T Nation

Carb Cycling for a Confused Teenager


#1

Hey everyone,

Ive lurked on this website for a couple years. Never really thought of contributing/getting involved until recently. Im 19 years old, played elite level hockey for years and since hanging up the skates have gone back to iron that was there with me through it all.

I bulked up last year, not out of planning on my part but because of some unfortunate events. Anyway. Im 6'3", and have gone from 280-215. I lift three times a week, play ball hockey one or two of my off days, depending on the schedule, and have no idea what I should be doing with my diet!

I train;

Legs/Chest

Back/Shoulders

Arms/Calves

On the days Im not training or playing ball hockey. I work abs, and either do 10 minutes of 30 seconds full speed on the heavy bag with 15 seconds rest non stop for 10 minutes, or go for a long bike ride, 30-40 km's.

So it looks like;

Legs/Chest
Cardio
Ball Hockey
Back/Shoulders
Cardio
Arms/Calves
Cardio

Right now, Im eating about 1800-2000 calories a day. At 6'3" 215, benching 275, squatting 395, and deadlifting 500, its not enough to fuel me. With all the work Im doing I dont think thats enough. Im considering carb cycling but dont know if that would work well for me. I want to cut down to see my abs for the first time in my life. The goal is September 7th for me.

From that point forward whether I meet my goal, Im clean bulking. Putting on size really isnt a problem for me, I didnt give myself much time to put much size on because I wanted to start from a clean slate after I had gotten as fat as I had. Even on these stupid YO-YO diets Ive been doing, my numbers had done ok. At one point I was squatting 405, benching 295, and deadlifting 550.

I was thinking of raising my calories on training days. 330 Carbs, 220 Protein, 60 Fat which is about 2750 Cals.

On my off days drop it to 100 Carbs, 220 Protein, 60 Fat which is 1800 Cals.

Average daily in the week would then be about 2200 calories.

Do you think it would be detrimental taking in that low amount of carbs on my off days when my body is trying to recover?

I like going heavy when I train, 10 reps max on the first set, 6-8 second set, 4-6 third set. With forced reps on all sets.

My fat loss has stalled. I'm losing sleep now from improper nutrition and being so absolutely sick of my body. My weights are falling because of improper rest and nutrition and generally I just feel like a bag of trash. I want something I can do to lose the fat. I'm naturally endomorphic and know Carbs dont agree with me the same way they do my mesomorphic brother, but I need to figure out a plan to get to my goal in September.

I also would like some input on night binging. Any ideas on curbing those cravings? Caffeine pills? Cinnamon? Gum?

When I calculate my BMR I get all kinds of calculations, anywhere from 2200-2700, thats before I deduct for a 500 cal deficit. This has to be one of the least organized pieces of writing I have ever completed, so please bare with me, but I have a ton of things going on upstairs right now, and trying to get them all out before I forget something. Any input is greatly appreciated.


#2

You’re starving yourself. Please, stop doing that. Just do the following:

  • eat 2500 calories a day. At your weight and activity level, that should be low enough to let you lose weight; reevaluate in a few weeks.
  • get 215 grams of protein every day.
  • get 110 grams of fat every day.
  • fill the rest of your calories with carbs. That means you’ll eat 160 grams of carbs each day. If this sounds like a lot, look at your activity level again.

Now obviously, this allows for a bit of wiggle room. If you eat three more grams of fat and ten grams of carbs less, you won’t die.

You may have noticed that I didn’t mention carb cycling. There’s a good reason for this: doing carb cycling right is very tricky. You seem to struggle with cutting 101. Just like I wouldn’t give Jimi Hendrix songs to someone who’s struggling with fretting e minor on his guitar, I would rather see you get a grip on the basics before you try to deal with something that requires a fair bit of knowledge and planning.


#3

Thanks for the input nighthawkz. Trying to cut, has made my life a living hell. I’ve been trying to do it correctly for over a year and a half. I can’t wait to finish around September. I’ve lost friends and girlfriends over it, which sounds crazy but it has really taken over.

Out of curiosity, why is the fat that high? Isn’t that unhealthy? Seems to me almost like a keto diet with a few carbs in the mix.

I didn’t think my body was ready for carb cycling. Everything I’ve read and seen on here and in other sources was that it works better with people who’s bodies handle insulin better, typically they are closer to sub 10% for men.

Thanks for the input again, much appreciated. After 2 weeks, I should see some change?

