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Carbs on rest days is a problem

by (2407)
Updated October 24, 2014 at 4:31 AM
Created March 19, 2013 at 11:56 PM

I'm eating to gain muscle mass. It's working. I was ZC for a while to get fat adapted and heal my metabolism, then Leangins cut with ZC rest/carb post workout, both with great success. I intermittent fast everyday 16/8 eat at noon and night.

This winter I've been lifting heavier, done zero cardio, and eating for three. I've gained a lot of muscle. I've been eating carbs every day, once, in the evenings all days, aka CBL, unless my workout is earlier in which case I always take them immediately afterwards.

I eat carbs alone. Let em digest. If not eating carbs I eat meat and fat. If taking meat close to carbs, I eat it lean with no added fat.

When I eat carbs after working out, I'm good as gold. Feels great. No issues.

When I eat carbs later in the evening after a midday workout, I'm still pretty good.

When I eat carbs on a rest day, I wake up at middle of the night low blood sugar and hungry. Then when I wake up, my hormonal hunger is terrible for hours.

This problem doesn't change with: Carb type Glycemic type Load Calories Timing

As long as I eat carbs on a rest day, it happens! If I eat a few carbs, it's worse than a lot. Doesn't matter if I eat meat and fat or lean meat with them. Nothing seems to matter, except that its a rest day.

Now, I can hear you saying, "stop eating carbs on rest days"

Not so simple. I NEED CALORIES to grow! I am gaining. It's working. Even if I eat 800g lean red meat (beef leg)daily and 100g added coconut oil / tallow / fish oil, that's still only 1800 calorie, not enough.

TDEE for me now is @2000-2200. Maybe a tad less on rest days. I must eat well over this to grow. Having MORE fat, over maintenance or TDEE is more likely to add bodyfat than build lean mass in my experience. Carbs build muscle in calorie surplus, no contest. And, they give a hormonal benefit to growth that excess fat doesn't.

So getting my 2-3000 calories on rest days with fat and protein is out. And I can't seem to tolerate carbs on rest days.

So what to do?

EDIT :

Whisper, recently added 50g carbs from taters to rest days, and changed fat to same amount all days. MCT with coffee am, MCT with lean beef lunch daily, remainder of cals and all long chain fats and carbs at dinners. Evening fat moderate and same all days, touch of carbs rest days, more pwo days. Presto, no more waking up hungry and sleeping like a baby!

Fat loss on a cut is working, it's all about calories and sticking to leangains cycling. Fat with carbs on all days fluctuating carb levels. Working.

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2944 · June 17, 2013 at 3:19 AM

How much fat do you eat alongside 1kg of sweet potatoes (if you still eat the latter...)?

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319 · May 18, 2013 at 2:02 AM

i have to workout everyday if i have a rest day its either no carbs or if i do have carbs deal with the problems they bring it sucks but its only one day a week when im not working out i just lift heavy six days a week which is beggining to be a problem i am not able to grow now

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2407 · March 24, 2013 at 12:26 AM

Whisper, I appreciate the frank help. My posts are usually a mix of question, and experience sharing. If I find an answer to my own question in progress, I share it with additional comments. Life is a work in progress. I found the truth that was staring me in the face was carbs pwo work, rest don't. They helped me bulk, either way.

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2407 · March 24, 2013 at 12:21 AM

Taking advantage of whatever system you wanna call it when the muscles are carb receptive and hungry for them post training, circumvents the negative effects of carbs pretty well, and puts them to good use, for me. Eating them all after my workout and staying meat and fat for all other meals feels damn good. Splitting them and eating some later is ok on training days, but not as good. On rest, feels like crap. Carbs at night after a late afternoon workout are the sweet spot, exactly as CBL and Keifer suggest. But having them all right after training, whenever that is, trumps that IME.

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2949 · March 24, 2013 at 12:20 AM

So once again, I don't see the issue - you seem to have it figured out. You need to articulate your problem better if you want help.

