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Old 02-01-2013, 03:00 PM   #1
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Cycling Carbs Discussion Thread

Hello everyone. I was wondering if some in the community that enjoy weight training / bodybuilding would be interested in a thread that discusses different topics relating to cycling carbs to attain low bodyfat levels? I have been very successful getting my weight down to my current level following the traditional LC approach, and love this forum and community. My problem is, I have been stalled at my current weight for awhile now, and the traditional approach is making me have to cut my fat down as well to lower my body fat level.

I have been experimenting with higher-feed carb days over the past year or so, and it definitely seemed to help, but I wasn't following a proven program, or tracking it very well. A few weeks ago, a member of the forum steered me to a couple of books that deal will CKD (Cyclical Ketogenic Diet) type programs. I really feel I'm on to something here!

Obviously this type of program is not for everyone. Members who have certain health issues, are still quite overweight, or have issues with binging would not find this idea very attractive. I think for some, especially us that exercise regularly, or want to take body fat levels lower than the norm, should have a thread here to explore ideas and discuss the topic. I know I'm very interested in learning more, and talking to others who have tried it, or are doing it.

I've done a lot of research the last couple weeks, and I am currently on a plan at the moment...with awesome results. I have been able to finally break a long plateau, and it has been easy for a few reasons. I hope a few of you will want to jump in on this, because I dread the thought of having to join in on discussions with 20-somethings on hardcore bodybuilding forums hopped up on anabolics God forbid if you ask a newby question on one of those sites thats already been answered in the last ten years Anyone already following a CKD-type eating plan out there??
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:08 AM   #2
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This is a good idea for a thread. I am pretty serious carb addict, at least I was, so carb cycling might be a bit dangerous for me. But for people who's bodies seem to react normally to carbs, carb cycling definitely has its advantages. Are you just going from LC to carb cycling to see how it affects your body composition? Is the that your goal?
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:14 PM   #3
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Hi Punkin. Glad someone else is interested in this topic. I started really looking into it when my weight got down to about 175. I seemed to stall out, and found it hard to lose anything. I'd go up 3, down 2 up 4, down 5, etc. I looked into Stillmans last summer because I figured I needed to cut down my fat to reduce my overall calories. The problem is, for us people that tend to be overweight if we eat normally, we have to reduce our calories to rediculously low levels to get much below 15% body fat. Then we encounter the problem of the body slowing down because it wants to hold on to the fat. My new goal is to try to get my body fat down to close to 10% if possible.

I've been reading a lot of material from Lyle McDonald lately, and he claims it's difficult to hold on to muscle the lower you go, especially without drugs. It seems the only way to trick the body is to combine LC days with short periods of moderate to high carb refeed days. If it's combined with the proper training, it works well. It sounds like a more workable plan for the long haul. I hear what you're saying about being a bit dangerous once carbs are added if one is addicted to them in the first place. My personal feeling is that I just overate them, not knowing what they were doing to me, but now I know a little more about how all this works, and I think this may be the secret to long-term success.

Wanting to test this method, I purchased one of Lyle's books recently and followed his advice as perfectly as I could. I basically followed a low fat / low carb diet from Monday evening to Friday afternoon with a couple of muscle glycogen depleting workouts during that time. After a Friday evening workout, I immediately started a carb-up that lasted until Saturday night midnight (about 30 hours total). During that time, I ate a little over 800 GRAMS of carbs along with ample protein, but still low fat. Sunday and half of Monday are a little under maintenence calories, tapering down on carbs to start over again on Tuesday morning with LC again. I weighed myself on Friday mornings both weeks (after the "diet" days) I was amazed to see that I had lost 1.5 lbs.

The amount of food I ate during the re-feed was quite amazing. I ate 6 bagels made into chicken burgers, one pound of pasta mixed with a pound of lean ground chicken and a can of spaghetti sauce, and one cup (dry) of Jasmine rice. Low GI carbs are preferable during the re-feeds because too much fiber involved would make it impossible to eat that amount for most people. Obviously this amount is overkill if the weight training protocol isn't followed correctly, but it shows me that we don't have to suffer muscle loss and near starvation to get to the lower body fat levels. Psychologically, it gives you something to look forward to every week, which suggests this WOE may be better for some that are constantly falling off the LC wagon.

