Get Ripped on High Carbs: An Eight-Point Strategy for Getting Lean without Cutting Carbs

It indeed may sound ludicrous if someone tells that a bodybuilder can get ripped to the bone even while he is eating high carbs.  And more so with the availability of so many low carb diets that scream out loud about shedding weight.  But, yes it is very much possible to shed all the fat and get ripped too by eating high carbs but by strictly adhering to and following the right approach.  Main focus towards reaching one’s goal though, is on muscle maintenance and energy deficits, both of which form an integral part towards a successful bodybuilding diet containing high carbohydrates.

Maintain an Energy Deficit Continuously.  The main formula behind reducing body fat is astoundingly simple.  When your consumption centers on lesser number of calories than what is required for your body needs, you will definitely shed down a lot of body fat mainly because your food intake becomes the major source through which the body gets its energy.  When you restrict your daily calorific intake to below the threshold level, you may continue to lose a lot of fat even while eating a high carb diet.

Guard Your Muscle Mass.  Whenever there is a drop in calories, either through cutting down on carbs or cutting down on any other source of energy, the main risk is that of losing a lot of muscle mass.  The main reason is due to the strong correlation between growth and retention and the calorie surpluses.  So, when one maintains an adequate intake of carbs and lowers the total calorie intake it will avoid loss of muscle mass.  Carbs will stop the breaking down of the muscle tissue.

Keeping the above things in mind and follow the below mentioned eight guidelines so that you could drop fat and get ripped while still binging on high carb diet.

   1. Reduce your dietary fat intake.  When you have chosen the high carb path to cut up, eliminating calories through dietary fat is a must.  This is crucial because, firstly, you will have to create that energy deficit which sparks off fat burning.  When you ward off such dietary fat, you will automatically stay in full control of your calorie intake.  As most of the foods that you consume are a source of dietary fat, you should focus on eating more low-fat protein foods like only the egg whites sans the yolk, turkey beast and protein powders.  And ideal seafood choices would include shrimp, scallops, hake, tuna and flounder.

      Secondly, eliminating calories through dietary fats is a must because of insulin concerns. Insulin works on the fatty acids in the dietary fat and diverts them into fat cells.  So, when one is on a low-fat diet, the fatty acids are sparse and hence one cannot gain weight as long as the calorie intake is lower.

   2. Identify the right carbs.  All carbs do not work in the same fashion.  So, you need to identify the best carbs that help in controlling as well as shedding of the body fat and this is done by the slow burning carbs.  These carbs help in controlling the insulin levels in the body too which otherwise lead to storage of excess fat as they take a longer time to get digested.  This is a favorable condition for further muscle growth as well as retention…all of which is happening without activating the body’s machinery that stores fat.  Red potatoes, oatmeal, red beans, oat bran cereal, buckwheat noodles and buckwheat pancakes are a few of the superior slow burning carbs which will not make you fat.

   3. Include Veggies to the slow-burn carbs.  You can make slow-burn carb diet even more effective by making the digestion process further sluggish.  How is this possible?  It is possible by eating lots of veggies like cauliflower, green beans, broccoli, cabbage, asparagus and wax beans that are high on fiber content which will slow down the digestion process and the speed too, of the carbs reaching to the intestines from the stomach, where the carbs are actually absorbed.  When you moderate the insulin release it helps in getting a leaner physique.

      Ideally, one could add a cup of these veggies for every cup of pasta or rice or potato that is consumed.  Rice, potato and pasta are definitely not slow-burning carbs, but when you include the fiber rich vegetables, the absorption process is slowed down which facilitates fat loss.  Vegetables are low in calories and great fillers.

   4. Complex carbs for the mornings. Any kind of carbs that are consumed in the morning are less likely to get deposited as fat mainly because the blood sugar levels and the glycogen levels are lower during the mornings. So, when you eat more carbs during this time, they will be stored as muscle and glycogen but not fat.  Enjoy your complex carbs during the breakfast, if possible the complex carbs that are slow burning like the whole-grain breads, oatmeal, and buckwheat pancakes.
   5. Limit your intake of carbs before you train.  You have to do so primarily to instigate a process in your body which would make use of the existing fat in the body as energy rather than looking out for energy through the carbs that you might consume before your workouts.  When the intake of carbs before your training is restricted, the body will automatically turn to the fat reserves and thus burns the same.

   6. Eat more carbs after you train.  When you implement the above mentioned point, it would ensure more fat burning and lessen the glycogen stores too.  When there are no glycogen reserves, carbs are not stored anymore as body fat.  So, have a diet of 75-100 grams of carbs after hard training so that you facilitate a recovery process and drive the amino acids in the proteins towards muscle repair.  Simple sugars like dextrose could be consumed during this time.

   7. A Strict NO for carbs at night.  Glycogen levels increase as you move ahead during the day when you are on a high-carb diet with an intention to cut down on body fat.  When your glycogen levels get close to becoming ‘full’ the carbs get stored as body fat.  So, especially during the nights, it is advisable that you adhere to eating veggies and lean protein or a protein shake that is carb free which becomes the final meal of your day.

   8. Do intense cardio workouts.  A good metabolic rate would burn the body fat quickly for which you will have to get yourself involved in intense cardio workouts.  I strongly recommend a high-intensity cardio workout which will facilitate the maximum calorie burn and stimulates the glycogen storing enzymes adequately. More rigorous the cardio exercise, more calories you will burn and you will also be increasing the glycogen synthase activity.  Glycogen synthase is an enzyme which stores the carbs as muscle glycogen.  Hence, the more carbs stored in the muscle, lesser the likeliness that it will get stored as body fat.

      I would recommend that you perform intense cardio workouts at least for 30-45 minutes for five days in a week.  And if your body has a sluggish metabolism rate, you will perhaps need to do for a longer duration.


I strongly recommend that all bodybuilders set a daily carb intake by making use of the high-carb approach.  For every pound of bodyweight they need to consume 1 ½ grams of carbs and 1 gram of protein, cutting out on dietary fat as much as possible.  So, for instance, if an athlete weighs around 200 pounds, the above mentioned quantity would translate into 300grams of carbs coupled with 200grams of protein intake daily.  Most of the bodybuilders would think that it is almost impossible to cut down on serious fat by surviving on 300 grams of carbohydrates per day.  But, yes it is possible because if you get your math right, you will understand that 300 grams of carbs is equal to 1,200 calories and 200 grams of protein is equal to 800 calories which makes it a total of 2,000 calories per day, a give and take of 100 calories here and there though!

If you follow all the guidelines I’ve outlined here to the last T, I am sure you will definitely be shocked to learn that it is very easy to get ripped on carbs.