5

votes

How should one reintroduce carbs after eating zero carb for 2 years?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 24, 2011 at 6:58 PM

I am emailing a lady who has been zero carb since 2009. She wants to start adding carbs back into her diet. What is the best way to do this? I suggested that she introduces one new plant food at a time to see if her body can handle it or not. She thinks raw or fermented veggies would be best.

What do you guys think?

Ada8d6c9d083ce2d1e36133d388413dd

(106)

on July 01, 2011
at 02:08 AM

Thanks Allie...you're sweet. I won't give up.

B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0

(3159)

on June 30, 2011
at 05:14 AM

Try the kombucha ... you haven't tried it yet ... how is your sleep? Sleep and waking cycles affect their growth ... mm, miso I think helps with gut flora too (I don't know where I learned this ...) ... I need to research this more ... I'm sorry Kania .. I am soooo rooting for you, I don't want you to be in pain.

Ada8d6c9d083ce2d1e36133d388413dd

(106)

on June 30, 2011
at 01:12 AM

No but I make my own sauerkraut, beet kvass, coconut water kefir, coconut milk kefir, dairy kefir, and water kefir. I have horrible die off from all of them. I tried one drop of sauerkraut brine in my broth and the next day I had such a bad headache and backache I wanted to take a narcotic (I didn't - just sayin'). I know I need to re-build gut flora, the question is how??

B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0

(3159)

on June 29, 2011
at 09:13 PM

Oh, snap ... I'm sorry. :/ Mmm ... have you tried drinking kombucha? That could help with the fungal and bacteria issues and give you a decent amount of carbs (depending on how long it's fermented).

Ada8d6c9d083ce2d1e36133d388413dd

(106)

on June 29, 2011
at 02:14 AM

I absolutely cannot digest nuts. Sweet potatoes would make fungal and bacterial overgrowth worse.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 25, 2011
at 04:51 AM

I thought it was kinda cool. Let me know if you tinker with this. I've been and it's been working pretty well!

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on June 25, 2011
at 03:10 AM

He goes a bit more into GLUT4 here: http://dangerouslyhardcore.com/303/fixing-the-damage-part-2-backloading/ where he claims it can be activated either with insulin or by resistance training. That's neat stuff -- thanks for bringing it to my attention!

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 25, 2011
at 02:50 AM

I think you are right in that the workout is critical to his theory. Yes that article is the better one. I think these thoughts are interesting - Glut 4 is probably the mode of glucose uptake without insulin - right?

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on June 25, 2011
at 02:34 AM

And, actually, if you are taking in only 40-50g including glycogen replacement, that shouldn't really even knock you out of ketosis past bedtime.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on June 25, 2011
at 02:32 AM

That's an interesting perspective, meredith. The more science-y article is here: http://dangerouslyhardcore.com/370/carb-back-loading-the-final-follow-up/ It looks like the idea is to differentially make muscle tissue uptake glucose while fat tissue doesn't by dint of circadian rhythms and timed weight lifting. He doesn't see to say it directly, but I think he's implying that the PWO carbs will not cause an insulin spike because the muscles are eating up the glucose quickly. I'm not sure how this would be sustained all evening, though, nor about his claims about backloading without the WO.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on June 25, 2011
at 01:24 AM

Is she concerned about weight gain or other adverse reactions like bloat, indigestion, etc?

627cf3f5d1ddfb4c2f4c96169420f55f

(1621)

on June 24, 2011
at 11:19 PM

I like this idea. I was thinking greens would be good too.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 24, 2011
at 09:52 PM

There is some evidence that eating very low carb all day and then having a moderate amount at dinner - not right before bed, helps to mobilize fat burning enzymes. It's called carb backloading http://articles.elitefts.com/articles/nutrition/carb-back-loading/

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on June 24, 2011
at 07:42 PM

Of course, it's an illusion I'd be happy to participate in. The problem for me is, if I want to continue losing fat, I probably need to stay much lower carb. Might be a good trick for "show time", though.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on June 24, 2011
at 07:41 PM

