Carb Nite Solution Results After 10 Weeks

Carb Night Solution

Carb Nite Solution Results After 10 Weeks

Here is the 10 week update from my experiment with the Carb Nite Solution (check out my book review), which is essentially a variation on a cyclic ketogenic diet.  The basic idea is to eat ultra low carb (less than 30 gm) to induce ketosis which primes your body to burn fat while preserving muscle.  Then on one day of the week, during a 6-8 hr window in the evening, load up on a massive amount of high glycemic index carbs.  This will incite a large insulin spike which tells the body that there is plenty of food around, preventing the typical down-regulation of metabolism seen in starvation.

You can read about results after 4 weeks here.  I’ve also included the initial parameters of this experiment below.

OBJECTIVE:

Continue to burn fat while preserving muscle mass.

METHOD:

  • Follow the Carb Nite Solution as rigorously as possible
  • At the same time, use paleo and primal principles (eating whole foods, avoiding wheat products, legumes, vegetable oils, processed foods etc).
  • On Carb Nites, primarily use safe starches such as rice, potatoes, and sweet potatoes as my source of carbohydrates.

SUPPLEMENTS:

*As you can see, I’m a big fan of Dave Asprey the Bullet Proof Executive and Mark Sisson.

**I take some of these daily and some off and on depending on whether or not I’m on the road or working a graveyard shift

BIOMARKERS:

  • Daily AM Blood Ketones
  • Daily AM Fasting Blood Glucose
  • Daily AM Weight
  • Daily AM Basal Temperature
  • Weekly Abdominal Circumference Measurements

TOOLS:

EXERCISE:

  • Crossfit or weight lifting 1-2 times per week
  • BJJ 2-3 times per week
  • Walking or slow jogging at least 10,000 steps (~5 miles) per day.

CARB NITE SOLUTION RESULTS AFTER 10 WEEKS:

Carb Night 10 Weeks 2

Carb Night 10 Weeks

CHANGES:

I implemented 3 main changes compared to the start of the exam.

1. Added a Second Carb Nite Every Week

You can see that beginning with week 8, I started doing more than one Carb Nite per week.  By this point, the BJJ Cavewife was getting tired of seeing the prurigo pigmentosa keto rash on me, so I decided to mitigate the rash by increasing my exposure to carbs and therefore insulin.  It actually worked, but I’ll write about my keto rash observations in a separate post.  Now John Kiefer actually recommends that if you consider doing more than one Carb Nite per week, to space them out at least 4 days apart so you can maximize your time in ketosis, therefore optimizing the time you’re burning fat.

This is where I failed at following the Carb Nite Protocol.  Week 8 was the week of Thanksgiving and I had already planned to make the Tuesday before my first Carb Nite.  Thanksgiving was supposed to be my second and final Carb NIte of the week because I was DEFINITELY going to have a bit of everything on the dining table… especially with multiple helpings of dessert!  The third Carb Nite came about because I just fell off the wagon.  I went to a friend’s Thanksgiving left over party, fully committed to avoiding all carbs, when someone brought over their famous home baked cookies and BOOM… I fell hard off the wagon and had an impromptu Carb Nite.

During week 9 I actually had two consecutive Carb Nites to see the effects on my prurigo pigmentosa keto rash, which I’ll write about in a separate post.

2. Stopped Taking AM Basal Temperatures

I also stopped taking my AM Basal temperatures because I kept forgetting to do it and when I looked over the data, I saw that it didn’t really vary too much.  I concluded that it wasn’t really a worthwhile metric to continue collecting.

3. More Inconsistent Use of Supplements

Since I was on the road a little more during this period, my supplement intake was also much more sporadic compared to the start of the experiment.  At times I went full weeks without taking certain supplements.

WEIGHT:

Again, my weight didn’t vary too much on the days after the Carb Nites.  At the beginning of Week 7, I was surprised that my weight didn’t change at all despite everything I ate, and on the morning after Thanksgiving, I couldn’t believe that I actually LOST weight!  The most drastic weight gain came at the end of Week 7 when I gained 3.2 lbs, although the following day I lost 3.4 lbs, confirming that it was all water weight.

