T Nation

Fat/ Carb Combo Still Relevant?


Hey, guys. I've noticed JB as well as some other coaches are no longer acknowledging the seperation of fats and carbs. In fact, Gourmet Nutrition has a few meals that are more than a moderate amount of both macronutrients combined. Is a mix of fats and carbs not the deadly cocktail it was once thought to be? If not, why? I searched for answers myself, but I can't seem to find anything that suggests this way of thinking is dated. Does anybody have any evidence that may disprove this theory?


How about every meal I've eaten for the past 40 years. I mean, you don't want to put down a bunch of processed carbs and fat, but steakpotatoes and veggies is a staple. What about a peanut butter sandwhich. What about any sandwhich. In relative terms I am fairly lean. Not ripped, not six-pack poppin- stage lean, but certainly not some big bellied fat slob. I've always eaten the combination.

I can see the seperation at night and maybe early am for nutrient absorption possibilities, but other than that no--never made sense to me.



The theory is still solid and hasn't been disproven but, anyone that's tried it knows that the effect is minimal - if anything. Unless you're preparing for a bodybuilding contest I would definitely not worry about separating them.

Also, you mentioned GN has some recipes that seem to mix carbs and fats. That book was written when JB still advocated Massive Eating. It's the percentage of carbs to fats that's important (as well as the source I.E. fiber f carbs in each meal).

He advocates his Precision Nutrition system (which if you don; have should definitely pick up) now. And in some meals (especially PWO) he reccomends both fat and carbs in copious amounts.


I remember seeing posts for a very long time from relative newbies basing everything they ate on whether it had carbs and fats in it as if that would make the largest difference in the effects they see from training. I just wish people weren't so quick to follow every single new item that seems to pop up in an article or from a fitness resource. People are still looking for short cuts...when there are none.


LOL. Yet another fad has gone out of style.


The irony, of course, is that to put on his weight, Berardi ate lots of F+C combinations. I remember his writing that he would eat cinammon rolls with peanut butter globbed on.

Beradi is like one of those multi-millionare who says, "You need more balance in life. Don't spend so much time making money." Of course, if they had not been "unbalanced" for so many years, they would not have the money (and hence the time) to explore all that life has to offer. People who follow that advice are doomed to life in the middle class. To become rich, you need to be decidely off balance - at least for a little while.

People trying to look like they lift weights need to be "unbalanced" for a little while and just worry about eating enough.

Indeed, two of the people with the most followers here (CT and JB) followed just that path. CT bulked up, and now looks great. Yet he says bulking is bad? JB ate all sorts of P+F and now looks great.

Look where these guys are now. Maybe it'd be wiser to do they ACTUALLY DID and not listen to much to what they SAY.


Excellent post.


The sad thing is, most of these guys skip right over things like that. Stan Mcquay mentioned that had he not been so strict with staying close to competition weight, he might be a pro by now. I happen to agree with that, but how many people even caught that? They see what they want to see. Anyone who can't see all ab muscles is told to immediately diet...even though the majority of the guys who actually gained the most size over time bulked up to some degree over the time they've been lifting. I guess telling people what they really want to hear beats telling them like it truly is.


I rarely have the opportunity to combine f+c+p without it being too big a meal or what I consider junk food. I just naturally gravitate towards this way of eating. I guess its like everything else in diet and exercise, it works for some and not for others.


When I "looked the part" (I'm getting back there, finally) and people would want to spend hours talking theory, I'd always say this: "Do three things. Go out and buy a can of whey protein. I don't care what brand it is. Eat one scoop when you wake up, one right after working out, and one right before bed. Do that for three weeks and we'll chat again." Guess how many people followed-up? None.

These same geeks looked the same, year after year. I'll bet a lot of them are on T-Nation right now, starting threads about the latest article.

What percentage of guys worried about F+C already: eat six times each day, eat 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, and bang away in the gym. I think probably less than 10%. Why is that?

Because, as you know, once you are eating enough protein and calories, eating frequently, and busting your ass in the gym, you realize that most of the other stuff is either total marketing bullshit (buy my book to learn the SECRETS!), or it's only marginally effective.

People need to sweat more in the gym and less over the small stuff they read on the Internet.


