Does the Type of Carbohydrate Matter? Let’s Ask My Flatulence

What kind of carbohydrates are you eating? Does it make a difference? Isn't a calorie just a calorie in the end?

While I can't give you a concrete answer to any of these questions, I can ensure you that I wasn't passing gas in the making of this article.

Does that count for anything?

Maybe. And maybe more than you think.

As the legendary Ron Burgundy would put it: Ladies and gentlemen, can I please have your attention. I've just been handed an urgent and horrifying news story. I need all of you to stop what you're doing and listen.

I haven't really eaten oatmeal in the past few months.

Yes. Me. The same guy that wrote about how to make an oatmeal volcano. The same guy that wrote about including it in The Diet to End All Diets (which has become a rather popular post). The same guy that used to eat the stuff for breakfast daily. And the same guy that owns a shirt that says, “Addicted To Oatmeal.”

Moving away from oatmeal was a saddening experience. But I can't lie. The results are there to show for it. Strength is up. Body fat is down. The results have been so profound, I have to rewrite one of my books. (Which I'm not too happy about, as I already edited it ten times.)

The move away from oatmeal started after some talks with Nate Miyaki. Outside of being damn near replicas of each other (both into martial arts, both formerly skinny-fat, both write for T-Nation, both rather handsome gentlemen), I enjoyed his nutrition insight.

After following his advice, I really enjoy his insight. So much, in fact, I held him at knife point asked him to be the primary contributor of the nutrition section of The Skinny-Fat Solution. He rocked it too. Everyone loves his intermittent feasting strategy, and they love feeling full even when “cutting.” (There’s about an hour long video interview with Nate within The Skinny-Fat Solution course that, I've been told, is worth the price of admission itself.)

Nate's big on eating specific types carbohydrates. I won’t even begin to pretend like I’m smart enough to give juicy scientific details here though. So I'll give you all you need to know: Nate believes in eating carbohydrates for glycogen. Not fiber. Not protein. Just the stuff that's going to best fuel and restore the substances used by the muscles to train hard.

The way Nate puts it: when you take the car out for a spin you need to refill the gas tank.

If you're training like you should be, you need to refill the tank. This cabohydrate-indulging mindset might be a little shocking to the die hard paleo enthusiasts out there, but that's a topic for another day.

The “best” carbohydrates for the glycogen gig: white rice and potatoes of all sorts (or other root vegetables).

I know. I know.

Sounds like blasphemy at first.

When I told my Dad about this little carbohydrate swapping experience, his is response was: “That stuff is all starch! Are you crazy?”

But I'm a results man.

And the results are there. (Picture on top from July — around 190 pounds. Picture on bottom from December — around 205 pounds.)

I’ve been working on a book for a little while now called The Clean Bulk That Actually Works. Surprisingly enough, it’s about building muscle without turning into a vat of Crisco. It’s sort of the post skinny-fat, I'm now at my solid base, “What the hell do I do now?” diet strategy. It's a reflection of my own experiences — the strategies and framework I used to add muscle and stay lean. (More on the book at the end of the post.)

One of the concepts inside the book is eating an abundance of carbohydrates and then gauging how you “feel” the next day. You know you're eating “enough” when you start feeling “puffy” or slightly bloated.

Adding muscle without getting fat is aided by the solid base. Use the feedback given by the body to guide your decision making. Eating a lot of carbohydrates, and calories in general, leaves a certain “puffy” feeling for the following day. This is your compass. There is no long term plan of attack because every day has its own agenda that is set by the previous day’s results.

– The Clean Bulk That Actually Works (tentative title)

There are references to this concept within the book. Goes back to “nutrient autoregulation.” It's basically this: you eat more or less quantity or type of food on a daily basis depending on how you feel, if you train, and other factors.

This “puffy” marker was at the foundation. Both myself and a bunch of coaching students tend to feel a little “bloated” or puffy after a high carbohydrate day.

Simple. Easy. Makes sense.


I guess that's made sense.

The past two months, potatoes and white rice have been my carbohydrate source. And for those two months, I took them for granted. I know this because I ate oatmeal a few weeks ago.

Now, this is coming from someone that used to eat oatmeal multiple times per day. But last week something funny happened. I felt unusually bloated after eating it. And gassy. Very gassy.

That's when I realized that I haven't felt that bloated, puffy, uncomfortable, or gassy feeling since switching. My girlfriend noticed, of course. So for the next two days I felt bloated and uncomfortable. (And my girlfriend hated me.)

Ate oatmeal again a few days later just to do a second test run. Same results: my stomach distended, looked fatter, and unflattering flatulence.

Now, with all fairness to oatmeal, I think it comes down to tolerance  Nate would have predicted this though. Whole grains contain what some people call anti-nutrients: stuff that prevents absorption of vitamins and nutrients.

There are a few things I'm taking home from this experience without jumping on the pendulum, riding to the other side, and burning down oatmeal factories.

  • It takes two-three days to clear the gas and bloat I get from eating oatmeal. But this is all short term. Meaning, I don’t really get fat from eating it, I just temporarily bloat up. So it's not that it makes me fatter than any other carbohydrate, it's just that it makes me feel fatter.
  • The danger of feeling fatter is compensating for the “feeling.” Meaning, “I feel fat I’m going to starve myself.” kind of thing.
  • Paleo is sham. But I kind of eat paleo anyway. (More on this in the future.)
  • The Clean Bulk That Actually Works is going to be much better in lieu of this carbohydrate stumble. But I still hate Nate for making me re-edit it.
  • An underrated part of nutrition is how your body feels post consumption. I’m one to believe excreting pleasantries of raw eggs, sulfur, and dead animal carcass isn't “natural” or “good.”

  • Goku ate a lot of rice and he was a big dude. Just saying.
  • Don’t swing too far. Yeah, I fart and get bloated when I eat oats. But that doesn’t mean they should be vanquished forever or vilified.
  • With all fairness, I wasn't eating steel cut oats or any of the higher quality stuff.

But more important than any single nutrition concept (like carbohydrate type) is adherence. So in the comments, tell me your biggest hang-ups with diet. Could be that you hate counting calories. You don’t know what to eat. You don't know how to cook. Whatever. What is it about nutrition that prevents you from reaching the physique you want? Where do you get confused? Hung up?

