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    Carb Manipulation: Your Simple Guide to Looking Good Naked


  • Lookin' Good Naked

    We're all looking for the magic bullet of weight loss. Well, as you've probably heard and read a million times before, "There ain't none".


    That being said, there are many things you can do to change the way you look. I'm going to serve up one of the most powerful ways for you here. It has to do with the way you eat. More specifically, it has to do with manipulation of carbs in your diet to create a fat-burning environment in your body.


    I've been working with clients for over 18 years and I've always gotten great results. Part of my strategy for results is simple: I research the exercise and nutrition literature, simplify it to where it can be used in the real world at MCNewsletters, and then put it into action with myself and my clients.


    What I'm going to lay out for you here is twofold. I'm going to give you a little background on the difference between the two main types of carbs - fibrous and starchy - so that you know how they affect the way you look, and you know what to look out for when you're making your food purchases.


    Then, I’ll detail which carbs you should be eating and when you should be eating them.


    Chances are you're at least familiar with the macronutrients: protein, carbs, and fat. You may have heard you need to eliminate one of them and that'll be your ticket to immediate and long lasting weight loss.


    Forget what you've read before and learn the truth here.


  • Now, Lets kick our fat burning to the next level: Quick Carb Education

    You need all 3 macronutrients: protein, carbs, and fat.
    At first glance, it may look like eliminating fat from your diet would be your best bet. It's not.
    We're not going to eliminate any of them. But, we are going to manipulate one of them: carbs. Your intake of fibrous and starchy carbs has a huge impact on the way you look.
    Fibrous carbs are certain kinds of vegetables, such as broccoli, celery, Tomato, Green or red peppers, Cucumber, Green beans, Peas, Artichoke, Turnips, Asparagus, Eggplant, Radishes, Cabbage, Snow peas... They are classified as fibrous because the structure of the vegetable itself is made of plant fiber (cellulose).
    In fat-burning terms, they're worth their weight in gold.
    Remember back to the last time you had a fibrous vegetable. Maybe it was a side dish of broccoli last night at dinner? Maybe it was celery sticks with vegetable dip at a party?
    Whichever it was, it had a certain crunchy texture to it, right? It probably took a lot of chewing before you swallowed it? It wasn't particularly flavorful or possessed of a strong, delicious smelling aroma?
    Yup, that's how you know it's fibrous.
    In contrast, Starchy carbs are the "yummy" ones. You know, the ones that you can eat a ton of and not feel full; you always have room for more. The prime examples of starchy carbs are pasta, rice, bread.

    So why do we want to manipulate our intake of starchy and fibrous carbs?
    Quite simple: when we eat a lot of starchy carbs at the wrong time, our body goes into fat storage mode. When we eat fibrous carbs, we go into fat-burning mode.

  • Now, I'm the last person to tell you to totally cut this stuff out, if you don't need to

    We all have our favorite high-carb foods, right? I personally enjoy pizza and ice cream (When you sin, sin boldly!). And I don't deprive myself of them, and I'm still in great shape. How? Because I know how to eat them and when to eat them. Soon you will too.

  • Here's the rundown on fibrous and starchy carbs

    Starchy Carbs: Pancakes, AKA "The Fattening Stuff"


    Starchy carbs create surges of insulin, the storage hormone. Insulin shuttles nutrients into muscle and fat stores. When starchy carbs are eaten in excess, insulin floods your bloodstream, shutting off the body's ability to use body fat as fuel.


    These starchy carbs are often called the "fattening carbs". While this isn't exactly true in all cases, frequent meals of starchy carbs will not only shut off fat-burning, but once the body has filled its stores of glycogen in the muscles and liver (your body's gas tank), the remaining calories get stored as body fat! Obviously we'd like to curtail any fat storage.


    Another reason you want to keep an eye on your starchy carbs intake is the vicious binging cycle it sets off if eaten at the wrong time in the wrong combination with other foods.


    Have you ever had a big bowl or two of pasta or rice? (This could add up to about 600 or more calories.) What happened? You set up the binging cycle.


