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If I want to lose fat why shouldn’t I be on Carb Nite?

10 Mar

This wasn’t a question that came up specifically in one of the nutrition question and answers but it ended up being the answer to another question.  Namely should you be on Carb Nite Solution if you are trying to lose fat? That answer can be tricky and I have seen women doing Crossfit gut it out with what they believe is some level of success.  Typically the scale went down and certain parts of them look a little tighter because their inflammation levels were lower as a result of eating less than 30g of carbohydrates.  Here are some of the pitfalls these people run into:

Now realize I am having a discussion about populations that Crossfit and some of these negative symptoms can be lessened by eating more fats but that isn’t what most people do.  They eat about the same fat and try and rely on a calorie deficit to do the work.  It basically becomes the suckiest version of Weight Watchers ever.

1.  They often can’t sleep or have less sleep.

2.  Cardio workouts might be slightly better but during weight training they never feel really strong.

3.  Stress levels are high

4.  Metabolism slows to a crawl

Above is the video where I describe how you can do Carb Back Loading in a moderate way using Crossfit to create a drain on your energy system to get a similar result to Carb Nite Solution without the negatives.  Once again, this isn’t a knock on Carb Nite Solution, it’s a fine diet for some people and I have even had Crossfitters say it works for them.  Overwhelmingly though it’s unnecessary to restrict carbohydrate in an extreme manner with our levels of activity. The end result tends to be a more broken and confused crossfit athlete.




Stay out of your own way – Autoregulation and Homeostasis

10 Mar


This is a blog from James Barnum, he normally does the editing for a good majority of my stuff because there aren’t a lot of people that get what I am talking about quite the way James does.  Editing isn’t just about grammer anymore.  This is a big topic we cover in the Science Lab that confuses a lot of people.  Click the link below for most information on that.

Events on earth tend to operate in a cyclical fashion.  Human beings observe these state changes in their extremes; hot and cold, day and night, toil and cessation.  The eternal wheel spins on, but we only really pay attention to when it stops (and starts again).  For every action, there is a reaction, and that concept has (for good reason) been applied to human nutrition for many decades.  The dinosaur notion of bulking and cutting has been put to rest; by cycling everything from macronutrient ratios to meal frequency, we’re able to coax different responses from our bodies and shape our physical realities like never before.  Would you like to add muscle to your frame and lose fat?  We can do that.  How about gaining strength while remaining light?  No problem.  If you’re willing to go the distance, there is a plan that will work for you…Or so it would seem.

You’ve read about my experiences with ketogenic dieting (low carb paleo, Carb Nite, CKD, Atkins etc.) on this blog; it didn’t bring me where I wanted to go and I got wrecked in the process.  I love my carbs and it’s a huge burden psychologically (and metabolically) to avoid them for weeks at a time.  Attempting to intermittent fast and cycle macronutrients/calories based upon whether or not I was working out that day (Leangains, Warrior Diet etc.) also failed me.  No matter how hard I tried, I always hit a wall and I would end up splayed out on the floor stuffing myself when I was supposed to be under eating; other nights I’d finish training only to find that I had no appetite at all.  Hell on earth is sitting down with friends at a Chinese buffet on cheat day to gorge, and being full after one plate.

Natural Systems vs. Unnatural Cycles              

As it turns out, when I began following a diet based around diurnal rhythms (the natural cycle of rest and activity) and put more emphasis on figuring things out for myself, I made somewhat dramatic gains in strength and muscle mass.  The problem wasn’t cycling calories or carbs; the issue laid in adhering to a strict interval based on one qualifier:  training.  I wasn’t allowing any room for life; I was following the system, which thought that all I did was sleep, eat and lift weights, and it was letting me down hard.  It didn’t take into account the stress of work, relationships, and the cumulative effective of being who I am.  Sometimes, you need to eat more carbs even though you haven’t gone to the gym that day; after all, it can take up to 48 hours to replenish glycogen stores and you may be on the road to under-recovering.  Your body will tell you this, but you’ll ignore it because you’re on a diet and today is a low carb day; you don’t want to break the rules and get fat.  This is what we mean when we talk about “getting in your own way”.  This is why auto-regulation is important; these protocols are built around a theory, based upon studies, and you’re living in the real world.

