Carb backloading is an eating plan that was designed by John Kiefer who is a Magna Cum Laude graduate with a Bachelor’s in Mathematics and a Bachelor’s in Physics in three years then became a Ph.D. candidate in physics at the University of Florida in only a year. So yes he’s intelligent but he’s also a physicist! What does this mean to you? It means he did his homework and crunched the numbers. He’s also a pretty stout looking guy. Yeah, he’s pretty jacked! The Eating plan (I don’t like the idea of calling it a diet as it is a sustainable long term way of eating) looks like a mix between Intermittent Fasting, Cyclical Ketogenic and dirty bulking. You skip breakfast, eat extremely low carb all day, exercise in the evening or late afternoon and then carb up at night. Yep, you carb up every night that you have worked out! You can have pizza, ice cream, cake and just about anything that will slam your insulin level through the roof. The goal is to spike your insulin which has a number of positive results. Keeps you from feeling deprived of foods you like, keeps your body from feeling as though food is limited, regulates hormone levels for fat burning, restores muscle glycogen and overall makes you happy and helps with sleep just to name a few.
But what about Low Carb?
Low Carb/Ketogenic diets are great is used by the right person for the right reason. I personally have experienced some issues with Ketosis that made it very difficult to maintain long term. I have had people who normally thought they were more disciplined than myself not able to handle it because their will power gave out. I have had stalls while in Ketosis where I could not get below 11% bodyfat. I’ve stayed in Ketosis for almost 3 straight months and got to the point where all I could think of was a Mountain Dew and a glazed donut. While the food cravings were probably more a matter of addiction, I did study and look at my blood tests, research notes and studies to come to the conclusion that insulin is the strongest anabolic agent and mine was being kept in the dirt. If I wanted to grow faster than ever before I needed to find a way to incorporate the right carbs at the right time in the right amount. I needed to find something that was flexible enough that I could have a beer, mexican food or even a plate of nachos so that I did not come across as some food snob that my friends never wanted to go out with. And OMG, have you ever had to turn down BACON FRIED RICE at a Habachi restaurant?! So we all need to get over the CARBS ARE EVIL stage where we view them as something that needs to be almost entirely annihilated from our diet and realize that they serve a fantastic purpose when the proper type, amount and timing are used.
Where’s the science?
I have not personally tried the diet so I cannot critique what is specifically in the book. What I can say is that I have read the diet recommendations from reviewers that followed it and was very close to coming to similiar conclusions based on my research and trying to find some flexibility to make it easier to comply with. As for the Kiefer and his first book, The Carb-Nite solution, I really liked the book and it’s basically his version of a Cyclical Ketogenic Diet. It’s a good read and he makes some good points on when to properly carb up. Here’s some pubmed references to back up the theory of eating carbs at night for improved body composition and response.
So feel free to buy a copy and take a look if you would like a detailed plan to follow. If you are over 12% body fat for men or 18% body fat for women I would go with The Carb Nite solution. Once you get leaner feel free to give Carb Backloading a try.
I recommend the Carb-Nite book for people that are obese and those who have a way to go before looking lean. As for Carb-Backloading the the basic premise matches up with a lot of the science I have read lately.