Alex Navarro and Mary Gines Carb Nite

What is Carb Nite?

When I first started Carb Nite I explained to my friends and loved ones why I needed to indulge once a week and they were all on board. I’m sure at first it wasn’t because they understood why I had shifted gears so dramatically. They were just excited that I wanted to eat out and made it a fun game of choosing restaurants whose menus I wanted to explore. Not only was I able to experience some amazing cuisine, I re-gained a social life that I previously shied away from when food was involved. Mary shared a similar experience, but her switch to Carb Nite also meant enjoying her family gatherings again without guilt. She comes from a large family, who celebrates regularly with copious amounts Filipino cuisine. Using Carb Nite she could easily schedule her nights of carbs around family events and enjoy the delicious food, knowing that it was only going to help her achieve her goals. Sounds like a win-win, right?!

This is Part 3 of The Switch from Low-Fat to Low-Carb Series.
Read Part 1 – Why We Switched From Low-Fat to Low-Carb | Part 2 – What is Ultra Low-Carb (ULC)?

The real life cookie monster.

If no one saw me do it, it didn’t count, right? I’d sneak out of my room in the middle of the night and steal my roommates cookies. I’d plan to run it off at the gym the next day anyways, so what harm is there in a few cookies? Eating cookies wasn’t the problem. It was my behavior around the stealing of cookies that was cause for concern. The reason most people fail at diets is their restrictive nature. The Carb Nite Solution®  gave us what we were missing – a solution to the biggest problem with fat-loss programs – a night of delectable carb consumption without the guilt!  
Cookie Monster Bedtime
Courtesy of the Muppet Mindset

So what exactly is The Carb Nite Solution®?

The Carb Nite Solution® targets fat cells and is the only diet that creates the magic combination of hormone levels that can in reality destroy fat cells.”

The Carb Nite Solution by John Kiefer
It works by eating ultra low-carb for up to 7 days, which has a long list of benefits in of itself which you can read about in What is Ultra Low-Carb (ULC)?
Then, it’s the moment so many wait for – Carb Nite. On the evening of the 7th day enjoy some of your favorite carb-rich treats, providing you with a necessary insulin spike that revs metabolism.

Excerpt from The Carb Nite Solution®

“Carb Nite is about the treats and sweets because carbohydrates matter most. Rising insulin levels in response to all the sweet, sticky, crumbly carbs is the secret behind Carb Nite’s magic. Anticipating this opportunity to feast and enjoy what seems like a break from the diet, you find yourself noticing all the things you’ve given up… (over the last nine and a half days.) You’re about to enjoy them all and you know it’s a necessity. Your success depends on a full enjoyment of Carb Nite. What many consider a set back on any diet, a pleasure plagued with never-ending guilt, instead creates the hormonal afterglow essential for the success of this diet—the reason for calling The Carb Nite Solution® a powerdiet.”

Why High-Glycemic Carbs work…

“…a low-GI (Glycemic Index) diet fails to spike insulin levels, causing metabolism to slow over the years and body fat storage to increase.”

 

Our goal is to keep metabolism up.

Eating high-GI carbs once a week in the evenings creates that perfect insulin spike needed to extend our bodies ability to burn fat. It’s just an added bonus that most high-GI foods are generally the sweet treats and “naughty” carbs that we were previously told to never have!

“An insulin spike, however, only temporarily stops fat burning, but the resulting hormonal afterglow accelerates body-fat burning for days.”

  Sound too good to be true? Mary and I felt the same way after hearing it the first time too! But after years of strict low-fat, no cheat-meals and endless hours spent in the gym with little to show for it, we were open to trying something new. Plus, it’s hard to argue something as well-researched as The Carb Nite Solution®. With thousands of references from 20,000 plus research papers, Kiefer did the work and we’re so thankful that he did!

The knowledge Kiefer shares in The Carb Nite Solution® is invaluable.

To fully understand the reasons why this works, and so why many other “diets’ don’t, reading the book is a must! No two bodies are alike and we all have different goals we’re working towards. It’s important to remember that with any program there will be variability in how someone approaches it. After reading the book don’t be afraid to experiment . Take the opportunity to listen to your body and learn from it by the food choices you make on both your ultra low-carb days and your Carb Nites!

