Carb Night and Back Loading Review; A Fat Loss Diet from The Web

A fat loss diet protocol that has had some great success.

Over at John Kiefer has put together a diet protocol called Carb Night for fat loss and Carb Back Loading for mass building with minimal to no fat gain as seen with more traditional bulking programmes.

This is a look at his information and a take home of the basics (can be found in more detail by purchasing his books and searching around the forum).

Carb Nite

The first thing I noticed about the books is just how cram packed full of references they are; when John makes a claim he appears to back it with science, which is always a good thing.

Secondly I personally found quite a few similarities to…

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the Atkins diet, which is no surprise as the physique world has always had a penchant for manipulating carbohydrates for body composition.

Dangerously Hardcore

Dangerously Hardcore

The story goes that carbohydrates are the primary nutrient for manipulating hormonal responses to food surrounding predominantly insulin; a strong anabolic (building up) hormone which is effected dramatically by the intake, timing and restriction of foods that raise blood sugar such as but not limited to carbohydrates.

Our natural circadian rhythm also plays a vital role in the manipulation of body composition with regards to lean tissue and fat storage at different stages throughout the day, for example; Our bodies become less sensitive to the effects of insulin toward the latter end of the day and conversely are far more sensitive to it’s anabolic (and fat storing) effects at the start of our day.

Why all the fuss about Insulin?

According to Kiefer; Insulin in itself is not responsible for fat storage; it merely allows the doors into the fat cells to open. There are nifty little proteins called GLUT4 (glucose transporters) within  both fat cells and muscle cells and depending on the circumstances preceding ingestion of food the majority of the carbohydrates will be either directed to fat or muscle tissue.

Just how do we direct the lions share to muscles and not fat?

By lifting weights. Kiefer shows that the high tension a muscle fibre is exposed to during weight training triggers a response which allows glucose to be accepted more readily by the muscle tissue and less happily by the fat cells. Bottom line; lifting weights changes where your body stores it’s energy.


Press Up Epsom Personal Trainer

strength train


Energy storage is just one of the roles Insulin plays in our bodies alongside amino acid uptake and reduced breakdown of protein. In short, insulin at the right time is immensely effective at helping us build better and healthier physiques.

Other chemicals in the body also interact with Insulin. Take Cortisol for example, often thought of as bad stress hormone is in actual fact an amazing help to us in fat loss but as always; time matters. More specifically, the time Cortisol is elevated is important to our fat loss goals. Dangerously Hardcore explains that when elevated alone it aids fat loss but when elevated in the presence of insulin it aids in fat storage. Keep carbohydrate intake low in times of raised Cortisol.

John writes that first thing in the morning our Cortisol levels are naturally elevated as a result of lowered glucose intake throughout the night and gradually drops off through the day. In the absence of insulin this allows the liberation of fat from storage to be used as energy and will continue until an insulin spiking food is consumed.

Many will worry that this will cause the breakdown of muscle tissue for use as energy in the form of glucose through gluconeogenesis. This will only occur if no energy is available in the digestive system or fat cells after a prolonged period of time. To ensure fat stays the primary fuel source throughout the day it is advisable to keep insulin levels as low possible through ingestion of only fats and protein sources (although certain amino acids will still cause insulin release the fat content in your daytime diet will reduce this effect to something minimal).


Eat protein and fat

Eat protein and fat


There are many ways to lose body fat and more simply, body weight but simple weight loss should never be the main goal due to an often over looked loss of lean tissue that always accompanies a standard weight loss diet of calorie restriction. Lean tissue is essential to our health and ability to perform both sporting tasks and mundane daily tasks like climbing stairs or preventing a trip from turning into a bone breaking fall as happens so often in people over forty. Lean tissue (bone, muscle, tendon, organs etc) is vital to our survival. Each of us should aim to either build or hold onto every ounce we have. It increases metabolism, allows free flowing movement, protects from impacts, allows organs to function and games to be played. Again, lean tissue is the prime focus to any exercise and diet regime.

Weight loss is simply about eating less calories but we now know this to include the loss of lean tissue. Forget it.

The best approach is one that allows for the reduction of fatty tissue with either a)the maintenance or b) the increase of lean tissues. Smarter people than me have pulled together the science and come up with many great ways to quickly reduce body fat without sacrificing muscle (Thanks Martin Berkham and Kiefer).


Martin Berkhan (

Martin Berkhan (


A simple overview

Carb Nite

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  • Spend a period emptying your glycogen stores by limiting carb intake to less then 30-50g per day.
  • Plan a Carb Nite to “restock”
  • Stay in this unload/reload phase until fat loss goal complete

To get a full break down of what to do, when and how along with massive amountns of menu’s head over the site and buy the book and support Johns future works.


Carb Back Loading

is a little different in that you may not always need the initial break in period and the feasting on carbs is allowed but only at certain times around certain events (like heavy weigh training).

Again I would highly recommend buying the book if you can handle low carb diets and want to know more.


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  • You should plan to keep dietary fat levels higher than normal to ensure insulin control.
  • You will be burning fat as your primary fuel source
  • Meal frequency is a personal preference during the day
  • Remember, time matters so take the time to pay attention to when and what you eat and you’ll see a totally shocking new you in a few months time.




The books give you an alternative way to loosing body fat, gaining strength and as has been shown; looking amazing.

If traditional methods haven’t worked for you in the past or you just fancy a change then give it a go, you may just surprise yourself with a new look.






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