Shredding body fat can be done in a much more fun and strategic way where you’re actually looking forward to training. Not dreading it because you’re on super low calories, no carbs and only having one meal a day. If you know anyone who’s training like a machine, eating zero carbs for consecutive weeks and they’re telling you how great they feel, they’re bullshitting you.
Life with carbs is better.
Learning how to achieve your best body with carbs is even greater.
The whole getting shredded from zero-carbs thing only works when:
- It’s your first time dieting and you’ve reduced calories and carbs.
- You’re already training frequently and having lots of carbs to support your training.
Once that stops working here’s why many people plateau:
- Your metabolism slows down due a reduction in calories (this makes it mentally and physically harder to get up and train and be motivated; you’re constantly going against human nature where your body wants to move less to take your body out of the stress hole you put yourself in to dieting and exercising more).
Sooner or later if it’s not a necessity for you to get absolutely shredded with a time bound goal your mind and your body is going to go “F this, I’m going to eat some cake”; and then because you’ve had such a bad experience you begin to justify to yourself all the reasons why you can’t do it.
“I don’t need to get into that good of a shape anyway.”
“The people who do this must have no life.”
“Life is busy right now, I’ll do it later.”
There is a better way!
Steps To Getting Stronger & Dropping Steady Body Fat With Carbs:
Shift Your Mindset from Weight/Fat Loss to Performance
When people come in to see us to get better results with their training one of the first things we do is explain that we need to shift their mindset from weight loss to performance. When people are in a weight loss mindset they’re scared of eating, scared of nourishing their body and of course their training has suffered as a by-product.
You can’t be healthy if you’re always “snacking”.
It’s not a very healthy mindset to be in is it? Eat meals instead.
What you have to understand is that if your performance increases and you’re eating healthy; your body composition will also positively reflect that. When we adapt a eating and training for performance mindset we begin to start nourishing our body to train harder, to get stronger and to get fitter. In turn that’s going to lead us to expend more calories during training, create more muscle fibre damage so it can grow into more lean muscle and we eat more carbs to replenish our glycogen stores to repeat the process again.
Train like a beast and don’t eat like a rabbit.
Spend 1 Month+ Teaching Your Body To Be A Carb Burner
Find out how much calories and carbs you can get away with without gaining excessive amounts of body fat. To find those numbers you first need to have some base numbers to go with. Here’s a formula that you can start with:
Katch-McCardle Model (-10% of your TDEE number)
Break down your calories into macronutrients based on your body-type:
Ectomorph: 25%P, 55%C, 20%F
Mesomorph: 30%P, 40%C, 30%F
Endomorph: 35%P, 25%C, 40%F
E.g. If my TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) number was 3000 calories and I’m a mesomorph body-type my starting macro-nutrient split would be:
Once you’ve got those numbers (which aren’t going to be exact) put it to use and test it. Here’s where you want to start training following a consistent structure or program so you can see if you’re getting away with the amount of above food that you’re eating.
After a week of training you haven’t gained weight? Great, add a bit more carbs and calories to see if you can get away with more. You have gained weight? Ok see if you can exercise more or reduce carbs a little until your weight comes down.
(Video on how to track your calories and macro-nutrients)
Here you’re finding your sweet spot; teaching your body to get fitter, faster and stronger whilst having more carbs so your body learns how to use it more efficiently. For this to work you have to spend time training and working your muscles directly to not only use up your muscles glycogen stores but to also re-fill them (without over-spilling).
20 sets of 10-15 reps per major muscle group / week is a good start for a beginner workout.
Get your body to a decent level of body fat with as much carbs as possible.
Tips to increase carbs if weight is steady or dropping:
- Increase carbs by 100 calories (25g carbs)/ week until you hit your threshold (gain)
- Replace some fats with carbs as long as you’re still having sex drive
- Add an extra free meal or add to your free meal
- Increase your expenditure along with carbs until you hit your threshold (gain)
Apply Strength Programming To Your Training
A trick to burn more calories during your workout and during the day is to focus on getting stronger. The stronger you get, the more lean muscle tissue you’re going to build if you’re recovering properly.
You’re also going to be way more motivated to train knowing you’re constantly getting stronger and that you small goals to beat at each workout. You can apply strength training into your weekly program in a number of ways.
