When trying new low carb diet, how low can I go?

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    When trying new low carb diet, how low can I go?






    Hey everyone, I am interested in giving a low (and hopefully really low) carb diet a try for once. My current diet looks something like this
    Currently I get about 2800 calories a day and I think I am pretty much at maitenance and maybe bulking a little bit.
    I know ratios are not important but my ratio does end up being about
    40/40/20 protein/carbs/fat. I am interested in taking it something more like 60/20/20. Wold this be too extreme? Also is it ok to get ALL of my carbs from veggies except maybe half a cup of oats in my PWO shake?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GOtriSports View Post
    Hey everyone, I am interested in giving a low (and hopefully really low) carb diet a try for once. My current diet looks something like this
    Currently I get about 2800 calories a day and I think I am pretty much at maitenance and maybe bulking a little bit.
    I know ratios are not important but my ratio does end up being about
    40/40/20 protein/carbs/fat. I am interested in taking it something more like 60/20/20. Wold this be too extreme? Also is it ok to get ALL of my carbs from veggies except maybe half a cup of oats in my PWO shake?
    Since you know ratios are not important, how about you stop thinking about them?

    How many grams of protein, carb and fat do you currently consume, and why are you considering switching to a different mix at the same calorie level?
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    I used the ratio because I stopped counting the exact macros about a month ago since I had pretty much gotten the hang of it and are similarly each day.
    Lets guess that right now I am around
    185g protein
    170g carbs
    70g fat

    Could I go as far as something like this?
    250g protein
    100g carbs
    75g fat?

    Or are those carbs too low? I am thinking of changing just to see the effects. I have been on a pretty static diet for about a year now and I want to see how body reacts to other diets. I also have learned the more carbs I eat the hungrier I am so I am wondering if I really limit the amount of carbs I have will I be less hungry. Also, I have heard that a diet can be much like a workout routine and you should not stick with the same one for too long (but I am not sure if that is true or not)

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    I think you answered your own question. Try it and see how your body reacts. Trust me, when you are in the gym, you will knwo right away whether your carbs are too low.

    Everyone is different here. I personally can operate well with 50-60 grams of carbs a day as long as I get my carbs on the meal before my workout and the meal after.

    Essentially this break down to 2 servings of oatmeal a day. when I was really into cutting but didn't have a clue what I was doing, I was doing well on 1 serving of oatmeal a day as carbs, but I could never seem to add in muscle.
    Fucking Determined!

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    Shouldn't go below 130 grams of carbs a day is what my nutrition teacher instructed. You'll probably notice a big drop in energy and power. Also some mental issues due to lack of energy available for the noggin. But then again everyone has their own views. What do you think Built?

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    Everyone has their own reactions to the low carb style diets.

    Personally, i found it hard to just limit myself to protein and fat - I'm not going to lie; CARBS ARE DELICIOUS.

    If you find you're energy is low just try refeeding with a carb meal before or after a workout every week. See how that makes you feel, increase frequency if you still feel like you're running on empty in the gym.

    p.s. Love the improvement pictures.
    "I'll eat all the damned Ham, Cheese, Tomato, Onion toasted sandwhiches I want." -Val

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    Well right now with my current carb intake I have NO problems with energy at all. Sometimes I have too much energy. Sometimes at night I will go for an extra or something that I really don't need to be doing because I am probably just breaking down muscle (because thos run is after the gym and HIIT training for that day).

    I guess I sort of did answer my own question but I just want to make sure there is nothing seriously wrong with this approach and it seems from the responses I am not doing anything too drastic so I should be alright.

    Another question I am wondering about though is if it is alright to get 85-90% of my carbs strictly from veggies. The only carbs I would have outside of veggies half a serving of oats in my pre workout shake an half a serving in my post workout shake.

    Again the reason for the veggies is experimentation, since I have been on my diet for so long I still never ate too much in the veggies department. Almost all of my carbs come from oats and whole wheat sandwich wraps now. So I want to see how the carbs from veggies effect my body compared to the massive amount of oats I had been having.

    PS: Thanks for the comment about my progress pics, I'm still working hard!

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    Quote Originally Posted by KelJu View Post
    I think you answered your own question. Try it and see how your body reacts. Trust me, when you are in the gym, you will knwo right away whether your carbs are too low.

    Everyone is different here. I personally can operate well with 50-60 grams of carbs a day as long as I get my carbs on the meal before my workout and the meal after.

