Cycling carbs is hands-down the most efficient technique in order to maximize growth potential while still maintaining a low body fat percentage. Your body begins to believe it will have ample supplies of carbs for energy, and when it suddenly doesn’t, it is forced to burn fat stores for energy. My personal schedule is: HIGH, LOW, NO, HIGH, LOW, NO. However, everyone is different, and you can create a custom cycle based upon your workout schedule and how your body reacts to carbs. Keep in mind though, you should never have two high carb days back-to-back.
Eventually your metabolism is going to figure out what’s going on, and when this happens, this is where the fun begins! When your weight loss plateaus, you will have to incorporate cheat meals, or adjust your carb and fat intake on your high carb days. For example, you would increase your carb intake by 10g of carbs per meal on your high carb days, resulting in a 30g net carb increase for that day. Do your heaviest lifting on high carb days, such as lower body, so that glycogen stores will be refilled, and the excess carbs will not be stored as fat. This will also ensure that you will have enough energy to power through your workout the following day. On low carb days, work smaller muscle groups. On a no carb day, do cardio or rest. Remember, never measure progress on a high carb day!
Sample Carb Cycle for a 130lb female:
Divide the protein evenly over your meals for the day.
On high carb days make sure your first meal contains carbs, and the meals before and after your workout are your “carb” meals.
On low carb days, limit your carbohydrate to your first meal of the day and your post-workout meal.
For the added fats on low days, spread them out evenly amongst your non-carb
And for those of you who refuse to give up alcohol….and you know who you are…keep it to a MINIMUM and only on high carb days.
Here’s my sample carb cycle:
High Carb Day
: 6 meals. 140 g carbs total. >25 protein/each of the 6 meals.
3 meals: 45 g carbs
2 meals: protein + fat only
1 meal: whey
LOW CARB DAY:
70g carbs, >25 g protein/each of 6 meals
2 meals: 35 g carbs
2 meals: protein & fat
NO CARB DAY:
6 MEALS : PROTEIN & FAT
Lindsey Weigand, 30 years old, born and raised in Baton Rouge, LA. Has a BS in psychology from Louisiana State University and is working on an AS in court reporting. Is a Bodybuilding.com Team Athlete, fitness model featured in World Physique Magazine, bartender, motorcycle rider, chicken farmer, NPC bikini competitor, with two shows coming up in October, and hoping to get my PRO card! Was a top 5 finalist out of 500 women for Bodybuilidng.com’s 2012 Bodyspace Spokes Model Contest, which I placed 4th at the LA Fit Expo 2012.