Although you’re “only human,” you are the byproduct of a lifetime of individual experience.  The genes you were endowed with are only part of the recipe; you are probably not the baseline person that the protocol was designed for.  How does the diet know that you should eat less today than you did yesterday simply because today is a “rest day”?  Isn’t rest about recovery?  Doesn’t eating help you recover?  What if you’re going rock climbing this afternoon?  Do you still eat low carb?  In the real world, your energy expenditure and metabolic needs fluctuate from hour-to-hour, day-to-day.  Your body is constantly shifting towards homeostasis, trying to pump out the right amount of hundreds of different hormones to keep your heart going, digest your food, repair your muscles and put you to sleep at the end of the day.  Where all of these other protocols fail, Carb Back-Loading and biorhythm diets succeed.  These diets show you how to make educated guesses about how to eat based upon what you did today, what you’re doing tomorrow, how you look, how you perform, but mostly how you feel.

 Applying Auto-Regulatory Principles to Your Nutrition

 First of all, you need to understand that auto-regulation does not mean that you’ll be eating randomly; quite to the contrary, you will be eating with more intention and purpose than ever before.  Beginning with a sound nutritional strategy like CBL, you’ll perform checks throughout the day and engage in a lot of introspection while still doing what you know you need to do.  You’ll still hit your macros, you’ll still pay attention to the quality of your food, but you’ll throw the plan out the window if it doesn’t correlate with what your body is telling you.

Breakfast and Pre-Workout

If you’ve read CBL, you understand that a big part of why the diet works is shifting from fat-burning in the morning to carb-burning in the evening.  You also know that delaying breakfast after awakening isn’t going to kill you; it’s actually favorable as far as fat mobilization and overall recovery are concerned.  Let’s say you’re up and atom now; you take a peek in the fridge and remark that you’re not hungry.  You might delay breakfast a little longer while you get some work done, or you might make a coffee with a scoop of protein powder to stimulate myosynthesis.  Contrast this with a morning where you awaken after an all-nighter; you’re not feeling tip-top.  You consider the golden, delicious flavor of bacon and eggs cooked in grassfed butter; your mouth waters and your stomach rumbles, “Hey.  FEED ME.”  You would be wise to listen and get some high-quality protein and saturated fat into your belly, even if you just woke up.

Breakfast should be about stimulating protein synthesis and keeping stress hormones from getting out of hand so you can mobilize fat and build muscle.  You should get a large portion of your daily fat and protein intake from this meal, especially if you don’t eat lunch.  So what do you do when you know, deep down inside, that you need some carbs with your breakfast?  Go for fibrous vegetables, nuts and fruits that will fill you up without eliciting too great an insulin spike.  If fruit and vegetables aren’t cutting it, you could try some gluten-free waffles or a glass of milk.  The idea is to take what you know is optimal and let your personal preferences dictate the application; if you feel better and train harder with some fried potatoes or pancakes in you, then you are completely free to incorporate them into your plan.

Dinner and Post-Workout    

As the day progresses, dinner time arrives.  Let’s say you had a very productive squat session last night, and you hit some new PRs.  You had a big steak and a few sweet potatoes after your post-workout shake, and you slept well…You feel good today, you’re out with your friends and a nice fat Philly cheese steak sounds like it’d hit the spot.  You stop and you say to yourself, “I looked lean as hell this morning!” It might not kill you to go for it and have the Philly tonight, but your desire to eat is motivated more by delicious cheesiness than nutritional necessity and you aren’t training tomorrow.  It may be time to exercise some willpower.  Perhaps you can double the steak and cheese and forego the bread this time; maybe this will be a low carb day after all.  However, if you woke up looking (and feeling) flat, and you’re hungry as hell tonight, you may not have eaten enough the previous evening.  Maybe you also feel a little bit on the glum side and a cheese steak would be the perfect pick-me-up.  You would be foolish to ignore the signs, and it may be in your best interest to order some fries to go with your sandwich.

Completely the opposite of breakfast, dinner is the best time to eat carbs and get some extra food in if you feel like you haven’t been eating enough.  If you stayed relatively low carb throughout the day, the surge of insulin brought on by ingesting carbohydrates will signal your brain that it’s okay to burn fat tomorrow morning.  Growth hormone secretion will spike, and you’ll have more recuperative sleep.  It’s a win-win-situation.  Whether or not you’ve trained, it’s important to use this time to make sure you’ve eaten enough protein and that you’ve taken in enough overall energy.  If you have to choose between either going to bed hungry or having a cinnamon roll five minutes before you hit the hay, you should probably pick the latter.  The only situation where I would suggest going easy on the carbs is if you’re really not hungry, or if you plan on being a lay-about the next day and won’t do much of anything as far as movement goes.

