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Carb Cycling 101

Carb Cycling 101

sam

Guest Post by Sam Paparo

What is carb cycling? Why do some people carb cycle? How does it work?

I utilize carb cycling to strip excess body fat while still making lean muscle gains.  Carb cycling enables your body to use fat as a source of fuel instead of using carbohydrates or muscle tissue.  It’s all about choosing the right carb source and knowing the proper timing of when to have the carbs. Timing plays such a key role in consuming carbs.  For instance, post workout is when your body is at its highest tolerance for carbs.  At this point the body is ready to shift to an anabolic state while being given the proper nutrition. Carb cycling involves going a few days eating a lower amount of carbs, followed by a high carb day about twice a week.  The high carb day’s purpose is to restore glycogen levels and aid in recovery.  If you’re just starting out I recommend for women to consume between 150g-250g of carbs on a high carb day.  This can be adjusted to fit your training needs, but I think it’s a good place a to start. Designate a high carb day to a heavy training day.  I always choose to have my high carb day on a leg day.  For a man I recommend consuming 250-350 g on a high carb day and again this can be adjusted.  The low carb days are important because they keep our bodies receptive to insulin levels, which in return helps to enhance muscle building.  On low carb days you should no go under 50g grams of carbs.  Since the carbs are lower, proteins and fats are higher on these days and vise versa for high carb days where carbs and fats would be lower.

Here is an example of how a week of carb cycling would look.

Monday: Monderate Carbs

Tuesday- High Carb Day

Wednesday- Low Carbs

Thursday- Moderate Carbs

Friday- Moderate Carbs

Saturday-High Carbs

Sunday- Low Carbs

Knowing your exact macro nutrients will help you attain the lower body fat percentage that you are looking for.  With carb cycling you can still enjoy all the foods you love.  You will feel better and have more energy.  When I say include a high carb day, I don’t mean go eat a ton of junk food.  Here is a list of complex carbs that you should choose from to optimize lean muscle gains:

1. Sweet Potatoes

2. Rice

3. Whole Grain Bread

4. Oatmeal

5. Quinoa

 

This is a method I include for my clients.  I calculate all of their macro nutrients down to the T by utilizing a specific equation so they can have great results from this! If you’re interested in a meal plan, contact me :)

This post was originally written by the amazing Sam Paparo and can be found on her blog at http://www.dhfwithsam.com/carb-cycling-101/

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