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Old 03-07-2013, 05:41 AM   #1
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Building muscle with Atkins

Hey Everyone!
I have been on Atkins for about 2 months now and wanting to get into a weightlifting routine. I have worked out for years and pretty much know the routine. My question is....how to incorporate carbs with the Atkins program
and not worry about putting on the fat that I have lost. I know I need carbs for energy but not sure what carbs and how much. Can yall give any advice on this?
Thanks
Talley
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:55 AM   #2
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That's the never ending question for those of us who do low carb and weight lifting. I cannot do strength exercises and Atkins too. I have a fraction of the stamina and give out halfway through. Constant low carb frankly makes me feel weak.

Weight lifters often use CKD (cyclical ketogenic diet) or TKD (targeted ketogenic diet). Cyclical means they carb up for a day or do, like the weekend, and then go back to low carb all week long. Others eat carbs right before and after a workout. I've found I can't do a TKD, it makes me feel crappy. But I seem to do a 12 hour carb up with the CKD idea just fine. If I carb up from 10am to 10pm Sunday, I wake up Monday morning back in ketosis. Not that ketosis is doing me any good, but it hasn't made me gain weight to do CKD either.

This is not Atkins. But Atkins doesn't have a monopoly on low carb or ketogenic dieting, either. Low carb diet by any other name is still a low carb diet.

I just started CKD two weeks ago, as I'm not losing weight with Atkins anyhow and I wasn't willing to sacrifice my fitness for weight loss that hasn't happened since induction 7 weeks ago BUT I just love how the stable blood sugar makes me feel, so I'm not willing to go back to a generally high carb diet either. I can live with this weight if I have to but I've been waiting to be "ketoadapted" for 9 weeks so that strength training isn't impossible and it has not happened, so I give up. I need carbs. But I'm eating low GI carbs to keep my blood sugar stable.

For cyclical, it depends on your level of weight lifting. Beginners would probably want to keep it to 300g of carbs in a 12 hour period. Advanced lifters might do 1200 carbs in two days. It's believed in the average body, muscles can store 300-800g of carbs in the form of glycogen. More muscles, more storage space, so that's why advanced lifters can go carb crazy/. I prefer to eat the fewest carbs I can get away with which is about 200g in 12 hours. Even that takes work for me to achieve. YMMV, so you'll have to experiment. I did major activity yesterday and my muscles are depleted today, I can feel it. I couldn't do a weight lifting routine to save my life. So I'll be eating plenty of low GI carbs today and should have my strength back tomorrow.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:42 AM   #3
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Thanks for the info. Atkins has done me well so far. I feel like I am still losing
inches. I will probably load up on carbs before and after workouts. I am just not sure what the best carb is to do that until I experiment I guess. Thinking on a half sweet potato before and protein shake afterwards.
By the way, I noticed that you are from Colo. I am also....Boulder area.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:29 AM   #4
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I can not train low carb either, I lose too much strength but we all have different requirements..

I'd suggest you sub out some fat in your pre and post meal and insert carbs..throw the fat in later maybe about 20g ea meal. Level out your cals though to account. Carbs arent free.

Jump back onto you're LC day. might see some water wt and that should level out. You dont need carbs for some steady cardio and such.
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:56 PM   #5
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Not everyone needs carbs for energy. It is entirely possibly to eat very low carb and weight train effectively. I did it the last time I lost on Atkins. I did some cardio and high intensity weight training while eating about 20g of carbs for months on end.

I never ate extra before a workout. I didn't need to.

The only reason I'm not doing the same this time around is because health restrictions don't allow me. The minute I can, I'll be back doing HIT. And eating very low carb.

So don't assume that you need to.
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:15 AM   #6
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I don't think you necessarily need carbs for weight training or exercise. Especially if you are fat adapted. The theory behind carb cycling is that it puts your body in an anabolic state for glycogen storage, but I am not sure about hypertrophy. It is great for people who have good metabolisms or have repaired their metabolism to the point of where they can go in and out of ketosis without repercussions. For people who are still experiencing symptoms of metabolic syndrome it isn't a good idea, because the body has an affinity for storing fat, when introduced to carbs.

From what I have read, this is more the case for people who have a tendency towards being "fat" eating what seems to be a normal diet (ie. fruit, whole grains, etc.) People who can't handle what seems like a normal carb intake probably need to stick a LC diet if their main concern is fat loss.

I am an endurance athlete and I am around 20 to 25g. I have a very difficult metabolism so I can carb cycle until I can at least repair it. I do some strength training, but I have been LC long enough to say how effective it is. My main concerns are repairing my metabolism and avoiding gaining the fat that I have just lost. I might have to be LC permanently, I don't know yet. The nice thing about atkins is that you can find that balance by going through the phases, to find out your tolerance level for carbs. For some people carb cycling can definitely fit into that, if you find that after fat loss your carb tolerance goes up.
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:31 PM   #7
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I take in less than 50 carbs a day and have been weight training the enitre time I have been lc (about 7 months).
Althougth I am close to goal, I am still losing weight, albeit very slowly.
I am, without a doubt, gaining muscle.
Mind you, I'm 63 years old, so muscle gains are not like those for someone younger, but I can see that my muscles, as well as my strength have grown.
I find that meat makes me feel strong, but oddly enough my typical post workout snack is some sour cream, sweetened with sf torani vanilla and a small handful of the berries of the day. Sometimes I add a sprinkling of chopped nuts. It's my heaviest carb intake of the day.
I love being trim and strong. My lc woe combined with my exercise routines have virtually eliminated all those "aches and pains" most people my age are continually complaining about. My back doesn't ache, my knees are fine. I can climb stairs, bend, twist and lift with no problems. I ride my bicycle, take long walks and can dance up a storm with no ill effects. I listen to my body, know my limits and enjoy a quality of life beyond my expectations.
I am truly blessed.
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:50 PM   #8
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I also lift while on Atkins and have not had any problems. I think your body will adjust itself but I am not a body builder either, I do cardio/weights 3 days a week and cardio 2 days a week, yoga/pilates 1 active rest day. So I guess everybody is different, I exercise in the morning first thing on a empty stomach (just water while training).

Jeannie
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