By Adela Garcia
8-Time Miss Olympia
Q: Hi Adela. My question is about carb intake and how many carbs I should be taking in to lose weight. I am confused with all the diet information out there on the Internet. I am 5’4” and weigh 175. I am overweight and want to be back to my college weight of 120.
Thank you for your question. By just going by your height and weight, it would be very hard for me to determine your carb intake. There are many factors that I take into consideration when designing diets for people. Some of these factors are: percentage of body fat, thyroid and hormone health, cardio, training, etc. Most people that are overweight have some form of insulin resistance going on in their body. With that being said, I would restrict carbohydrates to before and after training. The most common pitfall that I see in people’s diets is the timing of their nutrients. If you take in carbohydrates at times that your body doesn’t need them, they will be stored as fat. Another pitfall that I see is the intake of the wrong sources of carbohydrates. You need to pick from sources that are high in fiber and have a slower insulin release. This will help keep insulin levels steady without spikes throughout the day, which can lead to insulin resistance and weight gain.
I would suggest going to your doctor and getting a full blood panel that checks your T3 and T4 thyroid levels, along with a full hormone panel. From there I would link up with a good coach who can provide you with a nutritional program, training program and supplementation program. A lot of dieting is trial and error, but if you know ahead of time what’s going on with your hormones, you will have a better success rate when it comes to dieting. I try to always tell my clients that you have to be patient with dieting. It took me and my coach a long time to figure out the amount of macronutrients that work well with my body, and now it is just about tweaking things here and there. I wish you much success.