P-WO before bed while hypocaloric

I have to trim some fat off and intrigued by some ideas from the Warrior Diet and Batcheldor’s Protein Plus plan (yes, I know the feedback on both) I’m going to try something new.

Basically, I’m going to put myself in an acute calorie surplus just before bed. Otherwise, I’m going to eat sparingly with protein every few hours.

What’s going to happen? Will I hamper fat loss? Will I maintain muscle or even add some (long shot but )?

Here are the specifics…
Meal #1: HIGH protein, low fat, no carbs
Meal #2-4: med protein (around 25g), high fat, no carbs
Meal #5: workout nutrition–high carbs (120-150g), med protein, low fat
Meal #6: high protein, med fat

The morning after a workout day will be a 100g carb meal FOLLOWED by 30 min of very light cardio (to shuttle the nutrients to the muscles); or 2 meals of around 50 grams of carbs with HIIT in between.

Opinions? Experiences? Please tell me if I’m about to screw my shit up.



Hey Smitty,

I wish someone would have bit on this, my friend, as this is very interesting and intriguing.

I actually like the theory behind this, and I would love to see you try it out. Whether the motivation is trying something new or eating-related (mis)behaviors could possibly be in question, the premise behind such holds some water (i.e. lean mass).

A few things:

  1. Be careful with HIGH protein alone as your first meal of the day. In the fasted state, your body is really looking for energy substrate. Much of this protein could be oxidized and used in the energy pathways. What sources are we talking here?

  2. I suggest feeding mostly on fats and protein sources as you’ve suggested during the day. Keep these feedings hypocaloric and without glucose will keep your insulin and blood glucose very stable and fat oxidation high, provided that meal one doesn’t incite insulin and blood glucose homeostasis. Keep protein in that 20-25g range or less.

  3. Obviously high carbs and a good amount of amino acids are required post-training. This is the best time for glucose uptake in the muscle.

  4. I don’t suggest returning to med/high fat meals after training. Stay with moderate amounts of carbs through the night.

  5. If only one meal of carbohydrate is taken in post-training, then go with the high-carb meal the following day, as alluded to.

  6. If the high-carb meal is consumed the next morning, then perform the cardio before the eating session. Muscle contractions improve muscle glucose uptake and insulin sensitivity more than a fast. Your logic is interesting and sound, though, Brian, for shuttling nutrients to the muscle. However, performing all that activity after the carbfest will result in oxidizing much more of the carbohydrate than you’ll store in the muscle. You’ll need the glycogen for training.

I say go for it.

Hey Timbo, I knew you’d have some ideas.

My goal is to see whether there is some “exchange” of fat for muscle, with this eating plan. I figured I have to keep carbs as low as possible for this to happen, so I’m staying at 120 to 150 g per day. That’s why I include some good fats just before bed. Is there a reason you think this wouldn’t be optimal?

As for high protein first thing in the morning, I’m including both “fast” sources and whole food sources. Yes, I’m aware that much of it will be oxidized at first. Will this instruct my body to burn protein over the day? I’m thinking of the Batcheldor’s protein pulse plan, which used protein alone early on.

Anyway, the big gamble is how to make the body think it has the caloric fuel to grow. By splurging on either protein or carbs at certain times, I’m trying to trick it. This is why I’m considering some light cardio AFTER carbs, to fill the muscle cells with glycogen, so they can grow as long as protein intake is good.

I’ve noticed around work that obese people can be very active, but they tend to eat after their activity and not before…

Hey Bri,

You’re a smart and insightful sumbitch, Bri. Thanks for keeping me in check!

It’s all about timing, Bri. Basically, those 30 minutes or so after your exercise, you have non-insulin dependent glucose transport into the muscle going crazy because the muscular contractions have caused GLUT-4 transport proteins to come to the cell surface. After this time, you’re more reliant on insulin and adequate glucose to fill up muscle glycogen stores. Once you go carb, I’d prefer that you stay that way until you’re fasted or have exercised because of insulin’s long-lasting suppression of lipolysis (i.e. 6-8 hrs.)

No, not all day long, Bri. This will only be the case with a chronic, high protein, low fat and low carbohydrate nutrition plan (i.e. Mass Action effect). With that in mind, your plan should be fine in that regard.

Like I said, Bri, glucose uptake is best during and after muscular contraction. So, yes, your muscles are going to take up those carbs quite well if you eat them before exercise. However, you’re going to blunt lipolysis and oxidize a good amount of those carbs (and possibly more of your glycogen stores!) if you eat the carbs before.

