Are you one of those people who’s afraid of carbs? You are not alone. In today’s episode, my friend Lesya Holzapfel, a Women’s Clean Keto and Carb Cycling Nutritionist, will share her experience and how she overcame her fear of carbs and found a new way to approach her diet. Let's explore the truth about carbs and see if we can conquer our carbphobia together.
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/278
- Lesya’s experience with Keto (04:26, 06:52)
- Keto as a tool (15:15)
- Carb Phobia (16:16, 17:50)
- Steps to overcome carb phobia (20:18. 21:59, 23:55, 54:51)
- Common misconceptions about carb cycling (27:40)
- Carb cycling as a tool (30:30)
- Lesya’s health and fitness goal (36:19)
Lesya Holzapfel Instagram
You're listening to Biceps After Babies Radio Episode 278.
Hello and welcome to Biceps After Babies Radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is about so much more than pounds lost or PR's. It's about feeling confident in your skin and empowered in your life. I'm your host Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, wife and mom of four. Each week my guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your own personal fitness as we talk about nutrition, exercise, mindset, personal development and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel and be strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in. Now, let's jump into today's episode.
Hey, hey, hey! Welcome back to another episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I am Amber and I have another fantastic interview for you today, and we are talking about the concept of Carb phobia and I know many of you out there may have at least a little bit of carb phobia. I don't think you could grow up in the 2000s and not have experienced the, the low carb craze and this idea that carbs are bad and the carbs are the things that are making you fat and that we just need to get rid of carbs. So I think it's very normal and natural for us to have at least a little bit of carb phobia and for some of us, it's a lot of carb phobia. The number of women I, I have that talk to me, that say they, you know don't eat bread and they avoid all fruits and things like that. It's, it's not a small amount and it's a very real thing that a lot of women need to work through. And so I invited my friend Lesya onto the podcast and she's going to tell her story. But she was a Keto girl for a very long time, in fact, she built a brand and a business around Keto and then she woke up one day and realized that it wasn't working for her anymore. And again, she'll tell her entire story on the podcast interview. But, short story is it didn't work for her anymore and she needed to do something different and realize that she needed to start introducing carbs back into her diet, which is a scary thing when you haven't eaten carbs for a long time. And so during this episode, she's going to share her story. She's going to share that transition of how she kind of made peace with carbs, what that looks like for her and how she started to add those back into her diet and how she utilizes carb cycling to make that transition from, away from Keto and into adding more carbs into her diet. So if you have ever done Keto before, if you have even a little bit of carb phobia or if you just want to hear a really interesting story about utilizing different tools at different stages and phases of, of your life, this is a fantastic episode to listen to, so let's jump into the interview.
Amber B 02:45
All right, I am super excited to introduce you to Lesya. We are going to have a fantastic conversation about something that I think is so prevalent both in my audience and her audience. And that is carb phobia, carb cycling a little about Keto, so I'm really excited. Thanks for coming on the podcast today.
Lesya Holzapfel 03:02
Thanks for having me. I'm so glad to be here. Like you said, it's just deja vu. You're online, so make sure to listen now. We talked all about macros. I'm excited to, to share about Keto and carb cycling on your podcast.
Amber B 03:13
Yes, awesome. OK. So give us a little background. Who are you and what do you do?
Lesya Holzapfel 03:17
Yeah, my name is Lesya Holzapfel. I told Amber not to even think about pronouncing my last name because she's not gonna get it. But I'm a Women's Clean Keto and Carb Cycling Nutritionist. I run my own online business, been doing it for a few years now, first started off with Clean Keto based on my own journey. And then switch to carb cycling based on my own journey, because that's how it all goes. And so now I kind of do a little bit of both and I work with professional women helping me find, helping them find that balance of something that's sustainable, that works for them and those in the realm of those types of ways of eating, so to speak.
Amber B 03:54
That's awesome. So I, I do want to dive into a little bit about your experience because like you said, it kind of informed how you are coaching clients and you made some changes in the way that you approach and teach clients based off of your own you know, experience with your own body. So I kind of want to walk through that with people because I think it's really enlightening. I think some people will relate to the experience that you had so let's kind of go back in time and then I know that you started Keto back in 2015. So can you just kind of share your experience, what prompted that you know, how were you introduced to Keto? What was your experience with that process?
