Carb cycling to lose fat and build muscle?

  • B657

    Posts: 2

    Oct 17, 2011 4:17 AM GMT
    Hi guys - Been on a bit of a plateau for awhile and wondering if carb cycling might help. Like a lot of people, I want to lose fat and increase muscle size and definition, which I know are kind of opposite goals.

    For the past few months, I've been on an all natural, low carb, no sugar, high protain/high fat diet - mostly proteins and/or vegetables at each meal. My workout has been that I alternate between weightlifting days (two muscle groups per workout) and cardio/abs days at the gym. An hour each workout.

    Been doing this for about 3 months and while it has helped a little, I want to see much better results. So I'm considering switching to a carb cycling program where I'd begin to work certain complex carbs (oats, brown rice, etc.) into my diet only on weight-lifting days (not on cardio/abs days). Has anybody done something similar successfully? Any advice on how to do it most effectively in terms of what to eat, when to eat, and how to space out the high carb/low carb days during your week (i.e. - is it ok to alternate high and low carb days back to back)? Any other suggestions on my diet/workout are welcomed. Thanks.


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    Oct 17, 2011 9:58 AM GMT
    I've been carb cycling for the last six weeks or so and in my experience it's working very well. In the last two months or so I've visibly leaned up, increased my vascularity and all that, but at the same time I gained several pounds of muscle. Part of it will of course be my body type (I'm waaaaay endomorph, so I'll put on muscle just carrying a sack of groceries up the stairs) but the leaning up part is really hard for me since my body type trends carbohydrate sensitive. But carb cycling really has helped.

    My workout routine is basically I lift and do cardio 6 days a week, so the diet doesn't really overlap or interact with the training in any serious way. But my diet is basically as follows.

    Sunday: Very low carbs (less than 30%)
    Monday: Very low carbs
    Tuesday: Very low carbs
    Wednesday: Moderate carbs (about 50%)
    Thursday: Very low carbs
    Friday: Very low carbs
    Saturday: High carbs (Basically a normal eating day with a "cheat meal")

    One thing to remember is that when you eat carbs you should front load them: eat the most carbs early on in the day and your body will process them more easily and the effect on your blood sugar will be less contributive to weight gain. On Very low carb days, my breakfast will be eggs, oatmeal, and orange juice, and this will be a good chunk of my daily carbs... but I eat them early (I also work out early in the morning).

    As far as what to eat... generally lean meat and complex carbs: all the healthy stuff you probably know you should be eating haha. Specifically, Oatmeal, Brown Rice and Sweet Potatoes have become the backbone of my carbohydrate profile. If I have to eat carbs, these three things are basically what I'm eating (Unless it's Sunday and I'm on my "cheat meal" in which case the Chinese restaurant better watch out!).

    Hope that helps!
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    Oct 17, 2011 4:35 PM GMT
    ^ so basically don't eat carbs except one day a week
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    Oct 17, 2011 6:25 PM GMT
    waimea said^ so basically don't eat carbs except one day a week


    I still eat carbs, but just low doses... then two days a week I have normal to high carbs. I space it out the way I do to keep the body from adapting to the new regime.
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    Oct 17, 2011 6:30 PM GMT
    Interesting topic. I didn't know there was such as thing as carb cycling. I obviously need to learn a lot more about diet. I'm curious why the OP is eating a high fat diet if he wants to lose weight? Is it just for fuel?
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    Oct 17, 2011 6:31 PM GMT
    B657 saidLike a lot of people, I want to lose fat and increase muscle size and definition, which I know are kind of opposite goals.



    You don't have any visible body fat in your profile pic. So shut the fuck up or I'm going to hunt you down, sit on your chest and shove Oreo Cookie Blizzards down your throat until you have something to bitch about! icon_mad.gif
  • jim_sf

    Posts: 2094

    Oct 17, 2011 6:33 PM GMT
    The_Guerrilla_Sodomite said
    B657 saidLike a lot of people, I want to lose fat and increase muscle size and definition, which I know are kind of opposite goals.



    You don't have any visible body fat in your profile pic. So shut the fuck up or I'm going to hunt you down, sit on your chest and shove Oreo Cookie Blizzards down your throat until you have something to bitch about! icon_mad.gif


    Kinky!
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    Oct 17, 2011 6:37 PM GMT
    You should try this program:

    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/kelly3.htm

    I had really good results from doing this for a few months and it sounds exactly like what you want to do with your diet.
  • B657

    Posts: 2

    Oct 18, 2011 2:06 AM GMT
    Thanks all for the advice.

