331: Carbs And Fat Loss

331: Carbs And Fat Loss

There is way too much confusion about carbohydrates. Too many people lump them all in the same category and act as if grams of carbs or calories are the only relevant factor. That’s not the case.

Others act as if all carbs are “bad” – also not the case.

Some suggest that carbs are essential and even when pursuing fat loss we should consume multiple servings of quality carbs each day – that is untrue for most people.

Some people suggest that your metabolism works like an accounting system and we need to consume carbs in the morning if we wish to burn them off. That reflects a fundamental misunderstanding about metabolism and macronutrient utilization.

While it can be frustrating to hear conflicting opinions, I have some good news:

  • Carb strategies for sustainable fat loss are not complex or difficult
  • Your body will never lie about works & feels best for you

In today’s episode we’re clearing up the confusion and reviewing carbohydrate metabolism & storage for those seeking any degree of fat loss.

Listen Now

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Carb Strategies for Fat Loss  – E-Course

Why Calorie Counting Doesn’t Work

Carb Timing

Carb Tolerance

3 Stages of Carbohydrate Intolerance

The Golden Rules of Carbs & Fat Loss

Summer Fat Loss Fast Track Wait List

How To Leave A Rating & Review (thank you!!!)

195: The Golden Rules of Carbs and Fat Loss

195: The Golden Rules of Carbs and Fat Loss

Forget what you have heard!  You can eat carbohydrates and still successfully meet your fat loss goals and maintain the results.

There are hundreds of opinions related to carbs & fat loss and it’s tough to know which one is most effective. We’re going to clear that up and ensure that you don’t have to subscribe to models of restriction or deprivation in order to burn fat and have plenty of energy.

In today’s episode, I discuss 4  smart carb strategies (aka The Golden Rules of Carbs and Fat loss) that, when implemented, will help you unlock your health and weight potential while increasing your energy, decreasing your cravings and stabilizing your hunger.

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The Golden Rules of Carbs and Fat Loss

Listen to the episode to hear my detailed explanation for the following:

A).  Who can benefit from implementing these strategies?

B).  What are carbohydrates?

C) Do the golden rules of carbs and fat loss apply to all carbohydrates or are there exceptions?

D) How do the golden rules of carbs and fat loss apply to individuals who workout?

E).  What are the 4 strategies?  What effect do they have on blood sugar, insulin, and cortisol levels?

You’ll want to listen to the full episode to hear the explanation of the golden rules, but here’s a quick overview:

  • Eat your starchy carbs at the right time
  • Choose the right quality of carbohydrates
  • Consume the right quantity
  • Pair your carbs with the right company


Episode 007: Carbs and Fat Loss – Timing Matters

E-Course:  Carb Strategies for Effortless, Sustainable Fat Loss

Q&A 2:  What’s Your Carb Tolerance

Episode 058:  Understanding Fat Loss: The Insulin Effect

Episode 170:  3 Ways to Improve Your Carbohydrate Tolerance

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331: Carbs And Fat Loss

Ep 122: Fat Loss Basics Part 2 – Carbohydrates

To kick off the New Year, I am doing a series called Fat Loss Basics! In the first episode, we talked about calories & hormones and the requirements for fat loss.

In today’s episode we’re taking a deep dive into carbohydrates including:

  • What are they?
  • How do different types of carbs impact fat loss?
  • How do carbs impact metabolism?
  • What are the best carb strategies for fat loss?

You can get a cheat sheet overview of all this info as soon as you get on the free VIP email list . Plus, every Sunday I send out my weekly workouts, recipes, meal ideas, info & motivation! 

Listen Now

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fat loss basics carbohydrates

Fat Loss Basics Part 2 – Carbohydrates

Today’s episode answers the following questions:

  1. What are carbohydrates?
  2. Are they essential for health & life?
  3. Are all carbs created equal?
  4. What makes fruits, vegetables, bread & potatoes different?
  5. How can I make good carb choices?
  6. How do carbohydrates impact my metabolism?
  7. How do carbohydrates impact my hormones?


Fat Loss Food Guide

Hormones & Fat Loss E-Book

The Golden Rules of Carbs & Fat Loss

Why Calorie Counting is Misleading

Carb Timing

Carb Tolerance



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Why Carbs At Night for Fat Loss

Why Carbs At Night for Fat Loss

Is having your carbs at night the nutritional answer to your fat loss questions? Let’s clear it up now.

