Eat Carbohydrates and Lose Fat

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Over the past 100-years there have been a multitude of dietary trends. These fads have promised weight loss, increased energy and so, so much more!

Most of these “get fit quick” nutrition plans claim to have found the secret bullet that all others have been missing! Whether it’s protein, fats or carbohydrates, most of these plans have you drastically increasing one, while almost eliminating the other.

For the readers out there that are starting to nod their heads, we know all too well that these style of plans cannot be sustained. And, when you tumble off the “wagon” all that hard earned weight loss comes crashing back on!

A certain macronutrient getting a lot of negative attention lately is carbohydrates. Some of the popular low carbohydrate plans would be either Paleo or Keto. Now, carbs can be restricted for a short time period but, having to completely eliminate them is not the best idea. Extremely low carb diets can result in;

  • Increased levels of cortisol (the body’s stress hormone)

  • Decreased levels of testosterone (this is bad for both men and women)

  • Muscle tissue breakdown (carbohydrates help preserve hard earned muscle)

  • Compromised immune system function

  • Irritability and impaired cognitive function

  • Slowed metabolism (you burn less calories)

To sum it up, your metabolism will most likely slow down, stress hormones will begin to rise and your muscle building hormones will plummet. On top of all that good news, most individuals tend to have a feeling of lousiness, short tempered, clouded thoughts and possibly even sick! Now if all this hasn't sold you on the idea of low carb dieting, the most alarming piece is that you won’t even lose that much weight!

So, you can’t eat too many carbs and now you can’t completely cut them out! This leaves you somewhere in the middle, like most things. Extremes are very difficult to sustain so we’re going to show you what your carb intake should look like based on your activity levels and body composition!

Category #1: Little to no physical activity and you have a lot of lbs. to drop

If you fall into this category you most likely have a high amount of insulin resistance (your body is great at storing fat). To correct this issue you will have to start out by restricting carbs to 50-grams or less. Build your diet around lean protein sources, healthy fats and as many leafy greens and low carb veggie choices as possible! You can also compliment your diet with some mixed nuts and dark, mixed berries for fruit!

Category #2: You exercise but are still overweight

In this category you’re headed in the right direction but you still have some work to do! Insulin still needs to be improved so your carb range will be 50 to 100-grams per day. Stay along the guidelines of the prior category, however; you can add in some higher carb fruits or starchy carbs. Choices such as sweet potatoes, jasmine brown rice and quinoa are all good!

Category #3: You’re physically active and relatively lean

You fall into this category if you’re noticeably carrying some muscle and your abdominals are visible. To sustain this body composition you should be eating between 150 to 250-grams per day. For this recommendation to work you need to be active throughout the day (10k steps at least), while also weight training intensely 2-4 times per week! Still stick with lean proteins and healthy fats, along with all the low carb veggies and fruit you want. Make up the rest of your carb content with beans, mixed nuts, avocados and a few pieces of higher carb fruits or starchy carbs.

Category #4: You’ve been “low-carbing” it for awhile now

This is your category if you’ve been eating low carb for a long time and you’ve either plateaued or just plain old don’t feel good! There could be a number of issues plaguing you;

  • Your total daily calories are too low. However; don’t assume this unless you’ve been tracking your calories.

  • Your hormones could be off, like we discussed at the beginning. These can be sorted out through a hormonal saliva test.

Based on your starting point (activity levels and body fat %), you can increase your carbs to 100 to 150-grams per day. Another option is to have at least one large carb day per week, maybe a dinner with steak, potatoes and some good red wine!