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Occasional post workout carb load; throw off keto adaptation?... thoughts

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 19, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Been basically paleo with my food choices for many years, except for rice. I'm 4 months into full on vlc paleo; no carbs except copious green vegetables (no fruit, grains, sugar, or roots) and feel amazing.

9am raw lamb leg, raw egg yolk, fish oil 3pm sashimi (I live in Tokyo) or chicken, coconut oil, avocado, seaweed, cabbage 9pm raw beef, coconut oil sauteed tons of green vegetables.

I also add chelated minerals esp mag, Vit D3, E, B, C

Felt like crap and could barely work out for 3 weeks, then magically I became a diesel engine! Actually, now my workouts are stronger than ever and I never bonk. I digest my raw meat by itself so easily now I workout an hour after eating 325 grams of it....deadlifts and all.

My previous problems are reversing; my mind is clear all the time, my energy is constant, I can finally go more than 3 hours without eating, my moods are more even, I sleep better, and my body feels/looks stronger. I was already lean and hard, if small muscled, but now I seem to be gaining a bit of good weight.

I am presently working out to try and gain mass, which my hardgainer body has never cooperated with before. I'm following leangains advice and eating 3 grams of protein per kilogram (I weigh @60kg lean body mass), and filling the rest out with fat; about 180g protein/195g fat/@2500 cal/day/3 meals @8-850cal. I don't count green veggie calories, I just eat em.

Before I was really carb sensitive and they were making me sick. In the glycogen window I could eat more of them, but other times more than 40-50g of carbs would make me feel crappy. Now that I am keto adapted, I don't wanna screw that up. But, I do want to gain some mass. I'm at my limit with protein, and I don't think I can stomach more fat (already almost 200g a day). I have no need to add carbs for performance or glycogen load as I already feel unstoppable energy before, during and after my workouts.

So, i'm thinking of adding 100 grams or so of carbs from yams/sweet potato, once per day to up my calories to gain mass. I'm afraid it will just ruin my adaptation to no carbs and resulting well being, and at the very least may make me get hungry all the time like before. Im hoping my metabolism has healed a bit, and perhaps I can take it now.

Obviously carb loads kick you out of ketosis, but do they screw up keto adaptation?

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 20, 2012
at 02:06 AM

Since going VLC paleo I'm only doing strength training and rock climbing, no cardio.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 20, 2012
at 02:05 AM

Interesting reading. It's counter to what I thought was the reason to go VLC in the first place: to correct chronic insulin resistance from carb intolerance and let the metabolism heal. I have always felt like crap when I eat too many carbs unless it was IMMEDIATELY after or during 2 or more hours of HARD high heart rate endurance training. The glycogen window was the only time carbs didn't make me lift headed and starving 1 hour after eating them!

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 20, 2012
at 01:58 AM

I don't have a post workout meal right after training now. Don't seem to need it being VLC. I was simply thinking that since I don't like eating carbs with meat due to the enzymatic interference that results in the meat digestion suffering, I'd have to add the carbs as a stand alone 4th meal perhaps with some coconut oil IMMEDIATELY post workout to A) keep the carbs away from the meat, and B)let the exercise induced glycogen window and insulin resulting sensitivity increase help my body's otherwise intolerance of carbs be mitigated.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 20, 2012
at 01:51 AM

for more than 6-8 hrs I suffer. So you were keto adapted VLC for some time before you started eating carbs again? Someone warned that after a while VLC the muscles refuse glucose and are insulin resistant, which is the opposite of what I thought....seemed the point of going VLC was to let the body heal from carb induced chronic insulin resistance. How'd you feel when you ate carbs again? How much did you eat? Did you ramp back up slowly?

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 20, 2012
at 01:46 AM

So, you end up eating 500 additional calories on workout days, even though you eat less fat? Your post workout meal is lean chicken breast and low fat, so that would mean a lot more carbs to make up for the loss of fat cals AND end up with a surplus of 500 cals. I never feel the need to eat low fat after workouts. I breakfast at 8-9am, workout about 11am, job from 1-9pm, lunch at 3pm, dinner after 9pm. I was already lean when I started this diet. I did it to gain health. Now I'm trying to gain mass. I sill can't see how IFing can be done or how it helps exactly. When I go without eating

A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1

(2053)

on March 19, 2012
at 06:13 PM

...for me to increase calories.

