Monday, February 19, 2007

Travel & Carb-Cycling Diets

I am back on the road this week. For lunch, I had a great gyros & chicken salad. It's my favorite quick low-carb lunch in Nashville. Tomorrow, I'll be in a catered business lunch. I have no way of knowing if there will be anything I can eat until I see what they've brought in. In the past it's been quiche, pizza, ribs, fajitas, & sandwiches. I wonder if I'll have to go hungry...

I've been thinking more about switching to carb-cycling. My body has adjusted to the low-carb diet. I am lucky if I am losing 5 pounds a month. This is not a bad rate but so disappointing compared to the rapid weight loss encountered during the first 3 or 4 months on the diet. I've noticed that my body is now super sensitive to carbs now. A couple of weeks ago, on my planned day off of the diet, I had some birthday cake. This gave me a sugar rush followed by a low-energy crash. I was never sensitive to sugar before going low-carb. I think this shows how my body has begun to process carbs more efficiently than before. I am hoping that carb-cycling (period of low-carb alternating with period of high-carb) might protect my body from developing a tolerance to the low-carb diet.

I am planning on doing a one-month experiment with carb-cycling in March. But, I have not determined the best carb levels nor how long the cycles should be. In my last post on this topic, I was leaning toward alternating between low-carb (30 ecc per day) and maintenance level (90-120 ecc per day). But, I'm wondering if the maintenance level is high enough carbs to shock my body out of it's sugar sensitivity & it's tolerance to low-carb. I'm wondering if I might not have to bump it up to the 250 - 350 net carb range (close to the gov't recommended carb intake for my size and sex). This is a bit scary as it's 10 times the daily carbs that my body has become accustomed to. And, I've still not figured out the ideal lengths of the cycles. I'm leaning toward weekdays low-carb and weekends high. But I'm not sure if it's a long enough stretch of high-carb to make a difference. I have also considered staying low-carb until I weigh the same two or three days in a row then starting a high-carb cycle. But, since my wife is also dieting with me, out cycles would likely not be in synch. So the weekday/weekend cycles seem the most easily managed together. Once again, I re-iterate that this is an experiment. If I don't continue to lose at least 5 pounds a month doing the carb-cycling, I am going back to Atkins/Protein Power.

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