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By Shelby Starnes

With Chris McCombs


Shelby Starnes

This guide was written to assist fitness professionals in


understanding carb cycling methodology so that they can
create carb cycling meal plans for their clientele and know
when and how to make changes.
Macronutrient Guidebook
Contents

Chris’s Introduction ...............................................................1

Introduction ...........................................................................5

Carbohydrate Cycling ............................................................7

Sample Set-Up ......................................................................9

Meal Planning Tips ..............................................................13

Cardiovascular Activity ...……………………………………...14

Assessing Progress and Making Changes …………………16

A Note on the Impact of Hormones .…………………………20

Sample Meal Plans .............................................................22

Macronutrient Table for Common Diet Foods .....................28

Shopping List ......................................................................35

Additional Tips .....................................................................38

Shelby Interview Guidebook................................................40


Macronutrient Guidebook

Chris’s Introduction

Hey there, it’s Chris McCombs here… I wanna tell you a little bit
about my experience with Carb Cycling, Fat Loss and a dude
named Shelby Starnes

Shelby is well-known in the powerlifting and bodybuilding


communities but not yet in the personal training and fitness
training community, but he's getting more known in this
community right now… he’s kind of “THE” Go-to guy when it
comes to carb cycling and helping people get into incredible
shape using various carb cycling strategies.

Just search the dude in Google, and check out all the talk on body
building forum boards about Shelby… the dude has respect far and
wide when it comes to his nutritional strategies.

Now, you might know that I used to be in great shape and spent a
number of years working out and eating right.

But…

… Then I got out of shape for a number of years after a hernia


surgery that went bad, and I just kind of never really picked up the
ball again with lifting weights. I got up to 330 pounds of 6'6" and
was pretty mushy. And when I got back into lifting weights, I
probably put on 20 pounds of muscle right away and lost 20
pounds of fat, but I was still 330 pounds. I LOOKED a lot
different, but the body fat just wasn't melting off the way I wanted.

So I just knew… that to get into the kinda shape I wanted to be


in… I HAD to buckle down on my nutrition… HOWEVER…

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Macronutrient Guidebook

… I KNOW myself, and almost every time I've tried to diet


down in the past, either I'd go on low calories or low carbs and
it would drive me outta my mind nuts… I hated it… I like the
way it would help me look… but I HATED the way it would make
me feel.

I'd be agitated and nervous and NOT in a good mood… getting


stuck in traffic with me right before my next ‘feeding’ was an
adventure in sheer explosiveness and one big damn bad attitude.

And then it would almost always happen… I would hate the


suffering so much, that I would end-up splurging and overeating…
BIG TIME… and then Id just gain the fat right back.

Now, a few of friends who were powerlifters told me they'd hired


this guy named Shelby to help them with their diets and they
actually lost a bunch of fat and set some of their best PRs ever
while losing the fat.

Fat went down? Strength went up? I’m interested.

And that's something that interested me, because a concern of mine


-- besides not wanting to go, like, crazy hungry and out of my
mind, whacked out nuts -- was that I didn't want to lose any muscle
or any strength because I worked really hard to get it… I mean I’ve
paid some serious dues under the bar just to let my mass go to shit.

And to me… there's NOTHING more frustrating than losing


muscle when you're leaning out.

So here’s what I did…

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Macronutrient Guidebook

I went and hired Shelby Starnes to work with me on my


nutrition… and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made in
my training career.

Within five months I lost 75 POUNDS… and with the exception


of squatting and horizontal pressing movements, my strength did
not go down at all. As a matter of fact, my strength went up on a
lot of movements, which I've never seen before while leaning out
except when I very first started my exercise career, but pretty much
ANYTHING I would do when I first started would work for me.

But never in my life have I lost so much fat so fast and not only
retained the majority of my strength and muscle…WHILE
feeling so damn good.

The transformation was phenomenal… And it kind of hit me that,


hey, there's a huge market here for trainers … because a lot of
trainers have clients who don't get results… EVEN THOUGH the
clients are showing up for their sessions and putting in their dues in
the gym… They're not eating right AND/OR simply aren’t on the
right kind of eating program.

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The clients of these trainers are having the same kind of problems I
did, where they would go on a hardcore diet for two or three weeks
and then bounce back.

So I saw an opportunity here, not so much to make a whole bunch


of money, but just to introduce this guy, Shelby, who helped me, to
the training industry to help trainers get their clients better results.

Because we all know that when clients eat right they get better
results, they get better results, stay with the trainer longer and
typically refer more people.

But a lot of trainers don't have the time or don't really know how to
set up a carb cycling type of diet like this.

So that’s why this program was created…

To help fitness trainers learn to set up effective carb cycling


programs for their clients so they can get the best results possible

Enjoy!

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Macronutrient Guidebook

Introduction

First, let’s review some basics.

Everything that we eat causes a metabolic and physiological


response in our body. For cosmetic purposes, the most
important level to look at is the macronutrient level—the
carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Each macronutrient
causes a different response in our body. By manipulating our
intake, we can elicit the changes (fat loss, muscle gain) that
we’re seeking.

Carbohydrates: These are the sugars and starches that


make up the bulk of energy for all living things. The body
converts carbohydrates into glucose, causing a rise in blood

Males Carbohydrate Protein Fat

1.25 grams per


1.5 grams per
pound of body as low as
High carb day pound of body
weight possible
weight

Low to
0.25 to 1.0 grams 1.5 grams per 0.15-0.35 grams
moderate carb
per pound of pound of body per pound of
day
body weight weight body weight

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Macronutrient Guidebook

sugar and the subsequent release of the anabolic hormone,


insulin. Insulin aids in building muscle, but it can also cause
fat to accumulate if it isn’t managed properly.

Proteins: These are the so-called “building blocks of life.”


They are the amino acid structures that rebuild and repair
the body. Protein intake also stimulates the release of
glucagon, a “fat burning” hormone.

Fats: These nutrients are essential for the health and


maintenance of many bodily processes including immunity
and hormone production. They are also an important energy
source. However, consuming too many calories from fat,
especially when combined improperly with the other
macronutrients, will result in increased body fat.

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Carbohydrate Cycling

Carbohydrate cycling is a style of dieting that I’ve used with


hundreds of my clients over the years. It can be modified for
lean muscular gains or fat loss as well as weight
maintenance. The focus of this book will be using the
carbohydrate cycling methodology to lose fat, while
maintaining (and possibly even building) muscle.

Put in simple terms, carbohydrate cycling involves


consuming a high carbohydrate diet on some days of the
week and a low to moderate carbohydrate diet on the other
days.

The high carbohydrate days raise the body’s insulin levels,


fill glycogen stores, keep the metabolism burning efficiently,
and stave off muscle catabolism.

The low carbohydrate days are the “fat burning days.” They
keep insulin levels low enough to allow for maximum fat
burning while retaining muscle.

For most individuals, having one or two high carb days per
week is a good starting point for fat loss. Put high days on

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Macronutrient Guidebook

weight training days, and spread them out by at least a


couple days (so they aren’t back to back). Have additional
weight training days be medium carb days, and all off days
be low carb days.

Based on the individual’s progress, you can modify the


number of high, medium, and low days per week, and also
the amount of cardiovascular exercise done. For example, if
their fat loss progress plateaus, you can change one of their
high days to be a medium day, and/or increase their cardio
by 10 minutes per session*.

* See “Cardiovascular Activity” below

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Macronutrient Guidebook

Sample Set-Up

The following are general guidelines for each macronutrient


on a typical high carb day and a typical low to moderate carb
day. Based on the individual, you may need to increase or
decrease the values slightly (see “Assessing Progress” for
more detail).

Note that we lower protein on our high carb days and also
keep fat as low as possible.

