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10 Ways To Do A Low Carbohydrate Diet The Right Way.

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Low Carbohydrate Diet For Triathletes

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A few days ago, I posted about the 10 Hidden Dangers of  a Low Carbohydrate Diet.

If you recall from that article, I did mention that I am certainly a fan of low carbohydrate diets, and referenced how physically active individuals may be able to actually benefit from strategic low carbohydrate intake in my article 4 Reasons To Think Twice About Eating Carbohydrates Before A Workout or (if you’re a Rock Star Triathlete Academy member) the article 5 Ways to Get A Big Carbohydrate Restricting Performance Advantage.

I summed it up this way:

In a nutshell, pun intended, as you begin to increase carbohydrate consumption above the levels that you need for survival or periods of intense physical activity, you lose your ability to rely on fat burning mechanisms, and you experience the damaging effects of chronically elevated blood sugars, including neuropathy (nerve damage), nephropathy (kidney damage), retinnopathy (eye damage), increased cardiovascular disease risk, potential for cancer progression (tumor cells feed on sugar) and bacterial or fungal infection.

So if the dangers of a low carb diet that I talked about didn’t deter you, and you’re bent on banning bread, take heart. There is a way to do a low carbohydrate diet the right way. Here are 10 ways to eat a low carbohydrate diet while avoiding common mistakes.

1. Time Carbohydrates Wisely.

This one is a biggie, so we’ll start with it. One of the main reasons for eating a low carbohydrate diet is because your blood sugar levels stay far more stabilized. But there is a time that you can consume carbohydrate without causing your blood sugar levels to go on a roller coaster ride – and that time is immediately before, during, or after exercise.

So if you are on a low carbohydrate diet, I highly recommend carbohydrate intake for exercise sessions that are 1) intense; 2) involve weight training; 3) are longer than 2 hours in duration.

Although many folks use this as an excuse to eat more carbs than they should there is certainly truth to the fact that “fat burns in the flame of carbohydrate” – meaning if you are constantly carb depleted due to zero calories of glucose intake, you can shut down your body’s natural fat burning capabilities. So if you’re planning on exercising, try get at least 500-600 calories of carbohydrate per day, and eat them before, during or after your exercise session if you want them to not affect your blood sugars levels in a potentially damaging way.

2. Take Into Consideration Your Body Fat Levels.

If you’re fat, you’re going to have more fat to burn. Look down at your waistline. Do you have layers of fat that you can grab? A beer belly? Muffin-tops? All of that is fat that can be mobilized if you are on a low carbohydrate diet.

But if your body fat is under 7-8% as a male, or in the low teens as a female, then it is highly likely that you’re going to struggle with a consistently low carbohydrate intake – specifically during exercise sessions.

So if I have a client who is 30% body fat, I have no issues with that client staring at the ceiling awake at night craving carbohydrates as their body mobilizes fat tissue for energy, and I generally continue to advise them to watch their carb intake. But if that person is 6% body fat, it is far more likely that they’re going to need that extra fat for insulation or essential fat stores, in which case it might be a good idea to go slam a bowl of rice.

3. Don’t Eat Processed Crap.

I mentioned this in my last article that typical “low carbohydrate” meal replacement bars and shakes, ice creams or ice cream sandwiches, and other low carb or sugar-free snacks often contain potentially unhealthy ingredients like maltitol, and are chock full of preservatives and highly processed ingredients. If your low carbohydrate diet involves boxed, wrapped and packaged food, it probably falls into this category.

Get this through your head – whether a food is low carbohydrate or not, if it is something you see advertised on TV, magazines, or newspapers you probably shouldn’t eat it. If it’s something you can easily recognize and identify where it grew and how it go to your plate, it probably is OK to eat.

This means that avocados are cool. Guacamole from your grocery store that has (and this is a popular brand):

Skim Milk, Soybean Oil, Tomatoes, Water, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Coconut Oil, Safflower and/or Corn Oil), Eggs, Distilled Vinegar, Avocado Pulp, Onions, Salt, Nonfat Dry Milk, Egg Yolks, Lactic Acid, Sugar, Whey, Sodium Caseinate, Mono and Diglycerides, Gelatin, Soy Protein Isolate, Xanthan Gum, Corn Starch, Guar Gum, Mustard Flour, Black Pepper, Red Chili Pepper, Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Benzoate (Added to Retard Spoilage), Coriander, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Cellulose Gel, Cellulose Gum, Locust Bean Gum, Disodium Phosphate, Cilantro, Gum Arabic, Extractives of Garlic and Black Pepper, Paprika Oil, Oregano, Thyme, Bay Leaf, Calcium Chloride, Citric Acid, Dextrose, Artificial Color (FD&C Blue No. 1, FD&C Red No. 40, FD&C Yellow No. 5, FD&C Yellow No. 6).

is not cool. This is just one example, but I think it gives you a pretty good idea of what I’m getting at. Eat real food – not processed crap.

