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Carb up? Neccesary w\ 190g of carbs a day?

I will be entering a maintenence level caloric intake with a macro breakdown of P40%-C20%-F20%. With this breakdown i will be taking in about 190g of carbs per day. Do i need to carb up? I was planning on carbing up every 4 days on maintenence week, and every 7 days on cutting weeks.

where is your other 20%?

I don’t think you need to “carb up” instead maybe increase them just slightly to about 250g every 4-7days, On cutting days you should lower them to 100g for faster results.

im sorry i ment 40% fat.
I went on the d-dawg last year at around 100g of carbs and actually got fatter. i think a little more cabrs is better for me. at about 220g a day i dropped from 12.4% to 8.4% in a month. and to be honest with you my diet wasn’t that tight through the holidays and all.

That sounds like a good idea going 250 every 4-7 days. See i thought when i was going to go down to 20% carbs they would be significantly lower, but with JB’s Maintenece cals being like 3600 without even factoring exercise, 20% comes out to allot more then i thought.

I’ll second the question about the remaining 20 %. Were did they go?

About the carb ups, I think they’ll still be a good ideia, despite your moderate daily carb intake.

I am dieting right now and decided to go with the moderate carb aproach too. I have around 100-150 gr on non workout days (some days I went as low as 50 gr though), all veggies, and around 200-250 on training days, 150 of these around my workouts. So it’s kind of a target moderate carb diet. On saturdays I train twice (8 sets AM-8 sets PM) and take up to 800 gr of carbs, 200 gr of protein and 80 gr of fat, almost reaching 5000 Kcals. This has been working very well indeed. I recommend it.

I am VERY much intrigued by the idea of planned carbohydrate refeeds. I would say, however, that you have to go with how you feel. That is, if you know by the fourth day that you’re just not able to concentrate very well and can only think about eating oats, then you know it’s time to get your carb on. And, actually, your original proposition of once every seven days when cutting seems like it’s off. Depending on how lean you are, the once per four days may be a much better plan. I’ve heard of individuals who diet for 42 hours and refeed for 6 hours with good results, albeit at a slightly slower rate.

thanx for the replies guys. On my normal days my carbs will all come around my workout. They will consist of veggies and oatmeal, aside from post workout. On my carb days i’ll porbably go 250-275g of carbs, while dropping my total caloric intake. On this day i will porbably include maybe a slice of hole grain bread and fruit.

That’s quite interesting that on days that you’ll be “refeeding” and “loading” up on the carbs, that you’ll actually be purposefully cutting back on the calories. Perhaps I’m reading into this wrong, but that defeats the purpose of the refeed and load of carbohydrate. If you’re in a negative caloric balance, how do you expect the carbohydrate to be stored as glycogen and to serve the purpose of enhancing performance? In addition, another purpose of the refeed is to jack up insulin levels such that leptin concentration increases. If you were taking those 200+g of carbs in at a single meal, this purpose might be served. Otherwise, I think your carb day might not be very effective. Like I said, perhaps I misread into what you’re trying to accomplish with this. If this is the case, I apologize and I’ll be on my way:-)

Yes, Timbo is right Ryan. Do not lower calories on your carb up days or refeeds. That definately defeats the purpose. Leptin levels will not be affected with the reduction in calories, the refeeds if done in that manner will do nothing for progress. On refeed days go up to 275g of carbs. increase protein with white protein and reduce saturated fat but increase good fats(atleast 20g of fish oil). Also, using r-ALA will definately help store the increased carbohydrate intake into the right place.

I agree with Timbo. The point of a carb up is to allow excessive carbs to reffil glycogen and if you’re barely getting enough to fill your brain and liver needs then this will hardly happen. Besides, to rip the thyroid enhancing benefits of such practice there should be a caloric surplus.

The shorter the refeed the crazier you can go on carbs, but keep the fat low during this time. A 12 hour refeed does not need calorie counting, in a 24 hours one you can go up to 4 gr of carbs per pound of bodyweight, after that half of this should be OK.

Hi, Ryan, you’re getting some great input here, but maybe I could jump into the fray? (grin)



I don’t know what your level of physical activity is. If you are an athlete, an endurance runner, or do hard physical labor for a lving, your carb requirements would likely be higher. But for the general population, 200-300g of carbs is probably a normal (roughly average?) level of intake. So even though the percentage is low (i.e., 20%), your intake is probably high enough to maintain energy levels and workout performance in the gym.



My recommendation, Ryan, is that you settle into your new maintenance phase for about two weeks, and make sure you are not gaining weight. JB’s numbers come in a bit high for some people, and you may have to make adjustments. Once you’ve confirmed the fact that the 3600 or so calories is maintenance for you, go ahead and factor in a cheat meal once or twice a week. If you gain weight, obviously, at this point, I’m sure you know what to do.



