If you have ever been on a low carb diet, you have probably heard of the term “carb refeed” or “carb up”. You may not know what these are, but they are essential to the success of a carb restrictive diet.
A low carb diet works by depleting the carb stores in your muscles.
In simple terms, if your body needs energy, and there is no muscle glycogen (energy solution in your muscles that carbs produce), it is likely to go find some body fat stores and eat that instead, leading to weight loss.
But, being on a low carb diet for a long period of time has a negative effect on your hormones, and specifically your thyroid function.
When your body doesn’t have adequate amounts of carbs to run on, leptin production, an important compound closely related to metabolic rate, begins to drop, and all sorts of bad things start to happen.
You start to get lethargic, and eventually, your metabolism will start to decrease.
But, by overloading your body with carbs once per week, you stimulate your thyroid and normalize your leptin and hormone production levels.
It is important to, not that it takes a lot longer to fully restore these production levels, but refeeds as short as 5 hours have been shown to have some effect.
By eating almost nothing but carbs, your body quickly replenishes your muscle glycogen, and some of the spill over carbs go to help restoring hormone production.
The science behind the refeed process and it’s benefits are quite complicated, but you don’t really need to know all the details. The important thing to know is that it is important to incorporate a weekly refeed into your diet, especially if you are restricting the amount of carbs you intake!
One of the main problems most people who follow a low carb diet have is the issue of fiber intake. If you have done keto or any other low carb diet for a week or more, you know how difficult it can be to stay “regular”. It seems as if you have to eat a pound of broccoli or spinach per day.
But, if you get a little creative with your ingredients and read nutritional labels, you will find that some relatively low carb foods have lots of fiber. Here are three high fiber low carb foods that are easy to consume…
Low Carb High Fiber Food 1:
Cocoa Powder – 1TBSP: 12 Cals – 0g Fat/3g Carbs (2g Fiber)/1g Protein
Not many people know this, but cocoa powder is an excellent source of fiber. You can use it in almost anything, but most people mix it in their shakes. If you use chocolate or vanilla flavored whey, it tastes just like a milkshake. Make sure you mix it well, as if you don’t it will clump.
Low Carb High Fiber Food 2:
Ground Flax Meal
Ground Flax Meal – 2TBSP: 80 Cals – 6g Fat/4g Carbs (4g Fiber)/3g Protein
Ground flax meal is another great source of fiber. It also supplies some healthy fat and a little bit of protein. You can use it when you bake, or just mix it in your protein shake.
Low Carb High Fiber Food 3:
Pysillum Husk – Pure Fiber
This is one of the best sources of fiber, but it also tastes the worst. It is best used in shakes, but if you let it sit to long in liquid, it will coagulate. This is best used as a last resort.
You can use one, or a combination of the above ingredients to get your daily fiber requirements without accumulating a lot of carbs. You no longer have to eat tons of broccoli or spinach just to get a little fiber!
Just remember to aim for about 20 grams of fiber a day, not only will it keep you regular but it will digest food and get rid of unwanted fat.