Lesya Holzapfel 04:26
Yeah. So I discovered Keto in 2015 coming from, so I went to a school to be a Dietitian. So I was just taught like just to, to lose weight, you need to eat less and move more. That's all. Just cut your calories and then work out and then that's it. That's all you need to do. And after I gained 50lbs with my first pregnancy, I tried that approach and it just wasn't working. I was eating like 1200 calories a day plus breastfeeding and running 5 miles a day, so it's probably my metabolism was actually, probably destroyed lately the opposite of what I wanted like, super just sleeping like we're not even here because it's like under-eating. I was probably pretty much starving. But I didn't know it, so I just kept on cutting more and cutting more, and nothing was really working for me. And I remember I had a friend that was, she kind of did back then it was more of like Atkins, and then Keto started getting really popular. So she would always go on these like diets where she would be, do like a few months of, of low carb Atkins type of eating and lose a lot of weight. She'd like, look really, really good. And then she, like, slowly go back to, like, eating carbs and she, she just kept on doing it. But I remember when she would go on these low-carb diets, she would she said she had a lot like, energy, she felt really great. She lost a lot of weight and she looked amazing. And like, OK like this goes against everything I was taught when I was studying to be a Dietitian. But I'm so desperate to get this weight off and to get back into my pre-pregnancy clothes, so just tell me what this is right, I'm like it can't just be eating. She would always like crap, I'm like kidding Amber. Like she'd have deli, deli means she'd wrap it in like cheese. And that's like, I swear, that's all I remember her eating. She's processed cheese and telling me, tell me what it was so dark. So I was like, OK, I'm going to try it, so I tried it and it worked like, I so kind of back story I think that you know, I was never diagnosed with PCOS, but I always had the symptoms in irregular periods, so there's probably was some insulin resistance going on there. My sister, both of my sisters have it. So of course, Keto is really great for that also so I was like, OK, I lost weight. I had energy, you know, everything, all was well in the world, but it was really hard to make it a sustainable lifestyle. So I did it and lost the weight and then I slowly kind of crept back into my old habits. Of course, because you can only handle so much deprivation and restriction.
Amber B 06:49
So much cheese and yeah, deli meat.
Lesya Holzapfel 06:52
Yeah and just, you know, life and you, you miss all the things and I got pregnant. So I kind of slowly went back. I didn't gain all the weight, but then I got pregnant again with my second baby and gained 60 pounds, could not do Keto, I was pregnant, actually just wanted carbs, that's all I wanted. And then I was like, OK, I know Keto works, but how do I make this sustainable? How do I make it a lifestyle? So after my second daughter, I did, I figured out how to make it sustainable through this holistic, clean Keto approach. Lost the 60 pounds in eight months. All was well in the world of course until yeah, right, Keto works until doesn't, until kind of 2019 I started experiencing a lot of issues which I can get into here, but just I realized that long term Keto was not the best approach for women. And I had to like, I was the Keto girl, I was the clean Keto girl…
Amber B 07:43
Lesya Holzapfel 07:43
Built my whole business around it so I had to pivot, pivot like I'm never, right you gotta pivot.
Amber B 07:51
And I want to talk about the business aspect. So we're, we're going to get there, but you know, so to walk me through kind of some of your just that, that decision making point of hey, this thing that I've done worked got me results. I love it. I love it so much. I built a business off of telling other people about it and it, it's stopping working for my body so specifically, what did that look like? What was kind of cluing you in that maybe this wasn't the best thing to continue for your body and then how did you make that decision to, OK, I'm going to, I'm going to do something else?
Lesya Holzapfel 08:27
Yeah, it was, it was weird because I just didn't realize what was actually happening. I was very consumed with growing and starting an online business. And as you know, it's a lot of work, especially when you have kids, right? And so when I started it, my kids were really young. They were still at home with me. I didn't realize how much chronic stress I was under. I had just kind of just been going day by day and I was doing Keto, so Keto is a stressor to your body. It's a good stress, but not long term and not when you have other stressors going on so, I actually didn't notice any changes in symptoms until the weight gain. I was having, all of the symptoms of adrenal burnout, high cortisol, you know, anxiety, depression, wired and tired, couldn't sleep, was waking up in the middle of the night, couldn't, like, stop my mind like, jittery, like all the symptoms. But really, what got my attention was the weight gain. That's literally what my body was throwing like all these red flags, I mean like Lesya, we're struggling, we're like high and survival fight or flight here. And I did not pay attention until I started to see this scale creep up while doing clean Keto, you know, tracking my macros, working out, checking all the boxes. But I started gaining weight and at first it was like 5lbs, 10lbs, was like creeping up like end of 2019. Starting 2020 just slowly crept up and then it got to like 30-40. And I was like, whoa, whoa, whoa, OK, this isn't working.