    SkittleGangsta- great article- that's exactly what I'm looking for

    Larkin_PLR- very helpful, thank you - good to know about front loading them

    DudeInNOVA- the fats in my diet are all natural - found in protein. Most of the research I've done seems to indicate that natural fats don't actually make you fat; it's the processed fats, sugar, and carbs (especially simple carbs) to watch out for.

    THE_GUERRILLA_SODOMITE - just may take you up on that. on a high carb day of course icon_smile.gif
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    Oct 18, 2011 2:11 AM GMT
    B657 saidDudeInNOVA- the fats in my diet are all natural - found in protein. Most of the research I've done seems to indicate that natural fats don't actually make you fat; it's the processed fats, sugar, and carbs (especially simple carbs) to watch out for.


    Ah. OK. I was picturing you slathering butter all over everything you eat.
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    Oct 29, 2011 6:16 PM GMT
    There's a pretty interesting and detailed break down on this site: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/par30.htm

    I'm considering taking it on board. Look promising.
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    Oct 29, 2011 6:43 PM GMT
    The_Guerrilla_Sodomite said
    B657 saidLike a lot of people, I want to lose fat and increase muscle size and definition, which I know are kind of opposite goals.



    You don't have any visible body fat in your profile pic. So shut the fuck up or I'm going to hunt you down, sit on your chest and shove Oreo Cookie Blizzards down your throat until you have something to bitch about! icon_mad.gif


    He´s as fat as I am: athletic and well built who wants to be ripped and irresistible to teh gayz

    I have been doing something similar to this: only really eating larger amounts of carbs on my heavier lifting days. Not sure if it works. In certain lights at certain angles i have the most awesome 8 pack. Sadly not visible in normal light
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    Jun 05, 2012 4:14 AM GMT
    DudeInNOVA saidInteresting topic. I didn't know there was such as thing as carb cycling. I obviously need to learn a lot more about diet. I'm curious why the OP is eating a high fat diet if he wants to lose weight? Is it just for fuel?


    If you are interested in why one might eat higher levels of fat you might read the work of Gary Taubes (http://garytaubes.com/) a science writer. He wrote both a scientific study (Good Calories, Bad Calories) and a more approachable version of the same argument, (Why We Get Fat).
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    Jun 06, 2012 2:59 AM GMT
    I thought bi cycling was supposed to make you lose fat and build muscle.

    Oh well, maybe I was wrong. It was fun "cycling" all those bi guys, though. icon_biggrin.gif
  • gwuinsf

    Posts: 525

    Jun 19, 2012 7:14 PM GMT
    andykain7 said
    DudeInNOVA saidInteresting topic. I didn't know there was such as thing as carb cycling. I obviously need to learn a lot more about diet. I'm curious why the OP is eating a high fat diet if he wants to lose weight? Is it just for fuel?


    If you are interested in why one might eat higher levels of fat you might read the work of Gary Taubes (http://garytaubes.com/) a science writer. He wrote both a scientific study (Good Calories, Bad Calories) and a more approachable version of the same argument, (Why We Get Fat).


    This is also the Paleo and Primal diet way of eating.

    There is a nutritional myth that eating fat makes you fat because it is more calorie dense, and that's not necessarily the case. It can be the case, but it depends on the type of fat you are consuming. How your body processes a gram of fat vs. a gram of carb are completely different.
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    Jun 20, 2012 12:32 AM GMT
    Cutting carbs is the dumbest "diet" trend I have seen. Carbs are the number one source of energy for your body. Instead of cutting carbs, eat HEALTHY carbs. Whole wheat, whole grain, plenty of fiber, nothing processed. Lets end this idiotic trend of cutting a vital nutrient out of our diets, and instead learn to eat the right way, ok? If you wanna burn fat, limit your CALORIC intake and do some cardio. If you wanna build muscle you need excess calories and strength training. You can burn fat and build muscle at the same time, it is just easier to do one or the other.

  • UFJocknerd

    Posts: 392

    Jun 20, 2012 2:19 AM GMT
    I did carb cycling on my last cut for a while and sort of liked the results at first, but the hardcore version I was trying, which included a no-carb-day, was not maintainable. I knocked it down to low- and high-carb days only, but didn't really see a lot of change. When I stopped trying and resumed eating carbs normally, I made big gains on all my lifts.

    I've had better results gaining muscle and staying lean with a pretty balanced diet, only healthy carbs tho.