Carbohydrate Cycling Diet vs ketogenic diet??

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  1. I like carb cycling. It keeps me from ever hitting a plateau. Although I do have to really plan out my meals or I will not stick to it. And the no carb days do suck as I feel like doing nothing all day.
    My carb days usually go like this
    High carb days = Above 200g of carbs a day
    Low carb days = 150g of carbs a day
    No carb days = 25g of carbs or less

    Sometimes I will mess up my no carb days and have to bridge two low carb days in a row. Also the first time I ever did carb cycling I was keeping EVERY days calorie count under my 500 below maintainance. So my weekly total of calories was too deficit and I loss a good amount of muscle mass. So lesson learned. Use your high carb days almost as a re feed day. Dont worry about the # of calories intaked. But dont stuff yourself either. Let that day be the balance for the days in which you wont eat much at all. Now that I have that down I am able to preserve a significant amount more of my muscle mass


  2. Personally, carb cycling works way better for me than keto
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  3. Best cutting / diet method - ketosis, TKD, carb cycle


    Some thoughts.. There is so much discussion about different diet approaches to loosing body fat. I have not settled on one yet, although, I am trying the "Targeted Keto Diet" now.

    So here are some of the pieces I understand to loosing body fat.
    1) Glucagon is the hormone produced by the pancreas that tells the body to utilize body fat to be metabolized for energy.
    2) Glucagon is activated in times of low blood sugar / glucose ... opposite to Insulin.

    So as I understand it.. the rate and degree to which one can loose body fat depends on when the glucagon hormone is active which is directly proportional to the frequency and duration of keeping blood sugar (glucose low).

    The type of food, the amount of food, and the frequency of eating will all influence the above. Additionally, the total calories the body burns (bmr, activity level, etc) and hence the glucose draw from the blood stream and liver (not including glycogen in the muscles).

    So I think any of the diets can accomplish this, its then a question of which one will produce the greatest rate of fat loss (and prevent muscle loss which I'll mention next). I believe (only opinion on my part right now) the the order of the diets from those that will cause slow fat loss to those that will provide rapid fat loss are:
    1) regular diet which simply lowers carbs a small amount to effect a 500 calorie per day deficit.
    2) carb cycling which greatly reduces carbs to bringing them back up to a full load usually cycled over 3 to 4 days.
    3) targeted keto diet. standar keto diet, but add carbs targeted just before workout with the aim that they support workout intensity and are burned off as a function of the workout. During times of no carb, low blood sugar activates glucagon to casue fat burn through keto.
    4) cyclic keto diet. loads carbs to a person specific level to fill muscle glycogen ie. on a Fri eve and Sat., then allows for a specific workout routine which will draw down no more than the carbs loaded. i.e. M, T weights; W, TH low intensity cardio, F weights or circuit workout. The abscence of carb intake after saturday and to Fri eve keep blood sugar low during the week activating glucagon to cause fat burn through keto.
    5) standard keto. no carb loads or targets..

    So which one prevents muscle loss or could cause more muscle loss..

    Here is how I understand we loose muscle:
    1) over training in the gym: overtraining occurs when the glycogen in the muscle is depleted, there is no glucose in the bloodstream to draw on and the liver has provided what it stored to the bloodstream already. What prevents overtraining? Eating strategically, and not working out so long on a given muscle group in terms of sets, reps, and rest period. Muscle groups can not share their store of glycogen with another muscle.
    2) we have voluntary and involuntary muscles: in the abscence of carbs and fat consumed calories, the body will then seek protein first in the blood (as in the protein you drink) the it resorts to protein in the liver, muscles, then other organs ... (called gluconeogenesis) in that priority. if there is no mechanical activity required of the voluntary muscles (ie the couch potatoe) then there is no energy consumption. But our involuntary muscles are still consuming energy for vital life support. Your brain consumes 20% of your calories!

    So how do you prevent muscle loss.. dont let your bodily energy requirements deplete you carb and fat calories which includes the glycogen in the muscles, glucose in the blood stream, and glycogen in the liver... and of course provide the protein/amino acids for muscle rebuilding if we are considering that.