You know I always keep it fresh. You can always expect a reply from me.


Trying to lose fat, build muscle, and build a body you’re proud of?

Maybe you’re a little lost right now.

Maybe you don’t have much motivation.

Maybe you don’t what program or diet to use.

I don’t know…

But what I do know is this:

Everything you need is inside of you.

You’re capable of more than know.

You just have to open your eyes.

My weekly column can help.

Just a small little honest note from me sent every Sunday.

Unless I’m hungover.

And then it comes Monday.

What I’m trying to say is that it’ll come Monday.

(These weekly columns don’t get posted to the site.)

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Mitch - Home Fitness Manual December 20, 2012, 4:38 pm

    Anthony, I thought I really loved Oatmeal until I saw that shirt you have. Pretty awesome! A few years back oatmeal was my standard post-workout meal, with some almond butter and a but of protein powder scooped in. But as you noted the bloated and gassy feeling, I always thought is was probably the powders because I could without them…but not my oatmeal. Even after switching brands of powder nothing changed. Eventually through trial and error I finally conceded it is was those bowls of oats that were at cause. I still enjoy a bowl here and there, but not it’s a sometimes food.

    • Anthony December 22, 2012, 12:02 pm

      Hah, yeah, was a gift. And I’d be interested in experimenting with different quality oats. Did you?

  • Josh Trammell December 20, 2012, 8:40 pm

    My (literal) peanut butter addiction. Sad, but true. Once I start I don’t stop till most or all of the jar is gone. I don’t buy it, but one of my roommates literally has boxes of the stuff and it’s us have all we want. Any advice on how to get rid of food addictions in general? It wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t in the house, but asking my roommates to not buy or bring any pub isn’t particularly feasible.

    • Anthony December 22, 2012, 12:03 pm

      Not really much experience with specific food addiction, no. I’ve never really been married to anything in that nature, so haven’t really gots much. Sorry about that.

  • steven December 20, 2012, 8:40 pm

    Have you tried Oat Fiber instead ? I mix it with my Ezekiel 4:9 with 1% milk (lactose free) very tasty and bloat free !

    • Anthony December 22, 2012, 12:03 pm

      I’d imagine oat fiber wouldn’t be ideal either as the fiber part of the oat is kinda the antinutrient part.

  • Ryan Williams December 20, 2012, 9:41 pm

    Biggest down fall with nutrition is how organize it around life and how to stay on track without being that guy at parties, holidays and when friends want to go out…

    • Anthony December 22, 2012, 12:04 pm

      Yeah, I feel you here. It’s tough.

  • Traindom December 20, 2012, 10:01 pm

    I like that you didn’t go on an anti-oatmeal rampage. I think people tend to go from one extreme to another when they realize the first extreme has its flaws, and they blind themselves to the good stuff of the prior extreme. I also like how you look at other possibilities for your troubles. I really appreciate this sort of thinking. And thanks for referencing Nate Miyaki! I’ve been giving his site a look-see and he looks like he knows his stuff!

    The only thing that has troubled me when it comes to diet is counting calories. But it’s been getting better. After reading your thoughts on using your body as a guide, I’ve been more and more lax. I’ve eaten foods whose caloric content I did not really know *Gasp*. I usually guesstimate when I eat such foods. I also weigh my meat or poultry whenever I can, using 40 calories per ounce as a guideline. Looking back, I’ve gotten really lax! I actually use that 40 calories per ounce thing in order to spare myself excessive work. I realized that the numbers online are estimated as well. Even my caloric needs are estimated. So my way of counting calories has morphed. At this point, I just adhere to very very rough estimates. Don’t get me wrong, I still weigh things like meat, poultry, milk, cereal, and other things, and I still read nutritional labels, but now I don’t limit myself to measurable food.

    My original problem was the limitations of counting calories. Now it’s trying to live with guesstimates. I guess it’s more of a mental hurdle than anything technical. It’s been getting easier to guesstimate, but I still haven’t completely let myself go, you know? It’d be nice to guesstimate once (as doing so several times while eating the food kills the experience) and feel like I have some sort of control over my diet. I wouldn’t want to stop counting or guesstimating because that really helped me achieve physique goals in the past. Guesstimating (You’ve must have read this word several times by now, I know) helps give me a sense (however off) of how much I was eating. I wouldn’t feel at ease eating completely blind. I feel that my awareness of calorie intake is a big part of my success. “No matter what I eat, as long as I meet my caloric and protein requirements for the day, I’m solid.” That was my thinking, and it worked. It still works.

    Let me channel this into the form of questions:
    Do you guesstimate or count calories to some extent?
    Do you let this guide you as well?

    Were there any fears in letting go and using your body as a guide? If so, how did or do you deal with them?

    By the way, writing this out really helped me get a clearer sense of my situation. It helped me realize that my situation may very well be a matter of trust. I think I need to trust in my body as a guide more. And I also think that so much time spent counting calories means I can use my intuition in, say, protein shakes and such. It’d make life a little more easier.

    • Anthony December 22, 2012, 12:06 pm

      No, I just eat these days. I still have my stones: six eggs, one pound of meat, 3 scoops of protein. Everything else is debateable. Sometimes I’ll have 2000kcals of rice. Other times I’ll eat nothing but vegetables. All depends.

      Then I just go by how I look.

      • Traindom December 24, 2012, 12:43 am

        Thanks for replying, Anthony. I think this article has prompted positive changes in the way I see my diet. I’ll let you know how things go. Thanks, again.

        • Anthony December 26, 2012, 1:36 pm

          Cool stuff.

    • Steph December 23, 2012, 8:39 pm

      ‘Guesstimate’ is not a real word!

      • Anthony December 26, 2012, 1:35 pm

        I use a lot of fake words. That’s the wonders of writing for your own website. Ain’t it?

      • Traindom December 26, 2012, 9:43 pm

        To be honest, I wasn’t sure if it was a real word, but since I’m a freak about grammar and spelling in general, I don’t mind sprinkling some slang here and there.

        It’s also recognized as a real word:

        It implies that my estimate is less based on empirical evidence and more on gut feeling. It’s accepted. So, it is a real word!