A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1

(2053)

on March 19, 2012
at 06:13 PM

...good. I forgot to mention that my strength has increased consistently each week while eating this way. This makes me believe that I am at least preserving muscle while losing fat pretty rapidly. I am considering another experiment more like what you suggest where I may eat my post workout meal right after training (I train in the morning too) and then IF until Noon on the rest days. I'm not sure how much of the IF benefit I would lose by doing this, but I will want to slow my weight loss and start increasing lean mass soon - so adding a third meal on training days may be a good way...

A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1

(2053)

on March 19, 2012
at 06:08 PM

That is pretty much how I am handling this little experiment. Calories and macros are pretty consistent 7 days per week. I do eat a little more protein on workout days and then of course the sweet potato too. The caloric differential ends up being about 500 additional calories on workout days. My post workout meal tends to be a leaner source of protein. I usually eat beef, but my post workout meal is almost always chicken breast. Pretty low fat, lots of carbs and protein. After being keto adapted for several months, I didn't know how the carbs might affect me, but the result seems to be

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on March 19, 2012
at 01:22 PM

Yeah, it's a common phenomenon. Google low-carb and OGTT for more.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 19, 2012
at 12:54 PM

You mean ramp up the carb meal to 100 grams slowly? I never thought about getting CARB adapted. Hmm. Frankly my body has never liked carbs, except when I'm doing hard cycling or mountain hiking with my heart rate high for hours.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 19, 2012
at 12:52 PM

I'd have to eat the carbs immediately post workout alone, to digest well and to fit into the glycogen window, then have my usual meat and veggie lunch at 3pm. This would put me at 4 meals a day on workout days :(

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 19, 2012
at 12:48 PM

Interesting. So your base calories / macronutrients are set 7 days/week, but you add ADDITIONAL calories in the form of carbs on your post workout meals 3 days a week? I'm also lifting 3 days a week after breakfast. I'm not ready for IFing..going without breakfast makes me feel terrible. Sometimes I do 8am breakfast, 5pm grilled steak pig-out, then nothing till 8-9am the next day. Interesting that adding carbs made you lose weight instead of gaining, as carbs usually do. I'm a big believer in eating meat without ANY carbs as it digests MUCH more efficiently.

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2 Answers

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1
A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1

on March 19, 2012
at 12:10 PM

I'm currently doing a Leangains style plan with IF and carb/calorie cycling. Like you, on rest days I eat pretty low carbs. They come from green vegetables and almost always below 50g per day. I feel great on those days and never feel hungry. I lift weights three days per week. On those days, I eat a sweet potato or a couple of bananas or a combination of the two with my post workout meal. On workout days I also feel great, have good energy and don't feel hungry. I was IFing before beginning Leangains, but since adding the carb cycling component my fat loss has certainly accelerated. In fact, I'm probably going to increase my calories soon because I am losing weight a little too fast, in my opinion - which is interesting, because I actually increased my calories on the three days per week that I eat starch. Good luck with it. I think that we're all so different that these programs work differently for different people. They provide a starting point, but invariably some experimentation will become necessary. It's kind of fun.

A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1

(2053)

on March 19, 2012
at 06:13 PM

...for me to increase calories.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 19, 2012
at 12:48 PM

Interesting. So your base calories / macronutrients are set 7 days/week, but you add ADDITIONAL calories in the form of carbs on your post workout meals 3 days a week? I'm also lifting 3 days a week after breakfast. I'm not ready for IFing..going without breakfast makes me feel terrible. Sometimes I do 8am breakfast, 5pm grilled steak pig-out, then nothing till 8-9am the next day. Interesting that adding carbs made you lose weight instead of gaining, as carbs usually do. I'm a big believer in eating meat without ANY carbs as it digests MUCH more efficiently.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 19, 2012
at 12:52 PM

I'd have to eat the carbs immediately post workout alone, to digest well and to fit into the glycogen window, then have my usual meat and veggie lunch at 3pm. This would put me at 4 meals a day on workout days :(

A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1

(2053)

on March 19, 2012
at 06:08 PM

That is pretty much how I am handling this little experiment. Calories and macros are pretty consistent 7 days per week. I do eat a little more protein on workout days and then of course the sweet potato too. The caloric differential ends up being about 500 additional calories on workout days. My post workout meal tends to be a leaner source of protein. I usually eat beef, but my post workout meal is almost always chicken breast. Pretty low fat, lots of carbs and protein. After being keto adapted for several months, I didn't know how the carbs might affect me, but the result seems to be

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 20, 2012
at 01:58 AM

I don't have a post workout meal right after training now. Don't seem to need it being VLC. I was simply thinking that since I don't like eating carbs with meat due to the enzymatic interference that results in the meat digestion suffering, I'd have to add the carbs as a stand alone 4th meal perhaps with some coconut oil IMMEDIATELY post workout to A) keep the carbs away from the meat, and B)let the exercise induced glycogen window and insulin resulting sensitivity increase help my body's otherwise intolerance of carbs be mitigated.

A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1

(2053)

on March 19, 2012
at 06:13 PM

...good. I forgot to mention that my strength has increased consistently each week while eating this way. This makes me believe that I am at least preserving muscle while losing fat pretty rapidly. I am considering another experiment more like what you suggest where I may eat my post workout meal right after training (I train in the morning too) and then IF until Noon on the rest days. I'm not sure how much of the IF benefit I would lose by doing this, but I will want to slow my weight loss and start increasing lean mass soon - so adding a third meal on training days may be a good way...

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 20, 2012
at 01:51 AM

for more than 6-8 hrs I suffer. So you were keto adapted VLC for some time before you started eating carbs again? Someone warned that after a while VLC the muscles refuse glucose and are insulin resistant, which is the opposite of what I thought....seemed the point of going VLC was to let the body heal from carb induced chronic insulin resistance. How'd you feel when you ate carbs again? How much did you eat? Did you ramp back up slowly?

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 20, 2012
at 01:46 AM

So, you end up eating 500 additional calories on workout days, even though you eat less fat? Your post workout meal is lean chicken breast and low fat, so that would mean a lot more carbs to make up for the loss of fat cals AND end up with a surplus of 500 cals. I never feel the need to eat low fat after workouts. I breakfast at 8-9am, workout about 11am, job from 1-9pm, lunch at 3pm, dinner after 9pm. I was already lean when I started this diet. I did it to gain health. Now I'm trying to gain mass. I sill can't see how IFing can be done or how it helps exactly. When I go without eating

0
7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on March 19, 2012
at 10:57 AM

I think what throws you out of keto adaptation is no longer needing ketones ... like you would if you returned to SAD. But your immediate problem might be no longer being carb adapted after doing VLC for 4 months. In this case, it'll take your body longer to deal with a 100g load of carbs.

So you should experiment, but you may also want to ramp up on the carb intake if you decide to go that route.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on March 19, 2012
at 01:22 PM

Yeah, it's a common phenomenon. Google low-carb and OGTT for more.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 20, 2012
at 02:06 AM

Since going VLC paleo I'm only doing strength training and rock climbing, no cardio.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 19, 2012
at 12:54 PM

You mean ramp up the carb meal to 100 grams slowly? I never thought about getting CARB adapted. Hmm. Frankly my body has never liked carbs, except when I'm doing hard cycling or mountain hiking with my heart rate high for hours.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 20, 2012
at 02:05 AM

Interesting reading. It's counter to what I thought was the reason to go VLC in the first place: to correct chronic insulin resistance from carb intolerance and let the metabolism heal. I have always felt like crap when I eat too many carbs unless it was IMMEDIATELY after or during 2 or more hours of HARD high heart rate endurance training. The glycogen window was the only time carbs didn't make me lift headed and starving 1 hour after eating them!

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