Carb Back Loading has been giving me some pretty awesome results. Back on April 6, I measured myself with my Omron Body Monitor and got:
Today, June 25, nearly 3 months later, I got:
Contrast this from when I trained Ironman, I would start the season at 154 lbs, and as soon as I started training, I would drop to 151 and I would hang there for months, until about 1-1.5 months before the race. At that point, I would be peaking and my training distances would be maximal – think 3 hour runs weekly along with 6 hour bike rides the day after, not to mention swimming 4000m. It was only at this point, after 6-7 months of training, that my weight would start falling to race day weight of about 147 lbs. Then, 2 weeks after the race, my training volume would be lower due to recovering from the race, and my weight would go back to 151 lbs. until the next race.
If there is anything I’ve learned, it’s that losing weight is not driven consistently nor effectively by exercise. Sure, if I got to Ironman level training volume, my body would eventually adjust its setpoint. But who is willing to put themselves through that? And I’ve seen many who reach the Ironman starting line who are clearly not very skinny at all.
However, when I employed CBL – or more accurately, nutrient timing along with Bulletproof fasting – things only got enhanced when my training volume went up and it was nowhere near the volume of Ironman level training. My workouts today are about an hour tops, and with an 8-15 min kettlebell HIIT session about twice a week, resistance training about 4 times a week. Clearly something else is at work here and it showed me that exercise was not the number one factor for weight loss. Nutrition by far has a greater effect!
I just read Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes. It finally gave a consumer readable explanation of how we really get fat, and why everything we have been taught about diet is totally wrong. Highly recommend it. It also details research that shows that exercise has little or no effect on weight loss in general and that exactly what you put in your mouth does.
Where to go from here? Besides getting to my kettlebell certification, I am now playing with reducing the amount of carbs I eat and seeing if I can get to no carbs. There is some research out now that shows that athletes can still get optimal performance with low/no carbs. I believe it is because most athletes don’t complete the adaptation period from their previous carb heavy diet to no carbs, and there are side effects like fatigue during this time – some of this is talked about in Why We Get Fat. When I first started a low/no carb diet, I was on the training path to the LA Marathon. I didn’t feel any kind of low energy effects at all. I did take gels during my long runs as well as during the race, as well as do the controversial carbo load the night before. The race itself wasn’t problematic from an energy standpoint either. So I do think it is possible to get there and I’m now seeing if I can get there too.