Low/mod carb cycling

valerieuk1708
valerieuk1708 Posts: 90 Member
Iv been trying to cycle carbs for a week now. Typical low carb day would be anything between 40-70g and mod carb day 100-120g. Iv experienced some dull headaches and lose stool (sorry tmi!) but I'm back to normal now. I eat 1500-1600 cal a day and try to hit 140-150g of protein and 70g fat. Lost 5lbs in a week and I suspect a lot of it probably water, although Iv been on MFP since end of April and all together lost 22lbs.

Iv done Atkins before where I went for 20g of net carbs a day and I lost 20lbs in a month but didn't do much research on how to transition into different phase so of course once I stopped I gained all plus some.

I have PCOS and I'm insulin resistant. Trying to lose weight before I can go back to fertility consultant for some help regarding getting pregnant.

Anyone out there in the same situation that can give some advice? I'm scared to go full blown keto because I worry I may not be able to sustain it in the long run.

Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks!



Replies

  • Tara4boys
    Tara4boys Posts: 515 Member
    Valerie - I am IR and PCOS too. I also have Hypothyroid thrown in for extra fun. :-)

    I'm in a similar boat. I feel like I'm in the minority here, but I have no desire to do 20g/day Keto. I don't think that is sustainable FOR ME. I've been doing anywhere from 30-60 carbs per day but don't panic if I'm up to 75 occasionally if I'm eating out or eating at friends houses.

    I think your protein is high. That extra protein is going to be converted to glucose and cause an insulin response which is just like eating extra carbs.

    What I did when I started (about 6 weeks ago) is set my MFP %. At first I started (trying to remember) 25% carb/25% protein/50% fat and after a few days lowered it. Then I went to 20% carb/20% protein/60% fat. Then I lowered to 15% carb/ 20% protein/ 65% fat. Now I think I'm at 10% carb/20% protein/70% fat. I don't always hit it perfectly but I'm close enough and my scale certainly likes it. I find the phone app so much easier than the computer version for tracking %.

    Taking salt has been the biggest difference for me. Anytime I'm feeling not great, I get a small amount of coarse salt (1/4 - 1/2 tsp) and just swallow it like a pill. I'm amazed at how fast it relieves my headache or sluggishness.

    I use a Fitbit and eat back my earned calories. I find on days if I'm not hungry and don't eat my calories that I am STARVING the next day.

    I'm not an expert, but I saw some similarities in our situations and wanted to respond. I have also read a TON on LCHF/Keto and have a good friend that is a Keto-phenomenon that has given me lots of good advice.
  • valerieuk1708
    valerieuk1708 Posts: 90 Member
    Thanks for advice Tara. Iv been reading lots on this matter and yes I think my protein might be too high. I'm going to try and swap it for fat. For years Iv been told to cut fat out and eat fat free foods that it's still somehow embedded in my brain.
    What do you think a good amount of protein would be like in terms of grams or %?

    I'm definitely going to take some salt if I feel headachey or sluggish, damn Pcos alone can make me fatigued and wanting to sleep all day.

    I'm getting Fitbit soon so I can track my activity. I'm very unorganised at exercising, some weeks I can do 3 days at the gym, some weeks I don't go at all (free gym at work so I don't feel obliged like if I was paying for it).

  • LinCharpentier
    LinCharpentier Posts: 1,129 Member
    But use the gym Valerie if you don't use it you may lose it. And the job put something else in it's place. Good luck all.
  • Kdooms5
    Kdooms5 Posts: 16 Member
    Where do your carbs come from? Thinking about transitioning to this lifestyle...
  • dmariet116
    dmariet116 Posts: 530 Member
    Honestly, keto is only difficult in the first week or 2. Now it can have it's ups and downs until you get fully adapted but I truly don't crave carbs at all any more! I crave meat, cheese and eggs. My carbs only come from these sources and greens or low carb veggies of some sort.

    The hardest part for me is getting my electrolytes balanced. I was working 12 hr shifts in a steel mill sweating my butt off and just could not consume enough sodium to get from getting light headed. I was unfortunately laid off so I am finding it much easier now but it still can be a challenge.

    I chose to jump into keto with a 5 day fat fast. I consumed nothing but butter, coconut oil, cream cheese, hwc and avocados. This was not easy... but I struggled less with keto flu than my prior attempt.

    Just follow @Tara4boys advice and change up your macro % slowly to see how you feel. Maybe 15% carbs/25% protein/60% fat. Try it for 2 weeks then try lowering your carbs and upping your fat. 10/25/65. You can tweak the protein % down a little if this still feels ok.
  • valerieuk1708
    valerieuk1708 Posts: 90 Member
    But use the gym Valerie if you don't use it you may lose it. And the job put something else in it's place. Good luck all.
    I work for a spa in a hotel and get a free access to gym/pool so I won't lose it, but I'll try to be more organised and go more often.

    Iv noticed that I'm so hungry after a gym session and I start craving carbs like my life depends on it. That put me off gym a little. I tend to exercise in the evening after work and then come home to eat dinner and I want starch!
  • valerieuk1708
    valerieuk1708 Posts: 90 Member
    dmariet116 wrote: »
    Honestly, keto is only difficult in the first week or 2. Now it can have it's ups and downs until you get fully adapted but I truly don't crave carbs at all any more! I crave meat, cheese and eggs. My carbs only come from these sources and greens or low carb veggies of some sort.