4. Inject Carbohydrate Loading Days.

This is another biggie. Long term carbohydrate deprivation leads to a complete depletion of your body’s storage glycogen levels, depression of your immune system, decrease in metabolic function, and a host of other issues that you may be able to put up with if you’re content to lie around on the couch, but that you’re guaranteed to get completely destroyed by if you’re planning on regular physical activity or competition like Crossfit, triathlon or marathon.

Fortunately, there’s an easy fix, and this is a big part of my new book “Low Carbohydrate Guide For Triathletes”: simply inject strategic carbohydrate re-feeding days into your exercise routine, either the day before your biggest workout day of the week or the day of your biggest workout of your week. On this day, you double or triple your normal carbohydrate intake, and eat at or slightly above your total calorie needs.

The disadvantage of doing this the day before your biggest workout of the week is that you’re often resting on that day, and being sedentary while eating a ton of carbohydrates is not that great for your blood sugar levels. The disadvantage of doing it the day of your biggest workout of the week is that sometimes you’re too busy exercising to eat much, but this is only really an issue for someone like an Ironman triathlete.

5. Use Supplements Wisely.

When you begin a low carbohydrate diet, you’re guaranteed to experience intense carbohydrate cravings. There are supplements that can help curb cravings, including chromium and vanadium (such as in Thermofactor), gymnema sylvestre (but you gotta take about 4000+ mg per day of it, which means you’d really want a physician’s brand version), L-tryptophan or amino acids (if the issue is a serotonin deficiency) and even foods like those I demonstrate in my video: 5 Ways To Suppress Your Appetite Without Taking Pills or Capsules.

For exercise sessions, I actually recently tried out wasp larvae extract (VESPA), which is supposedly able to increase your ability to utilize free fatty acids as a fuel during exercise. I took two packets of it, and was able to go about 4 hours on 1 gel. The disadvantage was that I was never able to go “above threshold”, or into my carbohydrate burning heart rate zone, so I’m not convinced I’d use it in a race, but it could certainly come in handy if you’re trying to get by on a low carbohydrate diet and also do long exercise sessions.

6. Be In It For The Long Haul.

When you first start a low carbohydrate diet, your weight will plummet as your body sheds storage glycogen and all the water that the storage carbohydrate sucks up like a sponge. So if your goal is weight loss, life is good for the first couple weeks as you shed anywhere from 3-20 pounds, depending on your starting weight.

And then the weight loss stops. In most cases, this is the point where people throw up their hands in despair, convinced that the plan isn’t working, quit the low carbohydrate diet, and go in search of a pastry shop.

But if you stick with a low carbohydrate diet, the weight loss will gradually and consistently continue, especially if you include strategically implemented days where you allow your body’s storage carbohydrate levels to be re-filled.

7. Be Ready For Discomfort

During the first 7-14 days that you go low carb, you’re going to find that your energy levels plummet, you get grumpy, you feel lethargic, and your body simply does not move or perform the way you’d like it to. This is because you are burning fatt acids (ketones) as a fuel.

So a strict low carbohydrate diet can be uncomfortable, and you need to be mentally prepared for that. Implementing the carbohydrate craving tips I gave earlier will help, but ultimately, you will find that you feel the same way as a marathoner does when they “bonk”, which is what happens during a run when your body runs out of storage carbohydrate and needs to begin burning fat as a fuel. This is also called “hitting the wall”.

If the discomfort does not subside, then I recommend you A) identify nutritional deficiencies and get tested for fatty acids and also for amino acids, and also make sure you’re incorporating carbohydrate re-feed days if you’re an physically active person.

8. Stay Hydrated.

Not only will adequate water help to reduce the carbohydrate cravings you may experience early in the diet, but A) water is also essential for beta-oxidation, which is how your body burns fat as a fuel and B) you’re going to lose a significant amount of storage water as your body sheds carbohydrate stores, so you’ll need more as a dietary source.

