The Coach in association with Improve You Workout is here to help and provide expert advice on everything from training plans to nutrition and supplementation.
In second place this month we have Lynsey Gibb….
I am on a low carb diet and looking to lose weight as well as tone up. I go to the gym 4 times a week and three of these sessions are purely free weight based. However, I am struggling with energy, is there anything that you could recommend that would support my increased fitness lifestyle and low carb diet plan?
The Coach response
Glad to hear that you are going to the gym so frequently and taken on an increased fitness lifestyle. Your choice of using a low carb diet can be a very effective way of losing fat if used correctly. Your lack of energy is a common side effect of those utilising a low carbohydrate diet but who have not made the necessary dietary adaptations to support their exercise levels.
What I mean by this, is when you exercise, your body uses the stored carbohydrates for energy to power yourself through your gym sessions. When you seriously reduce your carb intake, your glycogen reserves will become highly depleted, resulting in a lack of energy.
Without these glycogen stores, your body will look to burn any fuel source it can find for energy, which is often muscle tissue as well as some body fat. As you are trying to tone up as well, I’m sure this isn’t the result you are after.
The best way to ensure you have the energy for your workouts, as well as developing a lean and toned body is to increase not only your protein intake, but also your fat intake. This may sound counter-productive as you are trying to lose body fat, but as you have no or very little carbohydrates in your diet, your body will now use the higher fat intake for energy and help preserve lean muscle tissue.
Make sure you use a good quality whey protein powder to support muscular recovery and growth, use Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) to increase protein synthesis and add more fats into your diet. You can use a mixture of fats and depending on your taste, the best sources are fish oil and nuts. Almond or peanut butters are a great tasting and convenient way to add the fats you need into your daily nutrition and boost your energy levels at the gym.
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Don’t forget to stop by tomorrow to find out who will be our overall winner for March 2014.