Thinking for Yourself

Remember that rest days are not nearly as restful if you under eat.  Listen to your body, and make decisions about how much and what you’re eating based upon how you feel, how you look, and how you’re performing during your training.  You’re an adult, and in the end you’ve got to look out for yourself because nobody else will (unless you pay them to do so!).  Neither I nor Kiefer know how many carbohydrates you need after a workout.  Martin Berkhan and Robb Wolf can only guess at how many calories you need to eat every day to perform optimally.  Any and all suggestions are ultimately rubbish if they’re letting you down.  When something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to deviate from the plan.  If you don’t know, find out.

Scott Paltos Crossfit Games Competitor interview

8 Mar

Scott Paltos

Today, I’m bringing you a short interview with Scott Paltos, owner and operator of PUMP Crossfit & Performance in East Hanover, NJ.  Scott has a great background in sports ranging from baseball to powerlifting.  He’s worked as a Strength & Conditioning coach for over a decade and as of late, he’s become a top-level CrossFit Games competitor.  This interview focuses mostly on Scott’s experiences with Carb Back-Loading where he works with John Kiefer (the author of the book) in creating custom plans so he can perform better as a Crossfit athlete.  To download a copy of the book click here.  (using this link supports this site and gets you into the Q&A sessions where we dial in some of the concepts in the book)

Paul (Eat To Perform):  So tell us; how did you meet Kiefer, and why did you think Carb Back-Loading would be a good fit for you as a CrossFitter?

Scott Paltos:  You have to understand, I come from a true strength background.  So a lot of my online reading was with EliteFTS, T-Nation, and other more performance-related sites.  I read a little about Kiefer, and was kind of floored by his approach.  My whole performance career was based on small meals, frequency, balance, etc.  So when this guy came out with CBL, I had to reach out.  I reached out, and reached out, and reached out.  He responded after me being a pest for a little.  We spoke on the phone for a while.  We clicked with what we were looking to do (to raise my performance)…and bam, we are going into our third year.  Kiefer is a SMART dude, as well as a good friend.

As far as me thinking CBL would be good…it was not my first reason.  I wanted to get leaner and keep strength.  We not only did that, but also improved a good deal of my performance with it.  Since Kiefer and I started, we have done some form of CBL or CN.  Yes, we adjust me personally, but I think that is because I like ice cream and turnovers too much.  Haha!!!!  Remember CBL is not based on some theory; it is science, and Kiefer proves that in his protocol (this is Paul, and highly referenced scientific principles, you could spend a year reading the research Kiefer devoured to put this book out).

Paul:  I feel like your experience is different than mine.  When I first heard about CBL, I was just coming off of a year of Leangains, which leaned me out, but killed my performance in the gym. Since then, I’ve taken CBL and added 15 pounds of muscle. I suspect that building mass wasn’t a big priority for you considering your background.  Can you shed some light on what you’d hoped for, and ultimately what you gained from CBL?

Scott:  Listen, I am not as lean as I should be, and I don’t always perform like I can.  That’s sport…well the first part, is because I eat too much.  Like I mentioned above, I needed to get leaner.  Strength in the sport of CrossFit, for me, is not an issue.  I don’t really need to pull 600 for reps anymore…I don’t need to bench 500, but what I needed was a way to manipulate energy systems.  CBL has helped me create a better environment for my body to burn fat.  It has also helped me recover better.  Look, in this sport I am NO spring chicken.  My 36th birthday is in a few weeks.  I need that assistance.  Pure volume alone, it takes its toll on me.  Now, I can’t reverse the aging process, but I can help make sure it doesn’t get bad too fast.  With Kiefer, we have been able to do that.

Carb Back Loading is the only book we promote on this site and on the Facebook page because I think it’s the ultimate performance way of eating.  People always ask me, is it really worth the $53? Meanwhile they walked into the gym with $109 Nanos, carrying $139 Olympic lifting shoes and $47 custom jump rope.  From an athletic progress standpoint I think it’s patentedly ridiculous that people would spend that much money on gear and then balk at the price of this book.  Thoughts?

I agree 100%

Paul:  I am not a huge diet guy.  I don’t count calories,  but I tend to have a pretty good idea where I’m at most days as far as how much I expend and consume. I don’t consider CBL a diet; I consider it a strategy to integrate into my lifestyle, because (from my experience) a strategy as it relates to carbs is favorable related to metabolism and athletic progress.  What are your thoughts?