    So now, how do you activate fat burning (activating glucagon, by low glucose level in the blood stream) while at the same time have the calories for the muscles? I think from the above, you can figure the answer.

    My fear with diets that just lower the carbs to create a calorie deficit is that there is not enough to fully activate the glucagon (pancreas) to draw on fat for energy, yet the muscle may be running on a glycogen and glucose deficit (as well as liver glycogen) and have to resort to gluconeogenesis (protein break down).

    Thats why Im more receptive to the keto diet. It is producing ketones to supply energy/glucose etc. Obviously not enough ketones if one is still doing intense workouts.. But that is where the cyclic and targeted ketosis diets come in where they ensure the carbs are in place to support the workout and prevent muscle loss. In the case of the cyclic, the workout energy draw has to match the carb load from the weekend. In the case of the targeted keto, the carb load is specific to the exercise sets and is taken just before the workout.

    Im not convinced which diet, the cyclic keto or the targeted keto, will have the most rapid fat loss. I have a feeling the cyclic, but it takes a little more coordination. I believe both will prevent muscle loss better than a diet that just reduces carbs for a calorie deficit.

    So.. just my opinion based on my current knowledge.
    I'd appreciate informed comments as Im still trying to develop a thorough understanding of this myself.

  4. Quote Originally Posted by discerniblevi View Post
    Some thoughts.. There is so much discussion about different diet approaches to loosing body fat. I have not settled on one yet, although, I am trying the "Targeted Keto Diet" now.

    So here are some of the pieces I understand to loosing body fat.
    1) Glucagon is the hormone produced by the pancreas that tells the body to utilize body fat to be metabolized for energy.
    2) Glucagon is activated in times of low blood sugar / glucose ... opposite to Insulin.

    So as I understand it.. the rate and degree to which one can loose body fat depends on when the glucagon hormone is active which is directly proportional to the frequency and duration of keeping blood sugar (glucose low).

    The type of food, the amount of food, and the frequency of eating will all influence the above. Additionally, the total calories the body burns (bmr, activity level, etc) and hence the glucose draw from the blood stream and liver (not including glycogen in the muscles).

    So I think any of the diets can accomplish this, its then a question of which one will produce the greatest rate of fat loss (and prevent muscle loss which I'll mention next). I believe (only opinion on my part right now) the the order of the diets from those that will cause slow fat loss to those that will provide rapid fat loss are:
    1) regular diet which simply lowers carbs a small amount to effect a 500 calorie per day deficit.
    2) carb cycling which greatly reduces carbs to bringing them back up to a full load usually cycled over 3 to 4 days.
    3) targeted keto diet. standar keto diet, but add carbs targeted just before workout with the aim that they support workout intensity and are burned off as a function of the workout. During times of no carb, low blood sugar activates glucagon to casue fat burn through keto.
    4) cyclic keto diet. loads carbs to a person specific level to fill muscle glycogen ie. on a Fri eve and Sat., then allows for a specific workout routine which will draw down no more than the carbs loaded. i.e. M, T weights; W, TH low intensity cardio, F weights or circuit workout. The abscence of carb intake after saturday and to Fri eve keep blood sugar low during the week activating glucagon to cause fat burn through keto.
    5) standard keto. no carb loads or targets..

    So which one prevents muscle loss or could cause more muscle loss..

    Here is how I understand we loose muscle:
    1) over training in the gym: overtraining occurs when the glycogen in the muscle is depleted, there is no glucose in the bloodstream to draw on and the liver has provided what it stored to the bloodstream already. What prevents overtraining? Eating strategically, and not working out so long on a given muscle group in terms of sets, reps, and rest period. Muscle groups can not share their store of glycogen with another muscle.
    2) we have voluntary and involuntary muscles: in the abscence of carbs and fat consumed calories, the body will then seek protein first in the blood (as in the protein you drink) the it resorts to protein in the liver, muscles, then other organs ... (called gluconeogenesis) in that priority. if there is no mechanical activity required of the voluntary muscles (ie the couch potatoe) then there is no energy consumption. But our involuntary muscles are still consuming energy for vital life support. Your brain consumes 20% of your calories!

