Carb Strategies That I Have Found to Work Well for Staying Lean

September 15, 2010

I love carbs, which is why I could never be 100% Paleo. I do eat Paleo meals and even occasionally have low carb days, but I can’t imagine a world without carbs. I enjoy gummy candy and red vines when watching movies and this is a habit that I don’t want to break. Anyway over the past 20 years I have learned a few carb strategies that allow a person to eat tasty carbs without putting on a bunch of excess weight. This stuff isn’t ground breaking or anything, but I know it doesn’t hurt to be reminded of these effective strategies. I will create a list of tips and put the ones that have helped out the most towards the top. Of course, I would love to hear your thoughts as well in the comment section.

Gummy Cola Bottles

[This my latest candy of choice. They are kind of sick and good all at the same time. A slightly weird chemical flavor, but the texture is outstanding! This is for more advanced gummy connoisseurs, who are ready to move on past Gummy Bears and Swedish Fish.]

A “Thanks” to All of the Fitness Guys Who Have Come Clean

I love the trend of guys with fitness blogs who aren’t afraid to admit they like food that some people consider “junk food”. For instance, one of my favorite things this past year was Brad Pilon chomping down a pizza, while Craig Ballantyne sprinted on a treadmill. They were trying to show you can’t out train a high calorie diet. I also love the Martin Berkhan’s Cheesecake Mastery posts over on his Lean Gains site (where he eats an entire cheesecake with hilarious photos). This is a good trend, because who wants to have out with someone who won’t let their guard down and “eat like the locals”.

Sacrificing Everything to Stay Lean is a Huge Mistake

It is easy to go overboard in your quest to get in top shape…especially if you are just starting out. It is cool to be uber-strict for short periods of time, like getting in shape for your wedding or a vacation…but don’t make uber-strict your lifestyle. Life it too short for that! So lets get to the carb tips. Again…you are most likely not ever going to follow all of these…pick and chose what works for you.

1) Never Eat Carbs Alone – Always Eat With Protein or Fat

I learned this principle back in the early 90’s. I am pretty sure I read about it in an issue of Muscle Media 2000. This was the small magazine Bill Philips published before he became huge. The reason you don’t want to eat carbs alone is that it is more likely to spike your blood sugar and raise your insulin levels. When your insulin levels are high, you cannot burn body fat. When you add protein or fat to a carb source, it slows digestion and makes it less likely that you will have a strong insulin response. I break this rule at the movie theater on a regular basis (Diet Coke and Red Vines), but for the most part I follow this rule and it has served me well. There is one exception to this rule…fruit is fine to eat alone, since the fiber slows down digestion (learned this from Bova – Spartan Health Regimen in 2002-2003).

2) Drink as Few Carbs As Possible

I know some people believe Diet Coke to be the worst substance known to man, but I drink it on a regular basis. One thing I won’t touch is regular soda. Regular soda and those Frappuccino style coffee drinks have contributed to the obesity problem in a big way. You can get a meal’s worth of calories in one of those fancy coffee drinks…if you are going to drink coffee drink it black…or with a smidge of cream. Whenever possible try to avoid drinks that contain calories. This rule will serve you well. The only exception of course is beer πŸ™‚ but most likely you aren’t drinking enough of it to make a huge impact on daily calories.


[Heck…I like Diet Coke so much, I’m going to throw in a Diet Coke commercial. This commercial proves, without question, that drinking Diet Coke makes you cool! Catchy song as well.]

3) No Carbs Before or During Your Workouts

I was tempted to make this #1. I avoid carbs at all costs before training and would never drink an energy drink while training. I want my body to use stored body fat for energy during a workout session, not “food energy”. I do realize that a lot of calories are burned after training and a lot of people argue that they don’t have energy when training in a fasted state. If you can learn to train in a fasted state you may actually have more energy, NOT less. I have written a whole post on this exact subject… Fasted Workouts and Fasted Cardio vs EPOC – For Fat Loss

4) Eat the Heaviest Carb Meals After Your Workout

This isn’t a rule I have followed recently, but it works like a charm. I believe I learned this tip from Tom Venuto in his BTFFTM book in 2002 or 2003. The reason why this works well is that your muscles will absorb a lot of the nutrients you eat right after training. If you do eat a bunch of carbs right after training, they will be much less likely to get stored as fat. Some of the leanest people I know eat their biggest carb heavy meals within 2 hours after training and taper down the carbs the rest of the day. I don’t eat like this anymore because I now train in the morning and like to eat my biggest meal at night.

5) Starchy Carbs Earlier in the Day Fibrous Carbs at Night

This is another thing I learned from Tom Venuto quite a few years back. As it gets later in the day, make sure your carb sources are mainly fibrous. So if you love bread and potatoes and want to eat them, either eat them earlier in the day or right after training – (Tip 4). In the evening, go for green vegetables, salads, etc. Try to fill up on green veggies and a good protein source, while minimizing the amount of starchy carbs. I break this rule all of the time, because I often eat my biggest meal at night. I will only follow this rule if I am trying to get ultra-lean.


[I’ve posted this video before. This is the best explanation of Paleo anywhere on the internet…and entertaining.]

6) Go Paleo Every So Often

I love the idea of eating Paleo and to be honest I like the way it makes my body feel. While I’m not committed to the full-blown Paleo lifestyle, I do like to go low carb for short periods of time. I also like to make Paleo meals. It is fun to get creative and figure out ways to make a meal with no wheat, rice, potatoes, etc. This is fun to do to just switch things up…plus some of my favorite blogs are based on the Paleo lifestyle.

7) No Carbs After 7:00 PM (or any other set time)

This is a tough rule to follow. I know a lot of people would put this as #1, but I think it is too rigid to follow on a regular basis. I don’t think it is a good idea to eat a bunch of carbs right before bed, but if you are craving some carbs then a little bit won’t kill you. In fact, if you do an intermittent style fast on a particular day and eat a late dinner…then a decent amount of carbs will be fine. If you are someone who trains after work, then these night carbs won’t hurt either. I do see this strategy as a good one if you are trying to reach lower than normal levels of body fat, but not a hard rule the rest of the time.

Summary: My hope is that adding one or two of these tips, will help you get past a fat loss sticking point. The most important thing is to simply create a calorie deficit through diet and exercise, but tweaking your carbs can make your diet that much more effective.

One Final Thing: Tom Venuto just put up a really good free mp3 on carb tips (for those who want to get extra-lean). This mp3 is only available for a few days, so download it now. There is a PDF as well, but I suggest simply listening to the mp3 while you are cruising the net, checking e-mails, FB, etc—> Limited MP3

Important Message: Although this site has received 25+ million visitors, I am starting from scratch and abandoning it. This site is dated and old school looking, terrible to read on mobile, etc.

