By Tucker Loken

Alright folks, here it is, here is the secret.

This is how I got ready for my most recent show – zero added fats, moderate carbs and plenty of protein. Because I was putting muscle back on each week my metabolism was increasing as we went, I didn’t have to change the diet at all, or add cardio. The diet stayed the same for the full four weeks – five meals of 50 g carbs and 50 g protein, and one meal before bed of 50 g protein. I had lots of veggies to keep me full and satisfied, so there would be some extra trace carbs there, and the only extra fats I would have gotten would be from the light spray of cooking oil on the pan before I cooked egg whites, or from the small amount in a chicken breast.

Aside from that there wasn’t anything fancy going on. Soy sauce, hot sauce and different rubs for the chicken and tilapia to keep the flavors fresh were mainstays, along with a few berries here and there in the oatmeal when I needed a mix up. I just kept it simple and ate basic food with some tasty seasonings, and didn’t have any cheat meals.

We’ve got a couple diet styles on PRS now – Danny has taken the helm on the keto side of things, and I’m excited about all that he’s learned and been able to share with us. I did a keto type diet for a couple preps years ago, and it worked well to get me lean, but I was definitely lacking knowledge to use it as well as I could have. Danny’s approach has taught me a lot about where I went wrong – namely having way more fats and keeping the protein lower, and the extra minerals and all that good stuff that you’ll need to stay hydrated. It would be interesting to try again and be coached by someone who knows what they are doing this time, but all in all I think I’ve found the diet style that works best for me – more or less a traditional bodybuilding type of diet. Who knows…Maybe Danny can convince me to try it again for a month. I never got keto flu, or any other negative effects, so it might be a fun experiment again.

Not only does my body seem to like carbs, but my pallet does too. Yeah, yeah, everyone likes carbs, I know, but I’m talking about plain and healthy carbs. In the long term, I would prefer to eat white rice with some seasoning on it rather than a higher fat alternative. I get burnt out on having the really rich food from the fats all the time. Of course, I love a good restaurant steak that’s been pan fried in oil, I love a huge whole egg with sausage and cheese scrambles and all that stuff that has plenty of fat in it, but when I’m talking about a diet style – either clean carbs, or clean fats, my body prefers clean carbs. Whatever you’re craving and naturally inclined to is often your body talking to you about what will work well for you. It’s not just an acquired taste, it’s your body telling you what it needs.

Speaking of listening to what your body is telling you, this approach doesn’t have to be rigid, nor should it be. I don’t go zero fats year-round, I add them back in during the off-season and I would still have some in my diet during the first half of a prep. In the off season if I’ve been doing high carb for a while and I don’t feel like I’m continuing to make gains, I’ll add in more fats and decrease carbs for a few weeks to help my body become sensitive to carbs. This will ensure that the higher carb diet will be fresh for me again.

So basically that’s that.  It’s not glamorous, or new, it’s just an old school approach that’s worked for a long time and happens to work for me. Although there are some outliers that will never be able to do one, or the other, everyone’s body is adaptive to some degree and most people could do well on either a high fat, or a high carb diet as long as they have a coach who understands what to look for and can put them on a smart plan and work with their body.  The key is consistency.  If you’re not dialled in and controlling the variables, you won’t know what to adjust and when.

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Tucker Loken is a Bodybuilder turned Powerlifter turned Powerbuilder from Eugene, Oregon. He did his first bodybuilding show when he was still in high school, and has been training male and female competitors for shows since 2011. Several years ago he decided to take a step away from his normal routine and learn how to get strong. He worked with Brian for 9 months, added 200 pounds to his raw total and qualified as an Elite lifter in the 220 pound weight class. He returned back to bodybuilding much stronger and now incorporates the 10/20/Life philosophy into his training to keep himself healthy and making continual progress in the Big 3 as well as adding size and shaping his physique. Now part of Team PRS, he brings his unique expertise of nutritional knowledge and how to balance Bodybuilding with Powerlifting to help athletes achieve their best potential.
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