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Goll65
04-10-2011, 10:02 PM
I'm lifting mon, wed, fri and was wondering about cycling calories, mostly carbs, to loose fat. Would I eat higher calories on lifting days for energy or higher calories tues, thurs, and sat for recovery. Just curious on your rationales and advice. I would like to maintain strength also, obviously. Thanks.

Shaun Mirjavadi
04-10-2011, 10:36 PM
Do the high carbs on your workout days, and low carbs in between. If you want to lose fat, you might need to drop to only 2 high days, and 2 medium. Medium days are good for training too. I usually have people start high, med, low, repeat and go from there depending on how they respond. If you have a fast metabolism, you can start with the mon, wed, fri high days and med/ low days in between. Like starting with monday, go High, low, high, low high, med, low. Just be sure you are cycling correctly and putting the macros together correctly. I could give you a little more advice if I knew some stats...

chevelle2291
04-10-2011, 11:11 PM
Do the high carbs on your workout days, and low carbs in between. If you want to lose fat, you might need to drop to only 2 high days, and 2 medium. Medium days are good for training too. I usually have people start high, med, low, repeat and go from there depending on how they respond. If you have a fast metabolism, you can start with the mon, wed, fri high days and med/ low days in between. Like starting with monday, go High, low, high, low high, med, low. Just be sure you are cycling correctly and putting the macros together correctly. I could give you a little more advice if I knew some stats...

Troponin FTW.

Behemoth
04-11-2011, 07:19 AM
Having high and low days is irrelevant unless a median necessity has been established. Meaning just because you eat less calories or carbs on one day and more on another doesn't mean you lose weight that stays off. If you have a solid diet established then calorie cycling (especially by way of carbs as you suggested) can be very beneficial. Usually in the beginning its best to just shoot for a consistent intake daily that nets a weekly deficit relative to the amount of fat you're trying to lose. Once you get a good handle on what impact different intakes have on your composition these tactics become more useful.

Goll - Have you already established a consistent intake that you lose weight on?

Goll65
04-11-2011, 07:52 AM
Ya I have a good diet plan that I can loose consistently on but is isnt easy for me to loose. I am an easy gainer of every thing. Right now i'm 275ish at 6ft. I used to be a really healthy athletic 240, but still had some extra torso fat. Then I blew out my knee in 07 couldnt work or workout for 5 months ate like shit during this time( my own fault), and being an easy gainer balooned to well over 3bills. I am still strong, but have lost all athletic ability and power and its harder to loose the weight, so i thought some cycling might help speed it up but I havent ever done it before.Thanks

Behemoth
04-11-2011, 09:20 AM
You sound like myself in that when I can't train I start to snowball out of control. How many calories are you eating and how many are you proposing to cycle out on days?

Mercuryblade
04-11-2011, 10:00 AM
Keep in mind, that your body isn't on a 24 hour schedule.
As others have stated, it's really the median that matters.

For sanity's sake, it probably is best to eat more on training days (so you have energy/don't feel like shit in the gym).

Shaun Mirjavadi
04-11-2011, 11:19 AM
There's a thousand ways to skin a cat, so to speak. There are a lot of ways to lose the weight, some are better than others. Carb cycling is still going to give you an overall median calorie intake. There are many advantages to carb cycling. For one, it just plain and simple breaks up the monotany of the diet. Focusing on grams of macros is really the same as counting calories really. Each day has a purpose. I find that people need to take less food away overall by the time that they meet their goal weight, as the schedule of the diet changes and you never really plateau. You can actually keep more calories in because the metabolism is stimulated more so than just eating the same exact way every day. And this also allows you to schedule higher food intake on training days. And as I said, you get to utilize insulin spikes for its anabolic properties and lot gain fat. Energy stays high, training intensity doesn't diminish over the span of the diet.

For fat loss and preservation of or even an increase in lean muscle mass, I would simply start with high, med, low, high, med, low. Go from there. Work hard on high and med days, use low days for off days or just cardio. Take pictures to monitor your progress. Trust me, you will be able to lose more weight without the plateaus. You just change the cycle and stretch the med and low days. Don't go crazy in the beginning though, or you won't have much to change. don't forget your cardio. Start low here too and gradually increase it. Try adding about an hour every 2 weeks or so, again depending on your progression.

Like I said, there are a thousand ways to lose weight, but it sounds like you want to do a carb cycle, and I really think that is the best option. Im about your height and weight as well. I've done all types of diets, and this one works the best for most people. Its all about consistency and weighing and measuring your foods. Keep a journal if you can to stay on task. Be prepared, as with any diet, and pack your food wherever you go. Good luck!