It's like a Ford Pinto compared to my new site...which is like a Ferrari. Click the link to head over to my new site.

Starting Over...R.I.P. Fitness Black Book!


Thanks for reading all these years!



 

----> (New) Facebook Comments..."Cause all the cool kids are doin' it!"

{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

David - Get Fit Get Lean September 15, 2010 at 5:36 pm

Rusty,

Going 100% Paleo is too tough for me too. I love Mexican food, Nachos and Pizza. I eat well 90% of the time and when I go out with friends I will eat some more carb heavy.

I did eat a whole large pizza after working out yesterday and I didn’t feel bad at all.

David

Lauren Snyder September 15, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Hi Rusty,

This is my first time here on your blog and I must say you have some great tips!

Lauren

Alex September 15, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Eating carbs with protein or fat can significantly lower their GI, this is not the same as lowering the insulin response.

Milk has a lower GI value than White Bread but induces a far higher insulin response.
Ref: – http://weightology.net/weightologyweekly/?page_id=536

Also : –

“MYTH: Since diabetics who inject insulin gain weight, this means that insulin is the reason for weight gain in non-diabetics

FACT: Amylin is co-secreted with insulin in non-diabetics; amylin has appetite suppressant and lipolytic effects

I would like to thank Dr. Stephan Guyenet for this information. I had known about amylin but hadn’t looked into it in any great detail. Amylin is a hormone that is secreted by your pancreas at the same time as insulin. Amylin decreases appetite, and also stimulates lipolysis (the breakdown of fat into fatty acids).”

From the 2nd part of that article – http://weightology.net/weightologyweekly/?page_id=459

Fibrous carbs are great, especially green leafed veg for their vitamin contents.

Sue September 15, 2010 at 7:08 pm

I read the Tom Venuto stuff with interest. He recommends 50% carb etc for most but also has a section on lower carb for those it works better on. I can’t switch to the 5 meals per day – it just wouldn’t work for me. I like 3 meals and I’m still losing fat – so far 26 pounds. Was also surprised by a section in (BTFFTM) about cardio for fat loss. For extreme fast fat loss a lot of body builders would do 1 hour, 7 days per week or even twice daily. He doesn’t recommend this for too long. When you get to the desired fat level decrease the cardio for maintenance. Increasing the cardio seems to be working for me.

Raymond - ZenMyFitness September 15, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Hey Rusty,
Excellent post again seriously I can’t believe how you make them interesting and entertaining (it just like your workout manuals like Visual Impact).
I love the Paleo video its going up on my Facebook account in 5 minutes.
Yeah I do my best to go Paleo as much as possible. Its hard with all availability of food around you and having a family, it would be much easier if I lived in a cave by myself.

Since we are coming clean I do drink diet cokes when fasting I need something. I love cheese cakes so I’m going a have a look at Cheese cake Mastery.

Thanks for the tip on Tom Venuto I read the report you alerted me to and I will be buying it when it comes available it sounds just what I was after.
Raymond

Kevin Williams September 15, 2010 at 7:45 pm

Hello Rusty, I have to say I REALLY hope you get the chance to read this particular comment as it would be a godsend. For the last 4 months I’ve been really wired to your website, I am generally new to your techniques, but they all make sense and I’ve adopted them, I’m in college, and I’ve just been able to get back on the weights after a summer of being limited to body weight exercises (not that I don’t like them) and I noticed after the first week the increased definition in my arms and chest and shoulders. My only question to you is…How do you do it? I follow your 2 day split, but it seems that I always find myself in the gym for at least two hours which I know is detrimental to my results to be in the gym that long. I have a workout that goes like this…
Mon/Wed Tues/Thurs
5×5 incline bench 5×5 Curls
5x5flat bench 5x5chins’ or cable curls
5X5Pullups 5x5triceps pulldowns and dips
5x5Rows 5x5shoulder press and side raises
Planks
Hit/steady state cardio.
It seems that I rest too long, because I really do not want to tear the fibers in order to grow bigger, but it probably takes me about two minutes to finish the working part of the five sets, and 11 mins minimum with the added rest. I feel like I’m taking entirely too long though, but I just want to make sure that I rest enough to not tear the fibers, so I can benefit from the strength aspect and not build on one set. Rusty, If you could help me to tweak my workout to the standards you would approve it would be very beneficial…or if ANYONE who follows Rusty’s advice on the website to the Tee, could help me it would be very much appreciated.

Clint @ Crude Fitness September 15, 2010 at 7:48 pm

It’s great to see more posts such as these which debunk the myth that you need to be ‘uber’ strict ALL the time in order to improve your physique. Cheat days are what makes life worth living afterall πŸ˜‰

If you’re adhering to at least some of the above points 80% of the time, you can enjoy your ‘reward’ at the weekend knowing full well, you will still have the physique you’ve been training so hard to achieve.

Thomas - Waist, Hips, & Thighs September 15, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Rusty,

I love your way of thinking! I try so hard to show and tell people how you can stay lean and still enjoy life and food. I still drinking alcohol, eat desserts, and enjoy the foods I like the most. It’s a mind set of knowing how to adjust your eating to fit what you eat. If I know I am going to a cook out the I minimize calories.

I am amazed how many people DRINK their way to being fat. From all the so called sports drinks to the high calorie shakes. I notice some people putting away 1500 per day from drinks alone just plain crazy if you ask me.

Like you I have a thing for candy….Turtles are my weakness that and apple fritters.

-Thomas

Tom September 15, 2010 at 8:33 pm

Rusty, I enjoy hearing you confess you don’t eat perfect. Cutting carbs is also hard for me, but I know I need to go more in the paleo direction although I don’t agree 100 % with it. Thanks for all the tips. It’s nice to be reminded that you don’t have to do something 100% perfect to benefit from the positive changes we make.

Jason G September 15, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Rusty I have to say for weight loss your carb strategies are sound, but I would like to comment on them nonetheless. Over the past two years I have tried all kinds of diets, and I have to say that I found you can lose weight either by eating low carb or by eating mainly complex carbs. Calories are everything. Over all “most” nutritionist would say that eating a higher amount of complex carbs is healthier for long term health when compared to Paleo type diets. Paleo diets based on my experience are very effective for weight loss and muscle building but not optimal for cognitive performance. My carb strategy #1 is don’t eat simple carbs and it goes hand in hand with your drink as few carbs as possible strategy(very few fibrous carb drinks out there). While I am not totally against starches(sweet potatoes come to mind) I would reword your rule #5 to only eat starches after workouts or intense activity.