Scott:  Great point!!!! It’s a lifestyle for performance.  Do I recommend my PUMPsters to do CBL or CN…Hell yeah.  But I also will cycle their lifestyle off of it for a periods of time too.  You are manipulating hormones, metabolism, and chemically stimulating yourself with CBL.  It’s not just a ho-dunk methodology….BUUUUUUUUTTTTTTTTTT, you need to train correctly as well.  That whole concept sometimes gets lost.  Intensity is something that most CrossFitters are not missing, but knowing when and how much is key.  Let’s just say I am not always a fan of how some CrossFitters train, or think what they are doing is right.  The two (nutrition AND programming) have to coincide synergistically.

And the “D” word, diet…I have been on a diet since I was 12 years old and had to make weight for junior football.  Then I was on a diet to get bigger for football, then on a diet to get smaller, bigger….It is a horrible word.  I like “Lifestyle” or like you mentioned, “Strategy”.

Paul:  This is my last question, so I’d like to thank you for taking the time to do this Scott.  In the book, Kiefer is openly critical of CrossFit and paleo.  Many CrossFitters prefer to eat in a paleo style (which I believe is very realistic in combination with CBL and have written many articles on this very topic). I read Kiefer’s jabs at CrossFit like this:  “Carb Back-Loading isn’t the ideal nutrition protocol for CrossFit.”  It might not be the perfect fit for soccer either. With that said, it is BY FAR the best alternative I have come upon (aside from having your own personal Kiefer design a diet specifically for you like you did). How would you describe his criticism, and how did you reconcile that once you started working with him?  Also, do you follow a mostly paleo approach to CBL, or are your energy needs just so high that it’s almost impossible?

Scott:  This is a good one.  One:  Kiefer’s issues with CrossFit, from my view, is more of improper coaching, methodology of programming, and overall safety.  Guess what:  those are my issues with it as well.  So he and I are not far from it.  My gym, “PUMP CrossFit & Performance” in East Hanover, is a TRAINING FACILITY…not just a CrossFit.  A lot of people have seen, I do not program typical WODs from mainsite.  Not to say, that they are bad, they are just not for me or my PUMPsters.  Kiefer has caught slack, and really could not care less, for being critical of CrossFit.  The funny thing is, it’s not a rant he or I will go on.  It is strictly based on things that are seen and overviewed.  I believe a good deal of coaches in CrossFit feel entitled.  Just like a good deal of MMA coaches feel entitled.  “Well we are certified, so we can teach.”  SHIT, that is not it.  It takes years to become a great blacksmith or iron worker…What, it only takes a weekend or a few months to become a great coach or trainer?  No F’ing way…it takes time.  It takes the ability to work with people.  It takes effort and hours to work with groups.  Kiefer and I are on the same page.  You cannot just get a piece of paper and consider yourself an expert.  Do I know about Kiefer’s methodology, yes.  Do I preach it scientifically like he does?  Hell no.  There are good coaches out there, the individual needs to search for them.  Just because CrossFit is in the name, doesn’t mean it’s going to be right.

Sorry, I got off target.  Back on now…Paleo…great in theory, but not for me.  I have done CBL in a paleo mindset, I have done strict Paleo, I have done adjusted Paleo…Whatever, I have not had personal success for it in long periods.  I followed it for a while; my joints hurt more, my body recovered less…and that’s when I was in my off-season and training volume was low.  Kiefer adjusts me when I need it, but I have a pretty good grasp on when we will make changes.  If you really look at Paleo, most of the CBL meals, if done right are similar.  So there are some similarities. As far as my energy levels?  I am hyped up all day long.  Whether it’s the caffeine, or just me, I am usually pretty animated.  Around competition time there is a definite need for more intake, but I am getting better and not over regulating.  Again, my main focus right now is the season, staying healthy, and just having a good time.

I appreciate the opportunity to be in front of everybody with this, and I am always welcome to answer questions or chat.  Please feel free to email or contact me.  I do my best to answer stuff if they are general, but if it gets to the “I need to know” then I usually do ask for it to become a consultation.  Oh, and as far as the other question you asked.  “If I know any other CBL followers?”  Hell yeah…but they don’t call it CBL.  They just call it paleo with refeeds and paleo with “anything I can eat at night”.  Haha.  CrossFit followers who watch some of the personal videos of others, or read blogs from athletes, should understand what I am talking about.  There are a good deal of TOP athletes who follow a similar if not exact system of CBL.  They just don’t say it.  Good Stuff….good luck to all in the Open.