I'd be interested to hear any success or failures you've had with with CKD's in the past. I plan on reading more about this, especially how these diets work without weight training. Most of the info out there is on bodybuilders prepping for a show. By the way, I haven't done any cardio so far. I'm on my third week, and down 3 pounds. Muscle quality is MUCH improved, (hardness and fullness). They seem to respond very well to the re-feeds. On just LC's, my muscles always felt soft, and I completely stopped adding lean mass.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:15 AM   #4
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Gladee88er - I always look foward to your posts because you seem to have a great deal of knowledge and understanding about nutrition. I will follow this thread to further enhance my knowledge. I am on the lc woe of eating and I have done some experimentation with my body and how it reacts to hc foods. I have found some foods that I feel bloated and swollen with, one of them being rice. After I have lost some of the weight that I want to I would like to try carb cycling.
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:12 PM   #5
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Thank you for the complement h82bl8 (oh...hate to be late...that's clever). I thought I had this all figured out until a few years ago I started gaining weight. I have always been interested in nutrition. This forum and Atkins really opened my eyes about a few things. LC'ing has been a great way for me to get back on track again. but the more I learn, the more I think this can be tweaked to have the best of both worlds.

I have never felt great eating all the fat, but I know it was necessary to supply the energy I needed the past couple years getting the weight off. Personally I have always done ok with carbs, but tended to WAY overeat on my portions. I didn't realize how little food it takes to actually add up to 2000 calories in a day until I started really tracking my portions. I could easily eat a pound of chicken and a big pile of rice for dinner back in my younger days. That tends to catch up to most people as we get older

I still feel going all-out LC is the best and quickest way to shed a lot of unwanted fat, but as I said in my earlier post, as we get closer to our personal "ideal" weight, it gets harder to lose more or maintain. I can understand if eating carbs sends someone on a month-long binge, but that's not the case for me, and I don't think I'm all that unique in that regard.

My plan is to experiment with different carb cycles, and varying exercise protocols to see how my body reacts to different scenarios. That way, I may be able to help people in the future that might want to experiment with these types of carb cycling. Plus I love being able to stuff myself once in awhile, and not feel like I'm losing ground. The last 3 weeks have given me hope that I will be able to eat enough to gain plenty more solid muscle, and still stay lean. My problem with LC'ing continuously is that it suppresses my appetite so much, I can't build enough lean mass to reach my goals. Upping carbs a little at a time is not good for me either, because I tend to overeat over time. I like a structured day or two a week I can go nuts and get all I want until the next time. Everyone is different, that's for sure.

Good luck hitting your first goal! I'm always here to help if you need any
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:43 AM   #6
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Gladee88eer - I'm with you on the month long binge - eating carbs doesn't send me into long binges, but at that moment and throughout that one day I can eat every chip in sight. My problem is not sweets, it is salty crunchy stuff. I can eat a 1 pound bag of peanuts in the shell.

I noticed when I turned 50 that my gut started increasing in size, this compounded with the death my dad added alot of stress. I have tried and failed at lc hundreds of times. But now I'm on the quest to be healthy and rebuilding my metabolism after years of abusing it.
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1st GOAL - to weigh 230 by Dec 2014

2nd GOAL - to weigh 215 by March 2015

3rd GOAL - to weigh 200 by June 2015


4th GOAL - to weigh 185 by 9/19/15 When I turn 55.
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:02 AM   #7
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I know about Lyle's books but I haven't read any of them. I understand the theory behind his diets. I think if you're keto-adapted then the carb refeeds would be great, as long as you didn't have any form of metabolic syndrome. And it sounds like you don't, if they are working well for you. I haven't gotten much past the induction level of carbs of atkins and it has been almost two months for me. Where I am at I probably have to do strict LC for a few more months where I could even think of carb cycling. But I only have about 5lbs pounds of fat left to lose before that might become a reality. I just hope I can get there in time. I think I did too much damage to my metabolism by over-exercising. Volek and Phinney do suggest that some people can stay LC forever, and they describe a pathway for those people. So I'm not sure which direction I am going to go in yet. I am interested in your progress in carb cycling though, because for people who can do it, it seems to be the way to go, when you get down to really low levels of body fat.