I personally drink and recommend ample amounts of  soda water, unsweetened Kombucha, water with effervescent electrolytes dissolved in it, water with deltaE and just plain water. What I don’t drink is anything with added artificial sweeteners or sugars. So check your nutrition labels if you’re drinking fluid from packages or bottles, but stay hydrated when you’re on a diet like this.

9. Get Your Fiber.

When you switch to a low carbohydrate diet, the drop in fruit, vegetables, legume and grain consumption can significantly decrease fiber intake and result in inadequate phytonutrient, antioxidant, vitamin C and potassium intake. There is absolutely no reason that you can’t eat liberal amounts of dark leafy greens and other non-starchy vegetables on a low-carbohydrate diet. Just be careful with your total daily intake and timing of starchy vegetables or tubers, such as beets, sweet potatoes or taro.

10. Don’t Judge.

This may seem a bit preachy, but I feel compelled to point out the fact that there are a multitude of successful vegan or vegeterian endurance athletes, including ultra-runner Scott Jureky, pro triathlete and ultra-runner Brendan Brazier, pro triathlete Hilary Biscay, US Master’s Running Champion Tim Van Orden, and top ultraman finisher Rich Roll.

Since most vegan and vegetarian diets are definitely not low carbohydrate, this demonstrates that you can succeed without eating a low carbohydrate diet. However,  the low carbohydrate or ketogenic approach can be especially successful for fat loss, for learning to burn fats more efficiently and even for reducing risk of, or managing, chronic diseases such as diabetes or cancer.

In the last podcast, I also mentioned that I have a new video about low carbohydrate diets and my new book: “Low Carbohydrate Guide For Triathletes”. Check out the video, and leave any comments, questions or feedback below!

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60 Responses to “10 Ways To Do A Low Carbohydrate Diet The Right Way.”

  1. alan says:

    great article. what are your thoughts on carb re-fueling? how often and how much? one meal once a week? one day once a week? and what sorts of carb sources? would you include pastas and breads at that meal or does that fall under the category of "processed crap"?

  2. Kyle Knapp says:

    Great article! Thanks for a straight forward and informative rundown. So many people misunderstand the pro/con/effective uses of low carb diets. I agree that they can a fantastic tool when used smartly, such as by following these helpful guidelines. Thanks again, you always present a well researched and thoughtful perspective.

  3. Melanie Duncan says:

    Question – I highly recommend carbohydrate intake for exercise sessions that are 1) intense; 2) involve weight training; 3) are longer than 2 hours in duration. ***Does this mean all of the above or just any one of these?
    Question – So if you’re planning on exercising, try get at least 500-600 calories of carbohydrate per day, and eat them before, during or after your exercise session if you want them to not affect your blood sugars levels in a potentially damaging way. ***How long before can you get by with? In other words, if I had a sweet potato @ 8 am, but didn't exercise until 1 pm, would that be too much before?

  4. Angie says:

    Hi Ben.. This is an amazing article! I wouldn't class myself as sedentary but i'm definitely no hard core athlete either! As i have an ongoing back problem I generally do between 1 and 4 one hour bootcamp interval style sessions a week (1 hour each) but if my back is really bad i'll rest completely.

    I have been eating low carb for a few months (as part of the metabolic typing process). My body fat is approx 35% so my question is.. would you advise that i do the carbohydrate loading day that you detailed in point 4, and if so, approx how much loading would be advisable?

    Or… am i ok to eat low carb all week (i don't generally suffer from low energy) on the basis that I have enough fat to be mobilised and used as energy?

    Thanks for all the great content!

    Angie

    • Hi Angie, you probably would still want to have one day where you "refill" glycogen stores IF you're working out during the week – UNLESS your energy levels are constantly high and you feel good.

  5. Em says:

    Hi. I'm on a low carb high fat diet due to severe IBS – this is the only thing I've found that keeps me of medicins and out of the hospitaI so this is not a diet choice based on desire to lose weight or anything (I'm 160 cm and weigh approx 48 kg). I eat liberal amounts of green leaf veg, avocados, nuts and seeds, fish, organic dairy and eggs, organic meat, some fruit, berries, etc. I run and train a lot, attempting my first marathon and my first tri sprints this year, and also do a lot of yoga. My question is: Since I get ill from eating things like bread, quinoa, rice (what people would deem is a normal healthly meal) and also have to choose what I use for fuel doing my long runs, do you have any thoughts regarding how not to deplete my glycogen stores and/or refill them? I feel good, but sometimes think my diet is hindering me from going faster if you see what I mean. Like a car running on diesel, can go on for ever but perhaps not that explosive… Any input would be so welcome!

