Low-carb diet and insulin:
Low-carb diets are supposed to decreasing insulin levels -- which can help the body to burn stored fat for energy. If the diet works correctly, your body should be in a near-constant state of fat burning, which can be an effective way to lose weight.
I have been experimenting with Carb Night and Carb Back loading recently. The basic idea is to eat ultra-low carb (less than 30 gm) to induce ketosis which primes your body to burn fat while preserving muscle. Then on one day of the week, during a 6-8 hours window in the evening, after your weight workout load up on a massive amount of high glycemic index carb. This will incite a large insulin spike which tells the body that there is plenty of food around, preventing the typical down-regulation of metabolism seen in starvation.
In this method, if you raise insulin even slightly by eating carbs—30 or more grams will do it—you seriously impair your body’s ability to burn fat for the rest of the day. Worse, you may even get fatter because of the presence of another hormone—cortisol. A stress hormone, cortisol will break down fat all morning, but combined with raised insulin, it can actually cause your body to create new fat cells.
For six days of the week, you eat ultra low-carb (30 gram or less) then on Sunday night, from about 6 p.m. until you go to bed, you can pretty much eat whatever you want, including sugary food like donuts and ice cream. Carb Nite works by keeping your body in a fat-burning state for the majority of the week. Then, because you're so sensitized to any insulin release, the rush of carbs and sugar on Sunday gets used more efficiently. This means more glucose in your muscles, where it belongs, and less chub around your waist. If you are losing weight then increase two carbs night in a week.
Carb back loading is a diet where you eat carbohydrates at the end of the day. The first part of the day is spent in a ketogenic state—almost no carbs allowed. After an evening workout and a protein shake comes the flood of carbohydrates. The glycogen helps your muscles repair and will keep your body from being catabolic as you sleep. Don't go crazy and eat a donut or two every night. Try to keep your carbs clean. Instead of pizza try sweet potatoes and rice.
Which is effective?
This depends on your goal. If you just want to lose weight then carb night works well. But if you want to lose fat keeping the muscle mass then carb backloading works better.
Carb Nite can be effective without training. Carb backloading, on the other hand, requires resistance exercise to work.
Ideal setup if you workout in the Evening:
Until the after noon, keep your carbs low— 30 grams or fewer. Begin your weight workout at some point between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Afterward, ingest a postworkout shake that’s rich in carbs, and keep eating carbs until you go to bed. The same foods prescribed on Carb Nite apply here—pizza, ice cream, and so on. It is not uncommon for followers of the plan to eat 400 grams of carbs and still lose body fat while gaining muscle mass.
and if you work out in the Morning. If you train in the morning, you’ll need to eat a small amount of carbs after your workout and take advantage of supplements that help spike insulin so that you can recover from your workout without throwing off the hormonal rhythms of back-loading. That night, around six, eat your carbs, but go mainly with less sugary sources like rice and potatoes.
Non-Training Days On days you don’t lift (this includes days you just do cardio), limit carbs to a single late-day meal.