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Why Does P+F/P+C Work?


I understand that when dieting down it's good to eat your proteins with fat or carbs but never mix fat and carbs.. When asked by someone else why this works I say it just does give it a shot but does anyone know the science behind it?


The idea is to keep insulin levels low when greater amounts of fat are consumed.

I believe this is discussed in-depth in John Berardi's articles on this site.


I think another reason is that fat and carbs are both used for energy. If you ingest both (in substantial amounts) at the same time, your body will be more likely to store excess fat.


Honestly, I don't think it matters all that much. On Joel Marion's program, you go from:

1) Protein/Fat


2) Protein/Low Carb/Fat


3) Protein/High Carb


4) Cheat Day


It works for me.


to tell you the truth, the "science" behind no C+F meals is bunk. because of overlapping digestion times, you pretty much ALWAYS have lipids and carbs in the bloodstream at any given moment.

no carb + fat is just a STRATEGY to use, not an absolute law. it "works" because most "junk food" is a combo of fat & carbs (pizza, donuts, pastries etc.)

obviously if you follow a rule that wont allow these foods (i.e. not eating carbs and fats together) then you will probably end up losing weight.


I'm pretty sure Berardi has never claimed otherwise.


from massive eating part II:

"The worst case scenario for someone trying to pack on muscle while minimizing fat gain is to have high blood levels of carbs, fat, and insulin at the same time."

"So if you always have high levels of blood fats and carbs in the presence of insulin (the kind your body makes, not the kind that comes in a syringe), your muscles will slow their uptake of nutrients and all that fat and carbs will feed the fat cells"

^^^ this is fundamentally wrong, and is based on nothing but supposition. the fact is, only a surplus of calories leads to fat storage, and fat can be stored in the complete absence of insulin.

in all fairness to Mr. Berardi, he no longer advocated strict separation of fat and carbs in the same meal, so yeah, just forget about it please.

while we're dispelling myths here, feel free to eat carbs at night, too.


I think it's also that it allows you to manage your calories better.


You have just turned my world upside down.


You have just turned my world upside down.


he hasn't got less strict on the issue. it was just people were not eating veges during P+F meals, when its perfectly fine to do so. which is why he explained it as P+F+<10g carbs.

and it works perfectly fine because if used properly you wont have both in the blood stream or very little. the idea being you eat P+C meals around workout,if you workout after the job at 5pm, youve spent more than half your day with little carbs in your system, using all P+F meals until them, which keeps your insulin low.

most people don't think it works becuase they mix P+C meals around all day.

and no, its not as simple calories in vs out. Adding 1k calories worth of olive oil to your diet during a bulk compared to 1k calories worth of twinkis or soda will yield much different results.

carbs before bed? have fun not sleeping.

aside from that splitting meals this way makes it easier to track macros and get better foods in, otherwise its easier to be like oh well pizza has C+P+F so its all good! eating a large % of C+F in any meal will cause you to store fat regardless of overall calorie consumption. Try eating only pizza inside your maintenance level, youll still gain fat.



I sleep significantly better when I consume some carbs (usually around 25 to 30 grams) as part of my last meal that's about an hour prior to bed.


I hope you're joking.


I would listen to anything that Berardi says, even if it was illegal :b
However, hes trying to move away from being labled the p+c, p+f guy. There really isn't much evidence to support these pairings, although it does sound like it "makes sense". I think its just a way to make meal planning easier and to remind people that protein needs to be in each meal. Also, to not eat a c+f meal.
I actually sleep much better with carbs before bed and I think Charlie P and CT started supporting carbs before bed (when diet warrants for carbs) for this very reason.
Everyone's metabolism is different, but I know I can handle pizza as long as I keep my cals in check.

I've gotten leaner eating pizza as long as my daily intake was reasonable and my workouts were hard/intense. Not that I would recommend eating pizza while leaning down because why half ass a cutting attempt when a person can see 'better' results by being more strict.


Anyone know what Lyle M has to say about P+C and P+F combinations?

See, if the idea is that the insulin spike from C helps to shuttle ingested F more to adipose tissue, then what happens to F when it is ingested anyway, in the absence of such a large insulin spike?

It doesn't just sit there in the blood stream, right? It will eventually be stored in adipose tissue as well. At least, that's my understanding.

Or, maybe that F is circulating for longer in the bloodstream when there is less insulin helps to fuel workouts; maybe having elevated blood lipid levels keeps those fatty acids 'in queue' for being used up for fuel.

I don't know.


Yeah, but how lean were you when you were 'getting leaner' eating your pizza?

You are really lean, man. Leaner than most guys on here I'd say.

You could probably metabolize a tub of lard PWO and get away with it :slight_smile:


Yes and no.. Yes being that when I eat carbs before bed over a period of time my bodyfat increases so him saying it is okay is blasphemy to me. No being that I really dont care what he says because I know what works for me. This topic does seem to be an issue and I want to read where any reputable people (like CT) say it's okay to eat carbs prior to zzZz.


I've followed this approach for the last 2yrs and it's just made my meal planning easier.

I don't know if it's worked for me too much because the last 14mo I've been bulking and haven't worried about being lean.

I'll probably still keep that system when leaning out in a few months though...so we'll see...


Check Thibs Q&A thread, he actually says it is ok! Something along the lines of he got the idea from Poliquin...the rationale is that carbs make a lot of people sleepy, so taking them before bed is more logical. There's more to it than that mind, but im just going off memory.




Download that summary, CT explains in there why carbs at night is actually a good idea. It's from a Charles Poliquin theory if memory serves.