Amber B 09:59
I just find it so honest and authentic that, and I think so many women can relate to this that your body was communicating to you in so many ways, right? So many symptoms that it's really easy to push down and, and just be like, oh, I don't have to worry about that. The tiredness, the jitteriness, the like, feeling like you're, you know, you don't have the energy to do things. Like all of those ways were ways that your body was communicating to you and yet the one that finally gets our attention is the freaking scale, because that's the, that's the one that we pay attention to.
Lesya Holzapfel 10:27
It's the freaking scale.
Amber B 10:30
And I just find it completely honest that I think..
Lesya Holzapfel 10:33
It's messed up.
Amber B 10:33
A lot of people. Yeah, it is a little messed up, right, but I think. So many of us would be the same way it's like that's, that's the symptom that's like, oh, crap, something's wrong. I gotta take care of this.
Lesya Holzapfel 10:42
Right. And it was also kind of like because I'm in this space and the weight loss space. I was like, wait, I'm like starting to gain weight. My clients are losing weight, right? And I'm gaining no the weight that they're losing. I was like, whoa, that was a big thing to me because I understood. And I'm like, OK, I'm running. I'm trying to do. It's a start-up and do the business thing and take care of the kids. Of course, I'm going to be stressed. I didn't realize how like how it was destroying my health on top of doing the Keto, which was, was a stressor also to my body.
Amber B 11:11
That's so interesting. So let's bring in the, because this is not just like anybody who is just doing a diet and it's like, OK, this isn't working for me anymore. I'm going to pivot. You had built a brand and a business around that and that adds a whole another layer of complexity and a whole other layer of of really being sure about the decision that you're making to go in a completely new direction. So how did you coach yourself through that decision-making process?
Lesya Holzapfel 11:36
So it was actually really hard. I was actually really scared to, to kind of admit that I was cycling carbs. I was actually cycling carbs probably a year before I actually started to share it. And there was, I got some backlash. I mean, my brand isn't that massive that, you know, I have such a mega audience of millions of millions like, oh, my God, you’re a traitor. But I still got some backlash. My audience is like they're confused. Like, wait, you no longer believe in Keto? You no longer promote Keto. I'm like no, I absolutely do. I absolutely love it. I think it's great temporarily. But this is what I'm finding and I want to share it with you because I don't want this to happen to other women. So they're still like, I'm not, I'm doing both. I didn't completely give up Keto and say that Keto is bad or anything. It's just that I'm realizing, like, look, we now have a little more research about long-term Keto. We now know what it does with women's hormones and thyroid and cortisol and period stuff and all these other things and sustainability really. And so it was really hard for me because I felt like I was betraying like my brand, who I was, my identity, right, Keto was my identity and I was like, shoot like, what do I do? Do I just start over? Do I not share anything and I just like, I'm like, I just have to get over it. I just have to because what I was going through was like, I'm sure there's women out there that are going through the same thing. And as soon as I put it out there. I got so much response from those women. Of course, you know how it is online, that haters going to hate. Then there's going to be people that resonate.
Amber B 13:08
are attractive, right?
Lesya Holzapfel 13:09
Right. And so the women I started getting an influx. Oh my God, this is happening to me. Oh my God, I'm gaining weight after three years of Keto. Oh my God, I'm feeling the same thing and I'm just like, OK, I'm not alone. And so if I can figure out how to do this transition, then I can help women do the same. And I just had to get over it, but because I'm not, like, bashing Keto because I'm not completely giving it up, I'm just saying that I no longer believe and I used to preach this, but I feel like if you're not growing and changing if you're saying the same thing to your, to your audience and you've said years ago, you're clearly not evolving and learning new things. Because life is about growth, everything is about growth. So we know new things. We learn new things and, and, and that's kind of the involvement of, of just human nature. And I just decided it was like I, I need to just get over it and just share it and, and it is what it is. Like this is just how it is now.
Amber B 14:03
Was part of you afraid that your business would come crumbling down? Because I think that's a really common fear of people who have built a brand around something.
Lesya Holzapfel 14:09
Not necessarily, because again, I, I, it wasn't that I was completely giving up Keto and that whole thing I said, how do I add in now carb cycling with Keto like I even kind of renamed it like clean Keto Carb cycling where like it still has components of the Ketogenic way of eating if you choose to do that route. But now we're incorporating carb cycling and I still have a Keto program and everything. It's just that I kind of shifted where maybe now it's like 70/30 maybe depending on you know it's like I have two different things now and you can do both. It wasn't like I completely decided. That's it. I'm no longer like Keto is just out completely. So for me, it was kind of that like it's a good little combination so to speak
Amber B 14:55
Lesya Holzapfel 14:56
But where are you at in your journey, right? Are you like, insulin resistant and have diabetes and need to reverse it? Oh yeah, clean Keto will help you. Are you like, you know, having issues with your adrenals or you're performing and you're struggling at the gym? You should probably carb cycle. So it's kind of very, it's more individualized I feel like now.
