T Nation

Carbs or Not for Some Fat Loss?


I'm a chubby guy that wants to get rid off some fat. I have those lovely love handles that I (in fact) don't like so much.

I was thinking of almost neglecting the carbs. The only carbohydrates I would allow myself are the carbs that I get from drinking milk. Nothing else.

Whats your opinion on this? Pros and cons?

I'm a sub-junior powerlifter by the way.


I will use Saturdays as eating days. A lot of carbs on Saturdays.

Am I stupid btw?


Is there a reason you are just thinking of restricting carbs rather than trying to follow an actual plan? Are you concerned with the other macros? What about calories?


well, first of all, if the only carbs you are consuming are from milk, then that means you are not eating any fruits or vegetables. thats not good.

second, without enough carbs you will not have the energy necessary to lift hard, which means you wouldn't cause your muscle tissue enough microtrauma to prepare the body to build more muscle (which, incidentally, would help speed your metabolism, helping the body to burn more fat). thats not good either.

third, as hinted above, losing body fat is about burning more calories than you consume. technically, if you ate only carbs at say 2500 calories per day, while burning 2700 calories per day, those love handles would still shrink. though i wouldn't recommend this.

finally, i think powerlifting would be out of the question without adequate carb intake.


Thanks for your answers! Carbs it is.


I would consider paying someone to make you an actual diet. A good source is http://www.lifestylechangeonline.com Either that or see a nutritionist but they charge much less. Better safe than sorry.




let me go back and say that a low-carb diet will help a person lose body fat when used along in a caloric deficit. this is why many bodybuilders cut carbs pre-contest. but there is also a reason why they don't cut carbs during the off season. as i said, carbs = energy (simply put).

"While the low-carb diet can help you get ripped by cutting your bodyfat levels, it also can cost you valuable muscle size. That's because stores of glycogen (stored glucose from carbohydrates) inside your muscle tissue and liver are compromised when your carb intake is too low. And with low stores of glycogen, it's difficult for your muscles to exert the sustained, high-intensity effort required to lift weights. Essentially, you suffer a decrease in strength, your training poundages drop and your muscles get less stimulation, which leads to muscle loss."

-Lee Labrada, Muscle & Fitness

"Adequate supplies of carbohydrates are essential for a number of reasons... Carbohydrates are a primary form of energy. The carbohydrates stored in the muscles as glycogen are what allow you to do heavy and intense weight training... The reason that carbohydrates are so important as fuel for intense training is that most exercise like this is anarobic... so when you do a hard set of weight training or run a 100-meter sprint, the source of your energy for these efforts is primarily carbohydrates."

-Arnold Schwarzenegger, New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding

anyway, i guess my second reson in my above post isn't great if the guy is looking ONLY to cut body fat, but since i assume he is also trying to build muscle (since he is a member of T-Nation) and keep lifting heavy (since he is a powerlifter), i recommend some carbs. i also forgot to mention earlier the importance of carbs in health and recovery.

now as far as my comment being bullshit, i could probably find 1000 other quotes explaining the importance of carbs with weight training. so eengrms, why don't we do an experiment where you cut your carbs for a sustained period of time and you can get back to me and let me know how productive your time in the gym is.


Why don't you ask the guys doing the AD exactly how much bullshit that statement is? You don't need carbs when your body is using fat as its fuel. I'm walking proof of it as well as the people who made the 6000+ posts in the AD thread. So as far as your "experiment" goes- I've been doing exactly that since June and have had great results and can lift heavier and harder than I ever have been able to in my life. Don't be so narrow minded putting 20 year old quotes up to try and prove a point that's already been disproven a long time ago.

I'm not trying to pick a fight with you, just pointing out your antiquated line of thinking.


I have no idea if the original statement is true or not, but I can say that in my own experience it has been much harder to stick to a low-carb diet than it has been to stick to a low-calorie (with carbs included) diet. Low carb makes me grumpy, tired and hungry. I never get used to it. Low-cal only sucks for a few days and then I adapt just fine.


The reason for this is likely when you went low carb you also either went low fat, or low calorie. I agree in that case you wouldn't have much energy. Still doesn't mean you can't lift hard though...


I find it hard to believe with a low carb diet that anyone is lifting heavier than they ever have. I would not take this guys adice if I were you. A low carb diet will make you feel tired and sluggish. You could also test it yourself. Try a low carb diet and see how you feel after a couple of weeks. Then you will have your answer. I will make a bet you won't fell much like working out and you will feel weak. Losing fat is simple math eat a balanced clean diet and burn more calories than taken in. Calories taken in < calories burned. Simple math.



Why don't you try reading this first before you talk about shit you obviously have no clue about.


Did you even consider the fact that you quoted two people with no biological background? Your body is a homeostatic mechanism, able to synthesize and breakdown things that are ingested into what it needs. Sufficient glycogen can be synthesized through fats or proteins.

I just don't understand how you can just read something so simple and accept it as true; there is obviously more to the story than what these two quotes tell you.


Ok do you believe everything you read. You probably take every supliment under the sun.
Ok what ever, protien swallower.


This thread is a train wreck waiting to happen(or already started).


If you don't believe everything you read, then why did you google "carbs" and post what some random nutrionists said?

and what does the insult protein swallower even mean? are you on a low protein, low fat, high carb body building diet?


Wow. Alot of newbs in this thread.

So you're saying I can eat 2,500 calories worth of donuts and be ok as long as I burn off 2,700 calories? If only it were that simple, chief...



The old saying goes "a man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument"

I also am walking proof that low carb eating combined with very high fat, reasonable protein and regular glycogen loads brings with it loads of energy, plenty of muscle and strength gains and the ability to consume a large caloric intake and not get fat.

I sit at this computer typing this post having done it for well over a year.

There appears to be in this thread a few guys who have latched onto some incomplete information and are practicing pontification on that flawed basis.

A few facts:

1-Fat has over twice the energy producing power as either carbohydrates or fat.

2-ANY of the three macro nutrients will be happily used by the body for metabolic/aerobic energy.

3-Whichever of the three you give it the most of (in calories) is what it will adapt itself to prefer for these purposes.

4-It is true that glycogen is required for anaerobic work such as weightlifting, but it is also true that previous stores will remain unused in a person who has become adapted to using fat as their primary fuel for everything else and will thus be available for this work. Hence the weekly loads.

5-No person who has not given ninety days of their life to strict adherence to such a plan is in a position to utter one syllable of criticism of said plan. It takes that long for most self aware people to measure it's effects.

6-Many more facts could also be cited.

In other words as eengrms76 said, read the big AD thread and prepare to be overwhelmed by people with experiences who are not at the mercy of your arguments.