Keep in mind that for optimal blood sugar levels,


metabolism, and amino acid turnover, it is best to divide your
daily totals into 5–7 meals per day (about 2.5–3 hours or so).

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Females have less metabolically active tissue than males


and as such require far fewer calories. For females, these
numbers are more applicable:

Females Carbohydrate Protein Fat


0.75 grams per 0.6 grams per
as low as
High carb day pound of body pound of body
possible
weight weight
0.2-0.5 grams per 0.8 grams per 0.1-0.2 grams
Low to moderate
pound of body pound of body per pound of
carb day
weight weight body weight

Note that these values only take into account the protein in
protein foods, the fat in fat foods, and the carbs in carb

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foods. In other words, don't count the fat and protein in oats,
for example, or the carbs and protein in peanut butter.

These incidental macros will typically add another couple


hundred calories per day or so, depending on your overall
macronutrient count.

Using the table above, a 250-lb male would follow a plan like
this:

High carb days: 375 grams of carbohydrates, 313


grams of protein, very low fat

Low to moderate carb days: 63 to 250 grams of


carbohydrates, 375 grams of protein, 38 to 88 grams
of fat

A 150-lb female would follow a plan like this:

High carb days: 113 grams of carbohydrates, 100


grams of protein, very low fat

Low to Moderate carb days: 30 to 75 grams of


carbohydrates, 120 grams of protein, 15 to 30 grams
of fat

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Again, please remember that the overall calories will be


higher than just the macros listed as we are not counting the
incidental macros.

Remember that the values given above are just starting

points for creating a diet plan. Depending on the clients

metabolism, they may need more or less of any given

macronutrient. To depict every possible situation in a book

like this would be impossible, so I’ve just given average

values. You’ll have to use some common sense and know-

how on your part to determine if the values should be

tweaked slightly, given your individual’s situation.

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Meal Planning Tips

♦ Divide your daily protein intake evenly over your meals


for the day.

♦ On high carbohydrate days, divide your daily


carbohydrate intake evenly, just like you did with protein.

♦ On low carbohydrate days, limit your carbohydrates to


your first meal(s) of the day and your post-workout meal.

♦ For the added fats on low and medium days, spread


them out evenly among your non-carbohydrate meals.

♦ For low days, use the lower end of the range given for
the carb amounts, and upper end of the range given for
fat amounts.

♦ For medium days, do the opposite of lows – use the


upper end of the range given for carb amounts, and the
lower end of the range given for fat amounts.

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Cardiovascular Activity

Ideally, a fat loss diet is accompanied by both resistance

training and cardiovascular training. Put simply, the

resistance training builds and maintains muscle (your most

metabolically active tissue) and the cardiovascular training

burns fat and also helps keep the heart healthy.

When starting off with a carb cycling diet, have your clients

do 20 to 30 minutes of cardio, at least 3 to 4 days per week

(preferably the low and medium carb days, when insulin

levels are lowest). Have them keep their heart rate around

65-70% of their max (220 minus their age = their max.

Multiply that value by .65 to get 65%).

If they are willing and able, it would be beneficial to have

some of their cardiovascular sessions be of the “high

intensity interval training” nature. These raise the

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metabolism quite a bit more than moderate intensity cardio,

and can burn more fat. Too many sessions per week can

lead to burnout though, so don’t overdo it. Three or four per

week would be a maximum.

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Assessing Progress and Making Changes

Even the best diet plan won’t work forever. The body adapts,

and changes need to be made to keep your clients

progressing towards their goals.

The first week or two of a diet usually produce the most

significant weight losses. For someone over 200 pounds, a

weight loss of 4 to 8 pounds during the first week is not

uncommon at all. For someone under 200 pounds, that

number is usually more like 2 to 5 pounds.

This is initial weight loss is primarily water weight, and

glycogen.

Bodyweight Weight Loss the First Weight Loss in weeks


Week of Dieting thereafter (average
(average Range) range)
Less than 200 lbs 1.5 to 5 pounds 0.5 to 1.5 pounds
More than 200 lbs 3 to 8 pounds 1.0 to 3.0 pounds

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In subsequent weeks, you should aim for a loss of

approximately 0.5 to 1.5 pound per week for an individual

under 200 pounds, and for an individual over 200 pounds,

aim for a weekly loss of approximately 1.0 to 3.0 pounds.

IMPORTANT:

If you’re not hitting at least the bottom end of the ranges

given for a weekly loss, then something probably needs to

be adjusted, either a modification to the diet, and/or an

increase in cardio. This assumes that your client is following

the plan 100% - if they are deviating at all, get them back on

track before you modify anything.

There are a number of ways to modify the diet and/or cardio

to continue seeing good weekly progress. With carb cycling,

you can simply change one of the high days to a medium

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day and that will lower the overall carb consumption (and

insulin response) for the week, and allow for more fat

burning.

You can also increase cardio- by adding additional cardio

days per week, or increasing the duration of the sessions.

So if you have a client that starts off with 2 high carb days

per week, 2 medium carb days, and 3 low carb days, the first

thing you could do when progress plateaus is drop down to 1

high carb day, 3 medium carb days, and 3 low carb days.

You could also add a cardio session on that new medium

day, going from 3 or 4 sessions per week, to 4 to 5. I usually

have my clients do cardio on ALL the medium and low days

per week, so with that setup they would just have the 1 high

day per week as an off day from cardio.

The next time you hit a plateau, you could look at increasing

each cardio session by 10 minutes (from 30 to 40 minutes,

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for example). By doing this for 4 to 6 sessions per week,

you add a weekly total of 40 to 60 more minutes of cardio

which should definitely keep fat loss moving along steadily.

Some people with slower metabolisms may eventually need

to drop the high days altogether, just doing medium and low

days and cardio pretty much every day. I’ve had many

clients who had to push even harder than this, and go to all

low days, and eventually move over to a Very Low Carb Diet

(see my e-book “A Simple Guide to Very Low Carb Diets” for

more detail).

Remember though – you always want to take “baby steps”

with diets. If you try to make too many changes or push too

hard too soon, you will shut down the metabolism and not

have anywhere to go the next time you plateau. So always

start off with a relatively easy diet, with ample carbohydrate

and minimal cardio, and gradually ease into it based on

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weekly progress. By doing it this way, you’ll always have

“tricks up your sleeve” to utilize when the inevitable plateau

comes (and they may come every week, so monitor and be

ready to adjust on a regular basis).

A note on the impact


of hormones

Every so often I'll run into a


client that regardless of
how

hard we push things


(decreasing carbs,
increasing cardio,

etc.) their results are very


sub-optimal.

It's not for lack of effort - they don't cheat on the diet, they do

all the cardio, and follow my instructions exactly. They just

don't see the results they should.

When this happens, I ask them to get comprehensive blood

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work done, most notably their thyroid, and for males, their

testosterone levels.

In practically every instance that I have asked them to do

this, the levels come back as lower than normal, to the point

of needing medication to correct (thryoid medication,

testosterone replacement therapy, etc.).

You can have the best plan in the world, but if your

hormones are out of whack, you'll be spinning your wheels

forever.

So if you have a client that been working hard at thediet and

cardio and not seeing the results they should, you might

suggest they talk to their doctor about getting some blood

work done.

Note: Thyroid levels are common on pretty much any

standard blood panel, but testosterone and other sex

hormones are not, so make sure those are requested too if

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you think they may be suboptimal.