I weighed 186.4 lbs when I began this experiment on 10/8/2013 and at the end of 4 weeks, my weight was 183.4 lbs.  At the end of 10 weeks, on the final Carb Nite on 12/14/2013 I weighed 184.0 lbs.  I lost a total of 2.4 lbs from the start and gained 0.6 lbs from 4 week mark.  At first glance, this isn’t very impressive, but when we look at my abdominal circumference measurements below the benefits become more telling.

AM BLOOD KETONES:

The ability to measure my blood ketones was extremely helpful, especially when trying to time when to do the second Carb Nite.  Seeing that my blood ketones are elevated confirms that I’m doing things correctly and actually eating low enough carbs.  After 2-3 days of this I can then do my second Carb Nite.  When I do happen to eat carbs, whether accidentally (as with Nyquil) or on purpose (Thanksgiving), I can see my ketone levels drop way down, out of the ketogenic range, letting me know that I need to cut my carbs again.

Throughout all 10 weeks, I was pleased to see that I consistently got back into ketosis after 2-3 days, especially after the massive amount of carbs I’d eat.  The only week I had a little trouble was during week 6 which was when I was little under the weather and took some liquid Nyquil which I didn’t realize contains about 19 gm of carbs.

I remember when I was doing my original Nutritional Ketosis experiment, I treated ketosis like a very delicate flower.  I had to be militant about keeping my carb intake low.  I would actually feel guilty when I slipped and ate too many carbs because according to Volek and Phinney in The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance, the book that first got me interested in all of this, even one spike of insulin could kick you out of ketosis for up to 2 weeks.

This clearly isn’t the case for me at this point in time.  Maybe it’s because I’ve already become ketoadapted for so long that my metabolism has developed the capacity for more ‘wiggle room’ when I actually do eat carbs.  Or because this diet calls for consumption of less than 30 gm of carbs while Volek and Phinney recommended eating less than 50 gm.  In any case, it’s comforting to know that on days when I fall off the wagon, it doesn’t take me too long to get back on again.

AM FASTING BLOOD GLUCOSE:

These consistently stayed in the low 80s to high 70s when I was in ketosis and would spike up to the 90s and even got to 101 at one point on the days following my Carb Nites.  No surprises here.

ABDOMINAL CIRCUMFERENCE:

At the start of this experiment, my abdominal circumference measured 35.5 inches.  At the end of 10 weeks, it measured 33.75 inches.  This was a loss in 1.75 inches DESPITE only losing a total of 2.4 lbs indicating an overall loss of body fat.  My clothes feel much looser now compared to the beginning which confirms this.

DISCUSSION:

After 10 weeks and a loss of 1.75 inches in my abdominal circumference, I can say without a doubt that this method is effective.  It is also far easier to adhere to this with built in carb cheat days as opposed to trying to stay in ketosis indefinitely.

I’m actually very used to eating ultra low carb now and actually view it as normal.  I remember struggling a lot more with this when I was doing nutritional ketosis before, trying to keep track of every gm of carb I ate and agonizing over hidden carbs and worrying about eating items with no available nutritional info.  It’s now second nature to me.

In terms of my appetite, I’ve found that it’s been pretty blunted.  Many days I can go a full 16 hours without eating, or only having a bulletproof coffee without any hunger pangs.  In fact I’m a little concerned that I may be TOO hypo caloric.  I try my best to really go all out on the Carb Nites, but there is only so much I can put down before getting disgustingly full.

Again, as I perviously mentioned… Carb Nites made me gassy!  Very very gassy.

I’m definitely interested to see how eating this way affects my thyroid hormone levels.  Being in nutritional ketosis for a prolonged period of time suppressed my thyroid hormone production, which then caused an elevation in my LDL cholesterol.  The addition of the 1-2 days of carb loading is theoretically supposed to prevent this from happening.  Since the company through which I normally order tests through is offering a discount, I went ahead and ordered a full thyroid panel and NMR Lipoprofile amongst other things which I’ll be sure to post about.

With regard to my energy level I noticed that I just felt better during intense workouts on the 1 or 2 days following the Carb Nites when my glycogen stores were replenished.  Having more than one Carb Nites in a week really allowed me to get in a couple extra sessions of high intensity activity throughout the week.  I definitely didn’t gas out as much when I was sparring in BJJ… whereas when I trained on days I was in ketosis I gassed out much earlier.  I didn’t notice this difference during low intensity activity like walking, slow jogging, or light BJJ.

