Q: I’ve been reading a lot about low-carb diets, and I was thinking about trying [that method]. I need to lose about 30 pounds to build up my confidence (and to start seeing some abs). Getting rid of carbs seems to be the best way. What do you think?
A: Low-carb diets certainly work, and gradually reducing your carb intake is the way to go, but you don’t want to take your daily carb total too low—and never go to zero. At our lowest carb count near the end of a ripping phase, we hover around 120 grams a day.
As we say in our X-treme Lean e-book: “In general, decreasing one of the macronutrients—fat, protein or carbohydrates—to abnormally low levels isn’t the way to go for fat loss. You may lose weight, but in the case of low carbs, some of it may be muscle.”
We like the carb-stacking approach to low-carb diets, which is putting most of your daily carb allotment at breakfast and after your workout when the muscles are depleted and will absorb most of the sugar as glycogen. There’s a sample carb-stacking diet on page 17 of X-treme Lean.
The rest of your meals should be protein dominant with very few carbs. That will force your body to burn fat for energy—and with protein circulating to feed your muscles, which you train heavy often, there is no need to burn muscle for energy—so you get bigger and leaner. Plus, protein has a higher energy cost—it takes more energy to absorb it than carbs. There’s more on all of that, as well as sample diets and workouts, in X-treme Lean so you can be ripped when you make the beach scene!
Note: You can get X-treme Lean along with The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout and X-traordinary Abs at a limited-time low price. It’s the Triple-Shredded Combo Offer to help you sail through summer summer with muscle and rippedness.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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