You’ve heard the axiom before—abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym. But the abs are only a fraction of the story. A properly nourished physique is vital to maintaining proper weight, energy levels*, and packing on learn muscle. There are plenty of diets you can test out—Paleo, Atkins, and crash diets are all things people try to reach their dietary goals. (Side note: crash diets are the worst option — they’ve been shown to slow metabolism and create a nutritional deficit.)
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But one you may not have heard of is the carb-rotating diet. Carbohydrates, though often demonized as foods that make you fat, provide plenty of benefits to the body, including converting to energy during digestion. When you take in too few carbs, your body begins to burn fat. Great, right? Well, except the trade-off is that your metabolic rate, which his the number of calories you burn daily, also drops. So cutting carbs for a long period of time may not be as beneficial for you as you might think. By adjusting the amount of carbs you take in on a daily basis will continue to keep the metabolic rate up and, over time, can allow you to burn more body fat compared to a low-carb diet. Plus, the carb-rotating diet allows you to eat high-fat and high-carb foods—so long as it’s done on separate days.
The downside is that to pull this off you need to be dedicated. If you’re used to eating the same things or follow a strict pattern, the carb-rotating diet will be challenging. Here is an example of a carb-rotating diet plan. It’s based on a diet of 200 grams of carbs per day. You’d need to adjust it to fit your needs or goals:
Monday—Wednesday: 100 g of slow-burning carbs in the a.m. and 75 g of fast-burning carbs around your workout
Thursday: 250-300 g of carbs throughout the day, but consume low-fat foods (this applies to all high-carb days)
Friday & Saturday: 100 g of slow-burning carbs in the a.m. and 75 g offast-burning carbs around your workout
Sunday: 200 g of carbs in one large meal (i.e. a cheat meal) instead of spreading out carb intake throughout the day
Note: Good sources of slow-burning carbs include yams, whole wheat or pumpernickel bread, oatmeal, and most fruits. Fast-burning carbs include white rice or bread, and refined sugar or flour.
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*Of course, P4’s NSF Certified for Sport workout supplements Pre Game Formula and Energy Formula are two great ways to remain energized before or during a workout or game, or whenever you could use en energy boost.