Learn about all the Benefits of a Carb Up Day with Keto. Being smart about a carb up day can help with many things, including weight loss stalls. Learn how to do it right!
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Benefits of a Carb Up Day with Keto
Most people jump head first into keto and think they need to stay in ketosis ALL THE TIME. They scoff at the thought of a Carb Up day and the mere thought of having to get back into ketosis again scares the daylights of them due to the keto flu. I get it. I was once there.
Let me tell you, though, that there are many benefits of a cyclical ketogenic diet. It took me a while to warm up to the idea and after much research, I was sold – especially since I have Hashimoto’s.
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What is a Carb up day?
A Carb Up day is simply one day per week (I would not recommend more than that) where you have higher (healthy) carbs as part of your keto meal plan.
It does not mean eating candy and crap and having a cheat day.
It is a purposeful consumption of healthy carbs, such as sweet potatoes.
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Benefits of a cyclical ketogenic diet
Why would anyone want to do this when the keto flu SUCKS? Well, many reasons actually. We will go through each one and then talk about frequency and whether the keto flu really plays a role.
Benefit #1 It keeps your metabolism REVVED UP!
Being in ketosis all the time can stall your metabolism a bit. Notice I say CAN instead of WILL. It CAN. Jumping in and out of ketosis on occasion will keep your metabolism in tip-top shape and keep it guessing!
Benefit #2 It can help with weight loss plateaus (see #1)
(see Benefit #1)
Often, if you hit a stall, having a carb up day as part of your keto diet plan will be just enough to give it a jumpstart and the weight loss often starts up again.
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Benefit #3 It is helpful for building muscle
Our muscles DO need glucose. One complaint with keto is that there is sometimes a small amount of muscle mass loss. There are several ways to combat that. One way is to have carb up days in order to replenish the glycogen stores in your muscles.
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Benefit #4 It has helped me with Hashimoto’s
There is a lot of controversy on this one. Many think those with Hashi’s or thyroid issues should stay away from keto because it stresses out the Thyroid. Other’s think you simply need to practice cyclical keto instead of strict keto.
I happen to be in the cyclical keto camp. I have to practice keto due to my blood sugars, but I can’t do it 100% of the time due to Hashimoto’s. Having one day a week a carb up day is just what I need to manage BOTH.
When should you do it?
I personally think once a week is optimal. If you do it more often then you will spend more time OUT of ketosis than IN ketosis.
It is also best to eat your carb up meal at dinner rather than at breakfast. You may even sleep better and your carb “rebound” will happen when you are asleep!
What about the Keto Flu?
One fear people have is that they will continue to go through the keto flu. From my experience, this is not the case. It happened less and less each time. Eventually, my body became efficient going in and out of ketosis and the keto flu was a non-issue.
I would be back into ketosis usually within 24-36 hours which was fantastic.
Give it a shot and see how you feel! That is the best way to test it out and see how your body reacts.
AmyMeyersMd (she paraphrases the thyroid issues well with cited references – which are key)