    You probably felt good for a little bit, relaxed and happy from the serotonin rush. Then you soon got tired and lethargic. Then soon after, you're hungry again and you're headed back for more food.


    Fibrous Carbs: Broccoli, AKA "The Good Stuff"


    (Notice the structure of the stalks. Strong cell structure = tough to break down)


    Fibrous carbs stabilize insulin levels, which allows body fat to be easily released into the blood stream to be used as fuel. I like to call fibrous carbs the "fat loss carbs". Fibrous carbs are strongly connected to fat loss for several reasons:


    Some fibrous carbs - such as broccoli, spinach, lettuce, and celery - are actually negative calorie foods. Negative calorie foods contain very few calories per serving, but have a physical structure that is very tough for the body to break down. Most fibrous vegetables, with their robust cell walls, generally fall into this category.


    The act of digesting and absorbing the nutrients from fibrous vegetables actually burns more calories than is actually contained in the vegetable itself.


    For instance, an 8 inch stalk of celery has 6 calories - 6 food units of energy. When you eat the stalk, you're taking in those 6 calories. But the cellulose structure of the celery is difficult for your body to fully break down, and the act of moving the celery through the body could take 12 calories of energy. As a result, your body spent more energy digesting the celery than it received.



  • Fibrous carbs, due to their bulk, give the feeling of satiety, or fullness. When you feel full, you're unlikely to eat more


    There's a feedback loop from the brain to the stomach where once the stomach fills to a certain extent, a signal that says "stop eating" is sent to the brain.


    Two additional points I want to make: Everyone has a different amount of food they need to take in that will trigger the "stop eating" signal to be sent. Some people will need to eat more vegetables, some will need less.


    The second point is to slow down your eating. Spend some time chewing. Don't eat mindlessly in front of the TV or computer, where your mind will be so wrapped up in other stuff that it misses the signal. Another reason to slow down your eating speed is because it takes approximately 20 minutes for the "fullness" signal to fully register.


  • Part 1 Recap

    In part one of Carb Manipulation: Your Simple Guide to Looking Good Naked, I wrote about how the biggest factor in how you look is your carb intake. Protein, carbs and fat all contain calories, but carbs have the biggest direct effect on your waistline (and how you feel).


    From there, we explained how carbs can generally be divided into two categories: Starchy and Fibrous.


    Starchy carbs being the "tasty, fattening" carbs. Bread, pasta, rice, etc. Starchy carbs generally taste good, and are extremely easy to overeat.


    Fibrous carbs are the "not-so-tasty, great for fat loss" carbs. Broccoli, spinach, lettuce, asparagus, etc. Fibrous carbs have more subtle flavors, and are fantastic for filling you up without stimulating your appetite.


    Our goal here is to "look good naked". This entails losing fat and sculpting your shape by building muscle that helps burn fat off (and gives you that "in-shape" look when the fat does come off).


    If you're serious about losing fat, either you're currently on a workout program, or will start one now.

  • With your workouts in place, the other half of the equation is your eating program.

    During a fat loss phase, our goal is to keep starchy carbs low and fibrous carb intake high.


    This will serve 3 main fat burning purposes:


    1) Keep fat-burning hormones surging in the body.

    2) Raise and keep insulin sensitivity high.

    3) Avoid the hunger and mood swings that accompany starchy carb intake.


    Before we dive into the eating program, let's set the groundwork for success:

  • The carb manipulation process

    Jog your memory and write down everything you've eaten for the past 3 days. Get down on paper as much as you can remember.


    Good, now pull out your fat burning foods list that we sent you free last week (If you don't have it, that means you haven't signed up yet. You can do that right here). Just for reference, compare your list with the fat burning foods list.


    Now, go through and circle all the starchy carbs that are on the list you wrote. How many are there? A bunch? A few?


    You may notice that the more starchy carbs that are in your diet, the more weight you need to lose!


    Now, take a look at the list of fibrous carbs on the fat burning foods list. Which ones would you substitute for the circled starchy carbs on your list?  Which ones could you substitute?


    Go to each starchy carb on your list, and write in a fibrous carb you'd like to substitute for it.  Do this for each one.