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2407 · March 24, 2013 at 12:15 AM

I went ZC last Jan-May. healed the hell outta my metabolism and body. Was tough re adjusting to carbs on commencing leangains in June. But make me stronger and more cut they did indeed. I have accepted that carbs feel spectacular immediately post hard sweaty intense workouts and my body loves them, yet carbs, any carbs, at ANY other time, created negative symptoms and effects. So I'm back to leangains with this modification: zero carb rest days like last year (a little at rest feels worse than a ton pwo), but all carbs pwo meal and no splitting them into two meals over the day.

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2407 · March 24, 2013 at 12:11 AM

Albert, good to hear. I'm looking for the truth and the best route to my goals, not dogma. Some folks dont like that. Veggies, leafy greens, have zero usable carbs net net. Apples and oranges to tubers. A carb load is a carb load. Veggies don't cut it for that. Also, veggies, while I like them and eat them occasionally for nutrition, aggravate my gut like hell. Yes, I'll always have a bit of insulin resistance/reactive HG/carb intolerance. All my life.

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2407 · March 24, 2013 at 12:08 AM

Whisper, lol, it ISN'T leangains! It's CBL, Keifers density bulking protocol, as I mentioned. Keifer says if you want to bulk, then eat carbs every night.

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2407 · March 24, 2013 at 12:04 AM

I've gone back to as many carbs as I want immediately post workout, as long as my muscles have earned them. None any other times. Feels pretty damn awesome, but I'm not gonna gain that way. I've always suspected I have reactive hypo, or carb intolerance. Eaten while I'm still sweating, carbs are well loved by my system. Any other time, with fat, acid, protein, doesn't matter, they suck.

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2407 · March 24, 2013 at 12:00 AM

I eat 800grams of lean beef (I add tallow or coconut oil) a day! Plenty of protein.

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2944 · March 22, 2013 at 11:51 AM

I'm thinking that protein doesn't stunt glycaemic load like fat or acid does, and there could even be a synergistic effect. Particularly with teh amount of carbs you're eating, (also I've read somewhere that sweet have a longer 'curve' than do potatoes), it may take a little while for them to be processed and then the sugar low to kick in. So IR or reactive hypo may still be something I'd consider if I were you... (eating something when you wake up could help in the short term but may be better to try to increase insuln sensitivty/don't eat a gamut of carbs in one go...

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2949 · March 20, 2013 at 4:07 PM

In which alternate universe is 1kg of sweet potatoes every single day LC?

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052
2949 · March 20, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Eat more lean protein. And have you actually tested higher fat? I did, and moderate fat (80-100g every day) didn't impact my fat loss rate when on a cut compared to very low fat (20g) on workout days.

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3150 · March 20, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Also, feeling OK with 300gr of carbs but not with less that 150gr could it be that there's still some insulin resistence there? How long have you been into LC by now? I think that there's need to lot of time in order for the body to start working well again, not just several weeks but maybe a year o years... I hope that this will resolve over time!

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72
3150 · March 20, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Don't know if you did already, but you can try an experiment. Trying to exchange sweet potatos for leafy greens and see how it goes. Did pretty well with me and although it's try that we are not equal, I also think that we are not all that different.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72
3150 · March 20, 2013 at 11:11 AM

I see. I have joined this community very recently and today I have found many posts from you and you seem to be doing a pretty good job analysing things and drawing conclusions. I know myself that it is a real pain when you trying to do your best and applying all best-practices, yet being unable to solve some issues. Keep us informed as this is pretty interesing stuff I'm very interested in myself! :)

F4d991ae6bcc8c23851369ad86fbef7d
2407 · March 20, 2013 at 10:29 AM

First paragraph is my thinking too. But, the 1kg taters is just 300g. Not that much for a man trying to bulk after a hard heavy lifting session. But on rest days, bad news. Funny thing is, I feel better rest days on more rather than fewer carbs! Eating 1-150g carbs just makes it terrible. Better more or none. Protein wise I get 3.0g/kilo, and whey and bcaa after every workout.

