Every now and then when you diet you will look depleted, in some cases very depleted. This can be tough mentally because whilst you want to look lean you also want your muscles to appear full. This can be a fine balancing act because to achieve one you need your insulin levels to be fairly steady and to achieve the other it often requires eating LOTS of food – namely carbs which can lead to fat storage in some individuals. With that said here are 3 ways to try and reload your muscles when they look deflated without causing yourself to become one big watery mess!!
Dry carbohydrates are generally the best here, rice cakes, brown bread, potatoes, and sweet potatoes and so on. Things like rice and pasta can work perfectly well however due to the fact they absorb a lot of water it can in some cases lead to water retention. I would also recommend you stay away from fruits rich in fructose because they blunt insulin sensitivity dramatically making it harder to drive the calories from the carbohydrates into the muscle cell.
This is a ‘’how long is a piece of string’’ question however if you have been low on carbs for several days, even weeks then providing you keep the carbs clean I would go for up to 1,000g across the day! You need to monitor your appearance as the day progresses, you may begin to look more watery in your mid-section or you might begin to look very full. If you look full, the chances are you may not +need any more carbs – if you are still depleted then keep going!!
Fats are something you want to avoid on your high carb day, drop nuts, seeds, avocadoes, eggs and the likes of. Why? Fats slow down the rate at which your body is able to process calories simply because they are twice as calorie dense as protein or carbohydrates. For this one day allow the body to create an environment whereby the carbohydrates can travel to the muscle cell as fast as possible. I even use vitargo on these days to make it easier to hit the carbohydrate volume I am aiming for.
Staying hydrated is key for two very simple reasons. From a productive point of view the more hydrated you are the easier it is for the body to transport the volume of carbohydrates to the muscle cell. Secondly, this huge influx of carbohydrates is going to leave you with a dry mouth by night time if you don’t drink enough and you will feel awful the next day if you’re dehydrated!!
If you are looking like a popped balloon put some air back in those muscles!!