Carb Backloading: Truth or Fiction?
You may have heard of the Carb Backloading method widely used by fitness enthusiasts and dieters and fitness enthusiasts to help users lose weight while at the same time enjoying consuming their favorite foods. Well a simple outline of carb backloading is:
- You eat light during the mornings and early afternoon hours then splurge at nights
- You consume the minimum amount of carbs possible until after your workout which should generally be no later than around 5 pm.
- After your workout session, you begin your carb intake with your favorite foods continuing throughout the evening.
A more accurate description would be:
Carb backloading is an unorthodox technique which allows the individual to follow a strict diet for a specified number of days before they’re allowed to indulge themselves with their favorite sugar loaded foods, 7 days per week. Incisively, the person is required to consume a maximum of 30 grams of carbohydrates during the first 10 days of the program. After, they are allowed to consume an unlimited amount carbohydrates and will still be able to lose weight.
Sounds awesome, doesn't it?
Surely if this is true then you can understand why this technique has been hailed by many professionals as one of the most effective weight loss programs today and why carb backloading has exploded in popularity over the last few years. However, did you know that carb backloading isn't something new? Moreover, how can we be sure whether this is just another fad too good to be true or is is really a powerful technique for transforming body composition?
Let's find Out
How Carb Backloading Works
Carb Backloading was first introduced by prominent nutrition expert and most well-known promoter of carb backloading, John Kiefer who through his experience has worked with several athletic personalities bodybuilders, and powerlifters.
As the name implies, carb backloading takes advantage of the natural daily changes in insulin sensitivity stored within the body's muscles and its increase via exercise to save and or backload your carbohydrate intake. Research shows that contrary to most diets that work by restricting the amount of carbohydrates, carb backLoading works quite the opposite and really doesn’t restrict carbohydrate intake after the first ten days. The truth is, users can get actually away with it by consuming foods high in carbs, such as fries, ice-cream pasta, and pizza. In fact, not only will you stay in shape, but your muscle and fat cells become more receptive to glucose resulting in better performance during the workout as you become healthier, stronger, and leaner.
What most people love about this diet is the freedom to lose weight without having to miss out on their consuming their favorite foods. That being said, the thing to be most noted is; for carb backloading to work you must follow it's strict rules or else you may just end up caught in a food splurge that inevitably leads to unwanted weight gain.
When closely examined, the science behind carb backloading is credible and explains why if closely followed can actually work. Think about it. When our bodies are in a state of rest the sugar contained within our cells are not so easily utilized. It is this excess sugar which is responsible for spikes in our blood sugar and stored as fatty tissue resulting in weight gain. It's like this, the longer we remain inactive the more fat our bodies store and the more weight we gain. Conversely, if we consume a low amount of carbs and follow a strict daily workout plan, the carbs which have been previously stored or back-loaded will be utilized by our muscles and the other cells throughout our bodies.
The science behind the premise of carb backloading is quite simple and easily understood. Our bodies burn more fat in the mornings hours than during any other time of day. Sadly if you're like me who loves a “Big Breakfast” then you probably know that this is the time when we tend to eat the most.
Did you know that your stress hormone which helps your body burn fat known as Cortisol is mostly released at nights when you rest and hits its peak in the mornings?
Because of this, when you have a large breakfast filled with carbs your stress hormone much like insulin will promote the storage of carbohydrates as fat. Without any carb intake, your Cortisol levels will naturally lower throughout the day allowing your to utilize the carbs/backloaded to fuel your exercise routine and gain the most from your workout rather than being converted to fat.
That being said some nutritionists will tell you that you should increase your carb intake before working out. The truth is, this technique actually does little to help the weight loss process given the fact that whenever you consume carbs before your workout your body will not utilize as much of the previously stored fat to achieve the desired weight loss. In fact, when you actually think about it, your body really doesn't need all the extra carbs to perform your workout.
Not only is this technique considered counterproductive but increasing your carb intake before your workout session can have negatively affected your nervous system by pushing your body to become more responsive as you begin to think faster and more clearly. Yes, studies show that your muscles will work more efficiently by increasing your carb intake before your workout but what they seldom tell you is this can also make your body become sluggish resulting in poor exercise techniques and possible muscle injury. As such to get the most benefits from your exercise session carbs should only be eaten after the workout and conclusively why carb backloading works.
I must admit contrary to most beliefs about its complexity, carb backloading is actually a simple technique to follow.Once you've completed your first ten days you can begin eating just about any amount of carbs your body can take. After that, you begin a low-carb diet early mornings to mid-day with intense training. This will allow your body to utilize most of the stored carbs to fuel your exercise workout. And when you consume carbs after your workout and in the evenings they will easily be used up by your body.
Carb Backloading: Truth or Fiction? Well … To sum it all up, carb backloading introduced by John Kiefer is a proven technique for athletes, bodybuilders, dieters, fitness enthusiasts, and yourself. It allows for unrestricted carb intake without the fear of gaining weight, provided you follow the rules. Moreover it is a tried and tested diet plan that makes the most out of your workout and is especially useful for people who want to gain lean muscle mass.
Bottom line: It works.