One comment about the change in measurements: I've read (somewhere, I think, from Lyle McDonald) that when you add carbs after LC, the glucose is drawn into the muscles as glycogen, pulling much water with it. This, he reckons, gives a noticeable shift in body shape, emphasizing the muscle areas, and is one reason why bodybuilders shift from ketogenic to high carb immediately before a contest. It would also seem to indicate that the measurement is to some degree illusory.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on June 24, 2011
at 07:37 PM

The potential problem with carbs at night, is that insulin surpresses growth hormone, which would be an unfortunate component of sleep restoration to miss out on.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on June 24, 2011
at 07:34 PM

Ditto, Rose. :-)

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 24, 2011
at 07:01 PM

I'm also eager to read PaleoHackers' responses. Although I don't think I will change my current ZC diet, there's always the possibility. Thanks for asking the question, PT!

Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

6 Answers

best answer

2
41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on June 24, 2011
at 07:04 PM

Fermented veggies would probably be good. My first thought was actually "green veggies and probiotics", but fermented veggies kind of kills two birds with one stone, eh?

Have her try making taco meat and top it with cultured green salsa. Rejuvenative Foods makes an awesome one. (No affiliation, just a fan.) Usually you can get organic mexican seasoning with no added junk at the bulk spice section of a whole foods/food co-op/etc. It would be a tasty way to add a little without going overboard right away.

627cf3f5d1ddfb4c2f4c96169420f55f

(1621)

on June 24, 2011
at 11:19 PM

I like this idea. I was thinking greens would be good too.

1
8ea784171b2d15cffb537349b341b806

(260)

on June 28, 2011
at 09:22 PM

Digestive issues are one of the side-effects of not eating enough carbs, nor the right kinds. I used to do a low-carb paleo (<50g net per day) and I'm paying for it now with adrenal fatigue, weight loss problems (as in I'm losing weight when I don't want to), and digestive problems. You will have some stomach issues when re-introducing carbs back in, but stay the course. And at most you will gain 1-2lbs due to your glycogen being topped off, that's it. I have no idea why people say carbs = weight gain, it's the type of carbs and whether you are eating more than you burn.

1
Ada8d6c9d083ce2d1e36133d388413dd

(106)

on June 28, 2011
at 09:08 PM

Thought I would chime in since I asked the question. More so than "how" I am wondering "should" I add some vegetables back in. I have severe, severe digestive issues that just have not gone away. I went from a flat stomach to pregnant looking in one day back in 2008 (on a Paleo diet) and have been that way ever since. On ZIOH I was told we don't need good bacteria if we are eating ZC. Now a doctor on ZIOH is saying we DO need them and I need to rebuild gut flora. Not sure how to do that on ZC. Also, I had a very strong reaction to probiotics and fermented foods. It makes all my symtpoms (daily headache, backache, fatigue, constipation, abdominal distention, brain fog, anger issues, trouble concentrating, swollen eye lids, fluid retention, and more) worse. I assume this is die off, but die off usually subsides while my symptoms just continue and after about a week of horrible pain and more I stop taking the probees and ferments.

So what am I worried about? Is adding veggies the best thing to do or will it make things worse? I already know they make the distention worse but I assume that's in the short term? Also worried about weight gain.

1
0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 24, 2011
at 07:22 PM

Are raw/fermented veggies really high enough in carbs to count? Anyway, I've read that carbs at night in combo with resistance exercise is a pretty good strategy. Insulin sensitivity goes down by days end, resistance exercise will make her muscles more sensitive and the natural sensitivity decline will make her fat less sensitive. So, theoretically the carbs will be used to replenish muscles vs. fat. Also perhaps help her sleep better too.

This is something I am tinkering with myself. I'm tracking some metrics and interestingly my waist has gone down, my sleep is better, and my energy/attitude much better.