        • Anthony December 28, 2012, 7:07 pm

          Yeah, I’m a terrible writer so you win some and lose some.

          • Traindom December 28, 2012, 10:43 pm

            Wait, I thought she was referring to my use of the word? I hope you don’t think that I’m scrutinizing your grammar and spelling. I may be a freak about them, but I don’t like to rub people’s noses in their mistakes. Sometimes I’ll chime in with a gentle correction, but no more than that. I think it would sour anyone to be nitpicked so much without some kind of arrangement.

            Fake words are fine by me. As far as your grammar and spelling go, there have been times when I noticed an awkward kink or two in the flow of your writing, but nothing particularly atrocious. The content always comes through for me, so I think you’re good.

          • Anthony December 31, 2012, 2:58 am

            Oh. Either way. I make up words sometimes too. We’re both human 😉

            I don’t mind people pointing out my spelling errors. I know I’m not perfect out here.

          • trent January 27, 2014, 6:47 pm

            In regards to your writing and spelling and guestimations: I’m an English teacher. I enjoy reading both this site and nerd fitness. They’re well written and well thought out (Granted, I’m used to reading crappy high school essays). Don’t let grammar martinets pigeon-hole you into thinking there’s only one correct way of doing things.

            Do I notice an occasional spelling error? Sure. I have three blogs and two websites, and guess what: I have occasional spelling errors, which, when you’re an English teacher, is embarrassing.

            Keep up the good work fellas, and anyone who’s too stupid to profit from your excellent advice because they’re too worried about how you spelled something isn’t ready to step up to the next level of fitness anyways.

          • Anthony January 29, 2014, 3:29 pm

            Thanks. I suck at writing; it’s the price of admission.


  • Matt December 20, 2012, 10:30 pm

    “Paleo is sham. But I kind of eat paleo anyway.”
    Ooh, somebody wants to stir up debate in the comment section….

    • Anthony December 22, 2012, 12:06 pm


  • Nate Miyaki December 21, 2012, 5:33 pm

    Great article Anthony, and thanks for the mention, completely agree with you. Yeah, proteins from animals, fiber and micro’s from veggies and whole fruits, starch solely for the purpose or fueling and recovering from anaerobic activity (which means for the pure glucose chains, not everything else that comes along with it).

    • Anthony December 22, 2012, 12:09 pm

      Thanks for the reply Nate. The results speak for themselves.

  • louisXIV December 22, 2012, 1:48 pm

    I enjoy oats daily (no volcanoes–and just 1 cup of old-fashined oats but with lots of nuts, seeds, protein powder, and some hemp or flax oil mixed in). It is part of my first meal of the day (with a protein and spinach plus berries smoothie) and easily tolerated (though many don’t handle oatmeal well or nuts). So, I wonder if adding these other foods as part of my “oats meal” hasn’t made a big difference vice eating the oatmeal alone.

    I also enjoy other “devil food” starches like white potatoes, pasta, Ezekiel bread, but these are taken almost always on workout days and shortly after the workout (I didn’t think the nutrient *timing* would matter that much but it does in my case). In fact, I started looking better –more muscular–when I added-back these “bad” foods (the oats and starches).

    • Anthony December 23, 2012, 11:17 am

      Well carbohydrates aren’t evil, and potatoes and ezekiel bread are two of the better sources of starch.

  • Rajat December 23, 2012, 12:56 pm

    I have a different take on stuff like this.
    I study bacteria as part of my thesis. The gut flora is highly dynamic and dependent on the nutrient environment around it. If a bacterial culture has species A, B, C, it is easy to starve one strain away just by altering the nutrient profile.
    What I am trying to say is that the gut flora in ur tummy reaches an equilibrium depending on your food intake. If you stopped oatmeal for a while, it is entirely possible that the bacteria responsible for digesting it actually died and were replaced by other strains. However, if you regularly ingest oatmeal, the right bacteria may thrive again and you may lose your gas issues.
    Now the caveat is that i don’t know (no one knows) how much the gut flora are involved in digestion of particular foods. I know that the above argument is true for protein. If you suppress your protein intake to minimal levels (say 50 g/day) for a couple of months, and suddenly jack up your protein intake to 200 g/day, you are going to have some really fruity flatulence…
    your thoughts?

    • Anthony December 26, 2012, 1:27 pm

      I thought of this Rajat, but a rememberance to the past when I did eat oatmeal regularly is what triggered this entire topic – as I had gas back then too.

      • Rajat Desikan January 1, 2013, 6:33 pm

        I see. Then it is probably the best decision to cut out oatmeal…
        Happy new year 🙂

        • Anthony January 3, 2013, 4:25 pm

          And to you too.

  • steven December 23, 2012, 12:57 pm

    The article leaves me with an attitude of disregard… If the poitn of the article is… : switching from oats to,…. rice and potatoes makes the shift from normal to heaven !!! It’s turning all the red lights to your appearance on the net for me !!!!!

    Even the picture’s “of proof”, are signing for red lights with big questionmarks too !! I’m not an expert in fitness or bodybuilding. The picure’s are the opposite in posing.. The first is leaning back.. in only white and black… The second is flexing to the front and in color… There not even proof that it;s you in one or the other !! Or if they are the same.. I suppose and think they are for sure my self..
    I see more difference in more trap in the second but more difference in the frontdeltoid developement..

    But that’s not my point !!! Stating that just shifting oatmeal for rice and potatoes makes the difference and for only your (n1) belief,.. changes the guidlines for muscle-building.. Is just building a church on only belief !!! As if you are god.. As I say, so it is !! I write this in all the friendlyness towards you as a person and as a respectfully writer of your own experience and I’m thankfull of all your efforts and sharing.. But this post is way too much !!!

    If eating lots of rice made you muscled up…. All the asian people would be monster of hulks allready considering epigenetics working even over generations in time forward.. If eating potatoes made us hulks by itself.. The irish people or dutch people would be giants !!!

    This post is way too much !!! Perhaps I mist the clue !!!

    • Anthony December 26, 2012, 1:33 pm

      I posted that picture of myself in an old article. There are articles all over this website with my picture. It’s not fake. And you can tell the difference in musculature regardless of pose or color.

