Hi, Tuesday. Thanks for posting this on the forum. It’s a really good question.
There’s no two ways about it, you can’t do endurance anything without carbs to fuel your work. A carb-dominant diet is a necessity. But you’re wanting to lose a little weight, and I have to admit that it is “challenging” to lose weight on a carb-dominant diet.
However, let’s take a look at your situation. 20% BF is not bad at all. My recommendation would be to hit it on two fronts. 1). Drop BF a few percentage points, and 2). Start a strength program to harden up the muscle you currently have.
Re dropping BF, you don’t have a heckuva lot to lose. Let’s say your goal were 14% BF. That’s only 7.5 pounds. And I’d really hate to see you go much lower than that, honestly. Much more than that and your stamina will start to suffer.
So in answer to your question, make sure you’re taking in quality carbs, green veggie carbs, lots of them, all you can eat; spinach, broccoli, asparagus, kale, squash, green beans, brussel sprouts. Avoid sugar and any carbs you would get in a package. Avoid all non-diet soft drinks and even juice. Breads, too, if you’re trying to drop weight, should be off your diet.
Honestly, Tuesday, I think if you meet your protein requirements (1.5g of protein per pound of LBM per day, divided into at least 6 meals) and if you take in the quality carbs I recommended, you’re going to start dropping BF. I’d really like you to try the approach I recommended above before you start cutting further.
Additionally, in conjunction with your carb choices above, plan on adding in one or two strategic carb refeeds per week. The minimum should be once a week and if you notice that your performance/energy starts to suffer, you’ll need to do refeeds more fequently. It’s just a case of learning how your body works and responding. Timbo has started a great thread on the use of strategic carb refeeds. Read that, and also do a search on the forum.
Finally, take a look at Joel Marion’s Ripped Rugged and Dense. It’s a 5x5 strength program. It’s your ticket to greater strength and harder muscles.
Okay, Tuesday, I wish you all the best. If you have any questions or I wasn’t clear on something, don’t hesitate to ask!!