Sample Meal Plans

For a 150-lb female, a sample high and low to moderate day


might look something like this:

High day

Meal 1: 30 grams carbohydrate, 18 grams protein


♦ ½ cup oats (dry measure)
♦ ¾ cup egg whites (raw measure)

Meal 2: 30 grams carbohydrate, 18 grams protein


♦ ¾ cup brown rice (cooked measure)
♦ 2 ¼ oz. (63 grams) chicken breast (cooked measure)

Meal 3: 20 grams carbohydrate, 18 grams protein


♦ ½ cup sweet potatoes (cooked measure)
♦ 2 ¼ oz. (63 grams) chicken breast (cooked measure)

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Meal 4: 30 grams carbohydrate, 18 grams protein (post-


workout meal)
♦ ½ cup oats (dry measure)
♦ ¾ scoop (70 cc) whey protein powder
♦ Meal 5: 20 grams carbohydrate, 18 grams protein
♦ ½ cup sweet potatoes (cooked measure)
♦ 2 ¼ oz. (63 grams) chicken breast (cooked measure)

Meal 6: 20 grams carbohydrate, 18 grams protein


♦ ½ cup brown rice (cooked measure)
♦ 1 ¾ oz. (49 grams) top round steak (cooked measure)

Low to moderate day

Meal 1: 20 grams carbohydrate, 28 grams protein


♦ ⅓ cup oats (dry measure)
♦ 1 ¼ scoop (70 cc) whey protein powder

Meal 2: 20 grams carbohydrate, 28 grams protein


♦ ½ cup brown rice (cooked measure)
♦ 3 ½ oz. (98 grams) chicken breast (cooked measure)

Meal 3: 28 grams protein, green vegetables, 8 grams healthy


fat

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♦ 2 ¾ oz. (77 grams) top round steak (cooked measure)


♦ 2 cups steamed broccoli
♦ 1 ½ teaspoons all-natural peanut butter

Meal 4: 20 grams carbohydrate, 28 grams protein (post-


workout meal)
♦ ⅓ cup oats (dry measure)
♦ 1 ¼ scoop (70 cc) whey protein powder

Meal 5: 28 grams protein, green vegetables, 8 grams healthy


fat
♦ 3 oz. (84 grams) eye of round steak (cooked measure)
♦ 1 cup asparagus
♦ 16 almonds

For the 250-lb male, a sample high and low to moderate day
might look something like this:

High day
Please Note: The carbohyrdrates for this meal total up to
630 grams. This would be a VERY HIGH day. Most don’t
need these very often. 375 would be a better carb amount
for most people on most high carb days, under typical
circumstances.

Meal 1: 90 grams carbohydrate, 40 grams protein

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♦ 1 ¾ cup oats (dry measure)


♦ 1 ¾ scoop (70 cc) whey protein powder

Meal 2: 90 grams carbohydrate, 40 grams protein


♦ 2 ¼ cups brown rice (cooked measure)
♦ 5 oz. (140 grams) chicken breast (cooked measure)

Meal 3: 90 grams carbohydrate, 40 grams protein


♦ 2 ¼ cups sweet potatoes (cooked measure)
♦ 1 ½ cup egg whites (raw measure)

Meal 4: 90 grams carbohydrate, 40 grams protein


♦ 1 ¾ cup oats (dry measure)
♦ 1 ¾ scoop (70 cc) whey protein powder

Meal 5: 90 grams carbohydrate, 40 grams protein


♦ 2 ¼ cups brown rice (cooked measure)
♦ 5 oz. (140 grams) chicken breast (cooked measure)
♦ Meal 6: 90 grams carbohydrate, 40 grams protein
♦ 2 ¼ cups sweet potatoes (cooked measure)
♦ 1 ½ cup egg whites (raw measure)

Meal 7: 90 grams carbohydrate, 40 grams protein


♦ 2 ¼ cups brown rice (cooked measure)

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♦ 5 oz. (140 grams) chicken breast (cooked measure)

Low to moderate day

Meal 1: 60 grams protein, 80 grams carbohydrate


♦ 1 ½ cup oats (dry measure)
♦ 2 ½ scoops (70 cc) whey protein powder

Meal 2: 60 grams protein, 50 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams


healthy fat
♦ 1 ¼ cup sweet potatoes (cooked measure)
♦ 6 oz. (168 grams) top round steak (cooked measure)
♦ 1 teaspoon olive oil

Meal 3: 60 grams protein, 10 grams healthy fat, green


vegetables
♦ 7 ½ oz. (210 grams) chicken breast (cooked measure)
♦ spinach salad
♦ 2 teaspoons slivered almonds

Meal 4: 60 grams protein, 80 grams carbohydrate (post-


workout meal)
♦ 1 ½ cup oats (dry measure)
♦ 2 ½ scoops (70 cc) whey protein powder

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Meal 5: 60 grams protein, 15 grams healthy fat, green


vegetables
♦ 7 ½ oz. (210 grams) chicken breast (cooked measure)
♦ 2 cups steamed broccoli
♦ 2 tablespoons all-natural peanut butter

Meal 6: 60 grams protein, 15 grams healthy fat, green


vegetables
♦ 6 oz. (168 grams) top round steak (cooked measure)
♦ 1 cup steamed asparagus
♦ 1 tablespoon flax oil

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Macronutrient Table for Common Diet Foods

Because not everyone has the same macronutrient needs as


profiled in the sample meals, here is a table showing sample
food amounts for varying macronutrient levels.

Please note that


these measures are
approximate.
However, as long as
you are consistent
with how you
measure, they will
work just fine.

Carbohydrates
20 grams carbs
♦ ⅓ cup oats (dry measure)
♦ ½ cup brown rice (cooked measure)
♦ ½ cup sweet potatoes (cooked measure)

30 grams carbs
♦ ½ cup oats (dry measure)
♦ ¾ cup brown rice (cooked measure)
♦ ¾ cup sweet potatoes (cooked measure)

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♦ 2 slices Ezekiel sprouted grain bread

40 grams carbs
♦ ¾ cup oats (dry measure)
♦ 1 cup brown rice (cooked measure)
♦ 1 cup sweet potatoes (cooked measure)

50 grams carbs
♦ 1 cup oats (dry measure)
♦ 1 ¼ cup brown rice (cooked measure)
♦ 1 ¼ cup sweet potatoes (cooked measure)

60 grams carbs
♦ 1 ⅛ cup oats (dry measure)
♦ 1 ½ cup brown rice (cooked measure)
♦ 1 ½ cup sweet potatoes (cooked measure)
♦ 4 slices Ezekiel sprouted grain bread

70 grams carbs
♦ 1 ¼ cup oats (dry measure)
♦ 1 ¾ cup brown rice (cooked measure)
♦ 1 ¾ cup sweet potatoes (cooked measure)

80 grams carbs

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♦ 1 ½ cup oats (dry measure)


♦ 2 cups brown rice (cooked measure)
♦ 2 cups sweet potatoes (cooked measure)

90 grams carbs
♦ 1 ¾ cup oats (dry measure)
♦ 2 ¼ cups brown rice (cooked measure)
♦ 2 ¼ cups sweet potatoes (cooked measure)

100 grams carbs


2 cups oats (dry measure)
2 ½ cup brown rice (cooked measure)
2 ½ cup sweet potatoes (cooked measure)

Protein
18 grams protein
♦ 2 ¼ oz. (63 grams) chicken breast (cooked measure)
♦ 2 oz. (56 grams) eye of round steak (cooked measure)
♦ 1 ¾ oz. (49 grams) top round steak (cooked measure)
♦ ¾ cup egg whites (raw measure)
♦ ¾ scoop (70 cc) whey protein powder

22 grams protein
♦ 2 ¾ oz. (77 grams) chicken breast (cooked measure)

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Macronutrient Guidebook

♦ 2 ½ oz. (70 grams) eye of round steak (cooked measure)


♦ 2 ¼ oz. (63 grams) top round steak (cooked measure)
♦ ⅞ cup egg whites (raw measure)
♦ 1 scoop (70 cc) whey protein powder

28 grams protein
♦ 3 ½ oz. (98 grams) chicken breast (cooked measure)
♦ 3 oz. (84 grams) eye of round steak (cooked measure)
♦ 2 ¾ oz. (77 grams) top round steak (cooked measure)
♦ 1 cup egg whites (raw measure)
♦ 1 ¼ scoop (70 cc) whey protein powder