I am now studying for the CPA exam and I have been trying to eat for both my brain performance and weight loss. I basically eat oatmeal with frozen blueberries heated into them every morning, quinoa and pasta sauce or a turkey sandwich on whole kernel rye bread for lunch, spinach/apple cider and whey protein shakes for snacks, and chicken & spinach or sardines & spinach for dinner. As you can see my approach to carbs is fibrous carbs in the day and low carbs in the night. I do not pair my carbs with fat in the daytime since fats seem to interfere with my cognitive performance(even though lowering the glycemic load of a meal is a great strategy). Most of the carbs I eat have a protein element to them and also have high fiber resulting in a moderate glycemic load. My dinner is soley for protein uptake and the spinach is there to fill me up. The majority of my fats are in the evening as well(the one time i have a olive oil based dressing). I would say low to no carbs at night would be my rule #2 on my list, which agrees with your rule #7.

Since the title of your article includes while staying lean I will not get into the benefits of having carbs in your system before a workout. I wake up almost every morning and work out with no carbs in my body right before my breakfast more as a time saving technique than an “anti carb before a workout philosophy”.

I do feel that “eating your heaviest carb meals after a workout” is solid advice but I ultimately feel there should be a disclosure in that statement. I picture a 16 year old boy stopping by California Pizza Kitchen eating a 1200 calorie pasta lunch after his workout. When in reality a bowl of oatmeal and a protein shake might only have 400 calories of complex carbs and be enough to start the healing process. Again this is the best time to have a sweet potato with lowfat sour cream. I think people will stay leaner and better manage insulin spikes by having smaller portions of complex carbs even after strenuous workout programs. My carb strategy #3 is never eat more than 500 calories of complex carbs in one sitting(again no simple carbs). Less if your pairing with fat and meat. Keep calories per meal low.

I totally agree that going Paleo every once in a while is a great weight loss tool. I just recently got retired from accounting by the economy and am working at Whole Foods Market. Whenever I am working a late shift I usually either fast or only eat meat to get in fat burning mode. Since I wont study in the evening I have little need to feed my brain with carbs. That brings me to my rule #4 only eat carbs when you need them. If your laying in bed watching tv all day don’t eat carbs. You don’t need your brain. You don’t need to move. No carbs for you! Rule number 4 can also be worded match your carbs with your activity level. Take your pick.

Darrin - Lean, Mean, Virile Machine September 15, 2010 at 8:52 pm

I think the Paleo / Primal diet is the best strategy for most people – if wild animals can stay so lean on their natural diets, it makes perfect sense that humans would as well.

That being said, I’ve got a beef with the widespread belief that humans evolved on a low carb diet. It’s undisputed that we chowed down on all the roots, tubers, and berries we could find, even though grains and sugars were out of the question.

My strategies regarding carbs is to get them primarily from fresh, whole, and unprocessed veggies primarily (yes, that includes potatoes!) The insulin spikes that follow a carb-rich meal don’t lead to fat accumulation, rather it is chronically elevated insulin levels that are the result of excess sugar consumption, among other things.

I also take the Martin Berkham approach of eating as many carbs as I can after my short, intense workouts, while limiting them more on off-days.

Lastly, I’m a big fan of cheat days, as it often means a Double-Double animal style and a shake at In-N-Out! Or really, whatever I feel like. (Hey, I love to pig out!)

All-out fear of carbohydrates is silly, we’ve been eating them forever. You just gotta do it in the right way – avoid the sugars and highly-processed carbs, which don’t fill you up and leads to weight gain. Stick with lots of veggies and a little bit of fruit and perhaps nuts.

Will September 15, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Alex, milk is highly insulinogenic, but not as much as white bread – even the reference you linked to showed that white bread is higher. Also, that’s probably for cow’s milk, goat’s milk would cause less insulin as it as less lactose.

A great article on milk I recommend eating: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/dairy-intolerance/

Alan September 15, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Hey Rusty,

Thanks for this post, it is very timely and really makes me feel better, as I’ve recently come to many of the same realizations and ideas about eating carbs. I really like the paleo ideals, but in practice I’m not sure if I’m ready to go there 100%.

Many of your suggestions I already follow (2,3 & 7) and will check out your other ideas too.

Thanks again, always enjoy your insight.

Alan

Fit Lifestyle Chef September 15, 2010 at 9:25 pm

I can be only palo for a long period

The carb cravings are turning up when something is missing:sleep or vegetables./

I’ve noticed that a few black grapes with cinnamon temper my card cravings

Troy Crowley September 16, 2010 at 2:20 am

hmmm… everyone is on the carb wagon… but c’mon… diet coke, you might as well just drink the regular one if your going to drink a coke… high fructose corn syrup is better than aspartame!!! And who’s to say paleo wasn’t high carb anyways…???

troy

Chris - ZTF September 16, 2010 at 2:58 am

Interesting article with some good strategies, definitely the right way to use carbs to get lean. I find that sleep is much better with some unrefined carbs at dinner time, something like sweet potato or brown rice with a bit of meat. Seems to send seretonin and therefore melatonin upwards allowing for better sleep….

Also Carbs post workout are for the win, getting a nice carby, moderate protein, lowish fat meal after a hard workout is unrivalled for muscle growth!

Yavor :: Relative Strength Advantage September 16, 2010 at 4:03 am

I love those Gummy Bears. reminds me of my childhood and the candy store where I used to buy them. It was called Miss Bon Bon and there was a huuuuge selection of candy there. It was a really new thing for our country too – right after the fall of communism we were introduced for the first time to such a variety of treats…

Now, some 20 years later we are slowly catching up in to the out-of-shape western world… unfortunately.

I think people in the 80’s and 90’s were much fitter and slimmer than now – without really trying.

Now here is my carb tip: don’t deny yourself anything. But fill yourself up on real food first. So eat a whole plate of veggies and fruits and then have something for dessert. I know, nothing groundbreaking – but it works.

Bianca September 16, 2010 at 4:16 am

I don’t understand something: if you eat as many fat as you want, making sure that you don’t spike your insulin, can you still lose weight? I mean I ate half a jar of almond butter, didn’t feel bad at all, and didn’t gain any weight the day after either? I do this on a daily basis, I eat ounces of hazelnuts, packs of dark chocolate and I still lose weight??! I am pretty sure I took more calories than I am supposed to and I don’t work out as often, so is this because I have a uber-fast metabolism or are nuts/cacao fat really OK for you?

Jeremy September 16, 2010 at 5:32 am

Great grab bag of ‘staying lean’ tricks, Rusty. I truly appreciate all of the great advice that you have to offer. You’ve put a lot of work into this blog and it really shows.

With that said, can I just say Brad is downing pizzas, Martin is slammin’ whole cheescakes, and Rusty is…well…he is into handfuls of gummy cola bottles! LOL. You crack me up.

