How many grams of carbohydrates you should eat for optimal fat loss depends a lot on your body type. Some people have the genetics to "get away with" eating bagels, bread, pasta and other high carbohydrate foods all day long, and as long as their calories are in a deficit, they lose fat without difficulty. Other people seem to be doing everything right, but they lose fat very slowly or sometimes not at all - even with a calorie deficit! This is extremely frustrating to many people.
If you're a carbohydrate-sensitive, slow metabolism, endomorph type, you will get better results with a decrease in your percentage of carbohydrates. A 10% - 15% reduction in carbohydrates with a corresponding increase in the percentage of protein and good fats can sometimes work wonders in losing "stubborn body fat." The adjusted ratios might look something like this:
The Maximum Fat Burning Diet ("Phase IF')
Moderate Carbs, High Protein
These ratios can have a 5% float in either direction. For example, if the carbohydrates were 45% and the protein 35%, the results would be similar. Forty percent carbohydrates would not be considered a "low" carbohydrate diet by most people's standards; rather it's "moderate" in carbohydrates. However, even this moderate reduction is often enough to make a substantial difference for those who are carbohydrate sensitive. (By the way, you may have noticed that with one small shift - adding 10% to the fat and subtracting 10% from the protein, turns this into a 40-30-30 "Zone" diet. In fact, the Zone ratios are very similar to the BFFM Phase II Maximum Fat-Burning Diet. The BFFM moderate carbohydrate diet is simply higher in protein, which is what most bodybuilders prefer.)
In some circumstances, (as during a "competition diet"), larger reductions in carbohydrates may be called for, but there is a definite point of diminishing returns. This point is not the same for everyone, and will require a certain degree of experimentation. You'll definitely know it when you reach your "critical level," because as soon as you've dropped your carbohydrates too much, all the side effects I mentioned earlier will begin to become more apparent. Even for the serious bodybuilder or fitness competitor preparing for a contest, my recommendation is that 25-30% of total daily calories is the lowest you should ever go. You always need some carbohydrates.
Sample moderate carbohydrate menu
Meal 1 - 7:00 am: oatmeal, whey protein, grapefruit
Meal 2 - 9:30 am: whole wheat bread, egg white omelet with pepper, onion, tomato
Meal 3 - 12:30 pm: Brown Rice, chicken breast, broccoli
Meal 4 - 3:30 pm: Sweet potato, chicken breast, green beans1/2 tbsp flax oil
Meal 5 - 6:00 pm: Salmon, asparagus
Meal 6 - 8:30 pm: mixed green salad, olive oil & vinegar dressing, tuna fish
Notice how the carbohydrate tapering method has been used here: there are no starchy carbohydrates in meals five or six (after 3:30 pm). The result is an almost automatic reduction of carbohydrates to about 40% of total calories. Meals one through four all contain a lean protein, and a starchy carbohydrate.
Was this article helpful?