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Keto: Carb Refeed Day? Carb Cycling?

whats up boys,

so ive been doing keto religiously for 6 weeks now, tracking macros, eating a deficit, Im lifting pretty much every day aside from an occasional rest day or cardio day. and I have had some great results.

I’ve lost 12 pounds and went from 13.7% to 12.1% body fat in this period. However I have lost a decent amount of strength and mass gains during this time.

I was wondering if incorporating a card refeed into my diet is a good idea? i’ve been flirting with the idea of starting Lyle Mcdonalds UD2 (but the 4 full body workouts a week, sounds stupid).

***Does anyone have any experience with carb refeed days on keto? how often should I reincorporate carbs into my diet? Would this potentially help me regain some of my strength?

12.1% BF

goal is to get to sub 10% BF without losing all of my gains.

thanks guys any feedback would much appreciated


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The key with dieting is usually picking a proven approach and sticking with it. I am not an expert on Keto but I’m fairly confident carb refeeds aren’t part of it. I would first look at your recovery. Are you sleeping enough, getting enough protein, time between heavy workouts etc. Training almost every day with little to no carbs could be the issue. I would try dialing back your volume and frequency and up the emphasis on your main lifts.

What macros are you following for keto? Doing a carb refeed is counterintuitive to a keto diet. It will knock you out of ketosis and you will have to start over in terms of depleting again. The point of keto is to get your body fat adapted. This means that you are using dat and ketones produced by the liver for fuel rather than carbs. Most people need to stay undercaround 50 grams of carbs frailty to stay in ketosis. Are you testing to see if you are in ketosis?

A carb refeed is more of a tool to use when on a low fat, moderate carb diet. It can be effective in resetting hormone levels and giving you a bit of a mental boost.

When doing a literate cut I eat at around 250p 200c <50f. When doing this I find a refeed helps when implemented every 14 days or so. The leanercyou are the more often you will need one. For the refeed I drop protein to 1 gram per lb of body weight, double my carbs, and keep fat as low as possible. So roughly 160p 400c and 25-30f.

This is to prevent you feeling so run down with no energy. If your doing keto correctly and only eating at a moderate deficit you should be able to maintain energy levels. The problem with keto is that most people go about if with crappy food choices. You should eat 75% f 20% p and 5% or less c. Fats should come from things like avacado, almonds, flax seed oil, mct oil, butter, and some from meat. People often use the lots of fat rule to embrace things like cheese and bacon. You’ll still loose weight on those but your cholesterol and lipids won’t like you.

Hope that helps


CKD is still a valid strategy but targeted keto (TKD) is arguably a more efficient approach. I’ve done both and the latter seems better for performance and steady progress. The former requires more discipline as it is easy to go off the rails and turn a refeed into a binge. Either way, I would certainly not follow the McDonald UD2 approach. Tried it; does not translate into the real world for most folks.

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Second this. If you’re doing Keto, do keto. In my experience carb refeeds don’t mix well with a Keto diet. You just stall fat loss and feel like shit for a few days.

When I have done long periods of Keto, what I found was that, once fat adapted, when I was feeling ‘flat’ with depleted glycogen and strength dropped, a high calorie (but still Keto) day, or fat refeed, would refill my glycogen.

Your strength loss will be two things, you are still new to Keto, and probably not at full efficiency with fat metabolism, and you are in a long term calorie deficit, both of which will leave you feeling weak and depleted.

Great results on the weight loss though.

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These two statements are contradictory. If you want to get under 10% and keep your gains, keto is not a great option.

Got to disagree with you there.

At some point in every cut, whichever way you are doing it, but especially with keto, you have periods of looking and feeling smaller, and actually looking ‘worse’ despite losing fat. Both looking and feeling weak on a keto calorie deficit are not surprising, and definitely not signs that he is actually ‘losing his gians’. Glycogen effect is huge.

Keto isn’t how Im cutting at the moment, but I’ve used it to drop a lot of weight periodically as needed and have never actually lost any muscle or strength, just the appearance of muscle and, in the short term, the ability to display strength.

They also arent, at all. If his primary goal is weight loss, then that is a great result.

Hes trying to cut, hes losing weight, hes just hitting a bit of a psychological block. The last thing you need then is to completely change you, to date, successful approach.

Good fat loss for 6 weeks would’ve been about 1 pound of fat per week. That would’ve put you at 196 and ~11% BF.

Agreed, if the goal is weight loss. His goal is sub 10 without losing all of his gains. I guess he won’t lose ALL of his gains, but performance will be sacrificed.

This requires his original, and subsequent measures of bf% to be accurate. They aren’t because they cant be.

You will always lose more ‘weight’ than fat on a keto diet because of initially losing glycogen.

Performance will be sacrificed. Not his underlying muscle mass. Performance is temporary.

If maintaining performance while cutting is the goal, I agree with you, I wouldnt use keto. Im not at the moment for exactly that reason.

If maintaining muscle mass while cutting is the goal, keto is perfectly acceptable

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That makes a lot of sense. I will probably just stick to keto then. But do you think there is any benefit of incorporating some form of low glycemic carbs like brown rice or beans into the equation, or just stick to keto?

ive been doing less than 30c(5%) 160f(65%) and 165p(30%) Cook pretty much every meal at home.

And yes i’ve been testing to make sure im in ketosis. However recently I haven’t been getting good readings because the urine test strips I have test for “excess ketones.” butTheres no chance iv’e gotten kicked out though I have been pretty meticulous for the past 6 weeks.

This is by far the easiest diet/cut ive been on. im having no cravings at all and feel great all the time. The only issue is that its just hard to see my bench, deadlift etc. numbers drop more than usual compared to when I do a normal cut.

When it comes to keto, carbs are carbs. Even low GI carbs will kick you out. If your feeling drained and lacking in strength and wnergy I’d recommend eating a couple of days at maintenance calories but still in keto. Another thing you need to take into consideration is that your new fuel source is fat. MCT (medium chain triglycerides) oil is a good instant source of energy. This is basically to. Best portion of coconut oil and can be processed immediately and bypasses your liver. A tablespoon preworkout might help. Warning if you haven’t taken it before it can give you sour stomach especially if you take it straight or on an empty stomach. I liked to put it in my coffee with breakfast when I did keto.

I’ve learned over time that I much prefer a low fat diet though. At the end of the day it’s whatever works for your lifestyle. As long as your healthy and making progress both low fat and high fat approaches work. Now if someone can just come up with a fad diet that is a high carb high fat approach lol

Ok this is a bit comforting. My performance and strength has really fallen off more than visible muscle mass-which is what initially alarmed me. I guess ive been wrongly equating strength = muscle gains (while on keto).

I have been contemplating clenbuterol to help preserve my strength and muscle mass, but not sure if its a good idea (idk if I can do 2 full weeks of that again.) What do you guys think @Pinkylifting @baumbodies

hahaha that would be ideal.

Yea I have MCT oil, I usually will just put it on a salad, because I shit my brains out every-time I have a bulletproof coffee.

Yes, I used C8 and according to blood ketone readings the effect almost rivalled exogenous ketones. Excellent energy source, and 10-15g didn’t have me squatting - in the toilet - either.


Pardon my ignorance, but what exactly is a “literate cut” ?

Just a typo. Guess it auto corrected. Should have read moderate cut

Ok thanks for clarification