      You don’t have to believe me though. That’s your decision.

      I never said it changed my guidelines for muscle building either, you’re putting your own words into that. I even said oatmeal carried the same effect of rice from an overall effectiveness standpoint after the bloat went away. And I even said that the dangers of oats aren’t really the bloat but rather how they made me feel and compensate when I was bloated.

      With that being said, if you don’t enjoy what I write, you aren’t forced to be here. That’s your choice.

  • William Mize December 23, 2012, 1:07 pm

    Hey Anthony! Just a quick note to let you know that your above links to “The Skinny-Fat Solution” aren’t working. Dat’s all!

    • Anthony December 26, 2012, 1:57 pm

      Thanks! I fixed that.

  • Christopher Walker December 23, 2012, 1:54 pm

    I find that as long as I’m in a deficit eating oats is OK b/c they fill me up a lot. But when I do a day where I eat a lot of carbs in general (even if it’s just fruit) along with the oats [so like a slight surplus] it makes me gassy and bloated like you describe. It’s likely all the extra fiber soaking up the water content like you said.

    Had some japanese food the other day with lots of white rice and felt surprisingly good afterward (when I thought I’d feel bloated). Gonna start adding in more rice and see how things go instead of the oats for a while. Really interesting take on a relevant subject that I’ve never even considered before. Awesome – thanks man.

    • Anthony December 26, 2012, 1:34 pm

      Yeah, it’s mainly the bloat. At least, that’s been my experience.

  • Aaron Canty December 23, 2012, 10:06 pm

    I love this post. Looking forward to the Paleo Sham post soon too! Anthony, you’re always a rational voice in the endless bullshit arguments found online. Thank you. I too have found that potatoes and rice don’t bloat as much. If I have porridge (oatmeal), it’ss like a brick in my stomach. If I overload on rice or ttubers, I am a bit bloated but wake up the next day with muscles full of glycogen, and I look good. Oats have a similar effect but they make me lose definition.

    • Aaron Canty December 23, 2012, 10:08 pm

      Sorry, keyboard is acting up a bit :)!

    • Anthony December 26, 2012, 1:36 pm

      Nice stuff, Aaron. It’s a bit odd, really. I was skeptical when Nate told me about it, but it seems to be working.

  • Jonathan December 24, 2012, 3:16 am

    Here in Brazil, white rice and beans are like the foundation of meals, along with a meat. Everything else is complementary. It is believed that the two make a good combination, including the amino acid profile and stuff like that. Since I began to study, started to look at the rice with suspicion, since is a starch. It is possible that this is a good combination at the end, considering fat loss? Tim Ferriss “only beans as carbohydrate source” diet comes to mind.
    I´m current on the “get lean first” moment of diet, along with some BW training (dips and chin-ups progressions – thank you, by the way!) and sprints. Going well, numbers on the scale going down, but the belly seems impossible to defeat. Stubborn motherfucker.
    Speaking of diet: man, morning fasts along with some whey seems to be working. I took the whey part of… Ori Hofmekler. But with lunch, please.

    • Anthony December 26, 2012, 1:39 pm

      What do you mean you took the whey part of Ori? And when it comes to weight loss, rice and beans could work. I know Nate buts beans in the tweener category as far as a carb source goes. But vegetarians eat them together because they create a complete source of protein.

      • Jonathan December 27, 2012, 5:44 pm

        Oh, I picked the information about whey and fasting here:

        Below “Foods That Can Be Safely Consumed During Fasting”. Not worried about Ori´s whole defense off one meal a day over other types of fasting, but that part is interesting. 20-30g of whey every 3-6 hours is plenty ( I only use a portion). And it works well for fat loss, in my experience. Seems to have accelerated things.

        What do you mean by “tweener category”? Language issues…

        • Jonathan December 27, 2012, 5:55 pm

          Before I forget, any thoughts about how to defeat the belly? Perhaps you have already gone through this issue… Truly annoying. I´m already in planks and some other ab exercises.

          • Anthony December 28, 2012, 7:11 pm

            Stomach is all about diet. Gotta lose fat. Exercises like leg raises and other gymnastics straight body exercises work best for size. But won’t matter unless fat is gone.

        • Anthony December 28, 2012, 7:11 pm

          Tweener meaning it isn’t ideal but it isn’t bad. I think you can very well eat beans if you enjoy them.

  • Brandon Green December 24, 2012, 3:37 am


    Now how does a endo/meso “Clean Bulk” ?

    • Anthony December 26, 2012, 1:40 pm

      Same way anyone else does 🙂

      It’s a bit lengthy to explain…which is why I wrote the book 🙂

  • steve December 24, 2012, 4:42 am

    Great post Anthony. I have been touting for a LONG time that grains are not a necessary food group for health or athletic performance. If you all get the chance read Dangerous Grains by James Braly. Great read…

    • Brandon Green December 24, 2012, 5:26 am


      Poliquin says that grasses and grains are for asians!
      Brandon Green

      • Anthony December 26, 2012, 1:50 pm

        What carb source does he recommend?

      • Brandon Green December 26, 2012, 8:08 pm

        ● Kale
        ● Broccoli
        ● Lettuce
        ● Cabbage
        ● Cauliflower
        ● Mushrooms
        ● Green beans
        ● Onions
        ● Asparagus
        ● Cucumber
        ● Spinach
        ● All Forms of Peppers
        ● Zucchini
        ● Cauliflower

        • Anthony December 28, 2012, 7:07 pm

          Most of us are gonna need a more concentrated source of carbs. These are all fine and dandy, but I’m a believer in getting necessary carbs at the right time. Don’t think these would cut it for that.

    • Anthony December 26, 2012, 1:41 pm

      Nope, haven’t read that.

      Carbohydrates are very important though. I think some grains can be good too. Not all.

      • Brandon Green December 27, 2012, 9:48 am


        Honestly it would seem very difficult for a skinny- fat to bulk on the foods that Poliquin recommends. Maybe someone with a strong endo tendency but no others.

