The New Fad: Alternating Carbs-Fat Diet! BAD!

There is a new fad out there that alternates between fat and carbs burning diets with cheat days. Let me try to post the video here that is trying to do a great explanation about what it is. Below the video I posted a long response but there is no guarantee that such will remain… so I post it in the open as well. In case that does not work, here is the link to the video as well.

There are some major errors in the explanation provided. The explanation certainly sounds good. So let me explain some of the problems:

1) We cannot burn fat for energy unless we are in ketosis. To get into ketosis (the low carbs phase only lower carbs) takes several days to weeks.

2) One of the things that happen while converting into the fat burning mode is that all glucose storage gets emptied. This increases glucose in the blood for a few days until it can leave since insulin at that point is not using glucose but is starting to modulate ketones (it cannot do both). This has been tested by me several times as I was coming in and out of ketosis on purpose to see what happens to glucose. Each time glucose went up (not unreasonably up but out of the normal range). So glucose is floating in your blood, creating the suspicion of insulin resistance in your body, since glucose has not picked it up. This is a bad sign and is best to go through this only very seldom.

3) After your body emptied all glucose, it turns into a fat burning machine. Fat burning is called ketogenic mode of fuel burning (I am not using the diet word since it is really not meant for diet albeit many people use it for that. It coincidentally burns all fat your body does not need–the ones that are around your organs, such as visceral fat–and the fat you eat).

4) Your body actually does not need carbs–look into the diets of those aboriginals living in Nordic locations living off fatty sea food such as whales and walrus blubber. Once the body is a fat burning body, it burns only fat.

5) Low carbs diets (under 50 grams but over some “magic gram” to be calculated based on body mass and caloric goal) the body goes into starvation mode and hence leptin ( hormone) slows the metabolic process so that your body can get through the starving period and survive on less food. If you are only reducing carbs and do nothing else, indeed, you will start gaining weight from a single grape. Your metabolism is tinkered with the wrong way. Watch this video by Dr. Lustig to understand the role of leptin and what it does as it reduces your metabolism and why.

6) If you have your body calibrated (by a specialist) to ideal carbs intake such that you remain in ketosis (fat burning) your metabolism does not slow down. It becomes a different metabolism. Ask an Inuit how often they go the gym to work out and when they had their last Starbucks latte… They may have them now but they sure did not 50 years ago. At that time they were healthy.. not so much today with the arrival of carbs! The Inuit only ate fatty meat and nothing else. They used salty water to cook soups and gave the lean meats to their dogs…

7) Because it is such an incredibly difficult task for the body to get into the state of ketosis where you burn fat instead of sugar, and because it alters what your insulin does, a so-called “cheat day” knocks you out of ketosis completely–recall it takes several days to weeks of getting back into ketosis… so a single cheat day means several days to several weeks of getting back!

8) On a cheat day, insulin has to change over and start recepting glucose instead of fat… great! It takes 2-3 days to several weeks for it to be able to do that. So now your body is getting the message that you have insulin resistance; again! So when is your next cheat day? If the following week or month, you are teetering between two metabolic processes with neither getting a chance of working–now we are talking metabolic problems!

9) If you keep on repeating this regularly, you may just end up with insulin resistance! For those who don’t realize, that is called type 2 diabetes.

In conclusion, if you want a weight loss diet, go for a weight loss diet. If you want to change how your body functions and how your body uses energy, get on the ketogenic diet and STAY there for a longer period of time. Do not go in and out. That will land you in the world of diabetes even if you ate no sugar in your entire life.

My Experience

I have been doing a lot of studying up on these various diets, not for the sake of losing weight but for their therapeutic purposes. Ketogenic diet is tested now for seizures, MS, Parkinson’s, autism, and a lot of brain damage conditions because glucose damages neuron’s myelin (insulation) and fat is needed to repair it.

However, fat can not be used in our metabolic processes unless we get into ketosis… so ketogenic diets, while they are low carbs diets, they are used as medicinal options for treating diseases and is not primarily used for diets albeit if done right you will lose weight. However, unless you are calibrated by a professional to know how much carbs and protein and fat you should consume, you may indeed mess up your metabolism. So don’t do it alone! Talk to an expert.

