Carb Cycling...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 13, 2012 12:23 PM GMT
    I know there are other threads about carb cycling.

    I am starting today. My trainer has been carb cycling to get ready for a show and I asked him what he does. He eats little to no carbs 6 days out of the week then has a cheat day where he carbs out.

    I am a bit leery of this because I have done ketogenic diets before and have damaged my health.

    I tend to go into ketosis pretty quickly (sometimes within a day).

    So my real question is - if I try this - what is the maximum carbs I should eat in a day. If I try to keep all of my foods under 2 grams of carbs per serving I think I will be ok, but I don't want my ketones to go too high because then I'm burning muscle instead of fat.

    Thanks.
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    Mar 13, 2012 3:57 PM GMT
    If you go down to 1g/lb or less than you need to incorporate refeeds. The numbers depend on the your stats and training.

    Your trainer is training for a show. What are your goals? Just to get in shape and drop some fat? I would suggest IF (lenagains). I vouch that it works. However, Martin Berkhan does say that it isnt for everyone so I suggest that you look through his suggestions before deciding if you want to do it. IF involves carb AND calorie cycling.

    Here is another way of carb cycling http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/par30.htm
  • BoostToChase

    Posts: 103

    Mar 13, 2012 11:59 PM GMT
    I'm doing the same thing right now just to experiment with it. After 2.5 days I'm in in mild ketosis.

    I want to know if I should have a few carbs before a workout on days that I workout, or if its entirely dependent on refeeds. I was thinking about having about 40-60 extra grams of carbs before my wednesday workouts, and then friday do a full refeed for a much heavier workout on saturday. I don't know if that will work or not however.

    Otherwise, I'm trying to stay at 30 g carbs or less per day.
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    Mar 14, 2012 12:02 AM GMT
    BoostToChase said

    Otherwise, I'm trying to stay at 30 g carbs or less per day.


    This.

    I'm carb cycling too, but under the anabolic diet principle (5 days no carbs, 2 days carbs, which I've modified to 1.5 days carbs). So Sunday through Friday evening no carbs, Friday night and Saturday carbs.
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    Mar 14, 2012 12:08 AM GMT
    Ariodante said
    BoostToChase said

    Otherwise, I'm trying to stay at 30 g carbs or less per day.


    This.

    I'm carb cycling too, but under the anabolic diet principle (5 days no carbs, 2 days carbs, which I've modified to 1.5 days carbs). So Sunday through Friday evening no carbs, Friday night and Saturday carbs.


    This may sound dumb, but when you say no carbs - do you mean all proteins - no veg of any kind - or are you eating green vegetables in moderation?
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    Mar 14, 2012 12:13 AM GMT
    onaquest said

    This may sound dumb, but when you say no carbs - do you mean all proteins - no veg of any kind - or are you eating green vegetables in moderation?


    The majority of your calorie intake has to come from fat (60%), then protein. I eat very large quantities of green, non-starch veggies.
  • UFJocknerd

    Posts: 392

    Mar 14, 2012 12:13 AM GMT
    onaquest saidI know there are other threads about carb cycling.

    I am starting today. My trainer has been carb cycling to get ready for a show and I asked him what he does. He eats little to no carbs 6 days out of the week then has a cheat day where he carbs out.

    I am a bit leery of this because I have done ketogenic diets before and have damaged my health.

    I tend to go into ketosis pretty quickly (sometimes within a day).

    So my real question is - if I try this - what is the maximum carbs I should eat in a day. If I try to keep all of my foods under 2 grams of carbs per serving I think I will be ok, but I don't want my ketones to go too high because then I'm burning muscle instead of fat.

    Thanks.


    Unless you're also getting ready for a show, don't mimic what someone getting ready for a show is doing. :-)

    One day of carbs is going to starve you for energy during lifting and cardio.
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    Mar 14, 2012 12:14 AM GMT
    UFJocknerd said
    One day of carbs is going to starve you for energy during lifting and cardio.


    This is true, one day is too little for a carb load. If you don't properly replenish your glycogen reserves during the carb loading phase you'll start eating up your muscle as if you were on an Atkins.
  • BoostToChase

    Posts: 103

    Mar 14, 2012 12:17 AM GMT
    Ariodante said
    UFJocknerd said
    One day of carbs is going to starve you for energy during lifting and cardio.


    This is true, one day is too little for a carb load.


    I'm having trouble imagining that 2 days of carbs will be enough for workouts where you intend to gain muscle. I've only been at it for a few days though, and today was the first day that my trainer got to laugh his ass off at me. Tell me it gets better.

    If it doesn't, I'll just happily go back to my carbs haha.
  • UFJocknerd

    Posts: 392

    Mar 14, 2012 12:17 AM GMT
    I carb cycle; the usual routine involves no carb, low carb, and high carb days.

    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/par30.htm

    Your trainer is getting ready for a show. His goal is going to be to drop down his bf, water, etc., and be ultra cut for one or two days. He's also going to be super weak that day. It isn't a sustainable physique.
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    Mar 14, 2012 12:19 AM GMT
    Ketosis is when your body is burning fat, not muscle. So, I'm a bit confused by the OP.