Amber B 15:15
Sure. And it almost sounds like it's like a phase-by-phase. It's like for a phase, Keto really worked for you and, and for that phase, it was a great tool and then you moved on and to another phase needed another tool to be added so it doesn't discount the tool, and the time period that it was effective or helpful, but it doesn't mean that that's the same tool that you're going to use for your entire life. And I think it's a really awesome way to find that balance of figuring out what's going to work for you and recognizing that that may change along the way and being willing to own that and share that with people because I think a lot of people have that experience of something that worked in the past, doesn't necessarily work in the future and be nimble and willing to pivot can really help you move through that. So I want to know, as you started to make this transition away from Keto, what was the hardest part about it for you and is that a similar, is it a similar struggle that you see your clients deal with as they make the shift?
Lesya Holzapfel 16:11
Yeah, carbo phobia.
Amber B 16:15
Lesya Holzapfel 16:16
Carbo Phobia. I never realized how much I feared carbs, it was actually sad and funny at the same time. So here's the thing. When you go on a Keto diet and you cut most of your carbs, you lose a lot of weight because, as you know, every gram of carb contains or every gram of glycogen contains 1 to 3 grams of water. So you're now eliminating all that glycogen from your body. You get this flush of water out right. And so a lot of times people will go on Keto, they'll lose like up to 10lbs in a week like, Oh my God, I lost 10lbs and so like this is it. This is the magic thing and they, they keep losing weight and eventually it slows down and stalls and you know, debt, debt, taxes and weight loss stalls the guarantee in life. But you associate now, because of course, we're all so obsessed with the scale, you associate this thing this way of eating Keto, this tool help the my scale go down this much. Which means in my head carbs equal fat right? Lots of weight, no carbs equal weight loss, lots of weight loss. And so once you make that association in your brain and then of course, anytime you do go back to eating carbs, which you know are never like nobody ever binges on sweet potatoes. It's always like the doughnuts and the pizza, of course you retain a lot of water and you gain a lot of water weight, you feel like crap, here we go, this is exactly it. I knew it.
Amber B 17:49
Proving my point.
Lesya Holzapfel 17:50
You think you're proving to yourself that it's the carbs? OK, so this went on for years, six years for me. And I associated in my mind that carbs make me fat. Carbs are the enemy. I was thinking Austin Powers and fat bastard. Carbs are the enemy if you know you know, and I had this fear of eating carbs but I didn't realize the carbo phobia was a thing, and so I would always default to Keto even when I started to notice symptoms and signs and I knew I had a carb cycle way sooner than I started, I still could not do it. I could not bring myself to do it. I was like, Ohh, I'll just try this or I'll try fasting or no, you know, I'll try these supplements. Literally the last thing I did was bring that carbs. I went through all of the things before I did it because of my fear, because of my past, because of so much weight that I lost and anytime I go off of Keto I gain weight so that association I made in my brain. I remember Amber, I'm not kidding you like it's it's ridiculous. I was afraid to eat a freaking apple and fear that it will kick me out of Ketosis. Because I was so obsessed with being in Ketosis as if that's the magical land of, of unicorns and butterflies, and you have to live there 100% of the time.
Amber B 19:08
Lesya Holzapfel 19:08
An apple, an apple with fiber and nutrients, but then I'd go binge on doughnuts on the weekend, right? And pizza and like, oh, I cheated. OK, let me get back, put an apple. And so that's what I found and that's what I'm finding with my clients that are coming to me, they're like, I know I need to bring that carbs when I'm afraid and I'm like, OK, you know, this is like we, they know they have to do it, but they're deathly afraid of eating carbs again, although they just told me that they spent the last six months binging on them on the weekends. And it just doesn't line up.
Amber B 19:42
So if somebody is listening to this and saying yes. And maybe even they haven't done Keto. But I think even I think if you grew up in you know, the 90s and 2000s, I think there was a big carb phobia and fat phobia that, that developed during those time periods. So for someone who is, who does resonate with that and says yeah, I am definitely terrified of carbs as well, and they're going to make me fat and all these things, how would you start to encourage that person to work through that fear, if they have a desire of saying I would like to eat carbs, but I'm definitely afraid, what are some of the steps that they can take to work through that fear?
