Low carb diet? Anybody?

Ok, so I'm relatively new to Tudiabetes and I'm definitely here to learn. But, after a few weeks of checking in and generally commenting, I'm into it over low carb diets over in the main forum.

Whoops. =(

I have no problem with Bernstein's or low carb diets in general but I would never consider one as long as I'm working out at any consistent level. This, however, goes way back to my competition days rather than any recent failure to balance low carb with activity level. I would call my carb intake now moderate.

I saw Andy's comments over there but I'm wondering if any other Athletic Diabetics have tried it and what kind of success you guys/gals are having. I'd love to get my a1c back into the mid 5s. I think I can do it on my current regiment but if low carb can get me there without sacrificing my workouts, why not?

I guess it depends on what you mean by “athletic”. I’m reasonably active, I work out a couple times a week and, if there are waves, surf a few times a week as well. But my work outs are usually 30 minutes of 80-90% max hr cardio, followed by 30-40 minutes of weights. Nothing too impressive. I’m not a marathoner or a triathlete, and I’m in no way competitive. After 2 months of a low carb diet, I find myself as energized, if not moreso, at the gym. I still take extra carbs before getting in the water because I haven’t yet come up with a waterproof Dexcom/glucose system that I trust for the ocean, so I can’t claim to be totally low carb. Anyway, since dropping to <40g/day (usually much less) with the exception of surf days for 2 months, I brought my A1c from 6.1 to 5.5, so if you figure it’s really a 4 month average, then I should be on track for about a 5. But if you’re talking about being a seriously competitive endurance athlete, then this may not be too relevant.

I guess I said “Athletic Diabetics” because that’s what this group is called. Input from anybody who has a regular schedule would be helpful.

My workout routine is about the same as yours, just substitute “pick-up basketball” or “softball” for surfing, up the weights to 45-60 minutes, and it’s pretty close. I work out 3 to 5 times a week.

I do strength training and follow a low carb diet. I’ve not had any issues with low carb. Actually, I suspect following a high protein diet is actually good for athletes. Being a 50 year old diabetic, this is not about trying to be an Olympic athlete, and I want my workouts to be efficient, enjoyable and productive. My basic regime is to do weight training 2-3 times a week. I do mostly heavy compound lifts. I do some cardio, about 15 minutes of intervals before my weight sessions and then light cardio during the week.

It is my experience having follow low carb for a number of years and participated in these forums listen to criticism of low carb diets, many people don’t ever give low carb a chance. There is an adaptation period of at least 2 weeks and often a month or so. This is the so-called “Atkins Flu” time where your body is attempting to still fuel itself on glucose/carbs and has not made the adaptation to ketones/fat. I don’t have any energy problems and actually have a consistent level of energy.

Over the last three years on low carb, I’ve gained at least 30 lbs of lean body mass and gotten my bodyfat down to 15%.

This whole carb/low carb debate is a common point of discussion on this and other diabetes forums.

Well, again, I apologize if i seem argumentative. I’ve been a diabetic for 25 years but I’m new to diabetes forums.

My story, obviously, is a lot different thatn yours. I’m 45 years old now and have never had a bodyfat % above 7. My leanest years (about 5%) and lowest most consistent a1cs came when I was eating the highest percentage of carbs to fuel an aerobic heavy workout routine. I’d have to seriously hit the weights to see 175 lbs.

My carb intake has changed dramatically depending upon my workout needs but It’s never been lower than 20% of my diet even when bulking up exclusively on weights in the gym. Definitely heavy on protein at those times. I would eat around 200 g of carbs. I’ve had my carb intake as low as 150 g recently, but it is still a pretty high % relative to my caloric intake and Bernstein’s. Over the last year, I’ve been gradually increasing my aerobic capacity, and not surprisingly, my carb intake.

I actually got frustrated in another forum over the same issue. I had been having some problems and practically the first question, “Have you tried Bernstein’s?”. Which I thought was strange because it was related to the amount of albumin in my urine following workouts.

I am not a critic of low carb diets. I sincerely doubt that I actually need a lot of carbs at this point and I feel comfortable where I am, but I know my workout regiment will get more intensive over the summer. Just looking for information on how to proceed as my calorie requirement goes up.

172 lb
T2 diag 05.2009
a1c 5.9
run 25-30 mi/wk
If I ate 200 g of carbs a day I’d be back at my previous weight of 217. Within a month.

ok. i saw in another forum you mention that you were at one time a very competitive athlete, so I didn’t want to give the impression that my experience could translate to that. from my experience, based on your workout schedule, I would think you should have no problem going lower carb without sacrificing your workouts, should you decide to. but bsc’s comments about the adjustment period are very true.

If you have been < 7% all these years, that must have been very difficult. Here is a pictorial on what these bodyfat levels look like (http://www.leighpeele.com/body-fat-pictures-and-percentages). 5% body fat is basically at bodybuilding competition levels. Most competitors achieve that level as a “peak” of training and then back off so that they don’t compromise their health. Here is another example of a “transformation” achieving 5% bodyfat (http://www.musclebomb.com/personal_trainer_nyc_blog/archives/2006_08_01_joediangelo_archive.html). Personally, I consider levels below 10% somewhat risky to your health.

I am confused by the focus on protein in your urine following workouts. One should never have your urine tested following a weight training session, it will contaiminate the results. Always wait 48 hours after a weight training session before attempting to measure albumin or microalbumin in your urine.

Nothing difficult about it really. I have to work pretty hard to put on and maintain anything more than 155 lbs. I’m 5’ 10". I was a skinny kid and have always been a skinny adult unless I’m hitting the weights consistently. When I’m not working out, I consume less and I drop lean mass, but I’ve never gained much stored fat. My 7% was skinfold so it’s probably a bit higher, but judging from the pictures you linked, I’m under 10% by a fair bit. I’m 165 lbs now which takes lot’s of work for me to maintain.

At 5%, also skinfold, I was a competitive track sprinter at an NCAA D1 school training to build my base before heading to the track for the start of the season. I was scary ripped but, again, I ate as much as I could keep down to maintain my workout and competition schedule. I wouldn’t be that low year round, probably a couple of percentage points higher for the duration, or maybe hitting another low at peak competition shape.

I’ve been under the care of a endo throughout and I’ve never been told I have issues because of low bodyfat content. My latest bloodwork is summarized in my other thread in this forum. If you see something alarming, please let me know.

Regarding protein in my urine, I summarized those issues in my other thread as well. People have told me that they had transient levels of protein in their urine after workouts, but I’ve been trying to get some real numbers with real units to compare results.

3-4% of your bodyfat is considered “essential,” approaching that level puts you at health risk, which is probably why the concern from your end. Most men only achieve under 10% after great effort and only for a short period of time. Given what you say, you are unlike most people.

If I remember correctly, my microalbumin was in the 30mg/g range, representing microalbuminuria, not clinical albuminuria. Just remembering not to squat or deadlift before tests I’ve registered normal for a dozen times since. Hope that is helpful.

Yeah, I’m a bit freaky that way. I was always told that my metabolism would “slow down” as I got older, but if it has, it’s been a marginal slowing. Not so great if you’ve always been a scrawny geek as a kid. I hated it and I have real motivation to hit the weights.

I just don’t need to burn more fat which seems to be what going low carb is really good at. I 'd love to take advantage of the more stable BGs, but I’m pretty sure I’d blow through my gycogen reserves and be burning through muscle mass straightaway. I counted up my total carbs yesterday and I ate around 170 g which is more or less typical these days. Probably 30% of my total caloric intake. Not sure how much more I can cut.

Your microalbumin numbers help. My spot urine numbers were higher by a fair bit, but still in the microalbumin range. After being on Lisinopril for 12 days and taking 4 days off from lifting, I did a 24 hour urine and spilled 96 g of total protein. Urologist told me not to worry about it, but he didn’t test for albumin. I’ve seen some studies that show albumin can be up to 70% of total protein spilled if you have damaged kidneys.

Which acually brings up the question of how much protein I should be eating if I have microalbuminuria?

Why did you see a Urologist and not a Nephrologist (kidney specialist)? If you were given a clean bill of health, with absolutely no kidney problems why do you think you need to restrict protein?

I had a regularly scheduled appointment with my Urologist. I told him about my spot urine results and asked him if he could run a 24 hour urine. I spilled 96g of total protein, not enough for my Urologist to worry about but the lab didn’t test specifically for albumin. My endo, of course, is concerned about micoalbuminuria.

From what I understand, you don’t usually get referred to a Nephrologist unless you are in CKD stage 3 or 4.

Yowza. Let me say that again. Double Yowza.

Rule number one. Don’t listen to bullsh*t.

See the Nephrologist at the first sign of trouble. You probably have reasonable insurance. Why not go see the specialist? Let him tell you it is nothing. I am not an expert on this stuff, but albumin is protein and if you are dumping protein you should get it checked out. It may well be nothing, but it may be something.

You do realize that stage 4 is the point at which you prepare for a kidney transplant? You surely were not going to wait until that point!

I’m just saying. Triple Yowza.