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Brown Rice?


What's the general consensus on brown/wild rice? Good complex carb, or something those looking to shed weight should avoid?


Depends on the means by which you are shedding weight, and how far down you are planning to shed.

If you're aiming to get down to looking like a covermodel or contest ready bodybuilder, then the brown rice has to go.

If your goals are more for an athletic but not neccesarily SUPER-RIPPED look, then brown rice, at the right times and in moderation would be ok and even a help to muscle building.

On an sidenote that does not have to do with exercise and fitness, but is something to think about, you may want to consider that some people(strict paleo-types generally) link grains with auto-immune disorders, so you might want to read up on the arguement for that angle.

Do dietary lectins cause disease?

Thats one.

On a final note, I noticed in another thread you talked about being interested in a potentially low-carb diet. On such a plan, especially if you plan to eat 6 or so meals a day, a bowel of brown rice might be too carbohydrate rich for the plan, though it could be a good cheat meal, on a plan like the T-Dawg diet.


Rice is really easy to eat, and supplies a lot of carbohydrates. Brown rice isn't really as simple as white rice, which I do try to avoid. If you're bulking eat it (it's delicious and supplies a fair bit of calories), but if you're dieting, it might be too easy to overeat.


What kind of carbs would you suggest if you are trying to get cut?


Very few, unless you're geneticly predisposed to leanness.

Veggies(not potatoes and corn) mostly. Fruit in small quantities. The carbs you'll invariably get from nuts and protein shakes too. Plus whatever you use for postworkout nutrition(I personally wouldn't suggest something during the workout while cutting).

Once you've cut down, and/or built your insulin tolerance, and assuming you believe it healthful, you can include slow-digesting carbs like multi-grain bread, brown rice, porridge, and certain varieties of potato.


Moon Night, I'm not sure I entirely agree re the carbs, even though you make some valid points. You're right that a lot of people cut them out or take them low while dieting. But the goal of dieting is to lose as much fas as possible while holding on to muscle/LBM. Losing weight is "easy." Losing fat requires a little more dietary finesse.

If the goal is to lose fat and hold on to as much muscle as possible, resistance training needs to be done. And resistance training without taking in carbs PWO is less than optimal for any number of physiological reasons.

What is important re carbs is the amount (highly individual, based on a person's insulin sensitivity or lack therof), timing (carbs ingested PWO help preserve LBM by refilling muscle glycogen and reducing cortisol) and type (green veggies during most of the day; starchy carbs PWO).

There's no two ways around it, the number/amount of carbs has got to be manipulated, based on a person's metabolism, the caloric deficit created (if cutting), the speed at which scale weight is being put on (if bulking), energy expenditure (job and gym workouts, both), and finally and very importantly, energy levels.

Even though I manipulate CHOs more than any other of the macronutrient when designing a diet for someone, I don't think of them as the bad guy. Even starchy carbs like brown rice have a place in a cutting diet.

Have you had a chance to read any of John Berardi's work here on T-Nation yet -- or Lonnie Lowery's? They're both a lot more persuasive (and edjumacated) than me. (grin)

momuscle, assuming that you've calculated (and are meeting) your protein and fat requirements and are eating small meals every 3 hours, you'd do well to eat predominantly green veggies during the day. PWO the game is a bit different. Check out John Berardi's "Solving the Post Workout Puzzle," I & II. Optimal PWO nutrition would involve Surge (or a Surge-type drink), and a whole food, P+C meal of the starchy carb variety (oatmeal, sweet potatoes, yams, brown rice, whole wheat pasta) about an hour after that.

Start simple. Cut out the garbage and replace it with good habits. It should take you most of the way. From there -- the last few BF percentage points people want to drop -- you're going to have to get more precise. Keeping a food log is a helpful and necessary tool.

As far as getting started, check out John Berardi's "7 Habits of Highly Effective Nutritional Programs."


Terry, I'm not sure why you think we disagree on the point of PWO nutrition.