    Essentially this break down to 2 servings of oatmeal a day. when I was really into cutting but didn't have a clue what I was doing, I was doing well on 1 serving of oatmeal a day as carbs, but I could never seem to add in muscle.
    Quote Originally Posted by data210 View Post
    Shouldn't go below 130 grams of carbs a day is what my nutrition teacher instructed. You'll probably notice a big drop in energy and power. Also some mental issues due to lack of energy available for the noggin. But then again everyone has their own views. What do you think Built?
    There's no scientific rationale to this statement. I go well below 130g on a regular basis. I often go well below 50g for extended periods of time. Unlike protein and fat, there are no essential carbohydrates. Your nutrition teacher clearly hasn't done very much reading.

    Quote Originally Posted by Valias View Post
    Everyone has their own reactions to the low carb style diets.

    Personally, i found it hard to just limit myself to protein and fat - I'm not going to lie; CARBS ARE DELICIOUS.

    If you find you're energy is low just try refeeding with a carb meal before or after a workout every week. See how that makes you feel, increase frequency if you still feel like you're running on empty in the gym.

    p.s. Love the improvement pictures.
    Carbs are yummy, but they tend to make some of us hungry, particularly those of us who are insulin-resistant.

    Quote Originally Posted by GOtriSports View Post
    I used the ratio because I stopped counting the exact macros about a month ago since I had pretty much gotten the hang of it and are similarly each day.
    Lets guess that right now I am around
    185g protein
    170g carbs
    70g fat

    Could I go as far as something like this?
    250g protein
    100g carbs
    75g fat?

    Or are those carbs too low? I am thinking of changing just to see the effects. I have been on a pretty static diet for about a year now and I want to see how body reacts to other diets. I also have learned the more carbs I eat the hungrier I am so I am wondering if I really limit the amount of carbs I have will I be less hungry. Also, I have heard that a diet can be much like a workout routine and you should not stick with the same one for too long (but I am not sure if that is true or not)
    Simply changing the mix without changing the calories is unlikely to do a whole lot in terms of your physique, but you may feel more comfortable on lower carbs. As noted above, some find energy suffers on lower carbs - KelJu's solution to this is to target carbs around workouts, avoiding them otherwise for appetite control. Best of both worlds as far as I'm concerned.

    GOtriSports, would you like me to set you up a carb cycle?

    That way, you go low on the non-training days, but higher carb AND calories on the days you lift, targeting carbs into the meal before and after you train, as KelJu suggests.

    Tell me the following information and I'll put together a suggestion:
    • Your approximate weight
    • Your approximate LBM OR approximate bodyfat
    • Your current goals
    • Your average macros before you started fiddling with lower carb diets (average calories, grams protein carb and fat)
    • The average calories you would like to run
    • Number of days a week you train
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    Mercaba, you're a great PR man, I gotta say.
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    As Built explained it will depend on your carb tolerance.

    However it is suggested that if you do less than 1 gram per pound of bodyweight per day, you need to consider incorporating refeeds at some point. Check out the sticky on refeeds for more info.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BulkMeUp View Post
    As Built explained it will depend on your carb tolerance.

    However it is suggested that if you do less than 1 gram per pound of bodyweight per day, you need to consider incorporating refeeds at some point. Check out the sticky on refeeds for more info.
    To be fair, that's mostly if you're operating in a caloric deficit. If you're eating at or above maintenance, refeeds aren't really necessary.

    They're fun though!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Built View Post

    GOtriSports, would you like me to set you up a carb cycle?

    That way, you go low on the non-training days, but higher carb AND calories on the days you lift, targeting carbs into the meal before and after you train, as KelJu suggests.

    Tell me the following information and I'll put together a suggestion:
    • Your approximate weight
    • Your approximate LBM OR approximate bodyfat
    • Your current goals
    • Your average macros before you started fiddling with lower carb diets (average calories, grams protein carb and fat)
    • The average calories you would like to run
    • Number of days a week you train
    Oh built how I would love you to do this. Here is the info I can give you!

