Carb Back-loading FAQ

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It’s probably the easiest diet in the world and yet I know it can still be confusing. In an effort to clear up the confusion, I put together a little Carb Back-loading Frequently Asked Questions list, based on what I’ve learned from Kiefer and my own experience with back-loading.

Remember that this is Kiefer’s baby. He created Carb Back-loading and I don’t speak for him, so any questions I can’t answer should be directed to him on his site. But see if this doesn’t tie up some loose ends for you in the meantime.

Q: Why can’t I eat bread, fruit, or pasta? I thought anything goes on a back-load night.

A: You CAN eat bread. Kiefer just warns that it’s not a great choice if your body doesn’t tolerate gluten, and perhaps as much as 50% of the population doesn’t. However, if it doesn’t bother you, white bread is a great back-loading food. If you want to have a sandwich at some point during the night, any bread is ok then too.

Pasta, unless cooked beyond the “al dente” stage, generally isn’t high-glycemic enough (it doesn’t raise insulin enough) to be a great choice during a back-load. But as long as it’s not your only carb source for the evening, you can have some. Beware of the gluten factor here as well.

As for fruit, most fruits also are not big insulin-releasers and fructose is easily converted to fat in the liver. This doesn’t mean you can’t eat your favorite fruits, but you should limit your intake. The best carb choices on back-loads are white potatoes, white or sushi rice, sweet potatoes (cooked a long time so they’re very sweet), ripe bananas, pastries, and ice cream.

Does this make you sick?

Q: A lot of junk food carbs contain high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Is it ok to eat that?

A: You should not be eating much HFCS. This should be obvious to anyone interested in health, however, not necessarily for the hyped-up reasons you may have heard about. As far as I know, there’s no real evidence to show that HFCS is inherently worse for the body than any other processed sugar, but it certainly isn’t healthy. The main reason it’s bad for back-loading is that it’s surprisingly not high on the glycemic index, so it doesn’t give you a big insulin spike. There are simply better, more wholesome and nutritious carbs you can eat during a back-load session, so it’s better to do so.

With that said, if you just finish training and you want to throw back a regular Coca-Cola or some Entenmann’s doughnuts, you won’t store these foods as fat regardless of their HFCS content. They’ll get sucked up into your muscles. There are also other sugars and starches present in foods besides HFCS, so it’s not like they’re a complete waste of time to back-load. You’ll still get an insulin spike. Again, you CAN use them, but know that there are better choices (as listed above). Unfortunately, HFCS is so prevalent in the food market these days it’s hard to avoid no matter what. So don’t stress too much over it.


Q: Can I back-load on off days?

A: Yes, but it depends. If you’re back-loading to lose fat, you need lots of low-carb days to keep insulin low and convert fat to fuel. You should only back-load on A) the night of a training day, or B) the night before the first of two morning workouts on back-to-back days. Only do this with weight workouts, not cardio.

If you’re back-loading to gain muscle and strength while staying lean, the same applies but you can be a little more liberal with your portions. Back-load more carbs on training days and you might occasionally back-load on off days.

If you’re back-loading to gain muscle and strength as quickly as possible and staying lean is not a high priority, you can back-load every night—assuming you tolerate carbs well. I have been doing this for the past month or so and haven’t fattened up much. And I’m loving every minute of it, as you can imagine.
Q: How does back-loading work if I’m an athlete?

A: I wrote a story about this for Stack.com. First, determine what kind of athlete you are. If you’re an explosive power athlete (football, wrestling, track, etc.), you can back-load for two days straight, then do two low-carb days, then carb up the night before the game/meet/match. It doesn’t matter how your workouts or practices fall—stick to that schedule. You need some carbs to keep you recovering but also a dearth of them at times so that you’ll store them better when you do eat them.

If your sport is more endurance-based (basketball, cross country, soccer, etc.), deplete carbs for a full week. Then have two big carb-up nights before game day.

I just told her she could be even better if she back-loaded before meets. Wait! I said “better”, not “hotter”!allison s

Q: I’m allowed 30 grams of carbs in the day time before I back-load and on off days. Can these 30 grams come from any kind of carbs?

