Carb back loading is probably the best version of what I refer to as a metabolically favorable way of eating. The focus of this style of eating is not to create a deficit at all, it is to get your metabolism humming along like a Ferrari so when you enter your Crossfit gym you are ready to perform. The points where I disagree with Kiefer are not significant but I think it should be brought up. The fact of the matter is simple, if you are looking for the absolute best book to understand what goes on in your body and WHY this book does that better than any I have seen. If I find a better one, I will put that one in the sidebar but, for now, this is the holy grail for a high functioning metabolism that allows you to burn fat. The book is expensive, is it worth the money? I think it is. Much of what I talk about on my blog and the associated Facebook page covers topics in the book. The book however does a good job as a “one stop place” for an approach to eating with the scientific references to back it up.
Carb Back Loading is $53 dollars, when you consider all of the $109 nanos, $139 OLY shoes and the list goes on none of those will help your understanding of how your nutrition self and athletic self work together quite the way CBL will.
This blog exists to help people understand their health and performance. It is a business and as such I sell things. I only sell things I use and I only promote products I believe in. If you like this blog and you like my content and are considering buying this book I would ask you to use this link.
Can you do this Paleo?
Absolutely you can and it probably best describes how I eat. I rely mostly on sweet potatoes for my carbs and occasionally white rice (many Paleo authors are starting to include white rice in their “safe to eat” foods for athletes). My coconut milk smoothies are a perfect addition to the fat back load which is used in conjunction with carbs to get a better response before bed.
Some minor points of differences
Kiefer suggests A LOT of supplements in the book. I wouldn’t necessarily say I disagree with his recommendations as much as I would say they aren’t necessary for all populations. If you are eating a diet of mostly whole foods with adequate protein you have it mostly right.
Is this THE way of eating?
I think if you asked him John would describe this style of eating as the best strategy he has come up with for extreme athletic performance. BUT IT IS JUST A STRATEGY. It is not THE way, you could certainly take the concepts in the book and put the pieces together for an optimal way of eating designed for you. As someone who coaches people on their diets there a lot of one off’s that you need to account for.
Even though people spend 100′s of dollars on personal trainers and Crossfit memberships they are often reluctant to spend the money for a book like this. That is a mistake. Even if you never carb back load you will learn infinite strategies related to how to eat to perform (catchy right).
Carb Nite Solution
The other book offered is called Carb Nite Solution, that will appeal to many people who will see it as the holy grail of fat loss. You won’t however see see a link or it in the sidebar of this site because Ketogenic Diets (even good ones like CNS) are a metabolic train wreck for Crossfitters, especially women who have a history of extreme dieting.
He doesn’t seem to like us Crossfitters
The original versions of Carb Back Loading was for PowerLifters and Physique Competitors (you see them as the testimonials). His criticisms of our approach to fitness is legit for optimizing squatting 1,000 pounds or even getting shredded down to 5%. So if those are goals of yours then you should understand that Crossfit isn’t a good method for reaching those goals. Crossfitters are attempting different goals. Let me put it to you this way, if you want to become the best version of yourself this book will show you a great approach to get there. I also believe that if you play with it a bit, Kiefer describes his approach as Legos, it might take a bit to figure it out completely. Certainly if you have any questions on how you can adapt this approach to eating to Crossfit leave a message in the comments and I will attempt to help you.
What about all of the donuts and turnovers?
You’ll just have to get over that part. Think about it, people want an approach to eating that allows them to perform athletically WHILE ALSO allowing them to make some poor choices. Is the turnover and donut approach vastly superior to a more Paleo approach? I have tried it, it didn’t feel right. FOR ME. I am a 44 year old man but I wouldn’t recommend the turnovers and donut approach to most populations. Do I realize that it might describe an approach to the way some people want to eat? I certainly do. If you are doing the 80% version of Paleo or even the version that Dr. Cordain recommends in the Paleo Diet for Athletes this can be easily accomplished with carb back loading and just/almost as effective for optimizing Crossfit as the donut approach might be. Any differences would be minimal and unless you are an elite athlete those differences likely won’t matter for you and your progress related to Crossfit.