    Now what you're going to do is to map out your new eating plan.  We're going to spread out your normal daily meals into 5 meals, eaten roughly 3 hours apart, with fibrous carbs substituted for the starchy ones. 


    Take out a fresh piece of paper and write down "Meals 1 through 5". 


    Then, using your previous list, create examples of meals constructed around the protein and fat sources from your list and the fibrous carb substitutes. It should be simple and look something like this:


    Template:  Protein + Fat + Fibrous Carb 


    Meal 1 (8 am) Eggs + Spinach

    Meal 2 (11 am) Cottage Cheese + Roasted Tomatoes

    Meal 3 (2 pm) Chicken + Avocado + Romaine Lettuce

    Meal 4 (5 pm) Chicken Thigh + Broccoli

    Meal 5 (8 pm) Chicken Thigh + Broccoli


    Keep in mind, you don't need to change the protein and fat components of your regular eating here. These are only healthy suggestions. Remember, use the chart as a guideline for substitutes, and your original list as the source of the protein and fat choices (based off your existing habits).


    What's important here is manipulating your carb intake.


    This simple act of exchanging your starchy carbs for fibrous carbs could make a tremendous difference in as little as a week.

  • The post workout meal

    So now that we have 5 solid Protein + Fat + Fibrous Carb meals, we are going to tackle the 1 meal that should be radically different, the post workout meal. You ARE working out, right!?


    The post workout meal is different than any other meal because this is the time when your body is primed for nutrient uptake. At this time, it is actually beneficial to have some starchy carbs.


    It also serves as a treat for pushing yourself through a tough workout, and keeps you sane.


    The post-workout meal is also the wildcard. This meal can only be eaten after a workout. If you're not working out on a specific day, you're not going to eat a meal containing starchy carbs. The post-workout meal can also be the 5th meal, or an additional meal - a 6th meal. You can decide this based on your schedule and what you can handle.


    Let’s say you work out at 3 pm and the workout lasts until 4 pm. (The time of the workout is not important, you can shift the times of the meals to fit in your post-workout meal.) Immediately following the workout, you're going to eat your starchy carb, whichever your favorite: rice, bread, pasta, or other?


    Your total carb intake at this time should be roughly 40 grams. No more! You want to treat yourself, no ruin your fat loss progress. As a matter of fact, you should measure out 40 grams of carbs in the form of whatever food you want BEFORE the workout, so you don't overdo it.


    Another key here is protein. The best protein to have at this time is a simple whey protein shake. Its liquid form is easily digested and gets to your muscles immediately. If you don't have access to whey protein, you could go with another lean protein source, like low-fat cottage cheese or chicken breast.


    Protein is the building block of muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn every day. Burning more calories each day = less body fat.


    During a post-workout meal, you want to keep fat minimal; preferentially, none at all. Fat slows down digestion and absorption, which is the opposite of what we want in a post-workout meal.


    The reason we can have starchy carbs in the post-workout meal is that this is the time when your muscles are broken down. Your muscles are like a sponge at this time and want to soak up nutrients to start the repair process.


    Starchy carbs are digested easily in the body and can also get to the muscles rapidly. The insulin release in response to carb intake at this time is beneficial because it helps shuttle the amino acids from protein into the muscles.  This faster uptake results in faster rebuilding of your muscles, and consequently, faster results.


    Carb manipulation is a very simple but essential tool to use for fast fat loss. If you start to use the strategy you've learned in this 2 part article, you'll notice results within a week.

  • Wrapping up the key points of carb manipulation

    1) Our main goal is to keep starchy carb intake low and fibrous carb intake high, maximizing fat-burning enzymes and limiting fat storage.


    2) Do the Carb Manipulation Process: Write down your everyday diet, circle the starchy carbs and exchange them for the fibrous carbs from the fat-burning foods list.


    3) Follow the Protein + Fat + Fibrous Carb eating plan throughout the day, except for the post-workout meal, where you will eat Protein + 40 grams of Starchy Carbs.


    Now that you're on a roll, let's amplify your momentum.

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