I used to think carbs were the enemy.

And, like so many people, I was wrong.

I’m not afraid to admit it, either.  I drank the high fat kool aid and had people who trained here do the same.

And you know what?  It does work.  It really does.  Going high fat while staying low carb is, in fact, a way to lose fat.

These aren't "bad  foods"..but they don't need to make up the bulk of our calorie intake, either...

These aren’t “bad foods”..but they don’t need to make up the bulk of our calorie intake, either…

But, it’s a way to lose fat provided you are largely inactive, don’t care about feeling your best, have amazing self control, and don’t care at all about performance. If you live an active lifestyle, like feeling like you have tons of energy, want to see more progress in your workouts, and like to have the occasional guilt free “off the meal plan” treat, then a higher fat approach might not be the best route.

For all of these reasons.  myself and the coaches at Edge Fitness have moved away from recommending a high fat, low carb diet to most of our clients.  I’m going to share our approach with you right now.

You see, just about all of our members care about their workouts.  They want the maximum benefits from the time they put in.  They also want to lose fat, build lean muscle, be healthy, and look great naked (we’re being honest, right?).

So how does a diet plentiful in carbohydrate accomplish this?

You get to eat frozen yogurt (okay, really what i’m trying to say here is that this way of eating allows nutritional flexibility you just can’t get with high fat. Or, you know, froyo).

adequate carb intake ensures you both perform and recover properly from your workouts

Eating carbs makes it easier to stay in a calorie deficit while feeling full. (this = weight/fat loss).

Pretty simple, right?

whitegirl frozen yogurt

This is basically me every time I eat frozen yogurt. #whitegirlprobz


So, if you’re still with us, here’s how we* might recommend eating carbs throughout your day if you are serious about your goals (this is highly individualized.  Seek out a coach to help you setup your numbers):

riceDetermine daily calorie intake. (activity level, gender, age, training age, body fat %, etc)

Determine protein intake. (options: 25% of total calories, 1.5x LBM weight, .8-1xBW/goal BW)

Calculate fat intake  (25%-30% total calories or .3-.5 x (goal) BW)

Fill in the rest of your calories with carbs. (Usually 35-55% of total calories)

That’s it.  How we do that is individual per client, but the side notes give some insight on how you might do that on your own. (or drop a comment below and my team will reach out and help you determine yours).

From there, we have our clients fill in their carbs primarily around their workout.  If a female client gets  200g of carbs on a workout day (not uncommon with our system) we would have her:

-eat 60% of her carbs +/- 60 minutes from her workout. (about 120g)

-Roughly 30-35g pre workout

-roughly 30-40g during the workout.

-the remainder post workout. 

-lower in fat during all these portions.

-15-20g of protein during each meal (pre, intra, and post).

Now, this is for a specific client at Edge Fitness, and the numbers would be manipulated based on your individual needs and goals.

All of these carbs should be simple, higher glycemic index carbs to ensure they are used toward energy for the workout and for recovery.  Things like low fat frozen or greek yogurt, white rice, sweet potatoes, or even a little low fat sugary goodness like cereal or low fat bakery goods.

The rest of your day should be healthy, low glycemic index carbs to help recovery.  The meal(s) furthest from your workout can be lower/no carb.

Now, if you stuck through all that chance are good your brain exploded, or you’ve gotten a ton of useful information on how to eat to be fit, perform well, live a life full of delicious carbs, and still look awesome!

Till Next time,

Mike Spagnola

*(Note:  Huge thanks to the Complete Human Performance team and the Renaissance Periodization team for their help in bringing our staff to these not-so-new but new-to-us conclusions.  You guys are the voice of reason in the industry and a pleasure to work with…Thank You!).