Your cart is currently empty.

Carb Cutting VS. Caloric Deficit; An Athletic Perspective


Carb Cutting VS. Caloric Deficit; An Athletic Perspective

Last week I published a post about what to add to your diet which will help keep you getting stronger and reaching your goals. This week I want to educate you all on the issue of taking things away from your diet in order to reach your goal of fat loss while maintaining peak athletic ability. The debate focuses on the two BIG C's in fat loss, Carbs, and Calories. Let's take a look.

Carbohydrates are an essential macro nutrient that we absolutely need to achieve any athletic endeavor and pay close attention to on our way to optimal health. Diets of all sorts claim that cutting carbs will help you achieve your goals... and they will... to a limited extent. If your body fat percentage is >25% then cutting carbs and being conscious about the quality proteins and fats going in your mouth will work well to shed initial fat. The concept of cutting carbs once you reach a plateau point is where many aspiring athletes begin to reach stagnation and lose motivation.

And the reason is in the vital role that Carbs play in our performance and health :
1) Carbohydrates play a role in how your fat loss hormones are produced and function within the body. Your metabolism is controlled by in large by your THYROID. Your thyroid produces the hormone T3 which is responsible for glucose (blood sugar) management and metabolic rate. 
2) Testosterone is essentially tied to your carbohydrate intake. If you are training hard, no matter woman or man, you need carbohydrates to push out the STRESS hormone Cortisol and let Testosterone help with muscle development and performance.

Carbohydrate Consciousness is a much better way to move towards your fat loss goals than just to simply cut carbs completely. Another smart way to mess with Carbohydrate intake is to cycle them in your diet. Boosting intake of nutrient dense carbohydrates on training days and limiting or restricting them (NOT Completely) on rest days can help shed fat. If the goal is athleticism, don't leave your carbs off the plate.. Be smarter about choices.

The tried and true way to achieve weight loss through fat loss is Caloric Deficit. Science, as well as math, dictates that if you restrict calories to less than your daily metabolic needs, your body will burn fat for energy. As an athlete who is training hard towards a goal, this is also a safer and more productive way so as to not lose performance while on the path.

Caloric Restriction does not just mean that you cut a meal out of your daily routine. The deficit does not mean replacing a whole meal with some kind of shake or protein supplement.

Before Caloric Restriction can occur YOU need to know just how much you actually need to run on; This takes time and testing. Starving yourself is not a simple solution and certainly, will lead to loss of motivation and certainly a disruption in your performance progression. Maintaining a whole food diet, minding your macronutrients, and recording all objective and subjective findings is key.

Here are some key guidelines for maintaining performance and living comfortably in a caloric deficit.
1) Eat Slower. Enjoy your food more and give your body time to tell your mind that you are satisfied. A healthy bite should be followed by prolonged chewing and a: 30-:45 pause in between bites. 
2) Intermittent fasting. In every 24 hour period, you can fast for 12 of those hours. Scheduling your eating around your training times (before training, immediately after, and a few hours later). Fasting helps reset hormones and boosts metabolism.
3) Stay away from smoothies. Shakes and juices have very limited fiber contents and fiber helps to aid Fat loss and improves GUT health. Whole protein like meat, fish, and poultry have a thermogenic effect on your metabolism as you body has to burn calories to break the food down. 
4) Build smaller plates. Instead of 2 chicken breasts, eat 1. Instead of a palm size of fat, try a thumb size. Instead of two palm sizes of carbohydrates, size out 1 palm size of 2 types of nutrient dense carbs (asparagus, sweet potatoes for example).

The aspiring athlete who is working towards a goal of fat loss has the unique opportunity to objectively see changes in their body composition and feel performance go up. The key is to not look for one or the other. Both components make for a happier person and competitor. Be aware of both carb cutting and Calorie deficit and stay away from the pitfalls that are inherent with both.

Stay positive, keep pushing and train hard.

Programming Notes 8/7-8/11

:30 Single Unders
8X Elbow TO Instep Lunges
8X Divebomber Pushups
16X Alternating Knee To Elbow
20m Carioca

*Spend 8 Minutes Working the Double Under Progression and Stone TO Shoulder Form.

2 Rounds For Time
20 Stone TO Shoulder
30 Zercher Sandbag Lunges
40 Lateral Wall Ball Throws
50 Double Under

Cool Down :
Banded Hamstring Pulls
Iron Cross
2:00 Plank Hold

2X:30 @ Each
-High Knees
-Push Ups
-Side Lunges
-Parallette Pass Thru
-Jumping Pull Ups

Gymnastic Strength:
Exposure #5 - Not For Time
3X5 Weighted Pull Up

Ring Dip
Pistol Squat


Aerobic Test #2
20 Min AMRAP
800m Run
20 Snatch 95/65
400 m Run
20 Toes To bar
*Record score, we will repeat 1 More time before Trail Run

8 Min EMOM
:10 Bike Sprint
:50 Bike Cruise

Lat Band Mobility
Bull Stretch
Scapula Distraction
Band Pull Aparts

Single Leg Strength Exposure #5
Back Rack Lunges
*Heavier than previous
*Complete all 6 reps on one leg before going to the other leg.

3 Minute AMRAP
20 Cal Bike

20 Hang Power Clean 95/65
20 DB Push Press
Rest 1:00
5 Minute AMRAP
20 Cal Bike
20 Hang Power Clean
20 DB Push Press
Rest 2:00
7 Minute AMRAP
20 Cal Bike
20 Hang Power Clean
20 DB Push Press
*Score is total rounds and reps completed. Each AMRAP begins where you left off.

Roll out Sub Scapula, Teres, Chest, Hip Capsule for 5 minutes>

PVC Warm Up:
Lateral Hops Over PVC X 20
Leg Swings X8
Samson Lunge W/ Chest Stretch X :20 each side
PVC Pass Thru
PVC Trunk Twist
Muscle Snatch
Snatch Balance

Every :90 for 10 Rounds,
1 Wall Climb (begin from Push up, walking hands back and feet up the wall until chest touches)
1 Hang (Squat) Snatch
1 Power Snatch
1 Wall Climb

3 Rounds For Time
500m Row
20 Barbell Thrusters
40 Ab Mat Sit ups


7 Minute Quality AMRAP
20m Banded Hip Activation
8X Barbell Good Mornings
8X Barbell Press
8X Barbell Bent Over Row

Spend 5 Minutes Working the Kipping and Butterfly Progression
-Hollow Hold
-Kip Swing While Holding Hollow
-Hip Flexion, looking for staying in rhythm
-Hip Extension, Pull to bar

Every 3 Minutes For 5 Rounds
21 Pull Ups
7 Strict Handstand Push Ups
3 Deadlift @ 315/225

*Score is fastest and slowest time across the 5 rounds