Carb Backloading – A Lifestyle Diet
I recently tried a new lifestyle diet called Carb Backloading. I have LOVED it so far and want to share my experience with it so far. Here's my story...
So, a while back I had been doing research to try and find a new lifestyle diet that would work better to suit my schedule. I’ll be honest I got completely burnt out on eating 7-8 meals per day of protein, carbs and healthy fats in each meal. I had been doing this style for years, because honestly that is a pretty traditional diet for a bodybuilder. Consume servings of lean protein, a complex carbohydrate and a small serving of healthy fats every 2 to 3 hours. Well, I couldn't do it anymore, not only because I was burnt out, craving some change, but also because with my hectic schedule as a business owner and working full-time it became an inconvenience to sit down and eat every 2 hours.
I began to do some research. I looked into fasting, paleo and also carb backloading. After doing more research and reading the book on carb backloading, I felt like this diet would fit my lifestyle best. I knew it might be a dramatic change to consume no carbohydrates until after you workout but I felt like with a little discipline I could give it a whirl.
Let me tell you my experience with carb backloading as I have just completed 8 weeks of this diet…
What is carb backloading? The most simple way to describe this program is that you basically consume only protein and fats throughout the day and then train late afternoon (I would train around 6/7pm). After training you consume HIGH amounts of carbohydrates.
I know what you’re thinking… consume a lot of carbs right before bed?! Thats crazy talk. And I will agree this is against a lot of traditional ways of thinking. BUT there is some science to back it up. Basically you are taking advantage of your body’s response to insulin.
When we consume carbs our body converts it into glucose, or sugar. This increases our blood sugar, so our body then releases insulin to reduce the sugar in our blood. It converts glucose into glycogen and is stored in our muscle cells and liver. If there is excess glucose it is stored as body fat. After a workout we are most sensitive to this response because we are depleted of glycogen from strenuous exercise. Our body needs to replenish glycogen stores and also begin the recovery process of the muscle tissue.
The idea behind carb backloading is that we hijack this system and LOAD our body with carbs (glucose) post workout to take advantage of the refilling and recovery processes. This will lead to muscle growth, improved strength and by limiting carbs throughout the day it promotes ketogenic processes to allow you to burn more body fat.
Carb Backloading Overview:
Carb backloading is designed to promote a ketogenic state while you consume only proteins and fats during the day and then promote an anabolic (rebuilding) state after strenuous exercise/training.
So how did this affect me? Let’s dive in!
- I saw a decrease in bloating from the limit of carbs throughout the day
- I saw a decrease in waist line (see pictures)
- An overall decrease in body fat, I got leaner and leaner as I continued this diet (see pictures)
- Little to no heartburn, which I struggled with before this
- Increase in muscle mass
- Increase in strength, I actually got stronger as I got leaner, AWESOME!
- Reduction in cravings because with this diet you can treat yourself after your workouts
- Weight increased but body fat went down. Started at 229lbs and within 8 weeks I was up to 234lbs but leaner
- Sleep better
- Faster recovery
My Carb Backloading diet:
- Wake up and consume 1 cup coffee with 1tbs heavy cream and 1tbs coconut oil
- Eat 2-3 meals between 8am and 5pm
Meal 1- 5-6 whole eggs, 2tbs peanut butter
Meal 2- 8-10oz ground turkey or ground beef, 1-2cups mixed veggies or salad with dressing
Meal 3- same as meal 2 OR 2 scoops whey protein and 2oz mixed nuts
- I ended up adding a banana or apple 15-20min prior to training for boost in energy
- After I worked out I would consume 2 meals
Meal 1- within 30min post training I would consume 6oz ground turkey with 200-300g carbs. These carbs would come from a simple source (fast digesting) pasta, bagels, poptarts, Complete Cookies, cereal, etc.
Meal 2- would be right before bed, it would consist of about 1 cup oatmeal (complex carb) with blueberries and almond milk and 1 scoop whey protein shake
- I would not consume ANY carbs on rest days to promote ketogenesis
Overall I really enjoy this diet, it is even hard for me to call it a diet because it is so easy to implement into any lifestyle. You don't have to miss out on outings with your friends because you can go out to eat and just order a salad and you can even have the dressing (moderation). It fit well with my fast-paced lifestyle, I got to enjoy some ‘treats’ after working out, I got leaner and overall just felt better. Stomach was flat, bloating was gone. To be honest I am going to continue this nutrition program because it works best for me and I am loving the results!