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    Mar 14, 2012 12:22 AM GMT
    BoostToChase said
    I'm having trouble imagining that 2 days of carbs will be enough for workouts where you intend to gain muscle.


    It's not. It's a primarily cutting diet regimen. You can make some muscle gains but carb cycling isn't for gaining size.
  • BoostToChase

    Posts: 103

    Mar 14, 2012 12:27 AM GMT
    Ariodante said
    BoostToChase said
    I'm having trouble imagining that 2 days of carbs will be enough for workouts where you intend to gain muscle.


    It's not. It's a primarily cutting diet regimen. You can make some muscle gains but carb cycling isn't for gaining size.


    Sorry, to clarify. My goal isn't to gain muscle. I've been gaining strong for the last two months so I'm programmed to say that. I want to maintain what I have gained and cut the BF to a more acceptable level. I was 14% last measure (full well realizing those handle electronic things are not that accurate). Once it drops a little bit, i want to resume gaining.

    I'm having difficulty thinking that 2 days of carbs is enough to train enough to help along the fat loss.
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    Mar 14, 2012 12:32 AM GMT
    Ariodante said
    UFJocknerd said
    One day of carbs is going to starve you for energy during lifting and cardio.


    This is true, one day is too little for a carb load. If you don't properly replenish your glycogen reserves during the carb loading phase you'll start eating up your muscle as if you were on an Atkins.


    This is what I'm trying to avoid.


    My plan isn't exactly like my trainers.

    My plan is to get into ketosis and stay 3 days. Then cycle off with a day of carbs. I can make it 2 days if that is better.

    I believe he goes 5 days off and then on Saturdays and maybe Sundays cycles off and eats whatever he wants - sugars and everything. Then cycles back on.

    If I cycle off and "refeed" the carbs after 3 days then my plan was to replenish with healthier carbs like sweet potatoes and maybe some brown rice.

    I have done Atkins types of diets before and damaged myself. So that's why I haven't tried to go into this sooner. But I do think it might help me shed off the remaining fat that isn't moving.

    Up until now, I eat a high protein diet with lots of fruits and veggies - but not ketogenic. I still eat some carbohydrates and allow myself a 1.5 day worth of cheat on the weekend (i.e. pizza). I am maintaining my weight loss and even going down about a pound a week, but I don't see the flabbiness going anywhere.

    In fact normally if I try to kick into ketosis and stay there - I start getting really sick.
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    Mar 14, 2012 12:33 AM GMT
    BoostToChase said

    I'm having difficulty thinking that 2 days of carbs is enough to train enough to help along the fat loss.


    You don't lose fat by training. Your body composition is 99% dependent on your diet.


    Just to add one more thing as far as the amount of carbs allowed on no carb days, your body synthesizes a small amount of carbohydrate from conventionally non-carbohydrate sources when you're on a ketogenic diet (meats and vegetables). 30g a day doesn't mean you can eat a waffle in the morning just because it's under 30g of carbs, your body will already be consuming around that amount just by eating meats, cheeses, eggs, vegetables.
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    Mar 14, 2012 12:34 AM GMT
    EastCoastNAZ saidKetosis is when your body is burning fat, not muscle. So, I'm a bit confused by the OP.



    If your body goes too high into ketosis (i.e. if your pee strips turn the darkest red) you are burning muscle instead of fat and it's dangerous.

    You have to watch and manage the ketosis or you can hurt yourself - because your heart, your liver, your gall bladder - all muscles.


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    Mar 14, 2012 12:36 AM GMT
    onaquest said

    My plan is to get into ketosis and stay 3 days. Then cycle off with a day of carbs. I can make it 2 days if that is better.


    3 days is considered too little time in between carb loading.
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    Mar 14, 2012 12:38 AM GMT
    onaquest said
    I am maintaining my weight loss and even going down about a pound a week, but I don't see the flabbiness going anywhere.

    In fact normally if I try to kick into ketosis and stay there - I start getting really sick.


    Ok, per my previous post, you made it sound like ketosis was not where you wanted to be.

    But now you're confusing by your statement above. You are maintaining your weight loss but you don't see the flabbiness going anywhere? Doesn't make sense.

    First, maybe the flabbiness is disappearing from other areas of your body.

    Second, you shouldn't check the mirror daily, or rely on the mirror to tell you how your body is doing. Checking yourself daily makes it almost impossible to see differences in your body composition. You should probably check it weekly or take a snapshot at the beginning of each week and compare those pics weekly to see if there are differences.
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    Mar 14, 2012 12:39 AM GMT
    onaquest said
    EastCoastNAZ saidKetosis is when your body is burning fat, not muscle. So, I'm a bit confused by the OP.



    If your body goes too high into ketosis (i.e. if your pee strips turn the darkest red) you are burning muscle instead of fat and it's dangerous.