  6. Em says:

    I might get away with the sweet potatoe, but white rice would throw me straight away… Also, might work as a one off, but if we’re talking about how to maximise my training efforts weekly, that will be very tricky adding sweet potatoes and the likes.

    I guess what I’m asking is what my minimum carb intake would be, and could it be covered with nuts, seeds, leafy greens and the likes?

  7. musclegeek says:

    "…fat burns in the flame of carbohydrate” – meaning if you are constantly carb depleted due to zero calories of glucose intake, you can shut down your body’s natural fat burning capabilities.."

    This is only true if you are eating a zero carb diet, and also not eating protein. This pretty much never happens in the real world.

    Here's why:

  8. musclegeek says:

    fat burns in the flame of oxaloacetate, which can be derived from either glucose or amino acids. When we break down fats or carbohydrates for energy, we turn them into acetic acid, or acetate, which is a two-carbon unit. A little shuttle called coenzyme A, which is made of pantothenic acid, carries the acetate around and together we call the complex acetyl CoA. Pantothenate is also called vitamin B5 and is found abundantly in many foods.
    In order to fully harvest energy from acetate, we need to send it through the citric acid cycle, also called the Krebs cycle or the tricarboxylic acid (TCA cycle). This cycle will break the acetate down into carbon dioxide and hydrogen. In doing so, it will also release high-energy electrons whose energy can then be harvested to synthesize ATP, a major usable energy currency of the cell. Entry into this cycle is dependent on a compound called oxaloacetate.

  9. musclegeek says:

    In the presence of glucose, we convert glucose to oxaloacetate. As oxaloacetate leaves the Krebs cycle, we can just use glucose to replenish it. In the absence of glucose, we do the opposite: we turn oxaloacetate into glucose. Thus, oxaloacetate gets depleted in the absence of glucose unless we have some other source of it. We can make oxaloacetate from a variety of amino acids, but not from fats. Thus, in the absence of dietary protein or carbohydrate, the only place to get oxaloacetate is to break down the lean proteins found in our muscles and internal organs.

    But if you've consumed any protein, your body won't break down your lean mass to make oxaloacetate.

  10. Brent says:

    Hi Ben, great article. I have just started an 11 week training program for my first sprint triathlon. I have been an advocate of low-carb for a while now and was a bit worried about how the training would affect my glycogen levels, so this article was very helpful.

    I do have a question though, I am currently at about 25% body fat and would like to get that down closer to 20% by the race. Would you suggest that I maintain my 70-80 grams of carbs a day to achieve fat loss? Should I be lower? Higher? Ive cut my calories quite a bit as well, consuming only 2k a day (I am 6'6" and about 245 so I have a bit of a higher caloric daily need)… Am I going to starve myself?

    • If you're at 245lbs and down to 2K a day, I'd include a couple re-feed days of closer to 200g carbs, particularly on your higher volume days…aside from that this looks fine.

  11. [...] -10 Ways To Do A Low Carbohydrate Diet The Right Way [...]

  12. [...] -10 Ways To Do A Low Carbohydrate Diet The Right Way [...]

  13. Hemming says:

    Hi Ben

    I'm male, 5'9'' and 118-120lbs so obviously my body fat is not that high. I'm eating a low carb diet and have been doing so for some months. I haven't been feeling well for much of that period, despite having cut back on my running and feeling fairly energized when I actually did go for a run. I've also been swimming and biking to a lesser extent but still feeling pretty good. I can also add that after I've cut back on my running I have continued to lose weight even though I think I'm eating just as much, but fewer carbs than previously.
    I've recently become aware of eating more salt as I've had all the symptoms for mineral deficiency and I feel that has helped somewhat. I often have the feeling though that my legs are stiff and tired and I generally feel physically tired whereas my brain is doing okay.
    I don't know exactly how many carbs I eat each day but generally I dont have tubers (if I do its carrots/squash/beetroot, not sweet potatoes and yams. I never have rice/pasta/bread etc) and maybe 3-4 pieces of fruit/week. I have not tried doing real re-feed days but only slighty more carbs on some days where I've been out running.
    Do you think there is a possibility I'm simply too low in body fat for doing (such) a low carb diet? Or do think that this could just be the result of mineral deficiency?