There are so dang many myths about fat loss it’s horrifying. The vast majority of these myths are about carbohydrates and calories. Many of us are so desperate for the “answers” to our fat loss problems that we’ll try anything any everything to take the weight off. Unfortunately, that means we waste a whole lot of time and energy on strategies that just don’t work and/or aren’t remotely healthy.

Don’t believe me? Ask yourself why so many people are *always* on a diet yet can’t sustain lasting weight loss. No, seriously! Is what you’re doing working for you?

If you’d rather hear me explain this and watch a video training, click hereOtherwise, just keep on reading below. Some people are better are learning by hearing, so I wanted to offer that option before we contine. 

One of the most common fat loss myths is that you should eat your carbs in the morning so you have all day to burn them off.

It’s not true. That myth does not reflect how your body works and in this post my goal is to explain why you should eat your carbs at night when fat loss is your goal.

Before I dive into the explanation, let me see if this sounds familiar to anyone out there: Have you ever had a bowl of cereal for breakfast and felt hungry less than hour later? Or chowed down on a big bagel but it didn’t hold you over for long?

When fat loss is the goal and we start the day with carbohydrates (granola and fruit, bagel, cereal, pancakes, etc) we set ourselves up to prevent fat burning and trigger extreme hunger, constant cravings and low energy.

This is true because of the unique hormonal environment in the body after an overnight fast and upon waking. After an overnight fast, your blood sugar and insulin levels will be low when you wake up. This makes the morning the time of day when we will have the most exaggerated response to consuming carbohydrates.

I like to explain it using this analogy:

Imagine you were in a totally dark room for 12+ hours and then someone comes in and turns on a flood light. Your eyes would have an extreme response, right? Now imagine you’ve been outside in the sun all day and someone comes out and turns on a flood light. Very minor response, if any, right?

Introducing carbs in the morning is like turning on the flood light after being in the dark room for hours and hours. Your body has been fasting while you sleep. Your fuel is low. You will have an exaggerated blood sugar and insulin response in the morning.

Why does that impair fat burning? Because you cannot burn fat when insulin is high. Insulin is a storage hormone. A fuel delivery hormone. The presence of insulin tells the body, “Hey! We’ve got fuel! We’re in storage mode now!” and that message prevents the breakdown of body fat for energy.

Your body doesn’t need to burn the extra fuel when your blood sugar and insulin are elevated. There is no need for the fuel created by the burning of fat therefore your ever-efficient body will not allow fat burning under those circumstances.

Learn more about hormones and fat loss

The exaggerated morning response means a larger surge of blood sugar and therefore a more significant insulin response. The result: more time out of fat burning mode compared with introducing carbs later in the day. On the flip side, when we don’t send our blood sugar soaring in the morning, we don’t require a large insulin deployment and we can remain in prime fat burning mode! Introducing starch or sugar in the morning puts us in what I call the carbohydrate cycle (I’ve written in more detail about it here). This happens with higher carb meals like pancakes, cereal, granola & fruit, etc.

  • We raise blood sugar and insulin (there is a heightened response bc it’s the morning so a larger increase in both than we’d see later in the day)
  • We feel a slight surge of energy
  • Insulin clears the sugar from the blood and blood sugar drops off (the more dramatic the peak, the more dramatic the valley. You’ll feel that!)
  • Energy crash
  • Sensing low blood sugar, your brain triggers hunger and cravings for carbohydrates even if your body doesn’t truly need more fuel.
  • Feeling artifically hungry and battling carb cravings, we eat more carbs
  • Finnegan begin-again (anybody remember that song? Just me?)


Carb Cycle This carb cycle is why so many of us go searching for mid-morning sugary snacks like granola bars, soda or candy bars. We’re trapped in the carb cycle that we entered into with our high carb breakfast! I know what you’re probably thinking. I bet you have a couple questions:

  1. If this is true, wouldn’t it be best to never eat carbohydrates so insulin is always low? No, not necessarily. Hang tight, I’ll explain.
  2. How come I know lots of lean people who eat oatmeal or pancakes for breakfast? I did an entire episode on carbohydrate tolerance where I answer that question and talk about how you can IMPROVE your carbohydrate tolerance. But remember – there is a major difference between eating for fat loss and eating to maintain lean mass. Super different hormonal requirements. So listen to this episode.
Learn more about hormones and fat loss

Now let’s address #1. Remember the example of turning on the flood light after being outside all day? Very mild reaction, right? That is pretty similar to  your response to carbohydrates later in the day after your body has been responding to fat, protein and veggies in your meals and snacks.

