Timed Carb Dieting - from ironaddicts.com

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Timed Carb Dieting - from ironaddicts.com

Post  Drew on Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:51 am

Most of the people that come to me seeking personal training advice have their number one priority listed as dropping bodyfat. And when I say most, I am talking about 75-80%. The sad part is a big percentage of those people were NOT fat when they started bodybuilding. Yes, they got that way trying to “bulk up”. I guess you can say they were successful at “bulking” if you consider fat to be “bulk”. What they should have been doing is “muscling up”. That is rarely done until the trainee is quite experienced. The yo-yo approach can work well if you are blessed with a great metabolism……few are. Had they done it right they wouldn’t be in that situation. But, past mistakes are best left in the past. This article is about how to leave those mistakes in the past where they belong, and give you some general guidelines about timed-carb dieting, which I FIRMELY believe is the best approach to dropping the bodyfat while at a bare minimum retaining 100% of your muscle mass, and in the VAST majority of cases, adding some muscle and lots of strength while shedding the unwanted fat.

Before I outline the timed carb strategy, I am going to go over the typical types of diets followed by those in search of their abs, and talk about the pros and cons of each technique. Lets get started!

Low calorie, low fat diets
This is probably the #1 approach taken by those that have taken the plunge into the realm of dieting and it also happens to be the #1 reason many are afraid to diet. Why are they afraid? Because past experience has taught them that when dieting, they lose hard-earned muscle. And with this type of diet you can EXPECT at least a 50/50 muscle to fat loss ratio! YES! You lose 10 lbs and at LEAST 5 is usually muscle!!! Why? You first need to understand a bit about bodyfat metabolism. Your body stores bodyfat as “reserve fuel” in case of famine. Which is not much of a problem in today’s world in industrialized countries. OK, now you’re fat and you decide to drop it using this approach. The problem is, that when carbs are present, the fat burning pathways, which are driven by an enzymatic process are SHUT-DOWN, because carbs produce the release of insulin in your system, and insulin stops the enzymatic processes that allows you to burn bodyfat as a fuel source.

But wait! Calories are too low to fuel basal metabolism, and since your body can’t burn fat what is left? Ahhhh, you guessed it! Protein! Where does this protein come from? Well first your body will convert the recently ingested protein to glucose, but that still doesn’t cover daily caloric demands. So what next? Yup, your body starts catabolizing it’s own muscle to use as a fuel source, and…..you LOSE!

ISO-Caloric Diets
This is the diet made famous by Barry Sears of the “Zone Diet” fame. The idea here is to make the diet as balanced between protein/carbs/fats as possible and reduce insulin secretion as much as possible. These types of diets do quite a bit better at holding onto muscle while beating down the fat than low-cal, low-fat diets, but once caloric levels get low enough to drop bodyfat levels at a reasonable rate, you will still be chewing up a bunch of muscle unless on a LOT of gear, and you won’t really be on an ISO ratio if you are going to be getting enough protein to build/maintain muscle. These types of diets (with additional protein skewing a true iso-caloric profile) are GREAT while adding mass, but not really what the bodybuilder needs to get rid of bodyfat. Same problem as listed above arises since carbs/insulin are still present.

Keto Diets
These diets are based on the fact that when you reduce carbs to ZERO, and keep it that way for a period of anywhere from 12 hours to 48 hours (dependant an a variety of factors) your body will shift from first burning carbs, to then burning fats, to ultimately converting fats into ketones, and using the ketones as the primary fuel source. The name given to this process is ketosis, hence the name keto-diet. Keto diets are protein sparing, which means your body will tend to hold on to protein (muscle) which is exactly what we want when dieting.