        • Anthony December 28, 2012, 7:10 pm


  • B December 24, 2012, 6:49 pm

    Hey Anthony, I came over here after reading your articles on t-nation and I can relate to the skinny-fat syndrome 🙁 I know this is unrelated to the above article but I was wondering if you can answer my question.
    I know you did the 40 day program by Dan John (Easy Strength) with PLP. I just wanted to know your thoughts regarding doing that or Mass Made Simple.

    • Anthony December 26, 2012, 1:51 pm

      Depends on if you’re skinny-fat right now and how strong you are. How many chins can you do? What’s your squat max?

      Most importantly, what’s your goal?

      • B December 27, 2012, 8:47 am

        hey Anthony, thanks for your reply. Well, I am skinny-fat right now. I did gain some muscle recently following some of CT’s new methods. I’m 6 foot and weigh 207 pounds but my stomach never seems to go down in size. I can do one pull-up with perfect form, and haven’t really been doing squats for the past few months. Last time I did them, I could do front squats with 135×5. Deadlifts max is 315. Bench sucks, my max is 180.
        My goal right now is to gain some strength while losing my big fat ugly stomach, and then get back on track with gaining muscle. So I guess that means I should do the 40 day program with PLP, correct? Were you able to lose fat when you did that?

        • Anthony December 28, 2012, 7:09 pm

          You can use a bunch of methods to lose fat. You can lose fat, but your recovery might be a bit of an issue. I used it as a coasting program with no real goal. Just kind of something to pass time.

          If your stomach is the focal area, you need to dial in on your diet before thinking about training programs.

  • Kent December 25, 2012, 5:28 am

    Never understood the vilifying of white potatoes. I honestly live off of meat, eggs and potatoes and seems to work for me. I also think people are little to scared of fruits for fructose but that is another story.

    • Anthony December 26, 2012, 1:52 pm

      Yes, it is another story. Maybe Nate will tell us about it 🙂

      I’ll pester.

  • louisXIV December 25, 2012, 1:16 pm

    Kent: Could not agree more. Problem is that everything can be made to be “The devil”. Sometimes after a while, the devil becomes good. We see the trends in food and exercise. Usually there is little evidence to support any demonizing.

    Now, I have noticed a difference I did not expect would occur. I eat lots of starchy carbs but now mostly in the post-workout period following a hard workout. This seems better for me than if I ate those same carbs without the workout immediately preceding them.

  • Michael December 28, 2012, 3:52 am

    Hey man, how do you feel about early morning workouts and intermittent fasting? I have Nate Miyaki’s book and he recommends a piece of fruit post workout but obviously this would be in the 16hr fasting window.

    • Anthony December 28, 2012, 7:15 pm

      Sometimes it’s a good idea to break the absolute fast if it means providing the body with what it needs. Martin Berkhan also sees success with downing BCAAs until lunch time.

      • Michael December 29, 2012, 2:05 am

        I actually tried both methods and they seem to work pretty well. Thanks!

        • Anthony December 31, 2012, 2:59 am


  • dewasiuk December 29, 2012, 11:47 pm

    When it comes to nutrition I just cared about reaching my protein and calorie goals and making sure I got plenty of vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables with the occasional supplement like omega 3 pills, vitamin d in the winter, and other random things. If I felt good, I knew I was eating the right stuff especially if it’s whole and non-processed. But I hear a lot of arguments and debates about nutrition when it comes to more complicated breakdowns of chemical properties and yada yada and increasingly I’m growing tired of it.

    How much do all of these small details really matter for athletes, lifters, tricksters, martial artists, etc.?

    • Anthony December 31, 2012, 3:10 am

      Depends. But you’re already opening it up for debating by mentioning “whole and non-processed.”

      I mean, is wheat “whole?” Oats?

      What constitutes this?

      • dewasiuk January 1, 2013, 9:46 pm

        I wasn’t referring to oats specifically but now I’m starting to research a little more what “whole” or “clean” etc. actually means in certain situations. I’m finding JCD’s articles to be an eye-opener on the subject.

        • Anthony January 3, 2013, 4:27 pm

          Well clean is totally subjective, but in general you want to eat wholesome foods (“natural”). I know JC eats ice cream and stuff, which some people can do as long as it’s within their calorie range.

  • Brad January 2, 2013, 7:54 pm

    My biggest hang up by far is the whole separating carbs and fats thing. High carb low fat on training days, high fat low carb on off days. This is by far the most annoying and boring way to plan meals and eat, so I just say screw it with this and focus mainly on calories and it works pretty well!

    • Anthony January 3, 2013, 4:28 pm

      Hmm, that’s interesting. I find it rather easy. That’s just me though.

      • Brad January 8, 2013, 9:16 pm

        I guess it’s mainly the problem of feeling like a training day I have to eat chicken or white fish, since I train 4 days a week that’s more than half of the time I’m eating chicken which is really hard if I’m craving beef. However, I’m a big fan of Nate as well so it’s not like I’m adding nuts or unnecessary fats in these meals, it’s just the beef problem.

        • Anthony January 9, 2013, 3:29 pm

          You can get by with lean beef most times. Just forego eggs or any addition fats — especially if you’re carb cycling.

          • Michael January 13, 2013, 2:17 am

            What would you sub the 6 eggs with? 1/2 lb chicken?

          • Anthony January 15, 2013, 4:44 pm

            Cottage cheese is a worthy sub.

  • Lenin Lugo January 3, 2013, 11:41 am

    hmm when you ask us.. what are our goals, i just think of being in great shape, and able of doing any hard workout and feel comfortable with it of course, but overall i think one main goal is we have to get a great nutritional plan, and specifically one that make our daily routine nice.. so we mostly stopped at certain point these crazy six meals and started to get into fasting but what we really need in a nice diet is one that doesn’t make our stomachs unstable and gassy when we’re with girls..

    • Anthony January 3, 2013, 4:29 pm

      Farting around women is generally a no-no until you’ve been dating for six months.

      • Jujimufu January 7, 2013, 3:45 pm

        Actually it’s a win-win situation.

  • Ämmälä January 3, 2013, 5:13 pm


    What’s Mr Mychal’s thought on replacing, but not totally, oat flakes to buckwheat? Pretty much the same carb profile, but less fiber, which is great.

