Low Carb Bodybuilding

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Low Carb Diet and Bodybuilding

low carb diet bodybuilding

Is a low carb diet good for bodybuilding?

I've noticed a lot of questions, peeves, and adulation of the low-carb diets. Having eaten
low-carb for 15 years, I thought I'd give my two-cents worth and try to respond to some of the
questions I see appearing over and over again.

Why do you eat low-carb?

Simple. I have to. I find whenever I eat too many carbs (what most people would consider
healthy or normal), my blood sugar becomes extremely unstable (I'm hypoglycemic) and I
get fatter and fatter. When my blood sugar crashes, I REALLY crash: tremors, stuttering,
sobbing, the whole bit.

I lost 50 lbs. on the Atkins diet in high school. As a bodybuilder, I find that low-carb dieting spares more muscle and burns more fat than low-fat dieting.

I tried swiching to low-carb, but I felt terrible and craved carbs!

I think there are two causes for this:
1) Some people's bodies take longer to switch over to fat
burning mode than others. Most people I know make the transition in 3 days, but I've seen
others take as long as 6 days.
2) The other reason someone might be feeling this way is that they haven't taken their carb
intake down low enough. Consequently, their body is never really forced to burn fat, and
instead, goes starving from lack of carbs. If you're doing this for fat loss, you'll probably
need to enter ketosis before your body stops fighting. If you're craving carbs, you're
probably not in ketosis. Most people (including me) say that you lose your sweet-tooth
(carb tooth) after entering ketosis.

I've tried to eat low-carb, but it's sooo boring!

You must learn to prepare interesting dishes for yourself on a low-carb diet, no question about it. If you're used to going to the supermarket and picking up a can or box of something to heat up at home, you're going to be in for a big shock when you switch to low-carb. My staples aremeat, cheese, and eggs. These do not come in an endless variety of pre-processed forms in the supermarket like high-carb foods. Take chicken, for example. Chicken is not more interesting when it's made with bread-crumbs and corn syrup than with a terragon cream sauce. But the former is more convenient because I can buy it already made for me in the grocery store, while the latter I have to take a few extra minutes and make from scratch. You have to think about cooking they way your grandparents did. I make my own low-carb ice cream and low-carb bread (no flour).

Isn't ketosis dangerous and bad for your kidneys?

Ketosis as a consequence of diabetes is very dangerous because diabetes is dangerous. I have personally never had any troubles from ketogenic dieting and neither has anyone I've ever heard of (but of course we're all supposed to). Besides, this is the same pile of crap the experts have been telling bodybuilders for years: too much protein will hurt your kidneys and causes tumor growth. Lifting weights is bad for you because it's puts undue strain on the body. Sound familiar?

Where can I find out more about low-carb eating or ketogenic diets?

Dr. Robert Atkins (Cardiologist-turned-nutritional-guru): The New Diet Revolution. The first and most radical exponent of low-carb. Recommends zero carbs for two weeks, then gradual additions of carbs as you reach your goal weight and establish your body's tolerance for carbs. Dr. Barry Sears (Researcher & Biochemist): The Zone Diet. This new best-selling diet book advocates the consumption of protein, carbs, and fat in a particular ratio of grams which he says is optimal for the human body. This ratio ultimately brings the body back into balance and has the effect of shedding fat as a consequence of achieving that balance. Dan Duchaine (Steriod-guru): BodyOpus. Low carb diet for bodybuilding. I haven't read it. Dr. Mauro DiPasquale (Editor of Drug In Sports): The Anabolic Diet. Another low-carb diet for bodybuilding based on low-carb eating during the week, and a carb-induced insulin spike on the weekend. Dr. & Dr. Heller (formerly fat physicians): The Carbohydrate Adicts Diet. Authors say the carbohydrate adict can tolerate one carb-rich meal a day, if it's consumed in one hour's time.

Isn't all that fat unhealthy?

Atkins says no. DiPasquale says usually not. The Hellers say yes--sort of. Duchaine and Sears say it depends on the fat.

My personal observations about ketogenic dieting

1. The fatter you are, the better it works.
2. Ketostix can give false positive readings if you take high-potency multivitamins. I don't know why. (I don't mean just a yellow discoloration from the B2, I mean deep purple.)
3. The people who need this sort of diet the most are the people who start having thoughts of violence or dispair when contemplating a week without bread or a week without pasta (I have seen the carbohydrate adict; it's not pretty.)

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