We get asked this question all the time.
CARBOHYDRATES IMPACT US ALL DIFFERENTLY.
Go too high and you can halt fat loss, or spur fat gain.
Go too low and you risk losing muscle, having poor energy / sleep, high cravings.
What is that sweet spot in the middle?
And how do we find it?
The docs at Metabolic Effect call this finding your Carbohydrate Tipping Point (CTP).
Your CTP is the amount of sugars and starches you can eat to sustain energy but also still burn fat.
This number is individual. It is also adjustable. The idea isn’t so much that you learn your exact number, but that you learn how to find it. So if and when that number changes, you know how to find it again.
HOW TO FIND YOUR CARB TIPPING POINT
We figure out their burner type and then determine their nutritional starting point from there. Then we adjust and tweak as necessary. Each client becomes their own metabolic detective.
If you would rather go at this alone, you could start at 100 grams of carbohydrates daily. Use biofeedback tools to adjust from there. How does your body feel? Do you have sustained energy? How is your hunger?Cravings?
Also consider other factors like sleep, mood and digestion. Increase or decrease the amount of carbs based on this. All signs positive? Achieving fat loss? Great – you found your CTP. Stay here. Don’t change anything.
If you are not (1) achieving fat loss AND (2) getting positive biofeedback, something needs to change. This is not your CTP. What you are doing is not sustainable. This is where you begin troubleshooting.
** It’s important to note that carbohydrates do not act alone. Protein and fat intake both matter as well **
Remember above we said it’s not as important that you find your exact number as it is to learn how you found it. Once you have a system in place for finding your carbohydrate tipping point, it will never fail you even as your metabolism changes over time.
THERE ARE THREE CONSIDERATIONS FOR DETERMINING CTP
We have clients use “bite counts” with great success. Thinking in terms of bites can help when you don’t have food labels or scales to use. Each “bite” is considered 5g carbohydrates. Clients are taught their bite count based off their metabolic burner type.
More favorable types can be consumed in slightly higher quantities than the less favorable. So consider a few more bites of brown rice versus a few less of white rice. This has to do with how quickly blood sugar is raised, think GI Index.
Also we look at the fiber content in the carb. What’s the ratio of fiber to sugar / starch? Have more fiber-dense foods. Great examples of these would be non-starchy veggies and low sweet fruits like apples, pears and berries.
You may also consider the allergen effects of wheat foods, or nightshades.
Many online clients benefit from getting the majority of their carbohydrates from a single meal in the day. There are pros and cons for having an all-carb breakfast or dinner. This would be based off your lifestyle and again would take some troubleshooting to find what works best for you. Having carbohydrates throughout the course of the day may be too much for some, especially those of us that sit behind a computer all day and lead sedentary lifestyles.
Consider having all of your carbohydrates in the “peri-workout” window. This is that four hour window around your workout.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Your goal is to figure out the right amount of carbs to eat daily to maintain energy for your workouts, reduce hunger / cravings but to also lose fat.
Yes, this takes more work than an off-the-shelf meal plan. It takes some trial and error. And consistency testing. But, once you have figured this out, you never have to diet again. You won’t need meal plans. You will know how to keep your lifestyle sustainable. And in the event something happens and you need to figure it out again, you have a proven process that works.
If you want some guidance in finally figuring out how to lead a fat loss lifestyle, we have created a new Fitocracy group just for you.
Our new group – starting May 11 – is a 12-week nutrition education course. Along with learning your CTP, you will also learn:
- How to track macros / calories
- How to read nutrition labels
- The ME Food Label Rule
- Buffer Foods and Trigger Foods
- How to maximize your fat loss workouts (you should be doing some resistance training as well)
- What the worst food combinations are
- How alcohol effects your fat loss
…and so. much. more.