There is a lot of talk about what is the best ratio of macronutrients (protein, fats, carbs) to eat in order to get ripped.
However, this is another one of those topics that is absolutely not set in stone.
I know some individuals who literally eat no fats other than trace sources from their meats, and the krill oil/fish oil caps they pop each morning.
On the other hand, I know many guys who don’t eat any carbs at all and have diets high in protein and fat.
What it all boils down to is how your body responds to certain macronutrients, what type of foods help you stick to a diet easier, and how much muscle you have on your frame.
A good rule of thumb is that the more lean muscle mass you have, the higher your carb intake should be.
This isn’t because carbs are more protein sparing than fats or any other kind of intricate science. It is because carbs are what spikes your blood sugar and shuttles nutrients to your muscles to expedite and potentiate recovery.
If you eat no carbs at all then you will have no insulin spikes at all. As a result, you will have MUCH less nutrient shuttling occurring to your muscle cells.
Why Is It Important For Well Built Guys To Eat Carbs And Not As Important For Less Built Guys?
The reason for this lies in the fact that muscle burns a lot more calories than fat.
If you have an individual who has a huge amount of lean tissue on their body, then they need a substantially greater amount of nutrients fed to their muscles to maintain them.
They are called carbohydrates for a reason. Carbs help to HYDRATE your muscles, filling them with water and nutrients to heal and grow.
On the other hand, an individual with no appreciable muscle mass has much less of a need to constantly be refueling their muscles with nutrient shuttling and insulin spikes because it simply doesn’t take much to maintain the amount of lean tissue they have.
Individuals with lots of muscle will also burn through ingested carbs like a fire lit on gasoline.
While individuals with barely any muscle will end up over-filling their glycogen stores and storing those excess ingested carbs as extra body fat.
It will take a lot of trial and error to figure out what ratio of macronutrients is right for you specifically. But generally speaking the more muscle that you pack on, the more carbs you can get away with eating during a cutting phase, while still getting ripped.
So take a look in the mirror and assess your body composition, and also assess how easy it is for you to pack on fat.
If you seem to gain fat by simply looking at a piece of cake (obvious exaggeration), then it’s likely you would benefit most from a low/no carb diet for getting ripped as you probably don’t have much muscle on your frame.
However, if you literally can’t eat enough and are a bonified “hard-gainer,” then it is likely the result of you having a greater ratio of muscle mass to body fat on your body. This means that you can get away with having a more carb dense diet while cutting, as you will need that insulin response to hold onto your muscle tissue.
You don’t have the energy to lift heavy or hard if you don’t have stored glycogen from carbs in your body.
You also lose muscle at a much greater rate if you have no carbs in your diet at all.
Typically my diet will start at around 45% protein/45% carbs/10% fats. Then as I plateau, I will simply chop that carbohydrate number down further and further.
The other numbers generally stay constant throughout the entire cutting process, and all that changes is my overall caloric intake which is dictated by how many carbs I’m cutting out, and how many calories I’m burning doing cardio each week.
Ultimately you will need to experiment with your macronutrients and find out what works best for you. But a great rule of thumb is that the more lean tissue you have, the more carbs you can get away with having in your cutting diet.