These diets do work extremely well for dropping bodyfat while holding onto muscle. Just what the aspiring bodybuilder wants. So what’s the catch? Well……the catch is that to achieve and stay in actual ketosis, you usually have to be carb-free about 2 days. These diets are typically done by going without any carbs for 5 days (sometimes 6) and then doing a 1 or 2 day “carb-up” and repeating the cycle. Sound simple? Try it and then tell me how easy it is. If you can breach that stumbling block, you then reach the second problem. Without ANY carbs for so many days performance in the gym suffers. So while these diets are protein sparing, they don’t allow you to go all out in the gym, and you end up losing strength because you are held at reign in the gym. The third big reason they fail many is because with zero carbs, and low calorie levels, thyroid metabolism tends to get S-L-O-W-E-R. Bad thing! Even with these drawbacks, this is not a bad diet for dropping bodyfat and definitely many notches above the previously mentioned diets. But……there is a better way! Enter timed-carb dieting!

Timed Carb Diets
A timed carb diet works on the same basic principle as a keto-diet. Take away the bodies preferred fuel source (carbs) and provide enough fat in the diet that the body will switch to using fat as the fuel. But instead of going 5-6 days without ANY carbs, this diet allows you to take in carbs when they are most needed, and least likely to spill over into fat stores—right after the workout. Also, since we are not worried about actually hitting ketosis and staying in ketosis, if you slip, or just feel the need to bump up carbs a bit to replenish glycogen stores, you didn’t just bump yourself out of the ketogenic state you just spent 2 days to achieve.

What do these diets accomplish?
Fat is burned as the preferred fuel source and protein (read that muscle) is spared.
Performance in the gym stays good.
Thyroid function remains higher for a longer period of time.
You don’t go out of your head waiting 5 days to eat some damn carbs!

OK, now the how-to of a timed carb diet. Again, we are trying to get the body to switch from being a carb or protein-burning machine into a fat burning machine. Remember, if caloric levels are low, and carbs, thus insulin is high, your body will convert protein to carbs via glucogenisys and that is to be avoided at all costs. Anyway, to get on the path of burning fat as fuel, we simply remove the carbs out of the equation, AND keep fat in the diet at (at least) a 45-55% ratio. This lets the body know there is still a primary fuel source (fat) and allows it to be burned as fuel, while sparing protein

So, we decide to start a timed carb diet on Monday. Sunday night you cut out the carbs about three hours before bed. When you wake up in the morning blood sugar levels will be very low, and your body will be wanting some carbs---too bad, it doesn’t get any! You will eat only fat and protein. Ensuring fat makes up at LEAST 40% of the caloric profile. You may have a leafy green salad with oil based dressing, or some string-beans, or other such low-carb veggie, BUT NO MORE THAN 6-8 grams of carbs per feeding. You keep this up right until pre-workout, where an apple is allowed IF you feel the need to put a few carbs in your system to raise energy levels. MOST guys do not find this to be necessary and if it does not provide a big advantage DON’T do it. If the carbs don’t help much, have a small protein drink and proceed with the workout.

Post-workout, and it’s time to replenish the carb-stores in the muscles you just worked. As the vast majority of you already know, immediately after a hard weight training session there is a “window of opportunity” in the muscle cell when insulin sensitivity is very high and the body is most receptive to nutrient uptake. So…..you slam down 50-100 (dependent on bodyweight, bodyfat, insulin sensitivity, and training load) grams of fast liquid carbs (malto-dextrin, dextrose, and yes, even sucrose will work). About 10 minutes later follow it up with a 50-60 gram protein drink. As soon as you are hungry again, you can eat a small “regular” meal with a 40/30/30 protein/carb/fat profile to “top off the tank” of glycogen stores in the muscle. Then, you are back to zero or trace amounts of carbs until the next workout.

You then repeat the this format for a maximum of five days, and then have a 1-2 day carb-up. On days that you don’t train, you don’t eat any carbs except for a green salad or two. You do not have to run these no carb to carb days for the full five days and for many of you, having a lower ratio of no carb Vs. carb days will be advantageous. Also you do NOT have to do the carb days back-to back. You may do a couple of no carb days, followed by one or more carb days. This is determined on YOUR metabolism and how fast you want to drop the bodyfat.