Lesya Holzapfel 20:15
Get over it.
Amber B 20:16
Suck it up.
Lesya Holzapfel 20:18
OK, I wish it was that easy. Sometimes, like, girl get over it, no. So, I, if you mentioned a very interesting point, I think back then it was like we had this fatphobia, right, 90s, and stuff. And then, like 2000 late 2000s, now it's turned into a carb phobia, so who knows what’s going to be next like, I just, like never protein cause protein’s queen. But there's always gonna be something, right? So here's the thing, it's really about your limiting beliefs, and I know that you talk a lot about this, but if you like truly you have this limiting belief that all carbs make you fat. So I have my clients do a lot of exercises in my program where I have them kind of look back into let's say just in the span of their lifetime, right? Like one of the questions that I asked them is, in the span of your entire life, have you ever had a point where you ate Carbs and you do not get fat? Do you ever point that you ate carbs consistently and you did not struggle with your weight, your, with your body? You know, was it always the carbs? Or was it the kind of carbs you ate? And most is like a 99% of the time that like, yeah, like I used to eat carbs all the time. And when I was younger, it was this or that, and like, I don’t have a problem with them. So that's kind of like the first step, recognizing that it's truly the fact that you have programmed your brain to think that Keto, low carb is the only way to lose weight and keep it off. Hence then carbs and eating them will make you fat. And they're the reason, they're the culprit, and then what I do is, I have them experiment. So here's the thing, when you have a fear of carbs, right? And then you're thinking like I know I need to bring them back, but you bring them back in, like large amounts. And like, yeah, that's craziness, right?
Amber B 21:57
Sure and you dump a bunch of carbs into your body.
Lesya Holzapfel 21:59
Then look, and you're going to prove yourself, right? So I actually with clients like that what I do is I I titrate. I have a protocol. It's called the weaning off of Keto where we, we slowly titrate our carbs up very slowly while bringing the fat down. And we do that for a certain period of time, start with four weeks and as their body adjusts and they see that, Oh my gosh, I'm not weighing, gaining like 10lbs from eating carbs, they start to build this confidence in themselves and then they start to prove themselves that like their brain is like, OK, I actually will. I used to think that, but now I'm doing this. I'm bringing back the carbs slowly, I’m not gaining weight, I actually feel really great and, and it's actually pretty stable. Maybe, maybe this isn't true. Oh my God, Can you believe that? My thoughts aren't true. So it's kind of this like it's it's this dual part right, it's this dynamic thing where, first it’s like very mental.
Amber B 22:56
Lesya Holzapfel 22:56
And psychological, like your limiting beliefs in your brain patterns and then you kind of just have to do it and you have to prove to your body and yourself that like, let's try the other part of it. Let let's just see what happens.
Amber B 23:09
And then, then you can kind of like you said, prove to yourself that maybe just maybe, I've been thinking this wrong the whole time and it's not actually the carbs that are making me fat. And then you can have that breakthrough. And I love hearing that on the other side of that, you can get to the point where carbs are maybe a little less scary because I do know that a lot of people really struggle with that. So one of the things that you help and you kind of mentioned it a little bit here on that transition is using the tool of carb cycling to help somebody kind of transition away from Keto. So can you kind of talk about what, what that process looks like and you know how you would take someone who has been firmly in the Keto camp and start to introduce those carbs and help them to get more comfortable and, and go through a more carb cycling process.
Lesya Holzapfel 23:55
Yeah. So I find carb cycling this great kind of transition period, and this space between, you know, being low carb for a long time to just eating like carbs like a lot on the regular, right, because we never want to throw somebody that's been, that's been doing Keto low carb for a long time, just straight to carbs every day. What I find a lot of the times is my clients are and I was this it's glucose intolerant, it's when because you eliminate glucose for so long, your body actually forgets how to process it, like your insulin receptors like, oh, well, we're not working, so let's just go on vacation. And then anytime you do bring back carbs you, you know, you gain water weight, you feel tired. That's where a lot of my clients like, Oh, I tried bringing back carbs. I tried carb cycling. I, I gained so much weight. I felt tired, bloating carbs are not for me. I'm like, well, what did you do? Like, ohh you know, I'm usually 20 grams of net carbs a day and I went up to 150,
Amber B 24:49
You're like, oh my gosh!
Lesya Holzapfel 23:55
Well, that’s bound to happen, girl.
