Thursday, April 24, 2014

Carb depletion, my own personal hell

Okay so that is probably a bit dramatic, but really this stuff sucks.

I should probably rewind a little and let you in on my (and my husband's) newest endeavor.
Via one of my best friends (Christina) and her infinite knowledge of all things health, we began looking into "Carb Back Loading."

What is Carb Back Loading?
When you get down to it, CBL is all about manipulating your insulin levels. You do this by refraining from eating carbs until the evenings after your workout.
"Carbs make both muscle and fat cells grow—and often at the same time. But by shifting when you eat carbs, you can actually control which kind of tissue grows. "
But then you get to eat ALL OF THE CARBS. like ever.
Okay, not really.

What's so great about CBL?
Carb Back Loading was developed by John Keifer- he's a physicist.
does different things for different people, but the typical result is burning fat while packing on lean muscle. Who doesn't want that? A crazy person, that's who.
You can buy Keifer's book with all the info, and explained way better than I could here.

So why does it suck?
Before starting CBL as a person who has some weight to lose if you have over 10% body fat (ME), you need to train your body to burn your fat throughout the day, and immediately burn the carbs you eat post workout, instead of burning your carb storages throughout the day. Most of our bodies are trained to burn our carb storages, which we typically refuel at every meal, throughout the day for energy. The problem with this is your body hardly gets a chance to burn through your fat storages because it burns the carbs first (hello, muffin top).

You train your body by "carb depletion", depleting your glycogen stores, or the "prep phase".
Disclaimer: this part will suck and most people will freak, but keep reading! Or just get over it, either one.

The prep phase depletes all alternative fuel sources and forces your body to use fat for fuel; in doing so, you are training your body to use fat for fuel and increasing the ease with which your body will switch to fat-burning mode in future.

This is done by keeping your daily carb intake to 30 grams or less, preferably less. Yes, less than 30g, that is correct.
That's a large apple, in case you were wondering.
This usually takes 7-10 days, depending on your activity levels. I'm hoping with training I'll fall closer to the 7 days mark.

So far I am 4 days into the Prep Phase and this list fits pretty dang well:
There are three stages to the prep phase:
  1. Days 1-4: depleting glycogen stores – expect to lose a few pounds here since the body stores 3g water per 1g carbohydrate. You can shorten this stage by doing high intensity exercise since this will burn through glycogen stores faster.
  2. Days 3-6: Ketone production starts up. Ketones are a great source of fuel for the body and can be used for short-duration exercise & brain activity. You will feel the worst during this phase as your body will run out of carbs before your body has fully gotten around to ramping up ketone production.
  3. Days 7-10: Fat burning mode. When you stop feeling tired, this is a sign you have reached the fat burning stage.

So why CBL?
Other than what I've said above, I'm doing this because I need a change and a challenge. I've eaten 80/20 pale for over a year now and I feel like my body has plateaued a bit. I'm not saying I hate where my body is, but I definitely have some work to do.
I WANT ABS!! Okay? There, I said it.
Carb backloading will be completely different that any diet I've followed, and it's still hard to get my head around eating carbs at night. I've always read/heard that late night carbs are blasphemous. I'll be honest though, after a week of this no-carb crap, I'll probably wrap my head prettily easily around some BREAD... or rice, or a box of twinkies. KIDDING.

But is it sustainable? Won't you gain all the weight back when you stop?
From what I've read, yes it's totally sustainable. Plenty of athletes eat this way year round.

Although this has been hard so far, I really happy that I have my husband for support. We can be cranky and tired together!

I'm not sure how this will work out, but I will keep you guys updated as I try it out for next few weeks. Justin and I took 'before' pictures, so I'll post those along with the 'after' pictures once we are finished with the prep phase. I'll also keep y'all updated with the progress when I get to start actually carb back loading.

I'm also planning another post with my meals from the "prep phase", so get ready! Ready to see a lot of turkey, chicken, and cheese...

I hope this makes sense. I also hope I didn't get any of the info wrong. Remember, I'm a teacher (and all around BAB), not a physicist. Forgive me.

Here are two articles that helped me out:
This one from Men's Fitness
and this one.

Leave me your thoughts, comments, or questions!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A New Chapter

Because word travels fast, I'm sure most of you have heard the news. As of last Saturday, I am no longer a coach at my former gym. I feel that my season at that gym has come to a close, and that my place now is supporting my friends in their new journey.

Two years ago, as a newbie to Crossfit and watching my very first Open workout (7 minutes of burpees), if you would have told me that I would not only be in love with the 'sport of fitness', but also be coaching it, I'd have laughed in your face. Alas, here we are.

I've known since I was a teenager that God has called me to be a teacher. So when I became a Special Education teacher 3 years ago, it wasn't a huge shock; it just felt right.
Little did I know, God wasn't finished with me. I began coaching around November of last year, and like my day job,  it clicked. I confess that I didn't realize until looking back on it, but I think that coaching was part of that calling as well. That's why I was so awesome!! I kid, I kid. Moving on...

To my athletes:
First off, I'm very possessive/protective/a little crazy, so yes you're MY athletes ;)
Secondly, thank you all for being such a blessing in my life. I am going to miss the phrase "thanks, coach!"and getting the "I hate you right now" look that later turns into an "I DID IT!" when you push an athlete to do an RX'd weight. I loved seeing your PR's as well as your struggles. I remember each first muscle-up, pull-up, hand stand push-up and much more. I especially loved seeing average people use CrossFit to find an inner strength and confidence they didn't know they had.
I truly hope that each of you stay connected and keep me updated with your fitness life and your life-life!
That being said, although this season of my life is finished, I definitely see coaching in my future again. However, I'm excited to view CrossFit via the lens of an athlete only for awhile. #GAINZ

To my friends and teammates at that gym:
After finishing out the Open next week, I will no longer be working out at that gym. I cannot thank everyone involved at that gym enough for accepting me and showing what a true community is.

A new chapter:
I am beyond excited about the new things that are happening in mine and Justin's lives. The last month has been emotional and scary, but through it all we've realized how close and strong our friendships are. I can't wait to help grow and support this new venture (expect a blog post soon) with our CrossFit friends family.