Scott Paltos

PUMP CrossFit & Performance


Carb Loading – Paleo Women of Crossfit Version

8 Mar

Tomorrow we are releasing our Metabolic Flexibility chapters that you get when you purchase a year long subscription for $49.95.  These chapters are written by Mike T Nelson who is considered to be the authority on the topic.  When I wrote this article Carb Back Loading was the only book that closely resembled what I teach.  With two volumes of Foundations and now Mike’s chapters on MetFlex I can safely say this is NOW the best information you can purchase specific to our sport (that being high intensity weight lifting and OLY lifting).  Not only do you get that but you get seminars and a private group with other doctors and Crossfit athletes to support your new performance journey (how cool is that?).

(Click here to jump to a summary of this article)

This is a big topic for the seminars:  “How can a woman keep a healthy amount of carbs in her diet while also mobilizing fat?”  I realize that it’s all very confusing at this point, because there’s been a lot of buzz over the past few years surrounding fat loss on a ketogenic diet.  There are certainly a lot of women who’ve made dramatic transformations by cutting carbs, but the results may have come at a cost; for a small percentage of women, symptoms like irregular menstrual cycles and compromised fertility go hand in hand with calorie deprivation and maintaining a low body fat percentage.  If this doesn’t apply to you, you probably can’t relate, but for a few of the ladies out there, a bell just went off in their heads.  Another group of relatively lean ladies have taken a less restrictive approach to eating, and most are quite happy with their body composition.

Exercise Differences Between Men and Women

Aside from the obvious differences, men and women are biologically quite different and respond differently to exercise in a few important ways.  For instance, women burn fat more easily than men do while CrossFitting; due to a significantly decreased oxidative work capacity, women have been shown to use up glycogen more slowly than men do.  They rely upon alternate pathways to supply ATP to the muscle cells during intense activity.  So if women burn more fat while exercising, why are some of them struggling to rid themselves of what they consider to be excess body fat?  Although it has something to do with neurotransmitters and adrenergic receptors in adipose tissue, we’ll just say that each person stores and mobilizes fat differently; it’s dependent upon so many factors that it would take an entire book to adequately explain.  Once again, this is a complicated question that is largely individual, but I have and will continue to argue that there is a process of analysis that must occur.  In the long run, the results are enlightening and will lead to important discoveries about your unique metabolism.

What about Carb Back-Loading?  That Seems Like a Lot of Carbs…

Later, you will read three testimonies from women who Eat to Perform.  Not all of them are CrossFitters, nor are they CBL zealots, but that makes their experiences much more informative and broadly applicable.  Each of these women has formulated a conscious approach to carbohydrate intake that works for them.

Once you hear from them, you’ll agree that the contrasts between these various athletes are eye-opening.  All of them do some version of what I describe in this article, adjusted for their activity level, at various times.  Some do it by feel, some count calories and some carb cycle BUT every single one of them agrees that a high-functioning metabolism involves some amount of carbohydrates.

Adjusting CBL for Women

Back-loading can be intimidating.  Kiefer talks about “slamming the carbs”; images of doughnuts and turnovers dance before your eyes.  This rubs people the wrong way sometimes, because it doesn’t jive with what they consider a basic tenant of human nutrition; it seems insane (and unhealthy) to suggest that eating baked goods and pizza could help you lose fat.  When I started this site, I wanted to start women down the path of thinking more openly as far as carbohydrates are concerned.  That started a discussion and here we are with almost 200,000 people participating (it will probably be more if you read this down the road).  That discussion led to experiments for a lot of people and better performance while eating moderate carbohydrates.  I think I can safely say that women trying to lose fat might do well to try something out of their comfort zone and add some carbs/starches to their meal plans.

This Is a “Non-Standard” Recommendation

It’s important that everyone understands that no recommendation works for everyone.  You have to take the reins, but this is a safe spot for most active women to start.  I just posted an article with a link and explanation of how to calculate your energy requirements based upon your activity level.  It’s very informative so you should give it a quick read.  In the articles coming up you will see examples of women using vastly different approaches as it relates to carb strategies that all make sense.  We’ll go over this more during the seminars as well, so don’t sweat it if these numbers don’t work for you.

  • For our example, we’ll use a woman in her mid-twenties, 5’4”, 125lbs who CrossFits a few times a week.
  • We’ll start her on 125g of protein a day.  If you are particularly light (under 125 pounds) then you can get away with 100g.
  • 125g of carbs (ideally eaten in a small window post workout at the end of the day, similar to the way it is described in the book).  Again, if you weigh less than 125 pounds, 100g is a good place to start.  If you’re particularly active (or you train in the morning), you may want to add 25-50g of carbs to your post workout nutrition.
  • 125g of fat.  This will provide the bulk of your energy throughout the day and turn you into a veritable furnace of fat burning.

