To lose weight you have to stop eating carbs right?
Although it’s what many female weight loss programs advocate. There are more searches for Keto and Keto diet than there are for pretty much any other diet system.
Right behind that is ‘fast weight loss’ or ‘how to lose weight fast’
Although most people understand that they need to eat a bit less to lose weight, actually putting this into action can be tricky and complicated.
What then occurs is a complete cutting out of carbs as a quick fix.
A LOT of female weight loss diets focus on cutting carbs
There are so many female weight loss gurus who promote a low to zero carb diet for women. It’s easy money as you lose weight fast from lower food volume and reduced glycogen in the muscles, also a bit of water retention can go.
This is pretty short lived though and the initial weight loss and euphoria is then followed by the realisation that to sustain that weight loss you can never eat carbs again, or at least in the quantity you did before.
What follows is a slow and sustained building up of cravings for the food you left behind. You’re stuck in a prison of your own making where the only food you can eat is that which you’re slowly resenting
The inevitable break happens and you binge massively on carbs and pretty much anything else you can get your hands on.
The weight returns and you’re left frustrated and still confused about how to actually get that body you want.
Eating carbs is essential for building a better body but also for maintaining weight loss and lower body fat
If you don’t exercise then eating low carbs is probably going to be ok for you to lose weight. However if that is your situation I would definitely be asking yourself why you don’t exercise. The health benefits from even walking for 30 minutes a day at a brisk pace can substantially reduce your risk from dying of many common ailments.
Let’s be clear, we are all going to die, but if walking 30 minutes a day could give you a few extra years with your grandkids and loved ones then why aren’t you doing that?
If you do exercise then well done, if you exercise with weights then AWESOME, you’re well on your way to getting an incredible body.
The only thing is, weight training is mainly glycolytic in nature – which means it uses stored glycogen (carbs) in the muscles to lift the weights.
If you have low glycogen from a low carb diet, this makes the weight training much harder, which then makes the likelihood of you quitting or not even going to the gym much higher.
Your Fat Loss Diet is Now Stopping You Losing Fat
Your new super duper low carb diet is now stopping you from building the body you want and actually reducing your output which may stop any fat loss happening.
Because you’re now training less or with less intensity and your calorie deficit has been reduced to almost nothing.
Weight loss is irrelevant if the weight isn’t fat
The weight loss associated with low carb dieting is almost entirely water and food volume in the first few weeks.
Fat loss comes from a sustained calorie deficit which forces the body to use it’s fat stores to sustain life and activity.
This may be happening in the first few weeks of low carbs but not to the level that you’re seeing on the scales.
You need to be in a deficit of around 8000 kcal to drop 1kg of fat
and that’s not even a guaranteed event due to your body trying to compensate for your low calories by making you more lazy, tired and hungry.
That’s a pretty high number and for most of us we’d be fortunate to see a drop of 0.5-1kg of fat every 1-2 weeks on average. Weight loss may be more than this but actual fat will be low.
With super low calories you’ve also got the risk of muscle loss especially with low protein intake and lower weight training output.
While you may be looking at the scales and seeing weight loss, what actually may be happening is you’re getting weaker and less shapely.
How to build muscle and lose fat while eating carbs and training hard
What is the solution then if you are a female looking to get into shape and love training with weights?
- Well firstly eating carbs doesn’t mean eat ALL the carbs.
- You’ll have to start tracking your intake as I do find quite regularly that many people, not just females, overeat massively when they guess their calories.
Tracking your food and setting certain macro targets to hit is the first step to a leaner, fitter body
You can get a free calorie and macro calculation here
Once you’ve started on your way you may find that after a while you are training so well that you start feeling overly tired, this is a sure sign that you need to increase your food.
This is quite a common occurrence when I work with women, first we start a new weights program with a ton of volume to burn up calories and then we fuel that to get better results.
This is exactly what happened with Camilla and you can find out exactly how we changed her entire mindset and outlook on ‘dieting’ in this video or pdocast