Pretty simple huh? Well, I haven’t given you ALL the details, but close enough to get most of you at least much closer to being able to put together a successful diet plan on your own, and if you want to have ALL the details in place, consider having me train you!

Do’s and don’ts:
If you don’t keep the fat ratio AT LEAST 40% (50-60% works better) your body will just continue to use carbs as fuel. How does this happen if all you are eating is chicken breasts as an example? Well your body has no problems converting protein to carbs and WILL do this if it doesn’t sense an alternate fuel source (fats.)
This type of diet tends to work best with lower overall workout days, so if you are a volume trainer who is in the gym 6 days a week (bad idea in any case IMO) you will see decreased results since every day will be a carb day. It will still work however.

Log your food intake for at LEAST a week to ensure you are hitting your numbers for both macro-nutrient profile, and overall kcals. You might just find out how far off you are from where you “thought” you were.

Your carb-up days are designed to refill the glycogen stores in the muscle, and bump up caloric levels a bit to keep your thyroid off balance. They are not go all-out berserk pig-out days. MANY, MANY lifters make this mistake and cancel out all the fat loss they achieved up until the carb-up day(s).

Do cardio when dieting. No it is not mandatory, but it makes such a big difference for such little effort and time expended that is extremely short-sighted to not include it as part of your fat-loss plan.

Don’t be in a big hurry to drop the bodyfat. You didn’t get fat overnight (well, some of you almost did) so don’t try to lose it overnight. You should work along the lines of about this much fat loss a week:
150-200 lb trainees, 1.5 lbs a week
200-250 lb trainees, 2 lbs a week
250+ 2 to 2-1/2b lbs a week

Going much more aggressive than that and strength gains will slow or stop, and catabolism may set in.

If you are just starting a reduced volume (or realistic training program) the scale may be worthless at first. Many people are able to gain a significant amount of muscle when dieting like this. Use the mirror and calipers (or better yet hydro-static weighing) to determine your rate of success.

You WILL end up looking flat by day 3-4, this is NOT representative of what you will look like when fully carbed-up. Remember, each gram of glycogen in the muscle brings 3 grams of water with it. When glycogen stores are down (and they will be) when doing low carbs you will “appear” smaller. It’s just water, don’t sweat it!

This type of diet lends itself well to getting a large percentage of daily caloric levels from protein powder and EFA’s (essential fatty acids), and that makes it convenient to do.

I will at some point put out another article aimed at how to stay lean while adding mass, and as you might guess it is a variation of this basic format.

There you go, get that damn bodyfat off you and become a true bodybuilder. You know, one who isn’t afraid to take his shirt off-lol.

And, again, If you want ALL the pieces of diet/routine and supplementation laid out for you including exact macronutrient and kcal requirements, consider having me train you!

Iron Addict

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Re: Timed Carb Dieting - from ironaddicts.com

Post  Refused on Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:21 pm

Is it preferably one or two days in which I carb-up? Also, when I am on a carb-up day do I eat above maintenance or below?

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Re: Timed Carb Dieting - from ironaddicts.com

Post  Drew on Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:25 pm

Refused wrote:Is it preferably one or two days in which I carb-up? Also, when I am on a carb-up day do I eat above maintenance or below?

It depends on a few variables. First of all, some people are more carb sensitive than others. If carbs tend to just make you fat then it is probably best to do a one day carb-up. It also depends on your energy levels. If you are feeling extremely low on energy then you might benefit from a two day carb-up. It depends on your ability to stick to the diet as well. If you are constantly craving carbs then a two day carb-up might help you from cheating during the week. You can change from week to week as well. For example, you could do a one day carb-up one week and a two day carb-up the next week. You could try both ways and see what works best. One way may work well sometimes and the other may work better other times. In the end it won't make a whole lot of difference as long as you follow the diet.

Whether or not you eat above maintenance on carb-up days depends on your goals. If you're strictly trying to cut fat then you eat below maintenance. If you're trying to cut fat and build muscle simultaneously then you would eat above maintenance on carb-up days. Around 200 calories over maintenance would be a good starting point.

