How To Make Low Calorie Diets ‘Not’ Suck
We come across new Fitbuzzers every week. And do you know what the one thing we notice with each and everyone of them?
They all want to turn into super FitBuzzers!
To most, they would already be perceived as ‘fit’. But not FitBuzzers. Oh, no, no, no… FitBuzzers want to look 99% great and no less. And why not…
The way to get there is by implementing advanced fat loss strategies, such as a low carb, high protein diet. Or as we like to say… ‘Diet precise’ strategies.
But if you try that as a novice, or currently have high levels of body fat, you’ll fall flat on your face in the long run. Which will lead to disappointment and of course, a decrease in motivation.
Here we will indeed discuss some of those strategies. But first, make sure you have these 9 rules locked into your habit meter before even attempting to do so.
#1 Consistent training
#2 Eating less than you burn
#3 Properly balancing your macronutrient ratios
#4 Eat a lean protein with every meal
#5 Eat several ‘timed’ meals a day
#6 Eat less D, E, F rated foods
#7 Eat the right types of carbs
#8 Drink water!
#9 Eat the right types of fats
In this post, we’ll talk specifically about how to implement the low carb diet, the right way.
The first thing to understand is that as a novice, you will not need to go on a low carb diet. You can achieve everything you want and more by simply following the 9 rules above. However, if you’re the FitBuzzer who demands to look 99% fantastic, or really struggle to lose fat, no matter how hard you try, it could be that you are a victim to one of these 2 scenarios.
- You are carb sensitive – You’ve tried EVERYTHING to get strong, lean and sexy. Yet you still look soft, puffy and/or fat
- You are facing a plateau – Do you remember this post …. It was in that post where we revealed why most typical diets fail in the long run. In short, dieting screws up your metabolism and causes you to get fat again. And to be honest, it will happen to everyone at some point.
So, if low carb, high protein diets are the way forward to looking 99% great, then what is the right way to go about it? (Because low carb diets do have their cons and side effects) And if you suffer from one of the two scenarios above?
Well, there are 3 specific ways to go about it. But before we do that, let’s look at the side effects of going on a ‘typical’ low carb diet.
#1 You WILL eventually gain weight/fat after an initial fast loss
#2 You will lose lean muscle mass
#3 You won’t have that much needed variety in your diet
#4 You’ll be low on energy, because you need carbs for energy
#5 You could turn into a moody little s***
#6 You won’t stick to it after 3 months (Or less)
As you can see, low carb diets do have many side effects. And the methods that we discuss from this point on will show you how to introduce the low carb diet into your regime, without the negative side effects.
#1 Carb Tapering
We talked about this briefly in this article. There you learned how to structure your meals. But if you are an individual that has a hard time getting shredded, then what you need to do is start cutting starchy carbs out of your evening meals.
- Fibrous carbs + lean protein: Spinach/Turkey breast/Salmon/Cucumbers/Tuna
- EFA’s: Fish oil
Starchy carbs: White potatoes(Eliminated)
This means that the last few meals of your day will contain no starchy carbs, which automatically creates a low carb and higher protein diet. Yes, you will shred fat this way, especially if you have a hard time doing so with the 9 base rules discussed earlier. But slow down FitBuzzer friend, because there are some things you’ll need to take into consideration where a long term approach is concerned.
Create A Carb Deficit (Not a just a calorie deficit)
As described in the 9 rules, losing fat is simply a case of creating a calorie deficit (Eat less) as a percentage of your total food intake. But I know you’ve already tried that. And of course, you can only reduce your calories so much before you start to shred lean muscle and/or cause a big scene in the starvation zone.
The alternative thing to do would be to create a carb deficit. Again, as a percentage. So instead of a generally high or low carb intake, you can introduce a moderate carb intake.
- Carbs 40%
- Protein 40%
- Fat 20%
You can shift the ratios 5% left or right of this example, as we are not all created equal. You will find your optimum moderate intake this way. The main thing to be aware of here is that you cannot reduce your carbs to low or even extremely low levels.
How will you know how low is too low?
Just take a look at the side effects of a low carb diet above. You’ll know when you’re too low, because you’ll begin to experience one of those symptoms. But as a base rule, just don’t go below 30%.