I believe my post states, in less thorough terms then yours perhaps, that postworkout carbs(in other words fast ones found in a postworkout drink, or taken right before a postworkout drink) were on the good to go list as far as I was concerned if he was looking to get really cut down.

I have read the two cited doctors' articles, some of them several times, however I will still respectfully disagree with you on the matter of starchy carbs, and fat loss. I think the Fat Fast experiments prove that muscle can be retained without carbohydrate input, if things are handled correctly.


Some excellent discussion here already. Just a quick point to add: Even when cutting I think that a PWO meal 1-2 hours after the workout should contain some wholefood carbs. For cutting I would recommend mainly oats, fruits and veg but some brown rice won't hurt every once in a while if you want. It's insulin index is lower than it's glycemic index value would suggest it might be so at least it has that in its favour.


I have to disagree. Stick some veggies in that meal, sure, as the fiber, micronutrients, flavanoids, and downright tastiness add something to the sometimes repetitive nature of too much meat.

However, I do not think that throwing oats, brown rice, or some other carb dense item into that meal is going to serve an effective purpose if the goal is fat loss.

Consider a person cutting with a carb allotment of 150 g, rather generous compared to some plans. Say the person focuses around 50 on their postworkout shake, either in the shake, or as I've done at times, in the form of apple juice with creatine just before the shake.

Now, this leaves them with approximately 100g to spread through the rest of the day. If this person is eating 6+ meals a day, then, we are talking about 16 or fewer carbs per meal on average. If that person is getting their daily allotment of veggies and perhaps the occasional fruit(handful of berries, small serving of melon, a small apple, come to mind as good options) then they are not going to have room in their diet for brown rice, oats, or other starches.

I would not advise a heavy load of carbs all at once even if it is a supposedly low glycemic load. Additionally, whether we agree the glycemic index negates load or not, I think it can be more likely agreed that eating even low glycemic carbs too extensively will prevent the body from completely switching to its most efficient level of using fat as a fuel source.


Moon Knight: I have to disagree with you on the issue of how many carbs people consume whilst dieting. In my opinion it is possible to lose fat whilst still consuming 300g of carbs per day. Calorie manipulation, increased energy expenditure and eating clean are the keys to losing fat on a diet. I prefer to structure a diet by gradually reducing calories and carbs as necessary to maintain fat loss. An example of this would be to start with the number of carbs you would consume when bulking and subtract 50g of carbs. Consume this number of carbs for week 1 of the diet and every week thereafter untill fat loss stops. Then subtract another 50g of carbs. The same can be done with calories working with 500kcal deficits. In this way it is possible to avoid dropping to a very low carb level unless it is absolutely necessary. I believe that this is the best way to drop bodyfat after a bulking phase to get the ripped appearance.

I would only recommend starting with a low carb intake if the person involved was new to bodybuilding and as a first task had lots of fat to lose.


I'd have to disagree with you Moon Knight:

Whether you have 50 more or less carbs a day isn't going to make an enormous difference when you're trying to lose fat.

If anything, I prefer a moderate carb intake when dieting since I feel weak and tired if I don't eat enough. And if I feel too tired to work out, I won't be able to burn enough calories and keep strength.

Since a lot of people here follow Berardi's guidelines on Protein+Fat and Protein+Carb meals, the only time they'd be eating carbs would be in the morning and after working out. At 150 carbs, that'd 75g each time, which certainly allows for carbs from rice, oats, etc.

Oh, and what's up with your PWO shake? You drink apple juice and creatine?



All trainers have their philosophies on cutting/bulking. A big part of what we do isn't hard science and is more of an individual art. Not to mention, each person/client has their own unique biochemistry that is ultimately the key to their own success.

Having said that, I agree about 50/50 with you, based on personal and client experience. I think the very low-carb ketogenic diets, no matter how fast they may strip off fat, are getting a bit extreme. We don't know what side-effects (if any) this is having on a persons over-all and long-term health. On the other hand, it's almost common place with today's educated trainers that just replacing 50% of your carb cals with protein cals and adding cardio 3x/week typically yields decent fat loss.