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2407 · March 20, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Sometimes I eat them within 30 min of my protein meal. Doesn't seem to help. Also, I don't feel bad until hours later when I wake up in the night. FYI I eat high protein every day: 3g/kg.

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2407 · March 20, 2013 at 1:53 AM

So the issue is I need a surplus daily. A fat surplus is not good for goals. Carbs work for tissue building surplus. Carbs workout days are no problem. Carbs rest days foul up my sleep and hunger. Conundrum.

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2407 · March 20, 2013 at 1:51 AM

I eat 1-1.3kg of sweet Japanese potatoes, 3-400g carbs, right after a workout. Rest days, maybe 1kg, always in one sitting. I don't want chronic elevated insulin. Wanna get em in, get it done. I eat two meals a day. IF 16/8.

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2407 · March 20, 2013 at 1:48 AM

I'm too much of a hard gainer to clean bulk. If I don't get cal surplus every day, I don't grow, period. It's not easy to get calories on a rest day unless you eat a lot of fat, and as I said, going over TDEE on fat calories is not advangageous. I'm never low fat. WO days 50-75g. Rest 100-150g. Also, as I mentioned, eating a small amount of carbs (rest days) is the WORST thing for my symptoms; a little must makes me crave more/hungrier in the middle of the night. I feel better ZC than low carb. It's quite EASY for me to eat over 1 kg of sweet potatoes. No prob there.

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2949 · March 20, 2013 at 12:53 AM

I'll look that up, don't think it's readily available in the Old World...

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3521 · March 20, 2013 at 12:44 AM

How much carbs do you eat in one sitting? When I went high carb sweet potato paleo, I use to pound down 150 grams of carbs 3 times a day. Now I spread my carbs out throughout the day in smaller portions and I feel much better. Post workout I could handle a large amount though.

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3521 · March 20, 2013 at 12:42 AM

You should trade off some of those sweet potato carbs for some tapioca. I use to pound about 4 pounds of sweet potatoes almost daily and it was extremely difficult. A homemade tapioca pudding makes it much easier.

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2407 · March 19, 2013 at 11:57 PM

IMMEDIATELY afterwards (workouts) lol, not immodestly!

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3 Answers

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3150 · March 20, 2013 at 9:01 AM

I think that in the last comment you answered to @ROB you may have your answer. 1kg of sweet potatoes seems a lot to me! I'm pretty much like you, carbs when I'm not active make me feel a little bit off, and trigger my hunger a lot. There's some insight that if you have been metabolically messed in the past you may lack some proper functioning beta-cells that regulate the insulin response, which may be involved in the issue. Why feeling OK on workout days then? Because exercise could get the carb cleaning instead via other ways. Not an expert on the field by any means but maybe you'd try to do you'r research on this so you may draw some useful conclusions.

For me, eating greens for luch and a few (maybe only 200 dry / 400 gr cooked in one sitting) and a salad for dinner works very well... it's neither super low carb nor high and very well tolerated. Having a post-workout whey shake and some BCAA and quality protein in every meal has helped maintain and even put some muscle mass in the past, now just maintaining as I'm an endurance runner and it's quite troublesome for muscle gains.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052
2949 · March 20, 2013 at 4:07 PM

In which alternate universe is 1kg of sweet potatoes every single day LC?

F4d991ae6bcc8c23851369ad86fbef7d
2407 · March 20, 2013 at 10:29 AM

First paragraph is my thinking too. But, the 1kg taters is just 300g. Not that much for a man trying to bulk after a hard heavy lifting session. But on rest days, bad news. Funny thing is, I feel better rest days on more rather than fewer carbs! Eating 1-150g carbs just makes it terrible. Better more or none. Protein wise I get 3.0g/kilo, and whey and bcaa after every workout.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72
3150 · March 20, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Don't know if you did already, but you can try an experiment. Trying to exchange sweet potatos for leafy greens and see how it goes. Did pretty well with me and although it's try that we are not equal, I also think that we are not all that different.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72
3150 · March 20, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Also, feeling OK with 300gr of carbs but not with less that 150gr could it be that there's still some insulin resistence there? How long have you been into LC by now? I think that there's need to lot of time in order for the body to start working well again, not just several weeks but maybe a year o years... I hope that this will resolve over time!

