Carb Nite Solution
The first diet I tried was the Carb Nite Solution. It was recommended to the hubs by a fellow Army buddy/power lifter. The basic concept is to severely limit your carb intake with periodic binge nights. Go super hard on yourself for most of the week, and then reward yourself with a binge of pasta, pizza, donuts, cookies, cheesecake, etc one night of the week. I figured if I was gonna start dieting, might as well just take it to the extreme. This diet was designed by a guy named John Kiefer, BA, MS. The basic plan is as follows:
- Reorientation: For the first nine days, you go through a reorientation period where you limit your carbohydrate consumption to a maximum of 30 grams (fiber is not included in this limit), which amounts to approximately two slices of bread. You can take in as many calories as you want as long as it’s within the carb intake limit.
- Carb Nite: If you have not managed to go insane by the 10th day, it’s time to celebrate! For the first half of the day, continue as you have for the past nine days. Then around 4 – 6 pm, your 6 – 8 hour binge on carbs begins. That does not mean just a plate a pasta. It is a full on BINGE. Pasta, pizza, bread, cake, cookies, donuts, and whatever else your imagination can come up with. You should regularly consume carbs for the rest of the night until midnight. It’s amazing, isn’t it?!
- Day after Carb Nite: The diet goes back to normal with consuming less than 30 grams of carbs a day. From there, you may indulge in a carb nite more or less once a week as long as it has been a full four days since your last carb nite. You also cannot go more than eight days without a carb nite. This may continue for up to six months, and afterwards it is greatly encouraged that you take a break from the diet.
The theory behind it is that your body maintains a storage of carbs. When you limit you carb intake, and your body eats through that carb storage, and it enters into a state called ketosis where it then turns to burning through your fat for energy. When counting calories, the weight you’re losing includes not just fat but muscle weight as well. However, on Carb Nite, you are burning mostly fat, which makes it harder for your body to pack that weight back on once you stop dieting. This diet is based on manipulating the proper hormones to promote fat burning. By consuming less than 30g a day, your body stops producing the enzymes that convert carbohydrates into fat. By doing so, it allows these binge nights to not go straight to your thighs or stomach. So why have those carb binge nights at all when your body burns fat because it has no carbs? Your body eventually adjusts to being starved of carbs and adjusts accordingly and stops burning fat. The binge nights shock your body by spiking its insulin and leptin levels to accelerate further fat burning.
During the reorientation period, people will often see pounds just melt right off. I remember burning my first five pounds during this period of time. That is your body eating through that carb storage. For me, this was awesome because I am greatly motivated by immediate results. It made this extreme diet worth it. Afterwards, I continued to lose a pound every one to two weeks. However, since I started in November, I took breaks for the holidays, and each time I did, I had to restart the reorientation process. The binge nights made it all the more gratifying being able to indulge in all your guilty pleasures, all the cravings you had been building up all week. I remember enjoying evenings of eating Mellow Mushroom pizza and Dunkin Donut munchkins and then going to bed with chocolate bars. Afterwards, I would fall into a deep carb-coma. Keep in mind though once you stop doing the Carb Nite diet and eating like a regular person again, there will be a brief rebound of your body filling that carb storage back up, but that’s usually only a couple pounds.
The science behind it all is thoroughly explained in the Carb Nite Solutions book, and I might have gotten some of those facts wrong since overly scientific terms tend to confuse me. It was definitely a good read though, and I highly recommend it. I lost my first 10 lbs this way. However, with how many things that contain carbs, it’s hard to continue this lifestyle very long. Another downside to this diet is that it does not give you much energy if you exercise. I typically take green tea extract pills and vitamin b12 for an energy boost. Check out this post for low or not carb meals and snacks.