Five Easy Ways for Women to Lose Weight Without Dieting or Giving Up Carbs?

Five Easy Ways for Women to Lose Weight Without Dieting or Giving Up Carbs

The rules for fat loss without giving up on carbs

No one wants to give up carbs. Well, some do but let’s talk about us for now. I did give up carbs while dieting for my bodybuilding preparation. But unfortunately, it was probably the worst thing I did for my mental health and physique. It also took me years to eat carbs without retaining water. I would never head down that path again — and I recommend you don’t either. Now, you don’t have to, and here’s how you can combat carb elimination by eating them at the correct times. 

Rule one: Eat only slow-digesting carbs during most meals

By slow-digesting carbs, I’m referring to carbs that are low on the glycemic index, which stop the muscle from being used for energy and keep your blood sugar levels stable. These carbs also combat fatigue and prevent those regular insulin fluctuations that tend to happen when you eat sugar-filled carbs. Research shows that athletes (or very dedicated people like us) who eat slow-digesting carbs tend to burn more energy during workouts and burn more fat as they keep up their activity during the day. Burning fat also occurs when you aren’t training! So, eat more green veggies like broccoli, fruit, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and whole grains during your mealtimes. 

Rule two: Eat the right amount of carbs for your body weight

When you are a woman that trains hard, skipping your daily dose of slow-digesting carbs will hurt your potential for muscle recovery and increase your odds of losing muscle. Carbs for muscle glycogen help to sustain you through a workout. When you don’t have enough glycogen stores, the body will turn to muscle to fuel your workout. That is a big shame, as you work so hard to build and sustain that muscle, only to lose it as a means for fuel. To be safe, only consume 1.5 grams of carbs per pound of body weight. So, if you are 130 pounds, you can consume 130–190 grams of carbs. To be on the safe side, start on the smaller scale, assess after a week and if the feedback is positive (as in, you don’t put on anybody fat or retain too much water), slowly add more every week. 

Rule three: Start your morning right with the right carbs

After an overnight fast (or if you are coming off a long fast), filling your muscles with glycogen will help re-stock and replenish any loss. Have some carbs and protein in the morning because your body is less likely to store them as fat. A recent study (on mice, unfortunately) published in The Journal Of Obesity shows that when mice ate a more extensive breakfast, they were more likely to lose weight as long as the breakfast was the high carb, high-calorie meal for the day. The catch was the remainder of the day contained smaller meals (for lunch and dinner). Go ahead if you want to use yourself as a guinea pig for the study. Want carbs for breakfast? Eat about 20–30 grams in the morning (with protein, of course). 

Four: Yes, you can still eat the fast-digesting carbs

Don’t worry; you don’t have to waste those yummy carbs like bagels and bread. You can have them at a specific time during your workout so they don’t become added to your fat cells. The best time to eat fast-digesting carbs is after your workout. These carbs will be less likely to store as fat since they replenish your lost glycogen. If you eat protein and carbs simultaneously, your chances of increasing protein synthesis are magnified. Whilst you eat these yummy carbs, you increase your insulin levels (in a good way) to promote and process recovery and growth for those stressed-out muscles. This also decreases your cortisol levels and minimises your chances of wasting precious muscle. Feel free to eat jelly, baked potato, bagel, white bread and rice — but make sure you eat some protein with it too. 

Five: Don’t eat carbs before your cardio session

The fewer insulin and carbs you have in your system before a cardio workout, the more likely you will burn fat stores. You can have a protein shake before your cardio workout or have nothing at all. Fasted cardio is a great way to increase your level of fat burning. Don’t train this way if you are a serious athlete who wants to attain peak performance. This option is for those who want to burn body fat whilst eliminating sacrificing carbs. 

Six: Don’t forget your cheat meal

Whilst we eat well all week long, you need a little indulgence to offset all that lovely discipline. Leptin and thyroid hormones tend to plummet when carbs are low for an extended period. Eating more carbs during your cheat meal increases those hormones and keeps the fat-burning fire. The adequate amount of cheat meals is one per week, which will vary depending on your size and exercise level. Stick with the baseline and as I mentioned above, add on as you become leaner and train harder. 

Key take away

Throughout this post, I have indicated the best times to eat your carbs and make the most of your dietary requirements. There is no need to cut out carbs entirely, but to tweak the timing and type of carbs you eat, so you can have various foods without feeling deprived. 

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