Carb Nite Redux Week 1

Carb Night Redux Week 1

Introduction

Exactly 1 year ago I had just come across Kiefer’s Carb Nite and was so inspired that I designed an n=1 experiment and followed it for 10 weeks.  When I began the experiment I weighed 185.6 lbs and my abdominal circumference measured 35.5 inches.  At the end of the 10 weeks I weighed 184 lbs and my abdominal circumference was 33.75 inches.

A few months later I devoured Kiefer’s Carb Back-Loading 1.0 and again was so inspired that I adopted it for 14 weeks.  At the beginning of this experiment I weighed 192 lbs with an abdominal circumference of 35.25 inches.  At the end I weighed 189.6 lbs and my abdominal circumference was 34.25 inches.

This was followed by my attempted mixed Carb Nite and Carb Back-Loading experiment, when I began at 189.6 lbs and 34.5 inches and embarrassingly got a fatter after 8 weeks, weighing 191.6 lbs with an abdominal circumference of 34.75 inches.

Most recently, as I wrote in the Carb Nite Redux Preface, the BJJ Cavewife and I traveled to Europe and ate lots of delicious food… and here I am… weighing 197.4 lbs with an abdominal circumference of 36 inches!

I’ve steadily gotten fatter in the past 12 months and I’m committed to drawing a line in the sand here.

Why Carb Nite?

I’ve chosen Carb Nite as my template because of everything I’ve tried in the past, it was the easiest and most enjoyable for me to follow.

For me, I think strict nutritional ketosis is too restrictive.  I know I need to have a treat every now and then, and I believe in both Kiefer and Tim Ferriss research showing that the body does need an occasional jolt of carbs and calories to prevent the body from slowing down its metabolism.

I don’t think Carb Back-Loading is appropriate for me for a few reasons:

  1. I’m not an athlete:  I don’t think I train hard enough.  Kiefer himself has said that it’s most appropriate for body-builders, power-lifters, MMA fighters… and basically folks that are actual atheltes.  I’m just an average joe that likes to pretend that I’m an athlete every now and then.
  2. Too much temptation:  Following a program that encourages eating carbs after every workout makes it too easy for my inner fat kid to go nuts.  Trying to only eat 75-100 gm of carbs quickly spirals out of control to 300-400 gm when I want “just one more taste” of whatever junk I’m eating.

Following the Carb Nite template of going low carb during the week and eating carbs for one afternoon and evening during the weekend is something I can do… and it gives me something to look forward to during the week.

Tracking

Since I seem to do the best when I’m tracking things, I’ll be tracking:

  • Weight
  • Abdominal Circumference
  • AM Blood Ketones
  • AM Blood Glucose
  • PM Blood Ketones
  • PM Blood Ketones
  • Food eaten

Supplements and Tools

You can read about all of my favorite tools and primary supplement stack on my favorite tools page.

Here is a list of the supplements I’m adding to my current regimen.

Thorne FX Amino ComplexEXOS Fuel Amino Complex - This is a blend of amino acids high in branched chain amino acids. I planned to take this post-workout. I reasoned that since my body wouldn't need to digest these further (since amino acids are the basic components of proteins), these would be absorbed rapidly and could be used to build muscle and speed recovery after a work out. I was also reassured since this is something Ben Greenfield uses and stands by.
Thorne FX Multi AM:PM ComplexEXOS Fuel Multivitamin Elite - This is a new multivitamin that I wanted to try because I also heard great things about this from Ben Greenfield. He's had a couple of podcasts where he talks about this and gives rave reviews. One reason I like it is that on top of the full spectrum of vitamins it contains, it also includes the EXOS Curcumin Phytosome in the AM pills and the EXOS Relora in the PM pills (you can read more about my thoughts on Relora here). The main drawback of this that I've found so far is the sheer number of pills... 3 in the morning and 3 in the evening.
T3FuelT3 Fuel - This is part of Kiefer's line of supplements along with Carb Shock. I figured that since I've had thyroid issues in the past and have a persistently elevated Reverse T3, I'd give this a shot and see how it goes. It's a blend of Potassium Iodide, Magnesium Citrate, Zinc Sulfate, Selenium as L-Selenomethionine, Watermelon fruit extract, Resveratrol, L-Tyrosine, and L-Carnitine.
SerrapeptaseDoctor's Best Serrapeptase - This is an enzyme derived from silk worms that is used to breakdown non-living tissue in the body, like scar tissue. People have reported success in breaking down adhesions and scars in their bodies with this, so I was curious to see if this would help with some of the micro-adhesions that can develop and cause stiffness in my muscles after my workouts.

