How Many Carbs for Fat Loss?

One of the most frequently asked questions I get is how many carbs should I eat per day for Fat Loss.

When it comes to losing fat the most important thing you must do is create a calorie deficit. Without a calorie deficit you won’t lose weight. However the next question is how do I create that calorie deficit? Plain and simple the most effective way to create a calorie defecit and maximize fat loss is by reducing carbs. While getting plenty of protein and fat into your diet.

Very Lean Guy

5th day of low carbs

Low carbs are the key to fat loss

As I write this article I am probably in the most carb depleted state of my life. I am on my 5th day of ultra low carbs. Around 50-80 grams of carbs per day. I just finished an exhausting 2 hour workout to deplete my body of all its stored glycogen. My body is in the ultimate fat burning state. This is because there are absolutely no carbs left in my body to be used for fuel. As a result my body must tap into its fat stores to supply energy. In addition my insulin levels are stabilized. Insulin is the storage hormone and when chronically elevated from a carb based diet will cause you to easily store fat. In addition by keeping my insulin levels in check I can exploit the bodies most powerful fat burning hormone! HGH. Yes – if you didn’t know HGH is the most powerful fat burning hormone. Many athletes and celebrities take it in injection form to build strength and burn fat. (HGH will run you around $600-1000 per month btw)

So the good news is there are ways to naturally boost your HGH levels. Moderating insulin levels by restricting carbs is one way. Another way is working out – especially high intensity interval training. Combining the two is the ultimate way to maximize HGH. Oh and you can also take amino acids like L glutamine before and after workouts and before going to bed to naturally boost HGH.

But don’t we need carbs? You know to fuel the brain? 

It is true that the brain is fueled by glucose. However when carbs are kept very low – under 50 carbs per day for several days there is a process the body goes through to create a molecule called ketones from burning fat. Ketones replace glucose. Without this natural human process the human species probably never would of survived. However to maximize fat burning there is no need to even reach this state.

What about grains? Don’t I need to eat them too?

I think everyone should avoid grains. They are unhealthy and humans have not adapted to processing them. Humans just tend to function way better without grains.

How many carbs for fat loss? 

The 50-80 gram range is the sweet spot for losing fat. You allow yourself to eat plenty of nutritious vegetables and a couple pieces of fruit per day. Providing your body with plenty of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. In addition you put your body in an optimal fat burning state where it must use stored fat for fuel. One of the issues with the full blown ketogenic diet where you can only have 20-50 grams of carbs per day is it restricts your ability to consume very nutritious foods (fruits and vegetables).

Eat Fat to Lose Fat and Maintain Muscle

Eating high protein and sufficient fat is very important for maximizing results. Everyone knows protein is important for maintaining and building muscle. What most people don’t know is that fat is also important for maintaining muscle. A diet low in fat will cause a big reduction in testosterone levels. This alone could result in a reduction of muscle mass. In addition when you eat a high protein, low carb and low fat diet your body will burn fat and muscle for energy. Whereas when you provide your body with plenty of fat your body will be happy to utilize stored fat for energy. This is why you must eat fat to lose fat.

Cheating is key for low carb dieting 

I strongly believe that its important to fully replenish your glycogen stores once per week when on a low carb diet. The way you accomplish this is by switching to a high carb diet for 1-2 days. Because your glycogen levels will have been fully depleted there is absolutely no fat storage from 1-2 days of high carbs. In addition after this carb up you will likely be stronger and look better since your muscles will appear fuller. After 1-2 days of carbing up you want to switch back to low carbs and get the fat loss process started again.

What to eat on your high carb days?

I said before that humans are not meant to eat grains. While this is true there are some grains that are okay. The grains that you can eat on your carb up day are gluten free grains. This includes rice, brown rice pasta, potatoes, yams, corn and any other gluten free foods. When your carb up day comes there are very few limits. Indulge in carbs as much as you want. Just don’t over do it. There will come a point where you will look incredible – full muscles. If you overeat you will pass this point and spill over. Overtime you will have an idea of how many carbs you can eat without spilling over. 

Putting it Together?

Sunday to Friday afternoon = low carbs (50-80 grams per day)

Friday evening until the end of saturday = high carbs (as many carbs as you can eat without spilling over) 

 

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Comments

  1. Wassauce Farooq

    Hey Greg!

    Right now you are currently dieting correct? And it seems to be a very strict diet as with the low 50-80g carb intake. But you also mentioned that you did a hard 2-hour workout in this post. Wouldn’t workouts that are strenuous on the body leave you sore and break down your muscle since you’re not eating enough to replenish it all back? Please explain!

    • admin

      It depends on your goals.

      If your looking to gain muscle and to have a strong workout I would say have 30 grams of carbs and 15 grams of protein 30-60 minutes before. As well as 60 grams of carbs and 30 grams of protein after.

      If your looking to lose weight than I would leave out the carbs.

