How Low (Carb) Can You Go?

In my previous post, Should I Weigh Vegetables on Keto?, I outlined a relaxed approach towards counting carbs whilst on a low carb, high fat diet. Whilst this worked for me for a few months, recently I have been monitoring my carb intake closely as I experiment with a more intense ketogenic diet.

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I think a Primal diet (similar to Paleo but higher in healthy fats) is a great tool to kick-start a health journey. It removes a large amount of processed foods, refined carbohydrates and sugars, and consequent toxins. Switching to a low carbohydrate, high fat diet is a natural progression from a primal diet, with the emphasis on whole foods firmly in place. This was  my approach for about seven months. Similarly to the plan outlined in The Bulletproof Diet, I would eat high fat, moderate protein, and low carb (roughly under 30g net carbs) most days and then include a couple of carbohydrate re-feeds each week. However, recently, after my carb re-feeds I didn’t feel as mentally sharp or energetic. I felt bloated (from excess water) and less inclined to eat. In retrospect, I don’t think I was eating enough, specifically fat, when following this routine. It was only after experiencing a significant crash in energy, mood, and a disruption to my menstrual cycle that I took a step back to reevaluate my diet. Perhaps a high fat diet with regular re-feeds wasn’t the optimal approach for me after all!

For the past few weeks I have cut out the carb re-feeds and increased my fat intake. Apart from experiencing the keto-flu for about ten days, I already feel an increase in energy and mood. I have been weighing my leafy green vegetables to monitor my net carbs and although it’s extra time spent on food prep, I would rather be meticulous in the beginning to ensure a smooth transition into ketosis.

I have read a multitude of accounts regarding others’ experiences with different carb amounts on a high fat diet. What seems clear is that the correct carb intake depends on the person, their goals, and their general health. Some thrive whilst eating under 30g, others up to 100g, but the only way to find out is to experiment!

 

G.

 

P.S. I will still be posting both primal and ketogenic recipes, look out for notes explaining how to tweak each one to fit your macros!

 

 

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2 thoughts on “How Low (Carb) Can You Go?

  1. I would be very interested to see your results. I went ketogenic low carb with zero re-feeds and completely lost my cycle for 6 months.. Added a few carbs back for re-feeds and have regained tons of water weight, however its looking like my cycle is returning. I loved LCHF keto by my hair was falling out and my cycle was gone. Best of luck!

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    1. I’m sorry to hear it didn’t work for you! I’m monitoring my cycle very closely to ensure that no further disruptions arise but if they do then I will have to have another rethink. Since increasing my fats my cycle seems to have normalised but only time will tell; I think a fair amount of experimentation is required before finding the ideal diet! That’s great that your cycle is returning now, I wish you all the best for the future!

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