Starch Sources in Your Evening Meals

Part of the problem with very active women following a Paleo-esque diet is that they struggle to find energy dense sources that come from mostly whole unprocessed foods.  Fibrous vegetables don’t count; eat as much of them as you want throughout the day but leave them out of your evening meals.  While they may be packed with vitamins and minerals, they will fill you up and you may have a tendency to under eat when it comes time to “slam the carbs”.  This is one of the reasons I recommend having dessert on your back-loading days (ideally, the day before a workout).  My coconut milk smoothies are a great choice; I have also seen women get very favorable results adding dark chocolate and wine into the mix (as long as it’s in moderation).

As far as more traditional options go, we’ll keep this simple: sweet potatoes, squash (kabocha squash pictured above) are great carbohydrate sources.  If you’re open-minded, you could occasionally try some white rice too.  Starches are important, as they provide a quick source of glucose to spur muscle tone (really muscle growth but I digress) and trigger the hormonal cascade responsible for fat burning.  I think you’ll get a great response from these.  Finally, variety is the spice of life, so try different things and don’t be afraid to have a cinnamon roll before bed to prepare for a particularly brutal workout the following day.

Workout Days Followed by Rest Days

Because men burn through sugar like there’s no tomorrow, they can get away with back-loading every day.  Women have things a little harder due to their decreased usage of glycogen as fuel during exercise.  If your goal is to mobilize fat, I would suggest reducing your carbohydrate intake on these days, while simultaneously increasing your fat intake.  It may seem like it contradicts the entire ideology of back-loading, but by eating relatively low carb after training, you will ensure a glycogen debt and maximize fat burning hormones.  Using the example from above, stay with 125g protein, 100g of carbs and add roughly 22g of fat (preferably from sources like coconut oil and grass-fed butter) to make up for the loss of calories incurred by lowering carbohydrate intake.  That would shift your macros to 125p/150f/100c.

These are just my thoughts; you can play with this many different ways.  My goal is to convey a more clear understanding that a reckless approach is unnecessary; you don’t need to eat turnovers and pizza to back-load.  I hope this helps a bit in clarifying that.  As always, these are guidelines and not rules.


  • Men and women utilize carbohydrate differently.  Women are, in general, better at burning fat than men so they need fewer carbohydrates in their nutrition plans.
  • Ketogenic/low carb diets can cause fast weight loss but they are rarely ideal for optimal performance.
  • While it may not be extremely common, some women suffer some unfortunate side effects when they get really lean and/or deprive their bodies of carbohydrates.  For this reason, it’s better to adopt a less restrictive approach to carbs.
  • Women should strive to hit their protein goals first, and then focus on carbs and fat; in general, women seem to do well on 100-125g of carbs on training days.
  • Rest days can be modified to include more fat and less carbs; 75-100g may be appropriate.
  • As with most things, experimenting with more or less carbs will help you arrive at a balance that works for you and allows you to look and perform the way you want to.
  • You don’t need to eat pizza and turnovers to carb back-load; go for starches like potatoes and rice, and be sure to include some vegetables.  Coconut milk smoothies are also a great option.


Leptin, the hormone and metabolic trigger

7 Mar

So Leptin says to the brain “Yo homey, why you always hoggin’ the sugar”.  This is a leptin joke that will never catch on but it cracks me up.

Leptin Resistance

Most people are aware of insulin but many people are not as aware of the hormone leptin and its role in the body.  Leptin is sort of like insulin’s identical brother. Each is simply a signal for the body, and a hormonal signal at that. Leptin and its receptors are spread throughout your body and even those areas which do not see the light of day! Leptin is also found in your fat tissue.  It relays signals to your brain regarding energy balance and the brain relays back whether your body should release fat, keep it or store it.  So if you are on a diet, or have ever been on a diet then leptin is something you need to be well versed in.  Blood tests resulting in elevated triglycerides may impair your brains ability to process the relay messages between leptin receptors and the brain. This can serve as a sign of leptin resistance. One week of dieting can lower your leptin by 50%.

The role of leptin in the body is affected when insulin levels are too high due to increased inflammation related to excessive carbohydrate consumption.  Leptin is a complex topic, so complex that this short primer isn’t going to tell you all you need to know but it is a start.