Interesting observation, Bri. What kind of activity? If it’s not relatively intense, then I doubt it’s adequately stimulated GLUT-4 transport proteins as I’ve mentioned above. In addition, have you been as observant of these individuals’ chronic exercise and nutrition habits?

Timbo, the way I read what you’re saying is that once you go carb, stay that way until either (A) sleep or (B) 30 minutes post-aerobic exercise.

This is interesting. I actually take leucine and free-form amino acids (or Surge) to boost my insulin post-workout so it’s going to be significant no matter how many carbs I take in. But are you saying that ceasing carbs after 30 minutes will keep my body burning fat, as in a high-protein, zero-carb meal (which does in fact raise insulin without the suppression of lypolysis of carbs)?

As for my observation about the apparently active obese, of course, their activity does not qualify as “intense” (unless their heavy breathing signifies that it is intense for them), and I don’t know whether they go home and drink 2 pitchers of beer and a quart of blended ding-dongs right before bed. But I do notice that they give themselves a dose of refined carbs JUST before a sedentary period. I read a study which showed increased glucose uptake after a WALK. My philosophy is to eat for what you’re GOING to do, except when you get in an exercise situation that induces glycogen replenishment.

Hey Brian,

More good questions. I like.

What I’m saying, Brian, is that it’s a pretty big mistake to forgo carbs in that first 30 minutes post-exercise because of the translocation of GLUT-4 receptors in the cell membrane of the muscle.

However, if you look at the data, the insulinemia persists over the normal time course. Therefore, I still suggest that you’ve switched over to predominantly a carb-burning state. That’s why I said to continue ingesting carbs instead of high amounts of fats in subsequent meals.

Now, going back to protein and fat may not be detrimental by any means, but I don’t see that as optimal. What I do perceive as being optimal is separating P/C and P/F meals by a fast:

  1. Sleep, or
  2. Intense Exercise

Hope that helps, B.

Bumpity for B.

Timbo, I’ve been thinking about your ideas and coming up with some possible new angles for my experiment (in progress, BTW).

For one, I’m including one day a weak with more carbs than usual and then taking carbs until bed as you suggested. On the other workout days, after my P-W P+C meal, I’m just having cottage cheese before bed, with maybe a VERY small amount of o-3 fats, since these are burned preferentially. Hopefully, there will be some “exchange” of good EFAs for my fat stores.

On non-workout days, my first meal is protein only. 3 hours later I do HIIT and P+C to replenish, then Protein only, then P+F with o-3s again. Something I’m also considering is to have my last meal of the day be 1/6 my MAINTENANCE calorie intake and using o-3s and high protein. The idea is that since sleep is such a prime time for muscle growth, give the body the calories at night and with glucagon rising at night, they’ll be a large environment of fatty acids for the body to interpret as a caloric surplus. I think, at the very worst, I’ll be exchanging my triglycerides for o-3s. What do you think?

just want to chime in and say that I LOVE this thread. I can’t drop any knowledge bombs like my boy Timbonator, but I have to say that I am learning some cool stuff.

Just out of curiousity Brian…when do you workout? I am guessing mid/late afternoon?

El Tigre…You can chime in, ring the doorbell, ring the triangle, whatever! You’re always welcome in any neighborhood of which I’m a part.

B…I like the idea of once per week trying to top off those glycogen stores. It’s pretty foolish to think you’re going to replenish them with a single post-workout dose of carbs, even with sick rates of glycogen storage and a bolus of carbos.

B, I do have one bone to pick with you, though:

Don’t ever mention that you’re weak, Bri. It’s good to recognize weaknesses, but don’t let them get the best of you:-) Joking, man.

I think you’ll be alright with the cottage cheese and omega 3s before bed.

The non-workout days are solid, also.

I do, as a matter of fact, like the higher calorie, fat and protein meal before bed. That’s not that many kcals, as I’d suggest an even higher amount for the effect that you’re looking for, but it’s likely a bump from what you were doing.

I do want to make sure, however, B, that you’re getting a good amount of monos in your plan. Without the monos (and saturates), and simply focusing on n-3s, you’re going to be neglecting your Big T, my man. Get that Testosterone rollin’!


When I was cutting and in a hypocaloric state, I ALWAYS had cottage cheese and maybe some fats before bed. This was to decrease the amount of catabolism that happens during the time of fast, otherwise known as sleep. Plus, this provides your body with nutrients for building when you hit that deep delta wave sleep (I believe it’s delta wave). Although I’m not a big fan of a huge meal before bed, I try to take in probably around 100 calories or so. Anything bigger than that and I have problems sleeping due to digestion issues.