Of course I’ll be tracking everything I’m eating on myfitnesspal.com.  Feel free to add me as a friend if you want to see exactly what I ate.

I’ll also be continuing to track the correlation between blood ketones and the Ketonix Sport and Ketonix Standard, so you’ll see references to these every now and then.  I promise I’ll do a full Ketonix Sport Review post separately.

WEEK 1

10/17/14

Weight: 197.4 lbs
Abdominal Circumference: 36 in
Carbs: 48 gm
Fat: 154 gm
Protein: 103 gm
Calories: 1954
AM Blood Glucose: 93
AM Blood Ketones:
PM Blood Glucose:
PM Blood Ketones:
Exercise: Walked and lightly jogged

Notes:

Bad starting point after month of travel and letting things go.  My inner fat kid came out… and has managed to become an outter fat kid.  Jeans that were one baggy are now tight!  Time to get serious.  Always curious that despite eating a total of 48 gm of carbs, 13 gm were from leafy greens, 10 gm from athletic greens, and 4 gm from tomatoes, so my total non vegetable related carbs is actually 21 gm.

Didn’t start measuring ketones quite yet since I know that I’m not in ketosis.

10/18/14

Weight: 195.6 lbs
Abdominal Circumference: 36 in
Carbs: 43 gm
Fat: 171 gm
Protein: 90 gm
Calories: 2046
AM Blood Glucose: 91
AM Blood Ketones:
PM Blood Glucose:
PM Blood Ketones:
Exercise: Overhead Press 110 lbs 5×5, Barbell Row 155 lbs 2×5, Benchpress 205 lbs 3×5, Lat Pull-downs

Notes:

The keto-rash appeared in the afternoon… which means I’m in ketosis!  Didn’t do Stronglifts because I did legs a few days back.  Focused on upper body today.

10/19/14

Weight: 196.7 lbs
Abdominal Circumference: 36 in
Carbs: 42 gm
Fat: 177 gm
Protein: 101 gm
Calories: 2214
AM Blood Glucose: 95
AM Blood Ketones: 0.6
PM Blood Glucose: 98
PM Blood Ketones: 0.4
Exercise: Walked 2.5 miles.

Notes:

Rash getting darker.  PM blood glucose and blood ketones were measured 2 hrs after finishing dinner, and 1 hr after 2.5 mile walk.  I expected the ketones to be higher and blood sugar to be lower, but forgot to consider effects of recent dinner.  Started my first dose of doxycycline for the rash today.

10/20/14

Weight: 196.4 lbs
Abdominal Circumference: 36 in
Carbs: 60 gm
Fat: 208 gm
Protein: 81 gm
Calories: 2364
AM Blood Glucose: 97
AM Blood Ketones: 0.6
PM Blood Glucose: 89
PM Blood Ketones: 2.2
Exercise:

Notes:

Second dose of doxycycline, caused a little GI upset when taken on empty stomach in the morning. Rash already starting to fade! Surprised by how many carbs are in Piada sundried tomatoes!  How bout those PM blood ketones?  Tells me I’m doing a good job with the macros and that the carbs in the sundried tomatoes didn’t screw things up.

10/21/14

Weight: 196.4 lbs
Abdominal Circumference:
Carbs: 43 gm
Fat: 187 gm
Protein: 135 gm
Calories: 2433
AM Blood Glucose: 96
AM Blood Ketones: 0.4
PM Blood Glucose: 97
PM Blood Ketones: 0.2
Exercise:

Notes:

Interesting that despite my blood ketones last nite being 2.2, they dropped back down to 0.4 today. I guess that’s the circadian rhythm cortisol spike that occurs upon waking that’s occurring. The Ketonix sport however has gone UP to Red x 2 from Red x 1, probably indicating that my body is still in deep ketosis, despite being so low this morning. Also, it looks as if the rash is almost gone. The doxycycline works fast!