Actually, it's very weak and was never 'proven' in the first place. Go with what's actually being done, like has been mentioned.



You know normally I disagree with your posts, but on this one I'm right there with you.

I wouldn't say most things are marketing bullshit, but a good percentage is. My biggest complaint is when an author tries to make things sound "simple". If any of this were simple- we'd all be Pros. All of us.

(sorry for the backhanded compliment)


The point lost on newbies, though, is that the "basics" are simple. Eat six times a day, eat enough calories and protein, train hard, and sleep 8 hours a day. That's about it. Hell, if a guy trained on machines but busted his ass while doing so, he'd have a lot more results than most of the fanboys here who say, "This is just what I was looking for!" after every article; and who debate the nuances of nuances.

This applies to most things in life. If you watch an MMA match, how many different submission techniques are used? Three? Four? Not many - and the ones most often used (chokes and arm lock) are "basic" things you'll learn as a white belt. But how many MMA people actually get the basics right?

How many weight trainees apply the basics? Not many.

I think that in most endeavors, people spend so much time looking for secret insights that they lose sight of the basics. Of course, it's worth noting that living the basics is a lot of hard work. So maybe people skip the basics because they think that "secret" translates into "easy."


Thanks for the replies, guys. I, too, believe that too many people are quick to decide that what the experts say are fact. That's actually why I posted. Though I do highly respect what people like JB and CT have to say, I don't take everything they say as automatically being truth. That being said, I try to absorb as much information from credible resources as possible in order to figure out what best works for me. But I agree, if you stick to the basics, you'll see results.


I agree- The basics are simple to start, but hard to stick with.


Until you make them a habit and a lifestyle...which most of these guys won't even give themselves the time to do before they are looking for "that new thing". Someone who starts off with the basics and makes it a regular part of their life will have something to fall back on anytime they notice a lull in growth or life throws them a curveball. Someone jumping to every new program will simply be lost.


Even basic habits and lifestyles are hard for some to stick with, especially those who don't always go about it correctly- get frustrated- and then give up. I can see the desire the want to try new things- the problem is they go try those new things without the basics to back them up.


Maybe not combining fat and sugar,but fat and complex carbs are fine.
I went into the science of this a while back in a post about the same thing.It seems as if a lot of the people on here are so quick to follow every ltitle source of advice/information that comes out..like a cult.


I always looked at it this way, which may be way off, but anyway:

Dietary fats can get stored as body fat with a lower GI, and by themselves, or with protein, as long as it's not eaten in great excess, won't get stored as fat as easily because it doesn't cause as high of an insulin spike (lower GI).

Complex carbs get stored as fat at a higher GI, and also cause a slightly higher GI than fats do.

If you net a high GI with carbs and protein, the carbs have a decent chance at getting stored as fat.

If you somehow net a high GI with carbs and fat (would probably need a lot of carbs), then you would have a decent chance at storing some carbs as fat, and a greater chance of storing the dietary fat as fat.

Keeping them separate helps to eliminate the likelihood of storing dietary fats as fat because the overall net GI will be lower when you eat fats with protein only.

Or, I guess what I'm saying is that it takes less insulin in the blood to store fat as fat than it takes to store carbs as fat, and combining fats with carbs will yield a higher GI than fats by themselves or with protein, so there would be more of a spike of insulin to store the fat.

Yea, I probably sound like I have no clue as to what I'm talking about, so don't come down on me too hard. I realise that I may be way off on this.

Then there's the argument that you don't need as many carbs towards the end of the day because you'll have done most of your physical activities by then and will be sleeping soon, so eating all of you carbs in your first 2-3 meals makes sense there.


You're not too far off really. I think the problem most people have here is that if you do your best to avoid the High GI carbs in the first place (other than fruit and PWO), none of this is even an issue.

The big deal with P&C and P&F came about because of fast food- A Big Mac extra Value meal (or similar) is one of the worst P/F/C combos there is. A Steak, potatoes, and veggies is not.

As for eating all of your carbs early in the day- I'm not convinced of this. We do our best to debunk the whole day-to-day dieting theories and emphasize dieting as a bigger picture. Meal timing is important, but only related to the workout window, IMO. I could be wrong. I'm not exactly ripped, so I must not be doing everything right. :slight_smile: