Off the rails for 1 1/2 weeks!



I have been keto/low carb for about 20 months with maybe a handful of meals off so I believe I am pretty well fat adapted. Last March was my daughter’s wedding so I was traveling and although I stayed fairly consistent I did enjoy her wedding cake!

A couple of weeks ago my sister was killed in a car accident so I was traveling again. For the first few days I didn’t have much of an appetite plus I was in a hospital without feeling a need to eat so I may have lost a few pounds at that point. But after that as our family was making arrangements, sorting through her things, and receiving meals from church and work friends, my low carb eating came to a halt. I really didn’t have the time or energy to grocery shop or meal prep for myself as none of us really did, so we ate what was provided. It seemed that we got potato salad every day for 4 days straight, then pizza, then lasagna, and cake (or pie, or cookies)…every day! We also got lots and lots of fruit trays!

I am now home (for 4 days) and back on track with my low carb eating but I was so nervous about weighing myself, thinking that I would have gained 5, or maybe even 10 pounds-even if just from increased water weight. Funny thing is I actually lost a few pounds! I suppose some of it could have been muscle loss since I wasn’t able to lift weights while I was gone but could I have lost that much muscle in two weeks?

Has anyone else ever experienced this? I know I feel better with this WOE and I am primarily doing it now for overall health so I don’t plan to go back to carbs permanently, but I am just wondering if there is some benefit to cycling out occasionally. Of course if I did it intentionally I wouldn’t do it with potato salad, lasagna, and cakes and cookies. Especially since I can make a keto version of all of these!
Any thoughts from those of you experienced fat adapted folks?

(John) #2

@240lbfatloss recommends occasional intentional carb cycling, after you are fully fat adapted, which it seems that you must be.

I am so sorry for your loss - emotional states play into our weight and eating as well, so maybe even though WHAT you were eating was not healthy, the quantity was reduced, which contained the damage.


Sorry to hear about your sister.

I wouldn’t say there’s an actual benefit to cycling, but I’d say that once you’re fat adapted the occasional binge can only do so much damage. Our bodies aren’t predictable, and a stress-related carb-fest could have just as easily led to a water-retention result, as you noted. I doubt you experienced any muscle loss.

(Carl Keller) #4

My condolences for the loss of your sister.

I am surprised that you didn’t pick up at least a few pounds of water after ten days of carbs. This seems to be the case when I ate roasted sweet potatoes 3 times a week, for about a month. This, along with eating cheese to entertain my taste budes, put me up about four pounds over goal weight but after several 10-12 gram total carb days I dropped the four pounds and a couple more.

I don’t really know if carb cycling is a good idea for everyone. But in someone who is metabolically healthy and has good control of their hormones, why not carb cycle to keep our metabolism flexible? It patterns how many of our ancestors ate and is probably programmed into our DNA. We probably ate a lot of fat and protein during the winter and when spring arrived, we took advantage of fruits, vegetables and maybe even honey. We switched back and forth from being fat burners to being carb burners depending on what food was available and it worked for over a million years.