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View Full Version : Carb Rotation - An In-depth Guide to Personalizing Your Diet - New Article!



Joe Black
02-01-2010, 09:34 AM
Carb Rotation - An In-depth Guide to Personalizing Your Diet - New Article! (http://www.wannabebig.com/diet-and-nutrition/carb-rotation-an-in-depth-guide-to-personalizing-your-diet/) by Steve Colescott

Carbohydrate rotation is most likely one of the most effective ways to manipulate your body composition.

It's so effective because it not only addresses all major hormonal systems, it's also incredibly adaptable to whatever your physique goals are.

Whether you are looking to gain some slabs of quality muscle or want to strip away unwanted body fat, this could be your ticket to reaching that 'beach body' more quickly.

Enjoy and discuss/ask any questions here!

Jaccal
02-01-2010, 11:50 AM
Hi, Thank you for a great article!

Please can I ask, when working out your calories for the day do you use your present body weight or your projected goal body weight if you are on a fat loss program?

In other words, if I weigh 250lbs and at a projected 10% BF would/should weigh 200lbs, which value do I use to calculate the calories?

Thanks
Jacques

4g64fiero
02-01-2010, 05:01 PM
Wow. That was really well explained.

I will now have to focus more on this!

Davy_Baby9
02-01-2010, 05:45 PM
I'm loving all the articles on this site! :)

I have never done carb-cycling before because to me, it seemed kind of complicated. Well, this summer I want to be as lean as possible, so this seems like the way to go.

cphafner
02-01-2010, 08:16 PM
Awesome, awesome article. I worked with Shelby earlier this winter, and this is very similar to what he set me up with. I am still following it, still gaining weight and strength but keeping my bodyfat in check. I am a big fan of carb cycling.

Joe Black
02-02-2010, 07:44 AM
I'm loving all the articles on this site! :)

I have never done carb-cycling before because to me, it seemed kind of complicated. Well, this summer I want to be as lean as possible, so this seems like the way to go.

I was too worried about the complexity of it, but in reality it's no more complicated than any other diet and preperation is the key.

I am working with Shelby on a very simular carb cycling strategy. I have low, med and high days and have specific timing and macros for those days. I've basically built a template for each day with 2-3 different options for each meal and once you have done that it is just a case of planning 3 days at a time, cooking the food and eating it and as with anything after a while you are able to do it easier and without quite as much planning.

The one big thing I like about this is it means you can schedule your higher carb days around the hardest training sessions nand save the low ones for cardio/off days and as the article describes if you want to adjust things it can easily be done by swapping one day for another etc.

Jaccal
02-02-2010, 12:20 PM
Hi, Thank you for a great article!

Please can I ask, when working out your calories for the day do you use your present body weight or your projected goal body weight if you are on a fat loss program?

In other words, if I weigh 250lbs and at a projected 10% BF would/should weigh 200lbs, which value do I use to calculate the calories?

Thanks
Jacques

alin
02-03-2010, 01:44 PM
Allen Cress is great.
Carb cycling is great.

An article from Allen Cress on carb cycling is instant win.
Thanks for the great article. Everybody should read this. Carb cycling is the way to go.

Joe Black
02-03-2010, 03:41 PM
Although Allen cress did not write it ;) it's just his pic in the article..

Steve Colescott
02-03-2010, 03:58 PM
Hi, Thank you for a great article!

Please can I ask, when working out your calories for the day do you use your present body weight or your projected goal body weight if you are on a fat loss program?

In other words, if I weigh 250lbs and at a projected 10% BF would/should weigh 200lbs, which value do I use to calculate the calories?

Thanks
Jacques
If you are new to dieting, go with your current bodyweight. (If you have been dieting recently, you probably have a good idea of you baseline caloric needs). Just cleaning up your diet should bring changes. The inherent adaptablilty of the diet can come into play there. At first you can decrease overall calorie level to start fat loss. When it plateaus, you can then adjust your ratio of low/medium/high days. Remember, the changes should always be subtle. You want to coax continued progress, not attempt to force it (which tends to lead to metabolic shutdown and burnout).

