T Nation

Carb Cycling (Experimenting)


Hey guys, I've read plenty of articles on carb cycling and I'm trying to figure out what will work best for my own body. I'm 5'9, 185 bodyfat somewhere along the lines of 12-14%. I'm attempting to lean out, while keeping most of my strength. Been doing 5/3/1, made great gains in the past couple months. I just want to slowly lose body fat, none of that drastic shit. I'm not dieting down for a competition or anything.
As of now, I've been doing 100g carbs (50g for breakfast via oats and a small helping of greek yogurt, and a banana post workout), 50g off days just in the morning via strawberries and greek yogurt. I was wondering if I should stick to this template or toss in a high carb day, which would be on my squat days and I was thinking a traditional cheat meal. Keeping the protein a constant 220-250g, and fats right around 50g (Almonds, and Olive oil). So, I would be doing the following carb intake: Mon-sun, low, moderate, low, moderate, HIGH, low, moderate. (I lift Sun, Tues, Thurs, Fri due to crazy school/work schedule).

If i did this once weekly cheat meal, do you think it would hinder fat loss too much? I haven't had a "cheat meal" in about 2 weeks, the fat seems to be coming off rather quickly, I'm just worried about losing mass too quickly.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


Not to sound unhelpful, but you should really just try it and see what happens. Its really the only way to know what works best for you. At first glance I felt initally that your carbs and overall calories were too low, but I guess that depends on what you're used to eating. You mentioned that you're in no rush. I would experiment with your diet, let a week or two go by. Use the mirror as a gauge along with the scale, then adjust accordingly. Are you losing too much too quickly? Losing strength? Eat more. Maybe have another high carb day or up your intake throughout the week. Are you not losing? Maybe eat less or remove a high carb day ect. Sounds tedious, but it leads to optimal results for the individual.


IMO your regular (100g) and low/off (50g) are both pretty low carb. At some point you run down your glycogen stores and need to refuel so to speak in order to have productive (muscle sparing) workouts. While you may want to avoid a high day for the first week or two (something I usually do myself), I wouldn't worry about putting on fat from one day of higher intake.



Thanks guys, I think I'm going to give it another week or two on this before introducing a cheat meal. Really trying to tap into the fat I have, and I know that just takes time.