Behemoth
04-11-2011, 06:35 PM
There's a thousand ways to skin a cat, so to speak. There are a lot of ways to lose the weight, some are better than others. Carb cycling is still going to give you an overall median calorie intake. There are many advantages to carb cycling. For one, it just plain and simple breaks up the monotany of the diet. Focusing on grams of macros is really the same as counting calories really. Each day has a purpose. I find that people need to take less food away overall by the time that they meet their goal weight, as the schedule of the diet changes and you never really plateau. You can actually keep more calories in because the metabolism is stimulated more so than just eating the same exact way every day. And this also allows you to schedule higher food intake on training days. And as I said, you get to utilize insulin spikes for its anabolic properties and lot gain fat. Energy stays high, training intensity doesn't diminish over the span of the diet.

For fat loss and preservation of or even an increase in lean muscle mass, I would simply start with high, med, low, high, med, low. Go from there. Work hard on high and med days, use low days for off days or just cardio. Take pictures to monitor your progress. Trust me, you will be able to lose more weight without the plateaus. You just change the cycle and stretch the med and low days. Don't go crazy in the beginning though, or you won't have much to change. don't forget your cardio. Start low here too and gradually increase it. Try adding about an hour every 2 weeks or so, again depending on your progression.

Like I said, there are a thousand ways to lose weight, but it sounds like you want to do a carb cycle, and I really think that is the best option. Im about your height and weight as well. I've done all types of diets, and this one works the best for most people. Its all about consistency and weighing and measuring your foods. Keep a journal if you can to stay on task. Be prepared, as with any diet, and pack your food wherever you go. Good luck!

Pretty much agree. I simply tend to be leery if the dieter has first been successful with a consistent calorie reduction. It can sometimes be overwhelming for someone brand new to a diet to be given lots of guidelines to follow when really all that is necessary early on is the aforementioned calorie deficit.

This guy sounds like he wants to carb/calorie cycle and has been able to lose weight in the past so I would back you up on your advice. One thing I particularly like that you said was "Don't go crazy in the beginning though, or you won't have much to change." That seems to be an often disregarded concept. It's very simple to lose fat early on and dieting should almost always be progressive, always saving little weapons that you're still able to implore without completely burning yourself out.

Shaun Mirjavadi
04-11-2011, 06:52 PM
Right on Behemoth. I remember when I was just getting into bodybuilding and I would diet, I would cut calories almost daily! Always freaking out, thinking that I wasn't losing enough or fast enough. then I would just end up skinny fat! lol. Then I learned about real nutrition. Now its much more fun. You have to build a plan and just stick to it. You will always have to fine tune as you go, but I see too many guys eating some egg whites for breakfast, a piece of chicken for lunch, and a protein shake at bed time. And they're not shredded, thats for sure!

Patience is the key. Avoid the burnout, and consider dieting a privilege instead of feeling sorry for yourself, because you will have to slightly alienate yourself to succeed. There's nothing like going to a birthday party with pizza, cake and ice cream, carrying along your own tupperware with brown rice, broccoli and chicken breast. People will always say things like, "hey, you look great, 1 little cheeseburger and a couple beers won't hurt you" well, that stuff adds up and it kills your morale when you're dieting. Why give 90% when you can give 100 you know. In the end, you're doing yourself a favor because you will actually succeed!

Goll65
04-12-2011, 09:36 AM
I really dont count the calories I have before and it works but can be very time consuming. On my diet I watch amounts. I eat 5-6 meals a day, if its a workout day I add a preworkout shake, all but my bedtime meal inccludes a protein either from egg whites, lean meat, or protein powder. 1 cup of either cooked brown rice or oatmeal, and a cup of green veggies. I'll add in fish oil, cla or flax to every meal, except pre and post workout

So if i cycled I probly drop the oatmeal and rice completely on those days

Thanks for the advice/help

Allen Cress
04-14-2011, 10:28 AM
Good advice guys. People always tend to look at the immediate and not long term or cummulative effects of dieting. Be patient and coax your body to respond , don't try and force it.

As far as carb cycling, or calorie cycling goes the one thing I dislike about these is not that they don't work , they absolutely do, but that people always put their lower calorie or carb days on there off days, why? Do you realize you recover and rebuild muscle tissue while resting, so why would you automatically eat less on those days. Your body doesn't work on a 24 hour clock as mercuryblade stated. Its always cummulative effects of the diet not one day.

Just be patient and don't be in such a hurry to change things just because your scale weight didn't move or your progress has plateaued. Progress is never linear.

Behemoth
04-14-2011, 11:35 AM
Because the sooner you start the recovery (post workout) the sooner and better you will recover. Not that one wouldn't benefit from the additional calories on an off day or that it really makes a ton of difference in the long. But additionally energy for better workouts and better partioning of the few extra calories on a workout day is also sensible. Not to mention that just as you noted that recovery also occurs for days after your workout, those calories will also benefit ones recovery from other previous workouts days earlier.

if someone had better results, adherence or was simply dead set on putting the high day on an off day I would not bother telling them to change it, its pretty unimportant since the bodies not on a 24 hr clock. But when indifferent I would certainly advise them to put their high day on a workout day. I know for me 50g of carbs can make the difference of a bad workout or a good workout deep into dieting.