Protein

One additional important thing the author of the video is not talking about: protein. If you increase your protein, you are doing a tremendous disservice to your ambition in both endurance sports and in diet. That is because the body converts proteins to glucose via a process called gluconeogenesis. This is a very difficult process and causes what is called the “stinky diet” because of the enzyme the liver creates in processing all that protein.

So going low carbs will not get you anywhere healthy or thin unless you also lower your protein and increase your fat intake. If you increase your protein while lowering your carbs, your body will convert protein to carbs and then later your muscles are the next food item–self cannibalism. That is the nature of gluconeogenesis.

So if you want to lose fat, lose fat the right way and talk to an expert to find out what is YOUR best way of losing fat. Everybody is different, plus you may have health conditions that reduce your options.

And lastly and most importantly, if you have diabetes 2 or 1 or 1.5, do not attempt low carbs diets without the aid of a doctor who monitors your health and insulin levels. Both carbs and fat digestion needs insulin. Thus having limited (type 2) or not having any (types 1 and 1.5) and stopping carbs does not mean you can live without insulin in the fat burning world and you may get hurt! You still need insulin only different amount. So before you jump, discuss with your healthcare provider and don’t be surprised if they have no idea what you are talking about.

Although ketogenic diet is over 2000 years old, modern medicines kicked it out-of-the-way (no pharma money in eating fat) so they replaced it with voltage gated calcium blocking medicines, that kill children… one just died last week, a daughter of a friend of a friend.

This is serious stuff and not for “everyday” challenge of your body.

Comments are welcome as always!

Angela

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About Angela A Stanton, Ph.D.

Angela A Stanton, PhD, is a Neuroeconomist focusing on chronic pain, electrolyte homeostasis, and genetics. She lives in Southern California. Her current research is focused on migraine cause, prevention and treatment without the use of medicines. As a forever migraineur from childhood, her discovery was helped by experimenting on herself. She found the cause of migraine to be at the ionic level, associated with disruption of the electrolyte homeostasis, resulting from genetic variations of all voltage gated channels that modulate electrolytes and voltage in the brain, insulin and glucose transporters, and several other related variants, such as the MTHFR variants of the B vitamin methylation process and many others. Migraineurs are glucose sensitive and should avoid eating carbs as much as possible. As a result of the success of the first edition of her book and new research and findings after treating over 4000 migraineurs world wide, all ages and both genders, she is now finishing the 2nd edition. The 2nd edition is the “holy grail” of migraines, incorporating all there is to know and also hypotheses. It includes an academic research section with suggestions for further research. The book is full of citations to authenticate the statements she makes to be followed up by those interested and to spark further research interest. It is a "Complete Guide". Due out in the summer of 2017. Dr. Stanton received her BSc at UCLA in Mathematics, MBA at UCR, MS in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, PhD in NeuroEconomics at Claremont Graduate University, and fMRI certification at Harvard University Medical School at the Martinos Center for Neuroimaging for experimenting with neurotransmitters on human volunteers. For relaxation Dr. Stanton paints and photographs. Follow her on Twitter at: @MigraineBook
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11 Responses to The New Fad: Alternating Carbs-Fat Diet! BAD!

  1. Claudiu says:

    If you are on no diet (just eat normal, no food regulation), but you have one full day of fasting (noon till second day breakfast, so approx 30h of fast), would that trigger that insulin resisting thing? So what is your opinion about this intermittent fasting?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Claudiu,

      Not sure what you mean by the “insulin resisting thing”. Do you mean insulin resistance? It would help insulin resistance tremendously if that is what you are asking.

      That is because insulin resistance is actually the representation of a “liver full of fat” already (sugar, glucose and fructose are turned into fat by the liver and stored if not used immediately). A full liver like that is also called “non-alcoholic fatty liver” and so if you have that, or are overweight (even if not obese), or have insulin resistance, you will benefit from any fasting. However, if you have reactive hypoglycemia, you can get hurt from such extended fasting; that takes a bit of care and medical supervision.

