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So I am off on on a sunny holiday in 4 days.

I have been hitting a low carb diet for the last 3 weeks and keeping my training up (lift 4 days/ week and cardio 3 times a week). By low carb diet I have eradicated all of the traditional carbs like bread, pasta and rice. Carbs have been coming from fruits and green veg - still been hitting around 100-130g a day (more like moderate carb intake?) and stuck to around 2000-2100 kCal (185cm/84kg)

I've been reasonably pleased with the results and bf is probably at around 11-13%

My question is two-fold:

  1. Was this all a waste of time? Should I have kept carbs to 180-220g and just hit a deficit of 300-500 kCal?
  2. In the 3 days leading upto the holiday should I increase my carbs to cause glycogen to 'fill' the muscles and not let them look flat. Or would this bloat me up and screw up my hard work?!

Been reading a lot of conflicting material around carbs, it's frustrating!!

Thanks!

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Was this all a waste of time?

You mean the time you spent reaching your goals, eating healthy, and working out, to the great benefit of your health? You tell me.

Should I have kept carbs to 180-220g and just hit a deficit of 300-500 kCal?

If you've found a regimen that works for you, then that's the biggest takeaway. Sure, it may be that other regimens would also work, and you're free to try them out. But our bodies are different, and react differently to the same stimuli. If such a diet works for one person, it doesn't mean it'll work for the next person.

But again, if you're curious, you have the opportunity to try it. How about after your vacation?

In the 3 days leading upto the holiday should I increase my carbs to cause glycogen to 'fill' the muscles and not let them look flat.

The aestetic benefit is quite small, but I'd say a more important benefit is that you avoid fatigue by replenishing glycogen stores.

Or would this bloat me up and screw up my hard work?!

Gains are easy come, easy go. Whatever progress you make in 3 weeks is quite temporary anyway unless you keep sticking to the same plan that brought you here. However, if you'd been following a strict diet and workout plan for, say, 3 years, then you could have gone on vacation for two weeks without worrying about any of it.

My best suggestion is to watch out for the summer body of 2020 instead. If you make a concerted effort starting now, then the health benefits AND aesthetic progress will be far greater. Not to mention you will have learned more about how your body reacts to carbs. The conflicting material won't matter, because you know how it affects you.

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