Captured at newsgroup misc.fitness.weights
From: email@example.com (Steve O’Donnell)
Subject: anabolic week length question
I’m curious if anyone out there has tried letting ketosis go longer than 5 days before carbing up. Correct me if I’m wrong but since one doesn’t hit ketosis until halfway through the high fat period one should lose fat faster by letting the ketosis part of the high fat portion of the diet go for a couple extra days. What do you guys think, any personal experience? Are there any health problems that should keep me from pushing the high fat week a couple days longer?
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (the tree by the river)
Subject: Re: anabolic week length question
Lots of people go longer than five days; some people report better results from doing the carb-up only once every other week and others have claimed considerable success from doing longer carb-ups (say, four days to a week) at one- to two-month intervals. Though my impression is that this is less common among strength athletes, there are quite a few ketogenic dieters who never carb-up, in some cases literally for decades. I think it’s worth doing a little experimenting to determine what works best for you–for starters, some people enter ketosis much easier than others; those who find the switchover more time-consuming may find more infrequent carb-ups better suited to their particular metabolisms. If you haven’t already, you might want to read through Lyle McDonald’s interesting and informative diary of his experiences on BodyOpus. As an aside, the BodyOpus seven-day cycle is only one of several such plans and is, to a great extent, based on Zumpano’s “Rebound Training System” which was a ten-day cycle; the seven-day cycle standard under the BodyOpus plan was picked more for scheduling convenience than anything else (which is a fine thing, when you think about it–the most common failing of any diet plan is that the dieter doesn’t follow it; anything that makes the dieter more likely to stick to the diet is a Good Thing[tm]).
Personally, my original intent was to do an extended very-low-carb phase before segueing into a BodyOpus-style cyclic ketogenic diet, but after four months I’ve only done two carb-ups and am really quite thoroughly dreading the thought of another one. The reason being–and I’m more than a little curious why this would be the case–is that, while I’m perfectly happy on the low-carb portion of the diet and had hardly any difficulty or discomfort when initially acclimating to it (coming from a high-carb, very-low-fat diet), the two carb-ups I’ve done have been absolutely horrible. From the moment the first bit of glucose hits my bloodstream, I’ve felt far, far worse than I ever did when getting used to low-carb and, instead of being filled with energy, just sitting upright feels like considerable effort and getting up stairs becomes an ordeal. Further, far from being able to enjoy great, glycogen-enhanced workouts afterwards, it’s taken me at least a few days after resuming low-carb to get my workouts back up to where they had been prior to the carb-up.
One of the other puzzling effects was that my reaction to blood-sugar levels seemed to be backwards: about the only thing that would make me feel any better or give me any energy at all was to scarf down a handful of vanadyl tabs; in fact, chasing the final planned “sugar crash” at the end of the carb-up with more vanadyl every few hours would make me feel steadily better and more energetic–quite the opposite of a “crash,” really. As said, this seems contrary to the experience I’ve heard reported by others; sooner or later I’ll work up the courage to give carbs another try, but if nothing else, I figure I’ll at least get a glucometer first in hopes that it’ll give me some additional insight into what’s going on.
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