The Naked Truth (NSFW?)

Is it impossible to exercise and build muscle without a lot of carbs? Hardly.

Here is Martina from the Swedish blog Health & Science. She eats LCHF without much dairy and lifts weights, and it shows:

Health and Science: The “naked” truth (Google translated to English)

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23 Comments

  1. Gary L Green
    In all fairness, I know young girls that eat junk from sun up to down and they look about like that anyway. Aint genetics, youth and hormones wonderful things? Now for us old folks, I think LCHF is extremely important if we aren't going to end our days looking like Jabba the Hut and hooked on every medication that the pharma salesmen educate the M.D.s to push.
  2. FrankG
    Is everyone in Scandiwegia so good looking?!? I'm going to have to move ;-)

    It defies logic to say that we lack energy or cannot survive healthily without carbohydrates -- "oh sorry honey... yes I know I should be out hunting mammoth now that spring has finally arrived, and all we had to eat through the long, cold ice-age winter was pemmican. It's just that I have no energy!" lol

  3. Erika S.
    Gary, you are so right. I'd love to see her "before" photo because I have a sinking feeling she's never struggled with her weight, at least not to the extent many of us have since childhood.
  4. FrankG
    @Gary -- the point is well made but in this case she describes herself as "25 +" so I'm not sure that "young girl" is appropriate ;-)

    As a matter of fact I was lean all through my childhood and teen years -- with excess fat mass only appearing in my late 20's. Now in my 50's I have, sadly, 25+ years of excess fat mass under my belt ;-( But much improved since LCHF ;-)

  5. Eric Babcock
    I'm a body builder, and I've been doing LCHF along with my brother for about 2 years now. The only thing you have to do to build muscle is to actually tear the muscle while in the gym. (it will hurt, that's how you know you've teared it.) When it Scars and rebuilds, that is the "gaining muscle" part. All you have to do is consume enough protein throughout the day to maintain whichever body mass you are aiming for. LCHF makes it incredibly easy to do since you are consuming a lot of complex proteins in the meat and fibers in the vegetables.

    http://www.cutandjacked.com/interview-with-Daniel-Duane-Babcock

    Above is an interview at cut and jacked with my younger brother. :) Hope this comment helps. :D

  6. eddie watts
    the google translation for that is hilarious!

    i don't think she is that muscular to be honest, not many actually argue that you cannot exercise without carbs though. in my experience anyway.

  7. Clparr
    Eric the Bodybuilder:

    Can you link directly to your interview?

  8. Clparr
    Durn, couldn't edit twice. I'm unclear if the Daniel in the interview is you (or your brother). If so, you say in the interview you do high protein, low fat, moderate carb.
  9. Milton
    It is probably true that her youth (and favorable genetics) play a part in her appearance, but I think that if more young people replace the fear of fat with a dislike for sugar and processed carbs, they will retain that physique for a longer time. I was lean through my early 20s, when a shift to a more sedentary lifestyle and access to foods rich in sugar gradually added around 75 pounds to my frame. As everyone else did at the time, I blamed red meat and fat for the gain.

    If I'd taken a more responsible approach to my health and kept my intake both smaller and healthier and kept up with my exercise, I would have been lean and fit from my 20s to the present (early 40s). I am sure that people would tell me "of course you look great, you are naturally thin" and assumed that I was a biological freak for being able to eat high percentages of fat without becoming overweight. The truth is, we can't really know without more data, and that will require more people moving away from standard diets that are low in fat and high in sugar and grains and towards more balanced diets that include healthy amounts of fat and protein.

    As for the claims of inability to build muscle without carbs, I think that a lot of that comes from the fact that bodybuilders will often load up on carbs during their training season when they are not competing. Putting aside the fact that many of them are using a large quantity and variety of legal and illegal supplements, your typical bodybuilder already consumes very large quantities of protein (some of them ingesting upwards of 400-500 grams a day) and is likely to be fat-phobic even during the off-season. So carbs are a filler for them, and they consume them in huge quantities, presumably in order to make sure that their long and arduous weight-lifting sessions burn off the carbs so that the protein is spared for building and repairing muscle.

    "You can't build muscle without carbs" has a VERY different meaning to the average person, who is not interesting in maintaining a BMI over 40 with a body fat percentage of 10% or less. I could probably build a lean and muscular 190 lb physique on 2,500 calories a day, which is pretty easy to hit with a low-carb diet (for the record, I eat a more balanced diet in the range of 20/25/55 P/C/F ratio). If my intention was to build a lean and muscular 260 lb physique, I'd probably be eating a few more carbs (and a heck of a lot of Dianabol, but that's a whole other discussion :p ).

  10. Margaretrc
    @Frank G, Loved your comment #2! Perfect!
  11. LCNana
    Yeah, this is kind of discouraging! I too was lean and slim as a young woman. But once menopause hits it's a different story. Add a sluggish thyroid to the mix and you get eating right (LC) and weight not budging, especially around the middle. And I sure hate to lower total calories too much - just lowers metabolism I think

    Oh well. At least I'm slim everywhere else except the middle - and will continue working on that. Merry Christmas to all

  12. Moreporkplease
    But with so little body fat, is she fertile? Does she still have her period? She's a lovely girl, but is she actually healthy? Pix like these are gorgeous but is this what healthy, fertile women look like? I don't think so. Do we women have to trade our fertility for perfect looks?
  13. Moreporkplease
    Aargh! Couldn't edit! I don't mean to sound negative! I applaud her success. Still I long for a realistic & accurate discussion of women on LCHF - from fertility to post-menopause. Andreas, your partner would be an excellent example! Or could we have interview with Dr. Fox?
  14. I started my adult life quite thin (110 lbs on 5'2 frame) but I had severe PCOS nonetheless. I NEVER ovulated on my own. We had to resort to heavy fertility treatments, including IVF to conceive our first child. It was during these treatments and after that pregnancy that I packed the pounds on.

