LowCarb/Ketogenic Diet Focus: Carbohydrates - Which Ones & When?


Good morning!  What did you think of those brussel sprouts?  I got a few comments from people who loved them (thank you!) hoping that the rest of you have had a chance to give them a try!  Today’s recipe I’m pretty sure is going to raise some eyebrows and get a few of you pretty excited.  In the land of low carb and ketogenic diets, any time we bring up something like a sweet potato there seems to be a collective and palpable sense of excitement.  Something starchy I can eat???  Yes, absolutely.  At the right time and in the right amounts, sweet potatoes can be a fantastic tool to avoid getting stuck on a plateau, sad and miserable wondering where the heck you went wrong.

Carbohydrate cycling, Carb backloading, Cyclical Ketogenic Diets all of these have something in common - they strategically use carbs to give you a break from your day to day, to avoid your body over-adapting to a super low carb plan and to take advantage of the increase in insulin sensitivity that is created when you exercise.  Know, that just like everything else, this strategy works differently for different people

  • some people will step on the scale the morning after they ate a bunch of carbs and see an increase in weight -totally normal, it’s water and will likely disappear in a day or so along with a pound or two of the stuff you wanted to lose in the first place.
  • Other people will see a drop in weight the very next morning - probably also water but they won’t see this weight come back (as long as they stick to their program).

If what you are after is your best health than you will want to watch what carbs you use for this.  I subscribe to Bulletproof principles that are as careful about the quality of your food as your macro balance.  So for me, I will use sweet potatoes, root vegetables and some white rice to get the job done - the vegetables are nutrient dense and the rice is basically hypoallergenic (for most) and easy to digest plus it’s great for sleep as it contributes to the production of GABA, a neurotransmitter that is calming and necessary to get you to dreamland.

Post workout and end of day are the best times to consume your carbs.  If you are following a low carb and/or ketogenic plan you will likely introduce carbs 1-2 days a week strategically.  This is not about doing this on a daily basis.  If you are a high performance athlete or looking to significantly increase your muscle mass as a bodybuilder this article is not for you - you have a different set of circumstances altogether, you are likely more insulin sensitive and can tolerate a much higher carb load than the average person.  But for those of you who are looking to improve your body composition and are dealing with some level of insulin resistance, pre or at Type 2 diabetes, obesity etc….the following suggestions are for you:

  • One day a week, break out of your super low carb routine and add a sweet potato (with MCT oil, salt & cinnamon) to your dinner. Preferably not the monster kind of sweet potato that is the size of a small child’s head…be reasonable.  Start with a small one - about 180 grams - this will provide you with only 31 net grams of carbs - modest by most standards but significant to your carb depleted state.  See how you feel.  How does your body react?
  • To make the most of your experience do a workout before that dinner or, just have the sweet potato after your workout (within an hour or so is fine). You should be more insulin sensitive so what you do not burn will get stored as glycogen…all good.  Water gets stored with glycogen - this is part of the reason why you may see a bit of a bump in water weight tomorrow morning.
  • Don’t like sweet potatoes? Do the same with steamed white rice instead start with 1/2 a cup (only 22 grams of carbs), experiment with a full cup.  Drizzle it with a tablespoon of MCT (Brain Octane Oil or a tablespoon of grass fed butter).  See how you do.  How do you feel after your meal?  How did you sleep?  Did it affect your weight the next day?  And the day after that?
  • Experiment with Protein fast Days where one day a week you eat less than 15 grams of total protein but lots of carbs and healthy fats. This is a strategy outlined in the Bulletproof Diet book that can be very powerful to shock your metabolism and help your body clean out cellular debris.

I’ll bet you can’t wait to do this.  Will it kick you out of ketosis?  You bet it will, but for most people for just one day, two at the most.  As you all know, I am a lot less focused on people being in a ketogenic state (unless they have certain diseases like certain cancers, neurodegenerative states or suffer from certain seizure disorders) than I am on finding the dietary plan that is most sustainable for each individual while giving them the best results - both from an overall health and body composition perspective.  No point being thin if you end up getting sick - it’s that simple.  Try this out and let me know how you do!  Or have you tried it before?  Use the comments section on the blog let’s get the conversation started!

Keto//OS Fast Facts: How long before I see/experience benefits?

This is a question I get A LOT.  Even at consumer shows, when people drink a thimbleful of shake and wait expectantly, hoping for angels to sing and fat to melt off their bellies.  I’m kidding - but I do get this question.  Almost every day.  Can anyone guess the answer?  It depends.  Seriously it’s like when the weatherman says it’s going to rain and be sunny and possibly windy….anyone could say that and be right.  Let me explain. 

  • Some people feel an immediate increase in focus and mental energy, for others, it may take a bit of time of daily use before they realize that they get a LOT more work done in the hours after they drink their shake. This was my friend the cardiologist. 
  • As an appetite suppressor, most people experience this effect to some degree but it almost always requires you to find the right formula for you. A recent client called to tell me that KetoMax was crucial in getting him through the first few days of a seven (!) day fast.  He would drink the shake and bam.  No more hunger.  7 days is a long time…you have to build up to these things please do not try this tomorrow - I’m just making a point.
  • As a pre workout - again, some people swear by the boost in energy they get from their KetoMax, for others, it’s less noticeable, but what they notice is better focus to push through the work and better recovery (that’s me).
  • As a tool for fat loss - some people start to release fat almost immediately, for others it will take a couple of weeks or months of consistency, using the product, eating a solid diet and exercising. You don’t have to be doing crossfit but you should be moving every day.

Thank you as always for reading, for your comments and emails.   Follow me on Social Media links (below my signature) for healthy meal ideas, health tips and to be the first to hear about Pruvit sales and promotions.

Useful links:

  • To reach me directly, email: canfuel@lowcarbcanada.ca
  • To order Keto//OS: shopketo.com/ca
  • To order a “5 day Experience” (5 single sachets) to try the product please email me and we can get you set up.
  • When you receive your order to get you started on your Keto journey watch the videos at: drinkyoursample.com/ca  The first explains how to use Keto//OS and the second explains how ketones work in your body - both are short and informative.
  • Ask about Pruvit’s new customer referral program - if you are on Smartship, just sign up two friends as Smartship customers and get your product for free!

Note: Say yes to Today and Smartship when you are placing your order to save money and make sure you never run out of ketones!  Smartship can be cancelled at any time with the push of a button with no penalty by simply logging into your back office and looking for the Box “My Smartship” on the home page.


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Facebook:       KetoNat

Website:          NathalieNiddam.com

Recipe: Sweet Potato Dream

This will be the shortest and simplest recipe I will have ever posted but possibly the most popular lol!  Sweet potatoes are a delicious source of Vitamins A and C and healthy carbs when used properly.  On the days you choose to indulge just do this:

Bake a medium sweet potato (about 180 grams) till soft inside at 320.

You can poke a few holes in the skin or wrap it in foil to help it along.

Cut the potato in half, drizzle with 1 TBSP MCT oil, sprinkle with sea salt and cinnamon, mash it if you are so inclined.

STOP.  Take a leisurely breath.  Slowly, scoop out your first bite and savour.  Take your time.  Enjoy.  If you inhale your potato you will look at your plate with confusion wondering where it disappeared to.  Take your time to enjoy it and don’t eat the skin - it often harbours mold.

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