5 Reasons Why Avoiding Carbs Will Screw Up Your Fat Loss

Jonathan Potter of JHP Nutrition is coming to Thames this Saturday 16th July to give a FREE nutrition talk to members from 09:00 to 10:00 (he will be available for a Q&A afterwards too). Jonathan is going to be the Nutrition Coach for CrossFit Thames, you can read about this in more detail in our two previous blog posts (here, and here)

You can register for the nutrition talk (for free!) HERE.

Jonathan works with a whole range of clients, all with different goals ranging from training and performance, to muscle gain and of course, fat loss.

He is an article written by the man himself.

5 Reasons Why Avoiding Carbs Will Screw Up Your Fat Loss

There’s a hell of a lot of dogma surrounding carbs and fat loss, and I’m tired of it.

I’ve written this article to help people understand that there is no reason why a healthy individual shouldn’t keep carbs as high as possible whilst dropping bodyfat.

Reason 1: Fabulous Fibre

Most complex carbohydrates contain fibre, this is important when dieting for the following reasons:

– Fibre aids the body and regulates blood sugar
– It helps maintain bowl health
– It lowers cholesterol

But for the purpose of losing bodyfat, dietary fiber increases the ‘bulk’ of the food in your stomach and slows down its rate of digestion, leading to a higher sense of satiety.

For fibre to move though your digestive system you also need to drink more water, which again can lead to a greater feeling of ‘fullness’ resulting in reduced cravings.

So when cutting bodyfat the more complex carbs in your diet the greater the fibre content will be which increases satiety and decreases the risk of hunger.

If hunger is decreased, your dietary adherence rises, and you get better results, simple!

How much do you need? – A typical range should be 10-13g of fibre per 1000 calories, that means if you consume 2000 calories per day ingesting 20-26g of fibre will be optimal.

My personal ‘fibre favourites’ are:
– Green beans
– Wholegrain tortillas/breads
– Buckwheat noodles
– Popcorn
– Bran flakes/high fibre cereals

Reason 2: You Keep More Muscle

Your muscles are predominantly made of protein.

When carbohydrate consumption is too low, protein (muscle) is broken down to make glucose and provide fuel for your muscles, liver and brain.

Having a decent carbohydrate intake can prevent protein being used as an energy source and therefore maintain muscle mass, even when in a calorie deficit.

Your main priority when dieting should be to maintain muscle mass when dropping body-fat and keeping your carb intake as high as possible in your allotted calorie range can ensure you maintain your hard earned muscle.

Reason 3: Staying Strong

When carbohydrate is consumed it converts into glucose and low levels of glucose can result in weakness, dizziness, and low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Glucose is essential for the central nervous system and is the prime energy source for the brain. Once carbohydrate is converted to glucose it is then stored in the liver and muscles in the form of glycogen and used as an energy source. Glycogen can then be used by the body to keep blood sugar at a constant level to provide a constant energy supply.

Low blood glucose and glycogen stores during exercise can decrease performance in the gym. If your performance is decreasing, your session intensity will also be suffering and your results and progress will slow or stagnate.

Carb intake and performance are in direct relation. As the former gets higher, so does the latter.

Tell me again why you want to go low-carb?

Reason 4: SATIETY (the feeling of being satisfied or full)


In the picture above you will find the Satiety Index (SI), I personally much prefer the SI to the more commonly heard of ‘glycemic index’.

The Glycemic index is an outdated and inaccurate way of measuring satiety and the way that food impacts blood sugar levels.

In the graph we see that carbs are pretty satiating and keep you a lot more satisfied than fatty foods. If you feel fuller, you’re going to find your fat loss much easier to adhere to psychologically

You’ll enjoy your diet more. You’ll be less likely to break your diet, go off track or even worse…BINGE.

This will improve your consistency and with greater consistency the better the results of your diet will be


Reason 5: It makes eating out/socialising a hell of a lot easier

With a good carb allowance you can still eat out ‘pretty’ regularly and lose the right amount of fat per week (normally 1-2lbs per week).

Eating carbs will make it easier to make restaurant choices with your friends and family without having to shut yourself off from the world for fear of one meal ruining your progress.

Signing Off

Carbs aren’t the enemy…

…If fat/weight loss is your goal, then as long as you are in a calorie deficit (either through exercise/food or both) then you will lose fat and improve definition.

All while ‘having your cake and eating it’!

Workout of the Day:

A) Strength – Strict Press

15 Minutes to Build to a 1RM

B) Assistance Work

3 Rounds, not for time:

12 Dumbbell Tate Presses – Heavy
12 Dumbbell Roll-Back Extensions – Heavy

C) Gymnastic Conditioning

Every Minute on the minute for 10 minutes:

4 Muscle Ups + 20 Double Unders

D) Extra Credit

1 x 100 Band Push-Downs – keep band light and reps fast

Metcon Class

Workout of the Day:

A) Every 90 seconds for 24 minutes (4 Rounds)

1: 25 Kettlebell Swings
2: 8-10 Seated Dumbbell Presses
3: 20 Supine Hamstring Curls with Med Ball
4: 60 Second Plank Hold

B) 3 Rounds for Max Reps
60 Seconds of Rowing (calories)
60 Seconds of Strict Pull-Ups/Ring Rows
60 Seconds of Push-ups