As someone who majored in Kinesiology Exercise Science, some things are easier said than done. I mean we had to take years of biology, physics…chemistry, any science subject you can name and we probably had to take a year of that too. For the first few semesters all I did was live and breathe science classes, but it wasn’t until my last two year of school that everything finally came together and I realized that without that strong science foundation I wouldn’t be able to help my clients in the future.
The body is crazy complicated and even today we still don’t really know everything that the body can do and handle. One semester I had a class where we studied different diet plans. The entire class was split up into groups of 4-5 people and each group picked a different diet to research, with 1 or 2 group members actually attempting the diet for at least 30 days. While reading, keep in mind that this is my personal experience with this diet, everyone is different and will react differently to health changes.
My group decided to do the Carb-Nite Diet from The Carb-Nite Solution by John Kiefer.
What is the Carb-Nite Diet? Well the name itself is pretty self-explanatory. You basically reduce your intake of carbs to about 30-50 grams daily for at least a week (7 days at the least and max 9 days). The key to starting this diet successfully is to make it through the entire first week, this sets your body up to begin the diet. Your body needs to be close to the state of ketosis for this to work. Another group member and I did it for 8 days and then on the 9th day, we had our “Carb-Nite”. On “Carb-Nite” day, we could eat anything we wanted at night time (of course within reason, I mean it is a diet still, so you shouldn’t go crazy and eat a whole pizza or two just because you can). We tracked our intake of food and physical activity through Cron-O-Meter. Cron-O-Meter is great because it’s both a website and an app so it makes inputting your items easy and it automatically calculates the 3 main macronutrients (fat, protein, and carbohydrates). Enjoying your “Carb-Nite” to the fullest is what made this diet slightly bearable.
Due to your body being reset from the low intake of carbs, your body instead of converting the carbohydrates into fat, the drastic increase of carbs on your “Carb-Nite” is burned off as heat as well as spiking your overall metabolism. And with the increase in your body temperature, you fall asleep very, very nicely after your “Carb-Nite”. Then you wake up the next day after a great night sleep and being the low carb diet all over again! You continue doing this routine of low carbs and then picking when you want to have your “Carb-Nite”, just remember that you need to spread out your “Carb-Nites” at least 5 days apart.
Before I started this diet plan, I went to see a Nutritionist and a Personal Trainer on campus besides consulting with my Professor to get some pre-measurements taken and to gain some insight on to how I was going to do this. Being barely 155 cm (5’1) and pretty fit from my gymnastic background and the many activity classes and labs I took previously for my major, they recommended that I increase my protein intake a lot to make sure I wouldn’t lose too much muscle mass and to keep me full throughout the day. From my pre-measurements, I didn’t have much weight to play with as I was in the “healthy” stage of everything, but I really wanted to try and see if this diet would help me get rid of the hidden pockets of fat I had around my body.
The first week of low carbs is like nothing I can describe…the first day I was like…yea this is okay I could do this! And by the third day, I literally felt like I was starving myself to death…I was so hungry. And because I was transitioning to gluten-free because of some issues I was having along with the fact that I can’t really tolerate dairy products, there was a limit to what I could eat. I cut my morning coffee out since I felt like it was making me too jittery and just drake water and frozen fruit protein smoothies. And so my fridge started looking really green and colorful inside from all the fruits and veggies. I also found this plant-based protein powder called Vega, which helped me consume the protein I needed without having to eat so much meat.
Before I started this diet I informed my close friends and co-workers that I would be taking this challenge on, so if I looked like I was cranky and out of it…I probably was and they shouldn’t take anything to heart. And I that if I turned down their invite to eat out, it wasn’t that I didn’t want to see them, but that it would be too tempting for me. But the funny thing is that my co-workers were so on board with trying this diet as well. They told me that if this diet really works then they wanted to try it too.
By the halfway mark the dizzy spells were long gone along with the sluggish feeling of no energy. Instead, I felt like I had too much energy and felt so strong! This could also be due to the increase in gym time. Before I would go once maybe twice a week, but now I was going almost 4 times a week, each time working a different muscle group to make sure I wouldn’t strain my body. By the end of the diet, I felt like I was in the best shape ever and with the extra gym days, there were definitely results. But with that said, this is a diet and not a lifestyle. This diet plan did help me get back into shape and did help me with my health, but everyone has a different body, and some may not react as well to this diet as my body did. This diet did help me reevaluate my food choices and allowed me to tone my body, but once the diet ended it was up to me to keep it up. Though I stopped with the super low carb diet, I continued to be aware of what I was putting into my body.
This diet was more of a springboard to help reset my body, I like to think of it as a deep, deep cleanse. Would I recommend this diet plan? Probably, but I would suggest you meet with a healthcare professional before you start, because this diet starts off kind of crazy, and you probably don’t want to end up in the hospital because you fainted due to not eating enough. Most people when they think of carbs, they think bread and potatoes, but actually, some fruit has a lot of carbs, take bananas for instance. A medium banana has about 27 grams of carbs, which meant that if I ate a banana I almost hit the max amount of carbs for the day. Just something to think about.
And so here are the results of this diet for me. I’m not sure about you, but the results were all that my co-workers wanted to know about. Did all that suffering in the beginning actually result in something?
|Lean Weight (lbs)||76.6||80.3|
|Water Weight (lbs)||57.0||59.2|
|Body fat percentage||23.6%||19.8%|
|VO2 Max (ml/kg*min)||35||40|
|Resting HR||74 bpm||70 bpm|
|Waist circumference (cm)||66.5||61.7|
|Thigh circumference (cm)||43.9||41.9|
This diet plan was only successful due to my stubbornness and persistence to finish what I started. Another factor to consider is that I am Asian American which means my diet already consisted of meat and a lot of veggies with rice. Rice was the biggest change in my diet. Before I would have a bowl of rice with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But because rice is carbs I had to cut down to only half a bowl of rice a day and it had to be either long grain white or brown rice or else I would go over my carb intake for the day. Also, I was a college student during this diet, which meant money was limited for food, but the gym was free and near to my major building. Plus, I walked to and from campus from my apartment, which is about a 10-15 minute walk, and because of my major, I had lab twice a week where I was doing exercise testing and training at least an hour or two each session. For regular people, this isn’t their everyday life, and sometimes its hard to work exercise into your day. But, without adequate exercise, the diet means nothing.
As someone who wants to help others get fit and healthy, I believe, that experience is key to being able to empathize and instructor others. Because I have been through many diet plans and have studied many more, I know exactly what my clients are going through when they start their own diet plan. When your health is on the line, somethings shouldn’t be sugar-coated, getting in shape and healthy isn’t easy, there are many changes that need to be made. But the most important thing is to do it safely, get all your facts straight before you jump into anything and stay skeptical. If something seems too good to be true…it probably is and your inner body is going to take the toll.
I have so many more episodes to share with you! I hope through these you will be inspired to change and become an even healthy person. ♥
Every day, Lai day! Striving to become better every day!