    As I jumped to a fast–feast -type of diet wagon 1,5 years ago, and as naturally, most of my days’ breakfasts are placed on late night. Also as for now, I’m having quite shitty circadian rhythm, and this is why I tend to start eating late in evenings than the usual intermitted fasting folk. This isn’t problem, I have no reason to wake up earlier or go to bed sooner, although my T-levels could be better, if I just tune a little my awakening. The point is that bothers me now stems from this nutritional timing:
    Am I loosing the benefits of fasting if my eating window starts too late (08pm), let alone last meal is timed too late (02am)?

    Due to the inner need or plain workout template, If I train three times in a row e.g., do I eat post-wo always a pot of rice? Of course, depending on the loading and fatique the carb amount slightly changes. In IF, post-wo meal is high-carb, but is it wise to eat the day’s last meal with carbs also, knowing that the next day is also a work-out day? Or just stuffing myself in the 1st meal?

    A plus inquiry! May I ask, do you, or did you, down fish oils in regular basis? Where can I find the back-up science behind the EFAs? Ray Peat made me to think differently – anti-EFA.

    Can’t show enough gratitude for Your offerings, thanks a lot.

    • Anthony January 7, 2013, 1:19 am

      The body adapts to whatever cycle you put it through. Generally, it’s been “evolved” to sleep during the night but it’s a moot issue if you’re a night owl. Debating over what’s better doesn’t matter — it’s what feasible that matters.

      As for how many carbs you need and how you split them into meals, that’s up to you. You generally have a recommended amount you want to consume then it’s a matter of your appetite. If you can’t fit them into one you need two.

      I don’t really do fish oil. Perhaps when I’m rich I’ll make it happen more regularly.

      As for EFAs it’s mainly the relationship between omega 3 & 6. How most of us are too much 6.

  • Anjuli January 7, 2013, 1:45 pm

    I love your posts. They are well written and always keeps me entertained.
    Women, as you know, are slightly different and unfortunately, for us, glyogen depletion does not happen as fast as for men (I think). I do train 3x per week. And, rice & potatoes (all kinds) is what I am sticking with as well pwo and on rest days all kinds of vegetables. How much carbs from starches (PWO) would you recommend for women with a fat loss goal? If you were to estimate…

    Also, in your book, do you have a section that addresses women as well? Sorry if you have to edit again. 😛

    • Anthony January 9, 2013, 3:12 pm

      I do have tweaks for women. As for how many carbs, that all depends. What I talk about in my book goes above using any calculator and uses something more real: experimentation.

      So you have a set intake of food and then test your upper and lower limits. That sorta thing. It might be a little difficult to grasp as of now, but within the book it’s super easy to understand.

      Carb intake also depends on TYPE of training though, so that’s why it’s tough to throw out any kind of ballpark.

  • Jujimufu January 7, 2013, 3:43 pm

    This is easy advice to reply. Anthony’s advice is definitely a worthy experiment.

    Step 1: Get a rice cooker.
    Step 2: Fill it to the top.
    Step 3: 2-3 days worth of rice on a high carb diet.

    Step 1: Buy a sack of potatoes.
    Step 2: Put them all in the oven.
    Step 3: 2-3 days worth of potatoes on a high carb diet.

    Oatmeal’s convenience is an illusion. Neither of the procedures above are difficult or time consuming. It’s just walk away preparation.

    • Jujimufu January 7, 2013, 3:49 pm

      Also, demonizing the microwave for supposedly ruining all nutritional value in any food at any time is a sophomore stupidity.

      The POTATO button on the microwave is one of the greatest things ever. Make sure you stab the potato a few times with a knife before you stick it in though. Takes a couple more minutes (just a couple more) to cook it than oatmeal but the prep is even shorter than filling up a bowl with oats and water.

    • Anthony January 9, 2013, 3:16 pm


      Even without the rice cooker, it’s easy. Water into a pot, boil. Rice into a pot, simmer.


  • Jonathan January 7, 2013, 11:11 pm

    Anthony, what you said about oats and bloating reminded me of something. What do you think about creatine? I’m considering taking it for some time now, since it can facilitate strength gains in the gym and BW frequent training. But I’m a little afraid of water retention – do not want to feel bloated when my belly is still an issue, and I still have (not so much) fat to lose. Do you think that the use of creatine can have any considerable negative effect in body composition in a “clean bulk” context, such the rice and potatoes carb eating? If not, could it be taked every day? As always, I appreciate your help very much.

  • Jujimufu January 12, 2013, 10:46 pm

    Anthony, do you know if you get more gas/gastric distress from wheat products, mainly breads, or oatmeal? Which is your preference out of the two?

    Also, have you eaten more than 700 grams of carbs from sweet potatoes in any one day before? The next day your poop is hilarious hahahhahahaha…. 🙂 I love it.

    • Anthony January 15, 2013, 4:39 pm

      I don’t really eat bread. At all. I’ve been meaning to give ezekiel bread a shot though. It usually comes frozen, which is cool. It’s like a weapon. A frozen bread wand. But what’s interesting is that psyllium husk gives me no issues. And that’s pure poop magic and the fiber part of the grain. So perhaps it’s just a food quality issue? I don’t know.

      I just know that I can eat 2000kcals of rice or potatoes and be like, “lol wut just happened.” But if I eat 2000kcals of oats I’m bloated, gassy, and grumpy.

      I do know that rice and potatoes have been awesome to be. As for the sweet potatoes, not yet. I’ve downed that many regular potatoes, but the poop has been subpar (from an aesthetic standpoint). Looks like I’m off to get some sweet potatoes!

      • MrJiff March 19, 2013, 8:31 pm

        You should give the Japanese sweet potato a try. You should be able to find some at your local asian market. Theyre purple skinned and have a white flesh. When cooked, they’re firmer and sweeter than the traditional orange sweet potato.


        • Anthony March 20, 2013, 12:45 am

          Nice. I will try to find them. I just don’t think I have a local asian market though.

  • RRH January 14, 2013, 5:17 pm

    Good article Anthony
    Yes indeed carb type make a LOT of differences. For instance Nate Miyaki explain beautifully how to judge and choose carbs. Plus GI health is of extreme importance, if the person has(SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) more satrch will just feed the bacteria affecting general health, behaviour and nutrient partitioning.

