So, having embarked on what most people would consider a radical fasting/exercise/LCHF programme, how is it panning out? Well, pretty good so far. I’m now one week into the experiment and have stuck to the outline concept rigidly, the main part, of course, being the fasting. So how has that gone, have I been ravenous, tired, obsessing about food? On all three counts no. And it got easier as the week progressed so much so that a meal I was looking forward to I couldn’t finish, and that was after a 24 hour fast and 32.5 miles of turning and burning, listening to myself think. What I ate then couldn’t have been more than, guesstimate, of 800/1000 calories, (and I am not counting calories). The main problem generally is boredom eating, especially during the current crisis, but remove that from your mind and being aware that hunger pangs come in waves and pass quickly, keeping yourself busy is the key. I have stuck rigidly to low carb and guess an average over the week would be no more than 5-10 grammes per day and within 24 hours of the start of the experiment, I was in mild ketosis - full ketosis from then on.
Start weight 177.1 lb
Current weight 172 lb
Weight lost 5.1 lb.
Miles cycled 132.5 - average 19 miles per day. Low 6, high 32.
There is, of course, the question of water weight loss as glycogen is depleted. However, there has to be considered the low calorific intake balanced against the energy required to ride 19 miles a day. That would suggest a zero-sum - almost like eating nothing at all, but I’m not bothered so long as the stats are going in the right direction - something is definitely happening.
But one question puzzles me. Does glycogen get restored on a very, very low carb ketogenic/exercise regime and if it does, would it be through gluconeogenesis via protein synthesis?
So how has it been overall so far? Well, on a toughness scale I’d say the first few days, out of 10, maybe 8, now it’s becoming the new normal and I’d say 5. I can’t see it going much below that but we’ll see.
Next update in a week.
>> Does glycogen get restored on a very, very low carb ketogenic/exercise regime and if it does, would it be through gluconeogenesis?
Yes ... and also by simply not using it unless absolutely necessary. Athletes who are very fat-adapted actually start to develop "marbling" (fat deposits) within their muscles; on a high-carb diet this would be a very bad sign indeed, but it turns out that a low-carb body constructs these fat deposits as a local power source to facilitate glycogen-sparing.
Glycogen on a VLCD is maintained at roughly 50% theoretical maximum capacity ... which is about optimal from a control systems point of view. I can't remember where I read about this, but apparently it was verified using muscle biopsy, which sounds a bit painful.
Maintaining your glycogen reserves (via endless carbs) at 100% is a pathological state; if you have no remaining reserve capacity, then by definition excess energy must end up dumped in bodyfat, or wherever your body can find spare space (eg., your liver). Nutritionists, unfortunately, think that having your glycogen nailed at maximum is a Good Thing, and encourage the shopping public to make it happen.