T Nation

Any Point to Low Carb?


#1

Cutting bodyfat for a surgery within the next couple months. I have lowered my daily calories and I am losing at a steady rate. Is there any point to drop carbs to a sub 50g per day? Are their any benefits?

If total calories are the same I don’t understand the benefits?


#2

The benefit of being in ketosis is that your blood sugar will be stable so the diet will be easier to stick with… most people feel better on zero carbs over low carbs at the same calorie level. When the brain is running on ketones, many people seem to experience less diet induced anxiety than on low carb

That being said, if you’re happy with what you’re doing and it’s working, stick with it ; )


#3

My A1C levels were approaching, but hadn’t reached, diabetic levels, so I cut a lot of carbs and my A1C (and weight) started heading in the right direction.


#4

You’ll lose weight very fast but prob also feel like crap/have very low energy, so basically what willing to tolerate. If go that route up your good fats


#5

Ketosis only works for me if I up the fat. Don’t try low-fat and low carb at the same time. It sucks. How many lbs do you have to lose? Are we talking starvation diet?


#6

Not really starvation, because I am limited in training (the injury for surgery) I dropped my pre/intra/post workout carbs to a lower level. I also started intermittent fasting. I have dropped over 40lbs, but I figure I am going to get to a point where I will stall. When I get to that point I was unsure if changing to Keto will push the weight loss more or if I just drop more calories and add cardio (current cardio=0)


#7

Are you implying that even though you have the same calories you will lose weight faster if you have low carbs? I was suggesting removing carbs and calorie for calorie adding fat


#8

I’d like to recommend “The Anabolic Diet” which is low carb for 14 days to kickstart adaptation and then low carb 5 days with a weekend carb up. I posted a link to a good thread on it from 2005. It is worth a try even if you don’t plan to do it long term.

The studies about low carb vs high carb with calories held equal (deficit) suggests that your suspicion is correct… That it doesn’t matter long term for fat loss, it’s the deficit matters.

My experience on low carb:
Pros: higher satiety, more vegetables, initial water flush then less weight fluctuation, eating tablespoons of olive oil and fish oil is fun, better skin/hair, No dandruff, steady energy throughout the day (no lunch crash). Better sleep after adaptation. Joints feel better.

Cons: That first two weeks you will hit a damn wall. You will feel dazed and confused literally. Eat more fat and your body will adapt. You have to eat more fiber & water or constipation will ensue. Can be annoying eating with family and friends. The Dumb ones will warn you about how unhealthy your being WHILE drinking a Pepsi.


#9

Yep. Carbs raise insulin, -a calorie can only enter and/or be retained in a fat cell if insulin is a over a certain level.


#10

Sorry this just isn’t making sense.

So if you were 500 cals over on a low carb diet, those 500 cals would just magically disappear?
I can understand how insulin would cause the excess calories to be stored as fat…but if I was eating low carb something happens in the body where it vanishes???

I can understand that a 2400cal low carb diet will have a different impact on the body than a 2400cal higher carb diet…but if you are eating at, above or below maintenance the diets will both result in maintenance, weight gain or weight loss regardless of the macro nutrient profile.

or are you saying fatloss is more effective at an equal deficit?


#11

I wouldnt overthink it, but basically yeah “calories in-calories out” is an outdated paradigm. The calories wont dissapear they will just be more readily available for energy or will just be excreted.

If really interested, read one of Gary Taubes books or watch a lecture on youtube etc -has the most up to date analysis of medical studies on what regulates fat cells.

This a good read also…


#12

Feeling sated makes the biggest difference in practice. Fat digests way slower. Low carb diets tend to be easier to stick to. Don’t over think it.

You can read two dozen competing studies. Just try it. You will feel like garbage for 2 weeks and once you’re adapted see your own results. Low carb diets tend to work much better for former fat guys. People who skew lean laugh and say “I lose fat eating 300g of carbs a day”. It’s very individual.

You won’t know if it works for you until you try. Remember most of dietary success is about behaviours and not the biology.


#13

It’s worth mentioning some folks, including myself, didn’t suffer any ‘keto flu’ type symptoms. In fact, I felt totally normal and suspected I must have been doing something wrong. However, I know people who were miserable on it. Just something you need to try. I would also be wary of folk who some how think calories in and out no longer applies. Surprise surprise it does!


#14

I have read that many times the main cause of “keto flu” is not the lack or carbs but, the loss of sodium/electrolytes. Dr. Stephen Phinney has many youtube videos that are quite interesting.


#15

Coincidently I have been reading some of his stuff recently. I also have a book by his keto buddy Jeff Volek kicking around somewhere.

For some more up to date stuff, I would check out an article by Ben Greenfield where he outlines some rigorous testing he was put through by Volek while on a keto diet. The upshot was he body appeared to be mega efficient while on a keto diet. The more stuff like this I read, the more I think guys like Gironda and DiPascale where years ahead of the curve.


#16

I’m going to talk about it a thread I’m going to update soon…but my short answer is NO. I’ve been getting ripped again after doing a lean bulk/maintenance all winter and while I try to eat lower carbs on off days(and sometimes on training days) a lack of discipline is leading me to eat more carbs than I intended. And you know what? I’m still getting lean.

Some days I eat upwards of 400 grams and my muscle retention has been better this time around. I’m at the same level of leanness as this time last year, but I’m about 4 to 5 pounds heavier. The main difference is I actually enjoyed carbs this time around.

Now, if you are above 15% body fat and can’t even see a blurry six pack, I would recommend going on the low side with carbs…but it would be higher than 50grams because you need energy to fuel workouts. I’m finding that’s more important than what carbs may or may not do to your hormones/metabolism. I think having beastly workouts will do more for overall fat loss than cutting a whole macronutrient out.

Calories in vs calories out rules. As long as your macros are balanced don’t sweat how many carbs you eat.

I’m going to also add some tips and tricks I’ve learned to help me get lean when I update my “getting to the next level of shredded” thread. I’m not certified in anything, but I’ve learned quite a few things about controlling my fat levels during my three year journey of self-experimentation.

the thing that bothers me about keto – which I know works for a lot of people – is “what happens when you stop doing it?” Is keto sustainable for a lifetime? Not being anti-keto, but the law of thermodynamics still applies to the people who do it.