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The Science Behind The "Low Carb Flu", and How To Regain Your Metabolic Flexibility
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May 23, 2011
1:32 am
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February 22, 2010
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Bruce:

Physical flexibility exercises are well outside my expertise. I can't even think of a good joke about it right now. Sorry about that.

JS

May 25, 2011
3:55 pm
lynn
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I'm there...thank you for the info. I have had achy legs, feet and arms for the last 4 weeks. Everything hurts. I quit working out...now it seems I should step up my workouts. I was thinking I had a virus. I guess the recumbent bike is my best friend right now.

May 27, 2011
7:39 am
» Do Calories
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[...] it is their mission to store fat and they don’t want to let it go.” In people with a healthy flexible metabolism, the collection of fat cells is more like a gas tank in a car, simply a reservoir of stored energy [...]

May 30, 2011
10:54 pm
Nathan
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Thank you, that was quite informative.

I did not find that my low-carb flu had ended, even after three weeks; so I did a carb refeed, which seemed to work. I was exercising a fair amount, but things got worse, not better (massive fatigue being the main symptom). So exercise is no doubt helpful, in general, but apparently it does not work for everyone.

I really enjoy your site and look forward to reading more.

May 31, 2011
5:42 pm
» Manic Monday
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[...] has to switch on fat-burning again, and it takes a while. This feeling is what some call the “low-carb flu” (great post at that link, well worth a read). Once you’ve been eating a low-carb diet [...]

June 1, 2011
12:01 am
Primal for female at
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[...] [...]

June 1, 2011
8:24 pm
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Nathan:

Definitely if you're very active you'll need more carbs than the average person: beta-oxidation only works up to about 2/3 of your VO2max.  And I agree with your approach: I think that occasional refeeds are better than continual high-carb eating.

I'll most likely write an article about carbohydrate metabolism and storage someday.  Once you understand those pathways, it's easy to understand how much carbohydrate you should be eating, and to know when you're eating too much or too little.

JS

June 14, 2011
9:52 pm
Hungry | Mark's
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[...] [...]

June 15, 2011
1:31 pm
The Breakfast Myth,
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[...] Remember my article about metabolic flexibility and the respiratory exchange ratio (RER)? The RER graphs from Young et. al. show that mice fed a high-fat breakfast maintained the flexibility to switch back to fat-burning after eating a high-carb, low-fat dinner…whereas mice fed a high-carb, low-fat breakfast were stuck burning carbs all day, even during the fasting period between breakfast and dinner. [...]

June 19, 2011
4:54 pm
Jeffrey of Troy
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Hi, sorry it took me so long to get back to you.

Re: detox

This subject is generally suppressed, as it it not biz-friendly, but here's a decent piece on it
http://www.wellnessresources.com/weight_tips/articles/detoxification_during_weight_loss/

June 22, 2011
12:31 pm
Adkins diet - Page 3
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[...] Re: Adkins diet For anyone going into a low-carb diet, here's a great article you should read as you go face-down into the animal fat: The Science Behind The “Low Carb Flu”, and How To Regain Your Metabolic Flexibility &#45... [...]

June 22, 2011
2:05 pm
» Manic Monday
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[...] has to switch on fat-burning again, and it takes a while. This feeling is what some call the “low-carb flu” (great post at that link, well worth a read). Once you’ve been eating a low-carb diet [...]

July 1, 2011
1:49 pm
NY Times Article on
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[...] If you're body is conditioned to burn fat for fuel, training fasted may be preferred. If you're a sugar burner, training fasted will suck, and your [...]

July 6, 2011
10:21 pm
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Jeffery:

It's a plausible mechanism, but I'd like to see some science.  Are you familiar with any experiments in which (for instance) people's blood levels of PCBs were measured during nutritional balance, and again during fasting (which should release them into the general circulation)?  

JS

July 16, 2011
8:29 pm
leah
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Love your evidence-based approach, with the easy to understand interpretation! Sign me up

July 18, 2011
3:23 pm
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leah:

Welcome!  Glad you're here.

JS

July 20, 2011
4:27 pm
3 Days in.... feelin
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[...] This article is relevant to your interests: The Science Behind The “Low Carb Flu”, and How To Regain Your Metabolic Flexibility &#45... Reply With Quote   + Reply to Thread « Previous Thread | [...]

July 20, 2011
8:47 pm
lynn
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I must be very insulin resistant. I have really gone VLC..I can see now why I was sore all the time. I work out hard. But in all that, I never have been able to lose weight even though I did 45 minutes of Weight training three days a week and 20 minute High intensity bike three days a week, ate 6 small kinda low carb meals per The Body for Life program.
Because I was so sore, I slowed down my weight training. I stopped leg pressing 5 sets of 500 pounds and just began to do lighter sets. I have only lost 12 pounds. I started this Paleo low carb diet seriously at the beginning of June.I was gradually changing things during the month of May. I cleaned out my cabinets and fridge. I still have 40 pounds to lose. I am no longer aching. I have begun to get more energy. I find I am losing a pound to a pound and a half weekly. I can accept that. My waist has lost the most. 4 inches. I think that is a lot of inches for only losing 12 pounds. I also breathe better. No inhaler needed. What I love is that I no longer feel driven by constant hunger. I feel free. I never want to go back.

July 20, 2011
8:52 pm
lynn
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I am my own guinea pig. When others ask me..Is that healthy? I just say..I am not healthy being fat. I am not healthy with 105 morning blood sugar..I am not healthy with high blood pressure. I was real strict about the diet and exercise program. In three years it did nothing. by the way...my blood pressure is now normal with out meds. It plummeted. Another reason why I will never go back. Our county fair is this week. I have not been tempted once. There is plenty of meat in the 4H farm booths.

July 20, 2011
11:54 pm
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lynn:

I think it's much more important to focus on waist and belly circumference than on losing weight: the objective is to lose fat, not muscle.  And it sounds like you've turned the corner on metabolic adaptation, which is the biggest step.  Congratulations!

JS

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