Leptin excess leads to resistance of signaling, much like insulin in excess leads to downgraded organ signaling. When dieting too long or too strictly, especially when using a low carbohydrate diet as a tool for weight loss, leptin is lowered to an extreme level affecting the body’s ability to mobilize fat and keep hormones at healthy libido levels (this is the opposite of the scenario in the last paragraph).  This is where a big helping of sweet potatoes and bananas after a day of low carbohydrate dieting can actually spur fat loss, because you have now opened the door for leptin again and it mobilizes fat as a result (I keep referring to this as the Metabolism Switch and it’s one of the basic premises of the book Carb Back Loading).  As it stands, the body can become leptin resistant from excessive signaling but also levels can become too low from excessive restriction- both impair fat loss.

Carbohydrates are the boogie man of nutrition to many, even more so than fats, though there are groups on both sides who disdain both of them with equal fervor.  The detonator in the carbohydrate war is over simple and complex carbohydrates.  Simple carbohydrates consist of quick acting foods like white bread, cereal, table sugar, soda- very refined foods.  On the other side are complex carbohydrates consisting of sweet potatoes, pumpkin, squash, tomatoes and quinoa.  That is a pretty wide spectrum to paint with a very broad brush (but I just did it baby!).

For a lot of people the Paleo Diet can cause Leptin issues but things are fine if they add Paleo starches and some occasional white rice and keep overall calories at maintenance levels. I have no beef with the Paleo Diet if you do it without restricting intake. If you are in a standstill as it relates to weight issues and would rather not count calories Paleo can be useful.  I can assure you it is more difficult to become obese eating in such a way.  That said, if you eat coconut fried sweet potatoes in all of your meals each day it’s not the diet that is the problem …..  Such a diet would clearly be nutrient deficient and you are likely well aware of that fact.

So now that we have cleared that up let’s move on.

Solving Leptin

Solving leptin goes a long way to having a healthy metabolism and one of the best ways to do that is to keep a moderate amount of starchy carbs in your diet. Certainly fruits are advantageous and even the occasional sugary treat can actually serve a purpose as the joke at the top suggests.

Live streaming plus Question and Answer seminars

7 Mar

Simply Pure Nutrients

My goal is for the seminars to be free when people use links on this site.  Unfortunately that will probably never happen with but buying stuff you would have already bought using this link supports our site and keeps the content rolling.

We now offer a paid option as well

For some people they want may want to join the science lab but have no need for any of the products we sell.  For those people we have a $4.95 monthly recurring option.  The details and “Science Lab” sign in can be found on this page.

I am still sorting out the schedule (and will release it publicly) but I am going to try and use various times of the day to meet everyone’s needs.  I will be using the new Google Live Hangouts software and will be sending out invites and times for people to stop by.

For the quickest access to the Science Lab using the free option it is best to sign up using this link and then follow the steps below.

To get the free offers simply send the order numbers from Simply Pure Nutrients, Rogue (for orders $50 and up) and Carb Back Loading.

The email is  This email is for business inquiries, if you email me asking for advice using this method I’m probably going to let you down because someone actually checks this email for me.  I rarely see it.  It serves an administration function.

Why Do I Have to Buy Carb Back Loading to participate?

You don’t, you can now also buy any of the products from Simply Pure Nutrients using the same process where you simply email me your order number.  You will also get the seminars free with a purchase from Rogue using the links on this site (that’s important because when you email me I match it up with the information I get from Rogue, this is for orders over $50).

You might want to consider it though.

The method I teach people is covered in CBL, that is why it is the only book I sell.  I have not really seen a better book as it relates to “Metabolic Flexibility” and it is a great starting point for the discussion.

Made in America

But I despise Carbs with a passion, yuck yuck yuck, what should I do?

Reconsider your position.  No macronutrient is the enemy and if you want a well functioning metabolism you should have a strategy as it relates to carbohydrate intake.  Ultimately though Carb Back Loading (ironically) is really a book about fat.  Both mobilizing it and eating it correctly and then using carbohydrates to mobilize it.

What if you can’t help me?

I’ll refund your money no questions asked.  What I won’t be doing however is become your doctor (even though I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night).  I like to refer to myself as a “fatologist” I know a whole bunch about one thing that seems very important to a lot of people.  Most body fat struggles are just a manifestation of something that is off along the way.  In this series we will explore that and I suspect it will be very enlightening for everyone.

Ok, I am convinced but I haven’t bought the book, am I still eligible?

Yes, use this link to purchase Carb Back Loading, shoot me your order number and I will email you the schedule for the upcoming week.

carb back loading button

What if none of those times work for me?

I will be doing them to accomodate everyone’s needs, if you don’t see a time that works simply email me and I will make arrangements so that everyone that purchases the book gets this special promotion.

