Will grains wreck a fat-conditioned metabolism?


adabeie

Recommended Posts

Just trying to figure this one out (I know it's probably in the book, and a friend has promised to lend me her copy next week) - 

 

Will grains wreck the body's habit of using fat for energy? Eg, if carbs are available, whether complex grain based (still no refined flours, as much as I can avoid), or from fruit (which I do enjoy in moderation as part of probably 2/3s of my meals, ie, two meals daily include some whole fruit), will the body forget about using consumed fat for energy? 

 

I ask because My main sources of starch have basically been sweet potatoes, and the general W30 layout got rid of my hypoglycemia, basically. I can go like 5,6 hours, sometimes more (I try not to but my schedule is, well, rather unforgiving) between meals now without any sort of crash. I really try to supplement but avoid snacking, so think of it as two main meals and a minimeal at work. I never could have done this pre-W30, and that's really the one thing i don't ant to lose. It has affect my emotional stability, a whole cascade of things. yeah, my skin's better, sure, but I'm not on these valley-peak lurches in terms of blood sugar any more. So, will having, say, brown rice screw up what the W30 has taught my body in terms of preferring fats?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderators

Unfortunately, there's no way we can say how exactly how grains will affect any particular person. You'll have to try it and see for yourself. What's really happening isn't that your body only burns fat, it just becomes better at using fat, which is a more difficult fuel for it to process than carbs -- it actually uses both. So, assuming you don't have any other negative reactions to rice, there is probably some amount of rice or other grains you can eat and not lose that fat adaptedness, but figuring out what amount that is will take some experimentation on your part.

 

Keep in mind that the reason grains, including rice, are left out of Whole30 are not just because of their carb content or how they affect fat adaptedness. There's a little bit about the reasons in this article, and It Starts With Food goes into more depth. Obviously, you can decide what you want to include in your normal diet after a Whole30, but pay attention to how you feel over time, even if you don't have immediate noticeable reactions -- you may find that if you include rice often, you just don't feel as good anymore.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately, there's no way we can say how exactly how grains will affect any particular person. You'll have to try it and see for yourself. What's really happening isn't that your body only burns fat, it just becomes better at using fat, which is a more difficult fuel for it to process than carbs -- it actually uses both. So, assuming you don't have any other negative reactions to rice, there is probably some amount of rice or other grains you can eat and not lose that fat adaptedness, but figuring out what amount that is will take some experimentation on your part.

 

Keep in mind that the reason grains, including rice, are left out of Whole30 are not just because of their carb content or how they affect fat adaptedness. There's a little bit about the reasons in this article, and It Starts With Food goes into more depth. Obviously, you can decide what you want to include in your normal diet after a Whole30, but pay attention to how you feel over time, even if you don't have immediate noticeable reactions -- you may find that if you include rice often, you just don't feel as good anymore.

 

I'm just unsure of how I will be able to judge the loss of fat adaptedness except for noticing decreased satiety between meals, or a reduced 'slow burn' of feeling nutrified for hours. 

 

Today worked out okay, though - I had a grain based breakfast, sadly, and that held me for about 3 hours though I felt pretty good afterwards. My W30 lunch was far better and kept me going until the end of my shift 6 hours after I ate it. More regular meal spacing isn't really an option for me, so I really need to preserve that fat adaptation. Like I said, it's been the single-best thing to come out of the W30 for me. 

 

Thanks for the article; I'm getting a friend's copies of the books later this week, hopefully. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Administrators

The only way I can think of "testing" fat adaptation is to do your thing for a period of time and then remove those grains and go back to a Whole30 template and see if you get the wicked headache and the "I'll just sleep here on the corner of this sidewalk while waiting for the light to change" kind of tired. Those would be indications then that your body became somewhat reliant on the grains/higher carbs over burning fat. This does not seem like a good or particularly efficient way of testing. ;)

You might also want to read up on brown vs white rice on Mark's Daily Apple (on ipad, posting links is a pain, just google). Brown rice, although marketed as the "healthy" version, still contains its bran and that bran is where the problems can be. White rice, providing you can tolerate any rice, is more benign.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The only way I can think of "testing" fat adaptation is to do your thing for a period of time and then remove those grains and go back to a Whole30 template and see if you get the wicked headache and the "I'll just sleep here on the corner of this sidewalk while waiting for the light to change" kind of tired. Those would be indications then that your body became somewhat reliant on the grains/higher carbs over burning fat. This does not seem like a good or particularly efficient way of testing. ;)

You might also want to read up on brown vs white rice on Mark's Daily Apple (on ipad, posting links is a pain, just google). Brown rice, although marketed as the "healthy" version, still contains its bran and that bran is where the problems can be. White rice, providing you can tolerate any rice, is more benign.

Thanks for the advice. I'll check it out, but if white rice is the preferred form, I'd just skip it altogether: even a little white rice turns me into a total zombie, like bad food coma, pretty much immediately, and lasting for between 45 minutes to well over an hour. It's bad. (Especially for all those years I ate the school lunches, which pretty much are built around rice given that this is Korea.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Tom Denham

Whole9 Moderator/First Whole30 May 2010

  • photo-thumb-6.jpg?_r=1403697759
  • Moderators
  • w9team.png
  • 6356 posts
  • LocationAlpharetta, Georgia, USA

Posted 07 November 2013 - 04:28 PM

I do not know the formula that would answer your question, but I do have some thoughts that I think are relevant...

 

Success after a Whole30 involves eating better than you did before permanently. To me, eating better means I almost always eat meat, fish, veggies, and fruit and almost never eat dairy, grains, alcohol, or added sugars. When you eat like this, your body burns fat naturally because fast-burning carbs like bread or pizza and fast-burning sugar/alcohol like wine are too rare for your body to adjust. 

 

I am afraid you are asking, how much junk food can I eat in a day or a week before it impairs my body's ability to burn fat. Once I know what that amount is, I will make sure I eat just a little bit less so my body continues to burn fat. I get the logic, but I am afraid that knowing how many slices of bread you can eat in a day or week and "get away with it," is not a new, healthy relationship with food. It would be the same torture as being on a diet all the time, counting calories, and figuring out how many points you've already consumed.

 
Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted 02 August 2012 - 06:52 PM


"Well, you're training yourself to be fat adapted/fat burning, and since your fat reservoir is (for most people) a lot bigger than your sugar reservoir, you're not supposed to need them once you adapt (except for specifically pre and post workout). Also, if you constantly eat little extras here and there, you're constantly sending your body food signals and food processing tasks, and your hunger hormones never get to cycle naturally."

Link to post
Share on other sites

After a year, I am thoroughly convinced that insulin primes the fat pump.   Sugar + Grains= Fat Gain.   

 

I know that grains would wreck my fat adapted status and 15 months of progress. Many have noted the effects of grains on their mental and emotional well being, too.

 

As Nadia says..."if something is like crack to you, you probably don't need it that much."   Grain is one of those foods.  A few bites in and the sugar carb dragon is roaring louder than ever. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I appreciate all the replies. I have reincorporated certain grains to what is so far an overall good effect; eg, breakfast is a bowl of oats with at least a portion of coconut milk and with some spices and such it provides reliable fuel for 5-6 hours (meaning I don't feel hunger until that 6th hour, and when it comes it's a stomach feeling rather than a mood swing), which is about how long I need it to until my work schedule permits a meal break.

 

I've been doing two daily meals for so long that trying three a day was a pattern I simply couldn't establish in the end, that was actually the hardest part of the W30 for me. There are definitely more animal proteins and vegetables in my current diet than pre-W30, and less dairy. Certain things my body missed, like milk kefir. My digestion was actually quite good pre-W30 and during, it was all over the place despite following all the proper guidelines. Go figure. 

 

The stabilized blood sugar has remained, which was my chief concern, and my energy levels are rising again, allowing me to get back to the workout routines I had had pre-W30 (that fell apart for a lot of personal reasons I won't get into here). More meat in my diet is probably one of the biggest effects of doing the W30, ironically - most of my home cooked meals previously were ovo/lacto-vegetarian, though not intentionally, my wife just hates handling meat and our schedules were so up and down we'd end up buying a steak or chicken and forget about it until the day after it expired. (We both cooked, we just would handle different meals, and dinners were her passion when she had sufficient time, which hasn't been in a long while.)

 

Anyway I'm taking the reincorporation bit by bit and paying a lot more attention to how my body reacts to certain foods, and staying away from things that act like crack. The sugar dragon is a funny thing that the whole 'wait 5 minutes, if you still want it., it's not a craving' notion has been good for, and frankly sweets.. kinda gross me out. I'd rather have a straight espresso. 

 

Thanks for the replies and input. I'll definitely be following up on any further replies. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.