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Thread: Carb Cycling

  1. #1
    anabolictheviking's Avatar
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    Carb Cycling

    Most of us eat pretty much the same way every day — similar foods, similar amounts, similar timing. As a result, other than the occasional cheat meal, it would be hard to distinguish one day from another. The problem with this is that if you don’t vary your daily calories, you will end up overfeeding yourself on the rest days or the days you are training light, and at the same time underfeeding yourself on your hardest training days. Luckily, you can get the best of both worlds with carb cycling. With this approach you will fuel your body optimally on your hardest training days, but restrict calories and treat your body as if it's in a cutting phase on the days you don't need the excess energy.



    How carb cycling works

    The main premise behind carbohydrate cycling is that by changing your daily carbohydrate intake you exploit your body’s insulin levels, maximizing insulin’s anabolic (muscle building) and anti-catabolic (muscle sparing) effects, while minimizing its effects on limiting fat oxidization.

    How is it done?

    In spite of the seemingly complicated approach, it’s really as simple as consuming a high carbohydrate diet on some days of the week (typically the most demanding training days), and a moderate or low carbohydrate diet on the other days (typically less demanding training days and rest days). Consequently, the high carbohydrate days will raise insulin levels and fill up muscle glycogen stores, which keep the metabolism burning efficiently and stave off muscle catabolism. At the same time, the moderate and low carbohydrate days create a favorable environment for fat burning by keeping insulin levels low. Therefore, if your goal is to loose fat, limit high carb days to once or twice per week. On the other hand, if your goal is to gain muscle, then go with two to four high carb days per week, and the rest of the week will be comprised of moderate and low carbohydrate days.

    The Importance of other macronutrients

    Though this diet is called carbohydrate cycling, manipulation of your protein and fat intake will also play a key role. There will be some room to increase protein and fat when lowering carbohydrates on the moderate/low carb days. However, remember that calories still matter. The purpose of these days is to elicit a fat loss response and increase muscle insulin sensitivity for carbohydrates, and increasing calories too much from protein and fat will negate the fat loss response that would otherwise occur. Hence, you want to be in a slight calorie deficit on the low carbohydrates days, and in a slight caloric surplus on the high carbohydrate days. Furthermore, for optimal blood sugar levels and amino acid turnover it is best to divide your daily totals into 6 meals per day.(to be continued)
    Last edited by anabolictheviking; 09-25-2019 at 01:54 PM.

  2. #2
    anabolictheviking's Avatar
    anabolictheviking is offline New Member
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    180-pound bodybuilder example

    High carbohydrate day

    180 pounds x 2.5 = 450 grams carbohydrates

    180 pounds x 1.25 = 225 grams protein

    30 grams of fat (while we aim to keep fat as low as possible there will always be small amounts in the foods we eat)

    75 grams carbohydrate, 38 grams protein and 5 grams of fat per meal.



    Moderate carbohydrate day

    180 pounds x 1.5 = 270 grams carbohydrates

    180 pounds x 1.5 = 270 grams protein

    180 pounds x 0.375 = 67.5 grams fat

    Dividing these numbers by six give 45 grams carbohydrate, 45 grams protein and 11 grams of fat per meal.

    Low carbohydrate day

    180 pounds x 0.5 = 90 grams carbohydrates

    180 pounds x 1.75 = 315 grams protein

    180 pounds x 0.5 = 90 grams fat

    Dividing these numbers by six give 15 grams carbohydrate, 52 grams protein and 15 grams of fat per meal.
    Last edited by anabolictheviking; 09-25-2019 at 02:05 PM.

  3. #3
    HoldMyBeer is online now Productive Member
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    Why are you adjusting the fats inversely to the carbs?
    You could just do 66g fat every day and get the same effect and not make it more complicated than it needs to be.
    I thought the entire point of carb cycling was to adjust calories through manipulation of carbs. Fats and proteins are essential so they stay constant, carbs are not so that's what you adjust.
    Last edited by HoldMyBeer; 09-26-2019 at 04:31 AM.

  4. #4
    GearHeaded's Avatar
    GearHeaded is offline Anabolic Member
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    so it looks like this 180 pound guys calories are roughly
    2400 cals on a low day
    2700 cals on a med day
    2900 cals on a high day

    just curios then, when calculating your numbers , where did you put this guys maintenance calories at ? if he is cutting, are all three of those days in a calorie deficit and some days are just more of a deficit then other days ? or is he right in the middle at say 2700 and only low days are deficits, and high days are a surplus ,, or ?
    JohnnyV85 likes this.

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