Raleighwood
04-14-2011, 03:54 PM
I've had decent success over the past 6 weeks of cycling carbs/calories and intermittent fasting. I am averaging about 3lbs a week... total of 18lbs so far.

I lift heavy 4 days a week with an upper/lower split a la 5/3/1-ish.

My eating looks something like this:

Training days
On training days, I will train fasted at around 10am-1pm. I will have a 30minute preworkout 15g BCAA + 5g Creatine Shake. While I workout I will sip on 15g more BCAAs and then PWO I will have ~25g of whey protein. Shortly after the shake I usually have 1-2 banana pancakes and 3-5 eggs + ~1cup of greek yogurt. I may have another whey shake before dinner, where I will usually have .5-1.5lbs of meat (chicken, beef, pork or turkey) and a carb source (usually sweet potatoes or rice).

I don't know what that comes out to, I just eat til I am stuffed and focus on keeping fat intake low.

Non-Training Days

On my off days (3-days a week) I will fast til about 12-1:30pm and then break it with about 4 slices of bacon and 3-6eggs and a 25g whey shake + 5g creatine. Then I'll probably have a whey shake again to hold me over til dinner and then for dinner I will have .5-1.5lbs of meat with a truck-load of vegetables (brussel sprouts, broccoli, greens, cauliflower, etc.)

Strength Loss

I can tell a slight decrease in my limit strength. A bigger loss in my strength endurance. However, I don't totally know the extent of it since I have dropped intensity by about 5-10% and cut volume a bit too. However, I feel good during my sessions and it seems like I am performing well. No real crashes in mood or energy.

I also supplement with ZMA, Vitamin D, Fish oil, and Multi-v.

Please give me some guidance if this seems retarded. However, so far I am noticing a pretty significant drop in bodyfat and for the first time I am starting to get visible upper obliques and 6-pack. My arms and back look significantly more ripped too.

Goll65
04-14-2011, 04:32 PM
Thanks for the discussio this is why I wasnt sure if the low days should be workout days or not

Raleighwood in your profile pic you look like Wolverine(hugh Jackman version) anyone else?

Allen Cress
04-14-2011, 05:07 PM
Because the sooner you start the recovery (post workout) the sooner and better you will recover. Not that one wouldn't benefit from the additional calories on an off day or that it really makes a ton of difference in the long. But additionally energy for better workouts and better partioning of the few extra calories on a workout day is also sensible. Not to mention that just as you noted that recovery also occurs for days after your workout, those calories will also benefit ones recovery from other previous workouts days earlier.

if someone had better results, adherence or was simply dead set on putting the high day on an off day I would not bother telling them to change it, its pretty unimportant since the bodies not on a 24 hr clock. But when indifferent I would certainly advise them to put their high day on a workout day. I know for me 50g of carbs can make the difference of a bad workout or a good workout deep into dieting.

I agree that the sooner you start recovery the better you will recover. My point is that putting low carbs on off days because you're not active is ridiculous. Say you have a hard training session and your off the next day. During just 20 min of intense training you can reduce Glycogen by 50%. Restoration of glycogen is slow, only around 5% an hour. So it could take up to 20 hours to restore glycogen to optimal levels.

Now of course when your dieting to get very lean you will be depeleted most of the time but your body utilizes carbs very efficiently when you are not training. I'm not trying to say you shouldn't eat more or less on training or non-training days. Its trhe overall diet that matters.

chevelle2291
04-14-2011, 05:12 PM
I

Strength Loss

I can tell a slight decrease in my limit strength. A bigger loss in my strength endurance. However, I don't totally know the extent of it since I have dropped intensity by about 5-10% and cut volume a bit too. However, I feel good during my sessions and it seems like I am performing well. No real crashes in mood or energy.


Raleigh, why did you decrease intensity on a cut in addition to volume? The volume I can sometimes understand, but intensity? Seems to go against what I've read to do on a cut.

3 pounds a week seems like quite a lot.....

Behemoth
04-14-2011, 05:22 PM
I agree that the sooner you start recovery the better you will recover. My point is that putting low carbs on off days because you're not active is ridiculous. Say you have a hard training session and your off the next day. During just 20 min of intense training you can reduce Glycogen by 50%. Restoration of glycogen is slow, only around 5% an hour. So it could take up to 20 hours to restore glycogen to optimal levels.

