Updated: Jun 4, 2019
We have always struggled with fitness, how we see ourselves in the mirror. Social media bombarding us with men and women with the perfect sculpted body. It is hard not to notice the strains of social stigma around body image and eating carbs. And when we talk about carbs, I mostly mean the juicy stuff; bread, pasta, donuts, etc. Although it is quite hard to totally get away from carbs, like myself wanting to take on a challenge for a few weeks and see how far I could re-shape my body or even re-shape my minding and thinking.
There is no doubt that as a gay couple, fitness dominates the male gay world. Not all, but most. Fitness for us is a type of goal, as we suggest to have many types of goals in life. In this case, it was a progression of getting a bigger butt and thighs and strengthening my back. It had been a year with the start of intermediate fasting, eating from 12pm - 8pm. Legs and butt had grown. But what next? We had decided to dramatically reduce our carb intake if we wanted to see any real change and to see what our body could handle. The keto diet was tough. Carb intake of total calories was between 5 - 10%. I could hardly eat any fruits, no root vegetables and a high source of fats coming from fish, eggs and cheese. Prior to this, daily consumption of breads and pasta had been dramatically reduced, but this was like no other. The first few days, tiredness set in a lot. The body detoxing from processed carbs and sugar all together. The 'carb coma' had a way with me. While the total reduction of breads and sugar was an interesting experiment on the body, that part felt good. My skinned cleared up. They say for the body to really starting burning fat from ketoses, takes about 4 - 6 weeks. I barley lasted for 3.
However, learning from what my body could and could not handle from our fitness goals, this 'carb coma' made me look at carb intake and the nutritional labels from a whole new perspective. The keto may have won for now, but the low carb intake still continues.
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What defines a low carb diet?
“ … controversy in the study of LCDs stems from a lack of a clear definition”. The lower levels of glucose our bodies have, will result insulin and glucagon levels taking away towards fat oxidation. A very low concentrations of carbohydrate (<20–50 g) daily would be towards keto.
Nutritional intake of <200 g carbohydrate/d for low carb diets. “We suggest that LCD refers to a carbohydrate intake in the range of 50–150 g/d, which is above the level of generation of urinary ketones for most people”. Low carb diets have shown to improve glycemic and insulin control for healthy people and those who have type 2 diabetes.
Eric C Westman, Richard D Feinman, John C Mavropoulos, Mary C Vernon, Jeff S Volek, James A Wortman, William S Yancy, Stephen D Phinney, Low-carbohydrate nutrition and metabolism, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 86, Issue 2, August 2007, Pages 276–284.