Every time males made serious progress at the gym, the gain in body fat is followed. Their physiques are suffering, so they know that it is time to change tactics. Many bodybuilders are hesitant to try a Low-Carb diet and they are afraid that their energy stores would deplete to zero. But, they should learn how to fine-tune this regime and achieve the results they set out for. Here is given a guide for a Low-Carb diet for all bodybuilders.
- 1 Definition of carbohydrates:
- 2 Definition of Low-Carb diet:
- 3 Start with calories and macronutrients:
- 4 How low is the Low-Carb diet for bodybuilders:
- 5 What to eat:
- 6 What makes a diet low–carb:
- 7 Calories per day:
- 8 Low–carb diets and bodybuilding:
- 9 Make it happen:
- 10 Be realistic:
- 11 Example low–carb meal plan:
Definition of carbohydrates:
The definitions of carbs are increasing in science nowadays. Here we will explain how carbohydrates work, so you will have a better understanding of the role they play in the bodybuilding diet. The basic building blocks of carbs are called monosaccharides. They are simple sugars, which bind together to form complex molecules. Depending on the combination, these compounds can end up as polysaccharides and oligosaccharides (complex carbs), and disaccharides (simple carbs).
Then, our bodies convert these compounds into glucose for fuel. This type of process is causing a rapid increase in blood sugar, which is measured by GI (glycemic index). The more pronounced the spike is the higher a food is on the index. This sharp rise and fall in glucose levels are key and it is one of the reasons why many bodybuilders choose a low–carb diet when cutting to avoid it.
Definition of Low-Carb diet:
For many years, we have heard that fat is bad for our health. You do not have to go far in the grocery stores to see low–fat or no-fat options lining the shelves. This myth has taken a part in America’s obesity epidemic. But, studies have proven that this is wrong. We do not have a reason to fear fat, especially when it is taken in the moderation and even more so, healthy fats.
The low–carb diet can help to ease the restrictions on this food group. But, this type of diet limits the intake of simple sugars and starches. We know that our bodies need carbohydrates to function efficiently and the low–carb diet is meant to help you find a better energy balance.
It is not implying that you need to cut them out entirely, but you should decrease your intake. As a result of this, your blood sugar will stabilize and insulin levels drop. This is a hormone, which is responsible for directing fat cells to take in glucose. When the levels are high, then more fat can be stored than is necessary. When this is executed correctly, then the low–carb diet can help you to lose weight, because the fat burns quicker when the insulin is stable. When the reduced food intake is added into the scenario, then you are more apt to shed those pounds.
Start with calories and macronutrients:
The three macronutrients in your food are fat, protein, and carbohydrates. The low–carb diet can help you to lose weight and preserve muscle mass because they are generally high in protein. It is important to retain the muscle mass as a bodybuilder because you need as much as possible on stage. As you are losing weight before the show, you are more likely to lose muscle mass, but eating enough protein can prevent this. You should use a calorie tracker to help you to keep your carb, protein, and fat goals.
How low is the Low-Carb diet for bodybuilders:
When you cut back on carbohydrates, the definition of low–carb is not clear–cut. The safe percentage of carb intake is dependent on the individual, the level of activity, and the weight–loss goals. In the nutritional guidelines is suggested that the average diet should include 45 – 65% of carbohydrates per day. Anything below that can be considered low carb. The general opinion is that the low–carb diet targets around 10 – 25% of the daily totals of bodybuilders. Anything that is below this would be deemed very low carb or as it becomes known as ketogenic diet, especially when the amount of protein is dropped in favor of fats.
What to eat:
Below are given two lists, which can help you to know what you can consume and what you cannot consume in your low–carb diet:
- Foods to eat:
- Peas, lentils, corn, quinoa (in moderation)
- Low–GI vegetables (zucchini, spinach, and cabbage)
- Red wine (occasionally)
- Coffee and tea
- Low–sugar fruits (watermelon, berries, avocado, grapefruit)
- Natural fats (butter and olive oil)
- Fish and seafood
- Lean meat
- Nuts and seeds
- Dairies, such as cheese and yogurt
- Foods to avoid:
- Prepared condiments (usually high in sugar)
- Candy and donuts
- Sugar-laden fruits (bananas, grapes, mango)
- Soda and juice
- Starchy root vegetables (potatoes, parsnips)
You need to base the low–carb diet on fresh and unprocessed foods because, in this way, it is effective. Processed items can become problematic when you are trying to distinguish the carb content. If you have to eat these items, then you should read the label. If anything is indicating a net carb percentage, then you need to take a second look. If some product has 15 grams of carbohydrates and 7 grams of fiber, then you are left with a total of eight. You should know that many processed items are low in fiber and high in sugar, so it is important to know what you are getting.
What makes a diet low–carb:
In one review done for bodybuilders is recommended to eat 4 – 7 grams per kg of body weight in carbohydrates per day. You should eat 367 – 636 grams of carbs per day if you weigh 200 pounds. If you eat less than this amount, then it can be considered as a low – carbohydrate diet, but there is no concrete definition of low – carbs. You can keep cutting back on carbs as long as you do not feel sluggish.
There is no reason why you cannot use a low–carb meal plan when bodybuilding. There are many low – carb weight – loss diets that limit their daily carb intake to about 20 – 60 grams per day. If you reduce your carb intake too low as a bodybuilder, then this can force your body to burn your muscle for fuel, so it is essential to find the right balance when you are going on the low–carb, so you will lean out and retain muscle.
Calories per day:
You need to figure out how many calories per day to consume because this is the first step that you should take to make a meal plan. There are some studies in which is said that you need to lose 0.05% – 1% of body weight every week. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, then you should aim to lose two pounds in the first week and then recalculate every week until competition. If you are losing weight more rapidly, then you are increasing your chances of losing muscle mass. You should talk with a professional trainer, so he or she can tell you how many calories you should be subtracting.
Low–carb diets and bodybuilding:
The food you eat is the biggest danger of low–carb, high-fat, and high protein diets. The keto diet tends to be high in red meat and this can lead to high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. It is said that the low–carb diet can hurt bodybuilders by decreasing their performance. When bodybuilders are eating fewer carbohydrates, then your muscles have less quick energy and this can hurt their weight lifting performance.
Make it happen:
When you have already determined your caloric intake based on macros and it is translated into grams, you have done the hardest part. Here are some tips which can help you to get along:
The plane ahead:
You cannot stress this enough. If you have poor organization skills, then you will be stuck eating things that you can easily find. You should choose one day a week to prepare for your upcoming meals. This means you need to research recipes, go grocery shopping and prepare for your workout.
You surely know that you do not have all the time in the world. Especially, this is the case if you are working full–time on top of your workouts and more. You should look for thirty-minute meals and snacks to execute with minimal effort involved.
Example low–carb meal plan:
- Meal 1: mixed berries – 1 cup, butter – 1 tablespoon, sauteed spinach – 2 cups, scrambled eggs – 2 large.
- Meal 2: Greek yogurt – 1 cup, whey protein – 2 scoops, avocado shake – 0.5 avocado
- Meal 3: olive oil – 1 tablespoon, edamame – 1 cup, bacon – 3 slices, bunless burger – 5 – ounce lean patty
- Meal 4: mixed berries – 1 cup, almonds – 0.5 cup, whey protein – 2 scoops, Greek yogurt – 1.5 cup
- Meal 5: olive oil – 1 tablespoon, asparagus – 1 cup, quinoa – 0.5 cups, grilled chicken – 2 breasts