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Carb Back Loading with Intermittent Fasting


Hello everyone! Hoping someone can help tweak, and clear some things up when combining these two nutrition protocols together. I am currently following intermittent fasting, with a goal of slowly bulking while staying relatively lean. I have made great progress but maybe too good, as my weight has stayed pretty much the same but have made steady gains in strength as well as putting on some size and vascularity.

I have heard good things about combining Intermittent Fasting with Carb Back Loading and really am excited to try this out. My typical day consist of this:

7:00 Wake Up (Drink 35oz of Cold Water)
9:00 Sip On BCAAs @ work
11:00 Continued
12:15 Break Fast with First Meal (4 Grilled Chicken Breast + Large Salad (spinach, broccoli, and ham crumbles) w/ good serving of olive oil and vinegar
3:30 Beginning Sipping on Pre-Workout Shake of 30G Whey + Good Amount of Brown Sugar (For Insulin Spike)
3:45 Workout
6:00 Dinner (5 Grilled Chicken + 2 servings of fast acting carbs + 1 carton of 1% milk, and 1 carton of chocolate milk)
7:00 Begin Fast

** I take 6000 UIs of Vitamin D, 3 Servings of Fish Oil, and 1 Serving of Opti-men Multivitamin (split evenly at the same time as my meals). I drink plenty of water (only liquid besides milk I do drink).

I would like to know if anyone has any better suggestions regarding setting up my protocol like this. I eat the exact same two meals everyday (the carbohydrate choices are the only things that can change) due to serving overseas in the Republic of Korea, and eating at the base's dinning facility. My other concern is this: Would I ruin the basis of carb back loading by having my pre/intra workout shake while working out? Would it be better to have my shake after I completed my workout? Or would it still serve some benefit to drink it during exercising?


Dude, you're talking about like a half hour difference.

You really think that'll matter in the grand scheme of things?


I was worried I was pulling hairs, still the devil is in the details...thanks for the input


Lol, I think most research suggests that the devil is in fact not in the details.


It is good to see that you are seeing results with this protocol. In the end, the best solution for you is what you will consistently believe in and follow while still acquiring results.

That being said, CBL gives you all the benefits of IF without the cannibalism of your hard earned muscle tissue (especially fast twitch fibers, which go first - look into Kiefer's stuff on IF on his website). So the 'fast' from 7PM to 7AM the next day is not a long fast and will not give you the negative effects of fasting for 12+ hours.

Now, what I say here is from my experience with CBL and the info I have gathered from Kiefer's articles, forums, podcasts, etc.... Get rid of the BCAA's in the morning at work. They have the potential to raise insulin, which is a NO on CBL (by the way, Leucine is the only one of those BCAA's worth investing money in). The rest of the morning/early afternoon looks good, maybe try more animal fatslike eggs, butter, or cheese if possible.

Pre-workout: NOTHING, or caffeine or coconut oil if you can somehow get your hands on either of those.

If you want to back-load, then back-load. Kiefer also has plenty of info regarding pre-workout carbs (I'll give you a hint, DON'T have them! Too many performance and body comp benefits!) If you are afraid of not having some workout nutrition, start sipping the mixture about 15 minutes into your strength workout (not including warm-up). I would advise you to wait until post-workout, however, as this is where the magic happens.

Again, whatever you can sustain and gives you results will work best for you. These are just my recommendations from one back-loader to another. Hope this helps.



Very informative, thank you sir. I will heed your advice and follow to a tee. I am well aware it may take my body getting used to but I'm definitely going to go both feet in. Just to recap 1. No more morning BCAAs 2. Save the shake for PostWorkout for optimal results 3. Eat your post workout meal 30 minutes after finishing lifting (with fast acting carbs)? 4. Look into buying caffeine and coconut oil

Can I also ask how are you enjoying the results? Have you truly been able to stay at the same or decrease body fat while increasing muscle density and strength? I like fasting and don't really have any issue with it as I think my body has adapted quite well to it, but I think combining these two protocols can lead to some great gains.


yup. Nutrient timing is a tiny little piece of the puzzle.

