PEating on dryers always implies a low-carb diet – it is by limiting carbohydrates that the body goes into fat-burning mode. However, in order to dry out without losing muscle, you need to monitor the amount of protein and fat in the diet – without cutting them too sharply.

In practice, designing a drying diet begins with the inclusion of healthy fats, such as nuts and olive oil, in the diet. At the same time, saturated animal fats, like fast carbohydrates, are recommended to be limited. What foods can be dried and what not?

// How to calculate food for drying?

One of the main drying myths is the need to consume a lot of protein. However, research suggests that excess protein in your diet is not necessary for fat loss – while the cost of protein calories is the highest.

To dry the body without losing muscle, 2-3 g of protein per kilogram of lean body mass is enough (that is, minus the fat mass, which actually does not require energy). The rest of the calories are cheaper to get from the right fats and low glycemic carbohydrates.

At the same time, the proportions of carbohydrates in the diet for drying usually vary – they increase on training days (especially during strength training) and decrease on rest days. Otherwise, the body goes into a catabolic regime, muscle loss begins and hormonal levels decrease.

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Proportions for the composition of the diet

Following a strict carbohydrate-free diet while drying is most often not recommended, as this leads to a loss of glycogen – and without it, it is difficult to maintain muscle volume and strength. Recall that the source of glycogen is carbohydrates in the diet, and the body cannot synthesize it from proteins or fats.

In addition, nutrition for fat burning without losing muscle requires a decrease in daily calories by no more than 15-20% – again, within a week. That is, on training days, you can consume more carbohydrates and more calories – reducing them more on other days.

// Daily food norms for drying:

Allowance per kg of dry body weight Norm with a weight of 80 kg and 10% fat You can eat Can’t eat
Protein 2 – 3 g 110 – 200 g Lean beef, chicken, fish, eggs Pork, semi-finished meat products
Fats 1.2 – 1.4 g 90 – 100 g Coconut and olive oil, nuts Butter, lard, sunflower oil
Carbohydrates 2 – 3 g 80-140 g Vegetables, buckwheat, pearl barley Potatoes, white bread, sweets

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Carbohydrate-free drying

The consumption of carbohydrates on drying must meet two conditions – first, to ensure their assimilation by the glycogen depots of muscles, and not by adipose tissue; secondly, to minimize the retention of fluids in the body associated with carbohydrates, which will literally make it possible to “dry out” the relief.

The first condition will be fulfilled by controlling the glycemic index of carbohydrates and the timing of their consumption – for example, drying allows fast carbohydrates only after training. The rest of the day, high GI carbs can only be consumed on a cyclical keto diet and on loading days.

// Best Drying Diets:

What can and cannot be eaten?

Gluten-free wheat and white milled rice are foods that promote mucus in the stomach and are not allowed in dry food. Also, milk and dairy products often contribute to the formation of stagnant effects and “swelling of the abdomen”.

The drying diet allows for fresh vegetables and cereals that are not boiled down with moderate cooking – for example, barley (pearl barley), buckwheat, quinoa, rye and millet. At the same time, such cereals should be used only during the period of the carbohydrate window after strength training.

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Simple Diet to Dry

Drying diets require minimizing animal fats. However, it is also not recommended to completely abandon saturated fats, as this will lower the level of testosterone production, worsen metabolic processes, and also make joints and ligaments more fragile.

Coconut oil in moderation will be the ideal choice for a “fat” diet for drying – due to its special structure, the body is practically unable to use it to form reserves. Light vegetable oils (olive, corn, mustard, safflower, linseed) are also allowed.

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Vitamins and minerals

Remember, too, that a low-carb diet limits your intake of fruits and vegetables (sources of fiber, vitamins, and minerals) – while drying your body’s nutrient requirements increases. That is why it is important not to give up carbohydrates, but to control their quality.

The most important minerals for athletes are zinc, iron and magnesium (regulating energy processes in the body), as well as iodine (associated with the thyroid gland and the production of fat burning hormones). Their daily intake rates increase with weight loss workouts.

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A diet to dry without losing muscle involves limiting fast carbohydrates and animal fats, as well as controlling the total calorie intake. On training days, the calorie content and proportions of carbohydrates in the diet should be higher, and on rest days – lower.

Date of the last update of the material – February 2, 2021

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