The Exercise A Little Control chapter in Keifer's Carb Backloading book is fascinating. It corroborates something I've known about myself for YEARS; I am basically insulin resistant, which is why I can neither get fat nor muscular, as both require insulin sensitively to happen.
I've always been this way from birth, probably borderline type ii diabetic. I also have always been ravishingly hungry and skinny since birth; starving, two hrs after ANY size meal.
The catch? The starving feeling was because, due to my insulin resistance, my body was not getting the energy I was putting into my mouth. The starving feeling was always MUCH more pronounced on days I was sedentary. Whenever I would exercise, whether endurance or lifting, I could eat, and be satisfied without getting that feeling of starving hunger for the remainder of the day!
It never made sense why before, but I recognized on a base level years before I began to diet research that when I exercised, even though to my understanding the exertion should have made me MORE hungry, it in fact made me LESS hungry!
After reading this chapter, I see why! I don't gain fat or muscle really because I'm insulin resistant period. But, exercise causes non insulin mediated glucose uptake; exercise causes the GLUT to relocate to the surface of the muscle cells and take up sugar from the blood without needing insulin to initiate the process as normal, before insulin is even released by the pancreas!
So exercise works for glucose uptake for even the completely insulin insensitive person....me! Glucose actually goes into my starved muscles when I exercise and eat; so I don't feel starved that day afterwards.
On rest days, I felt starved because the cells never got fed, as there was no exercise induced glucose uptake, and the insulin trigger for GLUT mobilization/cell surface relocation is broken in me, the insulin resistant.
I also knew long ago that carbs always made me feel terrible unless I exercised first! This totally is explained by the same situation above. And, while carbs made me feel terrible in non exercise times because of my insulin resistant body's inability to clear my blood sugar (without exercise to bypass the need for insulin), I had never gone fully ketogenic for long enough to adapt to clean and efficient fat burning, so eating only meat and fat made me feel starved too, just not shitty in addition as it didn't jack my blood sugar!
Makes total sense now. Since I went keto for 5 months I got better at / adapted to burning fat for energy, which resolved the starved condition making me believe i had to eat a meal every 2-3hrs! Keto allowed me to try, and enjoy intermittent fasting. Ive eaten 2 meals a day at 12:00 and 7:00 ever since.
And Leangains reminded me that STRICTLY eating carbs only on exercise days and AFTER training was the only way for me to tolerate carbs bloodsugar-wise, as well as the only way for my muscles to absorb the sugars because of the non insulin mediated glucose transport mechanism! I understood that it worked for me but not why, until now, after reading Keifer's research!
It's all coming together now!
What do you all think? Also, I wonder if this non-insulin mediated glucose uptake in muscle cells initiated by resistance training is shut down by taking antioxidants?
Have you ever seen an endocrinologist? If your insulin response is really that messed up, you should have experienced a LOT more adverse effects than just the inability to gain mass in the from of either muscle or fat.
Anyway, your experience with carb backloading is very consistent with the idea that your insulin sensitivity isn't that great.
Based on the scientific literature, endurance as well as strength workouts upregulate GLUT4 expression on the surface of skeletal muscle cells, although it's still unknown how different workout routines really affect the extent and duration of that upregulation. Insulin- and exercise-induced upregulation of GLUT4 do not use the same intracellular signal transduction pathways. It is highly unlikely that antioxidants will impact exercise-induce transporter upregulation. Ascorbic acid does use a glucose transporter to access mitochondria, but not GLUT4.
The fact that Kiefer recommends postponing exercise and backload until late afternoon/evening has to do with the fact that we are much less insulin sensitive at night/during sleep. His protocol aims at shuttling carbs to muscle through GLUT4 with minimal access to fat tissue. This is best done when the carbs themselves will have minimal capacity to access fat through insulin dependent mechanisms. But since you seem to have a intrinsic insulin insensitivity, you should have great results with that protocol no matter when you work out ... lucky you :)!
