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Carbohydrate Timing: The Most Important Fat Loss Strategy

  Nov 1st, 2012

Carb Timing with Ronnie ColemanWhile sitting at work yesterday, a co-worker walking by starts making small talk. He opens up the conversation by asking how my one month old son, Camden, is doing before noticing a poster of Ronnie Coleman hanging on the wall of my cubicle.

 

“Is that what you hope to look like one day?” He asked in a half-serious, almost mocking tone. 

 

“Yeah, Ronnie’s one of the best in the iron game. He’s a genetic freak, but it can’t hurt to dream,” I replied, with a grin.

 

The man standing in my cubicle is about 5′ 10″ tall, maybe 175 pounds, and probably in his late thirties. He has an athletic build with about fifteen percent body fat, but there’s definitely much room for improvement.

 

He’s got dark hair and is of Latino descent, with an accent to match.

 

He starts telling me how he’s cut out carbs altogether and that he’s noticed his muscle mass and strength taking a serious hit because of it.

 

He says he’s eliminated carbs from his diet because he wants to get back the ripped abs he had in his twenties, but that cutting out carbs has seemed to only make him weaker and skinnier and not doing much to increase his definition.

 

At this point, I don’t need to hear anything else.

 

“Carbs aren’t your problem,” I said. “When you’re eating your carbs are the problem.”

 

“What do you mean?” He asked.

 

“Well, when you eat carbs they cause your blood sugar to spike as they’re digested. This spike in blood sugar can happen slow, fast, or somewhere in between, depending on the types of carbs you eat.”

 

“I’ve actually read a little bit about different types of carbs and how fast they’re digested. It all comes back to their glycemic index, right?” He inquired.

 

“Kind of,” I replied. “But that’s not important right now. What you need to be more concerned with – instead of cutting out carbs altogether – is eating them at the right times so you can retain their anabolic benefits without having to worry about adding body fat or compromising your ability to lose stomach fat and get ripped abs.”

 

He looked a little confused. With his eyebrows slanted and using an accusatory tone he asks, “When can you eat carbs and not get fat?”

 

“Think about what I told you about carbs causing your blood sugar to spike,” I said. “The reason carbs make people fat is because they’re eaten in hefty amounts with every meal throughout the day.”

 

“What does this have to do with blood sugar spikes?” He quipped.

 

“I’m glad you asked,” I said. “When blood sugar spikes occur, that sugar can be used for energy and recovery or it can be stored as body fat. Things are slightly more complicated than that, but the body doesn’t let energy go to waste. It’s going to be used for fuel/recovery or stored as fat for later use.”

 

“Makes sense,” he said with a nod.

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“Right. So the key to eating carbs and not gaining fat lies with eating the majority of your daily carbs at times when your body has an immediate need for the energy they provide, so it won’t go unused and end up being added to your body in the form of fat.”

 

“So you’re saying that I should only eat carbs before I workout, right?”

 

“You’re half right,” I said. “You can also eat carbs for an hour or two after you train without gaining fat, because your body will use them for recovery and replenishing your glycogen reserves.”

 

“Glycogen?” He asked.

 

“We’ll talk about glycogen some other time,” I said. “I’ve got to get this spreadsheet finished before one o’clock, and after wasting the last ten minutes talking to you, I’m not sure it’s going to happen.”

 

“No problem,” he said, seeming somewhat satisfied, but not catching my less than subtle hint that it was time for him to move along. “Where can I learn more about this carb timing business?” He asked.

 

“If you want an easy to follow nutrition guide that utilizes carb timing, I’d recommend grabbing a copy of Jason Ferruggia’s Rengade Diet,” I said, while shuffling around some loose papers at my desk searching for my post-it note pad.

 

“If you want a complete workout and nutrition plan that will not only show you how to use carb timing to shed unwanted body fat, but will enable you to build muscle as well, you need to get a copy of my book, Ripped Out,” I explained while scribbling down “www.rippedout.com” on a post-it note and handing it to him.

 

“Wow! You have a book?” He asked rhetorically. “I’m impressed!”

 

“Not as impressed as you’ll be if you follow what it says,” I quickly replied. “Alright, I really have to get back to this spreadsheet,” I said, hoping he’d finally get the hint.

 

“Yeah, I have a meeting to get to in five minutes,” he said as he shuffled out of my cubicle. “Thanks for the help!”

 

“Anytime. I’m happy to help.”

 

 

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