    *Current weight fluctuates between 189-192 on a daily basis
    *Body fat is around 10.3%
    *I want to try and drop down to 7.5% BF while attempting to retain the muscle I have now
    *Average Macros looked something like this:
    Protein 185g
    Carbs 160g
    Fats: 55g
    Calories are ususally between 2500-2700 per day
    *I would be willing to run as low calories as you think I can go. I was thinking around 2000 would be low enough but hopefully still help me maintain most of the muscle I currently have before I try to bulk again
    *I know I train too much but I cannot help it. I train 6 days a week. If I don't train I feel like im going to kill myself from boredom

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    You could try something like this if you like, with four training days a week.

    LBM = 171 lbs.
    Maintenance calories: 2700 per day;
    4 lifting/HIIT days per week.
    A caloric deficit of 3,780 calories per week,
    for a loss of of 1.1 pounds per week

    Average daily macros:
    191g of protein,
    96g of fat, and
    132g of carbohydrate,
    2,160 calories in total.

    (4) Lifting/HIIT days:
    205g of protein,
    86g of fat, and
    177g of carbohydrate,
    2,299 calories in total.

    (3) Rest/SS Cardio days:
    171g of protein,
    111g of fat, and
    73g of carbohydrate,
    1,975 calories in total.

    This is only a suggestion - there are a million ways to diet down. But I'll warn you, you'll lose all your lean mass if you overtrain. This is based on four days of lifting - if you do HIIT, do it on training days, and I'd say no more than twice a week, MAYBE three times. Vary the modalities, and use the days off to rest, go for a walk if you like.

    You're lean. If you want to get leaner without losing muscle, keep your lifting workouts short and heavy - low rep sets, 5-8 reps at the most, maybe 12-15 sets in total per workout, no concentration work - just heavy compounds.

    Another suggestion to you would be to try Lyle's UD2.0 - I think you'd get SPECTACULAR results from it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Built View Post
    You could try something like this if you like, with four training days a week.

    LBM = 171 lbs.
    Maintenance calories: 2700 per day;
    4 lifting/HIIT days per week.
    A caloric deficit of 3,780 calories per week,
    for a loss of of 1.1 pounds per week

    Average daily macros:
    191g of protein,
    96g of fat, and
    132g of carbohydrate,
    2,160 calories in total.

    (4) Lifting/HIIT days:
    205g of protein,
    86g of fat, and
    177g of carbohydrate,
    2,299 calories in total.

    (3) Rest/SS Cardio days:
    171g of protein,
    111g of fat, and
    73g of carbohydrate,
    1,975 calories in total.

    This is only a suggestion - there are a million ways to diet down. But I'll warn you, you'll lose all your lean mass if you overtrain. This is based on four days of lifting - if you do HIIT, do it on training days, and I'd say no more than twice a week, MAYBE three times. Vary the modalities, and use the days off to rest, go for a walk if you like.

    You're lean. If you want to get leaner without losing muscle, keep your lifting workouts short and heavy - low rep sets, 5-8 reps at the most, maybe 12-15 sets in total per workout, no concentration work - just heavy compounds.

    Another suggestion to you would be to try Lyle's UD2.0 - I think you'd get SPECTACULAR results from it.
    Thanks a lot built! I am going to give it a try for a while... the hardest thing is going to be taking 3 off days a week =(

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    Do you have a split you'd like to follow, or shall I suggest a training and cardio protocol to go along with this?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Built View Post
    Do you have a split you'd like to follow, or shall I suggest a training and cardio protocol to go along with this?
    Well my routine could certainly be tones up a lot. I currently just do a 3 day split.

    Upper body
    lower body
    core
    off day
    repeat ect.

    You can probably tell that by only allowing one day for my upper body I am in the gym for about 2-2.5 hours on upper body days. I also currently do cardio on all 3 days =/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Built View Post
    I've read them before but always get lazy when it comes to actually writing out the workout. I'm going to go ahead and do it now though. I am sitting down and typing out the exact routine I will follow then post it up and let you critique if you don't mind =)

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    Ok let me know how this looks... I'm hoping it does not get totally torn apart! haha I did try hard (especially considering I LIKE overtraining, hopefully i toned it down enough)

    Modified Exercise Plan:

    Monday: Horizontal Plane: (Back/Chest)
    Seated Single Arm Cable rows – 3x10
    T-bar rows- 3x8
    Flat barbell Bench Press- 3x10
    Low incline DB press- 3x8
    Cable Fly’s- 3.8
    Standing Calf raises- 3x20 (weighted)
    Cable Crunch- 3x12


