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This Is Why You Should Be Eating Carbs

You know something has become a bit of a craze when your Starbucks barista asks if you’re on “keto” when you request heavy cream in your coffee (true story). It’s absolutely everywhere and if you’re reading this, you have probably thought about trying it out (move aside paleo dudes *holds a peace sign with fingers*). However, “going keto” is like sex and driving—everyone thinks they’re doing it right (or are flat-out amazing at it) but in reality, are mostly ill-informed on the subject (or flat-out suck at it).  Such is the fate of the trendiest diets, or just health trends in general.  Hopefully, what I share today will clear some of the doubts and misconceptions that you may have on Ketogenic Diets.

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The author, Ida Paras, is the lead instructor of Ride Revolution, and is a firm believer in the importance of carbs in one's diet

For those of you who know me, even casually, you have probably heard me talk about an unconventional diet system, popularized by John Kiefer, called the CarbNite Solution, where I bring myself to a state of “ketosis” by eating less than 30 grams of carbs for several days, only to go on a carb frenzy once or twice a week (depending on my physical goals). Because of this, I get a handful of people asking me daily if I am on the Ketogenic Diet. The answer is a resounding: Kinda! I believe in the benefits of being fat adapted, but I also believe we should be utilizing the power of carbs. It is almost never a good idea to totally remove a food group from your diet, and in this case, carbs! So while I may coincidentally be in a state of ketosis from time to time, I am not on “keto” per se (a girl’s gotta live, and carbs is life).



Still one of my faves @shakeshack ???? #carbnitesolution #carbcycling #CBL

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For some time now, Ketogenic Diets have been utilized to treat conditions like epilepsy and other brain diseases. These diets typically consist of 90 percent fat, eight percent protein, and the remaining two percent is carbohydrates. Such diets are known as therapeutic Ketogenic Diets and not the type of diet that many people ought to follow. This type of Ketogenic Diet involves a lot of regulating and controlled science (this is the super technical side of the diet, and unless you have all the lab tools for measuring then it becomes very hard to follow).



YOUR BODY IS YOUR RESPONSIBILTY! _ You walk around in it, you feed it, you live in it. How it looks and feels, that’s completely up to you. Your body is different and it might require different things than others. _ There are so much information out now on how to eat, how to workout making it so easy for us to follow blindly because “hey she/he looks fit, it must work!” _ Fitness is not a one-size-fits-all. Want to know why you’re always bloated? Confused on what to eat? Not getting the results you want? GET TO KNOW YOUR OWN BODY. Pay attention to the signs, you can’t always wait for someone to tell you what to do. _ @gritgirlsgang always keeping it real with you all ?????????? #chickswholift _ #adidasph #adidaswomen ??: @sprooscreatives

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What you have come to know as “the Ketogenic Diet” falls into the category of Baseline or Cyclical Ketogenic Diets, which reintroduce carbohydrates into your body every once in a while. This type of diet trains your body to utilize fat as an energy source instead of glucose. During this process, the glycogen stored in the muscles will remain intact because the body will be using ketones. In other words, during ketosis (it is usually optimal to stay in this state for 5-14 days) you get fuel from stored fats. On these days, you are “carb depleted” so it forces the body to burn fat instead of glycogen stores.



Carbnite night cap ?? #carbnitesolution #carbup #carbcycling

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So what’s the point of eating carbs?

It is a common misconception that staying in ketosis makes the body efficient in utilizing fat—when it is actually carbs that become more efficiently utilized by the body. Our bodies are extremely adaptive: So if there is a scarcity of carbs in the body, our body compensates by becoming good at preserving it. Reintroducing carbs into the body after being deprived of it for several days stimulates a plethora of precise physiological and hormonal responses that directly benefit us. This will lower the level of hormones responsible for weight gain while skyrocketing the levels of fat-burning hormones to the point that you don’t even need to exercise! You will basically turn your body into a fat-burning machine 24/7. (Disclaimer: In maintaining low body fat percentage, the best combination is still exercise and proper diet. Do not neglect exercise!)



What is the best time to eat Carbs?    

Contrary to the popular belief that avoiding carbs at night will help you lose weight, emerging studies suggest that consuming carbs right before bed time can actually help reach your goals more effectively.  Carbohydrates are made out of sugars, glucose, and fructose. These sugars, especially glucose, are vital and essential for your body. The brain needs around 15 to 18 percent glucose to function properly while the liver will always produce glucose either from what little carbohydrates are present or from proteins.

When we consume carbohydrates, tryptophan, which is an alpha amino acid, enters the brain. It is then converted into serotonin, which in turn converts into melatonin. Melatonin is responsible for helping us fall asleep. It also helps the body adjust to its circadian rhythm. If you eat carbohydrates not more than four hours before sleep, it will help you fall asleep faster and longer. So the longer we sleep, the more our bodies will be efficient with burning fat.



L I M I T L E S S ? #letsride @riderevolution _ ??: @jasperlawan

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Another popular belief is that our metabolism slows down when we sleep. According to a study published in the Canadian Journal of Applied Psychology, those who exercise moderately reported increased heart rate and metabolic rates while sleeping. When we exercise, a number of hormones such as adrenaline, noradrenaline, cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine are released, which triggers the sympathetic nervous system. This results in an increase in our heart rate, respiratory rate, and metabolic rate causing more fat to be burned when we sleep. During sleep, our brains remain active and will require glycogen to be supplied from the liver. This glycogen makes the brain more active, allowing it to signal other hormones, causing more fat to be burnt, so eating a few hours before sleep will help restore the glycogen which will be expended to feed the brain.

If you are already on the Ketogenic Diet and you are active—you might want to start thinking of reintroducing carbs in your diet more often. You may be due for another carb refeed once you start experiencing signs and symptoms such as brain fog, extreme exhaustion, difficulty focusing, joint pains, and plateauing muscle gains.

Lastly, do your own research. Do not be afraid to experiment on your body, because there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to diet and exercise. Use this information as a guide and let it work for you!


Check out all the other yummy carbs I eat on a regular #Carbnite basis:



Photography (Lead) Ralph Mendoza. Cupcake lead photo by Sheelah Brennan on Unsplash