Accelerate your progress in the gym the easy way by turning carb cycling to your advantage. Discover why this is such a successful technique, and how to get the best results.
Carb Cycling Can Accelerate Your Fat Loss Program
As a bodybuilder, you use your nutrition to help you create a fabulously sculpted physique. You’ll eat the correct ratio of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats to help fuel your workouts and nourish your body.
But when it is time to cut the fat, reducing calories and carbohydrates can become a problem. You may find it difficult to work out at a level that continues to allow you to lift heavier weights. Carb cycling gives you the best of both worlds. It’s a way to lose fat while still allowing you to have a high level of intensity during workouts.
Carb cycling is a form of dieting that involves reducing the amount of carbohydrates you consume on certain days. The bodybuilding diet is broken down into three macronutrients which include protein, carbohydrates and fats.
If you are carb cycling, you switch the percentage of calories allotted for each macronutrient. Let’s say you have a diet where 20% is protein, 60% is carbohydrates and 20% is fat. When you begin carb cycling, the percentage of carbohydrate will change – depending on whether you are on a high, low or no-carb day.
Why Carb Cycling Works
Insulin is the key to understanding how carb cycling works. Insulin is a hormone in your body that can be friend or foe. This anabolic hormone is made in the pancreas and helps your body to create lean muscle.
When you are in a fasted state such as when you wake up in the morning or when you haven’t eaten for a while, insulin sensitivity increases.
This means that once you begin eating, the food is going to be used to nourish your body and help your body create lean muscle. Insulin becomes your foe when you consume excessive amounts of food. In this case you are decreasing insulin sensitivity and more food will be stored in the body as fat.
Training and Carb Cycling
If you try to train hard with a very low carb diet, your workout will suffer. Carbohydrates are the preferred form of energy in the body and when reserves are low so is your energy level. This is where carb cycling will be extremely helpful in your efforts to lose fat and increase muscle.
Carb cycling lets you schedule your heaviest workout to coincide with high carb days or right after a high carb day. If you train hardest on days when you eat the most carbs (and days following your high carb day), you won’t need to decrease the weights you use. You’ll get stronger, increase lean muscle and significantly decrease fat.
Examples of Carb Cycling Diets
As we have already seen, carb cycling diets include a period of time of changing the amount of carbs you eat throughout the week. Many bodybuilders will create a cycle that spans a period of three to five days and then continue that process until they get the fat loss results they were seeking.
After achieving their goals, they’ll switch back to a normal diet of eating a certain amount of carbohydrates every day.
So, a typical carb cycling diet might include a high carb day on Monday. On this day, you can really stuff yourself with carbohydrates. You can eat lots of bread, rice, or pasta.
The only caveat is that this should be a very heavy training day for you. You want those carbohydrates to go towards helping you gain more muscle and not toward helping your waistline expand.
On Tuesday, your body is still processing the carbohydrates from Monday, so you can still lift heavy and you should train as hard as you can. But, on Tuesday you should decrease the amount of carbs you eat by half or more.
On Wednesday things will start to get a bit more difficult, because this will be your low carb day. You should begin to feel the difference in energy levels.
You still have some energy in reserve, but not as much as you had on Tuesday. If you ate correctly, Tuesday’s feeding would have been sufficient to tide you over for that day only…with just a tad left for Wednesday.
On Wednesday, you can choose to take a day off from the gym or just do a workout that requires less strength. Some light cardio would be a good choice for those low carb days or you can just use the low carb day to focus on recovering. Most bodybuilders will either make low carb days a rest day or do some very light training.
Carb Cycling Just Plain Works!
Carb cycling is a great way to lose fat, stay working out hard in the gym and keep increasing lean mass. If done correctly, you won’t suffer from low energy levels and hunger pangs that you experience when dieting. The only thing you’ll have to do is work on those six-pack abs, get stronger and strip way that fat.