Amber B 24:51
Lesya Holzapfel 24:51
Right. So it's that piece of, of realizing that it has to be a slow transition. So really what I do is I kind of when somebody has been doing low carb or Keto for a long time, we want to do that titration process that I talked about. But really it's, it's low and steady, and depending on how glucose intolerant you are, how long you've been doing a low-carb Keto approach, and then you slowly introduce carbs. But you also want to be mindful of the type of carbs you introduce as well, so when I say carbs cycling, some people like Oh well, I could just, like, eat doughnuts and pizza and cycle with those.
Amber B 25:28
Lesya Holzapfel 25:28
No, let's not do that, right? Like if you're coming from Keto, this is like as as simple as, like, OK, you're used to doing low carb, how about we start bringing back a little different like types of fruit, right. So maybe somewhere like the peaches or the grapes, like a little more food to have more sugar. And then let's do some, maybe starch your vegetables like throw in some vegetables, maybe, like carrots, things that you're having in on Keto and start with that kind of get your body used to like, oh, we're having a little more glucose. Let me process it. Let me use it, utilize it, right? Not freak out here, so it's really about the slow transition tp bringing back carbs. So it's like that balance because anytime I found that like somebody went straight from Keto to back to all carbs like the results they just, it was back.
Amber B 26:15
Lesya Holzapfel 26:15
Yeah, it didn't work. That our bodies just, they can't, you can't do that to your body.
Amber B 26:20
Lesya Holzapfel 26:21
So it's really about that slow transition and then also depends on the person. Because if there's somebody that has, like adrenal and cortisol issues like me, you kind of have to carb cycle every day. So you have to, just because your body needs that to like your body needs the carbs to bring this cortisol down and increase serotonin to help your adrenal heal. So you kind of have to go. OK, well, what number am I comfortable starting at? And I can work up to that, but really slowly. It is really the key because you can't go from one extreme to the other.
Amber B 26:54
Yeah, it's just like reverse siding, right? It's like we don't go from a deficit and then just jump you all the way up to maintenance, especially if this is the first time you're doing it. Like you titrate slowly over time to allow your body that adaptation process to be able to figure out what to do with all these extra carbs or extra calories and, and then you're able to get to, to where you want to go. But it, it is a slow process and not a big huge jump..
Lesya Holzapfel 27:17
Exactly, same concept, just with carbs.
Amber B 27:19
That's right, yeah. So what are some, some common misconceptions that you hear from people about carb cycling? Because I feel like carb cycling has somewhat of a, like a visceral reaction for some people, it's like they either love it or they like hate it. And I think some of that is due to some like misconceptions about carb, carb cycling. So what does the common ones that you hear? And and how do you debunk those?
Lesya Holzapfel 27:40
So, like, they're really the biggest one is that it's just for athletes and bodybuilders. So usually like when I started researching carb cycling, I didn't see a lot of research about it is it is it relates to like adrenal or you know period cycle sinking which now is more common but before it wasn't and kind of using it for different things like menopause. There's really so many ways to use it, it's actually kind of cool, but all the research that I saw was just on bodybuilders. So like I'd go on YouTube like how do I carb cycle and I'd see these freaking big huge buff guys telling me, OK, this year you're gonna do 50 grams of carbs and just do 300. I'm like, whoa, yeah, now, really. Well, Nelly. Like. No. I can't, so that's kind of a lot of the times, a lot of women that I work with are like, what is it carb cycling like for the bodybuilders and the endurance athletes. I'm like, yeah, absolutely. It could be. And they use it and that's great. But that's not all it's for and then they also think it's very like. Well, when when I carb cycle then I just kind of like it's just my day off, right. It's, I mean they're like Keto and eat really clean. Or when I carb cycle I'm going to carb cycle and just go out and then have all the foods that I want. I always talk about pizza and donuts for some reason that's my default, so I don't even like Donuts, but I'm just gonna have all the carbs like any like, no, pay no attention to nutrition, fiber, you know, nutrients, vitamins. It's just a carb day. So and those two is like, no, you all carbs are really good, right? And there's a lot of yummy carbs that are also healthy that you can incorporate in carb cycle and still get the best results. And then, of course, the the kind of the other thing really is that they put all carbs in one category, right. And that kind of goes with my second point about the cards that they choose, but they, they like combined complex carbs with simple carb. And and they don't understand the differences and how those two can and do different things in our bodies. So it's just kind of understanding that what carb cycling actually is, it's more of a personalized approach to what you're using it for based on your goals and the choices that you make. And it's not that you can't ever have the pizza and donuts, because I teach a protocol, it's called Treat Yourself Day, or you know you schedule a day where you treat yourself and you eat whatever you want. You don't just do it off of the whim or self sabotage or just because you feel like it. You fall into temptation. You go. OK? This is my plan. These are my goals. But I want to enjoy life. I want to enjoy these foods, so I'm going to plan to enjoy it, right, and there's nothing wrong with that, but the overall picture is that how do you still do it in a way that you don't feel restricted and deprived from carbs, but you're still going after what your goals are. So let's say those are probably the top, top misconceptions that I, that I hear a lot.
