Healthy carb/fat/protein ratios and timing for intense weight lifting while staying healthy - Science question

Commented on October 15, 2013
Created September 25, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Over the last 6 weeks I've put on a massive amount of muscle (without steroids) with my weight only increasing a maximum of 5kg (and quickly returning to baseline). After thoroughly analysing my nutrient intake I realised I was on about 2500-2800 cal, 240g+ protein, 200g carbs and ~156g fat. On some days I was very low on energy which I attributed to not enough carbs due to my extreme intensity lifting but I realised later that I was not getting enough fat and perhaps too much carbs.

To put things into perspective I train 4 days a week, each session involves around 16 - 24 sets of the heaviest weight manageable + assisted reps. Each workout lasts 1.45 to 2 hours. Some may see this as a body-building routine but I do it purely for fun. The results have been astonishing and I have put on more muscle in 6 weeks then I would have with 6 months of half-assed training. The training intensity involves sweating profusely and feeling like passing out/dying, all with no cardio. I can confidently say that the stress on the CNS would be massive.

With the system outlined above I was eating 500g potato (aprox. 100g carbs) after every workout as well as about 400g meat and 200g salad. Post workout meals were over 1000cal and weighed about 1 - 1.1kg. I was also eating about 250g Strawberries and 125g Blueberries a day, sometimes more than once and often first thing in the morning before breakfast (bad, I know). I'd also have the occasional banana sometime during the day.

The system above worked pretty well, I don't eat anything but whole foods, I don't eat canned foods, I don't eat any preservatives. Nothing. I don't eat anything bad apart from pesticides and hormones in the meat and fruit/vegetables I buy.

Although the relatively lean mass I was putting on was nothing short of amazing, I knew that my carb/fat/protein ratios were not optimal for energy and overall health. It is my understanding that with the 200g of carbs my body was probably not burning the fat optimally and there was some bad stuff going on.

I read here: http://www.archevore.com/get-started/ that you should only have 100g of carbs a day to have fat burning optimally, and that anything more will result in negative effects as the fat will not be used by the body properly. Looking at this guy's photo it's rather evident that he's probably never done any hardcore lifting in his life.

The reason I have my post workout 500g of potato is to give myself an insulin spike because it makes me anabolic. My understanding is that after a 2 hour workout I need at least this amount of starchy/sugary carbs to replenish my liver/muscle glycogen. I originally thought that this wasn't enough as I would start to lose focus and energy (low carb flu) but my muscles were not going flat. I'm now realising that my body was probably optimized more towards burning carbs and it wasn't getting enough of them (but what's 200g anyway?).

I've set out to iron out these issues. Although my massive size gains are addictive I know that my diet isn't perfect. I would like to adjust my diet to healthier ratios while still having the nutrients to maintain my lifting intensity and put on size without being destroyed and glycogen depleted. I have decided to eat NO carbs (apart from what's in my vegies) and only have my carbs after my workout. This means no fruit throughout the day.

Here are my questions:

1. The guy in the link above says no more than 100g. Considering that I train for 2 hours to the point of death, my theory is that I can have more carbs since my body will burn them quickly due to the extreme depletion and will go back to an efficient fat burning state rapidly? Am i right?

2. If I am right, how much carbs can I get away with while running primarily on fat, assuming that all non fiberous carbs (starch, fruit) is strictly post workout?

3. I'm planning on increasing my fat intake to 200g+, any suggestions on how much I should aim for considering my lifestyle?

4. How much protein is enough? I have no doubt the current 220g is helping my results but I would like to reduce the amount of meat I eat due to the hormones in it and replace a fraction of those protein calories with fat. The article also says too much protein is bad for burning fat optimally, is this true?

5. Assuming I have 100 - 200g of starchy carbs post workout while abstaining from any starchy/sugary carbs throughout the day, will eating them with a moderate amount of fat cause the insulin spike to be blunted?

6. Continuing from 4, will eating the post workout carbs with a moderate amount of fat be damaging? Should I only eat lean meat with my post workout carbs and have a small amount of fat instead?

I think that's all I have to ask. I have things mostly figured out but I would like some science and intelligent opinions to back up my theories and bring me to an awesome solution :).


on October 15, 2013
at 07:06 PM

You are welcome and Thank you!

  • 4cef120270c742b7f0094b05c617636f

    asked by

  • Views
  • Last Activity
    2049D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

2 Answers

best answer


on October 13, 2013
at 09:28 PM

I am going to recommend this book. That should have all the science you require. In my own opinion it seems that you putting your body through quite a lot. Maybe it works for you who knows but listen to your body.

Keep it up! @DopeFiend

Adam Chevalier


on October 14, 2013
at 10:05 AM

Thanks for the recommendation. Love your attitude (saw some of your other posts)


on October 15, 2013
at 07:06 PM

You are welcome and Thank you!

Answer Question

Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!