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Carb cycling is a dietary approach that focuses on the amount of carbohydrates you consume on a given day.

Adjusting the number of macronutrients you eat daily can help you lose weight, gain muscle or both. Carb cycling revolves around three “days” known as “high carb” days, “medium carb” days and “low carb” days.

High carb days are utilized during the hardest training (exercise) days. On these days, you want to feed your body considerably more carbs in order to fuel your workouts.

Medium carb days are utilized on moderate training days that require fewer carbs for energy. On medium carb days, the goal is to give your body just enough carbs to fuel your workout but not enough to put extra pounds around your waist. Medium carb days are also maintenance days.

Low carb days are utilized on your off days, rest days or days you are performing moderate cardio or light conditioning. On these days, your primary goal is to burn fat. Since you are performing minimal activity, your body will need fewer carbohydrates. If you are completely new to carb cycling, consider starting with 3 high carb days a week, 2-3 medium carb days and 1-2 low carb days. If your goal is to burn fat as quickly as possible you will want to be more aggressive with your approach. This means that you will include more low carb days in a row than high carb days. After two to four weeks, you can then review your progress and adjust the ratio of days based on your goals and what works best for you.

Carb cycling varies not only carbohydrates on respective days, but fat and protein intake will also vary. Here is a sample chart to follow:

Low Carb Days – Eat more lean proteins and NO/LOW sugars or starches! Higher Fats.

Medium Carb Days – You will eat complex carbs and starches during your meal before your training session and post training, and one to two meals following your training, but you avoid carbs usually at breakfast.

High Carb Days – Eat complex carbs and starches with every meal. While this may seem like a lot of carbs, remember that these are your high calorie anabolic/recovery or heavy training days. (typically leg days)

Here is a sample Carb Cycle breakdown for a 35 year old man weighing 75KG (165 pound) and standing 180CM (5’11”) tall whose Basal Metabolic Rate is 2347 calories:

High Carb Days

Calories          2213

Protein (30%) 165g

Carbs (60%)   331g

Fat (10%)        24g

Medium Carb Days

Calories          2113

Protein (35%) 184g

Carbs (45%)   237g

Fat (20%)        46g

Low Carb Days

Calories          1878

Protein (45%) 211g

Carbs (20%)   93g

Fat (35%)        73g

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