You have to earn your carbs to lose weight and burn fat!
Posted Sep 13 2008 11:41pm
The majority of the world's population is carbohydrate intolerant, meaning they can not consume carbs without it raising their blood sugar dramtically and resulting in some fat storage. The unfortunate truth for these people is that eating carbs without proper exercise and control will make or keep you fat! If you are trying to lose weight or keep your weight down you need to reduce your carb intake very low. You truly do have to earn your carbs as Charles Poliquin often says. If you do not reduce overall carb intake and only eat them when it is time (you have earned them) then losing weight will always be extremely difficult because you will be forced to rely on caloric restriction which over the long term is never effective.
Okay, so how do you earn your carbs? Easy, only eat carbs after an intense workout. Simple, end of blog post. Just kidding. I will explain the difference between a typical diet and healthy, weight reducing low carb meal plan. The typical fattening North American diet looks like this:
Breakfast, if any is cereal or toast (insulin spiking meal which promotes the storage fat and burns only sugar), also not nearly enough protein
Lunch, fast food or a sandwich and junk food (no nutrition, spiking insulin)
Dinner, fast food, take out or if you are lucky a healthy meal of protein, veggies and carbs (often low nutrition, calories are way too high due to undereating all day, if it is a home cooked meal that is good but often too many carbs ), again fat is being stored instead of burned
Late night snack, dessert, junk food or more cereal (no nutrition, empty calories, insulin spike), basically a disaster.
Juice or pop with each meal! (the worst thing you can do to get fat)
This terrible diet is the norm so most people reading this are probably guilty of it. I know I was! In high school I lived in cereal, peanut butter sandwiches on white bread but always had a healthy home cooked dinner. I wasn't fat, but I got there by college on this same diet. This diet is essential all processed carbs, very low protein and quality fats. You simply will not lean out eating like this no matter how much exercise you do! Even worse though, most people don't even exercise! I sit at work all day and watch people eat crap, sit on their butts and I know they don't exercise when they go home. Then they complain about being fat and convince each other to eat more junk food and get fatter! It is insanity!
Here is a better plan that will allow you to eat some yummy carbs but put you in a fat burning state instead.
Breakfast, eggs or yougurt with protein powder and berries, or meat
Snack, nuts and/or northern hemisphere fruit, possibly add a protein shake
Lunch, left overs from dinner (meat and veggies, no starches)
Snack, same as the first one
Workout here, then drink a post-workout shake of carbs and protein powder (even women!)
Dinner, home cooked meal of meat and veggies. If you trained hard and are not fat you can eat carbs as you have earned them! If you are working hard to lose weight do not eat carbs except right after training hard.
Lots of water with each meal!
Now this diet isn't even a diet but it will work much better! You are not spiking your insulin with carbs so you will not store more and prevent the burning of fat. You are eating a ton of protein which will make you full and speed up your metabolism through digestion. Lots of fiber, digestion and satiety again. And the amount of nutrition you are getting will give you more energy to train and live life happily. This diet really does not involve sacrifice, you are simply eating the way nature intended you to, not food marketing companies. If you eat naturally and low carb like this you will feel great and look even better!
What is a hard workout that will allow you to indulge in some post workout carbs? Think Crossfit, or sprints, weight lifting or high intensity interval training. Do not think walking, cruising on your bike, or jazzercise! Check out the video below or my other blog for an example of a hard workout.