Why Bodybuilding Experts Recommend Eating More Carbs to Get Lean
We all have that one annoying friend.
You know the one I mean.
She eats whatever she wants and never gets fat.
You on the other hand, only need to look at a piece of chocolate cake and you gain two pounds.
You suspect she’s got a secret she’s not telling you.
You wish you were like her and had the freedom to eat whatever you wanted.
If only there was a way to make it happen…
MAYBE YOU DO JUST HAVE A SLOW METABOLISM
If you don’t exercise, or didn’t do much exercise as a kid, there’s a good chance that you have a lower metabolism than the average person your age.
That’s because sporty people tend to have more muscle, and people with more muscle burn more calories when they’re doing nothing. In other words, they have a higher resting metabolism.
When you eat carbs, your body turns these into sugar and eventually into glycogen which first gets stored in your muscles.
Your muscles are like glycogen batteries.
When the glycogen capacity of your muscles is maxed out, then your body looks to convert any excess carbohydrates into fat.
This is why people who have more muscle can eat more carbs. They have plenty of glycogen capacity in their muscles to store all that sugar.
CARBS ARE GOOD FOR YOU
When you do any exercise, the first source of energy your body goes to is the glycogen stored in your muscles.
For the average person, you need to do about 40 to 45 minutes of moderate to intense exercise before your glycogen stores are depleted and you go into ‘fat burning’ mode.
You would think then that the secret to burning off more fat would be to burn through this 45-minutes’ worth of energy and then carrying on.
Well….yes and no.
The real secret to burning fat is to invest those 45 minutes of energy into strength training, which grows your muscles.
Bigger muscles lead to greater glycogen stores (so you can eat more carbs guilt free) and a higher resting metabolism (so you burn more calories when doing nothing).
NOT ALL EXERCISE IS EQUAL
There is a big physiological difference between doing strength training, like lifting weights, and doing low intensity cardio, like jogging, cycling or the elliptical machine.
Strength training can be short but intense, and build muscle mass relatively quickly.
With low intensity cardio, you burn calories whilst you’re doing it, but it typically doesn’t help build any muscle mass. So whilst you may be burning lots of calories on your run, as soon as you stop running, the calorie burn stops too.
This is why strength training is much more efficient for fat loss.
You get double the output for half the effort.
A LITTLE CAN GO A LONG WAY
Whilst some people find running addictive, and could do it for hours, medium to long distance running doesn’t increase your metabolism.
Even worse, doing low level cardio for prolonged periods of time could start eating into your muscle and reduce your metabolism.
This can be difficult to detect, because you are still burning lots of calories from the running itself.
But if you were to suddenly stop running, the weight would pile on. I’m sure you’ve seen or heard of many people who fall into this trap.
They feel like if they don’t run, they will gain weight, so they force themselves to run all the time to keep their weight down.
On the other hand, if you simply switched to strength training, your body wouldn’t have such a binary response to the drop in activity (because muscle doesn’t atrophy overnight).
A simple 30–45 minute strength workout will burn just as many (if not more) calories as a run, and also allow you to melt fat whilst you sleep.
Focus on a full body workout that targets your biggest muscle groups — your legs, glutes and back.
Squats and lunges will soon become your best friends.
Before You Know it, You Too Can Enjoy Guilt-free Chocolate Cake
Maybe your suspicions were right.
You do have a slow metabolism.
But now you know what you need to do to change it for the better.
If you start strength training today, you could feel the positive effects in as a little as three months.
Three months of training momentum for a lifetime of guilt-free chocolate cake sound like a good investment.
Why not start now? You might even enjoy getting strong (as much as you’ll enjoy the chocolate cake).