Why do we love Carb Nite?

One word – FREEDOM.

It’s more than having the freedom to eat whatever we want one night a week. It’s the psychological freedom of knowing that we’re not restricted all the time. We can enjoy yummy treats that help us achieve the results we, and so many others want.

Carb Nite is NOT a cheat meal. It’s a necessary tool to boost metabolism and regulate hormones.

Carb Nite IdeasWorking in the health and fitness industry for the past decade taught me a lot about the mental stresses that accompany most “diets”. As soon as we’re told not to do something or not to eat something, that’s all we want. It becomes a battle of what we think we want more – the immediate gratification of something yummy “off plan” or the satisfaction and feelings of accomplishment that we’ll feel once we’ve reached our goal. It’s a tricky game that many struggle to play and is often the reason people fail at traditional diets. With The Carb Nite Solution® we don’t feel the need the cheat simply because we’re suppose to have a night of yummy carbs. In fact, it’s a necessary for success.

Why it works for us personally…

We talked about how “cheat meals” negatively affected us back in our “clean-eating” days in the Why We Switched from Low-Fat to Low-Carb post. Our diets were so strict that even just the thought of having a cheat meal left feelings of guilt. The aftermath of actually having one was followed by feelings of defeat and an immediate need to “fix” the damage, which more often than not resulted in cardio marathons. I remember one fitness friend advise me that for every drink or shot of alcohol I had I should do an additional 45 minutes of cardio to my normal routine. Ugh. Talk about buzz kill. Not that drinking alcohol was on my to-do list. But being scared to partake in a celebration of some kind with a glass of wine left me feeling like an outsider.

Carb Nite

A necessary night of high-glycemic carb consumption meant to rev metabolism and boost fat-burning. .

Cheat Meal

When you break your own rules when it comes to nutrition by eating a large amount of something you shouldn’t.

Pre-Carb Nite Mary and I both dreaded going out to eat. We were hesitant to say yes to friends when they invited us out and attending social events like birthdays, etc was more of a stressor than it was fun. For me, the majority of my eating-out experiences pre-Carb Nite meant meticulously scanning menus ahead of time to ensure I could order something “clean” or worse… I became known for having perfectly-portioned food tightly sealed in a little zip-lock baggie which I stored in my purse.

cinnamon-roll-panckaes

When I first started Carb Nite I explained to my friends and loved ones why I needed to indulge once a week and they were all on board. I’m sure at first it wasn’t because they understood why I had shifted gears so dramatically. They were just excited that I wanted to eat out and made it a fun game of choosing restaurants whose menus I wanted to explore. Not only was I able to experience some amazing cuisine, I re-gained a social life that I previously shied away from when food was involved.

Mary shared a similar experience, but her switch to Carb Nite also meant enjoying her family gatherings again without guilt. She comes from a large family, who celebrates regularly with copious amounts Filipino cuisine. Using Carb Nite she could easily schedule her nights of carbs around family events and enjoy the delicious food, knowing that it was only going to help her achieve her goals. Sounds like a win-win, right?!

Carb Nite gave us more than the freedom to eat foods we previously shied away from. It opened to door to understanding how our bodies work and how we can use our favorite foods to achieve the health and aesthetic goals most people seek. We’ve definitely had our fair share of epic Carb Nites and perhaps a few where our eyes were bigger than our stomachs! The variety of treats we can have without guilt has also made for some delicious food discoveries. I’ve been Carb Niting it for almost 4 years now and it took some experimentation to find what works for me and my goals. I’ve learned more about my body and what it needs vs what it wants while following The Carb Nite Solution® then on any other program, ever. It’s easy to modify the way I eat for any new goal I choose to take on. It gives me what I need while still enjoying what I want. What more could I ask for?

