This question was prompted by reading Travis Culp's recent comment about fasting, where he says
I'm already pretty lean, but I actually am getting leaner after cutting fructose down to almost nothing and increasing starch
I've also read similar comments, I think, from Stephen-Aegis.
I would like to hear experiences of those who increased their starch intake and got leaner, or for that matter, didn't get leaner.
Did you time the starch intake specifically pre or post workout or is it just an everyday addition? Is it only from tubers? How much do you typically eat? Did you see a change right away or did it take a long time to become evident?
I'm coming from a zero carb position, so an increase in starch would be an increase in carbs, not merely a change in type. So I'm especially interested in anecdotes in which the increase in starch was also an increase in carbs.
I gained muscle without gaining fat after my weight loss was complete. A buddy of mine dropped fast while keeping potatoes in the diet.
Wheat Gluten, Oxidized Oils, Fructose.
Those are your poisons. Eat only Whole unprocessed foods(to avoid all the little toxins) while getting 9-10hrs of quality sleep and weight will plummet and health will improve for most people.
If the ingredient list is longer than 1, it's not great food until you're mixing it yourself.
I think this thread was combined, so im editing my answer to conform to the new question...
I was already lean when I re-introduced starches. However, I got ALOT Stronger, Fast.
My Starches are almost exclusively post workout, but not immediately post workout. I wait until my Body tells me eat. Then I FEAST.
Lately ive been doing Okinowan Sweet Potato Tallow Fries and a Pound of Grassfed Beef PWO. MMM.
I'm not yet convinced to eat alot of starch outside of activity, but view it as refueling my body after activity. Ive also noticed that my recovery and performance have improved after including my tubers on Heavy Workout Days.
I still avoid eating ANYTHING pre-workout. I tried tubers preworkout and had a horrible effect on my performance, then again, so did meat. I perform best Fasted.
I went VLC back in August, like 20-40g per day, and then added back starches (rotating potatoes and white rice) a few months ago. I have continued to get more cut in that time frame. That sounds like a very similar situation as you.
EDIT: for Ambimorph per below comment request
I don't have either every day. But I will have seasoned panfried potatoes with my eggs for a weekend breakfast. Or a small bowl of rice with about 3 tablespoons of pasture butter with a couple hardbioled eggs and sardines for lunch at work. We also frequently add potato or rice as a side to our dinners in addition to whatever meat and veggies we are having. I always peel the potato with a skinner. By themselves, neither hold much flavor, but they are both great vehicles for good fats. I don't usually eat starch for PWO, but not because I think it's a bad idea. I just don't really ever desire to eat that right afterwards, so personally I haven't found it very practical.
I originally went Paleo and very low carb at the same time, and initially I felt great. Lots of energy, better mood, reduced appetite, and i lost about 25 pounds and 4 notches on my belt. I was strict low carb, about 25g per day. During this time I was probably burning fat.
But one day, I stopped feeling good, mood and energy declined, had digestive issues, and stopped losing weight. It literally just started happening one day though I hadn't changed diet or anything else. Meanwhile, appetite increased and I often had the munchies. I consciously added back starches, very carefully, primarily sweet potato, banana, plantains, occasional fruit, and almost exclusively post work-out. I started to feel better, not as great as when I was burning fat, but better.
After adding back starch, I gained a few pounds back, but got a little leaner according to my belt. I am not lean or ripped by any measure, and track my diet primarily by my belt. I thought it was interesting that I gained weight but got a little thinner on starches. I had such great success going low carb that I am very reluctant to eat lots of carbs, this might not be a bad idea to try but I just have trouble doing it. I still completely avoid gluten and bad oils, and only very occasionally have other grains (i.e. corn on the cob).
I suspect that my metabolism/digestion was broken in some way when I started, and the period of very low carb fixed it, and now carbs have a different effect on me than they did. Also avoiding wheat has had a major positive effect while some other starches seem relatively harmless. I still have a zero-carb breakfast most days, typically coffee with cream and two eggs. But I make a point to have "good" carbs at least once a day, either sweet potatoes with dinner, or occasionally berries with creaor yogurt for breakfast.