30 grams protein
♦ 3 ¾ oz. (105 grams) chicken breast (cooked measure)
♦ 3 ¼ oz. (91 grams) eye of round steak (cooked measure)
♦ 3 oz. (84 grams) top round steak (cooked measure)
♦ 1 ⅛ cup egg whites (raw measure)
♦ 1 ⅓ scoop (70 cc) whey protein powder

35 grams protein
♦ 4.25 oz. (119 grams) chicken breast (cooked measure)
♦ 4 oz. (112 grams) eye of round steak (cooked measure)
♦ 3 ½ oz. (98 grams) top round steak (cooked measure)
♦ 1 ⅓ cup egg whites (raw measure)

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♦ 1 ½ scoop (70 cc) whey protein powder

40 grams protein
♦ 5 oz. (140 grams) chicken breast (cooked measure)
♦ 4 ½ oz. (126 grams) eye of round steak (cooked
measure)
♦ 4 oz. (112 grams) top round steak (cooked measure)
♦ 1 ½ cup egg whites (raw measure)
♦ 1 ¾ scoop (70 cc) whey protein powder

50 grams protein
♦ 6 ¼ oz. (175 grams) chicken breast (cooked measure)
♦ 5 ½ oz. (154 grams) eye of round steak (cooked
measure)
♦ 5 oz. (140 grams) top round steak (cooked measure)
♦ 2 cup egg whites (raw measure)
♦ 2 scoops (70 cc) whey protein powder

60 grams protein
♦ 7 ½ oz. (210 grams) chicken breast (cooked measure)
♦ 6 ⅔ oz. (187 grams) eye of round steak (cooked
measure)
♦ 6 oz. (168 grams) top round steak (cooked measure)
♦ 2 ⅓ cup egg whites (raw measure)

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♦ 2 ½ scoops (70 cc) whey protein powder

70 grams protein
♦ 8 ¾ oz. (245 grams) chicken breast (cooked measure)
♦ 7 ¾ oz. (217 grams) eye of round steak (cooked
measure)
♦ 7 oz. (196 grams) top round steak (cooked measure)
♦ 2 ¾ cup egg whites (raw measure)
♦ 3 scoops (70 cc) whey protein powder

Fats
3 grams fat
♦ ½ teaspoon all-natural peanut butter
♦ ½ teaspoon healthy oil (olive, flax, walnut, safflower, etc.)
♦ 3 fish oil capsules or other encapsulated fats (make sure
they’re 1,000 mg each)
♦ 6 almonds or other nuts (medium-sized)

5 grams fat
♦ 1 teaspoon all-natural peanut butter
♦ 1 teaspoon healthy oil (olive, flax, walnut, safflower, etc.)
♦ 5 fish oil capsules or other encapsulated fats (make sure
they’re 1,000 mg each)
♦ 10 almonds or other nuts (medium-sized)

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8 grams fat
♦ 1 ½ teaspoons all-natural peanut butter
♦ 1 ½ teaspoons healthy oil (olive, flax, walnut, safflower,
etc.)
♦ 8 fish oil capsules or other encapsulated fats (make sure
they’re 1,000 mg each)
♦ 16 almonds or other nuts (medium-sized)

10 grams fat
♦ 2 teaspoons all-natural peanut butter
♦ 2 teaspoons healthy oil (olive, flax, walnut, safflower, etc.)
♦ 10 fish oil capsules or other encapsulated fats (make
sure they’re 1,000 mg each)
♦ 20 almonds or other nuts (medium-sized)

15 grams fat
♦ 2 tablespoons all-natural peanut butter
♦ 1 tablespoon healthy oil (olive, flax, walnut, safflower,
etc.)
♦ 30 almonds (medium-sized)

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Shopping List

This is a basic
shopping list that
you can use to
make sure you
cover all the dieting
necessities.

Not all of these


items are required, but it’s a good list to work from.

Protein sources
♦ Boneless, skinless chicken breast
♦ Top round steak
♦ Eye of round steak
♦ Protein powder (whey, casein, egg)
♦ Fish (salmon, tuna, tilapia, orange roughy)
♦ Fresh eggs

Carbohydrate sources
♦ Old-fashioned oats
♦ Rice (brown, white, basmati)
♦ Sweet potatoes

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♦ Red skin potatoes


♦ Baking potatoes
♦ Sprouted grain breads (“Ezekiel” bread)
♦ Fruits (for carb counts on fruits, refer to the website
www.nutritiondata.com)

Fat sources
♦ All-natural peanut butter
♦ Extra virgin olive oil
♦ Fish oil capules
♦ Almonds
♦ Walnuts
♦ Cashews
♦ Flax oil

Vegetables
♦ Broccoli
♦ Cauliflower
♦ Asparagus
♦ Cucumbers
♦ Pickles
♦ Celery
♦ Spinach
♦ Mushrooms

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♦ Green salads
Condiments and spices
♦ Salt
♦ Pepper
♦ Mrs. Dash seasonings
♦ Cinnamon
♦ Soy sauce
♦ Salsa
♦ Hot sauce
♦ Dijon mustard

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Additional Tips

♦ Save time and money by doing all your grocery shopping


on one day each week.

♦ Buy in bulk. Do your grocery shopping at a “warehouse”


grocer such as Costco or Sam’s Club.

♦ Start off your mornings with a blended shake consisting


of dry oats, a protein powder blend, and some healthy
fats like walnuts or flaxseed oil. Prepare the shake “dry”
at night by putting all the ingredients in a Tupperware
container. In the morning, all you’ll have to do is put some
ice and water in the blender, dump in the contents of the
container, and blend for about thirty seconds. This way,
you can prepare and consume your first meal of the day
in just a few minutes.

♦ Prepare all your meals on one day of the week. Choose a


day when you're not very busy, like Sunday, to cook all
your meats, vegetables, rice, and other foods. Divide
what you prepare into meals that you can freeze in
separate containers (Ziploc, Tuppeware). Then, each
night before you go to bed, take out what you need for

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the following day and let it thaw overnight in the fridge.


This might sound like a lot of work at first, but after a
couple of weeks, it will become part of your regular
routine.

She sure as hell isn’t shopping in the candy aisle.

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Shelby Starnes Interview Guidebook

Chris McCombs (CM): Hey, this is Chris McCombs of


KickBackLife.com. And I am here with Shelby Starnes.

Let me tell you a little bit about Shelby, for those of you who
don't know who he is. He's very well-known in the
powerlifting and bodybuilding communities but not yet in the
personal training and fitness training community, but he's
getting more known in this community right now.

Intro To Carb Cycling

Basically, a lot of people know that I used to be in great


shape. And I got out of shape for a number of years after a
hernia surgery that went bad, and I just kind of never really
picked up the ball again with lifting weights. I got up to 300
pounds of 6'6" mush. And when I got back into lifting
weights, I probably put on 20 pounds of muscle right away
and lost 20 pounds of fat, but I was still 330 pounds. I looked
a lot different, but the body fat just wasn't melting off the way
I wanted.

And I know myself, every time I've really tried to diet in the
past, either I'd go on really low calories or really low carbs
and it would drive me nuts. I'd be agitated and nervous and
not in a good mood, and then I would end up splurging,
overeating. I would have these cycles where for two or three
weeks I could stick to a diet, but I would always bounce
back. And a few of friends who were powerlifters, they told
me they'd hired this guy named Shelby Starnes to help them
with their diets and they actually lost a bunch of fat and set
some of their best PRs ever while losing the fat.

And that's something that interested me because another


concern of me -- besides going, like, crazy hungry and out of

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my mind, whacked out nuts -- was that I didn't want to lose


any muscle or any strength because I worked really hard to
get that strength. And there's nothing more frustrating than
losing it when you're leaning out.