Steve Colescott
02-03-2010, 03:59 PM
Wow. That was really well explained.
Thank you!

Steve Colescott
02-03-2010, 04:13 PM
I'm loving all the articles on this site! :)

I have never done carb-cycling before because to me, it seemed kind of complicated. Well, this summer I want to be as lean as possible, so this seems like the way to go.
It is complicated, but so is the body. There are some people that mentally respond better to a relatively static diet (the same thing every day until that no longer works or you need to adjust portion sizes). There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Carb rotation has a few added benefits: 1) it is adaptable as hell, 2) you don't tend to feel as restricted. Dying for Leggo waffles? Have one on your high carb day but try to use good sources as much as possible for the rest, 3) it encourages strength gains and recovery by giving you more carbs on your heavy squat and deadlift days, 4) glycogen gets reloaded and even superloaded after a couple low carb days, 5) some potentially cool hormonal stuff: increased insulin sensitivity, leptin optimization, glucagon and GH working on lowcarb days. The more I think of it, the more perks there are.

If simplicity is important to you, (and I under stand this, I like simple workouts with strength goals in one or two exercises a session with some assistance moves added in), then stick with a straight forward reduced-carb, high-protein, high-fiber fatloss diet. If you want to build muscle, get lean and strong and not get burnt out in the process, Carb Rotation might be worth trying.

Davy_Baby9
02-03-2010, 09:25 PM
It is complicated, but so is the body. There are some people that mentally respond better to a relatively static diet (the same thing every day until that no longer works or you need to adjust portion sizes). There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Carb rotation has a few added benefits: 1) it is adaptable as hell, 2) you don't tend to feel as restricted. Dying for Leggo waffles? Have one on your high carb day but try to use good sources as much as possible for the rest, 3) it encourages strength gains and recovery by giving you more carbs on your heavy squat and deadlift days, 4) glycogen gets reloaded and even superloaded after a couple low carb days, 5) some potentially cool hormonal stuff: increased insulin sensitivity, leptin optimization, glucagon and GH working on lowcarb days. The more I think of it, the more perks there are.

If simplicity is important to you, (and I under stand this, I like simple workouts with strength goals in one or two exercises a session with some assistance moves added in), then stick with a straight forward reduced-carb, high-protein, high-fiber fatloss diet. If you want to build muscle, get lean and strong and not get burnt out in the process, Carb Rotation might be worth trying.


Awesome. I'm def going to try it. With college full time, and work full time it's hard to remember some stuff, that's what I was getting at. Today in class I worked on an Excel spreadsheet that had all the aspects of that article plus what I had to eat to reach those protein, carb, and fat totals for each day. It would def help keeping track each day with something in front of me until I get the hang of it.

cphafner
02-03-2010, 09:38 PM
Steve how important do you think carb sources are? Especially on high carb days. I worked with Shelby earlier this year, and try to only stick to his preferred carb sources. Just curious your thoughts on food choices.

alin
02-03-2010, 11:50 PM
Although Allen cress did not write it it's just his pic in the article..

Hah! :bang: Well, makes no difference really. Thanks for the awesome article.

Steve Colescott
02-04-2010, 08:06 AM
Steve how important do you think carb sources are? Especially on high carb days. I worked with Shelby earlier this year, and try to only stick to his preferred carb sources. Just curious your thoughts on food choices.
Shelby is full of crap! What the hell does he know?

Just kidding. Shelby is the man and someone I consider a new but very good friend. Diet is very individual, both on the basis of how the particular athlete handles carbs and how the person mentally handles a diet, which is why working with someone like Shelby that does personalized diet is a smart move.

On a contest diet, I would stick with the core clean carbs we all know about (rice, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, etc.). In the off-season, you can use your high carb days to throw in limited amounts of whatever food is "singing its sweet siren song" your way. Just keep it in moderation.

Gluttony is consuming for the enjoyment of consumption, and something we, as Americans, seem to have perfected. When eating the occassional dessert, eat it slowly and savor each bite as much as you do the very first one. If you have ever seen a fat person with eyes as glazed the the snack in front of them, you know what I mean by someone eating to fulfill an emnotional need to eat, rather than providing good nutrition or enjoying something delicious.

Travis Bell
02-04-2010, 08:08 AM
Steve, thanks for posting here. Excellent information

Joe Black
02-04-2010, 08:18 AM
When eating the occassional dessert, eat it slowly and savor each bite as much as you do the very first one

Ha ha, man I have to work at this one......... ;)

shelbystarnes
02-05-2010, 06:29 PM
Great article as usual, Steve. Hopefully we'll get to see more of your work here soon.

Off Road
02-05-2010, 06:53 PM
Great article as usual, Steve. Hopefully we'll get to see more of your work here soon.
Nice to see you posting here :thumbup:

shelbystarnes
02-05-2010, 06:57 PM
Nice to see you posting here :thumbup:

I'm starting to get the hang of these computer things.

cphafner
02-05-2010, 09:20 PM
Awesome to have you here Shelby. Your offseason has been very impressive!

Conor

Steve Colescott
02-06-2010, 12:51 AM
Great article as usual, Steve. Hopefully we'll get to see more of your work here soon.
I suspected you might browse through here. That's why i thought I'd poke you with a stick a bit on my earlier response.

CleverName
02-06-2010, 04:39 AM
The link is 404'd right now... can we get it back up?

Joe Black
02-06-2010, 04:53 AM
aware of this problem, fixing now! :)

CleverName
02-06-2010, 05:19 AM
Things are always so prompt with you guys. Thanks! :D

Joe Black
02-06-2010, 05:38 AM
fixed :)

We upgraded some stuff on the server and it managed to bring down large parts of WBB and ALN - not good!

Everything back to normal though now.

MattyMcD
02-19-2010, 10:55 AM
hey i had a question, how do you calculate the grams for each high/mod/low carb day?

I'm at around 165 right now and am putting together my weight training program (hoping to get to 185/190 at 15% body fat in 6 months) and wasn't entirely clear how I should calculate grams based off this model.

I have to say though this site is great - its incredibly informative and motivating. I'm revolving all of my workout plans around what I find on here, and spending too much money on At Large stuff...but I want to do it right and everything here sounds solid. Thanks!

Future
02-20-2010, 10:57 AM
Great article!

Steve Colescott
05-08-2010, 01:17 PM
Hey Matt. Sorry about the terribly slow response. My old laptop wasn't displaying forums correctly so I was not checking up on here as often as I should. Your question involves some math and use of the scientific method (adjust based on results, as you go).

There are two schools of thought among diet programmers: percentage or gram counts. Neither one is superior to the other; it is just personal preference. I usually go with percentages. I start with a calorie count; break it into percentages of protein, carbs and fat; and adjust from there. If the person begins with 18 calories per pound of bodyweight as the starting point and they gained weight when their goal was to lost it, we reduce things down (possibly to 16 calories per pound).

If you are following a Carb Rotation Diet like in this article, you would make further adjustments by changing the propertion of the carb intake (maybe from "two high/ three medium/ two low" to "one high/ three medium/ three low"). You get the idea.

You have the goal of gaining 20-25 pounds in six months (less now due to my slow response) and I am not sure how to direct you since I don't know if you are above 15% now and plan to lose weight or intending to gain the weight with some bodyfat increase (which is easier but less desireable). Unless you are new to training that is a huge increase in a short time period. And, if you are new to training, you don't really know how quickly you might respond to training.

