My thoughts no how you could carb load before a Bodybuilding contest while using a low carb, higher fat diet.
So, how would you load before a contest if you're following a higher fat, or I should say maybe medium fat, low to zero carb diet? People will call it a ketogenic diet, they're doing bodybuilding contest prep. Usually it's not the case, usually it's not a ketogenic diet. Hardly will it be 70, 80% of your calories derived from fats. It'll probably be more like a higher protein, medium fat diet, something like 50% protein, 30 to 40% of fat, and then negligible carbs. So, that's what most people do or they think they're doing, they think they're doing keto, but they're doing moreso a low carb, medium fat diet. So, I got a question about how would you load going into a show? And I have personal experience doing this, so I'm going to give my personal feedback of what I personally did and then some other options that I've had other people do and some other scenarios that could possibly work for you.
So, as you get into, I'd say the brunt of the contest prep, hypothetically, let's say you started a 16 week prep or 20 week prep, and at that point, most people's calories are higher obviously to start with. So, let's just start, for example, your calories at that point are, let's say it's 300 grams of protein, you have 180, 200 grams of fat and trace carbs. Now, as you get to the peak of your prep, mid-prep, let's say 16 weeks, so then eight weeks out, you should be relatively lean at that point. Everyone's going to differ on that, obviously far as their conditioning, but at that point you should be lean enough to start maybe having a re-feed or a cheat meal or however you want to reintroduce some carbs for glycogen replenishment, to induce some energy production to get over the brunt of the week for the following week, et cetera.
So, at that point, most people will do a cheat meal, that's often very common in a medium fat bodybuilding ketogenic diet for contest prep, and they'll pretty much have at it with anything they want, fats, sugars, whatever they're craving. It's usually one meal or maybe a feeding period of three hours, pizza, burger, fries, what have you, not a full day cheat day, but a cheat meal or a cheat period. More strict people, what I've done in the past is do a low fat re-feed, which actually could be not only a large window of maybe six to 12 hours or the entire day, if the fat content is kept low. So, that should be done perhaps starting eight weeks out or earlier if you're leaner and then you're going to be doing that every week to get kind of a weekly effect from it.
Then also you're going to be able to notate it, log it, and know how your body's responding to it via pictures, et cetera. Now, it all comes down to, and it pretty much ... Most people, I'd say 80% of people towards the end of that prep from eight weeks to week zero, you probably want to start doing some depletion of even dietary fat and it's going to be your hardcore high protein and vegetable only diet. Whether that's one day on, one day back to fats, one day veg protein and vegetables. I think Dave Palumbo does it that way. Or you have to go protein and vegetables for a week and then put in some fat days here and there intermittently. That's just to get completely peeled, dugout, shredded to get the last bit of fat mobilized from the lower back, glutes, all that stuff. You probably want to suffer and go pretty much low fat and low carb.
But not everyone, I actually was able to get away with preps where back in the day I could keep my fats in the whole time, but my metabolism back then was, that was a genetic gift, so I was able to keep the fats in and still get in shape. So, okay, so let's say now you're heading into the show and you're confused. You want to be fooling around, but here's the trick, guys, being on that diet, your body should be metabolically, I guess you'd say shifted. You should have a metabolic shift to where now you're very used to obviously utilizing fats for fuel, whatever negligible protein turnover you get and glycogen from like the nuts, fiber, et cetera, vegetables will turn over to glucose and possibly replenish glycogen. So, now you're really efficient and you actually should be relatively full because your body's used to this diet.
And also, the weekly cheat or re-feed is going to replenish some glycogen as well. So, that being said, you should never really be that flat on this diet unless you do prolonged periods of protein and vegetables. And that's when you got to know whether a coach or a significant other can tell you when you're looking stringy, to stop doing the protein and vegetable days, to put the fat back in or whatever. So, like I said, fats should actually be keeping you full, because your body's now accustomed to it. So, what you can do to make it more predictable, you won't want to do a standard carb load. Standard carb loads, whenever you aren't following a high fat or medium fat diet would be two to three days of carbo-loading. And that works great whenever you're on a carb cycle or a carb-based diet, however you are not used to that, what you are used to, or should be used to, is a cheat meal or a window of carbs.