So I went and hired Shelby and it was one of the best


decisions I've ever made in my life. Within five months I lost
75 pounds of fat. With the exception of horizontal pressing
movements, my strength did not go down at all. As a matter
of fact, my strength went up on a lot of movements, which
I've never seen before in my life. And the transformation was
just phenomenal. And it kind of hit me that, hey, there's a
huge market here for trainers because a lot of trainers who
have clients who don't get results, even though the clients
are showing up for the workouts. They're not on the right
eating programs. They have the same kind of problems I did,
where they would go on a hardcore diet for two or three
weeks and then bounce back.

Who Is Shelby Starnes

So I saw an opportunity here, not so much to make a whole


bunch of money, but just to introduce this guy, Shelby, who
helped me, to the training industry to help trainers get their
clients better results. Because we all know that clients get
better results, they stay with the trainer longer, and a lot of
that's eating. But a lot of trainers don't have the time or don't
really know how to set up a carb cycling type of diet like this.

This is Shelby Starnes on the phone with me. Shelby, how're


you doing, buddy?

Shelby Starnes (SS): Great. How are you, Chris?

CM: I am excellent, man. Again, I cannot thank you enough


for what you've done for me when it comes to helping me

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lean out. Your coaching program has helped me


phenomenally. When I look at the before-and-after pictures, I
look like a completely different person. I used to get people
asking me -- this is a question I'd get almost every day. The
question was, "Did you used to play football?" They imply
that, like, 20 years ago that I was probably a football player
but now I'm just a big, fat dude. And now I get almost every
day, "Are you a pro MMA fighter?" And I frickin' love that. And
that's because of your diet.

What Is Carb Cycling

And your diet is based around carb cycling, and we're going
to get into that. But first of all, can you tell me a little bit about
who you are and what you do?

SS: My name is Shelby Starnes. Most people know me for


being a nutritionist. I work with pretty much anybody. Most of
my exposure is in the bodybuilding and powerlifting worlds.
So pretty much everybody that I work with does some form
of weight training. I work with bodybuilders, powerlifters; I
work with fitness and figure competitors. I work with
strongmen. I work with a lot of different types of athletes.

And I also work with a lot of people that don't train, also. A lot
of times I'll be working with an individual and they might say,
"Hey, you know what? My mom or my girlfriend or whatever
needs a diet plan. She doesn't work out but she's willing to
put in the work with a diet." So I end up working with them.
So I don't just work with athletes or people that train,
necessarily.

I think, as many people listening to this probably know, diet


in terms of a cosmetic effect -- having an effect on how you
look -- diet is going to count for the majority of your results.
You can go into any gym today and see people that are there

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for an hour or two every day, like the gym that I train at.
There's people that have been there forever and they're
always in there. But they're always fat. Year after year after
year, they're fat. So it's not the training that's not doing it for
them. I can guarantee that every one of them has a crappy
diet outside of the gym. So if you're just looking for cosmetic
effect, if you have to choose I would say choose the diet and
don't even go to the gym. But obviously, having both
together is a better situation.

Where Carb Cycling Comes From

So anyways, I'm most known for being a nutritionist. I myself


am also a competitive bodybuilder. I compete on the national
level. I have actually placed in the top five at the national
level in three different weight classes currently; might be
making that four, eventually. I've also done a little bit of
competing in powerlifting a while back. I suffered some
injuries in powerlifting; had a pec rupture and some shoulder
injuries. So now I focus pretty much on bodybuilding. That's
my passion, for sure.

And I've also written for a lot of magazines; written for Flex
Magazine, Muscle & Fitness, some of the online magazines.
People probably know me from Testosterone Magazine -- T-
Nation -- Want to be Big, etc. So that's who I am.

CM: Yeah. You have a really big following in this community.


And it's funny. You mentioned the fat guys in the gym. And I
call them "the fat guys with great forearms." And I was
actually one before. You're strong as shit; you know what I
mean? But you look like just a guy who works in a
construction site all day. And there are so many dudes in the
gym that have that look. And if they would just dial in their
diet, everything would change.

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And I know the kind of diet you put me on is actually carb


cycling. Can you tell us about carb cycling?

SS: Yeah. Carb cycling is the diet style that I am probably


most well-known for. It's not the only style of diet that I use.
But it's kind of how I built my name; what I'm known most for.
And it's what I use most predominantly with clients. And
though I use other styles, it's almost always what I will start a
client off with, even though I may eventually change them to
another diet style.

How Does Carb Cycling Work

And what a carb cycling diet basically is, is that you've got
certain days of the week where you have higher carb intake,
and then certain days where you have a lower carbohydrate
intake. And then you might also have some days where you
have like a medium carb day with a moderate carbohydrate
intake.

And what that accomplished is a number of things. First, as


most people know, with all the Atkins diet and Paleo diet and
everything going around, carbs are not exactly your best
friend when dieting. Carbs release insulin, and in the
presence of insulin it's not easy to burn body fat. It's pretty
much impossible to burn body fat. But carbohydrates are a
double-edged sword. While at the same time it's hard to burn
fat in the presence of carbohydrates and insulin, when you
have carbohydrates in the diet they have a very anti-
catabolic effect; a very muscle-sparing effect. And they also
help with metabolism. So you've got this friend and foe:
carbohydrates.

So what carb cycling does is manipulates your intake of


carbohydrates so that you get their advantages at certain
times and then you eliminate them -- not eliminate them, but

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decrease them at other times so you can take maximum


advantage of the fat-burning effect when they're lowered.

How To Vary Your Carb Days

Generally speaking, on a high-carb day, when your


carbohydrate intake is higher your protein intake will be
lower. And then the inverse is also true. When you have a
lower carbohydrate day your protein intake will be higher.
And that's for a couple reasons. One is for caloric control.
When you raise carbs you lower protein so you're not
increasing calories substantially. It kind of balances each
other out. And also, carbohydrates have a protein-sparing
effect. So when you're consuming more carbohydrate in your
diet, you don't need as more protein. So on our high days,
we lower our protein intake; and on our low days we raise
our protein intake. We also raise our intake of dietary fat on
our low days to act as an additional source of energy on the
low days.

And why do we have high days? You have high days mainly
for a couple reasons. One is to replenish glycogen stores.
You can't do low-carb days forever and continue weight
training and expect to be able to continue training hard. So
you have to periodically replenish your glycogen stores to
continue training hard. And when you have those high-carb
days, it also prevents muscle catabolism. You release a lot of
insulin on those days. And insulin is very anti-catabolic, so
that helps prevent muscle loss. And it also increases your
metabolism by having periodic high days. So you have to
have high days every so often to accomplish all those things;
to maintain muscle, to keep your metabolism going.

But you can't have every day be a high-carb day because


you don't really burn much fat on a high day. Your
metabolism is sped up on those days but you're not burning

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a ton of fat. You burn most fat on the low days. So you have
to balance them to get the best of both worlds.

What Foods Should You Be Eating

CM: Let me ask you this. What foods do you suggest people
get their macronutrients from? From the proteins, carbs, and
fat, what kinds of proteins should people be eating, what
kind of carbs, and what kind of fats?

SS: Well, really you can use pretty much anything. But I
don't like a lot of processed foods. A friend of mine once
said, if you can't grill it, pick it, or kill it, you probably
shouldn't be eating it. So in other words, stay to the
perimeter of the grocery store when you're shopping. So
you're looking at meats from the butcher. You're looking at
vegetables; fruits. My main carb sources, what I like my
clients to use is mostly complex carbohydrates like oats,
rice, Ezekiel bread, sweet potatoes. Fruit is also fine.