Also one HUGE benefit that will only be available to members will be the time stamping of the seminars.  While we will publish most, if not all, seminars only subscribed members will get time stamped info that makes watching the videos a much easier process.

Do you really have a mohawk and aren’t you a 44 year old man and father to 2 daughters? What the hell is it that you do that allows you to walk around with said mohawk and what does your wife think about that thing?

Firstly you know way too much about me.  Secondly, “what it is I do” will be covered in the series and you will find out exactly why this page went from 0 to whatever many likes it has now in only a few days.  I know what I am talking about.  Period.  I will say this though, I am not Kiefer, what we will talk about will just use Carb Back Loading as a back drop and then I will apply my knowledge base on top of that.  It’s easy to do back loading wrong, I can help put together the pieces a bit.

Is your low carb diet making you insulin resistant?

7 Mar

That answer for a lot of people is yes.  Let me explain both kinds and pay particular note to the italicized portion at the bottom.  Once again “eat less do less” isn’t helping but leaving out carbs actually harms your cells and the result is a withering metabolism.  I wrote this about a year and a half ago and I (actually my editor at the time and I) use the word toxin pretty freely.  Since then I have come to think the word toxin is overused and is often the defense of someone that really doesn’t know what they are talking about.

Insulin Resistance

With the growing population of type 2 diabetes, most everyone has been informed of insulin resistance yet it is poorly understood. The result of excessive intakes of empty carbohydrate foods lacking vitamins and minerals leads to jacked up blood sugar levels. These constantly jacked up blood sugars lead to longwinded elevated insulin levels because insulin and blood glucose should rise in a relatively similar fashion but not ALWAYS be high. The result of inadequate vitamins and minerals (namely magnesium) leaves an exhausted liver and pancreas; two crucial organs to insulin’s stability and reliance.

The sugar in your blood is broken down to glucose.  Excessive production of is a toxic and inflammatory. The inflammation centers itself in the process, focusing on the liver and pancreas and widening to other parts of the body as it progresses. The body handles toxins by storage and dysregulation. This leaves your fat stores full of toxins. When your fat stores are filled with toxins, your organs become ‘fatty.’ Many doctors are forced to inform their patients these days of their ‘fatty livers.’ Over time, an overworked body with excessive glucose becomes insulin resistant which is a precursor to type 2 diabetes. So you see, becoming insulin resistant takes a while and once you are resistant to insulin, you have long been doing damage to your body.

When you are in a state of glucose excess, your muscles are full and do not need any more glucose to power them. Insulin tells your body to store excess as fat to be used as energy later. It becomes clear the benefit of having muscle; glucose will be stored in muscles before it is stored as fat so there is a bit of leeway and advantage to more lean body mass. If your muscles are constantly receiving glucose, it becomes reliant on sugar as a primary source of energy.

In an ideal scenario, your body is optimized by using a combination of both sugars and fats for energy.  This is why simultaneously eating low carbohydrate AND a low fat diet will leave you feeling run down and fatigued.  If you are controlling your weight by controlling your intake of carbohydrate, you need to eat fats as a signal to burn fat as a primary fuel source.  This makes the condemnation of fat silly as shown before. It can not only be a primary energy source for the body, but also protect it from things like the cold.

There is a win-lose, lose-win here. Basically, eating very low in carbohydrate means you don’t have access to tons of glucose, so the majority of your cells switch to burning fatty acids instead of glucose. These same cells which are now running on fatty acids become more resistant to taking up glucose in order to save it for use by those few cells that have to have glucose, like in the brain. It is a healthy ‘saving mechanism,’ if it didn’t happen we would die. When glucose becomes sparser, the cells that have the option of running on fatty acids, which is not sparse, choose to not use the glucose and instead use the fatty acids. Thus you can assume those cells have become ‘resistant’ to glucose as they are saving it for other cells that really need it (again, namely the brain). This is a healthy response designed to keep those few cells that need glucose having a good supply of it, and at the same time, it will maintain a healthy level of glucose in the blood. This type of adaption serves as a type of insulin resistance resulting in a healthy level of blood glucose.  This can however lead to a slowing metabolism and I will get you guys that reason tomorrow.

The only problem comes if you eat very low carbohydrate for an extended time, and your cells adapt to this low level of glucose, and then suddenly you decide to pound a ton of sugar into your system. Your cells are caught flat footed for a while. They had adapted to a strategy of saving glucose and all of the sudden they are awash in way too much glucose. This is where understanding nutrient dense food and the right cycling works.