Let’s face it, when it comes to getting lean and ripped, we have to eat plain, bland, and boring foods low in fats and carbohydrates, leaving us feeling tired, demoralized, and lethargic in the process. Well, for many of us, that is indeed the case, but if you’ve ever heard of carb backloading, prepare to be pleasantly surprised. Carb backloading is a relatively new method of eating, that takes the concept of dieting and flips it completely on its head. It is proving to be slightly controversial in some circles, but hugely effective amongst pretty much all. Once you try carb backloading for yourself, you’ll never diet in the same way again.
So, what exactly is carb backloading?
Carb backloading is basically the process of backloading your carbohydrates, meaning that you consume no carbs pre-workout, and all of them post-workout. Before most people train and lift weights what do they eat? Generally they opt for a high protein even higher carbohydrate meal, as they believe that it will provide them with the highest amounts of energy to get them through their strenuous workout. With this method of dieting however, things are extremely different. You consume NO carbs pre-workout, and all of them POST-workout. Oh, and as if that doesn’t sound too appealing so far, just wait until you read about the foods that you should be eating. You’re probably expecting bland carbs such as oatmeal, sweet potatoes, brown rice, whole wheat pasta etc right? Well, in actual fact, the foods you consume are the last types of foods you’d expect to be eating while dieting and cutting. You consume milk, cookies, pizza, ice cream, milk shakes etc. Now before you get too excited or up in arms keep in mind that carb backloading should only happen roughly once every 10 days. Give your disciplined diet a rest and let your metabolism go to work. You’re steering clear of complex carbohydrates and are instead consuming simple sugars instead, as studies have revealed that this works best.
So what’s the science and how does it work?
When dieting in this way, the idea is to wake up in the morning on your carb loading day, already in a fasted state, and to consume nothing. Yes, that’s right, no breakfast at all. The reason for this is that you are looking to lower your body’s natural levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone that increases while we sleep. When you wake up, you will drink nothing but water and will let the cortisol levels in your body naturally drop as the hours go by. All the while your body will be burning fat. Up until you train, you will consume nothing but proteins and healthy fats, no carbs at all.
Burn more fat while you train.
By avoiding carbs you burn even more fat while you train, as the body uses body fat for energy rather than the carbs. For 10 days you go down to virtually no carbs at all, typically less than 30g a day. Your protein and healthy fat intake should remain high. On the tenth day, following your training session, you can then do the fun part and “carb up”. Aim for 1 gram of carbs per pound of bodyweight, opting for simple sugary foods such as pizza, cookies etc. You will feel fat and bloated but will wake up energized and looking lean and ripped. On each day you train, simply carb up after you workout with health carbs, on off days, stick with 30g of carbs or less, and every 10th day enjoy your carb backloading day.
It's a radical approach on dieting and without a doubt is causing controversy in it's wake. But it's got the weight lifting community talking and droves are swearing by it with success story after success story. Foolishness or not it has a lot of fitness professionals and enthusiasts buzzing.