For proteins, I like a good lean protein; chicken breast,


turkey breast, fish, eggs, egg whites, protein powders, lean
red meat. And then for additional healthy fat sources I like
omega-3 fish oil capsules; omega-6, like evening primrose
oil is a very good oil, good source of GLA -- gamma-linolenic
acid, which is basically a fat that burns fat. And then other
more food fat sources, like nuts, peanut butter, olive oil,
macadamia nut oil, things of that nature.

How Trainers Can Use Carb Cycling For Clients

CM: So let me ask you this. How can trainers use carb
cycling to help their clients get better results?

SS: Well, in the book we have a table where you can go by


bodyweight to come up with a base diet plan for your clients,

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stating how many carbohydrates, how much protein, how


much fat they need on each day, high, medium, and low; and
how to start them off in terms of how many high, medium,
and low days per week.

How To Start People Off

I like to start people off with at least -- for a fat loss diet, let's
say someone is training four days a week or three days a
week. I like starting them off with two high days, on their
training days, spread out. Don't do high days back to back.
They should be spread out. And then with any additional
training days being moderate carb days and all off-days
being low days. So if someone was training four days a
week, that would be two high, two medium, and three low
days. If they were training three days a week, that would two
high, one medium, and four low days.

What About Exercise?

And then of course, you have to include cardiovascular


activity. And generally speaking, I like to have my clients do
cardio on all their low and medium days; give them a break
on the high days. So if you have two high days a week,
cardio would be five days a week on all your off-days or on
your non-high days. Everyone's going to be different in terms
of your clientele, in terms of what they're willing and able to
do. But if you can get them started with maybe 20 to 30
minutes of cardio a day on their cardio days, that would be a
good start.

And then you just have to monitor their progress on a weekly


basis, see how things are going, see how they're losing fat;
see how their performance is affected in the gym and make
adjustments from there. With a good plan, most people will
drop -- depending on their size; a bigger person's obviously

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going to drop more weight the first week. A 300-pound male


is going to drop more weight the first week than a 130-pound
female. Of course, a lot of that initial weight is glycogen and
water. A big guy might lose 5 to 8 pounds the first week,
whereas a smaller female might use 2 or 3 pounds or maybe
even less.

Monitoring Progress

But you monitor their progress on a weekly basis. And if


they're not losing a certain amount per week -- and I've
included a little table in the book that you can go by --
roughly 1 pound to 1.5 pounds per week for most individuals
-- if they're not losing that, then you need to make changes
to the carb cycling program. What you can do is reduce the
high days. If they're having two high days per week, you can
change one of those to a medium. So now you have one
high days, two or three mediums, and the rest of low days,
and that will kick start fat loss.

You can also increase cardio. As I mentioned before, I like to


do cardio on all the low and medium days. So if you go from
two high days to one high day and you add in a medium day,
not only are cutting out a high day, but you're also adding in
an extra day of cardio. You're going from five to six days a
week of cardio. So those things are usually enough to get fat
loss rolling again for at least a couple more weeks.

What If You Plateau?

After that, if you plateau you might have to look at increasing


cardio again; maybe go up to 40 minutes per session and/or
reducing the carbohydrates a little bit more. Some people
might need to go to no high days per week for a period of
time; maybe just do medium days on their training days and
low days on their off-days and run that for maybe three or

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four weeks until they're pretty depleted and start


experiencing maybe some difficulty in their workouts. Then
give them one high day and then go back to all mediums and
lows. Or you could at reducing the carbs on their high,
medium, and low days.

There are a number of ways to continue progress. Generally


speaking, it's all going to come down to reducing calories at
least for a certain period of time. You can't just keep on
reducing calories and increasing cardio forever. You're going
to drive someone's metabolism into the ground and you're
going to make them not feel so good.

The Bottom Line

I mean, the bottom line with any diet is eat less and do more.
Eat less and exercise more. So you have to do those things,
but you have to periodically re-feed -- I like to say -- with a
high day to do the things that we mentioned before;
replenish glycogen stores, stave off muscle catabolism, and
speed up metabolism.

CM: That's great, Shelby. And I've actually surveyed my


Facebook friends and gotten 60, 70 results back on the best
time to do cardio. And most of them say, do not ever do it on
an empty stomach. Make sure you get protein in first, which
is branched amino acids. And what you have taught me to
do actually flies in the face of that. But I got so much better
results the way you showed me to do cardio, which was first
thing in the morning on an empty stomach -- which I know
was very popularized by Bill Phillips back in the day. That's
actually the cardio that you put me on, and I got better
results with the carb cycling, doing that kind of cardio than
any other kind of cardio.

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What's your take on what kind of cardio should be done?


Should I be steady state cardio? Or should it be high-
intensity interval training? Should it be first thing in the
morning? What's your take on it, exactly?

Is Morning Fasted Cardio A Good Thing?

SS: Yeah. There's a lot of debate in the community about


when to do cardio; should you eat before or after? And
there's lot of good, scientific reasoning behind both methods.
You can argue both ways. Just based on my experience and
the experience of working with hundreds of clients over the
years, I find that morning fasted cardio is superior.

The next best time to do it would be immediately after your


workout, before you have your post-workout meal, because
you're also depleted then, just like you are in the morning,
and you're in an optimal fat-burning state.

If neither of those times are an option for a client, then just


do it when you can, because it's still worthwhile to do the
cardio, even if you can't get it done first thing in the morning.
Some people, they have to get up at 4:00 to be at work or
whatever, and having a morning cardio session is just not in
the realm of possibility. You don't say to those people, well,
you can't lose fat. They still can. They just might not lose it
quite at the rate that someone would that was able to do
morning fasted cardio. So just do it whenever you can. Get it
in during the day. But if you can, I like having it done fasted
in the morning.

What Type Of Cardio Should You Do?

In terms of what type of cardio, the majority of the cardio I


like to have my clients do is just a moderate intensity, about
65 percent to 70 percent of heart rate max; nothing too crazy

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high-intensity, just a good rate. They should be sweating; a


little bit out of breath. But I also like to include some high-
intensity intervals at least a couple times a week, also,
mainly just because it's another way to increase metabolism.
They're just an ass-kicker of a workout. Nobody ever looks
forward to them, but they definitely burn a lot of fat. But at
the same time, you can't do them all the time because you'll
burn yourself out because they're very demanding. So I like
to include a mix of moderate-intensity and high-intensity
cardio in a client's program.

Lose Fat Or Gain Muscle

CM: Okay. Let me ask you this. Should people try to focus
on losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time, or do you
recommend going with a period where you focus on fat loss
and maintaining the muscle that you have, trying to loss as
minimal as possible, and then maybe doing a period of
gaining muscle while trying to add as minimal fat as
possible? Or let's say it's a brand new person who hasn't
worked out in years and years, maybe attempt to do bulk at
the same time? What's your take on that?

SS: Yeah. A beginner, someone that hasn't worked out


much and has maybe a crappy diet to begin with, someone
like that can definitely gain muscle and lose fat at the same
time. Generally speaking, though, I think it's better to focus
on one goal at a time, especially for someone that's been
training for a while and has an okay diet.

When you lose fat, you have to reduce calories. There's just
no way around it. You have to come up with some way to
reduce caloric intake to lose fat, whether it's by diet or by
increasing cardiovascular activity or a combination of the
two. So that's a hypocaloric environment. It's very difficult to
build muscle -- new muscle tissue -- when you're in a

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hypocaloric environment. Building new tissue requires a


hypercaloric environment -- more calories.

Now, it's a little bit more complicated than that. It involves


hormones and other processes that are out of the realm of
this discussion. But generally speaking, I think people should
focus on one thing at a time. Focus on fat loss. Don't focus
on weight loss; focus on fat loss. People get worried about,
why am I not dropping three or five pounds a week? Well,
shit, that's way too fast. You're going to lose muscle if you're
dropping that fast. And when you lose muscle, that's just the
antithesis of what you're trying to accomplish. When you lose
muscle, yeah, maybe the scale weight goes down. But you
slow your metabolism, you lose tone, you lose strength; it's
just not what you want to be doing at all. And it puts you in a
position to gain back just as much fat, if not more, after you
end your diet.

