Enjoying The Carbs You Love To Reach Your Fitness Goals

Enjoying The Carbs You Love To Reach Your Fitness Goals

carb cycling, lean gains, build muscle

Last week I told you all about how to build muscle. If you want to gain strong, sculpted muscle you have to eat for it and you have to train for it. A lot of women struggle with the “eating for it” part of that equation. It’s pretty common for women I work with to be chronically undereating, yet struggling to lose the last few pounds of fat they’ve been hoping to shed for years. Today I want to talk further about how to eat to fuel your workouts while minimizing body fat.

**I want to be clear here: these “directions” are about getting strong, not small. I’m not here to tell you what your goals are or what's best for you... that’s on you. But, I can teach you how to reach the aesthetic most women come to me looking for which is usually more muscle definition and less body fat.

Why do we want to gain muscle?

Gaining muscle while keeping your body fat levels constant can make a big impact in body satisfaction. Let’s say you have a golf ball hidden under a down comforter. If you’re looking at the comforter, you probably can’t see the golf ball underneath it, right? But, what if you had soccer ball under there? You would be able to see the soccer ball even though it was covered up under the down comforter. Because the size of the ball is larger it’s easier to see.


Let's turn your golf balls into soccer balls!

We all have our own down comforter, which is our skin and the fat underneath. Some of us may have thicker comforters than others BUT if you’re looking for more definition in your muscles, the first step is making sure you have muscles to show through. Losing fat is not the ONLY way to change how your body looks! If we turn your “golf ball” muscles into “soccer ball” muscles, you’ll feel stronger AND see more definition. That’s a winning combination in my book!

How do we gain muscle without fat? Carb cycling.

Enjoying your food and working out is usually a lot more fun than restricting foods and feeling too exhausted to get to the gym. This is the way I like to do things, so it’s what I’m going to teach you how to do too. So, what is carb cycling and and why does it work? I want you to think of carb cycling like checking the weather forecast. We usually check the weather in the morning and then decide what we are wearing that day so that we’re comfortable and prepared. This is the same process! You just check your “activity forecast” and fuel appropriately. It's as simple as that! So if it’s a workout day, you’re going to need some carbs to fuel your workout and to recover. If it’s a rest day, your body won't need as many carbs.

If You’re Active, Carbs Are Necessary:

  • To fuel our workouts

  • To recover from those workouts

  • To build strong muscles

How full is your carb tank?

If you’re familiar with Fats vs Carbs: How Our Bodies Store Energy you know that your body can only store so many carbs. Once your "carb tank" is full, it's full. You know what happens to those extra carbs when there's no more room left in the "carb tank"?                        

Your body stores them as fat.

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Earn your carbs.              

When you carb cycle you make sure you're eating carbs when you need them. This allows you to minimize the chance that they'll be stored as body fat. On workout days you burn some of the carbs in your "carb tank" during your workouts, so you need to replenish them. On rest days you don't burn the carbs in your tank, and because it stayed full, there's no need to refuel with carbs.

This is only the beginning...

There are tons more psychological benefits to carb cycling that I’ll be talking about next week but go ahead and jump in now! Give it a try! You'll be replenishing your muscles and gaining strength while minimizing your chances of also gaining body fat! Woohoo! 

I’ll teach you how to carb cycle in real life, just download my free guide “Intro to Carb Cycling” below! 

paleo diet macro diet iifym

About Ashley:

Ashley is a Pilates instructor and entrepreneur in NYC who specializes in biomechanics and exercise nutrition for women. She uses the science behind exercise physiology to empower her clients to lead healthy, happy lives. Her passion project is writing “The LEAN Life Newsletter” which goes out every Tuesday and focuses on Lifestyle, Exercise, Active recovery, and Nutrition and serves as the backbone for her L.E.A.N. Life online health and fitness programs. She aims to get this information into the hands of as many women as possible so they can feel stronger and more confident in their bodies. For more information head to AshleyBrownPilates.com or @AshleyBrownPilates on instagram, or click here to get on the L.E.A.N. Life List!