A: Technically, yes, but don’t do it. The 30 grams is already taking into account the trace carbs you’re going to inadvertently pick up from foods like vegetables, nuts, dairy, etc. (Foods we don’t think of as carb-containing.) Even the most low-carb foods generally still have a gram or two of carbs in them per serving that aren’t fiber, so they have to be counted. Stick to foods like this and you’ll accumulate a few carbs over the course of the day but you’ll stay safely under the 30-gram cap. If, on the other hand, you eat one slice of an apple, a cup of cashews, or one square of Herhsey’s chocolate, and the like, you risk screwing things up big time.

I guess you COULD eat one slice of an apple and a piece of chocolate, accrue 20 grams of carbs in an hour, and eat nothing but meat the rest of the day, thereby keeping your total under 30, but this isn’t smart. You need to eat vegetables, and even green fibrous ones contain some usable carbs. Get your usable carbs from veggies and not sugar foods that offer less nutritionally.


Q: Can I eat much fat during a back-load?

A: This is very individual. Focus on consuming foods high in protein and carbs, but enjoy yourself as well. If the foods you’re carbing up with also happen to have some fat—like a cheeseburger and french fries—that’s ok. If you find you’re getting fat from this, Kiefer says you don’t necessarily need to back off the fat content but just eat less in general. Have smaller portions or less food overall.

 

Q: What macros should I aim for?

A: The beauty of back-loading is that you don’t HAVE to aim for anything. You learn to go by the way your body looks and feels—a very valuable skill. But to ensure you get enough protein, try to get one gram per pound of your body weight. You can eat a little more than a gram per pound—it won’t hurt—but it probably won’t show up in your muscles. Aim for 1–2 grams of carbs per pound—go for the low end if you’re a woman and more if you’re a muscular guy who lifts/competes a lot. This is another thing you need to experiment with to find what works for you.

As with the fat content of your back-load meals, you don’t absolutely need to write everything down, but if you find that the scale and/or your physique is not moving in the direction you’d like, you will need some kind of measurement to go by. If you don’t keep track of numbers, I suggest eyeballing portion sizes or eating more of the same foods on a regular basis so you can tell how much you need to consume to go up or down in weight.

I could study all this or… just eat pizza and look in the mirror tomorrow morning.macros

 

Q: You say I should skip breakfast, but then I hear that breakfast is ok as long as it doesn’t have carbs. Which is it?

A: If you just got up, don’t eat breakfast right away. Assuming you’re getting up at a normal time, around 7 a.m., you should wait for your cortisol levels to fall naturally a bit before taking in food. Have some black coffee or coffee with heavy whipping cream or coconut oil, or just drink water to quell the hunger pangs. Then you can have a carb-free breakfast at 9 or 10 or so, if time allows.

If you are training in the morning shortly after waking, do not eat anything. Have some black coffee or take a caffeine pill and get after it.

 

Q: What are the main differences between Carb Back-loading and the new Renegade Diet by Jason Ferruggia?
A:
I answered this extensively HERE.

 

Q:  I’m overweight.  Can fat guys do carb back loading? Does carb backloading work on fat people?

A:  Depends on what you mean by “fat.”  If you are 20% body fat or higher, I’d suggest the Carb Nite Solution (same author) and really focus on fat loss.  While you can use the Strength Accumulation phase to shed fat, if you are what most would consider beyond lean, try the Carb Nite Solution.  Burn off body fat and when you lean up, I’d try Carb Backloading.

Q:  Does carb back loading work if you have a low body fat percentage?

A:  Yes it will work if your body fat is already low.  If you want to keep it low and stay lean, you’ll want to do the Strength Accumulation phase and adjust based on that protocol.

Q:  How many hours can you Carb Back Load?

A:  If you are doing the Strength Accumulation phase, keep your back load window to 2 hours after your workout.  If you are doing the Density Bulk, your window can be up to 4 hours after your workout.

Q:  Can I drink milk while Carb Back Loading?

A:  You can.  While you probably won’t drink a lot of it, you might add it to your post workout shake.  You might add it to some cereal (my favorite is frosted flakes) or maybe on of the protein shakes during your carb meals after dinner.