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Old 02-13-2013, 09:43 AM   #8
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I've done a lot of reading on carb cycling. It seems it is not really recommended for obese women (which I am) but I really like the idea behind it. I have had problems with stalls before and ALWAYS what helped was going off plan.

I admit I am not as strict as a lot of people on here are. I eat a carb meal 1-2 a month. I don't think I will ever stop doing that. You need a little leeway (IMHO) to keep things successful. Keeps me sane and I really do think it's better to shake things up a bit before your body gets used to your new diet.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:41 PM   #9
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I've done a lot of reading on carb cycling. It seems it is not really recommended for obese women (which I am) but I really like the idea behind it.
i've read this, too, but from what i've gathered the reasoning behind them saying that is because for the obese, it's not necessary because they can already lose easily without cycling carbs.

all i can say to that is HOGWASH! i carb cycle, and it's working much better than simple calorie or carb counting. imho

I did try cycling carbs like i've read on weight lifting sites. i tried doing a few random carb up days (300+ carbs with 50 g fat), while generally consuming 50-100 carbs on ordinary days. those carb up days made me physically ill, always followed by a monster headache. just not worth it to me, but i did see losses with that option.

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Old 02-17-2013, 01:01 PM   #10
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Hi All, I was directed to come over here by Trilex, since I'm interested in trying to basically gain some muscle while losing just a small amount of fat. My scale number is fine - 112 lbs, and I really dont care about the number so much, but I have terrible strength level and thinned out muscles. So I'm going to try to do a cyclic ketogenic diet, and see how it goes...

So far today, I have had an egg white omelet with deli turkey meat and about 1/2 slice of american cheese... I was trying to keep the fat low, thinking I needed to do high protein, low fat.... but I guess that was wrong.

I'm going grocery shopping now, and not entirely sure what to get - I guess just really low carb stuff for now. I've been reading online about CKD stuff. But if anyone wants to point me in a good direction to read up on this, please do!

And yeah, I like the idea of being able to (responsibly) eat some carbs on the weekend! I think I'll wait until next weekend though, since I dont totally know what I'm doing right now!
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:18 AM   #11
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Hi Strawberry, I was going to post this on your other thread but its closed. Hopefully Trillex will come on over and join the conversation since your questions are really good.

I hope people will come in and correct me if I am wrong. But I think the CKD diets because they involve a HC phase once a week, are good for people who have a normal metabolism and can handle high intakes of carbs. I read on another thread that people who cycle, switch their bodies from a catabolistic state (breakdown of fats) to an anabolic state (building of muscle) once a week. The anabolic state is induced by high carb intake, not high fat. Where as the catabolic state is induced by high fat, low carb. I am not sure about the protein but I think it has to be fairly high to avoid the breakdown of muscle tissue during the catabolic state.

This transition is not easy for someone who has metabolic issues though, so generally someone who is struggling with weight loss and diet issues (these would not be people who are into body building likely), would have trouble with a CKD diet. I read someone's story about being obese who is now into bodybuilding and he said that he used atkins to get down to a normal weight, and then once he was able to fix his metabolism to the point where he could eat a "normal" amount of carbs, without losing his fat burning potential, he was able to do a CKD.

For some people it is possible to make that switch. It sounds like you don't really have issues with weight and diet, and you just want to change your body composition. You could probably just start a CKD diet then, it might work for you.
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:27 AM   #12
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Correction to my above post. The carbs are kept above the level of NK so the catabolic state is induced by just lowering the carbs. The average calorie intake is below maintenance so some fat burning has to occur, but they are still mainly using glucose as fuel which is the reason the protein has to be high, to avoid muscle breakdown. Because you are in the anabolic state once a week, it isn't the most efficient way to lose weight (fat). However if you want to build muscle and your metabolism is normal, you will probably benefit from this approach. People that have damaged metabolisms would probably struggle because of the high intake of carbs. That's what I am guessing.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:22 PM   #13
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I have never been obese, I'm not diabetic, and I am not prone to binges.... so I think it might work ok for me. (Lets hope!)

