All of us who are overweight and understrong have to address the same question: should I focus first on building muscle, or shall I first focus on reducing fat? After all – the summer comes along quickly, and we need results by then. But what if we had an eating strategy that would build muscle and consume fat at the same time?
The opinions on this topic are varied. Some say it is impossible – those are mainly proponents of the traditional “Calories-In/Calories-Out” (“CICO”) view of nutrition who state that either you eat more than you need and then you build muscle (and some fat), or you eat less than you need and then you burn fat (and some muscle).
There is however a different paradigm in weight-loss/muscle-building land, which is what I want to call the “Its the Insulin, stupid!” (“ITIS”) school of though, and where I’d put amongst others the proponents of the Atkins, GI, Southbeach, Zone, Paleo/Primal diet.
Whilst impossible for CICO’s, it seems to me that in the ITIS world squaring the circle is indeed possible: just eat very few (if any) carbs, enough protein, and loads of fat (or loads of protein and enough of fat if you are of the Atkins school).
I think I might give it a go in my next powerlifting cycle, with the following parameters (at ca 100kg bodyweight)
- 150-250g proteins (100g absolute minimum) [UPDATE: someone somewhere floated numbers as big as 400g]
- 50-100g carbs (150g absolute maximum)
- overall 4000-6000 calories per day, the balance being provided by fat
I will also experiment with the timing of the carbs, ie I will see if it makes a difference if I am eating them in the 30min window after a workout.
Any views / experiences / sources with this?
UPDATE: stumbled across this article on exactly this topic. The gist here is to cycle the insulin during the day as you need it to build muscle. So do your post-workout shake, and do maybe one more carbs meal, and do no carbs the rest of the day.