    Question about autoregulation?
    Do you use just ONE DAY of carb intake as reference or you give iy a few days at said amount ?

    For example. I do the autoregulation thing and was doing it daily, meaning that if the other day I wake up puffy I tone it down. But then I give it a try and maintain the amount for the whole week instead of backing down the next day.
    doing that the next week I became “leaner” and more full. I just figure my GI system just needed a little more time to process that amount. Of course that was in the “shock” week in the periodization so the demand for glycogen was up.

    Looking bigger man definately more bigger than 15 pounds. Congrats on the gains.

    • Anthony January 15, 2013, 4:51 pm

      Hrmm, your question is tough to follow. I only have two carb-up days back to back by nature of my training schedule, so I always have time to adjust. I’m at the point where I know what I can get away with, so I really never extend beyond my comfort zone. That’s the beauty of taking a few months to experiment things out.

  • Lyvia January 14, 2013, 7:10 pm

    Was google something nutrition-related, ended up on your blog and started reading it – a lot. Well, I was an oatmeal addicted as well and when I switched to Paleo I was a mess, ’cause I had no idea what to eat without my beloved oatmeal with peanut butter.
    I’ve been Paleo for a while now (not missing oatmeal a bit) and I’ve been having some issues. Lately, I started during my workouts in the morning before breakfast (just coffee). Not that, before going Paleo, the idea of doing anything before breakfast was unbearable. Right after my workout (usually 40ish min long), I eat a medium-sized sweet potato, take a quick shower and have 3 eggs omelette with maybe some avocado. Then I’m done. It’s like I feel like death for the rest of the day. The only reason I started working out in the morning was because I’m on vacation and wanted to get it out of the way so I could enjoy my day, but afterwords I pretty much can’t move from the couch ’till much later on the day, when I have a sudden burst of energy and I could run a marathon.
    I eat pretty clean and my dinner is pretty decent (meat, lots of olive oil and veggies), so I’m not sure what the hell is wrong. When I workout at night, I feel like I just can keep going and never stop, but I just can’t do it right now (if I leave it to later on the day I might never get it done ’cause there’s always people over, etc).

    Any suggestions? Anything would be much appreciated 🙂

    • Anthony January 15, 2013, 4:52 pm

      I don’t know what kind of training your doing, so I’m in the dark. Perhaps explain that a little more.

  • Aamir January 15, 2013, 8:25 pm


    I remember reading about the nutrition choices of the chinese weightlifting team a while back. This post reminded me of this quote..

    “The food that’s eaten is usually high protein, medium fat and loads of rice. I’m unsure why they say starch is super good for recovery but it’s somewhere along the lines of rice increases a hormone (I’m assuming insulin) and helps recovery. Insulin isn’t a Mandarin words we use often in Malaysia and I was the only English speaking person there, so it was hard to get a translation. Finally, they described it as;

    ‘A gate that opens only after hard training, but that gate requires rice (carbs) to open. Once it’s open, the meats (protein and fat) can enter and start the repair process with the rice giving these meats the energy to work’
    It sounded ridiculous the first time I tried translating it directly to English in my head that I laughed for days thinking about it. I still do actually.”

    Guess I’ll switch from eating oat bread to white rice, then!

    • Anthony January 17, 2013, 2:30 am

      Hah, nice. And I’ve never seen that webpage. Thanks for sharing.

  • Ali January 15, 2013, 11:49 pm

    Hey Anthony, awesome post. I had a question about pre-workout meals. Would you also recommend fast-digesting carbs pre-workout, or would the conventional slow-digesting carbs be better?

    • Anthony January 17, 2013, 2:31 am

      I don’t eat anything pre workout. As of right now, I only eat once per day. Around 5-6PM. I train around 2-3PM.

      • Jonathan January 18, 2013, 6:48 pm

        Anthony, I got curious: how can you manage the cruise control template that way? Spreading the protein shakes and eggs before and after in the day, for example? Or you don´t follow this template any more?

        • Anthony January 22, 2013, 7:22 pm

          I don’t follow it anymore the way I used to. I only eat once now. But if I were, I’d keep about 1/3 calories in a lunch time meal with 1/3 eggs, 1/3 protein, and a bunch of veggies. Piece of fruit if you’re slated to train later.

          • Jonathan January 22, 2013, 8:19 pm

            Precious advice, Anthony. It´s incredible how everyone that I know would call me crazy for even think about do that… You are really part of a minority. However, lunch every day works better for me psychologically. Morning IF is advanced enough! – and I love it, by the way. Guess your clean bulk book will offer some alternatives related to meal frequency?

          • Anthony January 23, 2013, 6:47 pm

            Yeah, there are some alternative. Some for those that need to eat early, or those that want to wait until noon, or those that want to go even longer.

  • CJ May 11, 2013, 10:16 pm

    Oats contain something called Avenin, it has similar properties to gluten in that it damages the gut which explains your discount, I experienced the same thing when I had a bowl of oats after some time without them, it does suck not being able to eat them as much as I would like to. This may be of interest to you,

    Haven’t tried it yet myself, but I have high hopes 😛

    • Anthony May 12, 2013, 2:07 am

      Well most grains have some sort of “antinutrients,” even rice. I’d really like to try out the super high quality oats. Thanks for this though, I’ll check it.

  • Eduardo Lattes Vellani June 19, 2013, 3:28 pm

    I have white and brown rice at home(wife love it), does brown rice act like oatbran? It is an anti nutrient?

    • Anthony June 19, 2013, 3:59 pm

      Technically, yeah. I wouldn’t worry much about it though unless you’re getting gassy and having problems.

  • Colin July 12, 2013, 9:17 pm

    Quick question, Anthony….Why white rice over brown rice? Is white a more ideal carb source or is it just a personal preference of yours?

    • Anthony July 13, 2013, 1:37 am

      Because people I consider smarter than me say white rice is better for athletic demands. Search “Nate Miyaki White Rice” on google. I’m sure you’ll find some hits.

      • Colin July 13, 2013, 6:23 am

        Cool. Checkin it out.

