What was that? Eat carbs? Skip workouts? Doesn’t eating carbs make you fat? And shouldn’t you work out more and harder when trying to lose fat and get fit? The answer: It depends.
When the goal is to lose fat, increase muscle (sexy bride fit arms), and get healthier then the first thing to look at is your nutrition and fitness. When I coach brides we start with:
- Setting Calorie Targets. The amount of energy to eat each day based on physical goals and current activity level.
- Setting Macro Targets. The amount of calories coming from each of the three macronutrients; protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
Step one can be the tricky part if you are doing it without a coach who takes into consideration multiple factors that affect how many calories your body needs to maintain your current weight (BMR) and then will recommend a lower number to create a calorie deficit in order to lose weight.
There is no one size fits all formula or magical amount of calories or macronutrient percentages that I can give you BUT you can do some estimates and play around with the numbers pretty easily to get the Bride Fit Body results you desire. Here’s a quick an easy way to figure our your target calories for fat loss, multiply your current weight with 10-16 depending on your activity level, from sedentary to very active. Most brides fall between 11-13, unless you are killing it in daily CrossFit workouts for example, which will require more energy to maintain performance.
Let’s bring back our conversation to CARBS! As your Bride Fit coach my goal it to give you the short answer without all the science-Y stuff that more than likely will bore you to tears and may frustrate you enough to stop reading this article! I’ll try to stay on target and give you the cliff notes; I just wanted to lay some foundation first.
How many carbs and what type?
The percentage of calorie coming from carbohydrates to achieve fat loss, brain function, and overall health is between 10%-30%, 50 grams to 150 grams, in most cases. You may be currently eating way more carbs then that if you are a bread, pasta, bagel, and pizza girl! The easiest way to lower your carbs is to greatly reduce or eliminate the carbs that are making you fat! Then add in more vegetables in a variety of colors in your meals, some fruit, and starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes and Japanese yams (my absolute favorite!). Limiting gluten-free grains, such as corn chips and rice is a good strategy to keep total carbohydrate percentage low also. You’ll see how easy it is to keep carbs on the lower side by replacing the morning bagel with a delicious creamy protein shake, and trading a carb loaded sub for a sexy salad with fish, chicken, steak, or another complete protein source on top.
You may be thinking about the title of this blog, which says, “eat carbs” and all I’m talking about is eating “low carb.” Let me clarify, initially eating a low carb diet produces quick weight loss especially if you have a lot of weight to lose. The problem is when hitting a plateau and getting stuck, women will avoid carbs even more in fear of gaining weight, when in reality increasing carbs (the good ones of coarse) will stimulate the release of fat.
Without getting complicated, keeping your hormones in balance is the key to fat loss and feeling amazing! There is something called the HPA axis (Hypothalamus: located in the brain, Pituitary: located in the brain, and Adrenals: located at the top of the kidneys). These three glands are responsible for regulating your stress levels, mood, emotions, digestion, immune system, sex drive, metabolism, and energy levels. To keep it simple, long term stress or too much stress, can cause you to overproduce the hormones cortisol and norepinephrine, which eventually may lead to what is called, “adrenal fatigue.” Symptoms include:
- Fatigue. The type of tired that stops you from doing your workouts and basically feels like you’re dragging yourself through the day not being able to focus.
- Weakened immune system. Getting sick more often or just not feeling right.
- Stalled weight loss or weight gain. Even when you are eating within your “targets” for fat loss and working out hard.
- Depression. Lack of motivation or desire.
- Anxiety. Excessive worry.
- Trouble sleeping. Either having a hard time falling or staying asleep.
This can lead to long-term health problems such as hypothyroidism, PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) and diabetes.
BOTTOM LINE: If a low carb nutritional approach works initially but you begin to experience any of the above symptoms, add more carbs, Bride Fit approved carbs of coarse, and see if your symptoms such as stalled weight loss improve. In addition, overtraining (working out hard often), may be adding too much stress if you are experiencing adrenal fatigue and have the opposite effect of what you are looking to achieve. Taking time off hard training and replacing with walking, yoga, meditation, and self-care activities such as massages produces really positive results.
Keeping your carbohydrate intake somewhere between 50-150 grams per day, which falls between 10%(very low carb) to 30%(moderate to high carb) is the best range for fat loss and maintenance.
For the roadmap to getting Bride Fit and “wedding dress ready” purchase my online program for Exceptional Brides today! If you desire a coach to give you a specific plan and personal support to get Bride Fit, contact me.
Leave your comments below and share your experiences with other brides. Looking forward to connecting with you, have an amazing week!