Sleep Low Variation of Low Carbing

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There is a new variation on the theme called Sleep-low. Flying in the face of the classic advice by trainers that athletes should indulge heavily with carbs in preparation for endurance races.


We’ve reported on various Low Carb Gurus advocating Ketosis so that your body relies upon its huge stores of fat rather than its limited supplies of glycogen. One of the best books on this is “What The Fat? Sports Performance: Leaner, Fitter, Faster on Low-Carb Healthy Fat,” Schofield, Grant; Zinn, Caryn; Rodger, Craig (2015-12-02). The Real Food Publishing Company. Kindle Edition.

Now comes another view point – or variation on the theme.

So researchers at the French National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance in Paris and other institutions began to wonder about the possibilities of modified forms of low-carb diets, and specifically about what scientists call “sleeping low.”

With a “sleep-low” sports diet, an athlete skips carbohydrates at dinner. In the morning, his or her body should have low reserves of the macronutrient, and any ensuing workouts would force the body to turn to fat, its most abundant fuel.

The following is the link to the abstract of the study, in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. I love the title to the study 

Enhanced Endurance Performance by Periodization of Carbohydrate Intake: “Sleep Low” Strategy

21 competitive triathletes where broken into two groups. Both ate the same total amount of Carbs each day, except one group spread their eating out over the entire day while the other consumed their Carbs for breakfast and lunch but not for dinner.

At the same time, all of the athletes also began a new training program. In the afternoon, both groups completed a draining, intense interval-training session, designed to increase fitness and deplete the body’s carbohydrate stores. The members of the control group then replenished their carbohydrates at dinner; the sleep-low group did not.

The next morning, before breakfast, the volunteers pedaled for an hour at a moderate pace on stationary bicycles. By this time, the sleep-low group was running on carbohydrate fumes and body fat.

This cycle continued for three weeks. The result – the sleep-low group improved by 3% while the other group did not. Also, the sleep-low group lost body fat while – again – the others did not.

This is just one type of Carb cycling. Based on the research by Drs. Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney in the Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance. As well as “What The Fat? Sports Performance” we would expect this result and possibly a better one of the athletes were truly Keto Adapted.

A Picture is Worth – Nothing!

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Went on Yahoo this morning and found a great article entitled:

This Is the Diet to Go on If You Want to Lose Weight (According to Harvard Researchers) by Leta Shy 11/28/15

The article is a regurgitation of the study, published in PLoS One.

[R]esearchers from Harvard and Brigham and Women’s Hospital reviewed 53 randomized trials of over 68,000 patients who had been assigned to either low-fat or low-carb diets.

The article goes on to define Low Carb as eating fewer than 40 grams of Carbs per day. 

So far – nice article – but then I glanced at the picture which illustrated the article: “Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Anna Monette Roberts.”

The image is a cheese and fruit board with enough carbs to last a Month of Sundays.  When I saved the image to re-publish here – it is identified as “Mediterranean Cheese Board.”  Go figure.


Where was the Editor?

Carbs More Harmful than Saturated Fats


Caught that headline on Yahoo which referred to a recent Study.  Most interesting – the Senior Author of the Study is Jeff Volek along with his partner-in-crime, Stephen D. Phinney.

The Study is actually entitled: Effects of Step-Wise Increases in Dietary Carbohydrate on Circulating Saturated Fatty Acids and Palmitoleic Acid in Adults with Metabolic Syndrome

This is an open article and you can read it yourself.  The Yahoo summary is on target.  Here is the Summary paragraph from the Study:

In summary, high intakes of saturated fat (including regular consumption of whole eggs, full-fat dairy, high-fat beef and other meats) does not contribute to accumulation of plasma SFA in the context of a low carbohydrate intake. A progressive decrease in saturated fat and commensurate increase in carbohydrate intake, on the other hand, is associated with incremental increases in the proportion of plasma palmitoleic acid, which may be signaling impaired metabolism of carbohydrate, even under conditions of negative energy balance and significant weight loss. These findings contradict the perspective that dietary saturated fat per se is harmful, and underscore the importance of considering the level of dietary carbohydrate that accompanies saturated fat consumption.

So my friends – enjoy your eggs, heavy cream and steak – as long as you are eating Very Low Carb.

However – Do we have to be worried that:

Funding: This work was funded by a grant from Dairy Research Institute, The Beef Checkoff, the Egg Nutrition Center, and the Robert C. And Veronica Atkins Foundation. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Partial funding for Open Access provided by The Ohio State University Open Access Fund.

Competing interests: Professional associations (Dairy Research Institute, The Beef Checkoff and the Egg Nutrition Center) were sponsors of this research. This does not alter the authors’ adherence to PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.

For what it is worth, almost all of these studies are funded by interested parties.  I discount all of them.  Still – I have found that for the most part Volek and Phinney’s conclusions are one’s I can rely on.

Jonny Bowden’s Blog

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I subscribe to Jonny Bowden’s Blog.  Periodically I get an email.  Most of the time, it is more advertisement than information.  Still he is a knowledgeable guy who enjoys debunking the Low Fat Myths and the Cholesterol Myths along with others.  I’ve read several of his books and they educate.  Still – I delete more of his emails than I read.

His last email: High Fat vs High Carb was actually interesting and contained some decent links.

