I was VLC fatty red meat and some greens for 5 months. It felt great overall. It was the only thing I've tried that gave me the ability to control my hunger and eat when and if I chose to eat consciously. I went from starving 2hrs after any meal, to eating a huge breakfast, going 12hrs, and eating a big dinner. I learned to do low heartrate training (climbing, strength lifting) while fasted. It healed my gut (not fully, but helped alot). My sleep, mood, concentration, and mental outlook became more stable. I was already lean, but I filled out a bit.
I tried at one point to eat 50g of sweet potatoes after a workout to see what eating carbs would do. I immediately got hormonal hunger cravings and felt all screwed up. So I gave up after 3 trys.
But, as time went on, I started to feel more "hollow" for lack of a better description. My energy was awesome, all day long, in a controlled and sustained manner, as long as heartrate didnt get high. 1hr of weight lifting, or 8hrs of focused rock climbing (heartrate doesnt get high, just high tension strength training) were really facilitated by ketosis.
But during cycling, fast hiking (prolonged up a steep mountain), or running, I bonked quickly. I missed those activities.
So 3 weeks ago I started leangains cold turkey. I ate 320g of carbs from sweet potatoes over 2 meals, with very lean steak, after training post 16hr fast, with BCAA. Did my system freak out? Did the insulin kill me? NO. I felt awesome. I FEEL awesome. Seems a little carb exacerbated my carb "issues" that lead me to drop carbs in the first place, but a LOT of carbs, improved my system. Weird.
During rest days, I eat the same way I have for the last 5 months; meat and fat. I stay in ketosis those days. Thats Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. After the carb load day, PWO, I have a nice 16hr fast to clear my system and reduce insulin to put me right back into ketosis when I will be eating meat/fat only that day. I follow a 16/9 IF routine (12pm-8pm) daily. 3x a week, I lift weights heavy, and I eat lean meat and a ton of rice/sweet potatoes/squash and veggies, with very little fat.
The carbs, and calorie cycling, have really leaned me out and made me stronger. My mood got better. That 'hollow' feeling went away. My lift strength went through the roof. I broke through 3 personal records so far. Its been the biggest increase in strength in a timeperiod so short, in my life!
My personal opinion is that Ketosis, meat and fat, are best when at rest or when taking walks, or long, low heartrate, high tension efforts like sport climbing. For 1hr weigh training sessions it can work too, but after some weeks, glycogen loading is needed to progress.
For swimming, hiking up big mountains, running, cycling, or anythng with a prolonged and higher heartrate, I feel the body cannot break down and supply the muscles with energy at a fast enough rate to keep up with demand. The result is bonk. I feel carb is best to fuel those activities, that is, in the form of glycogen, not pre-work-out fueling.
I feel carb loads AFTER endurance exercise has begun, or rather, has been in effect long enough to have muscles very hot and ready for insulin, is important. I DO NOT think carbs pre-workout are good, and I think they are counter productive, setting up your body to expect carb, and sending hormonal hunger signals haywire, instead of using carb to refuel when the muscles are most insulin sensitive (hot).
So, to me, carb is for a RE-FUEL, not PRE-FUEL.
For weight training or sprints, or any such feat lasting under 1hr or so, that equates to carb loads post fasted state workout. For long endurance feats like hiking up big mountains, I think beginning fasted is OK at best, but an hour into them, carbs and protein should be taken in; for such hikes, I think a big protein/fat meal for breakfast is good, then one should begin to down starch after an hour into the effort, and again as needed, while still hot, during the time the muscles are insulin sensitive. Post hike, a big darn carb and lean meat load is good.
To me, bottom line, protein all the time, high fat on rest days (or low heartrate efforts), high carb on training days, with carb and fat being antagonistic to the effective use of the fuel when taken together.
This has been my experience. Any hacks?