      To do any fasting like this, I strongly recommend that you invest in a glucose meter (they are quite inexpensive these days) and check your blood sugar at home for several days before you embark on a diet. Check your glucose immediately before eating something, then 30 minutes after finishing the food, then an hour after finishing, and so on every 30 minutes for up-to 5 hours to see how your body deals with glucose. Keep records. Without doing this you may get into serious trouble.

      The way a normal glucose response (no insulin resistance) looks like is a spike of maximum 40 points 30 minutes after you finished a meal relative to what it was before, and 1 hour after the finishing of that meal your blood sugar reading should be close to what is was before you ate. However, NOT LOWER!!! If it ends up lower than what it was before you ate, you have reactive hypoglycemia and you should not be fasting this way–there are other methods then. If your glucose still increases after 30 minutes, keep note for how long it increases. If your glucose increases even after 1 hour after eating (and what you ate was carbs like fruits, bread, sugar, etc.,) then you appear to have a sluggish insulin response and may have insulin resistance. If you ate protein, your glucose may start to increase at the 2-hour mark after finishing your meals and it should be very mild increase and pretty flat.

      I recommend you find a nutritionist who is familiar with fasting type diets–there are many on the internet–some will consult via skype. It is always best to do this under supervision–at least at the beginning–to be sure you are doing it right.

      Good luck trying it!!! I think fasting fewer hours will do just as well by the way. So start low and increase as you are able to.

      Best wishes,
      Angela

      Like

    • Be Healthy says:

      Awesome!! Note: they are still not saying low carbohydrate AND HIGH FAT… lol… the high fat (and not vegetable fat) is very important in this. But at least it is a start. 🙂

      Like

      • Roald Michel says:

        Yes it is. One step at the time, eh. We have to be patient with the little ones, no?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Roald Michel says:

        Today I bought bacon. So tomorrow’s “breakfast” will be bacon and eggs, and the usual bread will be ditched. Is that a good thing? I mean as a first step? 😕

        Liked by 1 person

        • Be Healthy says:

          Yep, only a thing or two of importance:

          1) If you don’t eat carbs with a meal (and are not on the ketogenic diet), you will get a headache. Eggs have very little carbs and bacon none. You need to eat minimum 65 grams net carbs as a man and 50 for a woman to stay in carbs burning mode but on a severe weight reduction–per day. Since you are not a migraineur and are not likely to switch over to keto all of a sudden (if yes tell me so), make sure that you eat some fruit/vegetables with your meals–including breakfast.

          2) If you are moving to keto, you need to increase your fats drastically and you need to make some changes in general so then we need to talk about that. You cannot jump into ketogenic head first without a plan. That will end up in pain, cramps, and extreme tiredness called “keto flu” that can be avoided… so if you want to go the keto way, send an email so I can detail the pitfalls to avoid.

          Hugz,
          Ang

          Like

          • Roald Michel says:

            Just testing the waters now.

            As soon as all Lucitta’s test results are in, and we have discussed the offered options brought to her by mainstream docs, as well as having checked possible alternatives, we’ll decide how to tackle her situation. If that would mean she goes on keto, for sure we’ll come to you to work that out.

            Btw, today I picked up her blood test results, and, according to me, there’s nothing to worry about.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Roald Michel says:

    Hmmm, one more reason for me to happily stick with my “all in moderation” diet. Of course with a lovely dose of salt and plenty of H2O.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Be Healthy says:

      Yep… there are some crazy fads out there that can really hurt people because they are not understanding the entire body function. The low carbs fad is a derivative of the ketogenic, which is actually the original Atkins only they forced him to change it into high protein, which made it fail… Today the easiest ketogenic is the MAD (Modified Atkins Diet) which is extremely restricting in both carbs and protein… the diet is 80% fat… not for everyone! And definitely not applicable to “cheating days”… sheesh… I can see very many sick people come out of this!

      Like

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