Methuselah - Pay Now Live Later September 16, 2010 at 6:55 am

This is a great collection of wisdom on the topic Rusty. I recently relaxed my carb rules because I have been experimenting with Leangains. Even though I remain pretty much Paleo all the time,, I do look forward to nailing a big sweet potato and a banana forlunch after a workout.

Alex September 16, 2010 at 7:02 am

Will,

I was referring to the first study cited in that article: –
http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/reprint/80/5/1246

The study also references to another which mentioned insulin response of pure lactose (GI : 68, II : 50) vs pasturised milk (GI : 30, II : 90) these contained the same amount of lactose. This would show that amino acids do increase insulin levels (as the results were the same for low fat and full fat milk).

This would biologically make sense, as the body is releasing an anabolic hormone when presented with protein.

My end point was, supplementing carbs with protein does not elicit a lower insulin response, it creates a lower blood sugar level. Still a good thing to do though.

Clement September 16, 2010 at 9:38 am

@Alex:
I’ve been tramping through James’s blog. It’s really good and backed up by tangible research.

@Will:
The other parts of the article explain that even protein causes an insulin spike. In fact, all food types do and it’s coming to light that the level of spike does not co-relate with the amount of fat stored. Insulin spikes the highest when a fast is broken. It also needs to be spiked as it causes catabolism of muscle tissue to be blocked. This is why bodybuilders take high-GI meals post-training. However, I would like to also add that Brian St. Pierre, an excellent nutrition expert and former employ at Cressey Performance, has recently written a blog post about not needing to consume refined carbs like the white bread you mention as normal whole food sources also cause such a spike. This would be desirable information to bodybuilders and physique competitors as they would want an insulin spike after training for better nutrient partitioning. And insulin is spiked after a meal. The size of the meal normally determines the spike, but insulin has indeed gotten an undeserved bad rep. Just wanted to put things straight!

@Rusty:
I always enjoy your posts on dieting. I feel that doing aggressive diets like Lyle McDonald’s PSMF protocol works vest for me. I go on crash diets for about 4-6 weeks while using heavy training like stronglifts 5×5 or 5/3/1 (using supersets after the core lift as assistance exercises to really increase metabolic activity when training) to maintain size if I’m not at my desired size or Final Phase Fat Loss or the really advanced Turbulence Training programmes if I have more fat to lose and can risk compromising lean muscle growth. I find that a good time to hop on such diets is when my abs can no longer be seen. And it’s hard to keep size on my body, especially when you were formerly skinny fat, with a high metabolic rate. I know you do a modified PSMF but without the protein focus. I read about it in the past!

Jon G September 16, 2010 at 10:23 am

Mr. Moore,
Although this comment doesn’t coincide with the “Carbs”post, I wanted to contact you and say Thank You.
I am new to your website and just recently purchased your Visual Impact program. I’m almost 30yrs old, a little over 6ft tall and about 205lbs. For the past few years I have been chasing that dream of being bigger, by doing Squats and Deadlifts. I’ve gained a good 25-30lbs but recently alot of that has gone to my hips, rear and thighs. I’ve been feeling sluggish and frustrated with where I’m at, despite a mostly Paleo diet. Then I found your website and immediatley purchased VI. As of this post I am just in the first week of Phase 1, but dropping Squats and DL’s has already had a posistive mental impact on my training. I am very excited to continue with your recommendations, as I’ve made the decision to get that lean and ripped “Fight Club/American History X look.” I started lifting in college and was very lean with good definition and a killer set of abs, but that wasn’t good enough, I wanted to be bigger. Now that I am, I can’t wait to get back down to a lean, and functional weight that’s more appropriate for my build. So once more, Thank you. (success story to follow)

Kurt @ Burn Fat Build Muscle September 16, 2010 at 11:37 am

I love that you admit that you eat like a normal person – at least sometimes. I think that it does a great disservice to people who are trying to lose weight if you tell them that they can never eat certain kinds of food. It makes diets seem way too hard to stick to and it seems to make it a certainty that they quit. In my experience, a little bit of allowance for “vices” goes a long way in helping them to stick to healthier eating.

Anita September 16, 2010 at 11:44 am

Great tips – I love the Paleo video BTW. Especially the beginning…

I think a combo of all of your tips will work well as a weight maintenance strategy. Obviously if you need to get very lean – that requires a different effort.

I also don’t like extremes. I realize they are necessary – but luckily not in my life. So I find it’s easy to keep sane on the food front by doing things in moderation. Some things almost never πŸ˜‰

Hmm – wondering if I could polish off an entire cheesecake…

r.w. September 16, 2010 at 1:17 pm

I’ve found that if I go very low carb, my brain no longer works. For my job I do quantitative reasearch which is very math heavy, so I really notice any cognitive slowness. From the literature I’ve read about how the brain gets energy, this seems about right: no carbs = slow brain.

That said, I have an issue. I’m 6 foot 1, 190 lbs. I have a 41 inch chest and can bench about 265, squat 300, etc. The issue is that I have a skinny person’s frame and am probably supposed to weigh about 160. My waist currently is 38 (that’s a “real” 38 measured with a tape measure… my pants say 34). When I was about 22 I could bench close to the same amount of weight and still had a 30-32 inch waist. Now I’m very weird shaped. I look like I could be fit, but I have this barrel shaped gut.

I have to go to a wedding in Hawaii in January and am trying to get back to a size 32 waist. I’m wondering if there is a good workout and diet routine to achieve this. Maybe it’s the Vacation Body Blueprint? I’m currently doing a rippletoe style strength workout and riding my bike one hour a day, but it’s not really doing what I want. I am getting progressively stronger but my waist is staying the same size. I am willing to sacrifice strength gains for the next few months to focus on losing body fat, but am not totally sure where to go from here. any suggestions?

Yash September 16, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Hey Rusty,

Liked the part about training fasted. I know you’ve been saying it for a while, and I used to apply it for cardio workouts but I started lifting in the morning or even midday without having eaten, and it is definitely a great idea. Martin suggests BCAAs on Leangains which is a good idea. I’ve also seen caffeine pills as a suggestion for people who have problems with energy, but I think the dehydration on an empty stomach isn’t worth the extra boost. It can make some people dizzy. After a few workouts the body adjusts in an amazing way.

Yash

Jason G September 16, 2010 at 3:36 pm

r.w,

I would eat 1600 calories a day until January. Eat whole grains and vegetables for breakfast and lunch with about 30 grams of protein each meal. Eat low calorie Paleo at night. I wold get most of your calories in the morning to fuel your brain and then ease them out after lunch time.