    Eight years later I learned that low carb eating might help. Under the supervision of an endocrinologist, I started on Protein Power, and within the first month--before any appreciable weight loss--I had my first EVER ovulatory period without drugs. Six months later, to my utter surprise and delight, I was pregnant.

    LCHF is what a woman's body needs to be healthy, normal, and fertile IMHO. Martina does not look emaciated--she looks healthy. And I suspect her cycles and fertility are just fine.

  15. Anne
    Morepork, I think it really depends on your build. This woman has a very nice frame, and I see she is anything but emaciated or gaunt. I see a strong, fit woman there. There is no issue when you're FEEDING yourself to health. (There will be many people surprised to find out exactly how slender they are after a year or two of eating this way). Likewise, there are a lot of women who may still look healthy, or even a little overweight, but they are starving themselves, and depriving their bodies of nutrients to be healthy.

    I have people telling me all the time I'm too "thin" "skinny" "scrawny". I have a nice amount of fat and muscle on me too, but eating this way seems to melt off any excess I had, and apparently I'm small framed. I'm not about to do anything to intentionally gain weight, or fret about it. Last I was at the Dr. I was healthier then most of the population. So long as my labs look good, and I feel good that's all that counts.

  16. Galina L.
    Moreporkplease #13,

    I have a very positive experience with eliminating pre-menopausal symptoms and several other health conditions and loosing over 30 lb on a VLC diet (I am also hypo-thyroidal ). My BMI is 27, but I am content with it. I wish I could convince every woman to try ketosis as a remedy to deal with pre-menstrual mood problems , it is a mental health saver.

  17. Sacha
    I dont think she really has improved anything since before her low-carb days. See the link:

    http://translate.google.se/translate?hl=sv&sl=sv&tl=en&...

    I do think that low carb is the way to go but this girl looks about the same. According to google translate she is planning on writting a nutrition book. It should be published since February last year.

    http://translate.google.se/translate?hl=sv&sl=sv&tl=en&...

  18. Val
    Hey Doc can we get some T'shirts and bumper stickers made with your logo..LCHF......gotta get the message out there some how.....people will see it and will ask and wonder about it....man do we need help here in Canada and the U.S.
  19. Margaretrc
    So true, Val (#18). A T-shirt would be awesome. I do have a Fat Head T-shirt and that gets some conversation going, but I would love a T-shirt that simply said:

    Low
    Carb
    High
    Fat
    Rocks

  20. Cindy
    Do you think that LCHF would work for a distance runner? I'm just an amateur, 23 year old, female runner but I run half marathons and am training for a marathon. Despite my high weekly mileage, I've actually gained weight as I've started to run more. I think it may be because of my high carb intake.
  21. Zepp
    "Impaired physical performance is a common but not obligate result of a low carbohydrate diet. Lessons from traditional Inuit culture indicate that time for adaptation, optimized sodium and potassium nutriture, and constraint of protein to 15–25 % of daily energy expenditure allow unimpaired endurance performance despite nutritional ketosis."

    But altso take this in concideration!!

    "Therapeutic use of ketogenic diets should not require constraint of most forms of physical labor or recreational activity, with the one caveat that anaerobic (ie, weight lifting or sprint) performance is limited by the low muscle glycogen levels induced by a ketogenic diet, and this would strongly discourage its use under most conditions of competitive athletics."

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC524027/

    And this, you get as bonus to read!

    "Body composition and hormonal responses to a carbohydrate-restricted diet."

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12077732

    Try it out, test your optimal levels of carbs.

  22. Alexandra M
    Cindy - Also, have a look at Dr. Peter Attia's blog. He's been doing ongoing self-experimentation with intense exercise on a ketogenic diet:

    http://waroninsulin.com/nutrition/the-interplay-of-exercise-and-ketos...

    http://waroninsulin.com/how-a-low-carb-diet-affected-my-athletic-perf...

    "The notion that you can’t do high-intensity exercise without carbohydrates is simply and categorically false. Everything about this myth is false – the necessity of so-called “carb loading,” the necessity of carbs for glycogen production, the necessity of glucose to feed your brain, the necessity of carbs to “spike” insulin to drive amino acids into muscles. All of this mythology is just that. Every study I have seen that draws these conclusions is replete with methodological errors and without exception does not carry out an apples-to-apples comparison."

    http://waroninsulin.com/nutrition/my-pet-peeve

    Be sure to watch the video of his workout at the end of the third post.

  23. Matt
    The girl in the picture doesn't really have much muscle. She has, for sure, lost just about every ounce of fat and it has revealed some tone muscle. What if you want to build a little more muscle. Is this still possible sans carbs? I'm having trouble. I'm a guy and basically look like this girl and would like to look a little bigger.
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