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Carbs Restriction or Calorie Deficit?

Hi guys.
After reading several articles and forums , listening to various fitness youtubers , i am now totally confused
Weather to go for low carb diet or just focus on overall caloric deficit.

I am 5.8
20% bf
Training 6days a week (intense weight training with very short rest between sets)

I need to go down to 10% bf while preserving maximum lean mass.

By listening to internet regarding fat loss,
It seems There are two school of thoughts:

  1. restrict carbs to 50gm in order to prevent surge in insulin level which will hamper fatloss process.

2)it doesnt matter how much carbs you take ,
All depends on overall calorie in -calorie out equation…
In order to lose fat , a caloric deficit is required.

Now which fat loss protocol should i follow?
Low carb plus caloric deficit or just focus on overall caloric deficit?

Currently i am consuming 2gram protein per kg of body weight
Around 150 to 200gram carbs ( mostly from simple carbs) rest of the calories comes from fat.

You’re doing well with your diet so far. I’d recommend taking stock of how many carbs you’re getting in, and slowly reducing them every couple of weeks especially towards the end of the day (not counting post workout). I wouldn’t advise getting caught up in the technicalities of low carb deficit vs calorie deficit, as they will essentially become the same thing as you reduce your carbs to reduce your calories. Good luck!

That is unfortunately nonsense. Protein also causes a spike in insulin production, and non of these low carb zealots are telling people to avoid protein.

That is more accurate. However, a carb cycling approach could work where on non-training days you have significantly less carbs. Less physical activity = less carbs needed.


Either works. For me fat loss is a priority list:

  1. You need a caloric deficit to lose weight.
  2. You need high enough protein + exercise to preserve muscle and make sure the ‘weight’ lost is more fat than muscle.
  3. You need high enough fat to retain optimal cellular function and hormone production
  4. You need enough quality food and variety thereof to get as many micro-nutrients as possible

Set your calories, add protein, add fat and then add whatever else you like including veg with an eye on rule 4.

Chose low carb if low carb makes a calorie deficit easier for you, it does for some people myself included, but a low carb calorie surplus will still result in weight gain and some people don’t feel great on low carb.

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There is a difference.


Kenny Croxdale

That is interesting. Do you have a reference for that graph? I’m curious about it.

Yeah, but based on what actual experts have said, the insulin itself is not the issue.

For reference, I’m 5’11" and started my cut back in Feb at same starting weight as you and went down to 81 kg. My starting macros were 250/150/60 P/C/F. I picked same day every week to weigh myself first thing in the morning after going to the bathroom. Depending on rate of decrease or progress stalls I’d either adjust carbs by -50g and/or add 5 min of cardio on the bike post workout (I lifted 5 days a week). By the end I was at 250/50/50 and 15 min cardio/day. Halfway down, after a few stellar drop weeks I introduced a weekly cheat meal.

In summary, I think your protein intake is too low if you’re looking to preserve muscle. This isn’t going to be linear, and cals in v. cals out is only a piece of the puzzle. Just stay objective and make adjustments as needed at your weekly weigh-in. It takes about 5 min of your time per week and lets you stay objective.