I lost 12 pounds a month for 5 months by doing this. Witch means that you could easily be ripped by January. This is not theory. I guarantee it will work. Eat 1800 calories if you want to lose weight slower. Keep working out!

mickieb September 16, 2010 at 5:14 pm

The ooey-gooey treat that I love is called Mochi. It’s an Asian treat thats made from glutinous rice flour and other stuff. The consistency is like soft gummy candies! I hope these are more nutritious than candy gummies!

Alykhan - Fitness Breakout September 16, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Rusty,

I love carbs more than any other type of food and there is no way I could ever give them up. I like to eat according to a very strict, Primal, low-carb diet during the weekdays and then completely pig out with whatever I want on the weekends while throwing in an Eat Stop Eat fast. I have been doing this for a while now and have been able to stay lean.

For example, last weekend I had Olive Garden’s Never Ending Pasta Bowl Friday night, Chili’s bacon cheeseburger and fries (with a few beers) on Saturday night, and a whole large Papa John’s pizza on Sunday night. Even after all that, no weight gain. It’s what you eat the majority of the time that counts!

Alykhan

Kristen September 16, 2010 at 10:14 pm

I like your tips – I will be back often, although the no carbs after 7 as you admit is pretty harsh and I think very unrealistic – Are you talking all carbs or just processed and refined ones?

Kirk September 17, 2010 at 11:06 am

These tips are AWESOME! They seem so simple to follow and are so easy to understand…yet they are very effective.
I’ve always wanted to know when is the best time during the day to eat low or high carb meals in order to keep my body lean. Until now I’ve struggled with several methods that did not work.

I’ll definitely try what you suggested and I’ll come back to let you know how it went…but I’m sure they’ll work!
Thanks!

admin September 17, 2010 at 5:32 pm

@ David,

Love Mexican food as well. I could probably eat it every day.

@ Alex,

Good point, I was a little careless on how I worded that. The insulin debate is an interesting one. I have always believed that insulin was a storage hormone. I have always reached my leanest state when keeping it stable. Will have to read what Dr. Guyenet has to say and compare with other reputable sources. I won’t change my opinion on one doctor’s beliefs but will do some more investigation here.

@ Sue,

Tom admits that meal frequency isn’t as important as what he used to preach in BTFFTM. I eat 3 times per day and two times per week do 1 meal per day (the Eat Stop Eat approach). I do like it that he is one of the few guys who endorses cardio. I do as well. Many others have demonized it, but you can tweak intensity down a notch to continue to drop body fat without over-training. Circuits and complexes work but your body has a limited capacity to do these before you become over-trained.

@ Raymond,

Thanks for the compliment. I just don’t want the site to become boring. I need to do my best to keep it as entertaining as possible or else it isn’t fun for the readers (or me). Methuselah, the guy who made the video has a great blog. He actually runs two blogs…worth reading for sure.

@ Kevin,

Cool…let me see if I can help. It is hard for me to tell what your body part split is. Are you doing all of those exercises each workout? What you should aim for is 2 exercises per body part 5 sets of 5 reps (if you want to do 5X5). So one day you would do Chest and Back (with abs). Another day you would do Shoulders, Triceps, and Biceps. So that would be a total of 30 sets per training session.

When you do 5 sets of 5 reps. The first 2 sets are a warm up sets and the last 3 sets are with your work weight. So lets say you are benching 225 for 5 reps. Set #1 would be 135 for 5 reps, and set #2 would be 185 for 5 reps. Then you would do 3 sets with 225 pounds. On those first two sets you won’t need to rest really long in between sets. They can be performed quickly.

Then maybe you move on to incline dumbbell press for the second exercise and lets say you use 80 pounds for 5 reps for your work sets. Set one would be 55 pound dumbbells for 5 reps, set two would be 65 pound dumbbells for 5 reps…then you would do your 3 work sets. So when you do it like this is goes by quickly. The key for 5 sets of 5 reps is to lift those first two sets, like the weight is heavy. Tense up the muscles hard as you go down and generate tension. Once you hit the third set with the heavier weights you nervous system has the “green light” to deliver maximum output (hope that doesn’t sound spacey). This should help you get your workouts down to 45-60 minutes.

@ Clint,

Yeah…I could never drop fun and exciting food like nachos and beer from my diet. The world would be a dim place for me without including this type of food from time to time.

@ Thomas,

Yeah…and those high calorie shakes and coffee drinks are a rip off. For $5-$6 I can get a full meal at a Teriyaki restaurant.

@ Tom,

My diet is far from perfect, but I do eat somewhat strickly 4-5 days per week (or at least I keep the total calories under control).

@ Jason G,

Yes, I am glad you mentioned brain function. My girlfirend tried low carb and it messed her moods up. I am less prone to this, but when I want to be productive when working online I have a tough time doing it when carbs are too low. This is something people should consider. Sorry to hear you lost your job, but Whole Foods is probably a fun place to work. I am a regular and love buying my meat and produce there.

@ Darrin,

I read a great article when I first started this blog, where the person makes a strong case that we survived mainly off fruit…with just the ocassional meat protein. Bova from Spartan Health Regimen talks about this as well. I feel great when my diet has a lot of fruit, and it certainly makes sense to me.

@ Alan,

Yeah…just some thing to try and see how they work for you. Again…love many of the Paleo principles and I’m a big fan of Mark Sisson. His “Primal Blueprint Cookbook” kicks butt by the way.

@ Fit Lifestyle Chef,

When I go low carb I have a tough time getting to sleep at times. A little snack like you mentioned, helps out.

@ Troy,

I have heard the evils of aspartame, but not convinced. The doses were so high in those animal studies…hundreds of times what a person would consume in a day. High fructose corn syrup on the other hand…I see the effects of that whenever I drive by the local Highschool. Kids are fatter than ever. I’m not saying that it is all high fructose corn syrup, but that doesn’t help.

@ Chris,

I ike to include rice or potatoes with dinner for better sleep as well. Helps me wind down for the evening. Good point.

@ Yavor,

The fall of Communism and the rise of obesity…sounds like a good book title. Your world growing up must have been facinating. I can’t imagine the changes you must have seen in your life. Pretty cool. People in the 80’s were in much better shape over here as well. I know very little about Bulgaria…except you guys are known for some seriously strong Olympic lifters.

@ Bianca,

Yeah…it is all about calories and fat keeps your insulin levels stable. You need to head over to Marksdailyapple.com …you will love the stuff you learn about fats and fat loss. I like to eat more carbs than he recommends, but feel great when I eat the way he outlines.

@ Jeremy,

I can kill a whole bag of these bad boys! Gummy and cola flavored…I’m in heaven. My GF thinks it is a German thing. Her best friend is also German and loves gummy candy. Hopefully someone who actually lives in Germany can confirm my scientific finding, that Gemans are down with the gummy candy!

