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Carb Cycling Challenge

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 19, 2011 at 2:37 PM

Background: I started Crossfit and subsequently Paleo in Febuary of this Year. I am 5'10". I weighed 315# when I started. I averaged about 5-6# a week of weight loss until I hit 260lbs. I am currently 255#. Not much weight loss for 3 weeks now. I am VLC for the most part and I crossfit 3-5 times a week. I have tried increasing fat and cutting out diet sodas but still no improvement. So I am going to try carb cycling. I am currently stay below 20g of carbs daily but every thris day I am going to increase to 35-45 grams. Has anyone else had sucess with this stratgy? My goal weight is 200#.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on May 19, 2011
at 05:11 PM

I agree with this. Note, Papalotsa, that LB is eating quite a bit more carb on his refeed days. Going from 20g to 35-45g is probably not enough. (Dominic is eating a lot more on his refeed days also.) You might need more for your muscles to fill back up with fuel, and if you're not getting it, then -- here comes the cortisol, etc. .... Even if you go up to 100, you're still going to be averaging only 47g a day. Anyhow I think starch can be your friend.

6b8e74dd6bf3bfbe68310b5265b2eb1a

(364)

on May 19, 2011
at 04:58 PM

Thanks Dominic.

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2 Answers

4
66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

on May 19, 2011
at 02:58 PM

first off, congrats on your weight loss. i know how good it feel to get that much weight off in a relatively short period of time. i also know that 5-6# a week is unsustainable, especially 1) if you're getting closer to your ideal weight 2) if you're still eating the same amount of calories a day from when you started 3) the simple fact that sometimes the weight loss isn't perfectly linear and 4)you may not be working out in a manner that is conducive to weight loss.

to address the first point, while not knowing your lbm, i'm assuming that 255 leaves you some ways from your ideal weight for you so i doubt that is what you're dealing with. but as that relates to the second point, the more weight you lose, the amount of calories- even when taking insulin, leptin and all those other gnarly hormones into account- still do matter. if you've been as low carb as you've been, the fact of the matter is that you were operating from a drastically larger calorie deficit than you are now- if you are eating the same amount of food. you may want to do a rough calculation(u may want google lyle mcdonald's) of what your maintenance calories are and do a fitday counting of calories for about a week to see how your deficit looks at this point in your journey. the third point is sometimes we just have that period of time where our bodies readjusts itself and holds on to water while it figures out whether it's safe to drop it or not. i'm not really sure about the mechanisms behind it(and i may be wrong) but it seems to happen/have happened to many of us with a lot of weight to lose. the fourth one is big in that crossfit is criticized by some as having too much volume for effective weight loss after a certain point because the volume is high enough where it drives up cortisol levels which seems to make the body retain weight, particularly around the waist. if you're doing crossfit 5 times a week i would definitely look into this. if you want a workout plan that works in concert with your weight loss goals, concentrate more on the heavy lifting aspects of crossfit, only do metcons probably once a week, and get simple walking in as much as you can. i lost 60+ lbs eating paleo and not doing any cardio, just lifting 2-3 days a week for about half an hour. many people have this same experience.

on the point of carb cycling, this is a good idea because in my experiences, after a period of metabolic healing, the pwo carb refeeds helped with insulin sensitivity to the point where i can eat 200-300g of carbs on workout days without any worries about weight gain or the like. i believe that cycling carbs during the weight loss period is also effective for leptin sensitivity.

Hopefully this helps. good luck.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on May 19, 2011
at 05:11 PM

I agree with this. Note, Papalotsa, that LB is eating quite a bit more carb on his refeed days. Going from 20g to 35-45g is probably not enough. (Dominic is eating a lot more on his refeed days also.) You might need more for your muscles to fill back up with fuel, and if you're not getting it, then -- here comes the cortisol, etc. .... Even if you go up to 100, you're still going to be averaging only 47g a day. Anyhow I think starch can be your friend.

3
Effc583b3e5663470826644c23425221

on May 19, 2011
at 03:21 PM

Great response luckybastard. Over the last year I lost over 100lbs...I did p90x but I followed the primal blueprint for my nutrition. In the last 3 months I incorporated the leangains style IF into my primal diet. On "rest" days (yoga, stretching, very light cardio) I go VLC. On lifting and even some metcon days I eat about 100-150g carbs in the form of sweet potatoes, zuchinni parsnips and other veggies PWO.

If you are still eating dairy, cut that out. Also mind your intake of seeds and nuts...these will blow out your plan in the blink of an eye if not careful. Overall listen to your body. Lift heavy a few times a week and the other days, go for a brisk walk for about 60-90 mins. I started walking for at least 60 mins a day just about everyday with a weighted vest or a backpack that I can carry my son in.

Overall, don't get discouraged. You didn't get to #315 overnight and you won't get to your target weight that way either. Also, don't focus on the scale. Take pictures and measurements of yourself every 4 weeks. I hit a period where my weight loss stalled but when I looked at the pics my body was still changing.

Best of luck!

6b8e74dd6bf3bfbe68310b5265b2eb1a

(364)

on May 19, 2011
at 04:58 PM

Thanks Dominic.

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