I made a bunch of oopsie rolls last night, so I can have some "sandwiches" this week... I figured that would help keep my carbs low. My main problem will probably be that I really like vegetables, I can devour huge salads, veggie loaded soups, that are all "good carbs", but they do have a lot of carbs in them, despite being pretty low in calories. I also like fruit and pretty much considered that a "free food" since it was good carbs and (obviously that will have to change for a while). I have problems balancing - if I eat a lot of veggies, I have a lot of carbs even if my calories are low.... if I eat a lot of fat, I end up with too many calories!

I did Jillian Michaels abs video yesterday... I could barely make it through... embarassing. And today my thighs are killing me - ironically my abs feel fine. It was those squats and lunges!
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:17 PM   #14
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Glade and others, I'm a carb cycling veteran, I guess you could say. (Have I earned the right to say that?)

I first began carb cycling when with the CKD/TKD approach of a very dear and wise friend who held my hand and broadened my knowledge base signficantly through trial and error. He was very experiened in these matters, and he helped to totally rock my world with the combo of weight training, low carb, refeeds, and carb rotations.

Fast-forwarding this story, I ended up competing for my first time ever in a master's figure body building competition and my entire 12 week prep incorporated carb cycling, more so the last 6 weeks as my body fat levels dropped significantly.

Combining carb rotations with consistent and progressive weight training and cardio can truly help you bust through fat loss plateaus. I"ve read a lot of Lyle's stuff too, and it was very helpful as well.

I kept a weight loss journal of my first experience with carb cycling, and you can find it here, beginning around Page 14:

http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/we...g-journal.html

My journey with the competition is found in the second part of my journal, ironically ALSO on Page 14:

http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/we...eping-lit.html

Keep up the good work. I'm not on LCF as often these days, but I try to stop in now and then. When I do, I'll try to look this thread up and catch up on everyone's progress, since it is definitely of interest to me as well.
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Old 02-19-2013, 06:29 AM   #15
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Twyla- you are an inspiration! I've read most of your journal here and all of your "keeping it lit" !

Fellow posters - Twyla has a wealth of information, I strongly advise that if you want to do carb cycling and are not familiar with it, please read her journals.
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:59 PM   #16
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On my normal days (well, I mean not a carb up day)... my diet should basically look like Atkins Induction, right?

I think Lyle McDonald goes into this more in his book (not done reading yet) with exactly how much fat and protein to eat each day, based on weight/height. I was looking at Twyla's journal and menus (very inspirational!) But she has way more muscle than me and was working out with a lot more weight than I can handle at this point (And I'm sore as heck right now.. it hurts to move ANYTHING!....after my weakling workouts). I think I'm going to have to be a lot lower on calories than she was to lean out at all.

Page 14 is the lucky number! LOL!
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:25 AM   #17
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Hi All,

I posted this in a carb-cycling thread in the Main Lobby, and thought it might be useful here as well:
Just to clarify the nomenclature with respect to diets that deliberately vary carb intake, “carb cycling,” “cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD),” and “targeted ketogenic diet (TKD)” are three different approaches, notwithstanding that people tend to collectively label them as “carb cycling.”

For purposes of the below discussion, “HC” means “high carb,” “LC” means “low carb,” “MC” means “medium carb,” “VLC” means “very low carb,” and “VHC” means “very high carb.”

True “carb cycling” varies carb intake on a daily basis, usually over a 7-day cycle. For example, a typical week might be HC/LC/MC/VLC/VHC/LC/VLC, with the VHC, HC and MC days assigned to the most glycogen-dependent workout days (high-volume or high-intensity resistance training, and sprinting/hill running), LC days assigned to low-intensity steady-state cardio days (walking), and VLC days assigned to rest days. The idea is to match carb intake to activity type, to fuel glycogen-dependent exercise and facilitate an anabolic hormonal environment at appropriate times, and to facilitate fat burning at appropriate times.

Carb cycling is successfully used by many bodybuilders and athletes, but one must bear in mind that, generally, these are very disciplined (arguably obsessive-compulsive), already-fit people who have no issues with meticulously planning meals in advance, weighing and measuring everything, etc. It takes a lot of planning, work, and maintenance to get it right. Carb-cycling is great for, say, a muscular guy at 11-12% bodyfat with visible upper abs to get to 6% BF and shredded. Based on my observation and experience, it is not very effective for regular people who just need to lose a substantial amount of fat.

