Carb Counters - Low Carb & Exercise
03-25-2014, 10:27 AM
I've done low carb previously and had really good results. My weight loss was almost clockwork -- a couple of pounds a week and NO hunger! That's the greatest part. I recently buckled down and went low carb again (keeping myself in ketosis) but the losses haven't been so steady. The only thing different for me this time is that I'm exercising - 3 days running (30 min) and 2 days strength training/week. I didn't exercise at all on the other attempts at low carb. Is anyone else exercising and having success? I don't want to give up my activities, but I'm wondering if I should try carb cycling to have more success.
I thought I'd try it out the next few days. I made wonderful cottage cheese/egg white/oatmeal pancakes for breakfast today -- probably 30 carbs for this meal. I'll go low carb the rest of the day and see if the scale moves. I might try alternating high carb, low carb. Anyone else doing this? I read about the plan in Chris Powell's book.
03-25-2014, 12:46 PM
If you've recently started exercising, then you may just be holding on to water (google DOMS- delayed onset muscle soreness). Also, are you getting enough calories? The appetite suppressing nature of low carb sometimes means you eat too little for your activity amount.
Another thing to consider - and this is just another theory:
I've recently read "The Primal Blueprint" By Mark Sisson, and I think maybe that my stall last year was a result of too much/too hard exercise. While you SHOULD be moving every day, Sisson posits that you should do quite a bit of exercise at 55%-75% of maximum heart rate, lift a few days a week, and all out sprint occasionally. He claims that "Chronic Cardio" actually ilicits a constant stress response from the body that can, among other things, stall weight loss. marksdailyapple.com has a lot more information.
Personally I've gone from 30-60 minutes hard swimming 5X per week and intense yoga (it's really intense at my weight) 2X per week to light "water play" 3 to 4 times a week, walking as many days as possible and occasional sprinting and lifting to see if it makes a difference.
I would NEVER say stop moving. But maybe change how you move?
03-25-2014, 02:13 PM
Many researchers are coming to the conclusion that low carb is better for all kinds of athletes. Professor Tim Noakes wrote a book, Lore of Running, that was the high carb running bible.
He says now he was completely wrong. And he is VERY anti sports drinks. In general people get much better endurance when they become 'fat adapted'. Why? Fat is our biggest energy tank BY FAR. Not even close. Carbs are limited to what is on hand.
An athlete that is fat adapted can keep going and going and going and going and going and going. Their gas tank is huge and their body knows how to use it.
Look up Tim Noakes. He is also a wonderful person to follow on Twitter. Jeff Volek is a good source, also I found a great video by Aragon on becoming fat adapted. Many NBA players, players of all sorts are low carb. In fact it turns out pros were often low carb for decades. They knew how good it was for their bodies. Or a lot did.
I had to up my carbs when my exercise got intense (running 3 miles a day, weight training 5 times a week, boxing twice a week). I was getting fatigued, specifically in my muscles which I noticed would get much better after the odd cheat meal. I am still low carb but I could not do my workouts anywhere near ketosis. And I do eat a lot of fats, especially Omega 3s.
I am definitely in the low carb does not mean no carb camp.
No carb works well for weight loss if you just want to sit and waste away.
But you need some carbs to fuel an exercise regime that makes you look good at goal.
I eat oats.
03-25-2014, 02:43 PM
High levels of fat in diet will melt fat away and get you very musclar. Look at Mark Sissons. Or even me. I am not doing a lot of strength training and getting very lean and muscular.
I do agree you can supplement an overall low carb way of eating with some carbs before exercise. But it has to be very intense exercise to have to do this. Most weekend warriors, once they are fat adapted (ie burning and using fat as their primary fuel source) do not need to do this in most exercise sessions.
But low carb high fat is AWESOME at building muscle mass. Have to disagree with what Ian is suggesting. My belly fat melted away, and my muscle and strength increased dramatically on low carb. I find this is a very common report on the internet.
Or sorry maybe we aren't disagreeing. I've never actually heard of the no carb camp. I have always been above 50 grams of carbs a day. But low carb high fat (I guess not Atkins induction phase?) is one of the most recognized ways on the internet to build muscle. Don't take my word, google it and research it yourself.
03-25-2014, 05:37 PM
I had to up my carbs when my exercise got intense (running 3 miles a day, weight training 5 times a week, boxing twice a week). I was getting fatigued, specifically in my muscles which I noticed would get much better after the odd cheat meal.
i have a cheat day once a week and aside from the carb stupor, i definitely notice more energy to work out HARDER
03-25-2014, 09:55 PM
Thanks for all the replies, y'all. I'll research the references you site and see what I find. I read today about "eating more to lose weight" -- something like IIFYM (If it fits your macros). I don't know a lot about body building, but this seems to be where this mode of thinking comes from. I tried an online calculator which put my Base Metabolic Rate at about 1650, and suggested I eat 2000 calories/day to lose (albeit slowly). It said I would think that 2000 was too much, but to try it.
RadioJane, you might be right - I'm probably eating too little, especially since I'm exercising. I've always found that my mind will tell me to cut back if in doubt -- and when in ketosis, there's very little hunger signal. In the past, I've been amazed to find that I lose better when I eat more, but I tend to forget those periods... selective memory, and a LIFETIME of hearing, "You just eat too much. Cut back." sigh...
When truly eating low carb, I tend to not worry much about calories, but perhaps I should. There are so many variables, and I stress about losing a day or a week to the "wrong" methods, when I could be following a proven plan (like there IS any proven plan). Just my mind games....
Again, thanks for your input. It's great to see low carb is working for so many of you. I do believe in it, and know I feel better in this mode.
03-26-2014, 12:04 AM
AwShucks - what are your measurements saying? It doesn't sound like you are in a stall since you are having losses. Perhaps you are gaining that heavier muscle.
03-26-2014, 01:30 AM
MsChris Good idea! I hate to say it, but I haven't measured in ages. I do know that my clothes, especially shirt sleeves are fitting so much better (one of the reasons I began strength training was to reduce the old arms) I'm going to get up right now and find a tape measure. It would be much better for me to see concrete evidence of inches lost, rather than just a feeling.
This is another thing that plays with your mind -- you exercise to burn calories, to lose weight, and end up gaining muscle, which puts on weight! Ugh! At 220 lbs, I really don't want to think that I'm gaining anything! Feel free to tell me to stop whining - don't know why a reasonably stable woman can get so frustrated by weight loss! :)
03-26-2014, 12:30 PM
We focus way too much on the scale. We forget what one single pound of pure fat looks like. I KNOW this week that my clothes are looser, but I'm still having mini freaks about the crawl the scales at!
03-26-2014, 06:22 PM
You are getting rid of fat and adding a long term fat burner. The scales are going to drop if you keep doing what you are doing. I can't wait to hear what your measurements say.