not meant to be a backloader

My husband Christian is a pretty fit guy. He runs a little, lifts weights, and has completed three Tough Mudder events.

When we started dating, I had already gained the Freshman 15 (er, 20), and he was thin as a rail. His cheekbones jutted out, his eyes were sunken in. Truth be told, he looked a little sickly. Like, he would go to Wendy’s (EVERY. DAY.), but throw away half his burger and leave his fries practically untouched. This was strange behavior to me, the girl who was raised to devour everything on her plate, whether she was full or not.

Through the years his palette improved and he gained weight, especially as I learned the hard way how NOT to provide for our family food wise (Hamburger Helper anyone?). We both made terrible choices by way of chips, sodas, and the like. Breaking up with bread was one of he hardest things I’ve done, but it’s been beneficial. We have a few one night stands here and there, the bread and I.

He lost weight after I gave birth to our children, causing me to give the good old WTF. But the truth was, he didn’t have time for late night snacks when we were dealing with infants. I stress eat; he doesn’t. It’s totally not fair.

Now in our mid-30s, both of us have hit that point where we know that unless we start making better choices now, our health isn’t going to do us any favors in the future. For me this has meant running and making better food choices through my new best friend, My Fitness Pal. For him, this means working out and obsessing over things. Like watching YouTube videos on various routines, finding just the right pre- and post-workout supplement combo, and carb backloading. And talking about them incessantly.

Oh my God, the carb backloading.

The idea is simple – you wait until you’ve been awake for at least 2 hours before you eat, then you shun all or most carbs and sugars until the evening hours, preferably after you’ve worked out. He sent me articles, videos, websites, all on carb backloading, and how it would help burn fat faster. Words like “glycemic index” and “insulin spike” were tossed around the house willy nilly. The carbs you eat at night spike your insulin, which burns fat overnight. The CBL website claims you (meaning MEN) can eat ice cream, cookies, even strawberry tarts (!) as long as they do it at the proper time.

Seems legit
Seems legit

Also if that’s not really how it works, then it’s Christian’s fault. Or mine. I may have tuned him out after a few seconds because OMG stop talking about the carb backloading.

I tried. I’m willing to do anything with a partner, especially if it will get me “effortless abdominals!” simply by “eating the foods you love!” Unfortunately we are not the best team outside of being married and raising children together. I felt that every bite I took, every carb I ate, he’d be watching me. Like a little carb obsessed Sting.

The carb backloading? Gave me all the ragey feelings.

I can technically do without bread carbs. It’s fine. I’ve given it up before. But when you tell me I can’t have agave nectar in my coffee, or dressing on my salad or fruit with my yogurt….thems fightin words. I was hungry all the time (which means I probably wasn’t eating the right non-carb things to keep my body satisfied in the first place), and Bitch Leigh Ann was in full force.

The constant carb backloading talk didn’t help. Honey, I love you, and I want to support you, but you have got to stop talking about the carb backloading before I backload my foot into your pretty mouth. JK Love you!

After about 3 days of Bitch Leigh Ann, I gave in. I started putting agave nectar back in my coffee and now dance a little happy dance with my mug in the kitchen each morning. I still keep my carbs to a minimum. I gave up sandwiches a long time ago (unless it’s Thundercloud or Jimmy John’s, because I am not a complete animal) and only eat sprouted grain bread if I have toast. We have the occasional pasta. It’s whatever.

My husband looks great. But he has much stronger willpower than I. The thing is, I cannot stick to a plan that I hate. I was completely miserable while doing whatever version of the carb backloading he had me trying, even if it wasn’t 100% according the the plan of the guy who made it up whose videos I didn’t watch (sorry babe, I meant to?). And if someone popped up and told me exactly how to do it? I probably still wouldn’t be interested. Not my thing. You can promise me rock hard abs, a fantastic butt, and a trimmer waist than I have ever seen, but if I’m miserable… well, I don’t really care about that. I’ll stick to My Fitness Pal, who got me through a quick 6 pound loss before a voice started saying “Oooh! You lost 6 pounds! GET YO’SELF SOME CAKE!”

I just need to figure out how to squash THAT guy.


Have you every tried something “extreme” and seen results?

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  1. I did clean eating for 5 days only eating food made up of 5 ingredients, and lost about 6 pounds. I also felt great. It was hard the first 2 days, but the food was tasty. Just not very much of it. Because of the low calories, exercising was NOT encouraged those 5 days, something I could get onboard with quickly.

    I would do it again, if I wanted to get back on track with clean eating and a healthy weight.

    This carb backloading sounds like something that I would NOT do. 🙂

  2. my weight is an issue and always has been. I’ve tried everything but I’ve never heard of this. I think it’s something to explore but sounds hard. I would love to be able to eat everything like my husband can.

    1. It’s important to note (and I should have mentioned it) that it won’t exactly work for women the same way. We just don’t have the same metabolism. There are methods for women, but I just don’t have the attention span to really research it. Or the desire. And I think the purpose is more for getting leaner, not really generally weight loss.

      I do have good luck with My Fitness Pal on my phone. I haven’t been much of a calorie counter before, but it make me more aware of my choices once I realize how many calories something is in relation to how many I’m allotted for the day. Try it!

  3. What Jennifer said!!

    I died laughing at this: “Oooh! You lost 6 pounds! GET YO’SELF SOME CAKE!”

    That is exactly how I “diet” – success equals treats. I don’t understand why it’s not working.

    1. I had cake for dinner last night. You’re right. I have no idea why it’s not working. But according to the carb backloading, I’m okay!

  4. I third what Jennifer said. Hilarious. I lack the self-discipline for this type of eating/shopping/cooking. No bread? My brain can’t even comprehend what that looks like.

    1. The hardest part is walking through a bakery. Good smells errywhere. And I’m not completely bread free. I mainly just dropped eating sandwiches for lunch every day.

  5. Thank God I’m not the only one.

    I also have sciatica and knee pain aaaargh! I feel like the world has conspired against me because the excess weight makes it hard to work out, and the extra weight won’t come off without working out.

  6. My husband and I came to the same conclusion you and yours did when we were in our mid-thirties, and both really started trying to take better care of ourselves. We did the Master Cleanse (a ten-day juice fast/colon cleanse) two years ago with fantastic results. We smugly stood in our kitchen drinking lemonade for meals and talked about how food is just a social construct. I felt the best I ever did at the end of it, having lost twelve pounds. He lost almost twenty, but whatever.

    Last month we did the Master Cleanse again to kick-start healthier habits. Five days in I felt like an idiot, walking around my house depriving myself instead of just eating sensibly. I stopped the cleanse and decided I will never do it again, that I can do better with my eating habits, and I will do better.

    Then this week I ate a whole bag of pretzel M&Ms.

    Being healthy is hard.

    1. I’ve considered doing a cleanse, but then I’m all, “Hahahahahahahaha! Good luck with that, self.” I really just need to eat better.

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