I would stick to your routine ... you seem to have a lot of success with it!!
Well does that mean I am insulin resistant too? I can't gain fat or muscle, and sometimes my hunger is uncontrollable. I have been experimenting with different meals and various macronutrients too see which give me the best satiety and sense of well being. I have ate mostly protein rich meals (this was the worst, I was hungry 10 minutes after finishing the meal). Fat rich meals, there was satiety but a certain emptiness, and I was very nauseous. Then I ate very high starch meals, with zero animal protein, and I was able to stay satiated and very energetic for hours. I was able to work for 6 hours straight without yawning or feeling any sort of fatigue.
The meals consisted of 2.5 pounds of sweet potatoes with various green veggies, and a bit of added fat (very little). Theoretically, this kind of meal should have raised my blood sugar to the roof, and then should have given me a brutal energy crash, but it didn't. However, if I was to add 4 ounces of animal flesh, I would get sleepy and hungry shortly after.
I can't figure out why this happens. Am I sensitive to protein, or does the protein actually raise insulin more than the carbohydrate I was consuming? Anyways sorry for kind of deviating from your question, but I could somewhat relate to you when it comes to constant hunger on rest days, and lack of fat and or muscle gains.
My experience has been a bit different though - exquisite insulin sensitivity thus easy fat gain when eating excess carbs combined with wrong type of training (too much cardio and little resistance). I went LC then VLC combined with ramping up resistance exercise and had no muscle gain and a bit of chub gain in fact despite the exercise (note to self, one needs a bit of the insulin for muscle gain). Despite having little to no hunger while constantly LC, I also experienced little satiety - if that makes any sense. Like a need for more of something but no desire to eat? Weird, I know.
So using hard resistance exercise along with carb timing makes perfect sense to me. In fact I've been backloading (or just simply timing carbs for night) along with RESISTANCE exercise with some pretty great results. I'm not going for contest prep or anything so I don't binge on the carbs or anything. I also like to keep them clean so tubers and rice are my go to.
I emphasize resistance exercise because it translocates GLUT 4 but endurance exercise may not (at least that's how I understand it). I think there's a place for BOTH but resistance should be the priority IMO.
@ROB - from what I understand a lot of amino acids are quite insulin promoting and in fact the combo of those proteins plus carbs is the most insulin promoting macro combo (bodybuilding diet). I have wondered about using something like gelatin as a good protein to eat with lots of carbs (shanks, broths etc.) as glycine is supposed to help insulin do it's job better. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12450897 I dunno but it's something I'm going to mess around with a bit.
The antioxidants thing is a tricky one I think. Some studies on endurance athletes say they have no effect on insulin sensitivity: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21325105. Someone else prolly knows more than me about this but I think that it's specifically ascorbic acid (which is the common form of supplemental C) that uses the GLUT transport system and insulin mediated uptake and competes with sugar for entry into the cell http://www.newswithviews.com/Howenstine/james52.htm . I guess in theory this can blunt post exercise GLUT expression by taking up some of the transporter spaces that you want to remain available for the carbs you are about to pound.
I've read that some polyphenols and caffeine are great at helping upregulate those GLUT transporters. Coffee + fasted exercise + carbs = win.
You Should Try looking over your routine if you aren't satisfied with your gains, maybe even revert to starting strength, partnered with the correct calories its nearly impossible not to achieve strength gains if not visible body re-composition. If you truly feel you are insulin resistant, go see a specialist, there's no point in looking great if you're hospital ridden due to an undiagnosed disorder. Given my relative lack of experience, I'd bump up your protien a little bit as well, it cant hurt. If you feel like it'll help, post your stats, I'm sure someone who has a fair amount of knowledge on the issue will be able to offer you some genuine tailored help instead of this vague paragraph. I have a friend with a thyroid disorder that directly affects their ability to yield results and it can be fairly frustrating.
Fructose Glucose and Sweettooth 2 Answers