    • My legs feel stiff and sore all the time too UNLESS I do foam roller 2x/week, cold shower 2x/day, topical magnesium and oral ant inflammatory (like Capraflex) + 1 electrostimulation session per week (which could be replaced by vibration platform, massage, or something else). In other words, what I'm saying is that looking over your diet I doubt it's carb depletion as much as a need to focus on physical recovery strategies!

      • Hemming says:

        Thanks a lot Ben. Good to hear some views from others. I definitely have to try those suggestions.

        I've thought that I might not be eating enough calories (especially from fat). Do you think that could be a contributiing factor to my general malaise?

        • Only one way to find out! Take a day and go to town eating a bunch!

          • Hemming says:

            Haha. I've tried that a couple of times. There does seem to be a correlation between how much I eat and how I feel. Only 'problem' is that I feel I'm eating too much if I do that (even though I haven't gained weight. Maybe it's really a change of mentality I need.

            Anyway, thanks for the feedback!

  14. Jennifer says:

    Hi Ben. After going way too high carb over the holidays, and too many calories generally (am I the only one who fell off the wagon?), I have gone back to a low carb and much lower calorie diet to lose fat. I also recently started training for a late spring marathon. After my first full week low carb (and I felt generally carb crazy and in a brain fog, which I have experienced before when going off carbs, so I haven't been alarmed), I attempted a long run. I ate carbs at dinner the night before and a sweet potato 30 minutes prior, but hit the wall two hours in. How long will it take me to become fat adapted and be able to burn fat on those longer runs (I am about 22 percent body fat, so I have plenty to burn). Also, the pace was a bit quicker than my usual long runs, because my new training partner is a bit quicker (which is intentional, since I want to improve my marathon time). Could that have speeded up the time to bonk, along with possibly being glycogen depleted? Any advice would be appreciated.

    • Generally 10-14 days to become fat adapted Jennifer and it DOESN'T HAPPEN if you include that type of pre-run carb dinner load you did the night before, which is why I A) encourage folks NOT to train hard or long during fat adaption and B) to read this :http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/2012/08/low-carb-diet-supplements/

      • Jennifer says:

        OK, so your #4 above "inject carb refueling days" should not be the day before a long run? I think conventional wisdom led me to believe that if I didn't eat some carbs I would surely run out of glycogen storage. The sweet potato before was a good idea, though? Do you NOT do any carb refueling days during that 10-14 days of fat adaption? I AM training, so whats the best way to work through this? Which supplements would you say are a MUST? And, would it be best to slow the pace since I am not efficient at burning fat yet?

  15. I’m impressed, I must say. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s both educative and engaging, and let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The issue is something too few men and women are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I found this in my search for something regarding this.

  16. Sara says:

    Awesome write up. I have been low carb 99% paleo for about 3 months now, was previously 80% paleo, and I'm just looking for a little advice since I seem to hit plateaus more often than I would like. I am a 26 year old female, 198lbs, and 37% BF. I workout about 5 times/week either doing HIIT, walking, body weight Crossfit style WODS, lifting, or somewhat competitive badminton. Aside from that, I am usually sedentary to lightly active during the rest of the day. I typically eat around 70-100g of protein, 130-150g of fat, and 30-80g of carbs per day. You mention going low carb throughout the week with one refeed day, but what is low carb in your mind? And how many carbs should I add in on a refeed day?

  17. Samson says:

    Hi Ben. Great article. I have a question for you. Hopefully you can answer it.
    I want to start on a low-carb diet because I want to get rid of my beer belly. I've been working out for 9 months now, 5 days a week lifting heavy. I'm 5'9", 27 years old and when I started, I was 147 pounds, now I'm 162 pounds. Some muscle, some fat. But now I'm trying to lose excess fat, but I don't want my strength to suffer too much. I don't see any improvements and it's been almost 2 months. Weight just stayed the same. I even tried something drastic as to drop my calorie intake from 2400 to 1000-1300. How much carb do you recommend for me, and how should I handle my calorie intake?

