12 Days Left and Reducing Carbs

22 Mar

The common line of thinking among the bodybuilding community is that carbs (complex carbs in particular) are absolutely necessary to spare protein and prevent the breakdown of muscle. There’s strong science behind that theory and I agree with it. When fat loss is the goal, however, reducing carbs is a must.

I’ve had a pretty low carb diet over the last 10 weeks, at around 100g or less per day. (For perspective, ½ c. of uncooked oatmeal has 24g carbs; a large apple has about 31g.) Now that I’m in the last two weeks of my diet, I was toying with eliminating carbs altogether to reach a ketosis state for more fat burn.

I’ve been reading lately about The Primal Blueprint, a diet created by Mark Sisson. Like the Paleo Diet, it’s primary purpose is to “eat like our ancestors ate”, which means consuming lots of meat and vegetables, but no grains and very little dairy. (While similar, the diets have some significant differences, mostly related to the suggested type and quantity of fats.) It’s a pretty fascinating read, although I don’t know if I buy into the fact that humans haven’t adapted in 10,000 years to the foods we’ve created. But, some people are getting great results from it, and I think it is yet another good argument that diets consisting of a high amount of protein, good fats, lots of veggies, no white sugar and low carbohydrates keep you slim and trim.

After reading more about the carb issue, however, I’ve decided to reduce my carbs to around 50g per day, but not to 0g. I’ll do this by taking out all complex carbs but my oats in Meal 1. The main reason I’m not eliminating carbs altogether is that I want to avoid feeling deflated and weak. This morning I read a study that suggested that people on a high protein, no carb diet (but one that also includes a relatively high level of fats) regained lost strength and energy after about two weeks. Still, the “no-carb fog” is a state I’d like to avoid at this point, however short term it may be. Plus, I don’t think ditching a bodybuilding diet at this point is a good idea. But giving it a few tweaks can’t hurt.

It’ll be an experiment to see what further carb reduction can do for me over the next few weeks. For some perspective, my hips measure 37” today, and to get the look I’m going for, I think they will have to be 36” or smaller. Losing one inch in a few weeks is a tall order (it is equivalent to a whole pants size). But the fun is in seeing where I end up. April 4 is very close!

Steph

*Watch me do it*

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