Also, are we aloud to post pics for reference and for updates in this section or should I make a new thread elsewhere for that?


#4

[quote]rhickman17 wrote:
Thanks for the input nighthawkz. Trying to cut, has made my life a living hell. I’ve been trying to do it correctly for over a year and a half. I can’t wait to finish around September. I’ve lost friends and girlfriends over it, which sounds crazy but it has really taken over. [/quote]

Training hard and following a nutrition plan are great, not only for your body, but to build discipline. However, do not let it affect your life so much that you’re losing friends and girlfriends, hurting the people you care about. That is just crazy. Perhaps be less vocal about what you’re doing in the gym and kitchen and be more of yourself.

[quote]
Out of curiosity, why is the fat that high? Isn’t that unhealthy? Seems to me almost like a keto diet with a few carbs in the mix.[/quote]

No. Fat is very, very good for you. It is crucial to support healthy hormone levels(like testosterone), which leads to better results.

[quote]
I didn’t think my body was ready for carb cycling. Everything I’ve read and seen on here and in other sources was that it works better with people who’s bodies handle insulin better, typically they are closer to sub 10% for men. [/quote]

You should learn and stick with the basics for now. You are young. You have your whole life to get huge and ripped. Learning the fundamentals now will pay great dividends down the road.

2 weeks is a decent amount of time to see if you’re trending in the right direction. Take some pictures and measurements and check them again after a few weeks. Remember, weight is somewhat arbitrary and is not always a good indicator of progress. Pics and measurements will tell a much better story.

[quote]
Also, are we aloud to post pics for reference and for updates in this section or should I make a new thread elsewhere for that? [/quote]

Yeah, do whatever you want.


#5

Thanks for the reply Rip. It was more just being so distant and not wanting to go and do certain things because I was worried it would undercut my plans. Moving forward, I think I’ll have more leniency to work with, now that I have a better idea of what I’m doing.

So we’re in agreement on the diet? I worked it out to be about 45/35/25. My body will use the fat as energy, and I’m assuming the carbs should be taken in pre and post workout for the most part.

I will be posting pictures of where I started, where I currently am and will continue updating every week or two. I’m in a terrible habit of hopping on the scale almost every time I’m in my room, I think I may toss it out the window because I’ve lost 3 lbs in the last two weeks, but look softer than when I was at 218.

When you say measurements, just using a tailors tape will work?

Thanks again for the input, to the both of you.


#6

[quote]rhickman17 wrote:
Thanks for the reply Rip. It was more just being so distant and not wanting to go and do certain things because I was worried it would undercut my plans. Moving forward, I think I’ll have more leniency to work with, now that I have a better idea of what I’m doing.

So we’re in agreement on the diet? I worked it out to be about 45/35/25. My body will use the fat as energy, and I’m assuming the carbs should be taken in pre and post workout for the most part.

I will be posting pictures of where I started, where I currently am and will continue updating every week or two. I’m in a terrible habit of hopping on the scale almost every time I’m in my room, I think I may toss it out the window because I’ve lost 3 lbs in the last two weeks, but look softer than when I was at 218.

When you say measurements, just using a tailors tape will work?

Thanks again for the input, to the both of you. [/quote]

Sure, that diet is fine. Over years of lifting, you will learn what does and doesn’t work for your body. For now, you need a starting point to consistently stick with for a few years.

Tailors tape works perfect for measurements. You can google what to take measurements of and how to do it properly. Shrinking measurements around the belly button are usually a good indicator of progress for fat loss.


#7

You know how it works, everyone including me, wants to be bigger, stronger, leaner, all of it, quicker. Impatience is my middle name lol.

Once I get back to my computer later, Ill list how I’ve finished today’s eating, and how I feel overall. My prediction from mid-day, 2500 needs to be broken down into a bunch of meals rather than only 3 or 4, and I’m gonna have to work hard to get into the 110 range for fats.

I look forward to updating this as I go.


#8

Fats are actually the easiest macro to adjust in a diet, I think. Just add whole eggs, whole milk, olive oil, peanut butter, etc.


#9

Late to the party as I couldn’t log onto the damn site, but happy to see that Rip’s given you all the answers I would have given you. :stuck_out_tongue:


#10

Thanks nighthawkz, won’t hold it against you pal.

Didn’t take the pictures last night, by the time I got home and got my last meal in I felt pretty bloated and my body was wiped from all training earlier. Feel good today, hit all my macros yesterday no problem.

Is fruit acceptable after a workout?


#11

[quote]rhickman17 wrote:
Thanks nighthawkz, won’t hold it against you pal.

Didn’t take the pictures last night, by the time I got home and got my last meal in I felt pretty bloated and my body was wiped from all training earlier. Feel good today, hit all my macros yesterday no problem.

Is fruit acceptable after a workout? [/quote]

In my opinion: yes. MY usual post workout meal is one scoop of whey and a banana.


#12

Sounds good. Also whats the stance on milk? I would love to use it but lots of carbs.

Took the starting weigh in;

Friday, May 29 11:00 PM - 217.6




Tough for me putting these up here. 3 pictures from today mid day. Obviously quite a ways off from where I want to be. Im still a little taken aback by the 110 grams of fat. I always thought 70 - 80 was the absolute highest you wanted to go.

I do have to say, I dont feel sluggish the way I normally do, even after only one day with more food, I feel better.


#13

I wouldn’t drink milk on a cut, mainly because the same calories and macros from solid food will fill you up better. It’s not bad per se though - it’s just much better for gaining than it is for losing weight.

Your pictures look better than I expected, you may have a bit of a flawed perception there. Now monitor your measurements and morning weight for two weeks and report back :wink:


#14

OK sounds good thanks. Yes, I’ve been told once or twice my perception is a little off. I’m hoping I can change that soon.

Came in 200 calories over today, I misweighed some beef, which ended up putting me over 15g of fat and protein.

Should I weigh myself every day at 11 or does once a week work?


#15

And get some new underwear.

Uncle Bird.

tweet


#16

Bird, ladies love the Santa boxers, trust me ;p


#17

[quote]rhickman17 wrote:

Should I weigh myself every day at 11 or does once a week work? [/quote]

I personally weigh myself every time I go to the gym. You’re basically collecting data points and using them to see if you’re trending in the right direction. Your weight fluctuates from day to day depending on a variety of factors, so more weigh ins will give you a better picture of what’s going on.


#18

[quote]Ripsaw3689 wrote:

[quote]rhickman17 wrote:

Should I weigh myself every day at 11 or does once a week work? [/quote]

I personally weigh myself every time I go to the gym. You’re basically collecting data points and using them to see if you’re trending in the right direction. Your weight fluctuates from day to day depending on a variety of factors, so more weigh ins will give you a better picture of what’s going on.
[/quote]

This.

As long as you’re mentally strong enough to not sweat the bad days and remember the average is the only important thing.


#19

Well, one day into the new week. Last week went ok. I had a few slip ups as I find what carbs I can and cant handle. Some I find give me the worst cravings afterwards, some dont. Still finding the boundaries.

Went to the Toronto Pro Show today, downed way too much sushi but it was a nice indulgence. Had a great time. Going forward, I will be planning my following days meals out the night before, because I find that when Im trying to free wheel and fit my macros in properly, Im over shooting certain ones and undershooting others and the meals are too broken and improper for me.

Training felt good, more energy. Already noticing some changes in the body. Because of the few slip ups over the last 2-3 days the weight was up, but I know its water. At my lowest this week I was around 211 and I was very pleased with the way I looked that day, which happened to be legs/chest so I got to see a pretty nice pump as well.

What do you guys do when you have strong cravings for sweet at night? I dont know why my body has this happen but it seems to happen every night between 7-10, this uncontrollable urge for sweets.

May post some update pictures tomorrow. Going to try and keep myself accountable by posting updated weights and pics atleast once a week.

I started a friendly competition with my cousin. Lowest body fat by September 7 wins, loser buys the other guys all you can eat sushi for the night. A little more incentive to work my ass off!

Also, do you guys think cheese is an acceptable food in this diet?


#20

So almost two weeks in, have had a couple of setbacks with work engagements with too much alcohol, but none the less, looking a little leaner. I dont really have much more coming up soon, so I should be able to focus on the diet more precisely going forward. Im leaning towards upping my carbs a little and lowering the fat down a bit.

I have found I feel a little lethargic going through my heavy workouts (part of the reason i originally was considering a carb cycle) on my lighter days and cardio days I feel fine. It could also be from being in a caloric deficit, I’ve never actually done this properly before so I’m not sure.

Tomorrow will be another weigh in, didnt weigh in last week but have been keeping an eye on the scale every day and it seems to be going down. Mirror doesnt like, looks like this is going to be a slow process :’(