Carbohydrates and the evolving diet.

Researching health and fitness is a hobby, executing it is an ongoing experiment and the results are measured by how I feel.  It’s really that simple.  People who are afraid of change or by what people think of them are identified by their past.  Why not just become comfortable with change?

You don’t know how good you can feel unless you give it a try.  And feeling good is just the tip of the iceberg that influences so many other facets of your life.  When I feel good I’m more productive, I’m eager to get to the gym, I sleep better, I’m happy and ambitious.  It’s a positive feedback loop that escalates and escalates and then comes crashing down.  Nothing good last forever, and it shouldn’t.  I just notice how I cycle through the peaks and troughs and then tweak my diet in search of good health.  And good health is balance; its not being skinny, its not maintaing the physical peak of your life and it’s not counting calories and ensuring you’re getting your daily amount of required nutrients and minerals.  Being healthy is feeling good and loving life, no matter what your situation may be.

Which brings me to my most recent dietary experiments, the addition of carbohydrates.  I have built up a crazy insulin sensitivity, eating 6 raisins can give me a headache and enough energy to run around the block 10 times.  Insulin sensitivity comes from eating little carbs for a long time (or more precisely, high GI carbs).  So now if I eat high GI carbs it sends me through the roof.  What I’m trying to do is bump up the insulin baseline, get my hormones in balance and maintain good health for longer periods of time.

So little by little I’ve been adding potato to my diet, twice or three times a week.  Then rice noodles twice a week, and now I’m eating a piece of fruit daily.  The key to this type of experiment is timing and restriction.  The best times for me to eat a carbohydrate dense meal is about an hour before the gym and within an hour of leaving the gym.  Restriction is about not letting it get out of control, not letting your high GI carb intake escalate into three meals a day and eventually building up insulin resistance (where you have such high levels of insulin you don’t notice any effects).

This type of experiment only works if you have a strong understanding of your baseline diet and how you feel most of the time.  Try a whole 30 or similar (30 days of a strict real food diet), set out your guidelines, do your research and measure the results.  You might be surprised.

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