Carbohydrate Cycling =  Muscle Mass As Well As Low Body Fat Composition

Carbohydrate cycling allows you to continue to build muscle whilst losing excess body fat.
Many of the top athletes all over the world use this practise with great success.

Understanding the system is the first thing we need to clear up and try to get a handle on why it is so effective.



As you eat Carbohydrates the body has to increase the release of the hormone Insulin.
This hormone is effectively the most anabolic hormone in the body, no other hormone can pack on muscle tissue like Insulin, this is why eating large amounts of the right type of Carbohydrates is necessary if you want to build a substantial amount of muscle.

However there is a negative side to Insulin it is the hormone that causes the greatest amount of excess fat accumulation.
OK – we therefore need a solution, this comes in the correct form of Carbohydrate Cycling!!.

Gaining weight usually means on a daily basis you must consume more calories than your body expends and when you want to drop in weight the opposite, you simply need to consume less than you expend.

If only it were that simple because the fact of the matter is such that “What you eat and when you eat it is just as important as how much you eat”.

So we know Insulin is highly anabolic, so that would indicate the correct thing to do would be just eat tons of carbohydrates all the time – no, no no!!!!

Eating adequate amounts of carbohydrates ensures that glycogen stores are completely full, any additional carbohydrates will become excess to our requirements and will therefore be stored as “FAT”.

Eating tons of carbohydrates day in and day out in order to get larger stronger muscle gain is a big no!! – you will simply accumulate the very thing you don’t want – more body fat.

Now you have the answer to success, Carbohydrate Cycling on a daily and weekly basis will get you a healthier, leaner, more muscular physique.

Reducing Body Fat.

Its pretty clear that in order to reduce our levels of body fat we need to address the amount of carbohydrates we consume, reducing the volume is paramount to our success.

Restricting carbohydrates and total calories over a continuous length of time will effect your Thyroid levels, in fact it will cause an overall negative effect on your metabolism, its really going to slow it down, in turn this means less fat burning.

It also pushes the body towards a “catabolic state” – yes the dreaded word – catabolic, the total opposite of anabolic meaning loss of muscle or muscle wasting, not where we want to be.

Alarmingly this does not take long to kick in, it happens over three to four days.
So in three to four days a low carbohydrate diet can accelerate the storage of body fat and reduce muscle tissue.

How do we prevent this happening?

Well, the proper use of carbohydrate cycling, this will enable you to encourage fat loss and maintain as well as build muscle tissue. In my experience I recommend the following way forward.

Three to five days of restricted carbohydrates followed by one “high volume carbohydrate day”.

Amounts would obviously vary depending on how much excess fat someone wants to lose and how quickly they want to lose it.
For example if a person wants to lose a great deal of body fat while maintaining muscle mass we would commence the program on four days with very low carbohydrates followed by one very high carbohydrate day.

The low carbohydrate days would consist of lots of lean protein, green vegetables along with healthy fats such as olive oil and avocadoes, you are probably targeting around 50 – 70 grams of carbohydrates per day.

Looking towards the high carbohydrate day you would significantly increase the daily amount to between 200 – 450 grams mainly from foods such as sweet potatoes, porridge oats and brown or basmati rice.

Keep your carbohydrates “GREEN”.

So for the first four days the only carbohydrates you will be eating will be from green vegetables and salads, meaning the total calorific value will be approx 50 -70 grams.

As the fifth day dawns we should then be looking to add some fruits and starchy carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, mixed fresh berries, organic yoghurt, apples and pears, increasing the carbohydrates to between 200 – 450 grams, so four on 50 -70grams then back to 200 – 450grams cycling this over one month.

The time span of this cycle really needs to be around twenty eight days in order to see a remarked difference in body composition, however I have seen some pretty incredible results in only seven days!!, it really depends on the individual.

If you are someone who only needs to drop a little bit of body fat then I would encourage around 0.8 of a gram of carbohydrates per pound bodyweight, then on your high carbohydrate day double that amount.

OK so now you will probably ask, How do I know if this will work for me?

Do I choose three, four or five days low carbohydrates and one high day. Well like everything when it comes to dieting you will need o experiment to see what works for you.

If you feel you are losing to much muscle go for the three day system but if you want to accelerate fat loss try the four or five day system.

Effective planning whilst trying to build muscle and reduce body fat. Effective planning whilst trying to continually build muscle and reduce body fat is needed whilst carbohydrate cycling. The basis of the plan really calls for an equal amount of low carbohydrate days as high days.

If you can get away with eating lots of carbohydrates without gaining excess body fat then you may well get away with four high days and three low days, however if you cannot tolerate to many carbohydrates you might look at three high and four low, you simply have to experiment as one equation does not suit us all.

I would recommend your high carbohydrate days should be on your hardest training days, so if you workout three or four days with weights they should be your high carbohydrate days and low to medium when you are not working out.

High Carbohydrate Days – 2 – 2.5 grams of carbohydrates per pound bodyweight.
Medium Carbohydrate Days – 1.25 – 1.75 as above.
Low Carbohydrate Days – 0.5 – 1.0 as above.

Carbohydrate Cycling is very effective and simple, however like everything that reaps positive rewards it requires commitment, discipline and regular industrious workouts.

Once you get used to it I must say it is truly a very healthy and effective way to provide yourself with the correct nutrients you need to gain lean muscle tissue and reduce body fat levels.

It is important to remember that just about anyone can get bigger by just consuming more calories than their body needs to function, this in turn creates quantity rather than quality.

Nutrition is a very important part of the bodybuilding equation.

The key is that you don’t really want to get just quantity – high percentage body fat as well as increased muscle tissue, what you should be looking to achieve is “QUALITY”, follow the advice and you wont be disappointed.

Filed under: Nutrition

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