"I think eating 15-20% of calories as starch is healthier than being VLC (very low carbohydrate) on only green veggies and meat. Starchy Plant Organs give you the most useful plant vitamins and minerals, spare your body the work of making your own glucose via gluconeogenesis, keep you out of ketosis, and keep your glycogen stores topped off, all while avoiding the antinutrients in grains. If you are fairly active, you might notice a big difference between 20% starch and 5%. So this makes PaNu very highly aligned with Kwasniewski on both ketosis and potatoes. Ketosis is useful for weight loss, but it is not likely to be optimal to live in ketosis most of the time if you don't have to." Kurt G Harris MD
KGH just updated his carbohydrate post today with significant detail in the final part. The 15-20% is interesting. Although this is just passing along information and not anecdotal as your question requested, I thought it might offer some insight into your ZC change. Not sure "if you dont have to" means, if you don't need to lose weight or get leaner, but just thought I would pass it along in case you have not seen the update yet.
I'm thoroughly convinced that fructose intake is the primary determiner of adiposity, not carbohydrate intake (within reason). I eat 2-3 ~275g russets a day. I should be slightly exceeding about 150g of carbs, with about 4-5g of fructose a day. I couldn't really eat much more potato than that since it's already very satisfying. For what it's worth my diet looks like this:
Breakfast: 4 eggs fried in clarified pasture butter, mashed potatoes (butter, whole cream)
Lunch: Lamb steak fried in pasture butter, mashed potatoes
Dinner: "" "" + 2 cups steamed spinach + butter
Then right before bed I'll have another lamb steak. I sleep really well.
There are some odds and ends in there, but that's the gist of it. I really try to cram fat in my diet where I can, so don't assume that the aforementioned involved standard, human portions of butter. I generally pour the pan drippings on the potatoes etc.
I think it's a matter of supplying your body with all raw materials without giving it the lipogenesis signal (fructose). In the presence of abundance & exercise and the absence of fructose, you are creating optimally anabolic conditions. I have been gradually losing my last bits of fat and gaining muscle.
I take the proper precautions and have no fears regarding oxalates or glycoalkaloids.
Edit: You know, it's funny, but I've done so much research into the minutiae of biochemistry and human physiology and tons of experimentation, and when all the dust settles, I end up at "meat 'n' potatoes." I guess that's just the way of things.
I'm so pleased PaNu is apparently endorsing roots and tubers. Over the past few months I've been adding these back into my diet and feel noticeably better for them.
Non gluten grains - i.e. white rice and corn seem to be not too bad too - so I can use cornflour for thickening sauces once in a while and not have to worry? This is so good news!
Fruit he doesn't seem to approve much - I was startled to find that he puts legumes above fruits. I haven't had a legume - much as I love them - for over 15 months. Perhaps those chick peas (with sufficient soaking?!) can make a healthy avocado and chick pea hummus again?! Once in a while....
Fruit - are berries OK or are they also little sugar bombs? I don't think I can go through early summer in the UK without raspberries, strawberries etc. Even just as a vehicle for yet more cream, they are divine.
And Travis, I LOVE your breakfast of eggs on mashed potato! I shall mash some potatoes tonight to heat up tomorrow... With eggs and possibly bacon too....
I did a mostly starch diet and discontinued it because I lost weight that I didn't want to lose. It was mainly shrimp, oysters, coconut milk, fruit, and starch from cassava, Okinawan sweet potatoes, taro, chestnuts, true yam, and cocoyam. I guess it wasn't a lot of fruit, maybe a cup of berries a day. The whole diet was pretty different from my regular diet and featured a lot of foods I hate, so it was hard for me.
I do gain weight with starch. The only way I can fight this is by playing around with my food choices. In other words, monotonize it and make it a routine. Stick with one starch. No added salt or sweeteners. Drinke one type of beverage. Exactly the way hunter-gatherers may have eaten when they weren't eating their main meal from a kill: some yams or sweetpotatoes roasted.
If you want to have a feast with a variety of tubers, condiments, and spices, Paleo they may be, it may not work. I'm pretty lean but I do gain weight easily from overeating. My daily weight fluctuation is about 5-7 lbs. with starch -- 157 to 164 -- which is a lot. Without starch, my weight only fluctuates 3-4 pounds.
What about coconut meat? Like the dried organic stuff, does that count as fruit, and how much should a person eat before it becomes detrimental to weight loss/management? I find myself craving copious amounts of coconut, will eating plenty of this cause weight gain?
Have you tried Breadfruit? 3 Answers