Now that you understand carb tapering and how to consume moderate carbs on a daily basis, let’s look at a tapered moderate carb meal.
(40% carbs = no carbs in last 2 meals)
Meal 1 – 6:30 am: oatmeal, whey protein cocktail, oranges
Meal 2 – 9:00 am: whole wheat bread, onion, tomato, spinach
Meal 3 – 12:30 pm: Brown Rice, chicken breast, cauliflower
Meal 4 – 3:30 pm: Yams, turkey breast, green beans1/2 tbsp flaxseed oil
Meal 5 – 6:00 pm: Fish, broccoli
Meal 6 – 8:30 pm: salads, olive oil & vinegar dressing, tuna fish
Just remember that you if you reduce your carbs as a percentage, then you will have to increase your protein and/or essential fat intake, otherwise you cut way too much calories and end up in starvation zone.
So, we now understand how to consume less carbs (The simple way). But how do you go about consuming low, moderate and high carbs as a long term solution, because being on either of those 3 for a certain length of time is never a good thing?
Carb Cycling (Out smarting the bodies ability to adapt)
This is the method that will allow you to outsmart your body and break through that fat loss plateau as you reach the inevitable end of your calorie cutting zone.
If you have been a follower of FitBuzz for some time, you will would have often heard us say ‘eat more’ when ever you face a plateau. But let’s get a bit more specific, because what we actually should say, is to start carb cycling.
What is carb cycling?
Carb cycling is a process of keeping your carb intake low for a few days ONLY, instead of indefinitely, as most typical diets suggest. And then to increase them on the 4th day.
Why this works?
- It prevents the body from going into starvation mode
- It eliminates the negative side effects of going on a typical low carb diet
The reason why you can only reduce your carbs this drastically for just 3 days, is because you need carbs for energy and for refueling your muscles. Cut carbs for too long, say, for 4 days or more and you will be weak, soft and less sexy.
Also, your body will begin to adapt to the new carb intake that you’ve thrown at it, which is why you boost them high again on the 4th day in order to confuse the hell out of it.
The other benefit of this approach, is that you are actually more likely to stick to it long term, compared to a typical 3 month diet. The first reason is because you’ll actually have something to look forward to every 3 days. You get to cheat and eat all of those tasty carbs again. The second reason is because you should notice your body getting leaner and leaner as the weeks go by.
Because if you reduce carbs, your body will begin to use fat for fuel. Which means you’ll be burning fat. And increasing your carbs helps to boost your metabolic rate.
Just remember, that you have to keep to the 3 day sequence. If you don’t and decide to stay on low calories for longer than that time, your body will become inefficient at burning carbs.
The third reason why you’ll stick with it is because you’ll be turning your body into a fat burning muscle build machine using this approach.
That fourth day is a great day, because your body will soak up all the carbs that you feed it with. The continuous cycle will make your body store carbs as muscle glycogen instead of sending them off as body fat.
What to do if this approach works too well?
If you start to actually shred the fat that you’ve been dreaming about all this time, then you need to:
1) Increase your overall calorie intake
2) Add a few more high carb days right after the first one
If you do this, you may begin to build more muscle, while at the same time, losing fat.
Typical carb intake
- 2160 calories
- Protein 45% = 980 calories = 244 g
- Carbs 30% = 650 calories = 163 g
- Fats 25% = 530 calories = 47 g
- 2580 calories
- Protein 30% = 800 calories = 200 g
- Carbs 50% = 1250 calories = 333 g
- Fats 20% = 530 calories = 57 g
- 1370 calories
- Protein 45% = 620 calories = 154 g
- Carbs 30% = 410 calories = 95 g
- Fats 25% = 340 calories = 34 g
- 1770 calories
- Protein 30% = 800 calories = 129 g
- Carbs 50% = 890 calories = 219 g
- Fats 20% = 350 calories = 38 g
Remember, this is just ‘typical’. You can work out your own total calorie intake in the lifestyle diet ebook. But in general, if you want to look 99% great and/or have troubles shredding fat, then these are the approaches to take to shake thing up. Start cycling….
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