As the day goes on, as we eat throughout the morning and afternoon, as our hormones shift with the normal daily cycles and we become less sensitive to those spikes in blood sugar and insulin.

But wait! There’s more! There is another morning hormonal situation that creates a really strong argument for skipping the starch and sugar at breakfast. Cortisol levels are at their peak in the morning. Cortisol, a stress hormone, rises throughout the night and reaches it’s peak in the morning. This is part of your body’s natural sleep/wake cycle. The rise of cortisol overnight helps you naturally wake up in the morning. The mere presence of elevated cortisol in the morning can help facilitate fat loss. However, if you elevate your insulin levels, game over.

Cortisol compounds the fat-storing effects of insulin. Not only that, in combination, they can actually trigger the generation of brand new fat cells. No thanks! I’ll pass on the starch & sugar in the AM!

However, cortisol levels drop throughout the day. They are lowest in the evening. Again, this is part of your body’s natural sleep/wake cycle. Lower cortisol in the evening helps you to fall asleep and stay asleep until it is time to wake up.

By limiting your starch & sugar consumption to the evening, you’ll avoid these less-than-desirable effects of a high-insulin + high-cortisol environment.

This discussion begs the next question: “What should we eat in the morning when the goal is fat loss?

I’m so glad you asked! The most popular episode of the Primal Potential podcast is actually the episode where I talk about breakfast options for fat loss and give tons of recipes and meal ideas. You can check it out here.

And I’m sure you’re wondering: “So when should I eat carbohydrates and which ones are best?” That’s where the Golden Rules of carbs & fat loss come into play and you can read about those here.

The short answer is this: When fat loss is the goal, keep your carbs clean and limit them to dinner time or post-workout, whatever feels best for your body.

There is no doubt at all that there is a ton of misinformation about carbs and fat loss and so many people get confused. But when you understand that fat loss is primarily a hormone game, it gets easier. Your hormones determine when fat loss is allowed and when it is not. Understanding these hormonal principles and the food choices that create the right hormonal environment is the key to removing all your weight loss struggles, frustrations and plateaus.

Learn more about hormones and fat loss

Carbs at night is a strategy I personally have used to lose over 130 lbs and it’s a strategy I work on with all my 1:1 coaching clients and here are some of the most common results:

  • Fat loss (of course, right?)
  • Increased energy
  • Improved mood
  • Improved mental focus, attention and memory
  • Significantly fewer and less intense cravings
  • Less hunger
  • Improvements in menopausal symptoms including hot flashes, mood swings and night sweats

Sometimes it is easier to hear someone explain these concepts than it is to read about them. I’ve done a handful of podcasts on these topics which you can check out below. Still got questions? I’ve got answers! Hit me up! If this was helpful, definitely check out this totally free resource on optimizing your hormones for fat loss.

Get More Nutrition Strategies

For more podcasts on these topics, check out the episodes of the Primal Potential podcast below and be sure to subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify or iHeartRadio so you never miss an episode!

Sugar addiction & Cravings

Hormones & Fat loss part 1

Carb Spillover – When Carbs Are Stored As Fat

Carb Tolerance

Understanding Fat Loss – The Insulin Effect


331: Carbs And Fat Loss

Episode 045: 10 Carb & Fat Loss Facts

In this episode we’re clearing up some questions about carbs and fat loss and how you can make the best choices to support your fat loss goals.

Listen Now!

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The facts we’re explaining in today’s episode:

1. Carbohydrates are not the enemy. They are not good. They are not bad. They are carbohydrates.

2. Your body does not need carbohydrate.

3. Fruits, vegetables and beans are all carbohydrates. They are also probably not the reason you are fat (they weren’t the reason I was).

4. Wheat is the most fat loss UNFRIENDLY carbohydrate.

5. Carbs are not required for performance.

6. Carbs do not trigger satiety.

7. You aren’t missing out on vitamins, minerals or phytonutrients by not eating fruit.

8. Carbs lead to water retention.

9. Cutting carbs doesn’t really make you grumpy (and why)

10. Hydration helps when cutting carbs or sugar

Golden Rules of Carbs & Fat Loss

  1. Eat carbs at the right time
  2. Eat carbs of the proper quality
  3. Eat carbs in the right quantity
  4. Eat carbs in the right company


Episode 007 – Carbs & Fat Loss – The Basics

Episode 009 – Carb Timing (and the basics of carb metabolism)

Q&A 2 – Carb Tolerance & How to Improve Yours

Carb Strategy for Fat Loss E-Course

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