New Year, New you, right? Well, if your resolution goals are to eat better and exercise more (or obtain a more focused body goal) then this is a must read! This article is about carbohydrate depletion and re-training your body to use the fat as it’s energy source. I am going to help you teach your body where to find the fat.

Get rid of the glucose stores

First things first. You need to drastically reduce or cut your impact (or active) carbohydrates over one week. This will lower your energy stores and rapidly deplete the glycogen that’s stored in the muscle and liver; the body’s current and primary source of energy. The idea is that by removing the current stores of glycogen, your body will have no choice but to use the fat sources (the bits you are trying to lose!)

Typically, it takes 72 hours, 3 straight days, to deplete the body of glycogen (carbs). When there is no glycogen present and you use the right nutritional and exercise plan, your body will learn to use the fat sources. This valuable lesson will make it a lot easier for your body to crack the fat-loss code and consistently use fast for energy and, lose weight!

Below are your guidelines for carb depletion, there isn’t much flexibility in this plan. But, if you’re precise with what you eat and how much you eat (which is imperative!) for this first week, future fast-loss cycles will be much more effective.

  • Plan your foods ahead of time and plan around your daily commitments
  • This first week is about “thinking outside of the box” when putting meal plans together
  • We are breaking your usual food choices and the times you may eat certain foods
  • Think of food as how it fills the macro nutrient requirements (starchy carbs, protein and fat rather than food itself)
  • Keep track of the meals you create as ideas for future meal plans
  • Eat every 3-4 hours, this depletion week isn’t about going hungry
  • Portion guide: Fist size for carbs, packet of cards portion for your protein
  • Drink water! No fruit juices or flavoured water
  • Try including a serving of broccoli alongside your vegetable sources
  • No alcohol during the 7 day depletion challenge. Alcohol will ruin the hormonal and metabolic effect you’re trying to achieve
  • It is still possible to overeat even on healthy food choices so be ware you don’t overfill your plate
  • Monitor exercise intensity closely during this week. You may be able to complete your exercise programme fine but you might also be totally worn out and low on energy! If you don’t have the energy to exercise, listen to your body and rest (just make sure you recognise the difference between being lazy and unmotivated vs. actual depletion fatigue.

Your programme

  Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7
Carb depletion Deplete Deplete Deplete Carb Up Carb Up Carb Down Carb Down
Type P/V P/V P/V P/V/C P/V/C P/V/C P/V
Starch/Fruit 0/0 0/0 0/0 1/1 1/1 1/0 0/0
Time *Before 3pm *Before 3pm

 *consume your carbs, starches and fruit before 3pm. After this time, your meals should be protein and vegetable based.


P= Protein

V= Vegetables

C = Carbohydrates

Let us know how you get on/if you have any queries about carb depletion by using the comment box below. If you’re looking for further information on reducing carbohydrate intake or other foods you should consider limiting, check out our other reads below.

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