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72
3150 · March 20, 2013 at 11:11 AM

I see. I have joined this community very recently and today I have found many posts from you and you seem to be doing a pretty good job analysing things and drawing conclusions. I know myself that it is a real pain when you trying to do your best and applying all best-practices, yet being unable to solve some issues. Keep us informed as this is pretty interesing stuff I'm very interested in myself! :)

F4d991ae6bcc8c23851369ad86fbef7d
2407 · March 24, 2013 at 12:15 AM

I went ZC last Jan-May. healed the hell outta my metabolism and body. Was tough re adjusting to carbs on commencing leangains in June. But make me stronger and more cut they did indeed. I have accepted that carbs feel spectacular immediately post hard sweaty intense workouts and my body loves them, yet carbs, any carbs, at ANY other time, created negative symptoms and effects. So I'm back to leangains with this modification: zero carb rest days like last year (a little at rest feels worse than a ton pwo), but all carbs pwo meal and no splitting them into two meals over the day.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052
2949 · March 24, 2013 at 12:20 AM

So once again, I don't see the issue - you seem to have it figured out. You need to articulate your problem better if you want help.

F4d991ae6bcc8c23851369ad86fbef7d
2407 · March 24, 2013 at 12:08 AM

Whisper, lol, it ISN'T leangains! It's CBL, Keifers density bulking protocol, as I mentioned. Keifer says if you want to bulk, then eat carbs every night.

F4d991ae6bcc8c23851369ad86fbef7d
2407 · March 24, 2013 at 12:11 AM

Albert, good to hear. I'm looking for the truth and the best route to my goals, not dogma. Some folks dont like that. Veggies, leafy greens, have zero usable carbs net net. Apples and oranges to tubers. A carb load is a carb load. Veggies don't cut it for that. Also, veggies, while I like them and eat them occasionally for nutrition, aggravate my gut like hell. Yes, I'll always have a bit of insulin resistance/reactive HG/carb intolerance. All my life.

F4d991ae6bcc8c23851369ad86fbef7d
2407 · March 24, 2013 at 12:26 AM

Whisper, I appreciate the frank help. My posts are usually a mix of question, and experience sharing. If I find an answer to my own question in progress, I share it with additional comments. Life is a work in progress. I found the truth that was staring me in the face was carbs pwo work, rest don't. They helped me bulk, either way.

F4d991ae6bcc8c23851369ad86fbef7d
2407 · March 24, 2013 at 12:21 AM

Taking advantage of whatever system you wanna call it when the muscles are carb receptive and hungry for them post training, circumvents the negative effects of carbs pretty well, and puts them to good use, for me. Eating them all after my workout and staying meat and fat for all other meals feels damn good. Splitting them and eating some later is ok on training days, but not as good. On rest, feels like crap. Carbs at night after a late afternoon workout are the sweet spot, exactly as CBL and Keifer suggest. But having them all right after training, whenever that is, trumps that IME.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f
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2944 · March 20, 2013 at 2:48 AM

If you're a 'hardgainer' and don't think a 'clean bulk' is feasible than why not eat the carbs on the rest day but not on their own? The problem may be that you're not having anything acidic or fatty with them to blunt to absorbtion rate; perhaps you're insulin resistant or 'reactive hypoglycaemic' to some extent, and eating them alone on rest days is contributing to you having the symptoms you're getting...

If that doesn't work, would having high protein on some of the rest days be feasible/desirable I wonder? I know it isn't great to to that over time but maybe it's an option...

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2407 · March 20, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Sometimes I eat them within 30 min of my protein meal. Doesn't seem to help. Also, I don't feel bad until hours later when I wake up in the night. FYI I eat high protein every day: 3g/kg.

