Right now I’m in the best shape of my life. Have I been leaner before? Yeah, when I was about 16 lbs lighter than I am now. I was ripped as hell, but I also lacked strength. In the past, it’s always been one or the other. I was either strong, big, and bulky or shredded and weak. It was never both. Over the past few years I’ve been working hard on finding a great balance between the two and I’ve figured it out. I’m lean, in probably the best cardio condition of my life, but yet still strong. Of course a lot of that has to do with the type of workouts I’ve been doing, but my nutrition has played the biggest role. I’ll get to what type of workouts I’m doing in another post, but for this one I want to explain my nutrition plan in detail. I want to talk about how a carb cycling plan is what has led me to being in the best overall fitness level in my life.
“But Josh, I thought you shifted to a Keto diet?” I did for a while. But as I stated in one of my recent “Just Man Up” videos on my Facebook page, it wasn’t sustainable. At least it wasn’t for me. I know a Keto plan works for some people because I’ve got friends who follow it successfully and have gotten outstanding results, but again, it just isn’t for me. Why? I don’t exactly know why. All I know is that when my body fat % dropped to a certain point with Keto, I began to feel extremely worn down and sluggish, especially after my intense workouts. My body needs carbohydrates for energy while I’m following an intense workout regimen. Plus, following a Keto diet is tough to do during the weekends when you go out to eat or want to have a few drinks with your friends. One beer or mixed drink can knock you right out of ketosis. I want to be able to enjoy life. I don’t want to have to constantly stress over possibly being knocked out of ketosis and that’s what was happening for a while. Did Keto work for me while I was doing it? Absolutely. I leaned out quicker than I have in my entire life, but eventually I just couldn’t sustain it anymore.
I’m still following a high fat plan. Contrary to what most people believe, high fat intake doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to gain body fat. Usually the opposite is the case if you’re consuming the right kinds of fats. There are an incredible amount of benefits to eating foods like coconut oil (contrary to what the biased American Heart Association will tell you), avocado, fish, and almonds. One of those benefits is the ability to battle inflammation. Since I shifted to a higher fat plan, the pain associated with my disease has basically disappeared. Of course there are other factors involved there, but I believe the high healthy fat intake has played a major role. But just because I stopped Keto doesn’t mean I stopped eating healthy fats. I would say about 50% of my calories per day still come from healthy fat sources. I just have decided to add back in some healthy carbohydrates.
In 2009 I was very close to the condition that I’m in now. At the time I tried out carb cycling for the first time and saw how well it worked for me personally. Basically what I did was a day of low carbs (1-2 servings), which was on my cardio days, and a day of high carbs, which was my resistance training days. The reason for the low carbs on cardio days was so that my body would focus on burning body fat for energy instead of targeting the glycogen in my system. If you didn’t know, you get glycogen from carbohydrates (rice, pasta, breads, fruits, vegetables, etc.) and your body uses that glycogen to give you energy throughout the day and during intense workouts. When it’s not there, body fat and muscle are targeted for fuel. That’s why I stress the importance of using a good quality BCAA supplement during your workout if you’re carb depleted, to stop the body from using muscle for energy. Then on my resistance training days I load up with carbs so that I have enough glycogen to provide the energy I need to get in an excellent strength workout. This is what I’ve been doing for the past 2 months and I’m seeing incredible strength gains and staying lean because of it. It’s one day of high carbs and one day of low carbs and I keep alternating. Also, I forgot to explain, on the high carb days I’m pretty much taking in a healthy carbohydrate at every meal. I’ll give a low carb and high carb sample day below.
So that’s what I’ve been doing to get such outstanding results. Again, in this post I only covered the nutrition aspect of it. The workouts I’m doing are playing a big role as well. The Spencer Carb Cycling plan is what works best for me. Questions? Just comment below and I will respond quickly. Or you can just message me over on my Facebook page. If you’re ready to fully commit to making a change, I started a 30 day “Become a Badass” group every month. Fill out the BADASS FORM if you would like to take part.
My name is Josh Spencer and I'm a husband, father, online fitness Coach (since 2008), soon to be author, and holistic healing advocate. Since 2008 I've helped thousands and thousands of people make a change in their health! I believe that in order to make incredible changes you have to have the right mindset, nutrition, and workout plan.