    Tuesday: Quad Dominant Leg and Bicep day
    Squats- 4x8
    Leg Extensions- 4x8
    Stability Ball Leg Curl- 3x20
    EZ bar curl- 3x8
    Reverse preacher curl- 3x10
    Standing DB curl- (set 1- 8 reps, Set 2- 7 reps, set 3- 6 reps)
    30 Minutes HIIT Cardio

    Wednesday: OFF
    Thursday: Vertical Push: (Back/Shoulders)
    Pull ups- 5x5 (weighted)
    Dips- 3x10 (weighted)
    Military Press- 3x6
    Seated Calf Raises- 3x50
    Decline Sit ups- 3x10 (weighted)
    Planks- Left side 1:30, Right side 1:30, front 1:30 (3 sets)
    20 Minutes HIIT Cardio

    Friday: Hamstring dominant, Quad accessory, triceps
    RDL’s- 4x6
    GHR’s- 3x8
    Leg Press- 3x15
    Skullcrushers- 5x5
    cable pressdown- 3x8

    Saturday: off

    Sunday: Cardio
    30 Minutes HIIT Cardio
    Maybe a jog latter in the night? (please I need at least one per week haha!)

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    Not bad... a little high volume, but I'm cutting that back a bit for you - see below.

    Within the month, as you settle into your cut, reduce the training volume by ditching all direct bicep work on quad day and all direct tri work on ham day, and ditching the direct calf work on the upper days.

    Do the (optional) cardio on Saturday, on a low-carb day, not HIIT though. If you like, you can try the hill repeats in the cardio article, but do this Saturday, because that way you're in low-carb land all day Saturday and Sunday. Helps with appetite. On Sunday you can go for a walk if you like, but that's it.

    Oh - instead of leg extensions, try supersetting sissy squats with just the top third of leg extensions. You'll love the pump. 3 supersets of 8 reps each.

    I'll just tweak this a bit here...

    ________________________________

    Monday: Horizontal Plane: (Back/Chest). High carb/calorie

    T-bar rows- 3-5 sets of 5-6 reps. Low rep, and heavy<-- go heavy as hell on these. This is NOT a movement for "strict form". In general, go heavy and a little sloppy on rows, cheat it up a bit; use momentum so you can toss some really heavy weight around.
    Seated Single Arm Cable rows – 3x10 <- interesting idea. One-arm dumbbell rows are an excellent option also
    Flat barbell Bench Press- 3-5 sets of 5-6 reps <-- lower rep, heavier
    Low incline DB press- 3x8
    Cable Fly’s- 3.8 <-- no need, but they're okay for a stretch.
    Standing Calf raises- 3x20 (weighted) <- go heavier and lower rep, do these one leg at a time. Try 3x10 each leg.
    Cable Crunch- 3x12


    Tuesday: Quad Dominant Leg and Bicep day; High carb/calorie
    Squats- 3-5 sets of 5-6 reps. Low rep, and heavy
    Leg Extensions- <-- see my sissy squat superset suggestion above, or do 3x8 front squats for this.
    Stability Ball Leg Curl- 3x20<-- walking lunges are another option here.

    Your original had too much bicep work, you're going to lose size. Remember, you're working back on two of your workouts, and that means bis get a heavy hit on those days. This little bit on quad day is just a top-up.
    Standing DB curl- (set 1- 8 reps, Set 2- 7 reps, set 3- 6 reps)
    30 Minutes HIIT Cardio<-- this means the first 6 minutes are sprints and the rest of the session is made up of steady-state cardio, just so we're clear.

    Wednesday: OFF; low carb/calorie

    Thursday: Vertical Push: (Back/Shoulders); High carb/calorie
    Pull ups- 3-5 sets of 5-6 reps. (weighted)<- if you find these brutal as the sets wear on, just do the negatives rather than dropping down to a lighter weight. Stand on a bench with the bar at eye-levels so you can self-assist with your toes when fatigue sets in.
    Dips- 3x10 (weighted)<--no. This is more of a chest/tricep movement. How about doing unweighted chins or lat pulldowns, one arm at a time?
    Military Press- 3x6<-- good. Even better is push press. Either way, do them standing, with a barbell, not seated at a machine.
    Seated Calf Raises- 3x50<--50 reps? Not on a cut. Try 3x12, with a 3-second hold at the bottom of each rep to prevent elastic energy stored in your achilles from helping your calf lift the weight.
    Decline Sit ups- 3x10 (weighted)
    Planks- Left side 1:30, Right side 1:30, front 1:30 (3 sets)
    20 Minutes HIIT Cardio<-- see above mention of how to do HIIT

    Friday: Hamstring dominant, Quad accessory, triceps; High carb/calorie
    RDLs- 4x6
    GHRs- 3x8
    Leg Press- 3x15<-- try split squats instead. 3x8 each leg.
    Skullcrushers OR weighted dips, 3-5 sets of 5-8 reps.

