This diet is working. For me.
If you want to know what it's all about - here goes.
In the world of body-building there are various dietary approaches to get really lean. Most body builders have a low percentage of body fat, and trying to reduce it even further is very difficult. In order to achieve this CKD or Cyclic Ketongenic Diet is one approach.
The original information I studied was from Lyle McDonald who wrote The Ultimate Diet 2.0.
This is an amazing book that advocates a period of very low carb and a carbohydrate refeed lasting 36 hours. The focus of this program is to lose weight and gain muscle at the same time.
Now I am not a true body builder, and at this point in time, I don't want to get much more muscle size except my shoulders and biceps. So I made my own adjustments.
First of all I follow a low carbohydrate, low calorie diet 6 days of the week. From Sunday through to Friday I eat mostly eggs, meat/chicken/fish, salad, veges, cheese, and nuts and limit my total calorie intake to between 1200 and 1400 calories a day. I don't eat grains or potatoes but I don't religiously count carbs in things like spinach, or snow peas, or even half a carrot in my salad. My carb count ranges between 20g-50g depending on whether I am counting all my veges that day. I try to limit my protein to around 100g a day and make up the rest in fat [butter, olive oil and mayo]. Too much protein and not enough fat makes me hungry.
One day a week - Saturday - I eat only carbs and protein - no added fat! As I have diagnosed myself as gluten intolerant, I don't eat wheat or flour. First thing in the morning I have a carb hit before a serious weight training workout. This is the time when you can have sugar and fruit because you need to refill your liver first and then move to your muscles. Simple carbohydrates get there quicker. Last week I had banana and skim milk for my simple carbohydrate hit, but tomorrow I am having a chocolate treat with my milk. Protein level should remain the same this day as for low carb days. The Ultimate Diet recommends a huge amount of carbs, but I restricted mine to 300g for the day. I also eat a lot of complex carbs [oats, gluten free cornflakes, spelt pasta, sweet potato] rather than bread and flour products. Calories for this day are at what I figure is around maintainence .
The purpose of this day is to
* shock the body out of starvation mode
* stimulate leptin production
* stimulate thyroid function
* stimulate reproductive hormones
* let you eat all the things you have been missing/craving
* give you the motivation to be strict on the low-carb days because a reward is coming
* remind you of why you don't love carbs that much after all - they make you tired and bloated
* give you enough energy to work out for the rest of the week without feeling exhausted
The exercise I did last week was a completely off because TTOM knocked me around a bit but this is my actual plan
Sat - full body workout, medium weight, 3 x 12s [simple carb assisted - prime muscles to receive glycogen]
Sun - upper body workout, heavy weight, 2 x 8s [for muscle growth - carb load assisted - push to near failure]
Mon - glycogen depletion workout, compound exercises, light weights, 3 x 16s, + low intensity cardio [endurance rather than strength - depends on DOMS from weekend]
Tues - rest + yoga [stretch]
Wed - HITT cardio
Thur - upper body workout, medium-heavy weight, 2 x 8s [depends on level of energy]
Fri - rest or low intensity cardio
So the result of this could be something like this
Sat - pre-refeed lowest weight
Sun - gain some weight
Mon - gain some more weight
Tues - back to Sun weight
Wed - back to Sat weight
Thu - lose
Fri - lose more
Sat - LOSE MORE
Now I've only done this for one week so I am no expert, but it looks like you only really lose fat in the last three days. But psychologically the scales go down on 5 out of 7 days which is quite nice.
I am going to re-feed again tomorrow so I don't know if the weight fluctuations will stay the same or be different with back to back cycles. Stay tuned for next week's results.