T Nation

Low Carbs and Fat Adaptation


#1

Over the years I have done my fair share of low carb diets, ketogenic diets, and foolishly, modified fasts. At first, whenever I would reduce carb intake, the adaptation period would be pretty rough. Cravings, crankiness, the usual symptoms, would reappear pretty soon.

However, now its entirely different. Whenever I decide to reduce my carbs, they really dont surface - the symptoms that is - and if they do, they really are easily manageable. I guess you could say that low carb dieting has become much easier. Interestigly enough, some past clients had noticed this trend too.

Similarly, whenever I have decided to bring my bodyfat down in the past, it got less difficult each time also

Just anecdotal observation, yes. Whether this was down to some alteration in hormonal or enzyme activity I dont know, I have not looked into it.

So, my question to you guys is,

What observations have you made with you and your own diets?

Could be mass building, leaning out, or whatever you wanna share.


#2

Most significant for me was discovering low-carb dieting. Previously I subscribed to high-carb, lower calorie diets and, although losing ample weight (I did have a lot to lose) I'm convinced an unacceptable percentage was lean tissue. The other negative strand revolved around mood, energy levels, hunger, and zero progress with the iron during workouts.

Following the switch to low-carb, via the Anabolic Diet, my progress in the gym improved, as did my body composition - and I rarely ever felt hungry. My energy levels were constant, and I just felt pretty happy with things.

This again began to stall and I thank the works of authors like Thibs for highlighting potential flaws in the original Anabolic Diet, e.g. weekend foodfests. I now adhere to the Targeted Carb approach while trying to add some lean tissue while minimising fat gain.

I'm due to commence another 'cutting' phase next month and have been impressed with the works of Berardi so may be tempted to give the Shredded Diet a runout for 4-6 weeks.


#3

I can relate to JamesBrawn. It's pretty obvious that as a people (specifically us in developed countries) have pretty much been carb dependent our ENTIRE lives. I can't even remember a time when I was ingesting low amount's of carbs before I used a Ketogenic Diet this past summer. Maybe a Meal or two, perhaps a DAY at best was low carb.

Personally, I did not have to much trouble with cravings, irritability etc. on my first keto run. But, cutting out carbs like that after being dependent on them for years and years, it's easy to see where the cravings and crankiness can come into play; after all, our body has been accustomed to glucose for energy over the course of our entire lives.

With that said, I had GREAT success. I think reading the threads and articles by Christian Thibaudeau really helped me the most. I followed most of his protocols to the T, modifying a few things that worked for me. I even coupled the diet with his "Destroying Fat" program which was excellent. I think that going on a low-carb diet really forced me to increase my protein intake more so than ever before. I also was ingesting healthy fats and only healthy fats really, other than some in red meat. This to me did wonders for my body composition. I leaned out really nice and really looked bigger than ever before (optical illusion).

Right now I am using a Targeted carbs approach for lean mass and it is working quite well. As weight stalls I add in more carbs, usually in the form of fruit, veggies, or sweet potatoes. I will probably stick with a lower carb approach for the rest of my life because I generally feel better and it is ultimately a healthier lifestyle...


#4

I think quality is a big issue too though, that often gets overlooked.

Consider that prior to going 'low carb' many people probably existed on grains rich in gliadin and high sodium chloride (table salt) processed carb sources, then the removal of them will bound to make pretty noticeable improvements in the way you feel and look. And I think that sometimes people forgert the vegetables, fruits and tubers are also viable sources of carbs too.

Personally, even though I have done my share, I dont really feel the need to go low carb anymore. The removal of processed carbs and most gliadin containing grains will remain. But I do feel and function much better with ample carbohydrates. A fact reflected in some blood panels I had performed.

What I do feel is though, that without that initial 'wash out' period at the start, and the times that I continued to low carb it, I probably wouldnt be in the place I am today.

Whether that be the result of the fact that I altered my diet and tastes, or whether due to some shift in metabolism I cant say, but the experience has been a hugely positive one, even if I do not go back.


#5

Yea I understand where you are coming from. Eradicating processed food from my diet has defiantly changed my tastes and impacted my blood sugar levels throughout the day. I really enjoy fruits and veggies more than ever and have really broadened my horizons in that respect.

I feel as if I have a steady energy throughout the day at this point as opposed to periods of lethargy previously.

It would be interesting to see how my body responds to a low carb diet again, I have yet to do that. I am on a "lower" carb diet around 200g a day but, the way I am adding lean mass I am going to stick with this for a long time. It's good to know that some people feel dropping bf levels is easier after going through ketosis once before.


#6

The thing is, I have foud that by initially dropping bodyfat this way - with low carbs - I actually dont have to do it that way again. AllI have to do is increase the amount of activity I do and at some point drop 'some' carbs in a systematic fashion.