Explanation for PM Blood Glucose 97 and PM Blood Ketones 0.2 is probably due to the teriyaki chicken I ate.  I think it may have been the hidden sugar in the teriyaki sauce and/or the huge protein load from the 72 gm of protein in the monster pieces of teriyaki chicken that pushed my sugars so high and depressed my ketones.

10/22/14

Weight: 195.8 lbs
Abdominal Circumference:
Carbs: 63 gm
Fat: 229 gm
Protein: 100 gm
Calories: 2661
AM Blood Glucose: 93
AM Blood Ketones: 0.4
PM Blood Glucose: 90
PM Blood Ketones: 1.7
Exercise: Walked 2.25 miles

Notes:

Rash continuing to fade. Again felt a little upset stomach after dose of doxycycline after taking it in the morning on an empty stomach.  Forgot how calorically dense those Maggiano’s sausages are.  I have a weak spot for Italian sausages though, yum.  Despite eating total carbs of 63 gm, ketones were back up to 1.7 in the evening.

10/23/14

Weight: 195.6 lbs
Abdominal Circumference: 35.75 in
Carbs: 23 gm
Fat: 237 gm
Protein: 152 gm
Calories: 2815
AM Blood Glucose: 96
AM Blood Ketones: 0.6
PM Blood Glucose: 93
PM Blood Ketones: 1.4
Exercise: Backsquat 255 lbs 5×5, Deadlift 215 lbs 5×5, Overhead press 110 lbs 5×5, Barbell row 155 lbs 5×5, Benchpress 215 lbs 3×5

Notes:

Rash all gone, only some residual hyperpigmentation left, after only 5 doses. Was fasting all morning because of a blood draw (will go into results on a separate post). Ended up going straight to the gym after the blood draw. Had some of the Thorne Amino Complex pre-workout, but that’s it. I was expecting to hit the wall or even get light headed during the weightlifting because of the lack of food AND all the blood they took from me (6 tubes worth!), but I ended up having a great workout! I wonder if it’s the Amino Complex?

10/24/14

Weight: 195.8 lbs
Abdominal Circumference:
Carbs: 24 gm
Fat: 167 gm
Protein: 87 gm
Calories: 1976
AM Blood Glucose: 97
AM Blood Ketones: 0.6
PM Blood Glucose: 95
PM Blood Ketones: 0.6
Exercise: Walked 2.75 miles

Notes:

Got off a 7p-7am shift. Sleep schedule off, only had 5:45 hrs sleep. Today was day 6 of Doxycycline. No upset stomach when taken a few hours after meal. Seems to be worse when I take it on empty stomach, first thing in the morning.  Not sure where the PM numbers came from.

10/25/14

Weight: 196.4 lbs
Abdominal Circumference:
Carbs: 104 gm
Fat: 175 gm
Protein: 154 gm
Calories: 2586
AM Blood Glucose: 92
AM Blood Ketones: 1.0
PM Blood Glucose: 95
PM Blood Ketones: 0.4
Exercise: Walked 1 mile

Notes:

Only got 5 hours sleep. Shift work really screwing my sleep schedule up this week. Felt like a zombie all day. Didn’t get much time on the treadmill. Ate too many carbs at lunch which is probably why my blood ketones went down in the evening… didn’t realize there were so many carbs in BBQ Baby Back Ribs… I always seem to forget about the amount of sugar in the sauce! Oh well… tasted delicious! PM BG 95 and PM BK 0.4. Both Ketonix remained red.

10/26/14

Weight: 196.2 lbs
Abdominal Circumference: 35.75
Carbs: 41 gm
Fat: 173 gm
Protein: 83 gm
Calories: 2041
AM Blood Glucose: 94
AM Blood Ketones: 0.6
PM Blood Glucose: 100
PM Blood Ketones: 0.4
Exercise: Walked 2.5 miles

Notes:

Day 8 of taking Doxycycline. Starting to wonder how my gut biome is doing with all this. PM BG 100 and PM BK 0.4. Both Ketonix standard and sport are now yellow, telling me that lower acetone production compared to earlier today and past few days! Looks like I’m still paying the price for the Baby back ribs from yesterday!

