I had a question for anyone who had gone VLC or Keto and then decided to add fruit or sweet potato back in. I bloat when I eat carbs (possible intolerance?) and am wondering if this could be a simple adaptation period or if you can actually create carb intolerance by going VLC for a longer period of time?
I am a semi professional athlete training twice per day, and am thinking of adding more carbs to help with recovery (I am very sore and it is starting to affect sleep).
Thoughts and experiences?
asked byAshley_4 (1186)
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on May 23, 2012
at 01:48 PM
You've got some good suggestions here WRT upping the carbs, especially given your workout load.
Just wanted to chime in with something:
When you've been VLC for a while and are mostly fueling and running your body on fat, your glycogen stores are typically very low. When you sudden;y add carbs back into the mix (especially starchy ones, as opposed to LC veggies like peppers or asparagus or something), you replenish that glycogen. What most people don't realize is that our bodies store glycogen along with water. I never remember the exact ratio but it's something like for every gram of glycogen we store, we store 2.5g of water. So this is why people "gain weight all of a sudden" after being LC/VLC and having a big cheat or simply add back a fair amount of carbs. It's not fat, but simply water coming back with the glycogen. (And that can leave you with that bloated/puffy feeling.)
Things will even out eventually, and I do think you'll feel (and perform) better with some carbs in the pre- and post-workout period.
on May 09, 2012
at 04:43 AM
I've cycled through many different carb levels.
For me, fruit is much more likely to cause digestive nonsense than other sources of sugar.
I would insist you follow your intuition on these matters.
Edit: And if you're training twice a day, VLC is probably never a good idea.
on April 25, 2012
at 12:57 AM
I was VLC / ketotic for 8 months before about a month ago. Decided to introduce veggies / carbs for tolerance sake. I miss VLC and ketosis / all meat so much! But sweet potatoes and vegetables are awesome. It is very hard, and I can't seem to find a common ground between the two. Make sure you have enough physical activity to pick up the extra carbs, that really helps I find.
on September 02, 2016
at 08:53 AM
I will share my personal experience with Keto(23yrs old, male, active)
While there are pros with the Keto diet (I could go without food for hours and still feel pretty ok), I now tend to agree with people saying that carbs are essential for our bodies. To keep a healthy thyroid and mucus production, you need carbs. There are also people who had sharp increases on LDL-C and LDL-P on a keto diet, so you should also do a check to see your cholesterol to make sure you are not one of these people.
So if I were you, I would add safe carbs in my diet. If you don't do well with fructose, try low fructose fruits. Try sweet potatoes and yams, and if you want some more variety and can tolerate them, rice and potatoes. Just make sure to clean the skin of the potatoes, which contains saponins and is a gut bomb.
Especially if you are an athlete, carbs are essential. You are doing no favours to your body by going Keto. I feel Keto is an adaptation, which allowed Grok to survive when carbs werent available. So a few periods of Keto may do good to our bodies( reduced inflammation, increased insulin sensitivity when carbs are re-introduced to the diet), but it shouldn't be for ever, especially for healthy young people.
You said you are training twice a day. I feel you should aim for 150g carbs on non training days, and possibly hit 200-250g on days you train. Post workout, try some white rice, or two roasted sweet potatoes.
on June 06, 2012
at 03:48 PM
I've done varying levels of carbs and I personally hated VLC. It did nothing for me but make me miserable the entire time. I now do 70-150g of carbs a day and am much happier. I lost the initial 3-5lbs of glycogen-water weight and gained it back when I added carbs in again, but after less thank a week my weight stabilized. I did notice my belly seemed bloated but that only lasted for about 3 days after adding in more carbs.
I am pretty active (waitress walking at least 4miles a day and workouts 6days a week) & I noticed nothing but major drops in my athletic performance, energy, mood, etc when I was doing VLC. I struggled to work-out, let alone complete my resistance work-outs. Had enough one day and I ate about 150g of carbs. Immediately felt awesome & the next day went for a 6mile run.
I'm happy that I tried VLC just for the fact that I now know my body does not like it. My carbs are mainly berries, broccoli, sweet potato or white potato, onions, lettuce, tomato, peppers, carrots, occasional apples or bananas. I feel I've been having more cravings for ice cream since going VLC, not really sure why that is but the cravings have been quite strong!?
Not sure about the carb intolerance but I've been reading from Robb Wolf and others that VLC long-term might not be the best so it makes me feel better about adding in more carbs. Of course, LC works great for some, to each their own! I would certainly think that with how active you are, adding some carbs back in would be a great idea-try it for a week or two?
on April 24, 2012
at 09:59 PM
Your digestive hormones tend to adjust to what is commonly eaten, and your gut bacteria do too. I'd add just small amounts of carbs at first. Maybe white rice. If you have then after a workout you tend to shunt them into glycogen replacement
on April 24, 2012
at 09:50 PM
Hi! I know exactly what you mean. I have been VLC Paleo for about 8 weeks, but for the last week had to add back some sweet potato. I tried to get keto adapted, and I think I was in Ketosis, but for the amount I was working out, I couldn't keep to absolutely no carbs. It was affecting my skin, my sleep, my recovery, and my energy.
VLC Paleo is great for people who are doing low/moderate exercise, but you have to have carbs if you are a frequent exerciser, which based on working out twice a day you definitely qualify for. If not, you are putting your body under a different kind of stress, which can result in cortisol increase and actually hinder all your hard work.
I would say try with a sweet potato or something with glucose as opposed to fructose PWO for a week and see how it goes. What works for one, may not work for others, you have to tinker and find out what works best for you or which starches you respond best to that help your performance.
Best of luck!