Why You Should Do Only One Thing At A Time

So yeah, I like people to focus on one goal: fat loss. And if


you gain muscle at the same time, that's great. But the main
goal is just maintain muscle and focus on fat loss. All the
time I have clients, they gain muscle on a fat loss diet,
working with me. That's great. But again, it's not the focus. I
do things to set up so that you don't lose muscle. And if you
gain muscle, that's great. So I suggest leaning out. And then,
when you're to the point when you're fairly lean, then focus
on building muscle and keeping fat gain to a minimum.

CM: And you basically do that by cutting back cardio and


adding more high days; is that correct?

SS: Very simply put, yes.

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CM: Okay. I was one of the people who was actually


fortunate to lose four pounds a week average without losing
a bunch of strength. But I think that's because I did a lot of
powerlifting-type stuff in my 20s and I had that really good
mesomemory and a good base to go with.

SS: Yeah. And you were a very big guy to begin with, too? I
mean, what did you weigh when we started?

CM: About 330. And I'm 6'6".

SS: Yeah. So I mean, four pounds a week, it's a little


aggressive, but it's not über-retarded. If you've got a woman
that's 150 pounds losing four pounds a week, she's going to
go three weeks and then she's going to keel over, you know?

CM: Yeah, yeah. Exactly.

How Fast Should You Lose Weight

SS: It doesn't happen. So every situation is different. You


have to treat every situation differently.

CM: One thing people ask me -- and I'd love to get your take
on this, because this will apply to the normal personal
training clients -- people ask me about this diet. And I
basically tell them, well, one of the reasons it works great for
me is because I'm very OCD. It's regimented. So I can do
that. I can eat lean beef and rice, and then 2.5 hours later
have a protein shake with peanut butter, and then 2.5 hours
later have salmon and vegetables. And I can do this.

I said, it's not a suffering diet where you're hungry. I don't get
hungry on this diet at all. Even on the low days, I'm fine
because my glycogen is restored from the high day
yesterday and I know I've got a medium day coming

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tomorrow. So I always feel good on it. One of the reasons it


works for me is because I'm very obsessive-compulsive. And
twice a week, my personal assistant cooks up meat for three
or four days for me, and I've got rice and stuff like that. Then
I go to places like Flame Broiler or Wahoo's or places like
that where I can actually pick up foods that fit into my high
and low meals.

But for the typical person who's maybe not as obsessive-


compulsive as me, your typical personal training client who's
not like a hardcore weightlifter, are there any things that they
can do to really make this diet easy, like maybe prepping
their meals in advance once or twice a week, put them in
Tupperware and take them to work? What would you say to
the non-hardcore person to make this diet really easy to
where they're not spending more than 15 or 20 minutes a
day tops in preparation and all that kind of stuff?

It’s All About Your Habits

SS: Yeah. It really comes down to establishing habits.


Because most people that are starting a diet, just average
Joe Blow, they wake up, they don't have any idea what
they're going to eat that day. Maybe they'll grab a bagel and
a coffee on the way to work. And then at work there's some
carrot cake that someone's wife made that they brought in
and they have a slice of that. And then for lunch, it's, "Where
are we going for lunch today, guys?" And they go out and
eat. And then dinner's whatever the wife cooked or whatever.
There's no forethought or planning into what they're going to
eat that day. It just kind of happens.

So if you want to make changes in your physique, you're


going to have to put some effort in. You can't fly by the seat
of your pants and just hope that a good diet kind of happens

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to you. There does need to be some forethought and


planning.

Food Preperation Tips

What you recommended, what you were talking about


cooking all your food one or two days of the week ahead of
time is a great plan, especially for someone that's busy
during the week working. So maybe take a Saturday or a
Sunday night, take a couple hours to cook all your meat and
rice or whatever it is that you have for your meal plan that
week; cook it all up, divide it into meal-sized containers. Say,
this is my high day meal 1, 2, 3 or whatever; portion it out,
put it in Tupperware and freeze it. And then the night before,
you'll be like, okay, tomorrow is a medium day. So I'm going
to take out my medium days for tomorrow, take them out of
the freezer and put them into the refrigerator. They thaw
overnight, and then the next day all you've got to do is take
them out of the frig and pop them into the microwave and
you've got your meal.

Another thing is protein shakes. I personally have 50 percent


of my meals as protein shakes, and my clients are allowed to
do this, too. Protein shakes obviously economize on time in
a big way. There's no cooking involved. And actually, if you
break it down on a per serving cost basis, protein shakes are
cheaper than whole food.

So what you can do there is take like a shaker bottle -- or


let's say you've got six meals a day; you've got three whole
food meals and three shake meals. You can jut take three
shaker bottles or Tupperware containers or whatever in the
morning and put your protein shake ingredients in there dry.
And if it's a carb source, maybe put oats in there. And then
when it comes time for that meal, all you've got to do is
dump that into the blender with some ice and water, blend it

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real fine, and eat it. And that's a meal that took you two
minutes to prepare. There's no cooking. There's minimal
cleaning. Anything like that.

Protein Shakes

I definitely don't recommend people trying to do all whole


food every day, because that's just going to turn into a lot of
work. Doing six or seven whole food meals a day is just a big
chore. And it also turns out to be more expensive. So the
protein shakes help with time as well as expense.

CM: I notice you're a big proponent of protein and carb


meals and protein and fat meals. So like on my low days, the
first few meals will be protein and carbs, minimal fats; and
then the last ones are proteins and fats with minimal carbs;
and the high day is mostly protein and carbs throughout the
whole day. And medium, the first meal is protein and carbs;
the last are kind of protein and fat; there's just more carbs in
the protein and carb meals. What is the reasoning behind
not having meals that are high in carbs and fat at the same
time and breaking it up like that?

Mixing Carbs And Fats

SS: Well, to be completely honest, a lot of people think that


you can't mix carbs and fat. And I'll be the first to say that
that's not true. You can mix them. But you have to do it the
right way. And most people don't know how to do it the right
way. They want lots of carbs and lots of fat, because that
equals good -- that tastes good when you mix lots of carbs
and fat.

I separate it mainly -- it's one, for caloric control; two, on a


medium day, you only get so many carbs per day. You're not
getting a ton of carbs on medium days. So you want to have

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the most carbs that you can at the times when you need
them most or should have them most. I like them in meal 1,
meal 2, and then after your workout. So that's three meals
with carbs. And if you get, let's say, 100 grams of carbs per
day, you can maybe do something like 40 in meal 1, 20 in
meal 2, and then 40 in your post-workout meal to make up
the balance in calories in the other meals.

You don't want to just have protein meals. So we add some


healthy fats; maybe olive oil or fish oil or nuts or something
like that. Since you've already used up your carbohydrates
for the day, we switch over to fats in those meals; protein
and fats so you don't really have too big of an insulin jump in
those meals.

Feeling Fuller Longer

And also, the fats help keep you fuller for longer. A lot of
people will tell me that they feel best on low days. They feel
much better on low days than high days. And that's probably
because on high days you get a lot of blood sugar
fluctuations with the carbs. On low days, your blood sugar is
pretty stable because the carbs aren't really high; you're not
going erratic with them. And then, you also get more dietary
fat, which kind of keeps everything slower-digesting and
more stable during the day.

CM: Yeah. I love the high-carb day. The high carb was like
magical to me, especially the next day. And the next day I'd
get awesome workouts. Like I love high-carb days.

SS: I have some clients that don't like them. They say
they're too much work. It's a lot of meals, it's a lot of carbs.
Everyone's different. So it's interesting to hear that.

