Bodybuilding 5 MIN READ 16861 VIEWS June 27, 2016

Carb Cycling Explained

Written By Latika Gupta

Carb Cycling Explained

A Low calorie diet may help you get some muscle but is it the only thing that you need to follow? Here we give you benefits of carb cycling along with how it can fulfill your six pack ab dreams.

If you have been aiming to get six pack abs then the most important thing, after a regular workout, that needs attention from your end, is your diet program. If you are not eating properly and adequately then it is going to be very hard for you to reach the low levels of body fat required for six pack abs.

Following a standard low calorie meal plan will get you down to the low levels of fat required for making your first two abs visible, but it definitely is not enough to get the full six pack abs you are aiming for. To reach that, you need to take a step ahead in your diet program and push yourself hard for maximum results.

This can be achieved with the help of carb cycling. Now you might wonder what is carb cycling? Well it is nothing but a kind of diet, like your paleo diet, wherein one eats less carbs on one day and more carbs on the other day to help minimize fat gain and promote fat loss. Now this is how we explain it technically, but with this article we will dig a little deeper to understand how exactly carbohydrate cycling works.

Since you cannot lower your protein requirement as you progress with your bodybuilding goals, the only options left with you is to either decrease fat or decrease carbohydrates from your diet. The fat intake typically remains low, when it comes to bodybuilding diet, thus we are left with only carbohydrates.

Because its a beginners guide to carb cycling, the most common carb cycling approach that you should follow is to plan your high carbohydrate diet on your heavy training days and low carbohydrate diet on low intensity training days. The calories you will be consuming every day during the week will vary because of carb cycling, thus, you should be using your weekly caloric balance as an indication to determine how much calories you need for weight loss.

As the whole idea of following carb cycling plan here is to go down to the low levels of body fat required for six pack abs, you must go down about 8 to 9 calories per pound of your body weight for effective results. So, what you need to do here is to measure your current body weight in pounds and then multiply it with nine.

For Example: If you are weighing 150 pounds, then it will give you an average of 1350 (150 X 9) calories per day, which means 9450 (1350 X 7) calories per week.

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How To Figure Out Your Daily Calorie Balance 

Now that you have successfully figured out your weekly calorie requirement, you can use the same to formulate your daily calorie balance as well. If you wish to achieve what you are aiming for with this science of carb cycling, then your high carb days should actually be high on carbs and low carb days should include minimal to no carbs if possible.

This technique will trick your metabolism in believing that you are not on dieting as it will not get enough room to slow down because of high carb days. This will also provide enough fuel to your body, which it needs for high intensity exercising.

Amidst all this carb cycling, make sure you do not overlook your daily protein requirement, which should ideally be 1.5 gram per pound of body weight. This amount of protein is sufficient to reach the maximum leanness levels as the additional amount of protein you are taking will not only spare your lean muscle mass but will also keep you feeling satiated.

Low Carb Days 

The days on which you will be following a low carb cycling meal plan, try to limit yourself to eating proteins mostly with a small amount of dietary fats combined with incidental carbohydrates, which are mostly found in vegetables and other sources of protein like cottage cheese.

For example: If your daily caloric requirement for sufficient protein intake is 900 calories per day, then add roughly 200 calories, coming from fat and carbs, for it to make it 1100 calories for your daily intake.

No one said that it is going to be easy for you, but for great body you need to push yourself hard, plus your high carb days will make you feel better.

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High Carb Days 

Your carb cycling based meal plan for high carb days will depend on the number of days you are planning to train. To follow such a diet plan, one must focus on full body workout program as it will hit all the muscle groups with maximum frequency but will also give you enough time to rest so that you can avoid over training with your reduced calorie intake.

So, lets assume that you will indulge in a full body workout three days a week and according to your weekly calorie requirement of 9450 calories; which we calculated earlier, you have already used 4400 calories (1100 calories for each low carb and low intensity training day, 1100 X 4). This means you will be left with a total of 5050 calories to divide in your 3 high carb days, which means about 1680 calories for each day.

Since we are not aiming here to restrict calorie intake on these days, consider decreasing your protein intake slightly from 1.5 grams to 1.2 grams, which means you will be devoting 720 calories to protein, which will leave you with 980 calories. Out of these, some will be directed towards healthy fat, but the number should be very low. The main objective of this meal plan is to shock the body with carbs, which will stimulate the metabolic rate, provide you with more energy and restore your muscle glycogen.

So, reserve not more than 270 calories, which will be around 30 grams of fat and will leave you with some 690 calories for carbohydrates. Majority of these calories should be focused around your training period, because that is when your body needs them most. Additionally, planning them around your training time will also make you feel similar to your low card days for rest of the day.

Bottom Line

Now that all the calculations for carb cycling meal plan for bodybuilders has been done, it’s time to put it in full effect. However, keep in mind that the numbers may wary depending on your own needs and body weight, so set up your own weekly calorie before you begin.

Carb cycling diet when combined with a solid workout program will definitely help you get the desired results, only if you are willing to give it time and dedication.

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