Carbs Are Not the Devil…..But…
Carbohydrates have been taking a beating lately. The low carb hysteria has convinced many that carbs are the cause of every weight related problem known to man.
The truth is quite different…
When used smartly, carbohydrates can actually provide the means to unlocking your fat burning switch and getting down to single digit body fat. Using carbs smartly means knowing how to cycle your carbs in order to achieve maximum fat burn.
What is Carb Cycling?
Carb cycling refers to strategically altering your carb intake between low and high days rather than sticking to a set intake each day. By following a three low carb day / two high carb day cycle, you will be able to re-stimulate your metabolism-regulating hormones, restore depleted glycogen and have energy to burn for your work outs. The 5-day cycle of three low and two high days can be repeated throughout your diet period.
How Many Carbs?
The best way to set your carb levels is to work out how many you’ll be taking in the highest carb day of the cycle. This should be calculated using the following formula ;
Daily Carb Grams = bodyweight x 1.5
You’ll have to do some fine tuning with your number based on your daily activity level, how intensely you’re working out, your age and gender. For most guys, however, 200 grams is a sensible figure to work from.
Now that you’ve got your max level on the highest day of the cycle, you can work backwards to set your daily levels. Based on a 200 gram max, it will look like this . . .
Day 1: 150 gm Day 2: 100 gm Day 3: 50 gm Day 4: 125 gm Day 5: 200 gm As you can see from the above, the first 3 days of the cycle are low carb, with Day 3 being the lowest. You will be dropping 50 grams of carbs per day over that 3-day period. On Day 4, you start rebuilding by adding 75 carbs per day to hit your 200 carb max on Day 5. Following the carb cycle as outlined will enable you to strip body fat while still having energy for intense training. After several weeks on this cycle, however, you’ll hit a plateau where the fat burn stops. There are a few strategies you can use to kick-start your body back into calorie burning mode: ➢ Consume 3 or 4 days of clean high carbs in a row ➢ Have a cheat meal, or even a cheat day, to hot wire the metabolism ➢ Cut out carbs completely for 3 days – but never go zero carb for more than 3 days!
The Clean Carb List
Your carb cycling plan will succeed or fail on the basis of the types of carbs you select to consume within your daily requirements. Focus on starchy, natural carbohydrate sources. Fibrous vegetable carb sources are not included in your carb count and can be eaten as much as you like. Eliminate bread from your diet when carb cycling. The following starchy carbs need to form the foundation of your carb cycling intake: • Baked potato • Yam • Sweet Potato • Oats • Beans • Brown Rice
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