Even the brand new trainer/trainee could get by with the old tried and true adage of "calories consumed must be less than calories expended" for successful fat loss. Net cals are absolute after all. So, you could indeed see fat loss as you presented by slowly backing down the carbs on a client. Which sounds like a solid way to keep from "shocking" their system, BTW.

However, lowering carbs may be one of the easiest, most concrete ways to begin to see fat loss. Why? Since the body merely chooses the shortest route to making ATP, it sees the CHO as a pure energy source - the easiest to convert to glucose. Reducing CHO will likely have the body looking to use stored energy as fuel right off the bat. In my book you still need "protein sparing CHO", meaning you want some carbs to indeed be used for energy so protein can almost entirely be used for muscular recovery and bodily processes. Dietary fat can also be seen as "protein sparing" and therefore LBM sparing as well. Hence why a low-fat, high CHO diet, while it can work, is often ineffective, since the body rarely needs to look inward for a fuel source.

In any event, when CHO's are reduced, the body tends to need to burn stored energy in adipose tissue. That's why it's the latest and greatest cutting method since the advent of the treadmill!

Good thread,



Would this still apply to someone who works out in the evenings. Say for example I workout around 6:30p.m. My post workout drink comes around 7:45 or so. By this advice, I am going to be consuming a healthy serving of complex carbs somewhere around 9:00 p.m. which isn't too far from when I go to bed? Do you still recommend all those carbs that late in the day?


Tfrench, I would still do it. I mean, don't consume a pound of potatoes, but if you're training hard enough, anywhere from 50-100 grams of carbs should be good.

I've never had a problem with eating carbs after an evening workout. It might be different for some people though...



If I were you, I would hit only two meals of carbs when cutting, and those would always be low-glycemic if you are 10%+ BF (per Poloquin). I would hit 50-75 grams at breakfast, like oats. And then another 50-75 immediately PWO with a whey hydrolysate/isolate. I have found that this PWO cocktail is just as good at being anti-catabolic, but little chance for any fat storage because insulin stays moderate. So, in your case, your PWO meal should be at 7:30-8:00, not 9:00. IMO, before bed, hit a P+F to get you through the night.

I believe Berardi mentioned to hit a PWO shake with the likes of Surge, then another PWO meal of solid food, with moderate glycemic carbs like fruit, during mass phases. I am simply recommending to skip the liquid PWO shake and hit the solid food during cut phases.

One last suggestions is how intense are your W/O's? If you are lifting with heavy volume, for more than 45 min, you may want to take 75% of your total carbs PWO. That means 25 grams at breakfast and 75-125 PWO. It's best to make sure you get adequate glycogen replenishment after a draining W/O, so your energy levels are less affected the next bout and catabolism stays at bay.

Hope this helps,



Before I address some points that you've brought up in your post, I would like to clear up some misconceptions.

  1. The initial poster seemed interested in low-carb dieting, which is why I made the recommendations I did, in the light that this person would be likely useing the brown rice with low carbs.

  2. I do not feel low carbs are the only way to lose fat, but I will admit to feeling it is the most efficient, and best for one's health(especially if there is a chance the given person may have developed an insulin resistance).

  3. Though I am taking part in the Fat Fast experiments, I would never suggest going to this extreme for an extended period of time, or for the average person unless they were severely obese and had need to drop some initial weight fast, and were generally healthy.

  4. The juice and creatine is NOT my postworkout shake, just to be clear. When following that scheme, I drink the juice and creatine, and immediately follow with a large low carb whey protein shake.

Now, as to your points.

It has been my experiance that extra carbs will inhibit one's body from becoming as efficient as possible for using fat as fuel. This can slow, if not stop the weight loss, depending on the situation. On the subject of this adaptation, its important to note this change can take anywhere from four days, to two weeks. The more carbs you are used to consuming, the longer it is going to take to adapt fully. I point this out because it is possible that your tiredness is such that would go away in time.

