T Nation

Carb Cycling Confusion


#1

Well... ive been doing a caloric deficit for quite some time. Seen some results, but now that the body is adjusting, i am going to switch to carb cycling. I, however, have hit a slight snag.

The diet requests the following: Known BMR, 1.5g/lb bw for protein, equal carbs to protein on moderate days, and the rest of the calories in fat. Obvious percent increase changes on High/Low cal days.

My BMR is 3100... but at 260 my protein must be 390 and my carbs 390...so the problem is...that is 1560 cal of protein and 1560 calories of carbs... thats already over my BMR...so no room left to calculate fat.

I am wondering if i should take my LBM calculation and use it to calculate these items instead of my total body weight. I can create a caloric deficit through training to meet my needs, but i dont want to get into a ton of muscle burning cardio either. Any suggestions?


#2

[quote]Damron1474 wrote:
Well… ive been doing a caloric deficit for quite some time. Seen some results, but now that the body is adjusting, i am going to switch to carb cycling. I, however, have hit a slight snag.

The diet requests the following: Known BMR, 1.5g/lb bw for protein, equal carbs to protein on moderate days, and the rest of the calories in fat. Obvious percent increase changes on High/Low cal days.

My BMR is 3100… but at 260 my protein must be 390 and my carbs 390…so the problem is…that is 1560 cal of protein and 1560 calories of carbs… thats already over my BMR…so no room left to calculate fat.

I am wondering if i should take my LBM calculation and use it to calculate these items instead of my total body weight. I can create a caloric deficit through training to meet my needs, but i dont want to get into a ton of muscle burning cardio either. Any suggestions?[/quote]

Something sounds incorrect here, I don’t think you’re BMR is 3100. How are you calculating this? Is your avatar a recent pic?

Also, fill us in on your current training, and what your “caloric deficit” nutrition was like. What was your deficit? For how long? Macro break down? Training schedule?


#3

[quote]Damron1474 wrote:
Well… ive been doing a caloric deficit for quite some time. Seen some results, but now that the body is adjusting, i am going to switch to carb cycling. I, however, have hit a slight snag.

The diet requests the following: Known BMR, 1.5g/lb bw for protein, equal carbs to protein on moderate days, and the rest of the calories in fat. Obvious percent increase changes on High/Low cal days.

My BMR is 3100… but at 260 my protein must be 390 and my carbs 390…so the problem is…that is 1560 cal of protein and 1560 calories of carbs… thats already over my BMR…so no room left to calculate fat.

I am wondering if i should take my LBM calculation and use it to calculate these items instead of my total body weight. I can create a caloric deficit through training to meet my needs, but i dont want to get into a ton of muscle burning cardio either. Any suggestions?[/quote]

What is your current bodyfat? Is that avi recent?


#4

No one this side of a heavily-supplemented IFBB monster needs 400 g protein per day. 1 g/lb/d is more than enough, especially if you’re still carrying considerable adipose tissue.

Suggestions:

Lift weights every other day, and eat at maintenance calories those days.

On your non-weightlifting days, do some sort of cardio, and eat at 2/3 maintenance calories those days.

Macros targets:

Protein: Shoot for ~1 gm/lb every day.
Carbs: Set carbs at BW + 50 on lifting days, as low as possible on non-lifting days (ie, no ‘intentional’ carbs those days).
Fat: Adjusted to hit the caloric target for the day.

Re your BMR: 3100 (ie, ~12 cals/lb) is very low for a male who lifts/does sig cardio–are you sure you’re calculating cals accurately? Nevertheless, assuming it’s correct, your diet would look like this:

Lifting days: Target cal 3100:
Pro: 260 g
Carbs: 310 g
Fat: 90 g

Non-lifting days: Target cals 2000:
Pro: 260 g
Carbs: ~30 g (estimate of the unavoidable incidental carbs you would get)
Fat: 93 g

You would average ~500 cal/d deficit, which should result in weight loss at a rate of ~1 lb/week.


#5

Haha, hell no. That Avatar was from 2006â?¦I keep it up to remind me not to go back. Let me go edit that crazy thing.

For all others info. I track my BMR with my fitbitâ?¦on average it tells me I burn between 3100-3200 a day.
Im 6â??2 â?? 250 pounds.
Bodyfat is around 20% I would say.
When I used caloric deficit, I have been keeping my protein high and carbs levelled out using myfitnesspal. Fats kind of fall in order with the clean eating.
I train 5 days per week and my â??offâ?? days are cardio and abs.


#6

There we go. Updated my pic. Sorry about that. I haven’t logged in in a while and i dont really need that pic being a basis of myself haha


#7

[quote]EyeDentist wrote:
No one this side of a heavily-supplemented IFBB monster needs 400 g protein per day. 1 g/lb/d is more than enough, especially if you’re still carrying considerable adipose tissue.

Suggestions:

Lift weights every other day, and eat at maintenance calories those days.

On your non-weightlifting days, do some sort of cardio, and eat at 2/3 maintenance calories those days.

Macros targets:

Protein: Shoot for ~1 gm/lb every day.
Carbs: Set carbs at BW + 50 on lifting days, as low as possible on non-lifting days (ie, no ‘intentional’ carbs those days).
Fat: Adjusted to hit the caloric target for the day.

Re your BMR: 3100 (ie, ~12 cals/lb) is very low for a male who lifts/does sig cardio–are you sure you’re calculating cals accurately? Nevertheless, assuming it’s correct, your diet would look like this:

Lifting days: Target cal 3100:
Pro: 260 g
Carbs: 310 g
Fat: 90 g

Non-lifting days: Target cals 2000:
Pro: 260 g
Carbs: ~30 g (estimate of the unavoidable incidental carbs you would get)
Fat: 93 g

You would average ~500 cal/d deficit, which should result in weight loss at a rate of ~1 lb/week.
[/quote]

So, pretty much the only carbs on non training days are from green vegetables?

Also, as far as natural PB goes. I know its high in fat and considered a fatty food, but the carbs from it need to be counted i assume? I have been trying to figure out which day to add that in, or just remove it?


#8

[quote]Damron1474 wrote:

[quote]EyeDentist wrote:
No one this side of a heavily-supplemented IFBB monster needs 400 g protein per day. 1 g/lb/d is more than enough, especially if you’re still carrying considerable adipose tissue.

Suggestions:

Lift weights every other day, and eat at maintenance calories those days.

On your non-weightlifting days, do some sort of cardio, and eat at 2/3 maintenance calories those days.

Macros targets:

Protein: Shoot for ~1 gm/lb every day.
Carbs: Set carbs at BW + 50 on lifting days, as low as possible on non-lifting days (ie, no ‘intentional’ carbs those days).
Fat: Adjusted to hit the caloric target for the day.

Re your BMR: 3100 (ie, ~12 cals/lb) is very low for a male who lifts/does sig cardio–are you sure you’re calculating cals accurately? Nevertheless, assuming it’s correct, your diet would look like this:

Lifting days: Target cal 3100:
Pro: 260 g
Carbs: 310 g
Fat: 90 g

Non-lifting days: Target cals 2000:
Pro: 260 g
Carbs: ~30 g (estimate of the unavoidable incidental carbs you would get)
Fat: 93 g

You would average ~500 cal/d deficit, which should result in weight loss at a rate of ~1 lb/week.
[/quote]

So, pretty much the only carbs on non training days are from green vegetables?
[/quote]

Yeah, that’s a good way to do it.

[quote]
Also, as far as natural PB goes. I know its high in fat and considered a fatty food, but the carbs from it need to be counted i assume? I have been trying to figure out which day to add that in, or just remove it?[/quote]

IMO, PB should definitely be thought of/classified as a fat (a very healthful fat). As for whether you should count the carbs (and/or protein) that PB delivers…there are two schools of thought. Some folk like to track everything (I’m one of them). Others feel like, outside of being deep into a contest prep, macro-counting need not be as precise as that. I once did a cut with Shelby Starnes (well-known BBer/online training coach), and he had me only count the main macros in a food; ie, only the fat in PB, only the protein in chicken, only the carbs in rice, etc.

So, in short I think either way can work fine until you start trying to get contest-lean, at which time most people seem to need to maintain fairly meticulous control over their intake. (Disclaimer: I am not now, nor have I ever been, contest-lean.)


#9

Yeah, i wont ever be contest lean either, im sure. I will just try for fun haha. But yes, i will probably count all of it, since i track with myfitnesspal it gives me up to the minute numbers on all my macros. I haven’t really got a choice but to see it. haha.
But thank you for your advice. I think i will keep the PB to the low carb/high fat days and count it as an incidental carb and just shy away from the extra fat in it on high carb days to stay in deficit and make sure i get my potatoes and rice.
I appreciate all the input


#10

I’ve had good luck just meticulously logging everything, and then subtracting only the carbs from fiber to get a net count for the day. Myfitnesspal or Livestrong’s Myplate is a great tool for this.

Also, you can experiment with carb intake on non-lifting days, as I’ve personally found it to be mostly related to caloric intake. I can go 500 calories below maintenance on non-lifting days, eating 100g net carbs, getting the remaining calories from fat (78g for me) and keeping protein fixed at 200g, and I have been leaning out still. Total carb intake may not matter as much as controlling overall calories, but your mileage may vary, so play around with differing amounts in 1-2 week blocks, what do you have to lose?


#11

[quote]JR249 wrote:
Also, you can experiment with carb intake on non-lifting days, as I’ve personally found it to be mostly related to caloric intake. I can go 500 calories below maintenance on non-lifting days, eating 100g net carbs, getting the remaining calories from fat (78g for me) and keeping protein fixed at 200g, and I have been leaning out still. Total carb intake may not matter as much as controlling overall calories, but your mileage may vary, so play around with differing amounts in 1-2 week blocks, what do you have to lose?[/quote]

I agree and am currently doing the same thing. This is a FANTASTIC article by Clay Hyght, if you follow this you’ll be able to continue gaining lbm, while leaning out.

If you want to max it out even more, have one day per week (non training day) where you have a small but healthy breakfast (no carbs), MAG-10 pulses, and a small and healthy dinner (no carbs,) maybe a serving or two of BCAA’s throughout the day. You won’t lose muscle, but will definitely lose fat. Over time, you can lean out more than you think you’ll be able to, while maintaining great lbm.


#12

I’ve messed around with all types of carb cycle protocols but one I would recommend for its winning combination of ease + results = Girdona cycling. Quite simply, go low carb, i.e. 30-50g for 3-5 days, then have a high carb meal, or two the following day. The more active you are the more frequently you can eat higher carb.

This takes all the guess work out of carb cycling when it comes to counting carbs, or stressing about how much to take on certain training days. I train on average 6 days a week, which is divided into two types of training: (1) a mix of weights (KBs) and bodyweight exercises (ring work), and (2) martial arts/boxing, which includes everything from technique work, cardio drills, bag work, sparring, sled pushes.

I find you can push yourself to new limits, mentally and physically, while depleting glycogen stores but not to the extend it starts to negatively affect performance. Obviously this is crucial. However, I can’t stress enough the ease it brings where you simply eat keto style for 3-5 days, and high carb for a day.