Friday, March 30, 2007

Results from First Month of 2-5 Carb-Cycling

My wife and I have completed our first 4 weeks of a 2-5 carb cycling (2 days high carb followed by 5 days low). I have lost 1.8 pounds and she has lost 2.4. I have also lost another inch around my waist. I'm not sure how many inches she lost this month.

The results of our experiment are still inconclusive. It is clear that we continue losing weight, although it has been a bit slower than before. Now that I have gone through 4 up cycles, my sensitivity to sugar has decreased. Eating desert after dinner does not cause a sugar-rush as it did on "diet vacations" during the straight Atkins style low-carb. This tells me that my metabolism is changing for the better. It took almost 3 months of straight low-carb before I became super sensitive to carbohydrates. So, I can only assume that it will take more than 4 weeks for my metabolism to swing back the other way. For this reason, I believe that we'll have to go a little longer before we have conclusive evidence of whether it works better than long-term Atkins style low-carb dieting.

I have been thinking that the down cycle is too short. It takes 3 days for the weight to drop back down to what it was before the up cycle. This is followed by only 2 days of true weight loss. My wife and I have discussed this and decided to change the cycle lengths. In a couple of weeks, we will switch from a 2-5 cycle to a 3-11 cycle. We will "carb up" every-other weekend (Friday through Sunday). The 11 days in between will be low-carb (me under 45, her under 30). The timing will be such that we will be allowed to eat unlimited carbs Easter weekend and our at our son's first birthday April 20th. I am hoping that the two week cycle is not too long. It's hard to know how to tweak carb-cycling diets as there are so few people trying it that are not super-athletic body builders.

The following are my diet results since August 13th (7 1/2 months). Note that the first 6 1/2 months were roughly based on diets such as Atkins and Protein Power Plan. Only the last month has been while carb-cycling.

Detailed stats (end of week 32):

Total Weight: From 336.0 to 262.8, 73.2 pounds lost
Pounds of Fat: From 123.8 to 65.8
Lean Body Wt. From 212.2 to 197.0
Est. Body Fat: From 36.9% to 25.0%
Waist: From 56.5 to 47.0 inches, 9.5 inches
Hips: From 54.5 to 48.5 inches, 6 inches

Personal reflection:

If even after tweaking the diet, we continue to lose only 1 to 3 pounds a month, we will likely stick with carb-cycling. So far, this has been much slower than the rate of weight loss that we experienced on straight low-carb, but it makes it easier to occasionally enjoy the foods we like. I think I'd rather go slow and feel satisfied than go fast and do completely without certain favorite foods like pizza, pasta, doughnuts, etc.

1 comment:

mclukey said...

I have been following your journey. I too have tried this carb-cycling. I am going to follow the carb up every 2 weeks and do it on fri-sat. Best of luck to you both. Your recipes are awesome!