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Re: Timed Carb Dieting - from ironaddicts.com

Post  Refused on Thu Jul 01, 2010 2:51 pm

Drew wrote:
Refused wrote:Is it preferably one or two days in which I carb-up? Also, when I am on a carb-up day do I eat above maintenance or below?

It depends on a few variables. First of all, some people are more carb sensitive than others. If carbs tend to just make you fat then it is probably best to do a one day carb-up. It also depends on your energy levels. If you are feeling extremely low on energy then you might benefit from a two day carb-up. It depends on your ability to stick to the diet as well. If you are constantly craving carbs then a two day carb-up might help you from cheating during the week. You can change from week to week as well. For example, you could do a one day carb-up one week and a two day carb-up the next week. You could try both ways and see what works best. One way may work well sometimes and the other may work better other times. In the end it won't make a whole lot of difference as long as you follow the diet.

Whether or not you eat above maintenance on carb-up days depends on your goals. If you're strictly trying to cut fat then you eat below maintenance. If you're trying to cut fat and build muscle simultaneously then you would eat above maintenance on carb-up days. Around 200 calories over maintenance would be a good starting point.

Thank you for the quality answer. My other question is whether or not this is a good diet for a beginner who wants to stay lean and attain mass, or if this should be for someone who has already attained a fair amount of mass and would just like to fine-tune their body to his/her ideal physique.

I hear that, as a beginner, you should be more concentrated on getting in tons of calories from every source than trying to cycle carbs. What's your opinion?

Also, should I consume fruits or vegetables with every meal on the no-carb days, since they're non-starch?

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Re: Timed Carb Dieting - from ironaddicts.com

Post  Drew on Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:56 pm

This is a great diet for a beginner. You need to be consuming more calories than you're burning in order to burn mass, but a lot of people take that too far and end up just getting fat. Figure out your maintenance calorie level and if you're trying to cut then take about 200 calories off of that, or add 200 calories if you're trying to mass. That's a good starting point. The only carbs you can consume on the TCD are green vegetables. Except for the PWO meal and carb-up days of course.

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Post  Refused on Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:27 pm

So would this make sense:

Workout day: Consume above maintenance calories, eat fat/protein as well as carbs/protein PWO (~20fat/40carb/40pro).

Non-workout day: Consume below maintenance, no carbs, high fat/protein (~60fat/40pro/0carb).

Carb-up: Consume at or a little above maintenance, high carbs, protein, low fat (~45carbs/35protein/20fat)

The only thing I am afraid of is on carb-up day because Iron Addict states that if I go below maintenance...

"Calories are too low to fuel basal metabolism, and since your body can’t burn fat what is left? Ahhhh, you guessed it! Protein! Where does this protein come from? Well first your body will convert the recently ingested protein to glucose, but that still doesn’t cover daily caloric demands. So what next? Yup, your body starts catabolizing it’s own muscle to use as a fuel source, and…..you LOSE!"

So is there no way of going below maintenance on carb-up days?

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Re: Timed Carb Dieting - from ironaddicts.com

Post  Drew on Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:02 am

Refused wrote:So would this make sense:

Workout day: Consume above maintenance calories, eat fat/protein as well as carbs/protein PWO (~20fat/40carb/40pro).

Non-workout day: Consume below maintenance, no carbs, high fat/protein (~60fat/40pro/0carb).

Carb-up: Consume at or a little above maintenance, high carbs, protein, low fat (~45carbs/35protein/20fat)

The only thing I am afraid of is on carb-up day because Iron Addict states that if I go below maintenance...

"Calories are too low to fuel basal metabolism, and since your body can’t burn fat what is left? Ahhhh, you guessed it! Protein! Where does this protein come from? Well first your body will convert the recently ingested protein to glucose, but that still doesn’t cover daily caloric demands. So what next? Yup, your body starts catabolizing it’s own muscle to use as a fuel source, and…..you LOSE!"

So is there no way of going below maintenance on carb-up days?