As Taxbane noted, a cyclical ketogenic diet (“CKD”) involves a period of sustained low-carb eating to induce ketosis and burn fat, followed by a “carb-up” or “re-feed” period to replenish muscle and liver glycogen and create an anabolic hormonal environment for the week’s most demanding workouts. Dr. Mauro DiPasquale’s “Anabolic Diet” is generally considered the original CKD, with authors such as Lyle McDonald and Mark McManus having subsequently refined and tweaked the concepts in different ways.

In its original form, the Anabolic Diet calls for an initial 2-week very low carb period (tantamount to Induction), followed by a 48-hour carb-up, then follows a weekly cycle (5 days VLC, 2 days carb-up). Most CKD advocates traditionally prescribe a reduction in fat consumption during the carb-up, so it is not meant to be an all-out gorgefest/cheat period of donuts, fries, pizza and other carb-and-fat-mixed-together-calorie bombs. Basically, protein should remain constant while the dieter switches to a high-carb/low-fat diet for 2 days to restore glycogen but keep the calorie load in check. In contrast, McManus (and others) basically eat ad libitum during the “carb-up,” and it is really more of a “cheat period” than a pure carb-up, sometimes referred to as a “dirty” carb-up or re-feed.

Personally, I’ve only done a “dirty” CKD, because, being honest, what I really wanted to do was eat foods I felt deprived of, not mechanically restore glycogen levels eating lots of plain sweet potatoes, brown rice and oatmeal for 2 days. I had no real success doing the CKD on a 5/2 schedule, as I seemed to just keep dumping the same pounds of glycogen and water each week without getting into any real fat burning, but I had a couple of very good CKD runs when I stretched the re-feeds out to once every two weeks (basically doing the initial phase of the Anabolic Diet repeatedly and not reducing to the 5/2 frequency).

A targeted ketogenic diet (“TKD”) involves eating carbs only around glycogen-dependent workouts/activities, such as pre-and-post resistance training or sprinting. One basically eats low carb all the time, except for the limited pre/during/post-workout window. Similar to carb-cycling, the idea is to provide glycogen and trigger insulin secretion when both can be put to good use, and stay low carb the rest of the time. In theory, assuming one doesn’t go overboard with the carbs, one can quickly re-enter ketosis for the period following the limited carb-up. Dr. Jeff Volek, one of the authors of The New Atkins for a New You, has authored a book called the TNT Diet, which, in my opinion, is the best resource for those interested in a TKD.

The TKD sounds great in theory, but never quite clicked for me. It always seemed like I either ate too few carbs for it to be worthwhile or too many to get the benefits of sustained ketosis. Perhaps if I’d taken the time to get it just right, it would be great.

So what's my point? Other than to more precisely define our terms, I suppose it's to caution substantially overfat people to be wary of these approaches. Unless one can, and is willing to, use these diets as the precise, hormone-manipulating tools they're meant to be, they end up as thinly-veiled binge-and-purge cycles/events and excuses to eat crap.

Hopefully this helps your discussion.
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:55 PM   #18
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Thanks Stack. Very !! I'm glad you posted your adventures with the CK plan and how hard it can be for us overfat people. I have tried it once or twice - but never with the "clean" carbs as suggested. I didn't go the sweet route, mine was the chip, salty, crunchy route that ended up in a bog bag of Taco flavored Doritos with lots of guilt spread throughout.
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:06 PM   #19
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WOW... this gets more and more confusing! Thank you for the information thought Stack... I was not aware of the differences.

Stack, could I ask you what you would recommend for a 112 lb female, who is basically "skinny fat"... looks slim/average, but lacking in muscle tone and strength (since I basically have not done any exercise in the past 3 years). I've never been obese. I can follow a diet pretty strictly if I'm told what to do, and I dont have problems with binging. If a "carb up" for me just means having a sweet potato every 2 weeks on top of Atkins induction, I'm fine with that. I just want to build some muscle, and lose a little of the fat. One of my big motivators is that I HATE the fact that when I eat something, my stomach pouches out. I'm thin enough, that you can see the rectus muscle lines on the sides, but the rest of the abdominal muscles are so thin that they hold in NOTHING (and I've never been pregnant or seriously overweight, so its not like I can blame that!) sighhhh...

