T Nation

Carb Cycling on my Cut?


I am about to start my first cut, and I have a couple of questions about carb cycling.

If I am eating higher carbs on my workout days (Mon,Wed,Fri) and lower carbs on off days, does the amount of total calories stay the same each day? (E.g do I up my protein/fat intake on the non workout days to match the amount of calories on workout days?)

Or should I be eating the same amount of Fats and Proteins every day, and only changing the number of carbs I eat?

How do I work out my macro amounts? According to MyFitnessPal I should be eating about 2500 calories a day to lose 0.5Kg weight a week, but obviously this doesn’t take into account carb cycling.

Thanks for any help!


2500 minus the carbs on low days.


First off I do not think carbs only on MWF and then low carbs on S, T, TR, SR is optimal for cutting because that doesn’t give enough time for your insulin levels to effectively deplete and increase. So in my experience/opinion, I found my best result to be low carbs on M-TR and then high carbs on F, SR, and S. This way it gives your insulin levels a chance to more effectively drop and then effectively increase again. So to work your macro amounts I would shoot for an influx in protein for your low carb days (around 1.2g per body weight) and then for the carbs I’d shoot to get under 50-80 a day and then for the fats I’d calculate it out for the rest of your calories. And then high carb days I would go upwards as much as 400-500g of carbs and then do body weight for protein.

But as far as the calories matching up each day I would try to eat a little bit lower on the low carb days just because it’s harder to get all the calories in. And for the high carb days it wouldn’t hurt to go higher. As long as your calories equal out to what you want on a weekly basis instead of daily. So if you want to eat 2000 a day that’s comes out to 14,000/ a week. So I’d weigh yourself everyday but particularly focus on how much you weigh at the last day of low carb cycling for the week as a progress point.

And I wouldn’t trust MyFitnessPal for calorie calculations, I’d do a calorie calculator based off of activity levels, body weight, height, and body type. According to my fit bit I burn around 3,500 calories a day and I’m 6’1" 212lbs so you might can get in more calories than you think just check that scale reading after low carb days


Ohh and by the way I know the workouts might be harder on the low carb days but take a multivitamin 3x a day on low carb days and take some amino acids before and after your workout, which I find helps