Your plan looks good. You will probably end up maintaining your weight for the most part while building muscle and losing fat. You may gain or lose a little weight, but I would judge your progress by the mirror, your BF%, and progress photos, not the scale. You will probably be better of at least eating at maintenance on carb-up days, maybe a little higher.

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Re: Timed Carb Dieting - from ironaddicts.com

Post  Refused on Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:15 am

The only thing that still concerns me is that, on my off days, my body is trying to repair and build muscle broken down from the previous workout day, but since I am eating below maintenance I feel like I am depriving my body of that reconstruction.

It seems like a vicious circle when you want to try to both lose fat and build muscle. Is what I am doing really ok?

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Re: Timed Carb Dieting - from ironaddicts.com

Post  Drew on Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:18 am

Refused wrote:The only thing that still concerns me is that, on my off days, my body is trying to repair and build muscle broken down from the previous workout day, but since I am eating below maintenance I feel like I am depriving my body of that reconstruction.

That's just part of trying to cut fat. As long as your strength levels are going up then you're fine. If they stop increasing or start decreasing then you may need to cut down on the volume in your workouts so your muscles will still be able to recover.

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Post  Refused on Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:23 am

Drew wrote:
Refused wrote:The only thing that still concerns me is that, on my off days, my body is trying to repair and build muscle broken down from the previous workout day, but since I am eating below maintenance I feel like I am depriving my body of that reconstruction.

That's just part of trying to cut fat. As long as your strength levels are going up then you're fine. If they stop increasing or start decreasing then you may need to cut down on the volume in your workouts so your muscles will still be able to recover.

What if you're a person like me who is lifting for mass rather than strength? Will mass gains be affected if I continue with this type of diet?

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Re: Timed Carb Dieting - from ironaddicts.com

Post  Drew on Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:26 am

You can do this diet while eating above maintenance every day if you're trying to gain mass. As long as you hit your macros it will be fine.

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Post  Refused on Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:28 am

Drew wrote:You can do this diet while eating above maintenance every day if you're trying to gain mass. As long as you hit your macros it will be fine.

But if I do that then my fat loss will stop, correct? I'm just trying to figure out how much I should really be eating so I can try to benefit as much as I can in both the losing fat and building muscle categories

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Re: Timed Carb Dieting - from ironaddicts.com

Post  Drew on Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:31 am

Refused wrote:
Drew wrote:You can do this diet while eating above maintenance every day if you're trying to gain mass. As long as you hit your macros it will be fine.

But if I do that then my fat loss will stop, correct? I'm just trying to figure out how much I should really be eating so I can try to benefit as much as I can in both the losing fat and building muscle categories

Oh, sorry, I thought you meant you just wanted to build muscle. As long as you strength is going up you should be gaining mass. Think about it, how much bigger do you think you would be if you added 100 pounds to your squat, bench, and deadlift? Eating under maintenance during the week and over on weekends is fine for your goals. Don't look for a lot of changes on the scale, but you should see changes in body composition over time. Take a picture of yourself now and in 3-4 months and you will see a noticeable difference.

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Re: Timed Carb Dieting - from ironaddicts.com

Post  Refused on Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:37 am

Drew wrote:
Refused wrote:
Drew wrote:You can do this diet while eating above maintenance every day if you're trying to gain mass. As long as you hit your macros it will be fine.

But if I do that then my fat loss will stop, correct? I'm just trying to figure out how much I should really be eating so I can try to benefit as much as I can in both the losing fat and building muscle categories

Oh, sorry, I thought you meant you just wanted to build muscle. As long as you strength is going up you should be gaining mass. Think about it, how much bigger do you think you would be if you added 100 pounds to your squat, bench, and deadlift? Eating under maintenance during the week and over on weekends is fine for your goals. Don't look for a lot of changes on the scale, but you should see changes in body composition over time. Take a picture of yourself now and in 3-4 months and you will see a noticeable difference.

Ok great. I'll stick to my original diet plan then. Thanks a lot for the quick answers again!