Bottom line is it works.

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CM: Oh, it absolutely works. I just have a few more


questions here for you. And there's one that -- I know for
hardcore bodybuilders getting ready for a competition, you
really cut back on cheat meals to a bare minimum. I've
actually personally gotten great results with your program,
and I usually have two cheat meals back-to-back on one of
my high days, and they're usually within a four-hour period.
Like Friday night, I'll have a cheat meal at 5:00 and then
maybe one at 9:00. And that's worked for me. I've just never
been able to go without cheat meals.

Are Cheat Meals Okay

Now, I realize if I wanted to be 6 percent and a competitive


bodybuilder, that that would probably be a much different
situation. But for your average Joe who hires a trainer,
what's your take on the cheat meals for those kind of
people?

SS: Yeah. There's a couple angles you can look at this from.
Cheat meals, to a certain extent, can accomplish very similar
things to what a high day accomplishes in terms of
replenishing glycogen stores, staving off catabolism, and
speeding up the metabolism. In fact, a lot of diets don't have
high days. They just have cheat meals. I do diets like that
sometimes with my clients, depending on the situation.

So if you already have high days in your diet and you're


already regulating metabolism and anti-catabolism, etc., with
those high days, then in terms of a need for a cheat meal,
there isn't one. They're not there. But you also have to keep
your client on the diet. So if having a moderate cheat meal
once a week is going to keep your client focused during the
rest of the week and keep them on track and on plan, then
that's what you've got to do.

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I'm not going to say that results are going to be better with it,
because they probably aren't as long as the rest of the diet is
regulated properly. But I mean, one of the biggest things with
diet success is whether the dieter sticks with it or not. If not
having any cheat meals means they're going to quit the diet,
then obviously you've lost the game immediately. But if going
out to a restaurant meal with their family or friends once a
week and having something a little bit off the diet is enough
of a reward for them to keep motivated and focused during
the rest of the week, then by all means go for it. Keeping on
the diet is the key.

Is Sugar-Free Okay?

I say the same thing with things like diet pop, diet Snapple,
Splenda, spices. There's a website called
WaldenFarms.com. And they sell all these zero-calorie
treats, like barbecue sauce, salad dressing, peanut butter, all
kinds of stuff. My clients ask me about that, and I say, yes,
go for it. Drink as much diet pop as you want. It's zero
calories. Use as much Splenda as you want. Drink as much
diet Snapple as you want if it keeps you on the diet. Because
that's the key. So if your clients have these things that help
them stay on the diet, then by all means let them do it.

CM: Yeah. And what's really helped me -- and I've been


actually 95 percent perfect with your diet -- is the three areas
that are different from what you wanted me to do in the front
that I told you about. You said, hey, as long as you're still
getting results. And one was I love these damn low-carb
Monsters, even though there's six grams of sugar in each
one. And you said, just a couple of week. I actually have a
few of them a day. But that's one thing I've deviated. And
then you were like, no, have a meal after you work out, not
one of these sugary, dextrose-type drinks. But I'm so used to

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them, I kept having those, and I kept doing the cheat meals.
With those three deviations -- and that's really the only place
I've deviated -- I still have gotten amazing results with that
little bit of flexibility. And it's helped me stay on.

SS: Yeah. That's another thing, too. That's what I was


getting at, the flexibility. Allowing some flexibility keeps you
on the diet. And you're seeing progress. That's the key;
you're seeing progress.

Progress On Your Diet

Like we talked about before, you were a very large


individual; 330 pounds. So your metabolism was burning a
lot more calories. You had a little bit more margin for error.
You could do things like that. And also, you're not looking to
get into contest condition. You're not a bodybuilder trying for
4 percent body fat or whatever. So all these things play a
role.

CM: Yeah. Under about 8 or 10 percent really starts to mess


with my chi. I've got businesses and a family and I've got to
be cool to everybody. And I get too low, and I stop being
cool. So I've got to find what's the balance in life for me.

Let me ask you this. Are there any kind of people who should
not want a carb cycling diet?

SS: No. The carb cycling diet is a very balanced diet. I


mean, you're not eliminating any food group. I mean, carb
cycling diet -- you could carb cycle for the rest of your life
and have a better diet than 90 percent of Americans. It's not
like a ketogenic diet, where you eliminate the carbohydrates,
which you can only do for a certain period of time.

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So yeah, there's nobody that would come to me, no type of


client situation where I would say, gosh, I really should not
start this client off with carb cycling diet. In fact, it's just the
opposite. I almost always start people off with the carb
cycling diet because it's a very basic diet. It's very
wholesome, for lack of a better word. There's nothing
missing. And then, based on how things go from there, I
might move them to a different, more hardcore-style diet. But
pretty much everybody starts with a carb cycling diet.

And there's no reason for anyone to not start with it. Like I
said, it's a diet that you can use forever; just manipulating
the macronutrients and the number of high days and low
days for your goals. I use the carb cycling program for both
fat loss and for muscle gain. It's a program that can be
manipulated in many, many ways.

Further Tips

CM: Awesome, many. Hey, this has been some great


information, Shelby. And this program is designed so trainers
can actually take it -- you take the e-book, the audio -- and
know enough to get their clients on carb cycling programs so
their clients can get better results; they can get better
testimonials and success stories, before-and-after pictures;
clients will stay with them longer so they can make more
money, they can get more referrals. So it is designed to be a
complete package.

However, if there's any trainers out there who -- because I


know I've sent quite a few trainers your way who have hired
you for some personal stuff and have gotten great results as
well. If any trainers want to hire you personally to dial in their
own diets, to help keep them accountable and really keep
them on pace, or even send their clients your way, I know
you have some coaching programs and things like that. Is

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there a Web address or a e-mail they should reach out to?


How can they find you?

SS: Probably the best way to get a hold of me, Chris, is


through e-mail. And I'm actually switching over to Gmail right
now. I just find it a lot easier than my other address. My
Gmail address is my first initial, which is S, and then my last
name, which is Starnes. So sstarnes, and then the word
"nutrition." So it's altogether -- nothing capitalized, no dots,
no dashes, nothing -- sstarnesnutrition@gmail.com.

And this is what I do for a living. This is what I do seven days


a week. I'm always on the computer. So if anybody has any
questions or concerns or is interested in a consultation, or
maybe they have a question on the book or a client situation
or anything like that, anyone feel free to e-mail me. I'm also
willing and ready to help.

CM: Yeah. It's been one of the best investments I ever made
personally, especially in my body. And my experience has
been you always return e-mails pretty quickly. You always tell
me where I need to go. You help keep me accountable. I
cannot recommend a program more highly than working with
you.

So if any trainers want to take it to the next level beyond this


-- like I said, this e-book was meant to be a complete,
everything-you-need. But if you want a little more
accountability and access to Shelby or let your clients have
access to him, it's well worth every single penny. The return
on investment for me has been just absolutely huge.

So Shelby, I want to thank you. This was a great interview.


I'm glad that you're going to be helping a lot of trainers help
a lot more people, because there's a ripple effect. When they
help those people, those people motivate others to get into

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fitness and they just become better people and more positive
and more successful and more happy. So the ripple effect of
what you do here goes far beyond just the trainers and their
clients. It actually goes on and on and on, to many degrees
of separation. So I really want to thank you again, Shelby.

SS: Awesome. Awesome. Thank you, Chris. Thanks for the


opportunity.

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About the Author

Shelby Starnes is a national-level bodybuilder, powerlifter,


nutritionist, and trainer who has helped hundreds of athletes
reach their fitness goals.

For more information on his consultation services, e-mail him


at sstarnesnutrition@gmail.com or visit his website at
www.troponinnutrition.com.

A special thank you to Kari Keenan for giving me permission


to use her photos in this publication.

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