@ Methuselah,

Yeah…a big meal after training works. When I want to get extra lean I have to mellow out on that…but decent for size gains without adding body fat if done right. That Paleo video has given you a lot of exposure, buddy. Still one of the best fitness and diet videos of all time in my opinion. Love it!

@ Clement,

Yeah, I have used some of Lyle’s aggressive diet approaches in the past. In fact if someone was to put a gun to my head and I had to get as lean as possible…I would use his Rapid Fat Loss Diet. The reason I don’t use this diet very often is that it is tough as heck and messes with my mind (moody is an understatement for what this type of diet does to the brain).

@ Jon,

Thanks for your strong testimonial of Visual Impact Muscle Building…I really appreciate it πŸ™‚ Funny how it works…

When you are starting out lifting you deperately want to be able to bench 225 pounds for reps, squat 315 then 405, etc. You want to get above 200 pounds, then 220 etc. It is all about being competitive and chasing numbers. The funny thing is that you probably looked your best about 6 months after you began lifting. I have the same build now as I did when I was 19, which I am proud of. When I was 19, I wanted to get as big as Arnold. I never got close, but went from 175-190 in my senior year in HS…and looked great. It was the 190-230 that was uneccessary. I feel you pain buddy! Can’t wait to hear about our progress.

@ Kurt,

I eat like a nornal person, except for the fact that I have a really high capacity for gummy candy, Starburst, and Red Vines. I try and limit the candy to just a few times a month. More than anything the overall calories is what I watch and it works well. Some days are way overboard, surrounded by days in a slight deficit.

@ Anita,

You should go on over and comment on Martin’s cheesecake posts. At least read the comments…people wrote some pretty funny stuff over there. Some people try and criticize Martin for doing this and his comebacks are hillarious. Some good reading for sure! Especially the most recent one.

@ RW,

Great point. Carbs do help the brain…and some people are really sensitive to this. My girlfriend is one for sure. She is a different person without carbs. I do okay, but can get a little spaced out at times if I go a long time wihtout carbs. Good points for sure! To lose the waist, you will want to drop squats and deadlifts…also do the Vacation Body Blueprint for sure! Especially the HIIT in a fasted state. This will help big time.

@ Yash,

The fasted workouts do require an adjustment period, but once the body adapts…it works extremely well. Good points!

@ Mickieb,

I’ve had mochi…kind of strange the first few times but I like it now. Asian food is a trip, because some of the flavors are tough to get used to at first, but once you get used to them…you develop strong cravings. For instance I love Kimchee, but the first time I had it I could barely smell it without feeling sick. Asian food is my favorite cusine by far…especially Thai and Vietnamese.

@ Alykhan,

I like the idea of eating strict M-F and then eating loosely on the weekend. This is what I typically do and it works well. Of course my weekend starts on Friday at around 6 PM…with a beer and some happy hour food πŸ™‚ So I guess I’m not all the way strict on Friday.

@ Kristen,

Yeah…I don’t follow that rule often and put it low down on the list.

@ Kirk,

These work well…you don’t have to follow them all…but try a few and see what happens.

-Rusty

Kevin September 17, 2010 at 11:33 pm

thank you Rusty, I will definitely implement this in my training now, also, I’m sorry about the exercises they were supposed to show up as two columns, everything under Mon and Wed being the exercises for that day, tues and thurs being the same, I follow your split, the back and chest on Monday and thursday and arms on tuesday and friday followed by the planks. Thank you for your help though and may continued success grip you, and everyone else here who is devoted to this site.

SB September 18, 2010 at 8:36 am

Hey Rusty,
Just got a question.
Would you recommend a 16 year old looking to add on size to buy ‘Visual Impact’.

If you recommend it, I might think of buying it although i would have to get a credit card from somewhere :/.

P.s i really want to read it!

Marcus September 18, 2010 at 8:42 am

Hey Rusty. I have been a reader of your site for all of this year and it has helped my body go from in good shape to in great shape, particularly with my abs. I went from having barely visible 4 pack to a nice define six pack thanks to your idea of eating 2 to 3 big meals instead of 6 small meals and fasting. Even my chest and legs are more defined and I thought those two bodyparts could never get better than they already were. Before, like the rest of the fitness community, I thought both of those methods would slow down my metabolism and eat away my muscle like the Blob…lol.

Also, thanks for making me realize that squats( and deadlifts too evening though that it is good back exercise and is thinking about incorporating them again) are useless unless you are a football or basketball player and instead, I do HITT with jump rope for 20 mins after hitting weights. My legs are still strong and define and I burn more fat nowLooks like somebody is nervous to holla at me…lol. Give me your number so u can see what’s up.

With all that said, I got one question. While I feel I would burn more fat in a fasted state, I perform better if I have some food in my system prior to my workout. What I do is eat a small amount of oatmeal (less than 300 calories) 2 to 3 hours before I go workout. I do this so my food is mostly digested by the time I arrive at the gym. Thus, I have the energy to workout but have the capability of burning fat, especially after hitting the weights and going into HITT. I’m curious to know that do you think this is an effective strategy Rusty?

Azri Miskal September 18, 2010 at 10:23 am

I agree with you Rusty, about how carbs after 7pm is usually the toughest to follow. What’s more Readers Digest had an issue sometime back about having carbs just before you go to bed – helping one to sleep soon.

This is something that causes utter confusion and people don’t know which advice to follow, but I think yours is great. Definitely helps people see the big picture. I also like how you put things realistically, I mean no carbs, is a pretty painful world. Thank you for the post.

Jon G September 18, 2010 at 10:43 am

Mr. Moore,
Exactly! Thank you for the reply. I will definitely keep you posted.
Just one quick question, in reading through the comments, I noticed your explanation of how to perform the 5×5 routine to Kevin. I thought I read the 5×5 in Phase 2 of VI should be the same weight across 5 sets, and the 5-6 sets x 2-4 reps in Phase 3 was ramping the weight for the first 2-3 sets…? Please explain.
Thanks in advance.

Jordan September 18, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Hi Rusty

Where do you stand at in terms of physical appearance and actual weight?
I tried the Paleo diet, albeit loosely, for about 5 weeks and really managed to blitz some stubborn belly fat. My problem is that I have a real issue with being skinny and when I got on the scales last week and saw that i was back down to 175lbs (I’m 6’2). I dont like the idea of going below 170lbs at my height, but i do need to get leaner just to get some better all round definition.
Should i just ignore the scales and judge my results on my appearance alone? as soon as i weigh myself i end up throwing my healthy eating habits out of the window because i feel i need every extra calorie i can get!

Noel September 18, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Great post, Rusty!

I follow pretty much all of those tips on a regular basis, but I have to comment on #3.

