Thursday, December 6, 2012

Adelfo Cerame: Carbophobia a Thing of the Past - How a Love-and-Hate Affair Turned into a Productive Friendship

The very latest progress pictures from "Your's Truly"; Adelfo Cerame Jr. posted only a couple of hours ago on Facebook - I guess there is no doubt about the success he has with his old fiend and new friend - in "moderation" as he says ;-)
It's Thursday and about time for another update of "Your's Truly" Adelfo Cerame Jr. from the photo Adelfo posted on facebook earlier today (see image on the right), you can see already that he actually not approaching, but more or less already in contest shape, but before I hand the virtual microphone (actually I should type keyboard ;-) over to Adelfo, here is the brief primer on today's SuppVersity Science Round-Up on Super Human Radio.

As you should really know by now, you have three options (not listenting to it is not among them ;-)
  1. listen live at 1PM EST,
  2. download the show ~2h later either from the "Physical Culture for Your Ears" menu in the sidebar of the SuppVersity, or
  3. download the podcast load it right over right over at
And just to make sure that you know that it will be well worth it, here's the sneak peak on the topics Carl Lanore and I have lined up for you, today:
As you should know by now, additional topics and things I mentioned that ended up not making it into the show due to time constraints will be part of tomorrow's SuppVersity Science Round-Up Seconds... that's it. Let's go Adelfo!

Fully and completely getting over my phobia of carbohydrates

It's plain to see and hard to deny: Me + Carbs a.k.a. Mrs. Jones = Got a Thang Goin’ On…
In light of some of the comments I’ve been getting on FB about my carbohydrate intake being very high, I thought it would be prudent to address the issue in my weekly blogpost. Firstly, this saves me hours of precious time, since I don't have to answer the same questions dozens of times, and secondly - my gut tells me I would have benefited, if someone had written a post like this in the past: an article that would have had me rethink my own nutritional regimen, which and this is something I want to point out before I even get into any details clearly isn't "high carb"! With 150-200g of carbohydrates and thus <800kcal of my daily energy intake from carbs this may be high for a "carbophob", as I've been one myself before, but it would still be considered "low carb" both, in the mainstream, as well as in the context of classic bodybuilding diets. Be that as it may, I personally feel a huge relief now that I have finally liberated myself from my personal fears of carbohydrates and have learned to embrace "carbs" in all its forms - my diet has become more flexible, I have a greater variety and - what's most important - I see nothing but benefits from it.

I’ll be the first to tell you that Mrs. Jones (I’ll refer to her as that because this is how I felt about carbs for a while) and I were not on the best terms. It was a 3-year love hate relationship. Just like cash, I thought she was the root of all evil. The first time I ever downloaded and read Dr. Mauro DiPasquale’s Anabolic Solution, I for sure thought I found the Holy Grail to dieting and bodybuilding (true story!), and that’s where my phobia and our tragic love-hate relationship actually began. I thought that I would be shredded year round if only I lived the low carb lifestyle. It worked for a while but then eventually the magic I thought I was experiencing, when I started out, didn’t work any longer. 

Even during my bulk I thought I would still manage to look ripped because I was on low carbs, but again I was wrong! Lol. But I still insisted that carbs were evil just because… honestly, I don't even know why!? Probably because for 2 years I had avoided my Mrs Jones like the plague and only devoured her on my refeeds, cheat days and special social events, which eventually turned into binge fests and late nights in my bed being in a fetal position because I would eat myself silly.

No, carbs just had to be bad,... otherwise I would have had to admit that I'd a mistake, yet not only once, but 365 days a year!

Suggested read: Adel's old post "Carbohydrate Shortage in Paleoland" The article explains pretty well why 150g CHO is something any not 100% sedentary diabetic can easily handle.
If you have a closer look at Not until last year did my opinion start to change towards carbohydrates. My relationship with Mr. Jones gradually improved ever since I started using Intermittent Fasting a la Leangains last year to prepare for my 2012 bodybuilding shows. But even then I still shied away from breads, oats, grains and even rice and just stuck to your typical sweet potatoes and yams. I guess you could say that she and I were at a truce, but not necessarily friends, like secret lovers we knew our boundaries and kept our distance… I stayed away for the majority of the week with the exception of 1-2 days of debauchery out of the week (refeeds).

During the last year, however, a revelation started to dawn on me. Finally, I began to understand the importance of carbohydrates, when it came to performance and the importance of performance, when it comes to making progress - regardless of whether we are talking, cutting, bulking or becoming stronger! More and more foods I had avoided or restricted, because I deemed them "bad" or "extremely detrimental" for my physique found their way back in my diet and not one of my fears about what would happen, when I consumed them more than maximally once per week materialized.

Me + Carbs = Best Friends

Though carbohydrates are not an essential nutrient like fats and amino acids; I’ve realized when it comes to performance and bringing in your best physique… carbs are necessary.
I really kept an open mind when approaching my 2012-2013 contest preparations. Just as I had an open mind with giving intermittent fasting a go last year for my prep, I’ve also had an open mind with giving IIFYM a try this year and combining the two, and needless to say I am very happy that I did. I thought that I enjoyed the perks of Intermittent fasting last year?... Well I’m really enjoying the perks of applying both IF & IIFYM this year! A

Admittedly, it certainly helped to have a coach I can trust. It gave me a lot of reassurance in keeping an open mind – especially when you’re still trying to grasp the fact that all foods are OK to eat in moderation - and yes this includes ice cream, beer and bacon (before some of you new readers out there go nuts and tell me how unhealthy my new protocol is, please refer to my last article and the follow up discussion, so you’ll understand what I’m taking about).

My Take Away: As I always say, balance, moderation & consistency are the keys to a long-term successful diet. Though carbohydrates and I are pals now, I still show the same amount of love to protein and fats as I did before; the only difference is that carbohydrates is treated as an equal now ;-)