In this article you will learn everything about the High Carb Diet

Everything about the High Carb Diet

With this form of nutrition, carbohydrates are the main part of the diet, as the name “high carb” implies. 

However, we are talking about high or full-fledged carbohydrates. This does not include unhealthy fast food products or simple carbohydrates (obtained from beet sugar and classic white flour products). These should be avoided altogether or consumed only at times of day when a high insulin level is desired.

Besides potatoes and rice, beneficial foods include pulses such as beans and corn as well as oatmeal (oat products). 

The high carb diet in combination with low fat means that although few fats are consumed, the “good”, unsaturated fats should be consumed. In addition, the fats should not be less than 40g per day, as fats are essential for our hormone system.

For those who like to eat fruit, vegetables and wholesome cereal products, this diet is ideal. The developer of the High Carb Diet was Dr. John McDougall. He recommends taking food as slowly and consciously as possible when eating meals, as the body only feels full after a quarter of an hour. Those who eat too fast tend to overeat.

When is the High Carb diet suitable?

When is the High Carb diet suitable

Anyone who likes to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, avoids dairy products and avoids fatty foods will love this High Carb diet form. In addition – according to John McDougall – a healthier lifestyle and a better feeling for the body will result. 

The High Carb Diet is absolutely recommendable for every person who is interested in healthy nutrition and wants to do something good for their body.

Several years of research by Dr. McDougal showed once again that the High Carb diet, which is basically made up of starchy foods, has the most positive effect on health for the individual. As examples he cites different peoples whose nutrition has been based on carbohydrates for thousands of years. Many Asian countries, for example, had no weight problems or chronic diseases at a time when their food consisted mainly of rice.

How are the macronutrients distributed?

Eating a full diet with starchy foods is only one part of the concept. Besides carbohydrates, proteins and fat also play an essential role. Because the right composition of macronutrients (healthy variety from the foods listed below) makes all the difference.

As the name probably suggests, the focus is on carbohydrates. 

As a rule, the total calories needed to reach the goal are composed of 50 – 60 % carbohydrates. The remaining 40-50% is taken up by the macronutrients protein and fat.

Der Fokus liegt, wie der Name vermutlich verrät, auf den Kohlenhydraten. In der Regel setzen sich die Gesamtkalorien, welche benötigt werden um das Ziel zu erreichen, zu 50 – 60 % aus Kohlenhydraten zusammen. Die übrigen 40-50% werden durch die Makronährwerte Protein und Fett eingenommen.

These foods are particularly suitable in a high carb diet:

  • Fruit and vegetables – ensures healthy variety
  • Potatoes – whether enjoyed cold or warm, they are healthy fillers 
  • Oat flakes – they have a lot of fibre
  • Pulses – Whether beans, lentils or chickpeas: they are important protein suppliers 

→ You can find out more about the calories here.

Two variants of carbohydrate-rich diet are also:


Here the rule is: eat as much fat as you need, but as little as possible. Good sources of oil are avocados, nuts and especially linseed oil (due to the omega-3 fatty acids).


Another variation of the High Carb diet is the High Carb Raw Till Four variant, in which only raw food with a high carbohydrate content should be eaten until 4:00 p.m. Popular and ideal are bananas and dates. In the evening a warm meal is consumed, which is also enriched with healthy carbohydrates, but may also contain protein 15-10% and little fat 5%.

Nevertheless, it should be said that the consumption of higher quantities of fruit is not the same as the consumption of cooked carbohydrates (such as porridge or wholemeal rice).

→ This variant is similar to the features of intermittent fasting, the article on this can be found here.

When are macronutrients recommended?


Whenever someone wants to do something for his health, he should fall back on this high carb variant. A plant-based diet with low fat content is the best thing that can happen to the body, whether you want to lose weight or build muscle. It is therefore also suitable for vegans.

Often the question arises: “Should the High Carb diet only be used to build muscle?” The answer is: No, it is also recommended for losing weight and leading a healthy lifestyle.

The temporal distribution of the macronutrients can be considered through meal timing. 

Especially in the morning hours complex carbohydrates are advantageous in order to avoid a too fast increase of the insulin level. However, it is advisable to ingest simple carbohydrates directly after a training session to take advantage of the benefits of high insulin levels.

What is the main difference between training days and training-free days?

During weight training a lot of energy is consumed, most of which is provided in the form of glucose. This is stored by muscle and liver glycogen. That makes the difference whether you train on this day or not.

On a training day without training, the anaerobic energy supply is omitted, whereas it is used to the full during a strength training day. The required glucose, i.e. carbohydrates, supplies the energy when training.

The glucose-dependent systems of our body need about 100 – 120 grams of glucose per day to keep the red blood cells, the nervous system and our brain running and to ensure healthy functioning. If too little glucose is supplied to the body, the liver glycogen, among other things, suffers a rapid decline, resulting in a drop in blood sugar. Starchy foods in the form of cereals, vegetables and legumes in combination with fruits and vegetables that balance the nutrient content for the body are therefore more than just simple fillers. 

Other forms of nutrition

Learn more about different types of nutrition in the following articles: