Carb Cycling 101 Typically you can’t build muscle and lose fat at the same time, but, with proper carbohydrate structure you can greatly improve your changes.
In my experience carb cycling can be very effecting when your goal is leaning out, while still offering the possibility of muscle growth.
Common belief is you have to choose ONE goal, either lean out or bulk up. While this may be an ideal choice to the individual who wants to maximize one or the other. A lot of us would rather maintain an aesthetic physique all year round, staying lean (and getting leaner) all the while making gradual muscle gains.
Below is a breakdown of the three vital macronutrients that encompasses this plan to build muscle and burn away fat to get your best physique yet.
Protein – Plays a huge role in muscle growth and preservation. Protein will stay pretty much consistent on a daily basis. I suggest around 1g per pound of bodyweight. For example a person who weights 180lbs would aim to consume 180 grams of protein per day. You want the majority of this coming from whole foods.
Fat – Essential for: cardiovascular health, joint health, and hormone regulation. Having great effects on both fat loss and muscle growth. Fat has over twice the calories (9 calories per gram) as protein and carbohydrate, careful consideration must be taken with amounts. I recommend .25-.35 g per lb. of bodyweight (180 lb. = 45 grams)
Carbohydrate – The main subject of this article, these will be the variable factor. What we primarily manipulate in order to achieve the results we want. Strategically cycling carbs to put us in an ideal scenario to keep the fat burning going, while building muscle.
As stated above, protein will stay about the same throughout, at 1g per lb. there is a little room to increase protein if necessary.
Fats will vary slightly based on that days carbohydrate intake. On low carb days fats will be slightly higher then they will be on high carb days.
Carbohydrates will be the most manipulated macronutrient in the equation. We will structure the diet using Low, Medium, and High carb days.
Low day: .5 g per lb.
Medium day: 1.25 – 1.5 g per lb.
High day: 2 – 2.25 g per lb.
EXAMPLE (180 lb.)
Low carb day 90 grams
Medium carb day 225 – 270 grams
High carb day 360 – 405 grams
Day 1 – Low Carb
Day 2 – Med Carb
Day 3 – Med Carb
Day 4 – High Carb
Macros for 180 lb.
Day 1 – 180 protein / 90 carbs / 63 fats
Day 2 – 180 protein / 225 carbs / 54 fats
Day 3 – 180 protein / 225 carbs / 54 fats
Day 4 – 180 protein / 360 carbs / 45 fats
Feel free to try different carb-cycling structures, for example, some individuals prefer their high carb days on Wednesdays and Sundays (maybe that’s their leg day and party day), for that you would just revise the schedule and adjust after assessing results. Some people are more carb sensitive then others and may need to reduce the amounts of carbs, it’s all a learning process and will take time, dedication and adjustments.
Remember to always give your body some time, I always suggest giving your set diet 2 weeks then adjust accordingly.
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