Timbo - can you provide a reference for the GLUT-4 receptor behind translocated to muscle cells post-workout please? I’d be interested in reading that.

Like my boy’s Timbo and Jwilly…I too eat my cottage cheese before bed. I’m not going to lie to you. 1 cup of cottage cheese with 1 scoop of Low Carb Grow with 1 tbsp of natural peanut butter before bed is just delicious with a capital D!!! I tend to toss in 5 fish oil caps before bed also…so it makes for a perfect P+F meal right before bed.

Damn, Timbo, I typed “weak”…I hope my mindset is in the right place… Wait a second, “Week, wEEk, week, I feel strong all week.” That’s better…

Don’t worry, Timbo, I won’t neglect the monos, I’m trying to get them during the day in small amounts with my 20-25g protein portions, like 120 to 200 fat calories in a sitting.

Tony G, I actually workout at around 8 or 8:30 PM but I get up at around 9, so I noticed that this coincides with Poliquin’s remark that the nervous system is most efficient 3 and 11 hours after waking.

You guys are coming at me like an intervention with the cottage cheese and EFAs before bed! It’s my normal practice, but my only concern here is that I’m basically starving myself during the day and packing food at night. Under normal circumstances, this is really a bad thing to do. In fact there’s a crap diet called “The Carbohydrate Addict” plan that stuffs people in one sitting and I’ve heard reports that most people lose weight at first then start gaining pounds every week. Add those anecdotes to the mediocre reception of the Warrior Diet… I’m taking a risk here.

In fact, weighttraining ups the metabolism just after exercise but I think maybe by 50 calories or so (it also increases daily metabolic expenditure though), and glycogen replenishment is dependent on the volume of the workout, and P+C post-workout meals at night are going to spike insulin (although I think the insulin and glucose peaks will end sooner), so I’m really putting all my chips on a favorable hormonal situation that occurs after working out which I don’t fully understand. Poliquin, Alessi, Serrano, Beverly probably think I’m going to be a fat bastard. But what have those guys ever done for me? They never drove me to the airport or fed my pets while I was gone.

Regardless Brian I think the only you are gonna find out if it works, is to actually go through with it. Know what I mean? You have ALOT of logic in your plan. Just as long as you know how important that 1st meal post training is…and that that is BEST time to eat those quality carbs and protein (which you do), than you will be well on your way. I don’t think eating alot of calories at night is HORRIBLE as we all know that what time of the day you train “throws a HUGE monkey wrench” in the grand scheme of things. Just as long as you get the proper stimulus from training (ie…you work your ass off), than I see no ill effects of eating large meals at night. Where most people get into trouble is that they aren’t active in any way during the day and then consume the majority of their kcal’s when they get home at night and right before bed which is just asking for trouble, not to mention their food choices are less than ideal. You my friend, do not have this problem as you are in the gym busting your can at night. Its only the smart thing to do to replenish those glycogen stores afterwards. In any case, you seem to know your shit (for lack of a better term)…so I hope your plan works out. You just have to let us know how it goes…;o)


I wouldn’t starve yourself, per se, during the day. Make your meals more even. Say you want to eat 2k calories/day. Well, take in about 500-600 postworkout, then space the rest of them throughout the day. You just got 1/4 of your daily intake when you need it the most. See what I mean?

J-Dub…I like what B is doing here. I know it goes against the grain, but if he doesn’t give it a trial run, then he’ll never know if it works. It’s not as if he’s not eating at all and then throwing down 100% of his daily kcals in one sitting right before retiring. I like this plan, and I’d like to see how B fares on it. Your concern is warranted, my man, but let’s see how it goes.

B…Funny shit, bro;-) You’re strong, fo’ shizzle. About the whole starving and gorging thing…You’re not doing this like you think you are. I mean, you said 1/6 of your maintenance intake, which is what 500-600 kcals? That’s not that significant. If you’re sleeping 8 hours, I doubt that that’s much over basal rate! I think what you’re doing can work. So, try it out and see how if fits!

J-Dub…here’s a reference for you to peer over, from one of my main men and fellow 'Horns, Dr. Ivy:

Ivy, J.L. and Kuo, C.H. 1998. Regulation of GLUT4 protein and glycogen synthase during muscle glycogen synthesis after exercise. Acta Physiol Scand 162: 295-304.

Also, personal correspondence with Dr. Ivy and Dr. Coyle.