THE END… FOR NOW:

The BJJ Cavewife and I are actually going on vacation for a few weeks to Italy, so at least for now, this experiment will be put on hiatus since we definitely plan on indulging in as much native Italian cuisine as possible while we’re over there.

I do feel confident that this is a diet that I can resume when I return as an effective way to burn fat.  Hopefully I can start where I left off and get myself well below 27% body fat!

UPDATE:

Here are links to my blood tests after following the Carb Nite Solution for 10 weeks:

20 Responses to Carb Nite Solution Results After 10 Weeks

  1. Mike says:

    Your results seem ok, but no weight loss at all seems odd, unless your tracking muscle and body comp closely. Are you even tracking bodyfat% with a scale? I wish you could prove you have swapped fat for muscle somehow to explain the weight staying the same.

    1.75″ off the waist seems compelling, congrats. I see a gaping problem with this Carb Nite idea. Your ketone levels are barely high enough and then Carb Nite flattens them.

    I have just started this diet myself, but looking at your ketone numbers makes me really doubt Keifer’s magical claims about this diet. It certainly looks like mild ketosis at best.

  2. Mike says:

    I am on day 7 restricting carbs to well under 50 g a day. My 2.5 hour recurring hunger issue was greatly blunted by day 2. This alone would be worth restricting carbs in the morning and noon time forever.

    I will get a blood ketone meter for sure. If I cannot reliably get 1.0+ on the meter, I do not think Carb Nite is going to do a lot?

    • BJJ Caveman says:

      Congrats on hitting day 7. I kept feeling the hunger thing well into 2-3 weeks of my first ketosis experiment.

      I hope you have better luck than me in trying to get your ketones higher.

      When I had ketone envy before I was always disappointed when my ketones wouldn’t get as high as others… but the more I read the more I see that people still aren’t sure if higher ketones = higher fat burning yet. If you’ve found anything to support this, I’d love to read it.

      • Mike says:

        John Keifer and Dr. Rocky Patel did a podcast with Jimmy Moore. Ask the Low Carb Experts #45. It is very interesting and they address the high protein low ketone question in the middle of it. Also, Rocky Patel is apparently on Carb Nite himself for 2 years now. I tend to listen to a doctor, who is actually trying a program himself.

        Rocky is also using this with his patients. He is seeing incredible results in fat loss, hormonal improvements and insulin resistance in his patients on Carb Nite. He is eager to release clinical results with Keifer involved.

        Could it all be a marketing scheme? Sure. But maybe not. John Keifer does reiterate the ultra importance of the weekly insulin spike to keep fat burning hormones at normal levels. Apparently they regulate downwards on long term keto diets.

        That being said, I am going to read your blog about keto and thyroid now.

        • BJJ Caveman says:

          Yup! It was that same podcast that turned me onto this in the first place.

          Kiefer also recently went on a podcast with robb wolf.

          • Mike says:

            Yes, I checked out the Robb Wolf one as well. I guess I wanted to hear this guy speak before “buying” into his book. The Jimmy Moore podcast was chock full of information. I see one possible issue with only getting low ketosis is high blood sugar levels. Also, if a person has a lot of fat to lose, the glycerol causes the blood sugar to remain elevated and ketones depressed during the release of fat.

            I “want to believe” that a CKD is what I need. It seems I always can lose weight, but my damn BF% never changes. Ketone meter and strips are ordered, next up I think I am going to get a hormonal panel done to see if I have issues somewhere. I am carrying an unreal amount of fat in mid-section for someone at about 220 pounds.

          • BJJ Caveman says:

            Kiefer also has a couple of YouTube videos I found helpful

          • mike says:

            Really getting pissed off. Athlete.io forums for Carb Nite does not send a confirmation email for over a week now and two attempts. The forum there looks dead, but I do have questions. Keifer is on podcasts bad rapping fasting, but he has written articles saying ALWAYS SKIP BREAKFAST??? WTF?

            Specifically he said do not go more than 12 hours without eating. He also does not seem to address the insulin response to a protein only breakfast.

            It also appears he eats 6 meals a day? WTF is that all about? That’s Bro-science from way back…what gives?

            Specifically, I want to know what someone who is 221 pounds at 38.8% body fat is supposed to do…skip breakfast or not? I know intermittent fasting works for some who are already below 10% and trying to get to 5%, but I also know it did not work for Keifer at all and I know it may be completely forbidden for someone like me and my situation.

          • BJJ Caveman says:

            Ya. Frustrating when you get different pieces of information like that. Only way to figure it out is to try it out for yourself.

            2-4 weeks with IF and 2-4 weeks without IF and compare how things go…

  3. Dale says:

    I appreciate the awesome write-ups of your n=1′s!

    The results that I was able to get on my ketone meter never got above 0.8, but I was able to reduce quite a bit of body fat and some weight (based only on 3 skinfold measurements and one of those formulas). I’d call my diet technique “accidental carb night”, hehe. But like you, I find it very easy to comply with VLC hunger-wise, but when I’m out of the house, the temptations become too great (beer is my downfall).

    I found myself wondering which week you had your body composition test. I guess Italy will be between that and your next test, but I’d say just enjoy your trip!

    • BJJ Caveman says:

      The DEXA happened during week 7!
      I also got a few other tests during week 7 that I hope to write about:

      Resting metabolic Rate
      and
      VO2 Max

  4. Justin says:

    Is a higher blood glucose the day after carbnite the expected response?

    My FBG seems to be 5-10mg/dL lower than normal FBG on the day after a big refeed.

  5. N says:

    BJJ Caveman,
    What about your carb intake during CarbniteSulution, did you change it at all? Kiefer recommends below 30 grams a day except of course the carb nite.

    • BJJ Caveman says:

      I tried my best to keep it under 30 gms / day.

      In retrospect I didn’t really do a good job of it. I’m tracking my food intake now with my fitness pal, and can say for sure that I was over 30 gms before.

      • lavette says:

        Do you have any before and after pics? Your log is very interesting. My husband has been doing this for three weeks but has not lost ANY weight. On the other hand, hes lost about a half inch from his waist BUT hes not working out so its hard to say its because hes gaining muscles as the reason for him not losing weight so far. Why do u figure? Also, do you have any updates since your trip.

        • BJJ Caveman says:

          This is as close to a before pic as I have.

          The after pic wouldn’t have shown much difference. Since I only lost 2.4 lbs and 1.75 inches off my abdomen, I don’t think this was a significant enough change to cause any visible difference. Still no six pack!

          Good on your husband btw. Tell him to keep it up. His weight can be stable because he’s retaining water from carb nites, depending no when he’s weighing himself. Can’t think of any other reasons off hand as to why his weight isn’t budging… maybe he’s more active and just doesn’t realize it?

          After my trip, i’ve been experimenting with carb back-loading, and will soon post an update.

  6. mike says:

    Carb Nite results 3 months via Dexa scan

    Just under 4% change in body comp following a “bare minimum” program.
    Carb Nite
    Body By Science workout 1 time a week
    Walking at 130 heart rate for 30 minutes “occasionally” not regularly.

    Well, this has been a good learning experience.
    Scale at home says I lost 15.5 pounds, but somehow bio-impedance was saying 23 pounds of fat loss. I knew I did not gain 5 to 8 pounds of muscle, since Carb Nite is not about building muscle.

    Dexa confirmed just under 14 pounds of fat loss and a .7 pound of lean mass loss. So, not bad, not great. My goal was to lose no lean mass.

    Looking at the numbers, they appear to back exactly what Carb Nite claims. A ketogenic diet targets fat loss with minimal muscle loss by sparing and recycling protein eficiently.

    If you look at the ratios of 13+ pounds fat vs. a loss .7 pound lean – I am very happy with that. I will gladly give up 13+ pounds of fat for .7 lean.

    My next three month goal is to lose ZERO lean and surpass 14 pounds of fat loss this time around. I plan to walk regularly, every other day. I will also add one to two short bodyweight resistance sessions a week. I will also try and increase protein intake slightly, perhaps averaging 120 grams vs. 90 grams daily.

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