    Saturday: Hill repeats or a jog; low carb/calorie

    Sunday: Rest; low carb/calorie

    On the rest days, feel free to go for a walk.
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    This is absolutely fantastic built! Thank you so much! I am currently making sure I will be following the exact diet you posted as well. I am going to start the new lifting program tomorrow. I'm taking today off and doing the "off day" diet. I am going to put it all in fit day and at the end of the night I will post it up so you can see how it looks!

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    Oh yes, one more question! I have been doing my HIIT wrong for quite a while now. I currently can set up 2 treadmills next to each other and do this workout:

    Jog at 5.0 speed and 5.0 incline until I reach 1 minute
    at 1 minute hop on other treadmill at 12.0 speed 3.0 incline and sprint for 20 seconds
    Then hope back for 40 seconds on slow
    then at 2 minutes jump on other treadmill and sprint for 20 seconds

    ect...
    ect...
    I would do this for 20 minutes.

    Are you telling me that I should only be doing this for the first 6 minutes now? That means I only get in 6 sprints or so when I am currently doing 20. Is there anything I can do to up the intensity of these without going overboard? I love the feeling I get from sprinting and sweating my ass off during cardio!
    If there is no way to up the intensity without going overboard I will just have to keep them toned down, but I am in pretty darn good Cardio shape right now and don't want to lose that either (if it is possible)

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    You are in very good shape! But yes, true HIIT should be so hard you really can't do more than about 6-8 minutes of it.

    Read my cardio article: Got Built? » How to do Cardio if you MUST!
    Maybe try complexes? Got Built? » Superior(ity) Complex(es)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Built View Post
    You are in very good shape! But yes, true HIIT should be so hard you really can't do more than about 6-8 minutes of it.

    Read my cardio article: Got Built? � How to do Cardio if you MUST!
    Maybe try complexes? Got Built? � Superior(ity) Complex(es)
    wow those complexes look awesome and hard. I really want to give them a try now. SO what do you thin about on my Quad Dominant Leg and Bicep day; High carb/calorie I do complexes at the end instead of HIIT and then on Vertical Push: (Back/Shoulders); High carb/calorie day I do HIIT as intense as I possibly can. Will do 30 minutes so 6-7 minutes where I am sprinting then 23 minutes of SS cardio? Is this acceptable?

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    Sounds good.

    How fast do your treadmills go? Because if 12mph is it, you can increase the incline to make it harder, or decrease the rest between sprints - 20 seconds on, 20 seconds off. The object is to go flat out as hard as you can for the sprints, then do some steady-state afterward to cool down and to burn off the FFAs mobilized by the sprints.
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    treadmills only go 12 MPH so I am already at their max. I will try the 20 seconds sprint, 20 seconds rest rinse and repeat for 6 minutes. it may be hard but I am up for the challenge! Also, he is what my food will look like for today (High Carb/Calorie day)

    Grams Calories %-Cals
    Calories 2,275
    Fat 82.1 739 32 %
    Saturated 15.3 137 6 %
    Polyunsaturated 10.0 90 4 %
    Monounsaturated 45.0 405 18 %
    Carbohydrate 175.5 701 31 %
    Dietary Fiber 21.9
    Protein 212.5 849 37 %
    Alcohol 0.0 0 0 %

    Fat (32%) Carbs (31%)
    Protein (37%) Alcohol (0%)

    Does that look pretty good?

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    Very possibly, yes. You getting in 10g fish oil in there?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Built View Post
    Very possibly, yes. You getting in 10g fish oil in there?
    I take one 900mg Fish Oil cap per day. It is NOT included in my fit day info there

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    I would urge you to increase this to at least 10 of those caps. Look at the content of your brand, and take enough to provide at least 3g combined EPA/DHA. For most "standard" brands, this translates to 10g daily - probably 11 or 12 capsules of yours.
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