  2. Josh

    Hi greg Awesome post about carbohydrates, I think that many people when trying to get in shape they are all ” whole grains are healthier than white flour based product” , but lets ask our selves, how much healthier is it for us? Thats why I have eliminated grains, and only do High protein, moderate fat and low carbs ( only from veges and maybe one fruit, and one cup berries). I know this question is off topic but what muscles on the chest does the machine flys ( pec deck ) work? does it work the upper chest? The reason why I am asking is becuase theres this guy who has awesome chest muscles and he says that his main chest workout is mahcine flys ( pec deck), also can you notify all muscles it works, like what the main muscle it works ( in the chest) then the other muscles, also if it targets lower chest ( to create man boobs ) I will not do them, and only stick to incline dumbell press.

  3. thomas

    Hey greg i spoke to you on facebook. I’ve been doing the diet you recommended. 3 protein shakes a day and a lean meat meal with carbs. After reading this it confused me a little. So am i to carb up once a week? And can i drink beer? LOL. Thats carbs right! Anyways dude so far the diet is going good :) In 3 weeks i lost 6kg not to bad LOL.

    • admin

      Glad the diet is going well and that you’ve made awesome results. Thats what matters.

      Basically you can accelerate your results by reducing carbs a little bit further to 50-70 grams per day. In order to do this you would have to cut out the starchy carbs with dinner and you can have lots of veggies instead (just no corn, carrots or beets). You should be able to have 1-2 pieces of fruit per day too and stay in this range.

      However after a few days of working out and eating low carb you are going to fully deplete your glycogen stores. This sets you up perfectly for a big carb day where you can eat lots of carbs and have them all go into your muscles.

      I wouldn’t recommend having beer because this would screw up the carb up process.

  4. Marcus

    Hey Greg. And 1 question, i promise :) i have to fast from dawn 3-4am to dusk 8-9pm (religion) and i cant eat or drink during that time. It fron 8/1 to 9/1 and i had an idea. I could use this 16-17 hr fast to my advantage. I was thinkin using your 3 day split with low intensity cardio daily. I wanna do HIIT too because i enjoy the feeling i get from completing it and it really improved my running endurance. So i wanted to know what days i should do it. I was starting this workout program 8/4. Thx again

  5. Bobby

    Won’t you loose all your strength 5o carbs is barley enough to keep you alive not to mention lifting 200 lbs

  6. Onur

    Hey greg i kinda have an issue which realy bothers me
    now i’ve been ”dieting” for the past 15 days now and to be honest it looks like i didnt make that much of a change however i know i’m eating olmost a 1000 calories less then ı usually would.
    everyday i eat around 1200-1500 max and get enough protein in each day and drink water like never before (2-3L a day)

    now i see some changes in my leggs and in my arms a bit and altough i know that my stomach will be the last place the fat will go away how do i know im still losing fat i skip breakfast everyday and train when i wake up but still i dont think im having the results i should and i really cut the carbs out no sweets or bread whatsoever

    what could be the problem or is this normal?

    • admin

      advocados are my favorite source of healthy fats, fish oils, olive oil and nuts are an option if in moderation. I avoid nuts because I tend to overeat them. In addition if your eating your protein your probably getting a sufficient amount of fat from beef and eggs.

  7. Great tips for how many carbs to eat for fat loss. I was glad to see that you incorporated a cheat day because I’ve always felt that low carb for too long can be detrimental. 5-6 days of carb depletion followed by 1-2 refeeding days seems optimal. I tend to do carb cycling based around strength training workouts and HIIT workouts…similar principle, a little different execution.

  8. You have a lot of really great info on your blog. I always switch up with carbs as well. But I noticed when I eat carbs like brown rice I get tired, very tired. I really enjoy just sticking to veggies and fruit.

  9. Marcus

    Hey Greg. Even though this is a few months old I still think it has great info. I alway come back to it before I restart my diet. Anyways could I do your routine to offset a weekend of binge eating after the refeed day to increase results? Thx

    • admin

      @Marcus

      If you are doing a strict reefed day (high carbs, lots of protein and low fat) then there is no need to do a super low cal day after. However if you fucked up your reefed day and ate way to many calories and fat then you can.

  10. bobby

    hey Greg , thanks so much fr the help I’m about to try your low carb diet and i had a question. Ever since i started working out i never stopped eatting high carbs just to get as big as i can now 6months later i realized i want alot more definition in my arms and i want ABS ! so im gonna start doing all the calculations but i want to know you told us what to eat during the high carb day , and told us to stay away from those on the other days but what do i get my 50-80g of crabs from i workout at 6am on a empty stomach ? thanks you for all the knowledge your sharing

  11. Thanks dude for so much well rounded information. You’ve really hit the nail on the head with the great info on diet and nutrition and as well effective fat loss training. Its great to know there are guys as young as you who actually know what they are talking about. Keep up the great work!

  12. Timothy

    Question if I was to go onto the Low calerie model diet for about 2 months to drastically cut down body fat and then switch to the skipping breakfast diet, there would not be any sort of side effects or would that be a safe transition?

  13. Aliosha Behnisch

    Nice post, could you maybe tell us how many grams you actually mean by saying “eat plenty of fats”? Im clean what fats i should stick to, olive oil, moderate nuts as they contain carbs, avocado, flaxseed oil, but i have almost no clue how much i should eat of these.

    • Greg

      This article was written a few years ago when I was into low carb dieting. I have now started to include carbs in an intermittent fasting set up.

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