How and When To Use Carbohydrates Effectively

Screenshot 2022-06-27 at 14.28.12
Sean Wilson

Sean Wilson

Carbohydrates are often frowned upon, but they are extremely effective if used correctly. So, what things do you need to consider to get the most out of your carbs?

The topic of carbohydrates is a popular one in the fitness industry. Some prefer to cut them out of their diet to lose body fat, while others believe they are essential for sustainability and progress.

The truth is that carbs do not have a direct impact on fat loss, your calorie intake does, and you can absolutely include them in your routine. However, few people know how to use them correctly, and therefore have a negative relationship with them, which can then lead to them cutting carbs out of their diet permanently.

So, how can you avoid this? What is the best way to use carbs so that you get the best fat loss results possible?

Training Days vs Non-Training Days

The first place to start when it comes to carbs is knowing what days you are going to use them. In general, you should place a large portion of your carbs on training days, when you need them the most. Of course, this is not to say that you should not have carbs on non-training days also, but aim to consume them in and around your sessions, which will demand high energy for maximum strength and performance. Prioritise your calorie and protein intake first, and then you will be in a better

Timing For Slow And Fast Releasing Carbs

On the days that do require more carbs, the type you consume and at what times will be important. For example, before your training, you should aim to consume slow-releasing carbs to keep your energy consistent throughout the day and help you avoid blood sugar dips. Post-training, the glycogen (energy) stores in your body will be depleted, so some fast-digesting carbohydrates, such as fruit or cereal, alongside a source of protein, are ideal for optimising your recovery and therefore your ability to build quality muscle tissue.

What To Limit/Avoid

Of course, when it comes to fat loss, what will ultimately determine your progress is your calorie intake, yet what you put into your body also has a large impact. One of the best things you can do in the early days is to remove intolerant and/or highly processed food groups from your diet and replace them with more natural, nutrient-dense options. This reduces stress and inflammation in your body which then reduces the water retention that makes you feel softer around your midsection. This applies to carbs also – look to add in high-quality foods such as rice, pasta, potatoes, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, to reduce inflammation and blood sugar dips, which can have a positive impact on your energy.


So, carbohydrates are extremely useful when it comes to losing body fat, but it is important to use them appropriately. This includes having more carbs on training days, using the right carbs pre and post-training, and limiting/avoiding intolerent carbs that can cause inflammation in the body. Doing this will not only help you make progress, but also help you enjoy your nutrition and stay consistent over a long period of time, which is key to getting the result you want.

Photo Credits: Envato Elements

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