Thoughts

I’ll do a complete write up at the 4 week mark.  I wanted this first week (actually 10 days) to be the induction period and meant to be ultra low carb the entire time.  I think I was pretty successful in achieving this as evidenced by my blood ketone readings despite a few accidentally ingested hidden carbs… need to watch out for those sauces!!

Let’s see what happens next week after the first Carb Nite…

9 Responses to Carb Nite Redux Week 1

  1. NRC says:

    Good luck. Just wondering why you’re not tracking body fat %?

    • BJJ Caveman says:

      I’m using the abdominal circumference as a surrogate for body fat.

      I have one of those body fat bioelectrical impedance things on my scale, but it goes all over the place and is super inaccurate.

      If I can show that my abdominal circumference comes down… then no matter what happens with my weight, I can reliably say that I’m losing body fat.

      • Hemming says:

        How much is a DEXA scan in the US? It would be really interesting to also get that perspective on your n=1. When are you getting your blood work done the next time?

        Have you ever tired pine pollen powder to boost testosterone to gain muscle and lean out? I’ve only been doing it for a week but it definitely has an effect morning wood 🙂

        • BJJ Caveman says:

          DEXAs are anywhere from $50 – $400, depending on where you go.

          When I got my DEXA done at a University it was $50. When I looked around at private practices it was around $200 ish…

          I just recently go my blood work done.. and am planning to write a series of posts on them. Should be up in the next 2-3 weeks!

          Have not heard of pine pollen powder! Can you send me some of the info you have on it? I’m curious about it now.. 🙂

          • Hemming says:

            I first read about it here http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/2014/10/best-supplements-foods-increase-sexual-performance/ . Then I ordered some at http://www.rawforestfoods.com/ (I ordered the extract powder. Apparently the powder and extract is not exactly the same although I haven’t been able to get a straight answer of the differences) . So far it feels like it has an effect on energy and erectile function. It’s a little harder to gauge muscle gain/fat loss but it I do think I look slightly leaner on the stomach while muscle mass is unchanged.
            It seems like there is a lot anecdotal evidence and not much (any) scientific.

            Man, $50 for a DEXA scan… that’s so unfair!

            I’m really looking forward to seeing the next round of blood work!

          • BJJ Caveman says:

            Wow… that certainly is a ringing endorsement for pine pollen…

            Might just have to add it to my list of supplements to try out!

            Yeah, I felt pretty lucky that I was able to find that DEXA for such a reasonable price!

            Where are you currently located? How much are they for you?

          • Hemming says:

            If you do a thyroid panel too it would be really interesting to see if it can boost your testosterone.
            Now that I’ve been using it for a little longer I’ve found that if I take it before bedtime I’ll dream of women have my share of night wood (not wet dreams). My mood/energy/drive/strength is also higher the following day.

            I live in Denmark so getting a DEXA is more or less impossible unless you’re being checked for osteoporosis. I still haven’t found a place where I could just show up and get a scan done. Medical tests in Denmark are stupidly expensive. Just getting a standard cholesterol panel or thyroid is something like $500-1000.

          • BJJ Caveman says:

            Can’t believe DEXA’s are so expensive in Denmark… I thought I read an article somewhere about how Denmark is so much better than the US in almost everything.. education, healthcare, mortality…

            I guess the good ole US of A wins when it comes to the cost of DEXAs!

            “If you do a thyroid panel too it would be really interesting to see if it can boost your testosterone.”

            Are you talking about the pine pollen? or the T3Fuel?

          • Hemming says:

            I would more say ‘impossible to get’ rather than expensive 🙂 In Denmark almost all of the healthcare is run and funded by the government so in that way everyone has access to it but it becomes stupidly expensive if you want tests etc. done yourself. I do have an insurance via my work which makes me able to get into treatment very quickly on private hospitals.

            USA wins on a lot of things! Everything is cheaper and more liberalised. There are pros and cons of both models. I’m more of a fan of the American 🙂

            Actually both. I would like to see if both of them are able to boost testosterone.

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