Basically I was just afraid that I would be going nowhere if I didn't give my body the proper amount of calories to rebuild itself.

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Re: Timed Carb Dieting - from ironaddicts.com

Post  Drew on Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:40 am

No problem, you're doing fine. Just keep it up!

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Re: Timed Carb Dieting - from ironaddicts.com

Post  Refused on Sat Jul 24, 2010 3:52 pm

Ok my apologies for beating a dead horse but I just have to come back to this subject again.

So I am currently bulking. I weigh 150 lbs and the bodybuilding.com calculator states my maintenance as 2700 calories. Ok cool.

On my workout days I end up eating 3200-3300 calories - a good amount over maintenance and what I am comfortable with.

The main problem that I have and what I talked about before is my non workout day. Everywhere I search on bodybuilding.com the main points that seem to be stated are:

*Consume around the same amount of calories as on workout days. Maybe 200-300 less due to no workout shake.

*Eat a little less carbs.

Now because I am on TCD the "fewer carbs" aren't a problem since I'm barely eating any at all on non workout days. What I am concerned about is the fact that I am eating around 2100-2200 calories on my off days (about a 500-600 calorie deficit) and on top of that doing HIIT on the same day.

So now that you know a little more of the specifics, my question again is: What should I really be doing? Should I listen to the masses and still consume above maintenance on non workout days?

I know that the HIIT will help keep me lean, but should I just forget about the bodybuilder fantasy of a lean physique and just eat eat eat, then worry about whether I can see my abs or not later?

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Re: Timed Carb Dieting - from ironaddicts.com

Post  Drew on Sat Jul 24, 2010 4:19 pm

First of all I would recommend that you stop reading anything from bodybuilding.com. It is probably the last site I would recommend you searching. There are lot more reputable sites out there. Most of the people giving advice there are teens that have no real experience. Also, a calculator can't tell you your maintenance calories. Everyone is different. You may have two guys exactly the same size, but one loses weight on 4000 calories, and the other gets fat on 2500. The only way to know your maintenance calories for sure is to log everything you eat for a week on fitday.com. The average calories you consume in a day is your starting point. If you want to gain mass add a few hundred calories, if you want to lose fat subtract a few hundred calories. I would recommend eating under maintenance On your no-carb days and over maintenance on your carb days. That means you will only be eating over maintenance two days a week. I would recommend making your carb days on the weekend. Once you get as lean as you want to be then you can start eating slightly over maintenance every day to focus on gaining mass without getting fat.

What type of HIIT are you doing, for how long, and how often? I would not recommend just eating without worrying about bodyfat. You may end up with more fat then you wanted and it will be much harder to lose it than if you just focused on gaining lean mass.

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Re: Timed Carb Dieting - from ironaddicts.com

Post  cmusicman92 on Sat Jul 24, 2010 11:57 pm

Drew wrote:First of all I would recommend that you stop reading anything from bodybuilding.com. It is probably the last site I would recommend you searching. There are lot more reputable sites out there. Most of the people giving advice there are teens that have no real experience. Also, a calculator can't tell you your maintenance calories. Everyone is different. You may have two guys exactly the same size, but one loses weight on 4000 calories, and the other gets fat on 2500. The only way to know your maintenance calories for sure is to log everything you eat for a week on fitday.com. The average calories you consume in a day is your starting point. If you want to gain mass add a few hundred calories, if you want to lose fat subtract a few hundred calories. I would recommend eating under maintenance On your no-carb days and over maintenance on your carb days. That means you will only be eating over maintenance two days a week. I would recommend making your carb days on the weekend. Once you get as lean as you want to be then you can start eating slightly over maintenance every day to focus on gaining mass without getting fat.

What type of HIIT are you doing, for how long, and how often? I would not recommend just eating without worrying about bodyfat. You may end up with more fat then you wanted and it will be much harder to lose it than if you just focused on gaining lean mass.

Really? What's up with bodybuilding.com I didn't think it was that bad. There are just a lot of jerks on the forum.

