I know this low carb thing is getting old for some folks, but please keep in mind that many of us have no choice but to go VLC in order to heal and lose weight. What happens after VLC is what I am trying to figure out. The question is:
1) I'm doing VLC for the third time in my life. I went from VLC to 25% carbs once without problems. And from VLC to SAD unsuccessfully.
2) Anything but sugar and wheat. Sweet potatoes, tomatoes and blueberries are my larger carb items.
3) Did not scale, will scale this time.
4) I don't seem food sensitive beyond macronutrient ratios.
5) SAD yes, higher end of LC no.
6) Heavy workout performance seems better with more carbs. But my mood is great on keto. My skin is better with LC, some rosacea/dryness with VLC.
7) Probably lowered both protein and fat. If your a big meat eater on lowcarb my suggestion is to clean that up before adding carbs. Decrease protein, increase good fats, and then cut the fat some as you add in carbs. But use the fats left in you calorie budget to make the carbs taste good, increase nutrient apsorbtion, and blunt insulin response. You don't want to go from satiety from fats to chasing satiety from glucose.
To maintain being fueled from fatty acids most of the time you want to be sure to develop the habit of not snacking, especially on carbs, even at low total calories. Know the five rules of recovering/retaining leptin sensitivity.
I have tried to stay low carb for most of my weight loss phase (which looks to be somewhere in 2007 to the end of 2009. I often stayed in the under 20g range but that would be interrupted by various social things. In January of 2009 I finally broke the wheat addiction and became one of those weird people who generally doesn't eat at social events because you just don't know what neolithic agents they've got hidden in the food!
I don't think I go over 100g most days. Sweet potato seems okay. Regular potato may be okay in small portions, but it's obviously moving the blood sugar far more than is comfortable. I am currently reminding myself that I am a carb junkie by buying frozen fruit and then eating the WHOLE BAG! This isn't so bad when it is a 12oz bag of mango, but I found out that I cannot buy the 3lb bag of frozen wild blueberries and just have them in the house so that I can make smoothies.
The binge behavior is less pronounced with tubers, but it is still there. I've had a few days where I did a lot of physical labor; on those days eating carbohydrates seem downright healthy and awesome. There is clear benefit on these days. As you may be able to tell by my tone, I am less sure about the other days, and being constantly reminded about the fragility of one's self-discipline is definitely not a benefit.
And, so far at least, none of this has caused weight gain. Indeed, I'm trying to have the muscle variety of weight gain happen, which is one of the reasons I'm fooling with more carbs in the first place, and it is glacially slow going.
When I eat more carbs, I tend to eat less fat.
1 - I was SAD from 0yrs-30yrs old. Then went VLC cold turkey and undoubtedly my caloric intake dropped off a cliff as well. I think that was due to the fact that I didn't know what to eat at first because I hadn't gotten settled in with food choices yet. The first month was very confusing. Was VLC for about 2 months (20g-40g). Then LC for about another 2 months (40g-70g). Re-integrated more carbs in late Decemeber 2010 after about 5 months or so of carb restriction.
2 - White potatoes, white rice, soaked/fermented oats, soaked/fermented beans, raw honey, bananas.
3 - Scaled slowly. Probably took a month to go from ~70g/day to ~150g/day
4 - It depends on how success should be defined. Weight has stayed very steady for me. Even on random carb binges, I do not see any weight gain. Some acute issues were fixed by my new diet vs SAD, like kidney stones. Some acute issues have arisen, like heartburn.
5 - By adding in the fructose (banana/honey)... it may have caused increased production of trigs and/or small dense LDL. Then again, I didn't fast for the test, so CMast says the data is likely skewed.
6 - Easier and more diverse food choices to maintain 'healthy eating'. More enjoyable diet.
7 - I think by default, consuming more carbs lowered fat only. I believe my protein intake has remained steady throughout the adjustments.
To answer the question, I would say yes! I have successfully re-integrated carbs after LC, primarily because the re-integration has not made me gain any additional weight at all. I began at 163lbs on SAD. Cut down to 148lbs at my low in January 2011. When the pics taken on March 19, I was 151 pounds. Since then I have added about 7 more pounds of muscle and I'm back up to 158 with no flab.
As for the other issues that I am still working with, much of it is largely "question marks" and so there is some speculation at this point. I have only one single physical ailment... the unsettling feeling in my chest that comes and goes. On paper, I have a concern about my lipid numbers, particularly that I tested for low HDL at 40 and that my LDL was shown to be primarily small dense pattern B. If I can correct those 3 things... (chest, HDL, LDL type), I will be very happy because otherwise I feel amazing. I'm not a big guy at 5'8" 158, but I'm very strong, muscular, and confident. Very fit and able. Full of energy and zest for life. I think those details are very important because I'm pretty close to feeling optimal in life, which does speak well for eating mostly whole, quality, natural foods in today's world of availability.
I had previously done TNT diet (mens health) with pretty good success in weight loss. After this I introduced grains, but then started LC Paleo last August. I ate at a significant caloric deficit and lost about 15-20 pounds (from 189 to 169, ish) between august '10 and may '11. I started having sleep issues, and also noticed the effects to lifting. I decided to start adding carbs when the scale hit 170 pounds this May. I started with postworkout sweet potato and daily fruit (2-4 servings daily) this May, starting with about 150 grams carbs total on lifting days (and 50-75 on rest days), and now i eat about 400-420 grams carbs on lifting days (also added white potatoes) and 100-150 on rest days. I still lost weight even with 200-250 grams on lift days. At the 400 gram level my lifts are going great, and I have stayed lean and added some muscle without fat gain, maybe 2-3 pounds gain. I eat according to the leangains-protocol, but staying in paleo, so far no dairy, and I have also left nuts out almost entirely.
I think I was (still am) suprised how well I now tolerate starchy carbs (tubers). When I was eating grains (oatmeal, wholegrain pasta), I rarely ate 400 grams even on most active days (unless it was a cheat/junkfood-filled day). I was playing non-professional gridiron football w/ practice 3 days a week + 2 lifting workouts a week. Still weight creeped slowly (some fat).
I'm now feeling great, eating huge postworkout meals (sometimes even 3 pounds of sweet potato accompanied with a pound of chicken or beef, and maybe some broccoli), but don't feel especially bloated or constipated (okay this week i had a "record" pwo meal of 1900 cals (all paleo), have to admit it might have been a little excessive...)
I am eating very little fat on workout days. Around 40-50 grams. On rest days I eat about 85-90 grams of fat. It's low according to paleo standards, but it seems to be working well for me.
I tried to hit all the questions, even though I didn't go one question at a time. Feel free to ask if you have any questions.
I think 7 is the most important point. If you are at weight stasis and add anything, you will start backtracking unless you compensate by decreasing something else. A high fat diet on a fat loss plateau with more carbs added would have to lead to weight gain.
I can't really gauge because I am a carboholic, and that includes fruit and starchy veggies, which I love. On one hand I wonder if my brain has been damaged by eating excess sugar for so many years. However as a child I remember never being satisfied after eating fruit. My intake was only controlled by the fact that I had no access to more. In college (I'm now 55) I remember buying fruit at an orchard and continuing to eat it way past the point where my stomach was full. For me adding carbs back into my diet is like an alcoholic adding alcohol back into his diet. I envy people who can do it, but I just can't get my head around it. And I have to believe that fruit and tubers were specifically designed to put on weight to compensate for seasons when food would be scarce. That's certainly what it does to me.
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