I don’t like fasting, especially before a workout, but I do agree that you shouldn’t eat too much carbs before you exercise, though. As much as I hate working out on an empty stomach, I loathe working out on a full one even more!

On #7, I’d actually change that to don’t eat anything after 7:00PM! That’ll depend on what time you’ll be sleeping, though. I find that eating my last meal (always Paleo) of the day at least 4 hours before bedtime helps me a lot.

Mike- Fitness Contrarian September 18, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Hey Rusty,

Drinking as few carbs as possible is a great tip. I stick to this strategy all the time and it works really well for me.

The only time I have trouble with it is in the summer when I want a beer or two. Sometimes what I do is drink light bear on ice. It’s a reasonable way to have a few beers on a hot day while limiting the amount of carbs and alcohol you drink.

Best – Mike

Bryan - Workouts Without Weights September 18, 2010 at 6:01 pm

100% agreement. Except about the diet coke! Can’t stand the taste. Life and real fitness is all about balance. If done correctly, you can’t help but reap the benefits.
A good exercise program will take care of any pizza habit in my book!

Bryan - Workouts Without Weights September 18, 2010 at 6:04 pm

When you think of it, it’s always easy to pick the vegetables than try and catch a rabbit or deer!

Dave - Not Your Average Fitness Tips September 18, 2010 at 7:47 pm

Rusty,
Some great strategies as usual. It’s great to find someone else who stays in great shape without letting a strict diet rule their life. That being said, I completely agree with all these carb strategies for getting extra lean. For someone with a lot of weight to lose, I find it’s more about calories eaten vs. calories burned rather than macronutrients.
Dave

Leonid September 19, 2010 at 6:14 am

Valuable post as it is what I follow myself. Exception for me being that up until 12.00 pm you can usually eat everything you want and as much carbs as you want because glycogen storages after night sleep are depleted and everything you eat at this time serves like energy source and not stored as fat.

Also, eating carbs separately works wonders for many people because, for example, meals rich in simple carbohydrates will anyway cause huge insulin spikes. If you add fat to the mix, you are helping insulin to store it as fat. If you eat proteins during insulin spike it grows muscle as insulin twice as powerful for building muscle as testosterone and twice as powerful for “building” fat as for building muscle.

The problem caused by insulin spikes from simple carbohydrates doesn’t come down to the fact this spikes lead to fat being stored but to overall insulinization of cells which with the time become much more susceptible to storing fat because of their increased permeability to it.

P.S. Rusty, your blog alone is responsible for me getting results in fatloss and gaining strength without mass. Thanks a lot as you are one of the few people online from whom it is possible to learn.

Ken September 19, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Great stuff. I’ve used a lot of these techniques for years, but it’s nice to see them all in one place. Finally back on Visual Impact following ANOTHER injury. 40 will not get the best of me! I’m ready to show these 20 somethings that I can look just as good as them at twice the age! I’d love to write you a testimonial with some pics when I’m done!

Kelly-Fitness Overhaul September 19, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Rusty,
I am happy to hear that you are a diet coke fan too. I drink it on the days that I am fasting and don’t think it is a big deal. I try and be strict to a point, but I still want to live too! If I compare my diet and exercise habits to most people out there, especially people over 40 like me, I think that I am doing great. As much as I use carbs to regulate my weight, I am not going to go to extremes with it. I have a wife and three kids and I want to be able to enjoy myself with them while out to dinner or at a barbecue. I also like to drink wine, a few margaritas every now and then, and an occasional beer.

There is always going to be something that you can do to be better or stricter at your diet, but at what cost? If you never let yourself relax and have a good time while stuffing your face every once in a while, you are setting yourself up for a future let down. Nobody can be so strict all of the time and I really don’t want to live my life like that anyways. I think if people find a happy medium with eating carbs and reducing them whenever they need to drop some weight, that should be a good balance.

Kelly

Jason September 19, 2010 at 9:17 pm

I tell people to never drink your calories. The only time it is ok is for a post workout shake.

I am not sure about carbs and brain function. Your body can turn fat and protein into usable energy. There are some cultures that life on just fat and meat.

Michael September 20, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Thanks for the tips! I have a real tough time going totally paleo and often feel guilty when I do indulge (which I know is harmful in itself), so these tips will be great when my discipline wavers.

I’m new to the site, and am really enjoying it! Thanks!

Paul Boardman September 21, 2010 at 8:09 am

I love tangfastic sweets but have to make sure I don’t go too long without brushing my teeth after eating them or I wouldn’t have many left!
The Temper Trap song is absolutely perfect for that advert and now I have to listen to the album through again. Great blog, keep it up. Thanks

WeightLossPlans September 22, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Awesome strategies. While paleo is a diet for some, others struggle with it.

If anyone needs advice, tips or wants to review popular diets, check out http://www.weightlossplans.net. We have a blog as well.

Sincerely,
WLP (www.weightlossplans.net)

Katie September 22, 2010 at 5:09 pm

I completely agree with no drinking your carbs! When I lost 50lbs as a 13 yr old the most significant change I made was dropping all drinks except for water.
I gained a few lbs this summer too and I contribute it mostly to alcohol, of course I was drinking lots of sugary girl drinks and ughh four loko, sooo bad! I dropped that habit as of labor day πŸ™‚

Jai - 4 fitness October 1, 2010 at 5:22 am

Im a big fan of paleo too and I like that you make the point of going paleothic every so often. Ive found that the thing about reducing carbs too much is that it infact leads your body to lower its metabolic rate and increase appetite,so I go pig out on pasta and pizzas sometimes to keep my body in check. good reason too.

rolex October 3, 2010 at 4:27 pm

When working on http://www.lookrichforless.com then I gained 15 pounds since I couldnt fall asleep at night so ate 2000 calories or so 4 am every morning – and then slept really bad later. So, being able to sleep properly at night is good for some people as a weight loss strategy. Melatonin didnt help but 1 hour sunlight every day helped a lot.

Luke M-Davies October 4, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Love the recent posts Rusty and this one is totally honest and will make many people feel less guilty for not being 100% Paleo – why? I think because they can see a guy in great, lean, shape who does eat flexibly and enjoys gummy bears with films πŸ™‚
It is a great reality check…

Whilst you have covered it in tip 3, the day I discovered ESE/intermittant fasting was revolutionary for my diet – it really is a fundamental tool to my Rule Free Fitness approach.
I think it will deserve a mention in my Part II article to 365 days of keeping in shape, following from http://www.lmdfitness.com/training/365-days/ – all of your above tips are key to a year round lean body in my book!

Jeff October 21, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Great post Rusty!
I’d also add that besides eating most of your carbs after your workout, you can get away with eating carbs in the morning. This method works because you allow yourself the rest of the day to burn them off.

