When you follow a low-carb diet, the body depletes its stored muscle glycogen (the stored form of carbohydrate), which is the body’s main source of energy. However, as you begin to lose more body fat over time, it will be harder to get through workouts and harder to maintain muscle mass.
Carb Cycling is the practice of cycling days of low carbs with a day (or days) of higher carb intake . After you have been carb cycling for a while and are starting to burn through carbs and stored glycogen quicker, you can increase the frequency to one high day every 2 to 4 days. Just like the frequency at which your carb cycle occurs, the amount of carbs you need is also determined by your unique makeup. Now that you know how many carbs you need and how frequently you should cycle, here’s a sample on how you can put together your own plan.   This example is based on an active 180-pound male looking to lose body fat and maintain lean mass.
Carb cycling, or moving from a lower-carbohydrate intake to higher carbs, is a technique bodybuilders use to strip away body fat.
Another approach is simply to cut your carb portions in half for 3-4 days, then go back to eating a higher carb intake on the fifth day. The key is to keep your body guessing, as opposed to letting it get accustomed to one particular nutrient intake day after day. Over time this will increase your metabolic rate, meaning you’ll burn more calories during rest. You’re also going to get a stronger core, because cycling incorporates the back and abdominal muscles. FullSpike Research TeamFRT conducts ongoing science and research with diet experts, engineers, athletes, personal trainers, physicians, and analytical chemists.
Carb cycling, or moving from a lower-carbohydrate intake to higher carbs, is a technique bodybuilders use to strip away body fat.
The frequency of your cycle will vary depending on how much fat weight you have stored, how fast you access glycogen and how active and intense your workouts are.


Remember, in order for you to burn through glycogen and access fat as fuel, you need to lower your carbs enough to allow for that to happen. Lauren has over 15 years of experience as a trainer, consultant to the supplement industry and nutrition expert. Generally, a bodybuilder will eat 100-125 grams of carbs a day for 3-4 days followed by 400-500 grams on the fifth day.
Just as you need to change things up in the gym for continued gains in strength and size to avoid plateaus, you must not let your body get too comfortable with the foods you eat. In addition to that, you can save a lot of money; money that you can spend on things you want, money that would normally get sucked into your gas tank. Depending on your weight and overall health, your metabolic rate could increase just after your first bike-ride. All forms of exercise are great; we highly encourage you to be doing something rather than nothing.
Just as you need to change things up in the gym for continued gains in strength and size to avoid plateaus, you mustn’t let your body get too comfortable with the foods you eat. At first, the carb reduction will lead to weight loss and improvements in body composition.
As a result, the body switches from using alternative sources of fuel, particularly fatty acids from stored body fat and ketones. If you can manage performing higher intensity workouts – like sprints, plyometrics or circuit training for the days when you’re in a low phase, you will not only burn through carb stores quicker, but also train your body to access fat more efficiently. To begin, start with a low-carb phase that provides approximately 20% or less carbs of your daily macros, along with 40 % of your daily macros coming from each protein and fat.
She is also the TV show host of "Body Fuel," a former competitive athlete and regular contributor to various fitness publications.
This is also why the occasional cheat day is considered productive for bodybuilders on strict diets.


Depending on how much you weigh and how intense your sessions are, you can burn anywhere between 400 to 500 calories in a single hour.
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But over time the continuity of being on a low-carb diet can down-regulate critical hormones involved in not only your fat metabolism, but also your muscle building. The body will even increase mitochondria – the powerhouse cells to help increase energy demands – since metabolizing fatty acids as fuel is much slower than obtaining energy from glycogen. Cycling carbs gives you the best of both worlds – during a low phase the body will be glycogen depleted and hence increase fatty acid oxidation, while on a high day the body will restore muscle glycogen while also enhancing hormones that can help stimulate muscle building and fat burning.
If you’re more active or have less weight to lose, increase the cycle frequency to one high carb day every 3 to 5 days. On your high day, switch your macros to 30% or less protein, 60% or less carbs and 20% or less fat. This technique seems to keep the metabolism elevated while a constant lower-carb intake can actually cause the metabolism to slow. You should start to look at whole foods; whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and avoid processed foods. This technique seems to keep the metabolism elevated while a constant lower-carb intake can actually cause the metabolism to slow. Cycling your carbs can provide a shock to your body increasing the hormones that enhance protein synthesis as well as fat oxidation. Increasing the amount of available mitochondria helps the body generate ATP faster to meet energy demands enabling you to still work out, while also allowing you to burn off more fat.



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