12 April 2011

Low Carb Intermittent Fasting with Ice Cream Refeeds

Overcoming the Sisyphean feat
Reached the same bump in the road that I did last September.

Last July, 158 lbs.
In other words, top 4 abs are visible, and getting the last 2 to show is the (usual) uphill battle. Stubborn fat sucks.

Weight has been fluctuating between 160 and 165 pounds, as has appetite.

The aim now, like last time, is to help fat loss along using a few novel approaches. The goal weight is still 155 pounds, a good weight to be at for the Air Force (or the United States Marine Corps, USMC, which I've been considering joining lately).

There will be some variations on the theme this time around - not that they're exactly noticeable - in order to increase my chances of adhering.

The diet will be cyclical and will involve alternating of supplements depending on the day.

It's time to get over this hill. I have other goals I want to set. But before that. . .

I want to share the inhuman results of someone whose diet I've emulated. He's landed on a simple method of reaching one's goals that doesn't involve the confusing BS from bodybuilding magazines.

Eating less while eating whatever you want, eating enough protein, and training heavy are the guidelines he abides by.

His accomplishments are so inspirational, and I hope to achieve similar results some day.

Some of the meals he's posted pictures of (yum):

The plan

The diet*:
1. 1700 kcal on Day 1
Usual foods eaten include a pint of Ben and Jerry's Imagine Whirled Peace (my favorite flavor) and a McDonald's McChicken; whey protein makes up the rest of this day's calories.

2. 2100 kcal on Day 2 (low carb)
Usual foods include eggs, chicken breast tenderloins, caramelized onions, and asparagus fried in coconut oil (a medium-chain triglyceride, MCT).

3. 2500 kcal on Day 3 (ice cream carb-up)
Usual foods include Ben and Jerry's Half Baked FroYo, In-N-Out, Japanese ice cream dumplings (mochi), and Subway. And whey, of course.

4. 24-hour fast
Usual foods include nothing.

5. Repeat
*All days consist of IF followed by feeding during the second half of the day

The training:
1. Heavy, reverse pyramid training
2. Cardio
3. Cardio, depletion (using mainly machines)
4. Off

Supps (spaced apart):
Fish oil
Vitamin A, iron, vitamin B complex
Calcium, magnesium, zinc
Yohimbine hydrochloride, caffeine, YC
Vitamin A, Fe, vitamin B complex
Ca, Mg, Zn
Fish oil
Vitamin A, Fe, vitamin B complex
Ca, Mg, Zn

The reasoning (skip if the science bores you):

1. Even on 1700 cals/day, muscle loss unlikely assuming adequate protein and heavy training.

2. This low carb day sets off the glycogen depletion ultimately achieved the next day; cardio is done during the fast following YC; all 4 techniques (the fast, low carb, YC, and cardio) help to improve mobilization, transport, and oxidation of stubborn fat through low insulin (high hormone-sensitive lipase, HSL, activity and improved lipolysis), alpha-2 adrenergic receptor and adenosine A1 receptor inhibition (improved transport),  and low malonyl-CoA content (high carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1, CPT-1, activity and improved oxidation). My hunch is that the low carb day will improve my adaptations to endurance training.

3. The benefits of the previous day will linger on into this day, so another dose of YC will be taken and another session of cardio done before the depletion workout, which will improve insulin sensitivity before the coming carb-up. This day is all about playing around with partitioning while eating more to restore hormone levels (testosterone, growth hormone or GH, insulin-like growth factor 1 or IGF-1, triiodothyronine or T3, and leptin), at least for a while. On the topic of resetting hormone levels, the drug bromocriptine can reverse a lot of the negative  hormonal, metabolic, and psychological changes associated with chronic dieting.

4. Thus far, calories have been gradually increased. Along with the carb-up, this will help to return metabolism to pre-dieting levels. Now, the goal of the 24-hour fast is to leverage the benefits of the refeed while T3 and leptin are still high. The sharp drop in calories from 2500 to 0 should not be detected right away. Research has shown a delayed response by the body to recognizing and adjusting to an energy deficit. Formal exercise will be avoided because of its variable effects on appetite. However, activities of daily living (ADL) will be done throughout the day to keep incidental energy expenditure (and NEAT) high. YC will be dosed during the AM hours to help with stubborn fat mobilization and burning. Also, Martin Berkhan cited 2 relatively recent studies showing that metabolic rate increases during short-term fasting.

5. Repeat. The day following the 24-hour fast (the 1700-calorie day) consists of heavy training. It's a good time to go heavy while I'm still carbed up from 2 days prior. Calories will be eased back in to prevent putting any fat back on. This entire period of slowly increasing calories throughout the week is a biding time for metabolic rate to pick up again before calories are again abruptly dropped.


  1. have you tried a cleaner diet without the ice cream, etc?

  2. Anon,
    Yes, in high school and my adherence sucked. But to hedge my bets, I do have a vegetable on occasion.

  3. I have the same problem as you...can get the 4 pack, but the six pack continues to allude me. I usually get frustrated and give in to appetite, stress, and undue my progress. I'm sure though you will get that six-pack this time! One question: Wouldn't it be a 36 hr fast if you go to 0 calories on day 4? Or do you do a Eat stop Eat type fast and actually eat something small (<500 calories) on that day? I guess I'm confused since you stated "usual foods include nothing".

  4. That should be elude*. The questions are the same. Thanks!

  5. Ash,
    Sorry for the late response. I appreciate your support!

    I haven't read Brad's book but have heard a lot of good things about its expanded edition. It didn't occur to me that I was in fact doing a 36-hr fast until you mentioned it. It just happened to fall out that way. And nope, I don't eat anything during this period.

  6. I loved reading this article. I recently have done a psmf diet and went through a refeed cycle. I found this article to be helpful with the refeeds. http://www.psmfdiet.com/refeeds/