So what is Carb Backloading? Bascially carb backloading is using carbs in the post workout window to maximise recovery, while also making it it hard for your body to hold on to fat. Before starting on a carb backloading diet I had to first deplete myself of carbohydrates for about a week to sensitise myself to carb intake and convert to burning fats as my primary source of energy instead of carbs. I personally find that this diet suits my body type very well as I realised that my body doesn’t respond as well to carbs as well as I thought. I now find that I feel more energetic and I no longer feel bloated from meals.
Once you have been depleted it’s quite straight forward, just stick to your low carb meals that should be packed with vegetables for the added health benefits. I find this system works best if you are training in the afternoon/evening. I have included a carb backloading sample diet of a typical day for me:
Carb Backloading Sample Diet – An Average Day
7:30 am Omelette, 5 eggs, 3 rashers bacon, whole red onion, splash of milk, mushrooms, chorizo sausage, grated cheese, handful spinach, fish oil and a coffee.
9:00 am l-Glutamine
11:30 am 250g chicken, 200g chopped tomatoes, 3 carrots, whole courgette, red pepper cooked in sunflower oil
1:00 pm l-Glutamine
3:30 pm 200g chicken wrapped in bacon with cheese, 3 carrots, red pepper, whole courgette, all cooked in sunflower oil
5:30 pm pre workout black coffee (sometimes will have a small piece of fruit depending on how I feel)
6:00 pm workout,
Post workout 300ml whoel fat milk, banana, 200g mixed berries, whey protein, creatine
8:30 pm home made burgers from fitter food, 250g lean mince beef, chorizo, half onion, tablespoon tomato puree, egg, 4 roasted garlic carrots, half broccoli, 110g green peas with bit of butter
9:30 pm l-Glutamine
This is a typical day for me at the moment as I am trying to hit 4300 calories but in the first 5 months of using this diet I was eating between 3000 and 3500 calories. I wasn’t looking for a “magical” diet that would make me ripped in a matter of weeks but a gradual change that had long lasting results building quality muscle. This meant I could afford to not be as strict on myself and would still go out for meals, socialising and stuff my face. The only difference was that I would make sure and smash out a leg session before going for the meal to make sure my body was a furnace for carbs.
The rest of my meals followed the same basic principle of having meat and vegetables. The low carb vegetables that I tend to stick to are mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower and courgettes. However I do have other vegetables such as carrots as I enjoy eating them.
You may be thinking that eating all this food must be expensive but it may not be as bad as you think. On average I spend about $100 to $150 a week, I buy all my vegetables from my local supermarket and get all my meat from the Markets as I find it is slightly cheaper than the supermarket yet is better quality.
Advantages of carb backloading
- Increased energy levels mentally and physically
- Health benefits such as better skin/ hair/ vitality
- Building lean muscle
- Better quality sleep
- The depletion week can leave you feeling drained
- If you really don’t like vegetables you will struggle
I hope my carb backloading example diet has helped you to understand the basic principles of carb backloading. I have had some great results using this diet and will continue to do so.