    You have to watch and manage the ketosis or you can hurt yourself - because your heart, your liver, your gall bladder - all muscles.




    Then I think that's called something else, not ketosis. I think it's ketoacidosis.
  • BoostToChase

    Posts: 103

    Mar 14, 2012 12:40 AM GMT
    Ariodante said

    [...] your body will already be consuming around that amount just by eating meats, cheeses, eggs, vegetables.


    Well I noticed the carbs listed on nutrition info, so obviously there are no waffles in my life. I am aware that protein can be turned to glucose with 58% efficiency through glucogenesis.

    I've done a lot of reading on it, just today was my first real world application in the gym. It was an eye opener. I mean, I still need to workout. None of the articles on bodybuilding.com are about athletes on this diet trying to avoid the gym. I know they are trying to cut body fat and water retention, often for competition, but they're still hitting them gym. Would it be at a low, medium, or high intensity?

    I've got my meals charted out for macros to be about 65% fat, 30% protein, 5% carb.
  • BoostToChase

    Posts: 103

    Mar 14, 2012 12:43 AM GMT
    And to the OP, I hope my questions are helpful. I kind of feel like I've hijacked a bit of the discussion, but the information is directly relevant to you I believe. icon_question.gif
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    Mar 14, 2012 12:45 AM GMT
    BoostToChase said
    I've done a lot of reading on it, just today was my first real world application in the gym. It was an eye opener. I mean, I still need to workout. None of the articles on bodybuilding.com are about athletes on this diet trying to avoid the gym. I know they are trying to cut body fat and water retention, often for competition, but they're still hitting them gym. Would it be at a low, medium, or high intensity?


    You're not supposed to cut the gym (at least not in the anabolic diet mode. http://stronglifts.com/anabolic-diet-101-the-definite-anabolic-diet-guide/). I work out 6 days a week, same intensity as I do when not carb cycling. I've done carb cycles in the past so it's easier now to push through and just do it.
  • BoostToChase

    Posts: 103

    Mar 14, 2012 12:54 AM GMT
    Ariodante said
    BoostToChase said
    I've done a lot of reading on it, just today was my first real world application in the gym. It was an eye opener. I mean, I still need to workout. None of the articles on bodybuilding.com are about athletes on this diet trying to avoid the gym. I know they are trying to cut body fat and water retention, often for competition, but they're still hitting them gym. Would it be at a low, medium, or high intensity?


    You're not supposed to cut the gym (at least not in the anabolic diet mode. http://stronglifts.com/anabolic-diet-101-the-definite-anabolic-diet-guide/). I work out 6 days a week, same intensity as I do when not carb cycling. I've done carb cycles in the past so it's easier now to push through and just do it.


    Sorry for the number of questions, but calorie targets were not explained well in any of the articles I did find. If I was gaining on about 3500 - 3750 calories a day, is that what I need to hit with a standard CKD diet? What about the anabolic diet for which you provided the above link (thanks)?

    If the OP is entering ketoacidosis, then he probably needs more calories at the proper ratios. (Or its a diet his body is not well equipped to handle? We all have medical predispositions one way or the other)
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    Mar 14, 2012 1:05 AM GMT
    Right ketosis can turn to ketoacidosis. Usually if that happens for me it means I need to eat more carbs to bring my ketones down.

    I do think this time around the gym is going to be the difference. I have been researching, too. When I have low carb dieted before I was just trying to crash diet and the exercise wasn't important. My trainer and I both think that now considering how much I'm working out - I will be burning some of the ketones in my body through the training sessions and I may not register as high a ketosis level as quickly - that's why I'm going ahead and giving it a shot for a few days and see how I feel.


    @ Boost2Chase - You are more than welcome to add your questions. It is an open forum. It doesn't bother me in the least. I am trying to gather information as well.

    I know that I kept my carbs well below 30g today. I pretty much ate proteins all day. I allowed myself more fat than I usually do. We think that will help me maintain my energy. The last time I tried a ketogenic diet I was only using lean proteins and keeping my fat grams too low. Depending on how I feel tomorrow - I may add some more veggies to the mix.
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    Mar 14, 2012 1:06 AM GMT
    EastCoastNAZ said
    onaquest said
    EastCoastNAZ saidKetosis is when your body is burning fat, not muscle. So, I'm a bit confused by the OP.



    If your body goes too high into ketosis (i.e. if your pee strips turn the darkest red) you are burning muscle instead of fat and it's dangerous.

    You have to watch and manage the ketosis or you can hurt yourself - because your heart, your liver, your gall bladder - all muscles.




    Then I think that's called something else, not ketosis. I think it's ketoacidosis.


    Ketoacidosis is basically the more dangerous form of ketosis (one of the prevalences of diabetes). Ketosis is the formation of ketone bodies due to fatty acid metabolism, and too much of that can lower your overall blood pH.

    To the OP, if you damaged your health before with ketogenic diets, I think it's better to stay with a low carb, low fat, and high protein diet. I mean as long as your caloric output is higher than the caloric intake, you'll still lose weight and burn fat.