Give me more info and I will reply pronto!


hey i had a question, how do you calculate the grams for each high/mod/low carb day?

I'm at around 165 right now and am putting together my weight training program (hoping to get to 185/190 at 15% body fat in 6 months) and wasn't entirely clear how I should calculate grams based off this model.

I have to say though this site is great - its incredibly informative and motivating. I'm revolving all of my workout plans around what I find on here, and spending too much money on At Large stuff...but I want to do it right and everything here sounds solid. Thanks!

azo
06-08-2010, 11:30 AM
HI and thanks for great article.

I am going to give carb rotation a try when my next cutting phase starts. I am currently 165lbs(~12-15% bodyfat) and looking to go down to 155lbs(9-10% bf). However I have couple of questions which I hope you could clarify to me.

I am just going to have a short cutting phase to stay in weight class and to have a little room for muscle mass development.

1. In the start of the cutting phase, how many kcals should I eat per pound of bodyweight? 14? 15? 16? ??

2. Can I divide the protein, carb and fat intake equally between the meals? So on moderate carb days my every meal would consist aprox 50% protein, 35% carb and 15% fat.
Or am I supposed to be eating carbs only with proteins and fats only with proteins? Planning the nutrition would be a lot easier if I could build up meals from all macronutrients instead of using just two of the three at a time. Will it mess this program?

3. When my cutting phase is complete am I going to slowly raise the calories per pound of bodyweight value to get to muscle building? How slow? +1kcal/lbs/week?

4. How can I find my sweet spot where I am gaining weight slowly while putting on only muscle and staying lean.

Hope my questions were not too ambiguous. :)
Thanks in advance!

Steve Colescott
06-09-2010, 04:07 PM
HI and thanks for great article.

I am going to give carb rotation a try when my next cutting phase starts. I am currently 165lbs(~12-15% bodyfat) and looking to go down to 155lbs(9-10% bf). However I have couple of questions which I hope you could clarify to me.

I am just going to have a short cutting phase to stay in weight class and to have a little room for muscle mass development.

1. In the start of the cutting phase, how many kcals should I eat per pound of bodyweight? 14? 15? 16? ??

2. Can I divide the protein, carb and fat intake equally between the meals? So on moderate carb days my every meal would consist aprox 50% protein, 35% carb and 15% fat.
Or am I supposed to be eating carbs only with proteins and fats only with proteins? Planning the nutrition would be a lot easier if I could build up meals from all macronutrients instead of using just two of the three at a time. Will it mess this program?

3. When my cutting phase is complete am I going to slowly raise the calories per pound of bodyweight value to get to muscle building? How slow? +1kcal/lbs/week?

4. How can I find my sweet spot where I am gaining weight slowly while putting on only muscle and staying lean.

Hope my questions were not too ambiguous. :)
Thanks in advance!

Azo,

The changes you wish to make are not too dramatic and seem easily achievable. I'd love to give exact answers but, as you probably know, diet needs to be pretty individualized.

1) I would start at 16 and then see if that causes some fat loss. Many people restrict too much to stoart and have no way to adjust. You want to use the must minor restriction possible. This allows you to cut fat while keeping as much muscle as possible.

2) People tend to like to do the even split among meals, but in truth, the body is pretty clever and I think all you really need to do is keep track of the daily totals. Try to keep carbs near the strength training session (before and after) particularly on the low carb days and, if you train early, i think its best to cut carbs from the latter meals of the day, so that you have a nice low-carb, high GH overnight period for fat-burning.

3) Depends on how lean you wish to remain. I think you should go for a roughly 20% increase from a diet to a gaining phase, with some cardio to keep your metabolism revved. The beauty of the Carb Rotation Diet is that if you are smoothing out, you can adjust one or two of the days (as covered in more detail in the article).

4) Make the adjustments like mentioned above. You can get someone like Shelby Starnes to do your diet if you aren't good at doing this yourself.

Good luck! Let us know how you progress.