  18. Katie says:

    Hey Ben, this article helped me a lot to understanding why I am getting so grumpy and craving carbs all the time lately ughhh!! On that note, I was hoping you could please take a quick look at my diet and exercise plans I am currently doing and see if it looks like i'm doing it 'right' (going for a fitness model physique- and reaching my goals pretty well I have to say but I just want to make sure!)

    So basically, I will train specific muscle groups about 4 times a week in the mornings so I eat about 20g of carbs such as oatmeal and almond milk before lifting about 30 minutes before hand- these workouts will go from an hour to 2 hours- I then drink L-Glutamine about 10 minutes after lifting and eat about 30-50g of carbs post workout with my protein shake about half an hour after- I'll eat as I usually would for the rest of the day with a low carb high protein diet- so really I am only eating complex carbs which affect glycogen stores pre or post workout (such as fruit and starches) I'm following a carb depletion diet for the rest of the day basically and on pure cardio days too- so i'll do cardio about 3-4 times a week where the diet for these days is strictly low carb high protein – I also take fat burning supplements before commencing cardio which usually goes for 30-45 minutes of HIIT. I will do 60 minutes of cardio which can be HIIT or just running about once a week too because I enjoy it!

    So really, I generally eat a low carb high protein diet except pre and post 'lifting' workouts, and I eat a cheat meal once a week to hit my metabolism and also because it's delicious!! and I think personally it's healthy to do this once a week like you have mentioned to 'strategically' re-fill your bodies carb intake.

    My question is.. is this all okay? I actually am having good feedback from my body except the grumpiness. Currently in week two of being strict when carb depleting!

    Thank you.
    You can check out my website too I am currently looking at studying PT and have a range of healthy ideas and recipes: http://www.kaitlinwatts.com.au :D

    • It looks (and sounds by the way you write, no offense) that you are a high-stress, high-cortisol individual who needs to worry LESS about counting carbs, counting calories, eating engineered foods, etc. and you just need to RELAX and follow your appetite IF you want to marry health and performance.

      Don't deplete carbs AT ALL on any of your HIIT days and don't do HIIT for any longer than 20 minutes. If you are, it isn't HIIT – it's chronic cardio.

      Happy to help via further consulting at http://www.pacificfit.net!

      Cheers, Ben – and I'll check out your website too!

      • Katie says:

        Offense not taken, I have been extremely stressed out about counting carbohydrate intakes lately, could have a thing or two to do with grumpiness also.
        Just have to base things on how my body feels and responds, so thanks for that.

        and thanks for checking my website out, hope you like it :-)

  19. Jesus says:

    I just started doing this . What are some meal examples and snacks that we can eat . ( I been eating fish or chicken with spinach and cucumbers and jicama)

  20. Jesus says:

    I just started doing this . What are some meal examples and snacks that we can eat . ( I been eating fish or chicken with spinach and cucumbers and jicama) I’m 5’6 and I’m at 225 . My goal is to reach 180 pounds .

  21. Grace says:

    Hi! This was an amazing article although it’s from way back! Haha
    I have recently started this diet and I think I have been doing it all wrong. Thinking it’s a no-carb diet, I haven’t been taking in hardly any carbs at all. Maybe this explain why I’m feeling nauseous and low on energy even though it’s only the first week?
    I’m a college student so the foods I can eat are very limited. I was wondering if you could give me some tips? I don’t want to continue not eating any carbs if I’m going to constantly feeling nauseous. I’m 5’2 and weight 120. My goal is about 15-20 pounds.

  22. [...] 10 Ways To Do A Low Carbohydrate Diet The Right Way [...]

  23. Megan says:

    Hi, I loved the article. I just started a LC diet, with trying to eliminate bad eating habits. I am on day 5, and not having many cravings, but energy is crashing. Six days out of the week I am running hills for 30 minutes. What levels of carb intake should I stick to each day to loose stubborn weight but still maintain energy. Thanks so much!

  24. Wendy says:

    Hello!

    I recently started doing the Carb nite Solution (meaning less than 30 grams of carbs a day, with a carb night on the 10th night and after that every week 1 time) and I was wondering what you think of it, and if you have any advice to stock up on some energy when I want to work out (1 hour zumba,1 hour poweryoga), or when I have to work for hours at an end without any chance of refueling in between. What is the best thing to eat before I go to the gym or to work?

