of readily available amino acids provides a more effective way of feeding nutrients into muscle tissue for favorable protein synthesis. Bodybuilding culture definitely values the anabolic power of insulin, but there are many different schools of thought with regard to managing insulin.

Also, Borge Fagerli is a rockstar Norwegian bodybuilding coach and personal trainer who specializes in size-development and he advocates what he calls "auto-regulation" that adjusts training to a specific nutritional intake. So his approach is to adjust the training to the individual and to their individual energy profile on any given day, as opposed to only adjusting the diet to prep for training. It's sort of complicated and he's suggesting what seems like more of a Paleo nutritional approach, from what I've read, but it seems to be compatible with lower carbs for people who are sensitive to carbs. And Fagerli's female clients are AMAZING! They are, seriously, the buffest women on the planet. So he seems to know what he's doing and has a program that has produced proven results for women, which is not super common.

Basically, Punkin, your bodyfat is low enough that you have a wide variety of options and you have much more freedom to experiment than a person who is dealing with the primary need to cut a lot of bodyfat. Having a lot more choices makes the outlook somewhat confusing, but you're in a much better position to visually judge the physical results of an approach which gives you the advantage of being able to try things and see if they will specifically work for you, as opposed to theoretical results. So you could have a lot of fun with this! In my opinion...
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:31 PM   #23
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Thanks so much Trillex for those posts! It really helps me out a lot. One of the problems with me is that I am an endurance athlete who does weight lifting, so I tend to deplete my glycogen stores more easily than I would normally like, but it could just mean tweaking my training a bit to make it work better. I guess a bit of it is just trial and error, just like trying to get the diet and metabolism to work in a way that doesn't work against us!
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:37 PM   #24
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You should definitely check out Borge Fagerli. He's fascinating, he's done a ton of research, and he's all about flexibility and different options for different situations. There's a lot of his work available for free on the internet because his fans translated his stuff into English a few years ago and posted it for the world. So you might find something of value in there to address your specific needs and metabolic concerns.
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Old 03-27-2013, 03:43 AM   #25
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My goal is to some day to a figure competition. So that is why I am all over the place with what to do next. I don't have the right genetics unfortunately, but I figure with some hard work and the right choices I can eventually get there. Thanks, I will definitely look him up, I really appreciate your help.
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Old 03-27-2013, 03:14 PM   #26
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My goal is to some day to a figure competition. So that is why I am all over the place with what to do next. I don't have the right genetics unfortunately, but I figure with some hard work and the right choices I can eventually get there. Thanks, I will definitely look him up, I really appreciate your help.
There was a poster a bit back who went into figure competition. Her avi name (I think) was afuentes. She did really really well. She came in like 2nd on her first competition, if I remember correctly. She is in Las Vegas. Search for her posts with afuentes and if nothing pops up then try brown bunny. I forget which is her signature and which is her avatar name. But it was one of those. She looked really really good in her avatar. I am sure she has posted tips for how she did it (get cut) in her older posts. And good luck to you
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:41 PM   #27
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My goal is to some day to a figure competition. So that is why I am all over the place with what to do next. I don't have the right genetics unfortunately, but I figure with some hard work and the right choices I can eventually get there. Thanks, I will definitely look him up, I really appreciate your help.
That's SO exciting, Punkin! I'm so super excited for you and I haven't even met you -- HaHa! You're going to have a ton of fun and meet so many cool and interesting people in competition! It's so great you're doing this!

About genetics... Shawn Phillips has probably made as much money as anybody else in history has ever made as a figure model, and I read an interview with him a while back where he was talking about how he found his way into figure modeling. Phillips said that he worshipped Schwarzenegger and wanted to be a champion bodybuilder but realized he didn't have the genetics to get huge and cut -- he and his brother found that they could either be huge or be cut, but they had major limits on getting a championship combination of huge and cut -- but obsessively studying physiology taught Phillips that hard work, constant education and experimentation, and a good eye for symmetry could transform anyone into a champion model physique.

Sometimes you have to take what the Phillips brothers say with a grain of salt because I think they often downplay difficulties because they want to be motivational (and being motivational has made them millionaires). But I think they genuinely believe that genetics are not a true limitation, and I think that's where the Body for Life ethos of "anybody can transform" came from. And to their credit, they've spent decades proving that hard work and persistence can transform the most ordinary people in the world into extraordinary physical beauty.

You can do it, Punkin!
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:43 PM   #28
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Thanks. Part of the reason I want to do it is so that I can become a personal trainer and help others who find the road as challenging as I have. The only person I know in real life who has competed in a figure competition, never had any weight or dieting issues. Had a perfect bathing suit body as a teenager and was genetically lean all her life. Me, I think I was born to be fat and have had cellulite since I was 12, so I've never known what it was like to have a nice body. I'm just starting to get a sense of what that is like now
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:11 PM   #29
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I am trying the Carb Nite Solutions diet. It's basically cyclic keto. You go keto for 10 days(When you first begin) at night you gorge on carbs for about 6-8 hour and the next day you go back to your keto for the next 5-7 days and you have another night of carbs.

It works very well because it retains all your muscles, you can gain muscle and burn a lot of fat, as well as stay in ketosis.

Carb back loading concept I think is made by the same person John Keifer.
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:30 PM   #30
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My goal is to some day to a figure competition. So that is why I am all over the place with what to do next. I don't have the right genetics unfortunately, but I figure with some hard work and the right choices I can eventually get there. Thanks, I will definitely look him up, I really appreciate your help.
punkin

Look here for afuentes:

Bikini in 2 weeks - would you work out? Water gain?

You can search from there some more of her posts. Let me know if you need help! She has some great tips.
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