The Key concept – Saturated Fat only becomes a problem when eaten in the context of a High Carb meal and diet.

We have been arguing that for ages.  It is finally starting to become a favorable way to look at the issue. 

It has always puzzled me how they medical and nutrition establishment can parse out one food item and blame or praise it without looking at the rest of a person’s diet and life style. 

Ah well – not going to rant on.  Just going to continue reading and learning and hoping the rest of the world catches up with us.

Are you Eating Clean – or – Do you Suffer from Orthorexia

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When does Eating Clean become an Eating Disorder?  Am I slipping into Orthorexia?

Strange – how even a good goal can become an unhealthy compulsion.

When I started on this Journey, I first followed the most basic of rules:  Eat less than 30 grams of carbs per day.  That worked.  The problem was that I could not just rely on the most basic concepts.  I started reading – and reading – and I still read each new book on the subject as it is published.  The Kindle makes it all to easy to pick up the latest tome.

The Internet has not made this any easier.  There are a multitude of articles every day.  Name that topic – name that food – name that diet – there is an article – a discourse – a study – a comment – an opinion – to be read and digested and incorporated into my definition of Clean Eating.

When I started following the Men’s Health Forums, the definition of Clean Eating was “Low Fat.”  I and a few others lead the charge to change the concept.  Clean Eating should really be – IMHO – minimally processed food.  From there on – choose your eating plan.  Should it also include  and maybe be limited to Grass Fed, non-GMO, ghee, non-farmed, free-range, natural, organic, gluten-free and/or whole foods.

But it is almost impossible in today’s world to eat as Clean as some would define that word.

I have the tendency to become OCD – obsessive and compulsive – when I adopt an eating plan.  I did become a bit OCD when I adopted the Low Carb Life Style.  But – that was mainly during the weight loss phase.

It has been 7 1/2 years since I started eating Low Carb.  During this time, I have changed the program substantially.  I am trying to eat minimally processed foods and stick to a Very Low Carb – ketogenic – plan. 

Happily – I have been able to reign in my OCD tendencies.  I really don’t let so many of the food “issues” bother me.  Along with that – I try not to let so many of the Clean Eating Foodies bother me.  After all – I can bore an entire room full of people once I get started on discussing Carbs.

So the answer to the question – Am I slipping into Orthorexia? – Nope – Not a shot in Hell.  After all – the cookies that someone brought into the office – were just too good to pass up.

LeBron James – Mr. Ketosis

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It is really nice to have athletes such as LeBron James turn to a Ketogenic Diet both for weight loss and sustained energy.  The article appears in Sports Illustrated.  Probably the best part of this article is the reliance upon Jeff Volek as a source of information.  The secondary sources were less thrilled with the concept making claims about the possible negative health impact.  The Los Angeles Lakers nutritionist Dr. Cate Shanahan, said:

Despite the possible dangers, Shanahan says that if James is successful with his low-carb approach, he “will be a monster” on the court next season. After watching athletes in the NBA, she says players’ energy fluctuations between the first and second halves are obvious, “performance plummets because the sugar burners are so pumped up on adrenaline, which drops drastically after halftime.” The best thing an athlete can do is to go through the metabolic shift induced by a low-carb diet.

“Everything that an athlete wants they can get by becoming an expert fat burner,” Shanahan says. “If he can do that, he won’t rely on adrenaline and the muscles will work much more efficiently.”

Still there are those out there ready to continue trumpeting the myths and falsehoods that keep them in business.  The Article by K. Aleisha Fetters appeared on the Details site as well as Yahoo.  She relies on the quotes from health and fitness-certified specialist, Jim White, R.D., owner of Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  Bluntly this guy should have all his certifications revoked.  His misstatements and falsehoods are just sad.

The web is filled with battling experts.  I know the simple personal truth.  I have been exercising and eating a Ketogenic Diet for over 7 years and my health and blood work is better than ever.  Even my Doc has come around. 

Now LeBron – get out there and show them what you can do.

Salt – Friend or Foe

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Low Sodium Diets may be unhealthy according to a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.  This is one of those – ‘Flies in the Face of Conventional Wisdom’ studies.   Here is one of the “write-ups” you can get on-line.

This is another “study” adding to the growing mountain of evidence that the levels set by the American Heart Association and our governmental health experts may have over stated the case against salt.

Wars have been fought over salt and now a new war is shaping up over the amount of salt that is good or bad for you. 

Those at the lowest end, as measured by the amount of sodium in their urine, were also at greater risk — a 27 percent increased chance of heart attack, stroke and death from cardiovascular causes, the study found.

This is of particular interest for the Very Low Carb – Ketogenic community.  Check out my review and summary of The Art & Science of Low Carbohydrate Living by Volek & Phinney.  They stress the need for additional salt – 1-2 grams per day – just to make up for the salt excretion on a Ketogenic diet.

If you are really eating a Ketogenic diet, you do not have to fear salt – at least not at the level that someone who relies on Carbs is advised to fear.   I  don’t pay attention to salt.  For the most part, I do not add it to foods – either those I cook – or those I eat elsewhere.  I got into this habit – just because I do not care for the taste of very salty foods.  I have very few convenience foods in the cupboard and those are not “reduced salt” products.  Most of my salt intake is from eating out.

My take-away from this study is simple:  I had better listen to Volek & Phinney and make sure I’m getting enough salt.


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