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Use Carbohydrate Cycling To Achieve Your Goals

There are many diet strategies that people are standing by these days. You have low carb, high carb, low fat, high fat, vegan, lacto-ovo vegans, and the new crowd, the Paleo dieters! I have always said all diets work, but not all diets work for all people. We are a genetically diverse species and therefore it stands to reason that some form of adaptation would occur based on what types of food was available to the people of that region. In the orient, rice is a huge staple of diets so it stands to reason that people from this reason would be able to deal with higher carbohydrate diets. Conversely, the Inuit (Eskimos for the less informed) eat nothing but blubber and meat. Veggies and fruits don’t grow so well in sub-zero temperatures. I imagine if you fed Inuit a diet high in rice and starch, their bodies would have an issue. To see it in a microcosm, look at African-Americans. They are highly prone to diabetes and heart disease following a traditional western diet. While caucasians still suffer these maladies, the do so at a lesser rate. So how can one utilize the macronutrients to their favor to get optimal body composition and increased health? The answer is use Carbohydrate Cycling to achieve your goals

How To Set Up A Carbohydrate Cycling Plan to Achieve Your Goals

The beauty of carbohydrate cycling is that it is constantly fluctuating and putting into check certain hormones, maximizing other hormones, and minimizing yet other hormones so that we can continue both fat burning and anabolism simultaneously. We will talk in very simplified terms. Insulin is the taxi cab that drives nutrients around to their given destination. It delivers the nutrients to muscle, organs, and fat cells. When insulin is high, you do not burn fat. You are in storage mode. Once the liver and skeletal muscle are full of glycogen( roughly 400-500 grams worth), Insulin then drives to its favorite destination, the fat cells. The buzz word in the body composition industry (Physique sports, vanity, etc.) is nutrient partitioning. What does this mean? It means in simple terms, we want glucose to shuttle to muscle, not fat. The problem is, the body is set up to survive, not have 6 pack abs. Being hyper muscular and super lean would have been a death sentence for a nomad. All that metabolically active tissue with no stored fat equaled certain death. you couldn’t just drive to the local 7-11 for some stuff to eat. So lets go over the major hormones and their basic roles.

  • Insulin- The taxi, shuttling nutrients to tissue
  • Glucagon- The taxi who takes things from tissues back to the liver to be used.
  • Ghrelin- The hormone that says ” I am hungry, lets eat now!”
  • Leptin- The satiety hormone. When you have plenty of fat, you usually have plenty of Leptin. This keeps ghrelin at bay so you don’t go out and “stuff your face!”
  • GH- Growth Hormone, the hormone the makes us grow. Also a very nice fat burner. When insulin is present, GH is inhibited.
  • Thyroid- Master gland of metabolism. Speeds up or slows down metabolic processes.

Now this is simplified and dent even cover what happens to any degree. In the case of many types of restrictive diet, it can cause many of these hormones. Diets that restrict calories cause thyroid slowdown. Diets that blunt insulin cause less anabolism. As we get leaner, leptin is not secreted so your hunger goes through the roof and fat loss stops. So what is the best strategy to get around this? This where using carbohydrate cycling to achieve your goals.

Use Carbohydrate Cycling For Achieving Your Goals

So they way carbohydrate cycling works is this. On days that one trains large body parts, they set it as a high carb day. So on that day, you take your BMR (basal metabolic rate) and base calories off of this. Start by setting my number for the high day at 500 calories over BMR. Then set carbs at 70% of this. so if BMR + 500= 3000, multiply 3000 x 0.7= 2100. 2100 divided by 4= 525 grams of carbs. Divide that by 6 meals= 88 grams of carbs per meal. The other 30% of calories would be protein. so 3000 x 0.3= 900 calories. That equals 225 grams of protein over 6 meals= 38 grams per meal. So each of 6 meals is 88 grams of carb and 38 grams of protein and no added fat. Of course this is just simple representation So for medium carb day which would be all other lifting days, you would do BMR and set macros at 45% carb, 45% protein, 10% fat. For example, BMR is 2500 calories. so 2500 X 0.55= 1375 calories. 1375 divided by 4= 344 grams divided by 6= 57 grams carb per meal. The protein is 2500 x 35%= 875 divided by 4=218 grams protein. Fat is the last 20% of calories. So 2500 x 0.2= 500 calories divided by 9 cal/gram= roughly 9-10 grams of fat per meal. So medium carb day looks like 57 grams of carb, 37 grams of protein and 10 grams of fat. All non-weight training days are low carb. They are set up as BMR – 500 calories. So in this scenario, 2500 BMR – 500 calories= 2000 calories. so protein is 55% of all calories. So 1100 calories divided by 4= 275 grams. Divide 275 grams by 6 meals= 45 grams protein per meal. Fats are 40% of 2000= 800. 800 calories divided by 9 calories per gram of fat= 10 grams fat per meal. Carbs are set at 5% of calories. Carbs are 2000 x .05= 100 grams carbs. That equates to 16 grams per meal by 6 meals. So each low carb meal is as follows: 45 grams of protein, 10 grams of fat for meal, and 16 grams of carbs per meal.

Sample Carb cycle set-up

Leg Day: High Carbs- Carbs 88 grams, Protein 38 grams, Fat zero added.

Chest and Tricep: Medium Carbs- Carbs 57 grams, Protein 37 grams, Fat 10 grams

Off Day: Low Carb- Carbs 16 grams, Protein 45 grams, Fat 10 grams

Shoulder and Traps: Medium Carbs- Carbs 57 grams, Protein 37 grams, Fat 10 grams

Back and Bicep: High Carbs- Carbs 88 grams, Protein 38 grams, Fat zero added.

Off Day: Low Carb- Carbs 16 grams, Protein 45 grams, Fat 10 grams

Off Day: Low Carb- Carbs 16 grams, Protein 45 grams, Fat 10 grams

This is just a quick example of how to use carb cycle to achieve your goals. The numbers are not exact, but used rather in reference. All one need do is find a BMR calculator online and use the +500, BMR, and -500 values and the tinker with the ratios to get maximum performance and fat loss. This simple method keeps the hormonal boogey man at bay.

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