Diets explained part 3: (S)low carb/medium fat

This is the third and last blog post in a series of posts about the 3 most important diets: high carb/low fat, (s)low carb/medium fat and low carb/high fat (keto).

These diets are the main building blocks for everyone who wants to lose body fat and/or gain muscle mass. There are no other "secret" diets out there. Everything else is just a subset of one the above.

Because in the end, calorie balance and macro nutrient distribution is what matters the most!

Every one of these posts has the same structure, to make it easy for you to compare. They contain the necessary information to start your diet right now. Because you don't have to spend hours to understand the fundamentals of fat loss, it's quite simple. So I kept all posts as short as possible.

Now, let's dive right in! This post explains the (s)low carb/medium fat diet or short: (s)low carb.

Macro nutrient distribution

  • Roughly 2g per kg body weight of protein
  • At least 0.5g per kg body weight of fat, more if you like
  • Remaining calories from slow releasing carbs

Simple as that. Most people will opt for a high-ish amount of carbs and low to medium fat. The main point of this diet is the fact that it's a little higher in fat than high carb/low fat, which covers the bare minimum for hormonal needs and (s)low carb only allows slow releasing carb sources.

Through a little bit more fat and slow releasing carbs, your insulin levels rise slower and the spike is not as high, which prevents insulin crashes and therefore hunger attacks. It's also a lot higher in fiber than a standard high carb diet, which keeps you satiated.

This diet is basically a middle ground between the other two.

Focus on

Slow releasing carb sources with a lot of fiber like vegetables and legumes. No high carb foods like fruit, potatoes, rice, bread, pasta or sugar.

High quality protein from lean meat, eggs and dairy or legumes and soy products, if you're vegan.

Healthy fat sources like fatty fish (or fish oil), nuts, eggs and avocado. No trans fats! All other fats are fine, including saturated fats. Just make sure to get a good mix of all fats.

No or very little alcohol.

Sample meal plan structure

Subject: 80kg | 16% body fat | male

Keep in mind:

  • Carbs: 4kcal per g
  • Protein: 4kcal per g as well
  • Fat: 9kcal per g

Since fat and carbs are not fixed and we have to start somewhere, I used 60g of fat rather than 40g, which would be the minimum, because the subject enjoys a little bit more fat in his diet. The remaining calories come from carbs:

If muscle gain is the main goal

  • Caloric needs to gain muscle mass: 2.900kcal
  • Macro breakdown
    • 60g fat = 540kcal
    • 160g protein = 640kcal
    • 2.900kcal - 540kcal - 640kcal = 1.720kcal remaining = 430g carbs

If fat loss is the main goal

  • Caloric needs to be in a caloric deficit: 2.100kcal
  • Macro breakdown
    • 60g fat = 540kcal
    • 160g protein = 640kcal
    • 2.100kcal - 540kcal - 640kcal = 920kcal remaining = 230g carbs

Done. Hit these macros and you're good to go. Job done! Seriously. That's it. You don't have to hit them religiously of course. But if you shift your macros, try to shift fat to carbs or the other way around. Protein stays the same. Experiment a little bit, if you feel better on more carbs or more fat.

But make sure to only consume aforementioned carb sources.

You don't have to do any exercise to lose body fat, but you will get quicker results, if you add some.

Who should do low carb/high fat

People who:

  • Need some (explosive) power, like strength athletes and construction workers. Basically people who need a decent amount of strength all week
  • Have bad insulin sensitivity (do you feel sluggish after a high carb meal? then you have bad sensitivity!)
  • Can't control themselves when eating fast releasing carbs like bread but don't enjoy fatty meals
  • Struggle with satiety on a normal high carb diet
  • Want to increase muscle mass
  • Want/Need more mass in their meals to sustain a (weight loss) diet

What to do next

Calculate your caloric needs with the nifty calculator below and then apply the rules above to determine your macro nutrient distribution.

Then get yourself some nice food to fill those macros by tracking your food and reach your goals!

If you have further questions, go right ahead and let me know in the comment section down below, I'm happy to help!

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