So after nearly a year of staying under 100g (less than 50g 90% of the time) I decided to try a carb reefed to aid in losing that last stubborn body fat. I consumed over 300g of carbs throughout the day in the form of rice, fruits, vegetables and some yogurt ice cream. I noticed a huge difference in many aspects and I have some questions regarding them.
During the carb refeed I noticed a huge decline in mood and well being. I felt very anxious and nervous, like overdosing on caffeine, and everything just kind of turned to shit. I had serious problems sitting still, and the calmness I experience on a low-carb diet was gone. Later in the evening I did start to feel a bit better, and when I woke up today I felt great, especially after consuming some fatty cuts of meats again. What is the cause of this? Have I become a bit insulin resistant due to my low-carbing or is it the rush of catecholamines that overwhelmed me? Has anyone experienced anything similar?
My weight increased by nearly six pounds of water weight, most likely due to the carbs filling up my glycogen stores. I usually consume over 200g of proteins a day (due to the fact that I eat between two and four pounds of red meat daily), but have never ever felt this "pumped" while on a low carb diet. Does this mean that there isn't a big portion of the protein that goes to waste through gluconeogenesis during my normal diet?
My weight lifting training improved incredibly. I could workout for an hour with very little break (10-20 sec between sets) and did not experience fatigue. While I did not lift significantly stronger than usually, I just never felt tired and did not have to lower the weights in between sets. I just felt like I could lift anything. Have I limited my progress by limiting carbs or have my body improved my utilization of energy in some way? I never felt like this while training on a high-carb diet.
I am a 22 year old male, 180 pounds (10-12% body fat) and very active.
asked byTnQ (695)
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on April 16, 2013
at 02:54 PM
CarboHYDRATES do cause you to hold water, and being hydrated is a good thing, not a bad thing in the long run. The reason some people retain water subcutaneously and not intra- muscularly is due to a lack of muscular insulin sensitivity (when your muscle cells are not insulin sensitive and your fat cells are). So, when this is the case, water will store under the skin and give you the appearance of being bloated. On the contrary, when your muscle cells are insulin sensitive and your fat cells are not, carbohydrate will be stored intra muscularly and not subcutaneously, giving you the appearance of being LEANER because your skin is tighter around your now somewhat inflated muscles. (why do think fitness models "carb up" with things like rice cakes and honey before a competition? It's not to look fat...it's to look more shredded).
Fat is only efficiently burned for energy in the flame of adequate carbohydrate. This is 100% true. Without adequate carbs you enter ketosis (which I'm sure you know). Ketosis is a starvation response and a survival mechanism, whereby fat is INEFFICIENTLY burned for energy so as to keep us alive longer. Fat, being our least metabolically expensive tissue, is horded, while muscle mass (our most metabolically active tissue) is broken down for gluconeogenesis because we, as primates, do not have the highly upregulated gluconeogenic pathways that can keep up with glucose and muscle synthesis demands that felines have.
For every one glucose molecule 6 water molecules are needed. What you gained in weight is water (hydration), NOT fat. Weighing yourself for any other reason besides needing to "make weight" for a sport is an entirely useless endeavor.
Yes you have DEFINITELY limited your progress with both muscle gain and fat loss (and probably among other things as well) by restricting your carb consumption.
ERGO long term low carb diets for weight training athletes or people looking to build muscle while staying lean are retarded. Long term low carb diets are also bad for those trying to get lean and stay lean. Low carb diets are only useful in the short term for people who are already quite lean and looking to drop the last few percentages of bodyfat to look "competition ready." All other uses besides those for treatment of certain disorders are MISuses and detrimental to long term central nervous and adrenal health.
If you need to lose weight (Fat) then reduce your calories but keep carbs adequate, between the 30-50% of calorie range. If you need to gain lean body mass, increase calories slightly above maintenance and eat carbs between the 40-50% of calories range.
on April 16, 2013
at 09:39 AM
Welcome to leangains basically.
Carbs are a stimulant. Try going a year without caffeine then down a few cups, and see what happens. You'll get used to it, give it time. I've been there, 5 months no carbs then bam. Stay no carb except when you train. And don't eat carbs little by little like that all day. Workout hard. Eat 300g carbs. Later eat protein. Done.
Water and glycogen. You'll drop fat soon if you follow above. Protein will never make you bloat up, only carbs will.
on April 16, 2013
at 02:15 PM
I'm recovering from an eating disorder and diet (I know it's not exactly your situation) where I had very few carbs too. I was very surprised by the magnitude and speed of the water retention. Additionally, I had a bad case of refeeding syndrome. How quickly the water retention went away again also surprised me.
The 'insulin resistance' is transient as it's not pathological but physiological. Here (scroll down to the section 'On Physiological versus Pathological Insulin Resistance') Mat Lalonde explains it. From his explanation it makes sense.