Low Carb Diets: The Best for body builders
Even though there has been a huge resurgence in the interest
in low carbohydrate/high
protein diets, the low carb vs. high carb issue is still the
subject of much controversy. Is the low carb/high protein diet the best way for
bodybuilders to get ripped or just another fad? From a
the answer is an unequivocal yes; reducing carbohydrates really works! Most
bodybuilders can't get that "ripped" look without some degree of carb
Why does dropping your carbs help you lose more fat?
Eating less carbohydrates forces your body to burn
fat for fuel instead of
sugar. Reducing carbs and increasing protein
accelerates fat loss by controlling your insulin and blood sugar more
The high protein
intake speeds up your
because of the "thermic effect" of protein food. It also helps eliminate
retention, giving you the "hard" and "dry" look you need onstage to win
However, a moderate carb diet, with slight carb restriction
(especially at night) is the most effective way for
bodybuilders to get ripped. A diet comprising of 175 -200 grams of carbs
is advisable with most of the carbs eaten early in the day. Every 4th day, you
can have a high carb day (350 grams) to replenish your depleted glycogen stores.
With 175 - 200 grams of carbs, that is just enough fuel to provide the energy
and to prevent muscle loss.
Problems with low carb diet
However it is not advisable to drop carbohydrate further to 30 or 50 grams a day (like many fad
diets recommend) to get more ripped or to get ripped faster? Because, without carbs, youíll have no energy to train hard. Sure, tuna
fish and water will get you ripped all right, but if your
workouts suffer because
your diet is "killing you," you arenít going to look or feel your best.
Another big problem caused by very low carb diets is loss of
lean body mass.
The lower you drop your carbs, the more likely you are to lose muscle along with
A third problem with very low carb diets is the rebound effect. The lower you
drop your carbs, the faster you will rebound and gain the fat back when you add
the carbs back in.
Nutrition is a highly individual issue. Some people canít seem to
unless they reduce their carbohydrate intake. Other people can eat bagels and
pasta all day long and they have six pack abs. How many carbs you eat therefore,
depends on your body type. Are you an endomorph or an ectomorph? Do you have a
fast metabolism or a slow metabolism? Are you naturally lean or naturally heavy?
Depending on your genetics, you might thrive on high carbs or you might need a
high protein, low carb diet to get results. But beware: even if you think you
are the carb sensitive, slow-metabolism type, the middle path (moderate carb
restriction) is the most sensible way to go.
The only way to determine how many grams of carbs is right for you is to
experiment until you find your "critical level." If you start dropping body fat
rapidly at 200 grams a day, then why on earth would you subject yourself to the
torture of going even lower and doing one of those 30-40 grams a day "ketogenic"
Remember, there is no single
diet that works for
If you want to get ripped, you should also pick the type of carbohydrates you eat
carefully - itís not just the quantity, itís the quality. In addition to
moderating total daily carb intake, try getting off all processed carbs including bread, crackers, pretzels, pasta, bagels and switching only to
natural, unprocessed carbs like vegetables, oatmeal, yams, rice, potatoes, etc.
That single change will go a long way in helping you get leaner (and healthier
The bottom line is that itís not correct to say, "carbs are fattening," but
there is some truth to the assertion that a low carb diet will get you leaner
compared to a high carb diet Ė you just have to approach it in a sensible and