Carb cycling may be one of the best methods to use when trying to lose fat and it can help you reach your fitness goals faster especially if your currently on a weight loss plateau (when your weight doesn’t go down and stays the same), but if you’re not already following/applying the basic diet and training principles correctly then starting with those fundamentals first may mean you won’t even need to carb cycle.
While carb cycling sounds very fancy it is nothing more than eating a higher amount of carbohydrates on some days and a lower amount of carbohydrates the other days to prevent your metabolism from decreasing as you lose more and more weight. The reason why a normal fat loss diet works, but then stops working is because as you lower your calorie intake your metabolism will also become slower making it much harder for you to continue losing fat, so as you carb cycle the higher carb/refeed days will give your metabolism a boost back up allowing you to continuously burn fat at an efficient rate. Which means you get to eat more food and still burn fat with the higher carbs days.
High Carb Days
If your wondering how many carbs to have on your high carb days then generally you should consume 2 – 2.5 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight. Although this is a good place to start you really need to track your macros for a while and play around with your carbs to be 100% sure because everyone’s genetics and metabolism is different.
There are a few things you should know for your high carb days, the first is that when designing your diet program you should be putting your highest carb days for your heavy/hardest training sessions. For example, putting your highest carb days on back/leg day as those workouts tend to use and burn the most calories. Furthermore, your body will need those carbs the most on these days because if you don’t have enough energy then you won’t be able to perform optimally in the gym and lift more weight meaning you will burn less calories. Being able to have more carbs after these intense workouts also help saturate the muscles with glycogen decreasing the chance of it turning into body fat.
Secondly, you will gain some water weight the day after your high carb day since carbs (glycogen) store water. For every gram of glycogen stored, you gain approximately 2.7 grams of water. The leaner you are the more this will effect you so don’t be alarmed as it’s normal to experience this and it’s not fat gain.
Low Carb Days
For your low carb days you should generally consume around 0.5 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight. Once again like your high carb days you need to track your macros and play around with your carbs to be 100% sure. If you find it too hard to workout how many carbs you need for the high/low days then the next best thing you can do is to get online coaching.
Training on low carb can be very challenging so if you need a boost of energy taking a pre-workout can help you maintain your strength, speed and the power needed to push yourself through the toughest of workouts: Click Here For One Of The Most Effective Pre-Workouts Out Now
When choosing what kind of carbohydrates to consume you need to be very careful especially on your low carb days. The main reason for this is depending on how many carbs you’re allowed on your low carb day you might not be able to eat carbs such as white rice and sweet potatoes so instead choose to eat vegetables. Another important factor when choosing carbs is to make sure all your carbs are glucose sources/complex carbs that break down into glucose as other type of carbs may convert to body fat. If you need good examples of glucose sources/complex carbs: Read This Article Here
If you have anymore questions on carb cycling leave a comment below, as this topic can be quite confusing.