Funny how the people who preach about how important it is are always trying to sell you something...


Drop the BCAAs in the morning since they technically break the fast. If you are already doing intermittent fasting then don't add another layer of complication like carb backloading. Develop some sort of counting your macros with the food that you have available and adjust your intake. I don't think you know how much you are eating at all.

You say you eat 9 chicken breasts per day. Let's say each of these weight 200g and that's underestimating. That would be 40g of protein for each roughly. So you are eating 360g of protein per day? without counting everything else you are eating. How much do you weigh?

People break their heads over when to eat when it is much more important to know how much to eat. Don't get me wrong, I fast too and it is great, but it is just a tool that makes dieting a bit easier. It shouldn't be the backbone of your diet.

If you still want to do both carb back loading and fasting then eat half of your protein and most of your fats for lunch. Roughly 40% total calories for the day. Have your shake while you work out if you want and eat the rest of your protein and carbs at dinner.


Easy there killer! I have been tracking my food intake for the past 3 months. I have a rough estimate of the amount of protein, fat and carbs I intake. I eat 8 chicken breast a day (minimum sometimes more if I'm still hungry), for the size of the grilled chicken skinless breast its closer to 25g of protein per piece. I get 200g of protein from chicken alone, and half of that is eaten when I break my fast and the second half for my post workout meal. My first meal before lifting will be 4 chicken breast, a LARGE salad compromised of spinach, broccoli, ham and cheese crumbles. With a good portion of olive oil and white vinegar.

I legitimately eat the same meals everyday, except pending carb sources that are changed around at my dining facility. I save my 30g of whey shake with brown sugar for after the gym, and eat my final meal an hour after my lift. As stated, I always eat 4 chicken breast with 2 servings of fast acting carbs (white rice, mash potatoes usually) and 1 carton of chocolate milk. I did some research regarding the BCAA and agree with you, it's been shown to spike insulin so I've gotten rid of it. My protein numbers are closer to 260 than the 360 you are predicting, I weigh 170. I am aiming for a slow bulk, but my weight hasn't moved much but the mirror tells a different story. I'm enjoying the carb back loading and fasting together, think they compliment each other very well. Only been doing it for a week, and all my numbers have increased. Thanks for the input, just seemed like you thought I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. Felt as I had to defend myself.


Oh sorry, Your post made me think otherwise. Also one chicken breast roughly weighs 200g-250g, which is one boob of the two that a chicken has. You should have said chicken fillets or something like that. For each 100g of meat there is roughly 20g protein. 260g of protein is still a lot for your weight but If you like it and it keeps you full then there's nothing wrong with it. If your lifestyle is more demanding though or you feel a lack of energy for training, swapping some of the protein for carbs will help you perform better.

I feel like intermittent fasting works better with alternating rest and training days with calorie and carb cycling. Assuming that doesn't fit your schedule, carb backloading is a better idea.

Watch out for hidden carbs and fats in the dining facility.

Good luck in Korea.

Note: search google for some articles on the experiences soldiers have had bodybuilding while serving. Some really interesting stories pop up and it might relate to your situation.


Sorry for the confusion, that is my fault for not being clear. I have tried carb cycling it definitely works, but I am enjoying eating carbs everyday and adding some variety that I wasn't having before. It was also difficult to find healthier carb choices in the DFAC (sweet potatoes, brown rice) are rarely, if ever served. They always have white rice, mash potatoes so thought this would be the better course of action.

The hidden fats are always an issue, its hard to hide carbs. I stay away from any fried foods already. But I definitely share your concern, that's why I try to eat as clean as possible. I am starting to think the mash potatoes are a little too good, thinking of switching to eating only rice. During my rest days I essentially shoot for close to zero carbs, but I only have one real rest day.

Thanks for all the helpful advice, and I appreciate the last tidbit of information. Definitely something I will look into.


Awesome, Good Luck man.