Experiences on the Carb Nite Program

Posted by on June 30, 2011

I’ve talked before about doing the Carb Nite program (I won’t call it a “diet”, because you’re only meant to do Carb Nite for a limited amount of time and then switch to a more sustainable long-term diet), and, at the prodding of a commenter on an earlier blog post, decided to follow up about it.

The short and sweet: I dropped to 22% bodyfat from about 24% in 5 weeks. Although the scale shows I lost only 5 pounds (coming to about 133 lbs), I must have gained about a pound of muscle to end up as I did.

I also reduced my waist from 29.5″ to 28″, and my “mommy tummy” to about 33″. I still feel I have a few inches to lose in that area, but I’m very happy with my progress.

I’m not still doing Carb Nite. In fact, while I was thinking about this post, I ended up finding someone else’s experience with the Carb Nite diet which was quite similar to mine.

“Polymath Scanner” — I love that name! — wrote a post entitled “Why I Dropped the Carb Nite Solution Diet”, and said:

On Thursday, I woke up and tried to go about my regular day after carb night. I didn’t really eat much, as I didn’t feel hungry at all. In the early afternoon I had an egg omelet as I knew I had to eat something, but it really didn’t taste good to me at all. For dinner I made steak and salad, and even though the salad tasted good I really did not enjoy the steak at all. The whole time I was eating it, my body was saying “Don’t eat this.”

On Friday morning, I once again did not feel like eating so I just had a protein shake but by the time mid-afternoon rolled around I knew I had to eat something.

That’s when it happened.

I went upstairs, opened up the fridge and saw all the different foods I had there which were Carb Nite® Solution friendly and I had everything in there to make a few dozen different types of meals.

I stood there for about 2 minutes, stared at the food in the fridge, and then closed the fridge door with the intuitive thought “I am no longer on this diet.”

And that’s pretty much how it went for me, too — on both month-long rounds of Carb Nite. I lost a bunch of fat up front, then hardly any fat (comparatively) the following weeks, just like Mr. Polymath describes in his post.

Around the fourth or fifth week on this diet, it really did just feel wrong to keep eating the high protein, high fat things all day. I quit the diet both times without having planned to, simply because at a certain point, it felt more right to eat a banana than an omelet for breakfast… and then it felt better to eat some baked yam with butter instead a turkey salad for lunch… and so on.

Interestingly — and I think quite positively — the end result of these two Carb Nite cycles was that it put me at a place where I am intuitively eating around 100 grams of carbs per day without even noticing it. I still have “sugar cravings” that I instantly recognize as a need for minerals (e.g. greens) or potassium. And the small amounts of high-carb foods that I do eat, I find so incredibly sugary that it’s actually hard for me stomach what would be considered a full serving of it.

So that’s it. I would definitely, definitely recommend giving this program a try. You will lose fat and you will gain untold insights about your body that will help you interpret your needs and cravings, no matter what program you’re on.

Oh, and as I wrote in another blog post, I found that being on the Carb Nite program, which is a cyclic ketogenic diet, was not only preservative of breastfeeding, it actually seemed to make my breastmilk fattier (which is good).

Have you tried Carb Nite or another ketogenic diet? Let me know!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1206702119 Todd-Shaunah Jones

    I’ve been lurking here for a about a week. I just had a baby 4 months ago and have been following a ketogenic diet. I tried the carbnite last week. I had been stuck in my weight loss for weeks and the 4 th day after my carbnite I finally lost a pound. I couldn’t for the life of me get below that weight… so maybe it did the trick? My 2nd carbnite will be friday. Hopefully this will help me lose the last 10 pounds OR drop 6% of body fat.. I am at 26% with a goal of 20%.

    • Naomi Most

      Hey! That’s awesome! 4 months postpartum? Give yourself a break, you’re doing great! :)

      Are you breastfeeding? I ask just because there’s so much fear around keto dieting while breastfeeding, so you’d be the first mama other than myself to have done it!

      (Sorry for the delay in response, I haven’t been paying as much attention to my own site as I would like.)

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1206702119 Todd-Shaunah Jones

        I am! and thanks for your advice on DHC.com :-)

  • Kelleil

    I’ve been on carb nite for 4 weeks now and after living at a 20g carb limit a day for 4 months and a 2 month fat loss stall. Unfortunately, I haven’t lost any fat, and I feel really lousy during and then I’m barely hungry the next two days. Not to mention my digestion gets out of whack. Weighing whether or not to drop it.

    • nthmostfit

      Hey Kelleil,

      I see this SO often with women who have done a long-term ultra-low-carb diet with no carb refeeds. Men don’t seem to suffer as harshly, but they end up with problems too.

      Our bodies weren’t meant to stay in ketogenesis for that long. We’re attracted to sweets and starches for good reasons! The burst of high-glycemic foods allows our thyroids to keep functioning as intended and “resets” leptin.

      If you’re interested in making this work, you have to give it some time.

      Also, I STRONGLY recommend lifting some weights on the morning of your Carb Nite. It totally changes the game, whether you’ve been resistance training already or not.

  • EmBee

    Hi Naomi,

    I’ve been switching between carb nite and CBL for a few months alongside my hubby and we’re both building muscle and losing fat steadily. I have just found out I’m pregnant again (third child! Kill me!) and am wondering about the merits of continuing CN/CBL and your opinion on exercise while pregnant as I’ve been doing mainly weight training with a smattering of pilates.

    Thanks.

    • nthmostfit

      Haha, congrats! I’m sure everything will turn out fine. :)

      So, my research into epileptic mothers who have been following a ketogenic diet since they were children to manage their epilepsy tells me that low-carb dieting while pregnant should be safe in and of itself. However, these mothers are not attempting to “skip breakfast” (as is the CBL recommendation), and they are not carb-cycling.

      My expectation would be that carb-cycling isn’t a problem while you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, as long as you’re getting sufficient calories and you aren’t trying to sculpt CBL for the purposes of fat-loss.

      I believe carb cycling is no problem because I believe that the natural human state is one of “metabolic flexiblity”, where we are capable of subsisting quite well on whatever fuel we have a lot of

      I don’t know if there are any specific *benefits* to the CBL arrangement. I do know that the pregnant body works very differently from the non-pregnant body in terms of the types of hormones swimming around. E.g. pregnant women have far higher levels of progesterone, HcG, and growth hormone, which all favor fat mobilization for fuel, and muscle growth (if there is resistance training).

      But I don’t know specifically about the healthiness of following a cyclic keto diet like Carb Nite or CBL — no one does!

      If you choose to follow these diets, let me know how it goes, I am really curious to know.

      Sorry for such a late reply — working on a book while trying to prepare for the holidays and managing a toddler nearly killed me.

  • Carina

    Hey Naomi, I’ve been on an ultra low carb diet (20g only) for 8 weeks, and I really wanna upgrade my fat loss. Do you thing that carb nite diet will work for me?

    • nthmostfit

      Yes, absolutely. Sticking with such low carb dieting for that long, you will probably benefit from eating high-carb meals once a week.

      Two hormones of fat mobilization, T3 and leptin, start to decline as you do longer-term low carb dieting. Eating a few high-carb meals will get them back up to par so you can burn fat at peak again.

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