Amber B 30:30
Yeah, I think that's really good. You know, I see carb cycling as, as a tool and it's like a tool that you can use it as a tool that some people are going to like some people are not going to like it's like any other tool. I think macro counting is the same way some people are going to like macro counting. Some aren't. It's a tool, and at the end of the day, there's nothing magical about Carb cycling. There's nothing magical about macro counting. There's nothing magical about Keto. But it's going to fit different lifestyles and different personalities better and different bodies, right? Like you said, different body types, people with PCOS. You know better than the others, and I think when we can really get out of this idea that like there's only one way to get success and only one way to get results in my way is the best way and then we can open ourselves up to to figuring out what's going to actually be really great for us. So what has been really great for you about that transition away from Keto and into including more carbs? What you know, you talked a little bit about the symptoms that you were having prior to that transition. Can you talk a little bit about how you're feeling or some of the you know, symptoms or experiences you're having in your body with adding more carbs.
Lesya Holzapfel 31:35
Yeah. So I love carbs. Carbs are delicious. I can't. I can't believe and eliminate them in 6 years. And that's the thing. It's like I didn't really eliminate them, I was, you can still have carbs on guile, vegetables, fruit and stuff. But man, I miss lentils, right and I and I missed like sweet potatoes and and all these other foods that there's not like apples, freaking apples. And so, you know, at first I was, like, really scared of bringing back carbs. But I knew I had to do this for my adrenals because I had gone through, you know, the list of options of everything, the supplements and the trying to start all the things I'm like, OK, carb cycling is like this. I took on the paper, says carb cycling option 10 or 15 million. Like I have to check it off. And I went slowly, so at first it was, you know it was a little scary. Because of course there was a little fluctuation, but I just decided I'm like, I'm not going to look at the scale. I know what's going to happen. This is basic, this is how the body works.
Amber B 32:30
Right, like I know how the story ends, so I'm just gonna not read the end of the story.
Lesya Holzapfel 32:31
Yeah, I know that like biology, but I was like look at this point I had gained 50lbs on Keto. So I was like, you know, it can't be that.
Amber B 32:40
Lesya Holzapfel 32:42
Right. I'm like I can't be like, oh, all of a sudden cause I'm bringing back carbs then then I'm gonna gain more. So I, I decided it was like right now my journey, my goal is healing and healing my adrenals and and getting back to that safe space where my body can let go of the way it's been holding on to in fear of survival and, and just getting it back to homeostasis. And that's my goal. So I just stopped looking at the scale and I went by how I felt and I started to feel like calmer. That was kind of the biggest thing I noticed, I felt more calm and less restricted as far as, like desiring things. But I used to desire all the time when I was strict Keto like, for instance, when I was strict Keto like I'd have, I'd always be craving sugar and and like the things I can't have right? And and when I went started carb cycling strategically with healthier carbs and then also taking some days where I just eat what carbs I want it's like those cravings went away. It's crazy. How can, brains like Oh, wait, you can have that? You don't. You don't need to. It's like, you know, you always want what you can't have
Amber B 33:48
Fixate on it, yeah.
Lesya Holzapfel 33:48
And I thought it's crazy. And I was like, Oh my God, this is all it took. I just needed to bring in some carbs sometimes. So I actually now I'm actually doing it full time, so I would love to get back to you know, some days are Keto, when I'm not as active and some days are carb cycling, but now because my goal is the adrenals and the cortisol which I'm still healing through. I carb cycled every day, so I'm very strategic about how many carbs and the sources and stuff, but really what I found was that over time, your body is wonderful and it adjusts. So you know, there are some days in the beginning that I was a little tired because of course when you're in the land of Ketosis, you're running off of Ketones as fuel. So you have like this brain energy and kind of this energy to go, go, go and it's great. But not for somebody that has chronic stress and adrenal issues. And so in the beginning, there were some days that I felt a little more sluggish. But as my body started adapting as I started incorporating, you know, more of the healthier carbs and playing around with the macros. And I really focus on upping my protein cause that was another thing I was completely under eating protein and that's the thing about Keto that I don't like that people teach is this moderate protein which equals like 60 to 80 grams like what in the world no woman should be eating that little protein and playing around with the fat and lowering that I was like. I started to get to the place where I actually felt good and satisfied. And I was like, Oh my gosh. Where has this been all my life and I'm like, I don't think I could ever go back to full-time Keto unless like for whatever you know, health reason or something like that. It's like it just feels so much more balanced and more sustainable. Really that's it, it's just sustainable.