Q:  Is it okay to have protein shakes while Carb Backloading?

A:  Yes.  Keifer recommends his components but you will have protein shakes during this protocol.

Q:  Do you Carb Backload on non training days?

A:  If you are Density Bulking and below 15% body fat, Keifer puts you into the lucky category of being able to back load every day even on non training days!  However, that will be up to you.  During my 4 months of Density Bulking, I did backload every day.  In essence  I was going for maximum muscle gains and wanted a surplus every day.

Q:  Can I use creatine on Carb Back Loading?

A:  YES!  And the author, John Keifer highly recommends you do.  There’s many benefits to creatine beyond just the building muscle that most people seek.

Q:  Can you drink coconut oil on Carb Back Loading?

A:  Yes.  Again, it’s highly recommended as coconut oil is a medium chain triglyceride (MCT).  This healthy fat can be used as energy.  You will use it quite often in the plan upon waking and again before training.  It’s part of the AM Accelerator Shake and the Ignition Formula.  You can use this for cooking too.

Q:  Do you take the Accelerator Shake (referred to as the morning shake) on Off-Days?

A:  You sure do.  The Accelerator Shake is used to break the fast but keep you in prime fat burning mode.  It can be used on your non-training days.

Q:  How much coconut oil do you put in your coffee for Carb Backloading?

A:  For the AM Accelerator Shake, you put in 1 TBSP.  For the Ignition Formula, you’ll use 1 TBSP for the Strength Accumulation phase (fat loss) and 2-3 TBSP if you are on Density Bulking (weight gain).

Q:  Is Carb Back Loading a program for people who workout in the morning?  What about if I workout late or mid-day?

A:  I’ll admit the author is biased towards late afternoon workouts but there are specific tweaks called “Nobody’s Perfect” that allow you to use the carb back loading principles to your advantage no matter what time you workout.  While it may not be ideal, the changes out outlined for whatever your workout schedule allows.

Q:  Do you eat breakfast on Carb Backloading or the Carb Nite Solution?

A:  Without going into the fine details, let’s just say you post-pone breakfast.  If you are seeking the most muscle, you won’t postpone it for long (2 hours after waking up; 12 hours since the last meal) and maybe longer if fat loss is your primary goal.  You’ll just eat breakfast later and not right after waking up.

Q:  Do I need to do 10 Low Carb days before Carb Back Loading?

A:  If you are already a low percentage of body fat, 10% or lower, then you do not need to do this phase.  If you are above 10%, it’s suggested that you do the 10 day prep phase for the best results.  I did the 10 day prep phase when I started Carb Back Loading and it was a valuable experience and helped me fine tune the number of carbs I would use.

Q:  How many calories should I eat with Carb Backloading?

A:  I really have no idea.  There’s no reason to count calories on this program and there’s never any mention of it or formulas.  You will get instructions on how many grams of fats and protein before training and how many carbs, fats and protein to eat after but the concept of counting calories is not used in this program.  When you design your meal plan based on your macronutrients, you will see how many calories it adds up to which may or may not be way over what traditional formulas recommend.  It’s quite an eye-opening experience.

Q:  Does Carb Backloading by John Keifer really work?

A:  See my Carb Backloading review.

Q:  What are usable carbs for Carb Back Loading?

A:  From the body’s point of view, only two types of carb exist: usable carbs and fiber.  These burnable, fat-inducing carbs include sugar, starch, glycerine and sugar alcohols are what make up the term usable carbs.

Q:  How many carbs (grams) will break the ULC (ultra low carb) portion of Carb Backloading?

A:  During your ULC days (pre workout or prep phase) as little as 30g can change the fuel source that your body will burn.  The reason ULC is recommended is to keep your body burning as much fat as possible.  By eating carbs, you can drop out of fat burning and use those carbs for energy.  This doesn’t mean you will gain fat!  It just means 30g or more of carbs can break the theory proposed with the ULC phase.

Q:  What do you eat on Carb Back-Loading?  Can I eat celery on a Carb Backload day?

