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Cutting: Less Cals or Carbs?


I´m trying to cut some fat right now. I started eating 2200 (at 170 lbs)cals daily with aprox 120g of carbs every day but progress stalled. I wanted some advise on what to do next. Should I cut calories back some more, say to 2000, or should I keep my intake the same ans try going on a very low carb phase ( carbs < 50)?. Right now I´m lifting 4 times per week and doing conditioning stuff (intervals, circuits...) 2 times per week. Is this enough or should I raise my activity level first before trying to manipulate my diet any further?

I thank all of you for taking the time to answer.


I find the best progress when I cut carbs, but everybody's different. Do you know how your body responds to carbs? I should also mention that the specific gram amount doesn't matter as much as how it fits into your macronutrient profile.


I don´t think I handle them that well. I´ve always had some central adiposity (insulin resistance?)


I've always had some until recently too, but I chalk it up to not knowing how many calories a day I eat. Just poor diet planning for a long period of my life.


Cals. One word. Cut either fats or carbs, but don't replace one with the other. It's not rocket science.


if your not using weight, then you gotta figure out what to cut out (carb or fat). If you are losing weight but not fat, then cut carb and see what happens.


Wtf!? Dropping carbs will essentially do just that, lose weight without losing fat (if cals are kept constant) due to water and glycogen loss. CALS matter more than anything folks.




Wow, you're at 170 lbs, with an approx 2000 cal and 120g carbs daily intake. Not good my friend. I can't believe your numbers are so low. I don't think I was that low the week before my last contest. I find that too many people seem to drop numbers too drastically in an attempt to rip up quickly.

What then essentially happens is you not only lose muscle, but your body downshifts as well, eventually digging yourself a nice slow metabolic hole. You will lose fat by making your body have to adapt to things it's not used to. A low carb day here, a higher one there, a lower cal intake for a few days, but then a higher one so it doesn't adjust to the lower intake.

A few thoughts:
- Carbs are your best defense against muscle loss, which is why you don't see too many natty BBers going low carb for extended durations.
- Protein has a 'thermic effect', so you can eat a little more protein than carbs even though both technically yield 4 cals each gram.
- Fats will slow the digestion of food in your stomach.
-I usually advice someone who 'stalls out' to up their numbers, no lower them. Usually they've crashed their metabolism by following poor advice for too long (their leptin levels also need resetting).

(Everytime I see some 150 lb guy advising to cut carbs to rip up I just wanna smash my head into my computer screen!)



Less carbs = less cals, at least last time I checked 1 gram carbs = 4 cals, so 1 gram less of carbs = 4 less cals.