I’ve written about my experience on Carb Nite along side with some follow up results blog posts. My wife and I did this together and it worked amazingly for my wife and I. I wanted to write a post about some dieting tips on how to do Carb Nite diet along with some common mistakes that clients of mine struggle with.
What is Carb Nite? Carb Nite is an ultra low carb diet that was originally designed to be a short term crash diet by the author. For 9 days you limit your carbohydrate intake to 30 grams per day. On the 10th day, in the evening, you’re allowed a high carb splurge. This cheat evening consist of an early supper , a late dinner and dessert. It’s called Carb Nite because you don’t start pounding away the carbs until after 4pm. After this 10 day period your Carb Nites are spaced out approximately once per week.
It sounds simple doesn’t it? If you’ve done any dieting in the past you’ve probably tinkered around with diets similar to this. However, there are some common pitfalls that either slow progress or cause some people to make very little progress. I’ll list a few and give some remedies for how to prevent these common pitfalls.
When the book says take in 30 grams a day it means that this is the limit. It is very easy to take in way too many carbs simply because of where you buy the food. These days a lot of people don’t cook and prepare their meals from scratch. Many of us eat out, and even though you have a “low carb salad” you may find yourself going over your limit by having a few too many cherry tomatoes as well as not reazling how many servings of the dressing that is used. A lot of the low fat dressings have roughly 7-10g of carbs, and sometimes when you order a salad they may put 2-3 servings. A good practice that my clients use is simple as just having them put the dressing on the side and all you have to do is portion out a serving manually.
Going overboard on dairy is another common mistake. Unless you have a history of tolerating dairy well, I recommend most clients to stay away from it completely in the beginning. For some people, dairy can increase your appetite which will lead to overeating.
Overeating is the next obvious pitfall. Unless you’re eating a lot of whole foods and foods that have minimal processing, it can be very easy to overeat. You may have heard that calories don’t matter when on a low carb diet. This is true for most people but not everybody. To guarantee your results its best that you’re cautious about how much you eat. Many of the “low carb” foods are very tasty which will either caused you to over eat that food, or just heighten your appetite for the day which will lead to over eating.
Not getting a good mix of fat and protein can lead to headaches or the dreaded “ketogenic flu” or keto flu. The symptoms are a killer headache and lot of fatigue. This occurs because your body is getting adjusted to not having enough carbs so the source it will try to use is fat. If your fat intake is too low your body will have trouble supplying enough energy before it can adjust. Don’t be afraid of fat, just make sure to keep your saturated fat in check. Sources like avocados, olive oil and coconut oil are good sources.
You can still have your steak and other fatty cuts of meat; you just have make sure that your only source of fat doesn’t comes from animal sources. Coconut oil is a common “go to” because it consist of MCTs, which is a type of fat that your body can break down quickly and use it for energy. Other fatty acids (that’s what fat is broken down in to) take longer to break down and by the time you get that keto flu headache, it can be too late before symptoms are relieved.
Lastly, journal your food and make sure you know how much carbs each food you eat has. Educating yourself on the macronutrient break down of each food will go a long way to make sure you eat the right foods as well as stay on track when following carb nite or any low carb diet you attempt.