A:  See my Carb Back Loading meal plan.  Things like celery (vegetable; fiber) are encouraged and part of the many list of items you can eat on the ultra-low carb portion of the day.  The appendix in the book lists out many vegetables that you may want to try to broaden your outlook.

Q:  Can I use Carb BackLoading for Fat Loss?

A:  If you are over 20% body fat, I’d recommend the Carb Nite Solution but you can use the Strenght Accmulation phase of the program to focus on fat loss while increasing strength.  It’s the body composition portion of the guide that just has some changes from the basic mass gaining plan.

Q:  Can I have carbs during my training while using Carb Backloading?

A:  If your workouts go over and hour, you can include some carbs in your intra-training shake.  This comes from a podcast and won’t be found anywhere in the book.

Q:  When Carb Back Loading, when should you have your first meal after waking?

A:  The answer to this question depends on if your primary goal is Density Bulking (weight and muscle) or Strength Accumulation (fat loss).  If you are Density Bulking, you will want your Accelerator Shake upon waking and about an hour before eating your first real food meal.  If you are doing Strength Accumulation  you might do just black coffee to prolong the fasting period and then use the Accelerator Shake more than once to push your first meal out even further.

Q:  Is 350g of carbs too much to build muscle?

A:  It might be or it might be too little.  That’s what the 10 Day Prep helps to determine.  The weight you lose during this phase is nearly all glycogen.  The total number of carbs is determined on a chart from the weight lost over this short time period.  If you opted to do the prep phase, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how many carbs per day it will take for you to gain mass and build muscle.

Q:  What are you supposed to eat on the ultra low carb prep phase of Carb Back Loading?

A:  I’ve outlined what I eat during the early part of the day while Carb Back Loading.  The same foods I eat pre-training are similar to what you can eat during the prep phase.  Both are just ultra-low carb prior to training.  The only difference is, during the 10 day prep phase, you stay ultra-low carb and when on the full program, after training is where the fun begins!

Here is what I used for my 10 Day ULC Prep Phase.

Non Training Day

* Upon Waking
* Coffee
* Whey Isolate (10g protein)
* Coconut Oil (1 tbsp)
* Multivitamin
* 1 x Fish Oils
* 5g creatine

* Lunch
* Chicken Breast
* Lettuce (2-3 cups)
* Olive Oil (2 tbsp)
* Vinegar to taste
* Veggies (e.g tomatoes, cucumber, olives, onion)
* 1 x Fish Oils
* 5g creatine

* Snack
* Hard Boiled Eggs x 2
* Almonds (1/4 cup)
* 5g creatine

* Dinner
* Steak (or other protein source substitute)
* Asparagus (1-2 cups or other veggie)
* Butter (2 tbsp)
* 1 x Fish Oils
* 5g creatine

* Before Bed
* Cottage Cheese (1-2 cups)

Training Day

* Upon Waking
* Coffee
* Coconut Oil (1 tbsp)
* Whey Isolate (10g protein)
* Multivitamin
* 1 x Fish Oils
* 5g creatine

* Lunch
* Chicken Breast
* Lettuce (2-3 cups)
* Olive Oil (2 tbsp)
* Vinegar to taste
* Veggies (e.g tomatoes, cucumber, olives, onion)
* 1 x Fish Oils
* 5g creatine

* Snack
* Hard Boiled Eggs x 2
* Almonds (1/2 cup)

* Pre-Training (30 mins before)
* Coffee
* Whey Isolate (10g protein)
* 5g creatine

* During Training
* Whey Isolate (10g protein)
* Casein Hydrolyzed (20 g)
* Leucine (5 grams)

* Post Training (20 mins after)
* Coffee
* Whey Isolate (30g)
* Casein (20g)
* Whey Hydrolyzed (25g)
* 5g Leucine
* 5g creatine

* Dinner
* Grass Fed Beef
* Broccoli (2 cups)
* 1 x Fish Oils
* 5g creatine

* Before Bed
* Cottage Cheese (1-2 cups)
* Almond Butter
Source: http://www.bodybuildingsecretslive.com | http://www.seanhyson.com

 

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  1. Anonymous June 30, 2015

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