Oh Snap, it’s September..

Which means, unless you’re here in Texas, you’re heading into jeans weather in the not too distant future. Jeans, go-with-everything, huge-staple-in-your closet, jeans. Also, muffin-top, dig-into-you-when-you-bend-over, jeans.

Are you ready for that lack of wiggle room in your life? I know I’m not. While I should have been eating perfectly over the summer, just as I attempt to plan every year, I always manage to fall off the wagon and then those jeans that made my booty look all kinds of good last year aren’t fitting the same now, WAHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Pity party over, it’s time to really buckle down and clean up my diet! I tried Intermittent Fasting, and while I find I can rock it out for a couple of days, I tend to fall off and eat something late night and it is hard for me to keep the schedule tight. I figured I’d give carb cycling a shot, since I always notice I feel leaner after days with low carbs.


Basically, what carb-cycling boils down to is mixing a high carbohydrate day with lower carbohydrate days in effort to lose weight.  Here are some facts about carb-cycling you should know if you want to give this a shot!

1. High Carb Days Should Be Placed On Your Heavy Training Days

The very first thing you must know as you go about designing this type of diet program is that in order to see your best results, you should be putting your highest carbohydrate diets on the days you perform your hardest workout sessions. For most people, this will mean leg day (or if you’re using a full body workout, it may mean going high carb on all three of those days).

2. Expect To Experience Some Water Weight Gain

Second up on the list of ‘musts’ that you need to know, and be prepared for, is that you will very likely experience some water weight gain when doing the higher carbohydrate day. For every gram of carbohydrate you take into the body, you’ll store four grams of water with this. If you’re eating 200-300 grams of carbohydrates on those high carb days, this adds up very quickly.

3. Choose Carbohydrates Highest In Glucose Or Complex Carbs

When it comes to food selection while performing a carb cycling fat-loss diet, you want to think glucose. Either simple glucose sources (preferably around the workout period when they are absorbed quickest) or complexcarbohydrates that will break down into glucose.

4. Decrease Fat Intake On High Carbohydrate Days

It is normal for most people to increase their overall calories on the high carb day (to boost the carb intake that much higher) but by lowering the fat intake, you allow more room for those carbohydrates without going really crazy with your calorie level.

5. Maintain Your Target Weekly Calorie Level For Fat Loss

The fifth fact to know about carbohydrate cycling, linked to the point above, is that your total weekly calorie intake must remain at what is necessary for overall fat loss.

Let’s say that you currently maintain your body weight at 2200 calories per day or, 15,400 calories per week. This means to lose one pound per week, you must create a calorie deficit (per week) of 3500 calories, or take in just 11,900 calories.

Let’s say you actually want your high carbohydrate days to be above maintenance (to really boost the benefits that this diet has to offer), and plan to have three high carbohydrate days.

Let’s set those three days at a calorie intake of 2400 (keep in mind protein should stay constant throughout the whole week).

Now, since those three days equate to 7200 calories, this means you have 4700 calories left over for the remaining four days, or about 1200 calories each.

As you can see, those low carbohydrate days are quite low in calories, however, after coming off the higher carbohydrate day most people find this to not be a struggle.

If you’d prefer not to bring your low carbohydrate days that low in overall calories, simply adjust the total calorie intake on the high carbohydrate days slightly downwards. That will give you more calories for those low carb days. For example, you might do three high carbohydrate days at 2000 calories and four low carbohydrate days at 1500.

I’ve been doing this since Monday. Today was going to be my high carb day, but time won’t allow me to get the “heavy” training in today, so I’m saving that for tomorrow. I do FEEL leaner, but I am waiting to make it through a week to take progress pics… I will update this when I have them!

For more of the article, please visit Bodybuilding.com

Image sourced from womenshealthmag.co.uk


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