Earn Your Carbs
Are you tired of the scale reading the same numbers week after week? Or even worse, INCREASING? You put in your time at the gym. You work. You sweat. Yet, no results come from it. You can blame hormones, or genetics, or any other factor you want, but I can assure you the issue is with your diet.
You see, the body is a very intricate device. It can learn because of that huge mass inside your skull called a brain. But an issue arises when the body learns and manages systems on it's own, without any input, and without your knowledge the entire way. Examples of this subconscious process are what I call metabolic manipulation. If you, in your panic of weight gain, begin to eat a staggeringly less amount of food your body will respond to that change by metabolizing less and less material. You read that right. Eating less food can actually cause your metabolism to SLOW DOWN. This is the exact opposite effect that we are looking for.
Now, this may come as a threat to some of you, but you have to trust me. Sometimes in the journey to your goal weight, you need to take some steps back and reset the systems we have working for you. THIS MEANS INCREASING OUR INTAKE or simply eating more food. I am not in any way saying "If your scale doesn't move, eat more food!" This is the case for people already dieting (and you need to be completely honest and accountable with yourself if you are actually adhering to your diet or not) and can't get that scale to move.
I'm going to outline TWO example diets here. One male. One female.
I will be estimating using the higher numbers. The lower numbers just give leeway for the type of foods you prefer. If you have no training regimen, then use the lower numbers.
Male: Desired weight = 170 + light training regimen
Carbs = 1-1.5g/lb of ideal weight. 170 *1.5 = 255g 255g * 4 = 1020 calories
Protein = .6-1/lb of ideal weight 170 * 1 = 170g 170g * 4 = 680 calories
Fats = .2-.3/lb of ideal weight 170 * .3 = 51g 51g * 9 = 459 calories
Total Calories = 2159 daily
Female: Desired weight = 120 + light training regimen
Carbs = 1-1.5g/lb of ideal weight 120 *1.5 = 180g 180g * 4 = 720 calories
Protein = .6-1/lb of ideal weight 120 * 1 = 120g 120g * 4 = 480 calories
Fats = .2-.3/lb of ideal weight 120 * .3 = 36g 36g * 9 = 324 calories
Total Calories = 1524 daily
If you want to get more aggressive about the weight loss, then drop the carbs further, but don't sacrifice your workout performance by dropping them too low. I never recommend dropping more than 500 calories per day out of your diet at once. (over a prolonged period this will affect your metabolism) Now this is where we get into my theory of:
EARN YOUR CARBS
On heavy training days like full body, chest, legs, and back feel free to ingest more carbs than normal. Men I would say up to 300g of carbs depending on body part, intensity, and effort. For women, I would suggest no more than 150g on heavy training days.
Every other day shoot for between 30-50g carbs maximum.
This is not meant to be a sustainable diet.
Try this for about 2 weeks to a month. Then go back to maintaining at the numbers I listed above for at least 2 weeks. If you like the results you get, dip back into this diet for another run. The theory here is that you're replenishing the glycogen in your muscles on the days you lift really heavy. This allows you to get the most out of the heavy workout days and tear the most muscle. More muscle to repair = the more calories the body uses during the day to repair that tissue. On your rest days or days that you miss workouts you're consuming significantly less carbs because your energy expenditure is exponentially lower.
Unlike protein (which repairs muscle and promotes regeneration) and fats, (which promote healthy hormone regulation and release) Carbohydrates only have a singular purpose within your body. That purpose is energy. And if you're not spending it, you're storing it.