T Nation

How Many Carbs?

The time has come again for me to drop to around 205 for my fight on the 25th. I don’t have a lot of fat to lose, so what’s left hangs on rather fastidiously, and to get rid of it, I’ve found I have to resort to the dreaded low-carb diet.

Anyway, the weigh-ins are the night before the fight, and as you might expect, once I watch the scale tip at 204, I’m going to go out and eat some damn carbs. However, the received view amongst those in the know is that it usually takes a little while for the body to “remember” how to use carbs properly after coming off a low-carb diet. Clearly, I want my body to use whatever glycogen I put into myself after weigh-ins to its fullest during the fight. Assuming I’m consuming the usual mad doses of fish oil and ALA, at what invervals and at what amounts should I consume carbs while dieting in order for my body to stay accustomed to processing them? Are their any guidelines for this?

Thanks for any and all info!

Where are you at now? And do you hold on to muscle easily? If I miss a meal or two, I can drop 5 lbs in a day, so it is a very individual thing.

i don’t think you should worry about that. after weigh-in take some ala and load on creatine. eat large amounts of low and high glycemic carbs and you should be good. it’s much harder for the body to switch to fat burning mode then it is to switch to carb burning mode. laters pk

Hi, Jason!!! How much weight do you need to drop between now and the 25th (of January, I assume)? The ideal would be to weigh in at 200 and carb up the afternoon/night before the fight, expecting to gain 3-4 pounds.

Other issues are that you need to maintain energy levels and work out hard and smart between now and then. I would seriously consider going low carb (<50g carbs/day) and doing a carb refeed the third and seventh day of the week. That way you would be in fat-burning mode the majority of the week. The refeeds (at about 100-150g) would restore glycogen and allow you to continue to work out intensely. I’d go for a roughly 50/50 (as far as calories go, not grams) on fat and protein on your low carb days. Since you’re looking for fat loss without loss of energy, endurance or recovery, I’d make sure I was using high-dose fish oil and flaxseed oil for as much of the fat intake as possible. You’ll get some saturated fat, but NBD.

If you haven’t been on a low-carb/ketogenic-type diet before, you can expect to lose 10 pounds (or maybe a little more) in the next two weeks. And don’t worry, no matter what you’ve heard, low-carb diets aren’t that bad. After your body makes the metabolic shift, you’ll have no cravings and little to no hunger. Just be sure you don’t get crazy about dropping your caloric intake too low.

And when you go to do that last carb up before your fight, be sure to sip (water) and weigh, sip and weigh . . . (and possibly take in some more carbs). You want to be as hydrated as possible, without missing weight.

Just my quick thoughts. Best of luck to you, and be sure to report back the fight results here on t-mag.

I’m doing pretty well right now. My weight this morning was 213. The original plan was stop losing at around 207 and re-introduce a very moderate carb component to my diet, landing me at around 210 once I’m full of glycogen and the associated water again. I’d then have to cut only 5lb in water weight with my plastics(no problem - I cut 11lbs last time and felt okay).

The three- and seven-day recarb idea might keep me sufficiently “acquainted” with carbs so that I can just stop losing at 210, though. Also, if what pkradgreek said is true, re-acquaintance may not be a real issue.

Hmmm, two similar strategies. I’ll have to figure out which one I like better. Thanks for the input, guys.

At 213, you should not even have to worry about it too much. Just drop 3 lbs, and then 5 lbs of water weight. Sound like you got it covered, and just being a worry wort. Good luck in your fight!!!

Me thinks Tampa-Terry’s never had to survive on the canvas before. Which is why suggesting the low-carb/ketogenic diet, IMO, is a no-no. Jason, you know you’ll be needing those carbs.

You're at 213 now? And need to be 205 for your match? Damn, boy: that's just 8-pounds. You can easily lose just that much between now and the 25th.

Again, I wouldn't go too low with the carbs: you need them. My first thought would be to actually pick up activity level- but I know you're probably at a level where your activity level would kick my ass! Have you given thought to Ko's suggestion of dropping a meal. Or exchanging a meal for a protein shake?