Diet Questions Answered
written by sean hyson
The new diet strategy I posted about here has generated a lot of questions and feedback. I’ll try to clear up a few more things about it now.
First, I didn’t post it just to be outrageous and get attention. It’s a method we stumbled upon at Muscle&Fitness in our continuous search for new and effective strategies, and I’ve put it to the test myself. It’s worked amazingly well for me, and for many other people. At the same time, I’m not saying this diet is for everyone. I don’t think it necessarily works better than any other method out there, but I do think it’s more user-friendly, and it’s certainly easier to stick with.
Here is what a typical non-training day looks like for me now. The three main things I keep in mind on a day like this are: 1) fast through the morning, 2) eat protein and fat all day, 3) eat one small carb meal at night.
Wake up and do cardio—could be intervals, could be long-duration aerobic work. Or maybe I take the day off. I’ll have a few capsules of BCAAs, totaling around 5 grams. If I run out of BCAAs, or I just forget to take them, no sweat.
I fast a few hours and then…
2 chicken breasts and salad. Maybe some sliced avocado on top. Oil and white vinegar dressing. Or I could have whole eggs and organic bacon.
1 or 2 cans of tuna and a salad. Dried kale chips.
A few handfuls of nuts such as almonds or walnuts.
Sausages and avocado. Or a cheeseburger made with grass-fed beef and organic, unpasteurized cheese, tomato, spinach, organic ketchup.
Shake: whey protein mixed with goat milk/almond milk/water and berries, banana, peanut or almond butter.
This is what a training day looks like when I have to work out in the morning. On these days, my goals are: 1) no food before training, 2) drink a big shake after training, 3) eat some carbs at night.
16 oz coffee, either black or w/ organic heavy whipping cream
Shake: 40–60 grams protein from whey and casein hydrolysates (blend H, available at ProteinFactory.com), 5g leucine, 5 grams creatine, 30g carbs from waxy maize starch. If I run out of waxy maize, or just want a change, I’ll have a mango or eat two or three ripe bananas.
chicken breast and kale chips
omelette w/ cheese and veggies, salsa
3:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
Chicken breast and sweet potato, or red skin potato. Or grass-fed steak with brown rice. Or grilled salmon with butternut squash. (I drizzle olive oil over all the potatoes and the squash.)
2 pieces of fruit. Or sometimes a bowl of oatmeal or spelt flakes with peanut butter, protein powder, and berries mixed in.
Here’s what you’re all waiting for. A sample of pure Back-Loading on a training day, as made famous by Kiefer. This is where you get to eat crap at night, and when I train in the afternoon, I often do. The take-home points for today: 1) fat and protein all day, including pre-workout, 2) carbs post-workout, 3) lots of food at night and plenty of starchy or sugary carbs.
Coffee w/ heavy whipping cream
omelette with spinach, bacon, and cheese
Chicken breast and salad dressed with oil and vinegar
3:00 p.m. (pre-workout)
1 cup cottage cheese and a few handfuls of almonds
5:30 p.m. (post-workout)
40–60 grams whey isolate or whey and casein hydrolysates (Blend H). 30 grams carbs in the form of maltodextrin, dextrose, waxy maize, or bananas. 5 grams leucine, 5 grams creatine.
Amy’s frozen pizza. Or cheeseburger (with bun) and french fries.
1 scoop protein powder and a few ounces of ice cream. Or 2 blueberry muffins with a glass of organic, grass-fed milk.
This is the blueprint for how to do it. There are many modifications that can be made depending on your lifestyle and your goals, but I think the most important things to remember are the morning fasts and the carbs at night rather than early. That’s what Kiefer, Keck, and the myriad other gurus seem to be in agreement on.
If you want to gain muscle quickly while minimizing fat gain, eat more carbs every day and especially on training days. Want to get leaner? Eat fewer carbs and make them come from cleaner sources. It would probably help you to write down about how much you’re eating so you can keep track and make adjustments. (I would try to estimate the number of carbs—that’s all.)
There are many pros to this diet, apart from being loose and allowing you to eat tasty foods that most diets ignore. It works with your body’s daily hormone fluctuations and it works FAST. The picture below was taken two weeks after I started this plan back in March. I wasn’t exactly fat or skinny beforehand, but this strategy added pounds to the scale while my abs became more visible. That’s right, gaining muscle and losing fat simultaneously, which only happens in short bursts and RARELY happens for people who have been training for years.
The big con to this type of plan, as I see it, is the lack of fruit and the encouragement of junk food. These may not have any bearing on your ability to lose fat, but they can certainly take a toll on your health in the long run.
I’ll go into much more detail on this plan and others in my forthcoming e-book (coming late summer or early fall!), but this is the honest-to-God truth about how this new “carbs at night” philosophy is done.
Give it a try and let me know how it works for you!