Michael October 21, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Good post Rusty,

i’m kinda late. My question is what about hollidays? What do you during christmas, thanksgiving,easter(if you celebrate it) to stay lean? Reason i’m asking is normally those holidays arent over that after one day. Christmas and thanksgiving alot of times fall on a normally ‘eat clean day’ and left overs are around sometimes for a week or more at home, further increasing the tempetation to cheat.

Mike (Panther Fitness) October 25, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Great post totally agree with not eating carbs before workouts or late at night. I would normally eat the bulk of my carbs after workouts.

Enjoyed reading this article

Ian - HomeWorkoutBlog November 6, 2010 at 11:21 pm

Rusty-

I remember your old jump rope workout post that described the benefits of ‘starved state’ cardio.

Just doing some HIIT followed by standard cardio allowed me to cut A LOT of fat.

The starved state workouts are still a huge part of my regime.

Excellent post.

-Ian

Nate @ Elliptical Reviews December 26, 2010 at 3:01 pm

I have found that people can get sugar from their complex carbs so when training people that are looking to drop the extra stubborn weight taking a no-to-low fine sugar approach works extremely well. This is a great site by the way. A lot of complex fitness issues being addressed.

Dan January 11, 2011 at 12:36 pm

I’d like to introduce you to a new way of getting fit called the perfect me program. I have used it for just over 3 months now and it has improved both my physical and mental wellbeing. It uses a new technique called hypnexercise which adds hypnosis to your workout. It works by developing the mind and body at the same time making you stronger both mentally and physically. I highly recommend this program to everyone!

Jeremy - Self Health Atlas January 14, 2011 at 3:16 am

Great tips for staying lean, Rusty. When I decided that I’ve put on a few too many pounds I make sure my primary (if not only) source of carbs comes from vegetables. I increase my bodyweight cardio workouts to four times per week and always complete them in a fasted state first thing in the morning. I also use ESE twice per week. I only need to do this for about 14 days and I’m usually right back where I want to be (a.k.a. eating Peanut M&Ms).

Cheers,
Jeremy

Help! February 12, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Hey Rusty, I just found your blog and am really enjoying it. But, most of your advice seems to be for people who are already is pretty good shape. Do you have any real world advice for someone who is obese? Please help!

Bridget February 25, 2011 at 5:17 am

Awesome post! I love cola bottles and that picture made my mouth water πŸ˜€

Thanks for helping me to feel human and know that its ok no to be 100% hardcore all the time and live a fun life.

Mel April 25, 2011 at 3:04 am

Can someone help me out PLEASE…. I am totally and utterly confused and bemused and depressed about all the different diets, exercise and training programs etc that can be so different to each other. I used to train many years ago but have not trained seriously for some time. I have three small children and work full time. I already start work at 7.30am so am up around 6am. If I tried to train in the morning, I would be up at around 5am and I have tried this and it makes me exhausted. I don’t know what to eat, when and how to train. I am feeling so fed up and fat. Help anyone……

Nicole Brugel--Rot Your Brain May 2, 2011 at 6:35 am

I, too, am a lover of diet coke, but I have given it up because of all the articles I’ve read about how bad it is and my mother’s constant nagging. I’ve found that a good replacement for taste is mineral water with lemon juice, and for an energy boost, I just add some emergen-c to normal water. Also, there are some organic drinks similar to diet coke sweetened with stevia instead of aspartame, for instance, Zevia soda.

Huntress May 20, 2011 at 8:20 am

Just found this site today–very interesting–I bookmarked it. Thanks for this article. Just curious-have you Red Vine aficionados considered the sugar-free version? I am addicted to the sugar-free Black Licorice Vines–bought over half the store stock of these yesterday because they were on sale.

Musical Reviews June 17, 2011 at 6:56 am

Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. Big thanks for the useful info.

Fitness Guy - How to put on muscle July 22, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Great article Rusty.

I find I have to be careful messing around with carbs because I can fairly easily crash if I mess things up. You can get seriously lean with your suggestions though I have seen lots of people get great results.

mali oglasi September 9, 2011 at 11:04 am

Martin suggests BCAAs on Leangains which is a good idea. I’ve also seen caffeine pills as a suggestion for people who have problems with energy, but I think the dehydration on an empty stomach isn’t worth the extra boost. It can make some people dizzy. After a few workouts the body adjusts in an amazing way.

scott September 19, 2011 at 11:34 am

The paleo style is interesting, but it would be wrong to say that some humans are not adapted to eating grains and milk. There is studies that show that certain population have adapted very well to eating grains and milk (even alcohol), and some that have not. Depending on your ancestral origins you may or may not be able to eat grains and milk. Also evolution can happen inside of 10,000 years, it can happen inside 1,000 years given the right conditions.

Tatianna September 28, 2011 at 2:26 am

I’ve been reading your blog for about 4 month’s or so and I just love all the fitness information on here. Thank you Rusty!

Kim October 4, 2011 at 4:51 pm

Hey Rusty,
So glad I found you! πŸ™‚ I had been low carbing for quite a while now, stopping then going back. I also had been training, stopping then going back. Within a year I lost 25 pounds. I’m still chubby and the workous they gave me in the gym at first was soooo long and debilating cardio for a whole hour was just frustrating on the scale, nothing happened out of that workout!
So i’m back on track with my usual less than 30 g of carbs a day. I’m also back to gym, but i’m lifting heavy weights, as you just teach me! I’m doing resistance cardio for 15 minutes, at 180HR. and at the end of workout I do it for another 15 minutes at 160HR. Then I squat with 30 pounds dumbbels 10reps x3 times, Bench 35 pounds, 10 reps x 3times… abs + everything I don’T know in english (I’m french sorry) Anyway I get out of there sweating half death… I’m just wondering, I increased my carbs intake after workout (to get out of my dizziness) so I eat an apple and 140g of greek yogurt. I’m just wondering if it’s ok? And do you think what I do is good?
Thanks a lot for this real nice blog! Love it x1000
Kim

Kim October 4, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Oh by the way… I’m a girl i’m at 140 pounds now, i’m 5’4″ tall and i’m still at 29% fat.. i’m working out 3 to 4 times a week (a day on two). And I cheat once a week, like saturday diner: I drink and eat whatever I want.

Hillary Coates August 21, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Rusty,
I eat low carb all the time and do very well on it. I try to eat as “Paleo” as possible but budget determines just how extreme I can go with that. Right now I’m doing lots of cardio, 6 days a week trying to lose fat and muscle mass in my legs. I have great energy on 30 grams of carbs or less every day and do 60 min of either marathon cardio or hybrid cardio and one day of spot training with weights.
Would there be any reason for me to have carbs if I do great without refeeds?

Leave a Comment

{ 3 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: