Cookies, Pastries, and Pie…. Oh my!

Posted: May 11, 2013 by Uncle D in body fat, nutrition

So there’s a rumor going around that there is some new ‘diet’ thing that people at Crossfit are doing and they are eating pastries, and cookies, and cakes. It’s a free for all, eat whatever you want post work out?!? What the hell is going on here? What happened to paleo and clean eating?

Well what you have heard bits and pieces of around the box is something called Carb Back Loading. And the main reason you haven’t heard more about it, is not because we are trying to keep it secret, but because we don’t have enough information yet to be able to provide any real feedback. However, since there is so much chatter around the box we figured we had better continue introducing the topic so you can do some research on your own.

As Craig mentioned previously, there is a book called Carb Back Loading by John Kiefer that does a really good job of discussing the science behind this approach and I would definitely recommend that you read it. There is also a Facebook page called Crossfitters Eat to Perform that offers a subscription to a more customized approach for Crossfitters. This is important because the original CBL book was written with power lifters in mind.

I know, I know, you’re going “yeah, yeah, get to the cookies and cakes part already!” Alas the short answer is that it’s ok once in a while and best right after a hard workout but not recommended on a full time basis. Bummer, I know.
The other important part of this is that like any true change CBL/ETP becomes a lifestyle choice like Crossfit, it isn’t really a diet. It’s a way of eating that is designed to maximize your performance. It is NOT designed to rapidly shred body fat and make you a fitness model. It IS designed to make you stronger and have greater endurance during your workouts. AND as a nice side effect has the capacity to slowly over time reduce your body fat percentage, using what is eloquently termed the gradual approach to awesomeness. Gradual being 6 months to a year.

There is a lot to this approach so I’m going to provide follow up blogs explaining more about it, and my experience with it to date. I will tell you that I am still trying to figure out the best practice as it applies to me and my workout schedule. I encourage you to do some research on your own, read the book, read the Eat to Perform site. Know this going in though, we all want someone to tell us exactly what to do, “give me the formula to follow!”, that includes me, unfortunately each person’s physiology and workout schedule is unique. So learn from me and use all of this information as a guiding principle not as dogma. Think of it like Crossfit programming, just because we don’t do what is listed on the main site every day doesn’t make what we do less effective. That has been the hardest part for me to get over. I have spent the first two months mostly trying to be formulaic about my approach. I have seen improvements in strength and recovery, (As an example my previous front squat PR was 285 for 1 rep, this week I did 275 for 3 reps 3 times.) , but I have also gained some weight and felt uncomfortable.

I am now working on a revised program that I think will be a better long-term fit for me and my schedule. I am having a Bod Pod body fat analysis done on Monday and I will be using this as my baseline. (Note: If anyone would like to have this test performed the cost is $65 it is one of the more accurate testing methods available and a great way to begin collecting real data on your progress and performance) I am going to use my personalized version of Eat to Perform for the next three months and monitoring my results. I will keep you posted on the progress and outcome. Feel free to catch me in the box or shoot me a note with questions. But I will reiterate that this is a complex subject with a lot of information, you have to research it yourself and get familiar with the concepts and the science. It is not something that I can say “oh yeah just do A, B, and C and you are all set.”

So that’s it for the introduction of the topic, plenty more to come, including my first two months on CBL/ETP, why carbs aren’t all bad, how much protein you should be consuming, metabolic flexibility, and updates on my approach and progress. And sadly no, there is no new magic diet where you get to eat crap and look like a fitness model…..

Uncle D

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