With the release of Black Edition, some of you may be thinking what’s the point of carbs at all. So we’ve got a new article out that goes through step-by-step what are carbohydrates, how they act in the body and the claims that are made about them.
Cheers, Dan. I’ve been wondering about this lately. I’m pretty much finished with my weight loss, but I wonder if (had it been available) I’d have been better served by Huel Black. Not because it would have allowed me to lose weight faster, but a greater proportion of my calorie deficit would’ve been carbs, which may affect the type of weight loss, i.e. higher fat loss, lower muscle loss. But I don’t know enough about it to know if that’s how it works.
That’s a great question David. You’re mainly going to lose muscle more rapidly if you’re not consuming enough protein. It doesn’t take much to reduce this, 50-60g a day which a typical Western diet easily provides. So, when losing weight keeping your protein intake relatively high can help.
Another key point would be to exercise, particularly strength training.
There’s some evidence that changing nutrient proportions, eating times etc can reduce muscle loss but these effects are quite small for the average person.
If you’re looking to gain muscle now that you’re achieved your weight goals (congrats by the way it’s not easy) then the points above still apply. Additionally, exercise is great at helping you to maintain that weight loss for the long-term which many people forget about.
Anyone else find it ridiculously difficult to do strength training on a calorie deficit?
I find aerobic exercise makes maintaining a deficit much easier as it reduces my appetite, but not only do I not have enough energy to strength train when I’m cutting calories, but the training makes me ravenous!!
Maybe a higher protein diet will help (?)
On the point of higher carb - lower fat diets improving fat loss and whatnot, I think there was some research done recently that has shown that it doesn’t really work like that as your body will adjust which resources it’s going to burn based on what you eat and in what proportions. What this means is that on low fat diets you will be burning appropriately less fat.
As for retaining energy during training, I drink a mix of water, fructose, dextrose, and BCAAs. Also, there was a paper that suggested a correlation between satiation and protein intake in a meal (i.e. you will feel more “full” if you eat more protein, particularly during low calorie diets) so you could try that. link to paper
Also if you do weight training you should account that into your caloric calculations (rule of thumb is 60 min of strength training is about 250 kcal, however, this will vary with intensity, rest periods, etc.)
Strange how different people’s responses can be. I always strength train fasted, either first thing in the morning or early evening. I don’t tend to eat breakfast anyway so my usual first meal is a 75g Huel at around 12pm and I see my PT for a one hour weights session at 9am. Training on my own I do at about 6pm before an evening meal. I try and work on a 16:8 TRE plan. I never feel particularly hungry afterwards.
Cardio on the other hand makes me eat like crazy, although I suspect that’s largely boredom eating and rewarding myself if I actually do any (I hate cardio). I’ve found a short HIIT cardio session makes it less likely I’ll pig out afterwards. Steady state longer sessions make me hangry I think
In both cases I haven’t found either harder in a calorie deficit, but that’s possibly because the TRE has helped stabilise my blood sugars and energy levels and has made me more aware of when I’m genuinely hungry. It’s actually been being more disciplined about getting enough sleep that’s been the key for me. Whatever I’m doing seems to be working thought as I’ve increased my squat from 30kg - 75kg.
Everyone’s constitution is different. I have noticed that short or small women or naturally skinny men struggle more having energy for strength training and men or taller, bigger people struggle more with cardio - and this difference is more pronounced when working within a calorie deficit diet . That’s a massive generalisation of course and doesn’t always follow, but it’s a pattern I’ve noticed, having worked with hundreds of people over ten years as a yoga therapist.
It’s important to pay attention to your own personal constitution and calorie and exercise needs and modify your lifestyle appropriately.
It’s a rough guide but it’s about right. Once you start tracking your weight you may find that you can have slightly more calories than that and still lose weight.
As Christina has said everyone is different. One important point is if you’re eating fewer calories it’s easier to eat less nutrients. It’s important to make sure you’re eating nutrient dense foods and keeping your protein intake up and this should help. You may find that your performance suffers during your weight loss phase but this will be temporary.