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Re: Timed Carb Dieting - from ironaddicts.com

Post  Drew on Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:23 am

The advice they give there is awful to put it nicely. There are much better sites out there. Most of the people giving advice there are teens who don't know what they're doing and have no experience. The old saying "don't talk the talk if you can't walk the walk" applies here.

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Re: Timed Carb Dieting - from ironaddicts.com

Post  cmusicman92 on Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:26 am

awright what sites would you recommend then?

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Re: Timed Carb Dieting - from ironaddicts.com

Post  Drew on Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:34 am

cmusicman92 wrote:awright what sites would you recommend then?

elitefts.com
ironaddicts.com
intensemuscle.com

Just to name a few off the top of my head. Intense Muscle is geared more towards advance lifters though.

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Re: Timed Carb Dieting - from ironaddicts.com

Post  cmusicman92 on Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:46 am

Drew wrote:
cmusicman92 wrote:awright what sites would you recommend then?

elitefts.com
ironaddicts.com
intensemuscle.com

Thanks man. I'll check these out.

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Re: Timed Carb Dieting - from ironaddicts.com

Post  Refused on Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:13 am

Drew wrote:First of all I would recommend that you stop reading anything from bodybuilding.com. It is probably the last site I would recommend you searching. There are lot more reputable sites out there. Most of the people giving advice there are teens that have no real experience. Also, a calculator can't tell you your maintenance calories. Everyone is different. You may have two guys exactly the same size, but one loses weight on 4000 calories, and the other gets fat on 2500. The only way to know your maintenance calories for sure is to log everything you eat for a week on fitday.com. The average calories you consume in a day is your starting point. If you want to gain mass add a few hundred calories, if you want to lose fat subtract a few hundred calories. I would recommend eating under maintenance On your no-carb days and over maintenance on your carb days. That means you will only be eating over maintenance two days a week. I would recommend making your carb days on the weekend. Once you get as lean as you want to be then you can start eating slightly over maintenance every day to focus on gaining mass without getting fat.

What type of HIIT are you doing, for how long, and how often? I would not recommend just eating without worrying about bodyfat. You may end up with more fat then you wanted and it will be much harder to lose it than if you just focused on gaining lean mass.

Ok a couple things:

I do a 4-day split so I am confused at the bold. Why would I eat over maintenance only twice a week? Wouldn't I do it every work out day (4-5 days a week?)

And to answer your HIIT question, I am in love with doing hill sprints. I always do 8 no matter what but depending on how I feel after that (which is usually like complete shit) I try to do 1-3 more if I can. The sessions last from 20-30 minutes.

I will also start using the Iron Addicts forum more often and ween myself a little off of bodybuilding.com. It's such an information-filled site though, it seems - or at least seemed - really useful! It does have some intelligent people on it. But yea I know what you mean lol.

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Re: Timed Carb Dieting - from ironaddicts.com

Post  Drew on Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:39 am

There is a difference in workout days and carb-up days. You only have 2 carb-up days per week. On workout days you have carbs PWO. You only eat over maintenance on the carb-up days, not workout days. The hill sprints are ok, how often do you do them though? I wouldn't do them more than 3x a week.

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Re: Timed Carb Dieting - from ironaddicts.com

Post  Refused on Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:20 pm

Drew wrote:There is a difference in workout days and carb-up days. You only have 2 carb-up days per week. On workout days you have carbs PWO. You only eat over maintenance on the carb-up days, not workout days. The hill sprints are ok, how often do you do them though? I wouldn't do them more than 3x a week.

Yea I only do them 2-3 times a week.

That "over maintenance on carb-up days" totally throws me off, ha. How come when I posted my diet plan you didn't comment on me eating over maintenance on workout days?

And I really just don't understand WHY over maintenance only twice a week? Wouldn't you be throwing away so much muscle-building potential?

I see how you can become much more lean if you do that but muscle gains would just seem terrible.

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Re: Timed Carb Dieting - from ironaddicts.com

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