So I’ve been experimenting with Meal Plans as my Competition season nears. I’ve read and researched and as I have discovered people love being right. However, I’ve also learned that Nothing is cut or dry because People are all different. The debate about low carb, front loading or back loading carbs is dare I say…. loaded. Some will say one is better than the other. I say it’s what works for the goals you want to accomplish with your meal plan. Notice I say Meal Plan and not Diet? I don’t believe in Diets. They imply short term and not a long term way of eating. The important thing is if you want results, you need to stay consistent, and diet just doesn’t imply consistency to me. Also I’m only going into Front or Back loading of Carbs cause I just don’t believe in low carb…. I like bread… a lot. This Article will discuss Front Loading Carbs which i’m currently doing. My Next article will discuss Back Loading more in depth.
So what is front loading? Front loading carbs is eating the majority of your carbs early in the day and tapering off to none by the evening. This is especially ideal if your workouts get done in the morning. What is Back Loading? Back Loading is eating very little to no carbs till the evening then eating carb heavier meals then. This is especially ideal if your workouts get done at night. Currently Back loading carbs is… in shall we say. Back loading makes/trains the body to burn fat instead of Carbs/glycogen stores for energy. So by backloading you burn fat faster and can become leaner.
Muscles need carbs after a workout to replenish their energy stores and prevent further muscle breakdown. Carbs provide energy but are slower to digest and if they are not readily used turn into fat.
With Front loading, you replenish the energy stores in the morning if you workout in the morning this is even better because you will be giving your muscles what they need after their workout. This way it’s less likely to be converted to fat. Then by tapering your carb consumption throughout the day you then encourage your body to use your fat stores as energy. Lots of the things i’ve been doing with my Front Loaded Carb plan are high carb cereals, oatmeal and even spaghetti with Whole grain pasta in the morning. My last high carb meal is Lunch. From that moment on, Protein and Veggies are the order of the day.
With Front Loading, it’s also easier to do fasting cardio in the morning. Some people will waffle on whether it’s good or not, but I can’t eat early in the morning. I need to eat around 9/930. So if I get up and get in the gym no later than 6 I can get in some cardio, get to work and have about 2 hours fasted before I eat breakfast. What good does fasting do? It’s just an extra fat burning technique. You have to make sure though that you have been eating appropriately throughout the day to do this. If you haven’t been making your calorie counts, and eating the appropriate percentages of nutrients you need, you will find you are sluggish and that fasted morning cardio isn’t as effective. None of these methods work if you aren’t eating in a balanced way. You need to establish your goals. What do I want to do with this eating plan? Do I want to Bulk up? Do I want to lean out? Do I want to be competition ready? Do I want to lose weight? Then you pick the way of eating that is right for you.