Also of note, starchy stuff works okay for me, but sugars work better. I'm taking about 40-50 grams. I also eat very low carb all day - but that may change soon.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on June 24, 2011
at 07:41 PM

One comment about the change in measurements: I've read (somewhere, I think, from Lyle McDonald) that when you add carbs after LC, the glucose is drawn into the muscles as glycogen, pulling much water with it. This, he reckons, gives a noticeable shift in body shape, emphasizing the muscle areas, and is one reason why bodybuilders shift from ketogenic to high carb immediately before a contest. It would also seem to indicate that the measurement is to some degree illusory.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on June 24, 2011
at 07:42 PM

Of course, it's an illusion I'd be happy to participate in. The problem for me is, if I want to continue losing fat, I probably need to stay much lower carb. Might be a good trick for "show time", though.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on June 24, 2011
at 07:37 PM

The potential problem with carbs at night, is that insulin surpresses growth hormone, which would be an unfortunate component of sleep restoration to miss out on.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on June 25, 2011
at 03:10 AM

He goes a bit more into GLUT4 here: http://dangerouslyhardcore.com/303/fixing-the-damage-part-2-backloading/ where he claims it can be activated either with insulin or by resistance training. That's neat stuff -- thanks for bringing it to my attention!

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 24, 2011
at 09:52 PM

There is some evidence that eating very low carb all day and then having a moderate amount at dinner - not right before bed, helps to mobilize fat burning enzymes. It's called carb backloading http://articles.elitefts.com/articles/nutrition/carb-back-loading/

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 25, 2011
at 04:51 AM

I thought it was kinda cool. Let me know if you tinker with this. I've been and it's been working pretty well!

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on June 25, 2011
at 02:32 AM

That's an interesting perspective, meredith. The more science-y article is here: http://dangerouslyhardcore.com/370/carb-back-loading-the-final-follow-up/ It looks like the idea is to differentially make muscle tissue uptake glucose while fat tissue doesn't by dint of circadian rhythms and timed weight lifting. He doesn't see to say it directly, but I think he's implying that the PWO carbs will not cause an insulin spike because the muscles are eating up the glucose quickly. I'm not sure how this would be sustained all evening, though, nor about his claims about backloading without the WO.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on June 25, 2011
at 02:34 AM

And, actually, if you are taking in only 40-50g including glycogen replacement, that shouldn't really even knock you out of ketosis past bedtime.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 25, 2011
at 02:50 AM

I think you are right in that the workout is critical to his theory. Yes that article is the better one. I think these thoughts are interesting - Glut 4 is probably the mode of glucose uptake without insulin - right?

0
B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0

(3159)

on June 28, 2011
at 09:17 PM

Other than vegetables ... nuts and avocados have a good amount of carbs in them and they are still high in fat. She'd still feel satieted (with the fat and protein) but still be getting more carbohydrates in ...

From there, I'd suggest more greens (I assume she's not eating many now ...??) like kale, collards, broccoli ... then ease into ones with more carbs ... cabbage, bok choy, etc ... onions have a good amount of carbs too ...

OR ... she could down a sweet potato and see how that goes. That might wake up the body to say, hey! I forgot about you, welcome back!

Ada8d6c9d083ce2d1e36133d388413dd

(106)

on June 29, 2011
at 02:14 AM

I absolutely cannot digest nuts. Sweet potatoes would make fungal and bacterial overgrowth worse.

B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0

(3159)

on June 29, 2011
at 09:13 PM

Oh, snap ... I'm sorry. :/ Mmm ... have you tried drinking kombucha? That could help with the fungal and bacteria issues and give you a decent amount of carbs (depending on how long it's fermented).

Ada8d6c9d083ce2d1e36133d388413dd

(106)

on June 30, 2011
at 01:12 AM

No but I make my own sauerkraut, beet kvass, coconut water kefir, coconut milk kefir, dairy kefir, and water kefir. I have horrible die off from all of them. I tried one drop of sauerkraut brine in my broth and the next day I had such a bad headache and backache I wanted to take a narcotic (I didn't - just sayin'). I know I need to re-build gut flora, the question is how??

B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0

(3159)

on June 30, 2011
at 05:14 AM

Try the kombucha ... you haven't tried it yet ... how is your sleep? Sleep and waking cycles affect their growth ... mm, miso I think helps with gut flora too (I don't know where I learned this ...) ... I need to research this more ... I'm sorry Kania .. I am soooo rooting for you, I don't want you to be in pain.

Ada8d6c9d083ce2d1e36133d388413dd

(106)

on July 01, 2011
at 02:08 AM

Thanks Allie...you're sweet. I won't give up.

0
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on June 24, 2011
at 07:08 PM

Have her take carbs with protein or fat.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!