Amber B 35:30
And at the end of the day, isn't that like, the most important thing is this for the rest of your life? Can you do this long-term? Yeah, it's so good. So good. Well, this has been fascinating and I think people are really. really going to learn a lot from this, especially those listeners who are out there, who really identify with that carb phobia. It is a very real thing and learning to incorporate carbs can be really scary, but just like you've kind of shown can be also really awesome for you physically and mentally and for your sustainability long term, so that's fantastic. I am curious. I always like to ask interviewees this because I think it's really fun to hear and get an insight into some other people's goals, and I think it helps when we can hear other people's goals. It helps us to have some ideas of what we would like to do. So I'm curious what are some of your current health and fitness goals?
Lesya Holzapfel 36:19
Yeah, so you know, after experiencing all that weight gain and all those health issues and being obsessed with trying to just lose weight, lose weight, lose weight, lose weight, lose weight. Now I'm like, you know what, F that, like I just want to heal and I want to get strong. So now my goal is to get back to the place where my cortisol isn't through the roof and my adrenals aren't burned out and also I'm building strength. I actually found out by doing a Dutch test that I have a lot more testosterone than the average woman, which actually is a good thing for lifting.
Amber B 36:50
And say you build some muscle with that testosterone.
Lesya Holzapfel 36:50
Exactly. That means I could lift heavier and I could build more muscle than the average female. And I was like, I need to take advantage of that rather than chasing the scale, chasing a certain number on that. So really, that's my goal now, getting back I know the weight will come off like it has to. I know it will, but right now I'm like focusing on doing that and, and nourishing my body and doing all those other things. But also how do I now take it like build muscle, right? Because that also improves your metabolism, makes it faster and just and so that's kind of where I've shifted where back then I was just all obsessed about being a certain size and a certain number on the scale. Now I just want to be healthy and I want to be strong.
Amber B 37:36
I love that, such a good, such a good way to wrap up this episode. OK, if people are interested and want to connect with you, how can they find you?
Lesya Holzapfel 37:43
Yeah. So I have a page with all my resources and my podcast and all the things that they can go check out. It's www.bsbtribe.com/podcast. You can follow my podcast. I have some resources for clean Keto, carb cycling whatever you want. And then I'm also on Instagram @lesyaholzapfel, don't even try to spell it out. I'm sure Amber will put it on show notes.
Amber B 38:05
It'll, it'll all be in the show notes. And it'll also be in the title of the podcast.
Lesya Holzapfel 38:10
So you can check and you can hit me up there as well.
Amber B 38:12
Awesome. Fantastic. Well, thank you so much for coming on and chatting with my audience. It was such a fun conversation.
Lesya Holzapfel 38:17
Yeah. Thanks for having me.
Amber B 38:20
I hope you were able to pull something out of that interview, Lesya is amazing and I am really grateful she came on and shared her story. I just think sometimes these concepts of carb cycling and Keto, their concepts, but they come alive when someone tells their story and you really get to hear the background and the experience of somebody. And so I'm really grateful for her to come on and add that personal aspect and if you are somebody who is struggling with carb phobia, hopefully, you're able to take a little bit away from this and start to break some of those fears and really address them and, and move forward and pass them, but you aren’t alone and I hope that you felt that as you listen to luscious story as well. That wraps up this episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm Amber. Now go out and be strong because remember my friend, you can do anything.
Hey friend, have you heard the news? We have a Biceps After Babies Radio insider list. If you love Biceps After Babies Radio, you don't want to miss a thing, head to bicepsafterbabies.com/insider to join the group. You'll be the first to know all things about the podcast. See some behind-the-scenes and get special messages from yours truly. We want to make this a special community for those who are fans of the podcast. And last, did this episode particularly resonate with you? If so, will you please share it? Either send the link to someone who would find it valuable, or take a screenshot and post it to your social media and tell your family and friends why they should listen. Make sure you tag me @bicepsafterbabies so I can hear feedback and give you a little love. And you know, if you aren't already following me on Instagram or Facebook, that's the perfect time to hit that follow button. Thank you for being here and listening to Biceps After Babies Radio.