Filipino Family Party Food

This is Part 3 of The Switch from Low-Fat to Low-Carb Series.
Read Part 1 – Why We Switched From Low-Fat to Low-Carb | Part 2 – What is Ultra Low-Carb (ULC)?
Alex Navarro on Instagram
Alex Navarro
Alex Navarro is a nationally-renowned personal trainer, fitness competitor, and nutrition programmer utilizing macronutrient time, The Carb Nite Solution® and Carb Backloading™. She has helped hundreds of clients—and thousands more online—reach their fitness goals through a combination of workout programming, nutritional planning through both protocols, and food science education. To consult with Alex on a one-on-one basis, or to become one of her clients, visit our contact page.
15 comments
Veronica17210
Veronica17210

I just started the CNS on 2/3/16 and am down 10 pounds! Is that what I should expect? Of course I have a long way to go, my goal is 75 more pounds.

hdmckean
hdmckean

Thank you for this information.  I have been reading like crazy and still feel confused about a few things in CNS.  I have been eating Keto for 3 months solid (Paleo/Primal/Keto for 4 years).  Before that, I did HCG to lose weight that I can't seem to get off.  After lots of research, it seems like maybe I need to replenish my glycogen stores to kick start my metabolism.  For years I've been IF'ing with BP coffee.  And I do calorie restriction even while LCHF.  I seem to have gains even if I have a little more than 10 grams of veggie carbs a day.  But I can't seem to lose weight.  I work out, SuperSlow lifting on Mondays, HIIT sprints on Wednesday, Yoga on Fridays.  I think my metabolism is jacked up!  So I want to start CNS. What should my workout schedule look like?  I've begun eating breakfast (eggs and animal protein) to rev my metabolism.   I've got the eating down, I'm extremely strict Keto.  I'm fine with working hard in the gym, but don't want to overdo it.  Do you have an example of a 10 day plan?  How often do you work out?  What kinds of workouts?  Do you do carb loads on workout days? confused... Thank you so much!!!

Alex Navarro
Alex Navarro

Mommaof3 It's always best to consult your doctor first, but I've worked with many women who've used this way of eating postpartum with great results.

Mommaof3
Mommaof3

Is this to safe to do while breastfeeding?

AlexNavarro
AlexNavarro

drgon77 don't be discouraged! The average weekly loss can range from 0-4 lbs a week and every week will be different. The fact that you lost some weight that first week is a great sign and the inches lost is even more important to consider than the scale number. So i recommend continuing on and focus on how you're feeling, how your clothes are fitting and every other noticeable change in the right direction you notice. The scale is only one tool to gauge progress and unfortunately it's also the most unreliable. Keep focusing on those inches! At some point you may want to consider adding in a little exercise, but that isn't necessary for progress to keep to moving. Long walks can help though too...so feel free to walk whenever you can and enjoy it! Best of luck!!

drgon77
drgon77

I started 5/22/15. Did my first week and lost approx 4 pounds..but i was going to do my 2nd carb nite tonight and then I weighed myself and was discouraged to see I was up 2lbs...which makes my total weight loss only 2lbs. I am trying not to be discouraged but, I am. I hear all these amazing results. I monitor my carb intake with an app. Should I start exercising? I am starting to feel I'll always be heavy. Only good thing is I did lose inches. I am 38yrs old, 5'3 and 176lbs..any suggestions on what I should do?

Alex Navarro
Alex Navarro

AmandaLeAnnRamsey Congrats on the weight loss so far...that's a huge accomplishment and you should be proud of yourself! As far as incorporating a Carb Nite into your LCHF lifestyle, there shouldn't be much concern for the long run, as the insulin and blood sugar spikes are few and far between. So long as you get back to LCHF right after those Carb Nites you should be fine. But in saying that, you will likely need some guidance from a health care provider to help moderate your refeeds and ensure you're achieving the goal on these nights without throwing blood sugar levels off or causing hypoglycemia episodes. In addition, if you're currently on insulin or other medications for your diabetes you will definitely want to get approval from your doctor on the best approach for you.  If you don't have a health care provider that you feel is qualified to help guide you through this process I can recommend one that is a part of the Body IO team and has worked with many people in your situation achieve great results through incorporating Carb Nites. If you're interesting in inquire to him you can send an email to coaching@boy.io and ask for Dr. Rocky.  Hope that helps! Congrats again and keep up the great work!

AmandaLeAnnRamsey
AmandaLeAnnRamsey

I've been eating LCHF since January of this year and I've lost 42 pounds so far but the last few weeks the scales are not budging. I've considered doing carb nite to help with this. My concern is that I am a type 2 diabetic whose blood sugar is very well controlled by eating LCHF. Would carb nite hurt me in the long run?

AlexNavarro
AlexNavarro

CThames Fat and protein ratios differ greatly from person to person and from goal to goal. In general though, most people keep their ratios anywhere from .5:1 to 2:1 fat:protein. For those who exercise regularly, and by exercise I mean resistance training, I generally recommend having protein around .75 gram per lb of lean body mass at a minimum. These numbers and ratios can vary a lot based on where I person's body fat is now vs where they'd like it to be. As for fat on Carb Nite, it doesn't matter that much. If you're trying to keep your overall calories at a reasonable level, then keeping the fat to a minimum can help tremendously. Although I personally indulge in ice cream and baked goods more often than not on my Carb Nites and they are far from low-fat. Again, it is something that each individual will have to play with based on their goals. I always suggest self-experimenting and tracking of food choices and progress to know what's working and what might need to be modified. I hope that helps! Best of luck!

CThames
CThames

Hi. Since it is a high fat way of eating and you don't want an insulin spike does that mean that you keep your protein moderate since high protein amounts can cause insulin to spike? Also, when you do the Carb-Nite do you keep your fat intake low while taking in the carbs and sugar?

AlexNavarro
AlexNavarro

crjtn congrats on starting Carb Nite and making it through the first stages! I know the first CN can be a little stressful, not knowing what or how much to eat.  Keep things simple and choose 2-3 carby things that sound good or that you've been missing. If you're worried about losing control and ending the night in a carb-coma (we've all done it!) then I suggest you keep the sweets to as late as possible in the night. Start with something more savory like a sandwich, burger or even sushi. Then save dessert for as close to bedtime as possible, so you can enjoy your much deserved treat and then hit the hay! Don't forget to hydrate! I hope that helps! Keep us posted on your progress and enjoy your Carb NIte!!

crjtn
crjtn

Hi, I'm so excited that I came across your informative site.  I eat low carb and at times the strong carb cravings have ended as you described in your cookie confession - I thought something was wrong with me or I was in the early stages of an eating disorder.  I'm concerned about my upcoming first carb nite.  While that huge stack of doughnuts on your site looks heavenly, I question my restraint after being restrictive.  How do you know how much/what type of food will give you the needed insulin spike?  Do you keep a carb number in mind based on how your body reacts?  Thanks!

fitlivingfoodies
fitlivingfoodies

Jillyboo Great to hear you've started Carb Nite! You can enjoy any tea you choose while on CNS so long as you aren't adding any sugar! We opt for stevia most of the time if we're going to sweeten something. If you drink it as is, then you're fine, drink up! As for the fat and protein choices, you can have anything source you want that fits within the guidelines. It's hard to have full comprehensive lists for everything, so feel free to enjoy tilapia as you please. As for the avocado though, it's not an ideal fat source while on CNS. It can be fairly carby and is one of the plant-based fats that don't seem to yield as good of results. Every once in a while is just fine, but I personally wouldn't use it as a primary source of fat :-) I hope that helps!

Jillyboo
Jillyboo

I've recently read The Carb Nite Solution and am hooked! I started yesterday and I have a few questions. Maybe I can find the answers here. I am an iced tea drinker. I know Kiefer gives recommendations of green and herbal teas in the book but will drinking black tea hurt my efforts? Also, will eating other protein or fat foods not listed in the book hurt? I don't see avocados or talapia on there (to name 2 I can think of). Thanks for any help!!

Fit Living Foodies
Fit Living Foodies

Great to hear you've started Carb Nite! You can enjoy any tea you choose while on CNS so long as you aren't adding any sugar! We opt for stevia most of the time if we're going to sweeten something. If you drink it as is, then you're fine, drink up! As for the fat and protein choices, you can have anything source you want that fits within the guidelines. It's hard to have full comprehensive lists for everything, so feel free to enjoy tilapia as you please. As for the avocado though, it's not an ideal fat source while on CNS. It can be fairly carby and is one of the plant-based fats that don't seem to yield as good of results. Every once in a while is just fine, but I personally wouldn't use it as a primary source of fat :-) I hope that helps!