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2944 · March 22, 2013 at 11:51 AM

I'm thinking that protein doesn't stunt glycaemic load like fat or acid does, and there could even be a synergistic effect. Particularly with teh amount of carbs you're eating, (also I've read somewhere that sweet have a longer 'curve' than do potatoes), it may take a little while for them to be processed and then the sugar low to kick in. So IR or reactive hypo may still be something I'd consider if I were you... (eating something when you wake up could help in the short term but may be better to try to increase insuln sensitivty/don't eat a gamut of carbs in one go...

F4d991ae6bcc8c23851369ad86fbef7d
2407 · March 24, 2013 at 12:04 AM

I've gone back to as many carbs as I want immediately post workout, as long as my muscles have earned them. None any other times. Feels pretty damn awesome, but I'm not gonna gain that way. I've always suspected I have reactive hypo, or carb intolerance. Eaten while I'm still sweating, carbs are well loved by my system. Any other time, with fat, acid, protein, doesn't matter, they suck.

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2949 · March 20, 2013 at 12:30 AM

So what's the issue? Rest days are very easy on a paleo diet. LG-style diet calls for low carb on rest days, so just eat fatty meats, fish and nuts on rest days, it's not hard at all. It's very easy to get your cals in without carbs on a paleo diet.

Or are you going low fat on all days? That's probably not advisable, since it will wreak havoc with your hormones - you need fat (cholesterol) for testosterone, and you need T for muscle growth. Besides, fat on a deficit day will not be easily stored (become bodyfat). That's why I'm slightly below maintenance on rest days even on a bulk. That's the "clean" part of clean bulk.

My history is pretty much the same. Very recently I transitioned to a LG clean bulk (-5/+30%).

My TDEE is 2300, and I shoot for 2100-2200 cals on rest days. I get there with around 50g of carbs, essentially one piece of fruit. I could easily halve my carb intake by forgoing the piece of fruit.

Workout day calories are tough. I'm currently going around 50g of fats for 2700+ cals, and it's not easy even though I eat over half a kilo of sweet potatoes.

You don't need to be on calorie surplus every day, as it's the overall calories you consume on a weekly/monthly basis what counts. Many go for surplus cals on all days, but those are not "clean" bulks.

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2407 · March 20, 2013 at 1:53 AM

So the issue is I need a surplus daily. A fat surplus is not good for goals. Carbs work for tissue building surplus. Carbs workout days are no problem. Carbs rest days foul up my sleep and hunger. Conundrum.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052
2949 · March 20, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Eat more lean protein. And have you actually tested higher fat? I did, and moderate fat (80-100g every day) didn't impact my fat loss rate when on a cut compared to very low fat (20g) on workout days.

F4d991ae6bcc8c23851369ad86fbef7d
2407 · March 20, 2013 at 1:48 AM

I'm too much of a hard gainer to clean bulk. If I don't get cal surplus every day, I don't grow, period. It's not easy to get calories on a rest day unless you eat a lot of fat, and as I said, going over TDEE on fat calories is not advangageous. I'm never low fat. WO days 50-75g. Rest 100-150g. Also, as I mentioned, eating a small amount of carbs (rest days) is the WORST thing for my symptoms; a little must makes me crave more/hungrier in the middle of the night. I feel better ZC than low carb. It's quite EASY for me to eat over 1 kg of sweet potatoes. No prob there.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052
2949 · March 20, 2013 at 12:53 AM

I'll look that up, don't think it's readily available in the Old World...

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3521 · March 20, 2013 at 12:42 AM

You should trade off some of those sweet potato carbs for some tapioca. I use to pound about 4 pounds of sweet potatoes almost daily and it was extremely difficult. A homemade tapioca pudding makes it much easier.

F4d991ae6bcc8c23851369ad86fbef7d
2407 · March 24, 2013 at 12:00 AM

I eat 800grams of lean beef (I add tallow or coconut oil) a day! Plenty of protein.

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