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Old 02-21-2013, 09:56 AM   #20
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WOW... this gets more and more confusing! Thank you for the information thought Stack... I was not aware of the differences.

Stack, could I ask you what you would recommend for a 112 lb female, who is basically "skinny fat"... looks slim/average, but lacking in muscle tone and strength (since I basically have not done any exercise in the past 3 years). I've never been obese. I can follow a diet pretty strictly if I'm told what to do, and I dont have problems with binging. If a "carb up" for me just means having a sweet potato every 2 weeks on top of Atkins induction, I'm fine with that. I just want to build some muscle, and lose a little of the fat. One of my big motivators is that I HATE the fact that when I eat something, my stomach pouches out. I'm thin enough, that you can see the rectus muscle lines on the sides, but the rest of the abdominal muscles are so thin that they hold in NOTHING (and I've never been pregnant or seriously overweight, so its not like I can blame that!) sighhhh...
Stack, could I ask you what you would recommend for a 112 lb female, who is basically "skinny fat"... looks slim/average, but lacking in muscle tone and strength (since I basically have not done any exercise in the past 3 years). I've never been obese.

Strawberry, to offer a bit of advice from my personal experience, considering you have not exercised in 3 years, that is what you need to focus on, adapting your body to exercise slowly, particularly strength training. Cardio more for endurance, since you don’t mention you are concerned about fat loss. Too much cardio will waste precious muscle anyway, and esp if you are trying to BUILD muscle at this point. I would shoot for 3-4 days of strength training per week, progressive resistance.

I can follow a diet pretty strictly if I'm told what to do, and I dont have problems with binging. If a "carb up" for me just means having a sweet potato every 2 weeks on top of Atkins induction, I'm fine with that. I just want to build some muscle, and lose a little of the fat.

If you are comfortable with low carb, there is no need to do carb rotations at this point in your case in terms of fat loss – which is usually why people do carb rotations to begin with. They usu have fat to lose and are either trying to build muscle or maintain the muscle they have. If you are trying to build muscle, you will get better results (IMO) if you incorporate timed carbs into your weekly diet, adding them on days that you strength train, both before and after your workout. I would shoot for 75-100 carbs to start with on your training days, and up that amount if you feel it necessary. If you stick with clean carbs – not junk, and definitely not sugar – you will not gain “fat” from the carbs and it will go straight to the muscle and assist in strength and growth of the muscle, aiding in the energy/recovery for your workouts as well. Stick to clean complex carbs – oats, sweet potato, brown rice, for example. Avoid high fat, processed carbs.

One of my big motivators is that I HATE the fact that when I eat something, my stomach pouches out. I'm thin enough, that you can see the rectus muscle lines on the sides, but the rest of the abdominal muscles are so thin that they hold in NOTHING (and I've never been pregnant or seriously overweight, so its not like I can blame that!) sighhhh..

Water retention is completely normal for everyone for various reasons, and esp women. You can expect to see some temporary water retention and fluctuations from the food you eat, particularly if you are not drinking sufficient water and/or you eat foods high in sodium. Drinking extra water should help to flush out the bloating you may experience, and particularly when eating targeted amounts of complex carbs around your strength training workouts. Those carbs should not affect “weight gain” or “fat gain.”

And lastly, CKD/TKD and most of the more common methods of carb rotations are usually implemented by people who are close to their goal weight (within 10-15 lbs), have stubborn fat to lose, and are willing to incorporate regular and consistent weight lifting into their plan with a diet of strategic amounts of clean, complex carbs, keeping fat at 20-30% on the days they eat carbs, protein high on all days to spare/build muscle.

Hope this helps.



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Old 02-21-2013, 11:36 AM   #21
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Thank you very much, Twyla... that helps a lot. I'll try a little bit of good carbs with the weight days.

The part about "slowly" adapting my body is particularly comforting, because I was so impossibly sore yesterday, I did a few leg weights, and had to stop :-( I tend to go after things with a ton of enthusiasm, and felt like a loser yesterday. I have literally no endurance.
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:19 PM   #22
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gladee88er I havent had the need to do LC during the week (ever really ). I've kept carbs in my plan ea day. sometimes higher on training days and less on non. When things slow down I have refeeds once a week. Depending it can be a few hrs to a full day.
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