As for Berardi's style, I would also note that he recommends 7-11 servings of veggies a day, having some at as many meals as possible. These servings, along with occasional fruit, will take up most of, if not all, the hypothetical 100g of carbs left over after the postworkout nutrition is subtracted.


Yes I would still recommend consuming this sort of meal then. The improvement in insulin sensitivity lasts for a few hours after the workout. I think that the carbs in this meal would still be used to replenish muscle glycogen stores and would help in recovery etc...

Top Sirloin is exactly right when he talks about individual differences. Some people may be able to eat moderate GI carbs in this meal such as sweet potatoes and brown rice and still lose plenty of fat and maybe even gain some muscle. Some people may do better by just consuming very low GI fruits, veg and beans in this meal.

Consuming a P+F meal at this time would definitely lead to fat loss as Top Sirloin stated. However, I believe that diets tend to stall after 3 or 4 weeks when the body become more resistant to losing fat. Switching this meal to a P+F meal is a really good way to counteract this stall. In that way fat loss can be maintained continously for longer periods.

Now of course some people would be able to go low carb from the start of their diet and lose fat for long periods. However if somebody tried this and then had problems losing more fat after 3-4 weeks they could have a hard time losing more fat unless they dropped their caloreis to a point where they might risk muscle loss. (Biotest have made this less likely with their new Grow! and other products but these things are expensive to ship to the UK!)

I suppose at the end of the day everybody has to go through a process of trial and error (with hopefully not too much error) and to use what is becoming a T-mag cliche: see what works best for you.

Hope this helps


Hey TT,

Thanks for your comments.

I am currently in a cutting phase and taking in about 125g of carbs daily.

50g oatmeal first meal and 75g of maltodextrin with my WPI shake after
W/O. I drink my shake at 6:00pm.
Then I have a P + F meal, 7:00pm and protein shake 9:00pm ( casein ) b4 bed.

After reading JB's PWP, it appear I should have a solid meal with low GI carbs after my PWO shake.

My questions are: Is it to late for me to eat carbs being my last solid meal is at 7:00pm and if not where should I take the carbs from? Some from breakfast some from PWO shake? If 7:00pm is to late to take in carbs can you suggest an option?

I really appreciate your comments on the boards. Any advice to this newbe to the fitness world would be much appreciated!

Thanx again,



Hey, Mo, what I'd like to see you do is take in about 50g of malto + whey protein PWO. Read up on Surge and how and why it's formulated the way it is.

An hour to an hour and a half later, take in another 50g of carbs from oatmeal. Have some protein powder like Low-Carb Grow! or the protein of your choice. It could be protein you chew or egg whites.

You still have another 25g of carbs. Use these carbs for salads and onions and green peppers and garlic for flavoring meal and giving them some pizazz. If you're counting NET carbs, you could even have 2 pounds of broccoli divided up among a few of your meals.

Very good question about eating carbs late at night. In general when we wake up we're the most insulin sensitive (a good thing) we're going to be, becoming less so the farther into the day we go. However, a bout of resistance training changes things. Going to the gym and lifting weights (even at 7:00, 8:00 or 9:00 at night) results in increased/enhanced/super-charge insulin sensitivity. PWO you have an anabolic window of opportunity to refill muscle glycogen stores. They've been depleted because of your workout and need to be refilled. In that whole-food P+C meal you have after your liquid P+C liquid drink/meal (which should be highly dilute, by the way), the carbs you take in will preferentially refill muscle glycogen and are very unlikely to spill over to fat.

The end result is that you're taking in the same amount of carbs (125g) per day, but you're taking them in at the time your body needs them most and is best equipped to handle them.

Does that make sense? If not, feel free to pin me down on any points of confusion.


Hey TT,

Your suggestions are very clear.

One question: since I eat oatmeal in the morning is there another carb source I can use for the PWO meal?

If oatmeal is the best I don't have any problem eating it twice a day. A little variety is nice :>)..

Thanx a million!