Carb Cycling

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Carb Cycling

I am not going to mix words, or try to keep information away from you when it comes to carb cycling, because this isn’t an easy or enjoyable eating protocol. It’s something that requires a lot of dedication and meal planning. But, the lovely thing about carb cycling, is that it works. It allows you to shed a ton of body fat in a small period of time and in the long run, provide you the body you’ve always been looking for, whether it’s the fitness model physique or bodybuilder physique.

What is carb cycling?

Carb cycling is basically, cycling your carbs. Exactly what it sounds like. You consume a high amount of carbohydrates on certain days and then on other days, you consume low amounts of carbs. During the low times, you have to consume high amounts of proteins that allow for muscle building and also fat loss via the release of glucagon, which is a hormone that helps burn fat.

How does carb cycling work?

Carb cycling works by providing you the energy that you need around the times of your training, and allow your body to burn the body fat it has while you’re at it. A lot of fad diets like the dukan diet or atkin diet, follow phases of carb cycling. Where in the beginning of the routines, you consume high amounts of protein, while completely eliminating the carbs in your diet up to a certain point of time. Then a reintroduction of carbs, but in a very slow manner. This period where you’re only consuming protein, allows you to drop significant amount of weight in that time frame. Some people have dropped 10 lbs, in 10 days or even more!

The general info

I have mentioned time and time again, a certain amount of grams of carbs, one should consume to gain weight or to stay away from carbs to lose weight. Carb cycling allows for an anabolic and catabolic process to occur. If you remember your science course in high school, anabolic is the building up of, while catabolic is the breaking down of. The high amounts of proteins yet again, provide an anabolic effect on your muscles, so while you’re losing body fat you’re going to gain some muscle also. But, reduction in carbs on your off days, will cause you to break down the fat in your body, hence losing body fat in general.

A sample breakdown of a carb cycle diet is something like:

  • High Carb days: 1.5 to 2 grams/lb
  • Low Carb days: 0.5 to 1.0 grams/lb
  • So, you basically can have something like this:

  • Day 1: 0.5 grams/lb
  • Day 2: 1.0 grams/lb
  • Day 3: 1.5 grams/lb
  • Day 4: 2.0 grams/lb
  • Start over and Repeat
  • If you are on a bulk instead, which carb cycling can work with reducing the amount of body fat you add on while on the bulk, you can go as high as 2.5 to 3 grams of carbs per pound of body weight. Cycling in the same where, with 1 being the low amount of grams to 0.5 grams.

    The beginning phase of carb cycling, can be a very tough one, especially if you follow one like the dukan or atkin diet, that has you not eat any amount of carbs for 10 days max. The only thing you are going to eat is protein, and that’s it. For the bodybuilder or anyone interested in carb cycling, on a regular level, the former 0.5 being the lowest and 2.0 grams being the highest is the recommended numbers.

    Detail Sample Carb Cycling Meal Plan

    Carb cycle is based on these recommended grams/lb. If you’re male, this is what you will use on a bulk. If you’re a female, and lift like a dude, then this will suit you also. It’s intense and I would adjust the numbers but the meals are the same but in different portions. If you take this literally and eat 3500 calories, you will gain fat!

    High Carb day
    carbs 2-3g per pound of bodyweight
    protein 1-1.25g per pound of bodyweight
    fat 0.2-0.3g per pound of bodyweight

    Low Carb day
    carbs 0.5-1.5g per pound of bodyweight
    protein 1.25-1.5g per pound of bodyweight
    fat 0.35-0.75g per pound of bodyweight

    Low Carb Days:

    Meal 1: 1 cup oats (dry measure), 2.5 scoops whey
    totals: 50g protein, 55g carbs

    Meal 2: 6oz sweet potatoes (cooked measure), 8oz top round steak (cooked measure)
    totals: 50g protein, 30g carbs

    Meal 3: 8oz chicken breast (cooked measure), s cups spinach salad, 2 tbsp slivered almonds.
    totals: 50g protein, 10g healthy fats

    Meal 4 (post workout)
    1 cup oats (dry measure), 2.5 scoops whey
    totals: 50g protein, 55g carbs

    Meal 5: 8oz chicken breast (cooked measure), 2 cups steamed broccoli, 1.5 tbsp all natural peanut butter.
    totals: 50g protein, 10g healthy fats

    Meal 6: 8 oz top round steak, 1 cup steamed asparagus, 1/2 tbsp macadamia nut oil.
    totals: 50g protein, 10g healthy fats

    Daily totals:
    Calories: 2599, Protein 347, Carbs 175, Fats 60g

    High Carb Days:

    Meal 1: 1.5 cups oats(dry measure), 1.5 scoops whey protein
    totals: 80g carbs, 30g protein

    Meal 2:1.75 cups brown rice (cooked measure), 4 oz chicken breast (cooked measure)
    totals: 80g carbs, 30g protein

    Meal 3: 16oz sweet potatoes (cooked measure), 1 1.8 cups egg whites (raw measure)
    totals: 80g carbs, 30g protein

    Meal 4: (Postworkout)
    1.5 cups oats (dry measure), 1.5 scoops whey protein
    totals: 80g carbs, 30g protein

    Meal 5: 1.75 cups brown rice (cooked measure), 4oz chicken breast (cooked measure)
    totals: 80g carbs, 30g protein

    Meal 6: 16oz sweet potatoes (cooked measure), 1 1/8 cup egg whites (raw measure)
    totats:80g carbs, 30g protein

    Meal 7: 1.75 cups brown rice (cooked measure), 4 oz chicken (cooked measure)
    Totals: 80g carbs, 30g protein

    Daily Totals: for all macros
    Calories: 3455 Proteins: 255 Carbs: 566g Fats 20g

    Personal Journey

    As a sign note, I am currently using carb cycling to assist with my 3 month journey of trying to gain some muscle and lose body fat at the same time. You can check out my journey, via clicking here. Also, I have an entry more specific to what I am doing and how I am using carb cycling to gain muscle and lose fat. At the end of the 3 months, I will write up on how this is done or you can follow my journey on my other blog, to get a progressive idea of how it works.

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