800 calorie a day diet? Possible? Desirable

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Triple-Digit Post Count
After a year and a half more or less on keto, those carb numbers for the reintroduction blow my mind. 60 grams feels like a wild night on the town, I can't imagine what it would be like to hit 300 daily.

Steve Freides

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Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
After a year and a half more or less on keto, those carb numbers for the reintroduction blow my mind. 60 grams feels like a wild night on the town, I can't imagine what it would be like to hit 300 daily.
You'd be pretty sleepy if your reaction is anything like mine.



More than 2500 posts
Cyclic Ketogenic Diet

Bodyopus/Dan Duchane and The Anabolic Diet/Maurio DiPasquale put the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet on the map in around 1995.

Water weight loss occurs initially when carbohydrates are dramatically cut from the diets. I and a friend did the diet for a while.

My water weight loss was around 6 - 7 pound when I dramatically cut the carbohydrates out in the 5 day period. My friend was larger. His water weight loss was around 10-11 lbs.

In two days of Carb Loading, I'd gain up to 7 pound, he gain up to 11 lbs.

The training on the 5 days of low carbs was difficult due to the water weight loss and the body being "Glucose Dependent" for energy and not having enough glucose/carbohydrates to drive it.

The workout following the two day Carb Load made what every you put on the bar easy to move. Training on the Cyclic Ketogenic Diet was a roller coaster.

With that in mind, let's look at...

The Ying-Yang Effect of Hydration

The composition of muscle is 70% water. For muscle to effectively function, you need to be fairly well hydrated.

As we know, a decrease in water (dehydration) decrease performance.

Ironically, the muscles can produce more force when they are Superhydrated; which occurs with the Carb Loading process.

That is one of the reason that creatine (Cell Voluminizing) and some anabolics work, they Superhydrate muscle.

Car Tire Analogy

Think of your muscles like car tires.

When they are under inflated, your gas mileage per gallon drops. In the case of muscle dehydration (under inflated muscle), your performance drops.

When your car tire are over inflated, your gas mileage per gallon increases. In the case superhydration (over inflated muscle), your performance increases.

For someone interested in more in depth information on the Cyclic Ketogenic Diet, below is the link for the book...

The Anabolic Diet

As you know and for those who don't, the diet is about 5 days of high fat/moderate protein/low carbohydrates. It is followed by 2 day of Carb Loading.

Research by Dr Jake Wilson, determined with a Cyclic Ketogenic Diet, Carb Loading took you out of ketosis for about about four days.

Thus, on a Cyclical Ketogenic Diet, you are only in ketosis about one days.

Wilson's research also found that the Cyclic Ketogenic Diet tended to increase body fat.

Wilson's determined that individuals on a Ketogenic Diet need to slowly add carbohydrate back into their diet rather than jumping right back to a high carbohydrate diet. Doing so minimized fat gain.

Wilson found the most effective method in coming off the Ketogenic Diet was to add 100 gram of carbohydrates to you daily intake and keep it there for three days.

On day 4, increase you intake to 200 gram of carbohydrates. Then on day 7, bump it up to 300 gram of carbohydrate per day.

Kenny Croxdale
Do you have guidelines for superhydration? Like for a powerlifter going to a meet or having a weekly heavy squat session.

Personally, I have tried to stock up on carbs and salt like crazy for a day or two beforehand, but I wonder if there's a more elegant solution.


Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Do you have guidelines for superhydration? Like for a powerlifter going to a meet or having a weekly heavy squat session.
My Experience

Years ago, I was trying to cut weight, drop down to a lower weight class. To do that I went on what I thought was a Ketogenic Diet.

I didn't really know what I was doing, so my diet was actually ultra low carbohydrate, high protein and high fat.

With two week to go before the meet, I fell into the weight class category of being a either a fat 75 kg/165 lb or a thin 82.5kg/181 lb lifter.

Frustrated and tired of the diet, I decided to gain back up into the 82.5 kg/181 lb class.

I accomplished that by consuming a mega amount of carbohydrates along with a lot fat.

I gain the weight back quickly, which was primarily water. I was bloated and felt like crap. Walking from my front door to my car, 30 feet, was a cardio workout.

However, the weight in my lift increased and felt easy.

Ketogenic Diet

One of the criticisms of the Ketogenic Diet is that the initial weight loss is water weight, not body fat, which is true.

However, research shows that when an individual has been on the Ketogenic Diet for a while (is Keto Adapted) water weight is restored to the muscles, providing enough sodium is taken in.

Also, once Keto Adapted, muscle glycogen is the same as with individual on a high carbohydrate diet.

Thus, it appears that the superhydration effect of the Carb Loading Protocol doesn't work or work well for Keto Adapted individuals. The muscle cells are hydrated.

After about a year of being on the Ketogenic Diet, I tried to Carb Load for superhydration. It didn't work for me.

So, based on my personal experience, it appears that a Keto Adapted individual isn't going to obtain the same superhydration effect as someone on a high carbohydrate diet does with traditional...

Carb Loading

As you know, the protocol is for an individual on a high carbohydrate diet to cut out carbohydrates for about three days and then over consume carbohydrates for about three days.

In the three day carbohydrate reload, the body over compensates, increasing glucose/water weight storage; superhydration occurs.

I wonder if there's a more elegant solution.

For many, creatine produces "Cell Voluminizing" (superhydration).

I am a Creatine Non-Responder. However, some of my friend have gotten a huge boost from Creatine, superhydrating the muscles.


Glycerol also promotes superhydation. Years ago, Dr Robert Robergs research at the University of New Mexico demonstrated hydration was maintained during sport like American Football and Soccer games in the heat.

As we know, a drop in performance occurs with dehydration. Thus, players who maintain hydration levels during games, maintained their performance.

If you run across something else that might work, please post it.

Kenny Croxdale
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Still New to StrongFirst Forum
In my opinion, an 800 cal / day diet will only mess up your metabolism & once you reintroduce a regular diet - you’ll regain all the weight and likely develop issues with binge eating. It’s a viscious cycle that it is insanely prevalent in the diet & fitness industry. The only real thing that gets you results is long term consistency. Eat in a reasonable deficit. Eat healthy. Exercise consistently. Just change your lifestyle and give yourself a year to really look back and see just what you were capable of. If you obsess over fast weight loss, you’ll never get out of the gain/lose cycle.

Madeline Theis

Second Post
No, It’s not fine. It can damage your metabolism rate. Taking 8000 calories per day is not a good solution for fitness goals. For your fitness goal you only need to do proper exercise, taking a good diet, right quality supplements, that’s it. And if you want to cut down your calorie, cut down only 400-500 calories of what you consume a day.

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
@Madeline Theis, welcome to the StrongFirst forum.

I am closing this thread.

@Kana, if you are "very overweight" and considering a drastic change in your diet, your first stop needs to be your doctor, and I think we need to stop there. No one here, and no one except your doctor, can tell you whether such a diet is safe for you and your health. You mention diabetes but it's unclear if you are suffering from this condition - again, if you are, this is something to take up with your doctor.

Thanks, everyone - an interesting discussion, but let's leave @Kana to whatever course of action the doctor OK's and not recommend anything beyond that.

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