    The hardest part for me is getting my electrolytes balanced. I was working 12 hr shifts in a steel mill sweating my butt off and just could not consume enough sodium to get from getting light headed. I was unfortunately laid off so I am finding it much easier now but it still can be a challenge.

    I chose to jump into keto with a 5 day fat fast. I consumed nothing but butter, coconut oil, cream cheese, hwc and avocados. This was not easy... but I struggled less with keto flu than my prior attempt.

    Just follow @Tara4boys advice and change up your macro % slowly to see how you feel. Maybe 15% carbs/25% protein/60% fat. Try it for 2 weeks then try lowering your carbs and upping your fat. 10/25/65. You can tweak the protein % down a little if this still feels ok.

    I set my macros to 20% carbs, 25% protein and 55% fat to start with and see how it goes. Need to wrap my brain-washed head around the idea that full fat is good and satisfying and won't cause weight gain and will go from there. Will do some shopping tonight and I'm actually looking forward to buy full fat yogurt, avocados and cheese!

    Thanks for support and advice!
  • valerieuk1708
    valerieuk1708 Posts: 90 Member
    Kdooms5 wrote: »
    Where do your carbs come from? Thinking about transitioning to this lifestyle...
    Over the past few days carb would come from veg and fruit, dairy. I haven't had any bread or pasta or rice. I tried to lower my fruit intake (big fruit lover here!) and eat berries etc they are low in carbs.
  • ki4eld
    ki4eld Posts: 1,215 Member
    I've been participating in carb cycling research for 5.5mo now and here are some of the things I've learned...

    1. Carb cycling isn't for the half-azzed keto-er. You either weigh/track every bite every day without fail and without exception or you're just going to screw it up.

    2. Carb cycling doesn't help you lose weight. Jacking around your body with glucose now but not later is essentially keeping your liver in a constant hostage situation.

    3. Carb cycling isn't going to be easy if you have any food triggers. The up-down up-down sets off cravings like mad. I'm Fing white-knuckling it coming off a carb high in these 2 week cycles. Eat. All. The. Things.

    4. Every other week, I spend a week feeling like crap. If I were doing this for bodybuilding competition or something, sure. But to live like this? Oh heck no.

    5. Calorie cycling seems to be much more useful for losing weight. If those cals are from protein and veggie carbs, I can drop 3-6lbs in a week without changing anything else.

    6. Carb cycling isn't going to help anyone with IR-related issues. My IR is back after being very quiet for 18mo on keto and my bg is all over the map too where it was steady before. 18mo of progress down the tubes in 5mo.


    So you can try it if you want, but I really, really don't recommend it. Get into keto, stay there. Sure, test your tolerances, because not everyone needs to live at 20g carbs to remain keto. There's a wide range for some people. Might as well know what your range is. But to be really blunt, if you're IR with PCOS, you can either fix that or eat carbs. I'm not seeing a way to do both and I've been looking for it hard. Really hard.

    1 more cycle to finish the experiment and I'm back to my reasonable keto carbs. Because this is for the Fing birds.
  • valerieuk1708
    valerieuk1708 Posts: 90 Member
    ki4eld wrote: »
    I've been participating in carb cycling research for 5.5mo now and here are some of the things I've learned...

    1. Carb cycling isn't for the half-azzed keto-er. You either weigh/track every bite every day without fail and without exception or you're just going to screw it up.

    2. Carb cycling doesn't help you lose weight. Jacking around your body with glucose now but not later is essentially keeping your liver in a constant hostage situation.

    3. Carb cycling isn't going to be easy if you have any food triggers. The up-down up-down sets off cravings like mad. I'm Fing white-knuckling it coming off a carb high in these 2 week cycles. Eat. All. The. Things.

    4. Every other week, I spend a week feeling like crap. If I were doing this for bodybuilding competition or something, sure. But to live like this? Oh heck no.

    5. Calorie cycling seems to be much more useful for losing weight. If those cals are from protein and veggie carbs, I can drop 3-6lbs in a week without changing anything else.

    6. Carb cycling isn't going to help anyone with IR-related issues. My IR is back after being very quiet for 18mo on keto and my bg is all over the map too where it was steady before. 18mo of progress down the tubes in 5mo.


    So you can try it if you want, but I really, really don't recommend it. Get into keto, stay there. Sure, test your tolerances, because not everyone needs to live at 20g carbs to remain keto. There's a wide range for some people. Might as well know what your range is. But to be really blunt, if you're IR with PCOS, you can either fix that or eat carbs. I'm not seeing a way to do both and I've been looking for it hard. Really hard.

    1 more cycle to finish the experiment and I'm back to my reasonable keto carbs. Because this is for the Fing birds.

    Thanks that's an interesting point. I was wondering if I should try keto strips to test to see at which amount of carbs id be in ketosis, maybe doesn't have to be 20g. Otherwise Iv no idea if I'm in ketosis doing 50g or even 80g as they say we are all different. So I suppose unless I test I won't know, right?

    I've done keto before, went cold turkey doing 20g net carbs a day and did it for a month but then I didn't do it right coz all I ate was meet, cheese, mushrooms, cucumbers etc and it was boring. I survived a whole month, don't even know how.

    I don't want to do something that would not be sustainable in a long term, there are always social situations that require eating carbs and hell im not the most disciplined person.

    At the moment I set up to be under 100g a day, some days less but never more and it seems to be working. I'm curious about finding what amount would throw me in ketosis so I suppose I will give strips a try.