    So how do you prevent muscle loss.. dont let your bodily energy requirements deplete you carb and fat calories which includes the glycogen in the muscles, glucose in the blood stream, and glycogen in the liver... and of course provide the protein/amino acids for muscle rebuilding if we are considering that.

    So now, how do you activate fat burning (activating glucagon, by low glucose level in the blood stream) while at the same time have the calories for the muscles? I think from the above, you can figure the answer.

    My fear with diets that just lower the carbs to create a calorie deficit is that there is not enough to fully activate the glucagon (pancreas) to draw on fat for energy, yet the muscle may be running on a glycogen and glucose deficit (as well as liver glycogen) and have to resort to gluconeogenesis (protein break down).

    Thats why Im more receptive to the keto diet. It is producing ketones to supply energy/glucose etc. Obviously not enough ketones if one is still doing intense workouts.. But that is where the cyclic and targeted ketosis diets come in where they ensure the carbs are in place to support the workout and prevent muscle loss. In the case of the cyclic, the workout energy draw has to match the carb load from the weekend. In the case of the targeted keto, the carb load is specific to the exercise sets and is taken just before the workout.
    Im not convinced which diet, the cyclic keto or the targeted keto, will have the most rapid fat loss. I have a feeling the cyclic, but it takes a little more coordination. I believe both will prevent muscle loss better than a diet that just reduces carbs for a calorie deficit.

    So.. just my opinion based on my current knowledge.
    I'd appreciate informed comments as Im still trying to develop a thorough understanding of this myself.
    Hi,
    I would start to research the highlighted paragraph. What you have talked about in there is not correct.
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  5. Definitely open to your thoughts... focus me in a bit though on which part is not correct..

    Most of what my thoughts in the highlighted section are based on what Lyle McDonald wrote...

    Also.. My thoughts on a ketosis diet (standard, cyclic, or targeted) is that it be used for fat loss, cutting... short term. I dont intend, nor do I suggest, that it be a long term nutrition strategy... just a short term fat cutting tactic..

    BTW.. I'm a few weeks into using targeted keto.. I'm loosing 2 lbs a week so far. Not loosing any lean body mass. Using body fat calipers and skin fold to determine body fat %. Protecting lean mass using a formula to decide maximum calorie deficit based on maximum rate fat stores can provide energy (31 calories * total body fat in lbs)

    Subtracting max calorie deficit from a calculated BMR plus activity level.
    Have 2 different versions of the above, 1 for workout days and 1 for non-workout days given the difference in activity and nutrition intake.

    Maintaining 1.5 g protein per LBM lb on workout days and 1 g per LMB lb on non workout days.

    Using corn syrup (no high fructose content) for 5 g per every 2 workout sets taken 30 min pre workout for the targeted carb intake and then doing 30 min low intensity eliptical post workout to use any remaining carb and speed getting back into keto. Take 50g protein shake right after workout. Not adding any carb post workout yet, relying on Insulin buildup from pre workout carb intake.

    All seems good right now for a body fat loss goal and while maintaining lean body mass.

    (sorry, had useful web links to 3 of my points above but had to remove them because my post count is below 50 .... I dont get that.. the links might have been useful to other people ... oh well)

  6. It's ok there are many ppl such with the links you have studied who keep mixing the carbs with keto diets to get the next best thing. I do not like the ups and downs. When your body burns fat for fuel you will def know. If you run out of energy and need carbs to get energy then you not running on fat yet.
    A couple of things to note,
    Ketones do not supply glucose. Your body can make plenty of ketones if you eat fat and no carbs but those are used mostly by the brain. Fatty acids are used by the muscle. As long as you keep suplying carbs to your body will run mainly on glucose.
    I can work out with zero carbs, before or after. Carbs are not necessary for energy to workout. Fatty acids work very well on their own better than glucose in respect to bodybuilding and fat loss.
    What you are doing is basically the addition of carbs to supply energy during workouts. It's just a more complicate way to do a low carb diet.
    If it works for you by all means do it. Like you said it is a short fat loss program which is fine.
    In order to switch your body to burn mainly fat for energy and switch your brain to run mostly on ketones it takes up to 2 months.
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