Carbs Are King
It’s high time that protein was dethroned as the ultimate fat-fighting macro
The OLD rule Picking up a plate of meat and eggs the minute you drop your dumbbells is the ultimate fatburning finisher move. Carbs? No thanks – they’ll only bulk you out. The NEW rule Carbs are like a steady pay cheque: the more you rely on them, the greater you’ll struggle in their absence. The body can adapt to a carb-free diet, but it’s rarely sustainable and, for those of us unwilling to commit to a life of monkish abstinence, not conducive to our fat-loss goals. “If you cut carbs completely, the body produces less of the thyroid hormone T3, which is crucial to your metabolism,” explains Chris Walton, body transformation specialist at Embody Fitness. “We encourage our clients to take most of their carbs after exercise, when the body is responsive to restocking its muscle and liver glycogen.” Allow your system to remain depleted, however, and it will break down muscle mass – in effect, burning through your biceps instead of your belly. If you’ve been a bit under it at work, this is doubly important. “Cortisol increases on a low-carb diet,” says Zolkiewicz. “Combined with poor sleep and hard training, it’s a recipe for adrenal burnout.” Its symptoms? Low energy and abdominal weight gain. We’re not suggesting protein doesn’t play a vital part in maintaining muscle mass, just that nutrition doesn’t start and end with whey-protein shakes and skinless chicken. Now, pass us the spuds, would you?
REFUELLING WITH CARBS IS A BREADAND-BUTTER PLAY.