Here goes nothing. After questioning the sanity of attempting yet another odd fitness-and-nutrition experiment, only to potentially bail on it 2-3 months later due to a perceived lack of results, I went all in on Carb Backloading this Sunday and Monday. Here is my daily food-and-activity dairy for Sunday (a rest day) and Monday (a training day), with my conclusions/thoughts interspersed:
0730 woke up after 7.5hrs sleep – Sleep has got to be a huge factor in this project; I’m shooting for 8 hours a day, because as we recently found out, lack of sleep can make you more insulin-resistant.
0745 coffee with grass-fed cream (10gF/0gC/0gP) – The mainstay of the ‘fasting period’ for me; coffee suppresses appetite and burns fat, while cream is a slow-absorbing fatty fuel that keeps you from getting hypoglycemic or muscle-catabolic during a 14-16 hour fast. I’ve tried coconut oil in my coffee (a better source of MCT’s which get broken down more easily into ketones), and it makes me super-nauseated.
0800 eggs and bacon with jalapenos for breakfast (60gF/6gC/52gP) – Wasn’t too happy with my sleep, which always makes me hungry; Kiefer recommends waiting a couple hours before eating breakfast, in order to maximize morning fat burning. However, I’m worried that my cortisol levels would stay high for more than just 1-2 hours if I slept only 5-6 hours the night before. Shut it down with some fat and protein.
(Courtesy G.Glickman, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2009.11.017. Table 1 is normal sleep, Table 2 is when sleep is delayed/diminished. In ideal situations, you sleep through most of your AM cortisol spike and wake up for the tail end. If sleep gets screwed up, you’re awake for the entire cortisol surge, and it lasts through to lunchtime.)
0830 put 3lb chicken, salsa verde, aromatics in slow-cooker – the slow cooker is your friend.
1100 coffee with grass-fed cream (10gF/0gC/0gP)
1400 lunch at moe’s, pork fajitas (43gF/11gC/67gP) – a good, healthy, inexpensive low-carb meal if you don’t eat the chips or the tortillas.
1600 coffee with grass-fed cream (10gF/0gC/0gP)
2000 crockpot chicken verde (50gF/5gC/50gP)
Total 183gF / 22g C / 169g P = 2411 calories. This was not particularly hard to do, given the lack of temptation all day. Now if potatoes were around, that’s another story. I’m trying to keep carbs under 50g if I can, and under 30g ideally (on rest days).
0800 woke up after 8.5hrs sleep
0815 coffee with grass-fed cream (10gF/0gC/0gP)
0900 walk 1.5mi to work – Walking is awesome and burns fat.
1000 coffee with grass-fed cream (10gF/0gC/0gP)
1230 crockpot chicken verde (50gF/5gC/50gP) – Broke the fast at 16 hours. My medical advice is if you’re hungry, eat. If your stomach is rumbling or your sinuses are congested at 6:30am, you didn’t get good enough sleep in quality or quantity. Your physiologic curves aren’t going to be as ideal as someone who slept like a log for 8-9 hours. Growth hormone down, ghrelin and cortisol up up up.
1430 coffee with grass-fed cream (10gF/0gC/0gP)
1600 walk 1.5mi home
1645 coffee, black – Recommended for a couple reasons. A caffeine jolt increases your adrenaline and helps you lift heavy weights with more power. The more work you do, the more your body responds by making things grow. Also, caffeine helps carbs absorb faster into their target organs, so by the time you’re done lifting, you can maximize muscle glucose uptake. Also, I throw sweet potatoes in the oven at 350 so they’ll be done by the time I get home.
1730 lift (squat, chins, uphill sprints) – I’m going bare-bones on my lifts. Wendler 5-3-1 with a 4-exercise rotation (squat, bench, deadlift, press). Accessory work with chins and power cleans. Uphill sprints 4-6x50m. The only negative here was a discernible loss of strength on squats without my usual pre-workout meal. I should get used to this over time and improve.
1815 walk home – The workout took me about 45 minutes; the hill I run is a 10 minute walk from home, so I use that time (plus the potato cool-down time) as my ’30 minute wait’ until I can start snarfing carbs.
1830 1lb sweet potatoes, 50g whey (0gF/90gC/50gP) – GLUT4 activate!
1900 1lb sweet potatoes (0gF/90gC/0gP) – MOAR GLUCOSE
1930 1 pint ice cream (64gF/100gC/20gP) – OK, now it’s starting to get tough to fill my belly. Is it going to be this much of a challenge every time? I *think* 200-300g carbs should be enough to do the job, but I have to see how I feel every morning after backloading to hit the sweet spot, so to speak.
2000 0.5lb sweet potatoes, 50g whey (0gF/45gC/50gP) – I should have had some whole food protein here, but I’m saving the rest of my chicken salsa verde for dinner tomorrow
2030 2 fried eggs in coconut oil (25gF/0gC/12gP) – a last bit of slow-digesting protein before bedtime
Total 169gF / 330gC / 182gP = 3749 calories.
I won’t lie, it’s ten times easier to eat under 30g carbs in a day than it is to eat over 300g carbs in a day.