Here’s what’s working:
- 2 Days Strength Focused + 2-3 Days Hypertrophy or Fat Loss Focused
- Beginning of Workout Strength Focused; Remainder Conditioning Focused
- 1 Day Full Body Strength + 3-4 Days Hypertrophy or Fat Loss Focused
E.g. of point # 1:
Monday – Upper Body Strength (6-8 Reps)
Tuesday – Lower Body Strength (6-8 Reps)
Wednesday – Complete Rest
Thursday – Upper Body Hypertrophy / Fat Loss (Tri Set Circuits)
Friday – Lower Body Hypertrophy / Fat Loss (Tri Set Circuits)
Saturday – Active Rest
Sunday – Complete Rest
The stronger you get the more strength you can then apply to your faster paced hypertrophy or fat loss training. You’ll actually seeing and feeling progress rather than feeling like every workout is draining of your energy.
More tips to gain strength:
- You have to train your weaknesses to get stronger
- You most probably have to rest more between sets (general observation)
- Focus and aim to execute every exercise perfectly
- You can always better recruit your muscles during a set
- Include intra and post workout drinks (BCAA+EAA’s, carb powders and protein powder)
- Know what’s going to get you stronger in your next program (a decrease in reps, a change in exercise – e.g. box squat to squats)
Implement Carb Re-Feeds and De-Loads
When you’re further along in your training and fitness journey things become a little bit harder. You won’t be able to keep going full steam ahead to your best body ever because you’ll eventually burn out or hit a point where it becomes diminishing returns.
Strategies to keep improving are carb re-feeds and de-loads:
Every Saturday or Sunday increase your calories to maintenance levels and have more carbs than what you would normally have. One day eating more carbs that what you would normally is not going to hurt as long as you’re training hard. It will help to restore glycogen levels and will give you a mental break from nutrition and training.
Every 4th or 5th week have structured de-load where you’re not training at 90-100%; instead perform either less sets (2 sets instead of 4) or reduce your perceived exertion level to 80%. For a training de-load to work you have to deserve it and actually be training balls to wall leading up to it; no point training at 80% for 3 weeks in consecutive, you wouldn’t even call that training.
Where people go wrong with this is that they don’t track their re-feed calories and carbs when they’re re-feeding or they don’t train hard enough initially to warrant a de-load. When executed properly the next day your body shouldn’t feel slow and sluggish; you should instead have more energy to train harder and perform better.
Track Your Progress Week to Week (Not Day-To-Day)
Unless you’re training for a deadline based goal and you’re really close to that deadline it’s better to track your physical performance, weight and body composition on a week to week basis, not day-to-day. Each day your body is going to change due to your stress levels, sleep, how many times you went to the toilet, how much water you drank and if you had an off meal with work colleagues because you’re human.
When you assess your data on a weekly basis you’ll get a better understanding of your patterns and what’s working well for you and what isn’t. This is going to allow you make the necessary changes you need to keep moving in the right direction.
Patterns your can read into weekly:
- Did you do as many steps as you needed to
- Trained as hard and respected your workout as much as it deserved
- Nutrition compliance %
- Stress levels and sleep quality
- Rest quality
If you’re looking for steady weight loss 0.5kg / week is a good target; that’s also going to keep you performing really well during your training. At 1kg or more / week if you’ve got more weight to lose or you’re a beginner you could achieve this with minimal effort to training and more on your nutrition. If you’ve plateaued and been training for a while understanding that your body operates on a see-saw and applying strategies such as re-feeds, de-loads and more structured nutrition and training programming there’s no reason why you can’t hit a target of losing 0.5-1kg of fat a week whilst still getting stronger and having more carbs.
Pure Fat Loss Is Different To Numbers On The Scale
Pure fat loss requires patience and constantly aiming to shred body-fat whilst eating as much food as possible and performing better. The numbers on the scale you can manipulate by starving yourself, cutting out carbs for a few days and taking diuretics (which I don’t suggest you do); even though the numbers on the scales change it doesn’t mean you’ve lost fat; it could mean you’re carb carb depleted or your body is holding less water.
It’s nothing the get excited by.
What you want to get excited by is that you’re losing pure fat, your lean muscle is increasing and that you’re getting fitter, faster and stronger along with it. Instead of the scales you’re going to get a better reading through your clothes, how your energy levels are, how you’re looking through progress photo’s and of course advanced measurements tools such as the DEXA scan.
Ready to hit your next training goal learning how to not make it feel like dieting? We do that by assessing your body, setting you up with your nutrition, helping you to better track and understand your physical performance results plus training you in-person.
Book in a consultation today.