So, your option would be this, couple options, maybe from samples of your weekly carb loads, on Saturday hypothetically, do a weekend. You need to record what you look on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, so that period of whenever the water, if you do spill over, dissipates, sodium, et cetera, and you know how you looked the days after your cheat or carb load, that's going to be vital information. Let's say that you look amazing two days afterwards. Say you cheat Saturday, but by Monday water's clear and you're like the perfect balance of glycogen loaded plus dry, et cetera. So, you'd actually do and replicate that cheat meal of whatever you're used to, if you look good, perhaps on a Tuesday or Wednesday before the show and then get back on protein and vegetables or protein and fat and let the water dissipate, and go into the show untouched, normal day protein and fats, whatever your body is used to.
Or what you could do, is you can, and this is what I have done, okay, this is what I feel comfortable doing. I would stay protein and fat the whole time, last week I wouldn't load midweek, I wouldn't assimilate my weekly cheat or anything like that. I'd actually just roll in because I was already relatively full because I was used to the fat and the protein, like I said. Now, what I would do is Friday, day before the show, at some point I would cut off water. Usually I'd run it really high. So, I'd run water, normally gallon and a half throughout prep and then maybe I'd raise it to two gallons the last week, and then maybe even Friday run it the highest, which is kind of unorthodox, two and a half gallons and at two and half gallons I'd cut it off, let's say for example at 9:00 PM sharp, cut off the water, that whole I was doing protein and fats or protein and veggies.
Then I'd actually start carbo-loading way into the night, early morning. I'd let water flow out, as I stopped it at 9:00 PM. If I was doing a half tab of dyazide, I'd urinate, obviously pee out whatever subcutaneous was there, get water flushed, kidneys are going, they're stimulated. I'd be trying to sleep. Now, throughout the night when I wake up and go pee is when I'd start carbo-loading, once the water is actually cut off. And what I do, I do rice cakes or I do cereal bars, Nutri-Grain bars, relatively lower sodium stuff at this point in time because I'm still shedding water. And like I said, I'd wake up two or three, four times a night and eat those rice cakes or cereal bars, fruit bars, angel food cake.
And then as I wake up then I'd have a big meal for breakfast, more carbs, dry, no water. For me, it'd be pancakes or waffles or French toast, maybe some donuts, because I was used to junk back then. So, I'd basically start loading the morning of, okay, middle of the night into the morning, harder in the morning, let's say five 6:00 AM, whenever I get up. And that would be the biggest meal of carbs, would be right in the morning because you don't want to have carbs going all the way into the pre-judging and you're bloated and distended. My biggest carb meal or junk meal would be right in the morning, and then after it'd be a very light snack and keep the stomach flat as possible. Waistline tight. If pre-judging was at 10, heavyweights, or supers or whatever, doesn't go on until noon. You have time from that morning, huge influx meal. The breakfast of French toast, pancakes, 6:00 AM, let's say you're on by 11, you have time to chill out and get that stomach down.
But you're snacking intermittently on rice cakes and cereal bars, et cetera. So, that's what I did, guys, I didn't really have enough time to screw myself up. I was dry already and any carb would scavenge whatever water was still remaining. And that's what worked for me because I was never really that flat. But you can do it earlier, mid-week, like I said, and then go normal fat and protein. Or you can do it like I did, at the very last minute after water shut off. So, that's just the ways that I go, that I went about that whenever I did such a diet protocol. Just wanted to go over that. I know someone, I think on Facebook, had a question about that and I wanted to elaborate on just my personal experience. There's no right or wrong way. You're going to need to experiment for yourself, but that just was my take on how to do it.