T Nation

Carb Cycling


Hey guys,

After some posts and tailoring, I've come up with some figures. My current diet looks something like this:
MEAL 1: 1 cup egg substitute, 1 whole egg, 2 small chicken tenderloins
MEAL 2: (snack) 2 scoops MD, 1/2 serving blueberries
MEAL 3: PERI WORKOUT: 1 FINiBAR pre, 1 scoop Surge Recovery post
MEAL 4: Salad (1/2 bag romaine, small tomato, bell pepper, can of tuna, 2 tbsp dressing) and either a handful almonds or a scoop of whey/MD
MEAL 5: Dinner: bag of veges (brocc or stir fry or some sort of Trader Joe's bagged mix) and either 2 lean turkey burgers, fish, or other lean meat
MEAL 6: Pre Bed: 2 scoops MD, 1 tbsp EVOO if needed

My goals are to "cut" my remaining fat. I'm 6 foot 2, and I weigh around 175. I'm not emmaciated like people assume when they hear that number....

My macros come out to, on average, around 2000-2,200 calories, 90-120g carb, including periworkout, 50-60g fat, 220-250 g protein and around 50g sugar....

I was thinking that this diet is on the low side....Would I benefit from carb cycling?

I train 5-6 times per week - following www.sealfit.com - basically an ass kicking version of Crossfit....hardest shit EVER, but I LOVE it! Anyway, CT wrote an article about having one high day a week....What do you guys think?

Also, I feel like I'm constantly eating, but everybody tells me I'm not eating enough when they look at my macros....Am I just crazy, or what?

Lastly, I feel like a high day could easily lead to a binge....Any ideas on how to avoid this? And what would a high day look like for me? In terms of macros? I'm fairly new to this kind of strict analysis, but I'm willing to do this to complete my transformation. Thanks to anyone who helps!

PS I'd guess I'm somewhere under 10 percent BF, but thats just a guess...I'm pretty lean, but would not mind being ripped...


So, I was thinking -

The diet I listed could be my normal day, a low day could be around 50-80g carbs, and what would my high day be? Also, I was thinking about substituting the Surge recovery post workout with a scoop of GROW! Whey....Opinions? I don't think I NEED the pwo carbs. Any thoughts, experiences, etc....I'd really appreciate the help - most of you guys know a LOT more than I do


Try these macros instead: 300-350g protein (get 80-100 grams or so in and around your WO), 80-90g fat, 75-150g carbs depending on time under tension and intensity of WO. Forget the egg substitute - just eat the whole egg. I don't think your estimation of 50g sugar is correct as the carbs in Recovery and FINiBAR aren't exactly straight sugar.
See how your body reacts after one week and report back into the mob here at TNation.


ok thanks man. Could I skip the Surge Recovery and just replace it with 2 scoops of Grow!? This would lower carbs and give me more "leeway" around carbs the rest of the day.... And what would my macros be during my 'high day'

My moderate and low days are the same, except that my low days are when i don't work out, and therefore i don't have any Surge or FINiBAR. my high day still is yet to be determined....any help?....Thanks guys!


As Mutsanah mentioned, you can vary your carbs based on workout intensity as one aspect of carb cycling.

However, depending on how lean you are, how long you have been dieting, a high day, IMO, will definitely be beneficial to refill low glycogen stores and rev up your metabolism if it is sluggish.

Regarding feeling like you are constantly eating, can't help you there, and it is hard to nail down someone elses macros because there is just so many other variables.

For example, when I started dieting, I was consuming over 3500 calories and losing weight. If someone would have looked at my macros and saw that I was cutting, they would have assumed I was crazy and wouldn't lose, but considering I was eating well over 4000 calories before I started the cut, it was a drastic change. And right now, I am eating a hair over 3000 in an attempt to slowly gain weight. I hope that helps illustrate the difficulty in helping with macros (i.e. 3500 to lose, 3000 to gain, same person, different time frame)

Regarding High Days leading to a binge, I do not see the logic, if you are disciplined enough to follow your diet plan on low or average days, why would high days be any different? In fact, it should be easier, you are actually getting to consume more and maybe enjoy a cheat food here and there, thus giving you a psychological break.

For a rough place to start high days, I would double your carbs. Adjust from there, based on bloat, gym performance, scale weight over the next few days, etc.

Regarding post workout carbs, since you are cutting, yes you can get away with not consuming any provided you are consuming adequate carbs pre and during workout.

One final note, on the low end of your low days, 50g seems almost too low IMO. I had 50g of incidental carbs (only carbs came from eggs, a few nuts and whey) when I was intentionally depleting for my mock contest. Assuming you calculated your carb intake correctly, it seems like you would be close to depletion levels at 50g. If you are not competing, not sure why you would want to deplete, just my 2 cents though.


I've been experiementing carb cycling, just doing high carb on leg days which is 2-3 days per week since that is what I'm trying to focus on right now, and not having more than about 75 carbs on the other days(back and chest days) which 64 comes from the anaconda 2 protocol. Seems much harder to get through a workout without eating carbs earlier in the day though on the low carb days.

I can keep the same intensity for the lifts I do but I will usually end up having a shorter workout than if I had been eating 150ish carbs spread throughout the day.


Hello from Italy, I'm very interested in this thread, I was reading carefully all of your replies and I've decided to ask your precious opinion.
I am actually training with the Rippetoe's Starting Strenght program on 3 days plus one day of "conditioning" and I'm also tryin' to add some mass.
My daily BMR calculated is almost 2000 calories and I know that to add muscle you should add 500 more calories or even more.

My daily meal plan is actually wit 40% pros, 37% carbs and 23% fats, is this a good "split" of macronutrients or should I change something?
Can I just add the 500 (or more) extra calories on training days only and keep the other days the carbs low?
Wait for you, guys.