Now of course when your dieting to get very lean you will be depeleted most of the time but your body utilizes carbs very efficiently when you are not training. I'm not trying to say you shouldn't eat more or less on training or non-training days. Its trhe overall diet that matters.

Right, I think were in complete agreement if I read that correctly. Though recovery is much more involved than just glycogen replenishment I do agree that if one is even mildly depleted (and yes easily could be extremely or completely depleted during prolonged dieting) then even a huge carbohydrate containing meal with rapidly replenishing carbs would still take many, many hours to utilize the necessary volume worth that one ingested to replenish his or her stores. Therefore I agree that lowered carbs even during an off day can and may very well interfere with recovery. Its just that if you have to pick a time to lower them, first pick makes an off day slightly more advantageous for most.

And your last sentence overrides any and all of these mondain details for the most part

Raleighwood
04-14-2011, 07:21 PM
Raleigh, why did you decrease intensity on a cut in addition to volume? The volume I can sometimes understand, but intensity? Seems to go against what I've read to do on a cut.

3 pounds a week seems like quite a lot.....

It wasn't a significant drop in intensity. I cycled back about 10% and have been climbing back up.

Plus, I can't really train at 100% of my max all the time, even when I am not losing weight.

I tend to use some auto-regulation techniques. I'll add/subtract reps, sets and weight depending on how I feel. With this weight loss, I actually hit a squat PR about 2 weeks in to it because I felt good. But, now 4 weeks later my RPE is higher at lighter weights, so I've tapered it back a bit.

So... Don't get me twisted. I am still lifting heavy and fast. Just not maximally. I still have a decent amount of volume too, but it's usually with lighter stuff like dips, chin ups, box jumps or Dumbell work.

Raleighwood
04-14-2011, 07:28 PM
Thanks for the discussio this is why I wasnt sure if the low days should be workout days or not

Raleighwood in your profile pic you look like Wolverine(hugh Jackman version) anyone else?

Haha, yea that was my halloween costume in '09. It was a pretty big hit, especially with the ladies.

This year, if I can stay ripped until Fall, I may do a 300 spartan, Spartacus/Gladiator or Rambo.

RichMcGuire
04-14-2011, 10:11 PM
Haha, yea that was my halloween costume in '09. It was a pretty big hit, especially with the ladies.

This year, if I can stay ripped until Fall, I may do a 300 spartan, Spartacus/Gladiator or Rambo.

lol good choice man. I did that a couple years ago and got grabbed on stage when I entered a halloween costume contest. I just dont know if it was a guy or girl because I was blinded by the lights..

Shaun Mirjavadi
04-17-2011, 07:02 AM
Right, I think were in complete agreement if I read that correctly. Though recovery is much more involved than just glycogen replenishment I do agree that if one is even mildly depleted (and yes easily could be extremely or completely depleted during prolonged dieting) then even a huge carbohydrate containing meal with rapidly replenishing carbs would still take many, many hours to utilize the necessary volume worth that one ingested to replenish his or her stores. Therefore I agree that lowered carbs even during an off day can and may very well interfere with recovery. Its just that if you have to pick a time to lower them, first pick makes an off day slightly more advantageous for most.

And your last sentence overrides any and all of these mondain details for the most part



When you think about it, we're constantly recovering. Im not going to be in recovery mode starting after 4pm when my workout is over, Im already in recovery mode from yesterday or the day before's workout! I agree, if you get to pick your cycle and your workout schedule, it just makes more sense to have your low days on your off days. Your low days shouldn't be days where you aren't allowed enough nutrition for recovery, just limiting carbs since you aren't burning so many. Also, lifting on high days is great because you have fuller, more hydrated muscles from the glycogen/ sodium re-absorbtion taking place in your muscles, so it can provide greater leverages for lifting. Especially if you can utilize pre/ during workout carbs, preferably something like waxy maize. You are also able to create a higher demand for your glycogen re-uptake.

Part of it is psychological too on a couple of levels. For one, even while dieting to be able to perform well in workouts is a plus, so that makes high day workouts a preference. Also, on an off day that you are high carbs on, some people have a hard time getting all their carbs in because they begin to "feel fat". This especially happens to female clients. The bottom line is, bodybuilders are concerned greatly with how they look, so for many, they get paranoid on a puffy high day with no work to do. Now we know that in the end, its not going to cause the person to gain fat on this one day and there are still plenty of benefits, but like I said it can be psychological for some.

I will say, however, that if somebody is in full on competition mode, and the time is ticking, low days can be great on training days. You really are focusing on burning up fat anyway. At that point, you can't really be too preferential, you just have to keep the carb rotation stretching in a way that best sheds the left over bodyfat. Thats why I llike to start early, or begin a diet fairly lean. Then you get more leeway with your cycle schedule, and might not have to get as crazy with things like lots of low days or cardio overload.