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  1. #1
    Registered User Havux's Avatar
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    Cheat Days on Low Carb

    I am doing a low carb/ high protein regimen at the moment. I just read an article: http://www.simplyshredded.com/your-d...white-hot.html

    The rule 3 says that you can eat low carbs but then eat high carbs one day to spike your metabolism and insulin. But it doesn't say how often to do this cheat day.

    What would you guys suggest?
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  2. #2
    Registered User asto_86's Avatar
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    The leaner you become, the more often you should incorporate. I'd say over 25% bf do it once every ten days. 15-20ish, once a week. Lower than 15% every 3 to 4 days. It's what has worked for me and my clients
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  3. #3
    Registered User Havux's Avatar
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    Thank you very much. I will rep (with my miniscule rep power) on recharge.

    How much carbs should I have if I'm currently at around 50g of carbs? And what kind of foods would be good?
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  4. #4
    Pizzabrah YeomenKek's Avatar
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    It's called a refeed, and is by no means a cheat day. The purpose of a carb-up is to replenish leptin, glycogen, up-regulate thyroid and spike insulin. You do not need to be on a VLCKD or low-carb diet to benefit from a refeed as all of these things decrease over time when eating in a caloric deficit no matter what your macronutrient breakdown. Depending on how large your deficit is, and how big you plan your refeed to be, you can benefit from a carb-up as frequently as every 3-4 days or every month. You typically have one over the course of 24-36 hours at or 1.5x your maintenance calorie with a macro % breakdown of 65% carbs, 30% protein, 5% fats (the reverse of a CKD). I've found protein can be SLIGHTLY lower than the recommended 1-1.5g per lb/LBM this day as it is spared from the sudden excess of carbohydrates.

    Martin talks here (http://www.leangains.com/2010/03/int...point-and.html) about how he had regular refeeds (every 3-4 days) in order to replenish leptin and achieve single digit body fat. Some other diets called for carb-ups every week. In Lyle McDonald's Ultimate Diet 2.0, he recommends a 36 hour refeed at 12-16g carbs per kb/LBM. This much larger refeed is needed because during the week, calories are cut to 50% of maintenance and hormones down-regulate a lost faster.

    Check out the link above for a bit more info and http://www.leangains.com/2010/11/che...-hedonist.html in section The Effects of Overfeeding.
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  5. #5
    Registered User asto_86's Avatar
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    Personally, I stick to fruits and veggies, haha.. Bananas, oranges grapefruit, blueberries. And I wouldnt make it a whole day, just the last meal (or 2) of the day. 300-400g would be a good start. The next morning you should look more lean then the morning before, fuller muscles causes this. If you don't you probably had too much and spilled over. Just reduce by 50g's the next time you do it.
    Some other foods if you aren't crazy about fruit, sweet potatoes and oatmeal are great choices. I know it really isn't a cheat eating like that, but I say it's the only way to go if you wanna make serious progress.
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  6. #6
    Registered User Havux's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by YeomenKek View Post
    It's called a refeed, and is by no means a cheat day. The purpose of a carb-up is to replenish leptin, glycogen, up-regulate thyroid and spike insulin. You do not need to be on a VLCKD or low-carb diet to benefit from a refeed as all of these things decrease over time when eating in a caloric deficit no matter what your macronutrient breakdown. Depending on how large your deficit is, and how big you plan your refeed to be, you can benefit from a carb-up as frequently as every 3-4 days or every month. You typically have one over the course of 24-36 hours at or 1.5x your maintenance calorie with a macro % breakdown of 65% carbs, 30% protein, 5% fats (the reverse of a CKD). I've found protein can be SLIGHTLY lower than the recommended 1-1.5g per lb/LBM this day as it is spared from the sudden excess of carbohydrates.

    Martin talks here (http://www.leangains.com/2010/03/int...point-and.html) about how he had regular refeeds (every 3-4 days) in order to replenish leptin and achieve single digit body fat. Some other diets called for carb-ups every week. In Lyle McDonald's Ultimate Diet 2.0, he recommends a 36 hour refeed at 12-16g carbs per kb/LBM. This much larger refeed is needed because during the week, calories are cut to 50% of maintenance and hormones down-regulate a lost faster.

    Check out the link above for a bit more info and http://www.leangains.com/2010/11/che...-hedonist.html in section The Effects of Overfeeding.
    Thanks. I'm new to nutrition so I don't know a lot, but this has helped. I didn't mean cheat day but I wasn't familiar with the refeed term.

    Originally Posted by asto_86 View Post
    Personally, I stick to fruits and veggies, haha.. Bananas, oranges grapefruit, blueberries. And I wouldnt make it a whole day, just the last meal (or 2) of the day. 300-400g would be a good start. The next morning you should look more lean then the morning before, fuller muscles causes this. If you don't you probably had too much and spilled over. Just reduce by 50g's the next time you do it.
    Some other foods if you aren't crazy about fruit, sweet potatoes and oatmeal are great choices. I know it really isn't a cheat eating like that, but I say it's the only way to go if you wanna make serious progress.
    I was reading an article and it suggested refined carbs for quick digestion. Thank you for your answer.
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  7. #7
    Pizzabrah YeomenKek's Avatar
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    ^ Fruits are not ideal for a carb-up as they only restore liver glycogen not muscle glycogen. On a low-carb diet, muscle glycogen is slowly depleted during the week as you workout and starchy carbohydrates are needed during the carb-up to replenish it and restore performance/strength.

    It's expected to gain a lot of water weight during the carb-up stage, but after a day or two you'll return back to normal.
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  8. #8
    Pizzabrah YeomenKek's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Havux View Post
    Thanks. I'm new to nutrition so I don't know a lot, but this has helped. I didn't mean cheat day but I wasn't familiar with the refeed term.



    I was reading an article and it suggested refined carbs for quick digestion. Thank you for your answer.
    No worries, didn't mean to come across as cranky (just woke up and caffeine hasn't kicked in). When I first started dieting I followed a CKD and used the weekend as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted. It was only when I started depleting muscle glycogen and following a more structured refeed did I really start seeing the best results.

    Having something you're really craving throughout the week (cheat meal) on your carb-up will not have much of an impact, however. And if you're eating low-carb during the week, it's usually something carby anyway so it benefits the purpose of the refeed anyway.
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  9. #9
    Registered User asto_86's Avatar
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    Yes it fills liver glycogen, however liver glycogen can be converted to muscle glycogen. It may take longer to restore your muscle glycogen levels, but I would prefer it to take longer if not pwo and it being just a meal
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  10. #10
    Pizzabrah YeomenKek's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by asto_86 View Post
    Yes it fills liver glycogen, however liver glycogen can be converted to muscle glycogen. It may take longer to restore your muscle glycogen levels, but I would prefer it to take longer if not pwo and it being just a meal
    Each to their own. I find after a low-carb phase I don't particularly crave fruits but moreso cereal, oats, sweet potato, etc. Would much rather get my fix from them
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  11. #11
    Registered User asto_86's Avatar
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    Also, fruits are not composed of 100% fructose. The highest fructose containing fruits typically have 4-5 grams of fructose anyway, and fructose can only be stored in the liver. This is one of my favorite articles on fruit...
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/fruit-myths-and-contest-prep.htm

    Well worth the read. My carbs are exclusively from fruit alone, an I've never been better.
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  12. #12
    Registered User Havux's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, this has helped me out.
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