Wanted to post a quick update on this new carb cycling approach that I posted about a couple of weeks ago.
CarbNite vs Carb BackLoading
A little background before I reveal my progress so far.
So from what I’ve gathered (I admittedly have NOT purchased or read the books), CarbNite is basically just picking one night per week and eating a boatload of high glycemic sugar bombs. And I’m not talking about simply indulging in a piece of pie or ice cream. I’m talking about eating until you’re FULL of the junk, and then waiting an hour and eating even more. I’m not kidding.
Carb BackLoading is similar but not as crazy. With Carb BackLoading, on the nights you lift heavy (assuming 3x per week), you wait an hour or two and then eat a high glycemic meal. When I posted originally I was thinking that approach would be what I would take, but after thinking about it more I was just not going to risk putting on bodyfat by eating sugar meals 3 nights per week, so I went with the once-per-week ‘CarbNite’ approach. Keep in mind, as I mentioned in my last post, I have some experience with this carb-cycling approach – I indirectly used it quite successfully to lose a lot of weight a few years ago. I didn’t call it ‘CarbNite’ or anything at the time, other than feeling bad that I over-indulged (i.e., the infamous “cheat meal”). It just so happened that it would happen every one or two weeks, typically on a Saturday night, with no ill effects regarding bodyfat.
With both of these approaches, the author, DH Keifer, also recommends a Leucene spiked specific post-workout protein shake. I have not followed his specific shake recommendations. Protein powders/supplements are damned expensive and I think suspect, so I just stick with the $20 a container stuff I get at my local supermarket. It’s ~10g of carbs per serving and tastes phenomenal.
How It’s Gone After One CarbNite
So I’ve been doing this since then, a little less than 2 weeks ago. I started at about 197.6lbs.
Keifer recommends going ultra-low carb for 10 days prior to your first carb backload/nite. I did 5 days, since I am fully keto-adapted (I typically never have more than 100g of carbs per day anyway). Last Saturday night was my first ‘CarbNite’ and I have to admit – I was not looking forward to it. Contrary to the members of Weight Watchers, a diet doesn’t have to be starvation and/or neglected cravings. I don’t crave carbs. If I did, I’d eat them. I don’t crave a plate of pasta or bread anymore. I don’t crave sandwiches, etc. I just use food as a tool/fuel nowadays, and have been for a couple of years now. So please don’t misinterpret this as a “I had a cheat day and I’m so glad!” type of post. I’m simply posting the limited results so far.
Back to the story….I told my wife a couple of days in advance my plan for that Saturday night. It happened to work out nicely because we had our niece and nephew over for a sleepover with my kids that night, so of course it has to be pizza night. Here’s how it went:
My First CarbNite (weighed in that morning at 196.6lbs)
4:30 – 6pm Typical weightlifting session; I went heavy, as I always do
(note – I planned to but did not have a PWO shake – I had to run to the grocery store and pick up the pizza right after the gym)
7pm – Ate 4 slices of pizza
8pm Ate a pint, yes a full pint, of Ben & Jerry’s Everything But The… ice cream
9pm Ate one more slice of pizza
I distinctly remember eating some other sugar bomb that night but I forget what it was.
By 8pm I was dead tired – Keifer warns of this. When I have a high GI food I either get a racing heart (i.e., sugar rush) or just tired. I was honestly waiting for my heart to jump out of my chest that night, but it never got too high. It was slightly faster but probably similar to when I ate a Standard American Diet meal (i.e., a sugar/wheat-laden high carb one). But I did get tired. I forced myself to stay up until later though.
Sunday: The next morning I felt sluggish, a little tired, and just not great. Not horrible though.
Monday: Felt bloated/fat. Noticed marked increase in belly fat but could have just been mental. Weighed myself: 197.6. So about a pound gained.
Tuesday: Felt back to normal, in terms of bodyfat. Of course, I’m going by “Feel” – no measuring. But I have a pretty good “feel” for my own bodyfat. At this point I was pretty convinced that this was going to be a “one week and done” experiment as I did not think it was going to work.
Wednesday: Started feeling like I was leaning out. Weighed in at 196.0.
Thursday: Definite feeling of increased “leaning out” over the prior day. Did not weigh myself.
Friday: Feel as lean as I’ve felt in a long time. Weighed in at 194.6. Haven’t been this low since before I started lifting weights/building mass a year ago.
So far I am pleasantly surprised with the results. I am going to continue doing this for at least a couple more weeks and see how it goes. Will try to blog next week with an update.
2 replies on “Carb BackLoading and CarbNite – Two Weeks In”
I understand you are building muscle, so the carbs might help in that aspect. But what about about for simple weight loss. Is it a good idea to have a “cheat day” if it is simply weight loss I am after?
Thanks for commenting. It’s been a while since I posted so I am going to write up a post that talks about this topic further, but to answer your question directly: I definitely would not advise anyone to have a “cheat *day*” ever if your goal is weight loss. The only reason I consciously eat more than ~50g of carbs per day is to support performance in the gym and/or muscle-building.
For what it’s worth – I ditched the Carb Back-loading/CarbNite approach pretty soon after my last post on it. I think there is definite merit to it to a degree, but gorging on pies and junk for a night a week sounds great but if you’ve been avoiding that stuff for a long time it’s not as fun as it sounds : ) Being sick and/or bloated for multiple days afterwards is not worth it.