  • kyle November 7, 2013, 7:11 am

    I absolutely think tolerance is a thing, and something you lose when you move away from a specific type of carb. ive never been one for specific diets, namely because one loaded in scientific explanations and fancy references could very well contradict a similarily scientific and well referenced diet, and some friends swear by one, while the buddy who they signed on thinks its a total sham. but since moving in with my girlfriend i’ve found myself getting swallowed up into any diet shes on. thats meant that ive went away from alot of my tried-and-trues, and in alot of cases ive had great results. maybe the biggest change was getting away from pasta. i played hockey at a competitive level for years and still play in a few mens leagues, but after a night out with an old teammate who plays in europe she became fascinated that 10 years later he hasnt moved past the pasta and meat sauce diet. her sport (highland dancing) is very similar to hockey in that its high intensity shifts (or dances) for short periods of time, followed by a medium-length rest period. she switched away from her mostly vegetable, fish ad chicken based diet back to starchs for the first time in years, and worked great. i did the same, and felt the exact same feelings as you did. bloated, a bit sluggish, and super gassy. strangest thing i never think i’ll quite understand. i quite honestly ate pasta and meatsauce 4 times a week during 6-7 years of my life, come back to it after year and a half and it no longer agrees with me.

    • Anthony November 12, 2013, 2:20 am

      Thanks for the reply. Pasta is something I love, but not something I eat regularly either.

  • Michael February 23, 2014, 11:05 pm

    My biggest stumbling block is that I hate counting calories. I just won’t do it. I’m trying to lean down to my solid base and I’ve started intermittent fasting, hoping that will help jut because I won’t be able to eat as much in a smaller window.

    • Anthony February 24, 2014, 8:49 pm

      Intermittent fasting is a vehicle not a direction. It won’t let you escape from having a decent grasp on the energy you eat. You don’t need to count calories, you just need to know when you’re eating too much. Obviously, if you aren’t losing, the first step is to eat less.

  • Craig March 3, 2014, 2:05 am

    Paleo is a sham. It’s reductionist, pseudo-scientific nonsense dreamt up by a bunch of knuckle-heads. Unfortunately your waffling and navel gazing isn’t much better.

    • Anthony March 3, 2014, 7:48 pm

      I like waffles and belly buttons, so mission = accomplished.

      • Dude March 17, 2014, 3:20 pm

        Nice answer Tony!

        • Anthony March 19, 2014, 4:30 pm

          i try.

  • polch05 March 27, 2014, 3:40 am

    One hang-up I have is with food combining. I think the wrong food combinations can cause bloating.

    I try to soak any grains before cooking them and parboil potatoes before roasting. Both methods seem to remove the inhibitors/phytic acids all which make digestion difficult. A good read on this topic is

    I found a oatmeal which is a blend of different grains (oats, kamut, rye) and I prepare and eat that plain and have not digestion issues. If you would like to know the brand I can send that to you.

    Also do you like plantains as a good source of glycogen/gulcose?

    • Anthony March 27, 2014, 11:13 pm

      I think carbs are finnicky and require individual experimentation.

  • Erin Burr July 20, 2014, 11:22 pm

    Hi all,

    FYI, oatmeal (and nearly all other grains for that matter) was never traditionally consumed or cooked straight from its raw state, for just the reasons mentioned: bloated gassy feelings, and the presence of anti nutrients like phytates. Rather, traditionally (and today amongst nutrition savvy folk), oat and other grains were lacto fermented by putting them in a bowl of water with a few tablespoons of milk whey (the yellowish liquid that can be strained out of freshly made yogurt to make cottage cheese). Whey contains the lacto bacteria that make yogurt healthy which can predigest the grain for you, boosting vitamin and enzyme content in the food and making it easier to digested, removing the negative symptoms noted above. I highly suggest keeping oats in your diet (as opposed to nutritionally lacking white potatoes) but properly preparing them via overnight soaking with whey. Plus, you get high quality homemade cottage cheese out of it for free: another great bulking food! Best of luck!

    • Anthony July 22, 2014, 1:58 am

      Good stuff, thanks a bunch for the reply. I’m sure lots of people will be interested.

    • J-P Ä. July 22, 2014, 8:04 am

      Equally working alternative is advised to be freshly groung grain, namely high contents of phytase containing rye, wheat, spelt or buckwheat. Milk-based whey tends to go bad overnight.
      Yes, e.g. the same “evil” wheat and rye that are filled with phytic acid are also including neutralizer phytase, but the same doesn’t apply to oat which is disappointing.
      If you aren’t concerned the end product’s taste, adding 10% of phytase-rich grain in the soaking process would make oat more digestible and minimizing its mineral-blocking effect.

      • Anthony July 26, 2014, 10:55 pm

        Thanks for the information. I’m sure some will find it useful!

  • Joey January 13, 2015, 9:28 am

    I love carbs, I will pay the price of stinky farts in the end. I won’t give up carbs I tell ya!

    • Anthony February 25, 2015, 2:36 am

      You sir, must be single. Or 10 years into a relationship.

  • Robert January 16, 2013, 3:52 am

    Biggest hang-up is over-thinking what to eat, and I’m looking forward to this “paleo is a sham” post.

    I’ve tried numerous “diets” and can never pinpoint why I’ve never made the progress as expected/hoped. Might be a matter of expecting results too fast and becoming discouraged.

    I struggle too much with trying to do these things “perfectly.” I’ve measured/counted, but that becomes so tiring. I’m on the go (as many of us are), so I like to do things simply, but eventually burn out on grilled chicken and veggies (and I burn out after just a few days on eggs…urgh). I also think that, more often, I have a problem of under-eating rather than over-eating (not in a “I’ll only eat 1k calories” but maybe 1600-1800…which doesn’t seem like it should be that bad of a thing).

    I’ll figure this stuff out eventually.

  • Anthony January 17, 2013, 2:37 am

    That’s not a lot of calories at all.

    As for the food thing, you can spice it up. You don’t HAVE to eat the same things day in and day out, but I know I mostly do. I vary things with spices, toppings, and stuff.

    So I’ll make my rice pudding with bananas one day. Raisins next. Apples next.

    Maybe I’ll have cheese on my eggs — different kinds of cheese, etc…

    Find a way to bend your diet to you. Don’t go the other way.