  25. david from holland says:

    hello

    i train 5days a week trying to train heavy and do some cardio 3 a 4 times a week
    my weight is 236lbs (kg106) i am very overweight . i am trying to work out on an low carb dieet my macro is

    Calories: 2089.1
    Protien: 313,7
    Carbs: 98.6
    Fats: 85.1

    my question for this is am i doing this correctly or are my carbs to high ?
    an do i need an refeed day or isnt this nessery becaus i have enough fat for fuel ?.
    pls help guyes ! i really apriciate it :)

    grttzz

  26. Erin says:

    Hi Ben, I am 5'8" weight 137 lbs and have 17% body fat. I carry the vast majority of my weight in my butt hips and thighs, I have a good amount of muscle but my legs are covered by a layer of fat I generally eat healthy but have a problem with maintaining a consistently clean diet. I will eat extremely healthy for a few weeks then whatever i want or is most convienient for another few weeks. I have maintained this weight for many years now but and ready and determined to take my body to another level. I am a dancer would like to lose between 10 and 15 pounds before August. I am currently only eating eggs, various meats and vegetables and plan on doing this for 2 to 3 weeks. After a few weeks I plan on adding in fruit, oatmeal, Greek yogurt, nuts and variois other non processed foods.

    Will going from less than 20 grams of carbs per day to adding in these foods in make me gain back some of the weight that I lost or will I be able to continue to lose weight?

    I am doing an hour long ballet barre workout class 5 x per week and cardio 3 x per week. I was doing workouts with weights for a few months but do not think it is best for my body being a dancer. Do you think this is a good workout regime and diet plan to achieve the results that I want?

  27. William says:

    Hi Ben,

    I’ve just started reading your work and am enjoying it. I have a question regarding this passage, “So if I have a client who is 30% body fat, I have no issues with that client staring at the ceiling awake at night craving carbohydrates as their body mobilizes fat tissue for energy, and I generally continue to advise them to watch their carb intake. But if that person is 6% body fat, it is far more likely that they’re going to need that extra fat for insulation or essential fat stores, in which case it might be a good idea to go slam a bowl of rice.”

    I’m a 5’4″ (short) male weighing in at around 135lbs. I’m at about 12% body fat am having trouble getting lower without losing muscle mass in the process. In your passage you mention someone at 6% and 30% body fat. What about someone somewhere in the middle? Do we need carbohydrate refeeding days, or carbs before/during/after a work out? Or, would you suggest I stay off of them as much as possible until I shed the excess 2-3% of the recalcitrant body fat I’m trying to shed?

    Thanks,

    William

    • I'd recommend ONLY doing your day's carb intake before or after workout and only during if workout is 2+ hours. No evening carb or carbs at other times of day other than ONE refeed day. That works really well for people at your % William.

  28. Dean says:

    I have a question on the carb re-feed day. Wouldn’t eating that many carbs knock you out of nutritional ketosis?

  29. Dean_H says:

    Thanks Ben! I must have missed that point yesterday when I listened to the vid. Keto mental clarity … LOL
    I will listen to it again.

    I've been keto about 2 months now and eathing LCHF. I've kept the carbs low < 50g and protein at 10 – 12% and fat at 80 – 85%. Feel pretty good at low intensity 60 – 70% HR max but feel sluggish at anything more intense. Your point in #4 resonates with me.

    I need to figure this out or this 100 mi ultra is going to kick me in the arse! LOL …. So, it sounds like maybe a carb re-feed day before my long run and take more exogenous forms of ketones is the way to go. I guess I need to have faith that doing this will not kick me out of ketosis.

    Thanks so much for your help Ben!

  30. Milarosegirl says:

    Hi there! Your article makes a lot of sense to me. I’d like to get your advice on my situation. I am 36 and have been just starting interval training in the mornings for about 20-30 minutes. I’m also eating low carb because I want to lose weight (have done this before) and I also get very bad migraines and find they lessen in severity if I eat low carb. My body fat percentage is 31%. I find that I have a lack of energy overall though and want to figure out what I should eat before my work outs so I get a burst. I don’t drink caffeine and don’t eat any processed foods. I live an active life style but I’m not a major athlete or anything. Mom of two, working 55 hours a week type deal and trying to keep in shape! I do know my blood pressure is in the low range if that helps with anything. Thanks for any tips you can give me:):)

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