Notice, too, that I call it a “cheat meal.” Carb refeeds and cheat meals are really different creatures, done for different reasons. When you restrict carbohydrate intake to less than 100g and/or you reduce calories below maintenance, a carb refeed serves two purposes. One, as has been said by others, it refills glycogen stores so that you can continue to work out hard in the gym. Two, if you’re hypocaloric (below maintenance), a carb refeed upregulates a flagging/lagging metabolism by increasing thyroid hormone output, leptin levels, GH. It also reduces cortisol levels and as a result increases testosterone levels.



If you’re truly at a maintenance level of calories and if you are taking in almost 200g of carbs, you don’t need a carb refeed for either purpose. Instead, enjoy a cheat meal if for no other reason than gratification and keeing your sanity.



Re how often to carb up, if you’re on maintenance calories, based on what I said above, at those numbers, you don’t need to carb up. When you’re cutting, you’d probably benefit from carbing up more often. How often you carb up and how many carbs you take in on the carb up will depend on what your daily intake of carbs is. If you post more specific information about your cutting cycle, macronutrient percentages, caloric intake, weight and BF%, I’d be glad to give you some more specific advice in that regard.



Whatever you do, congratulations on reaching a turning point in your body composition goals. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

Timbo-On your piont about going by how I feel, I dont think i will feel very drained with around 190g of cabrs. I will also be cycling in Power Drive around my workouts. For my cutting weeks i will by cycling in t-2 pro and Md-6. The purpose of my mini carb up is, I think i might be craving something sweet like fruit every 4 days,and To help keep strength. Then after maybe 2 weeks I’ll have a cheatmeal. In Reguards to my dropping cals for refeeds, Its not like i’m going to go into a hypocaloric state, I will still be taking in about 3300 cals, which is still allot. My purpose of doing this was to get a higher percentage of cabrs, and lower % of fat. But, if you guys thinkn staying high is better i will. w\ the high maintenence level of cals, i was hopping to put on a little muscle. I’m a submission grappler, i planned on competing at 159lb, but right now im 168.2lb with 8.4% bdf. So i think I will addd a small amount of muscle and rip down at 169. My maintence and cutting cycles will be very short(2weeks) to ensure low bodyfat percentages. however i will be playing with my cals and probably dropping them both as I go. Also i wont be competing till around augest. But i want to be ripped and around the weight class throughout. But again my cals will not be that low, so the refeed won’t be much of an increase.
Tampa Terry-This plan will be 3 weeks. yes, i will be monitoring my self weekly and making neccesary changes. I will be using JB;s requirments for the next 8 weeks, then i will be looking for either the new T-dawg, or make somehting of my own for the next 8. Do you think it would be better maybe not to increase my carbs, and have a cheat meal at maybe 2 weeks? For my cutting cycle, I’m not there yet, will be for 2 weeks. I will add Hiit I’ll probably go 1:1 ratio, and do this 3x’s a week, with my cals around 3300 to start, depending on my evaluation, and my activity factor. My break down will remain 40%P,20%C,40%F. I greatly appreciate all of your replies, this is why t-mag sits alone at the top.

I don’t think I can add too much after TX’s excellent dissertation (yet again):wink: Ryan, I think that you’re probably right about the energy levels being fine, so long as calories are adequate. It’s when you slip into a hypocaloric state that you’ll start “noticing” those cravings and the like. That’s when I think that carb refeeds serve an excellent purpose. The frequency of refeeds would depend on the density of the caloric deficit, your relative leanness, and things like that. The length of an individual refeed would depend upon the frequency of the refeeds. For example, the more refeeds that you have/need, then the shorter the duration. As I mentioned, I find this “refeed” phenomenon to be just that. It intrigues me greatly, and I would like to continue to hear more about it, along with people’s experiences. TX, if you wouldn’t mind sharing your general outline for your carb refeeds, that’d be greatly appreciated. For me, I know that even if I was eating 200-300g of carbs a day–albeit in a hypocaloric state–I would still be very in need of regular carb refeeds to maintain/increase performance and to remain psychologically sound. The next 12 weeks should provide a nice little challenge for me:-)

Thanx again guys… I think I’m going to go with Tampa Terry on this. I’m gonna go without carb ups. but instead I think i might just have a few peices of fruit on every fourth day or so. I’ll probably have a cheat meal 2 weeks in.

Sounds good, Ry. You may consider the carbohydrate refeeds as you begin your cutting cycle though. This should help, psychologically, physiological and with performance.

Ryan, thanks for the additional information. It was helpful in getting a better picture of your situation.



First off, I can see you’re highly disciplined and precise. I’m impressed with the fact that you have your diet so tightly dialed in and that you have until August to get things exactly where you want them. And heck, you’re actually really “there” right now.



Okay. I’m most emphatically not steering you away from fruit. Fruit is full of all sorts of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber, polyphenols. If more people ate fruit (instead of pie, cake and the like), we’d have less obesity and a general population that was healthier. Having said that, if you find fruit causes you to have cravings or lose control, there’s actually a reason. Without going into it, just as a general rule, avoid anything that has fructose, honey or sugar in it. Re fruit, if you do have cravings, save your fruit for the end of the day, the last meal, and the cravings will resolve themselves while you sleep.



Additionally, be sure to never eat fruit (or any carbohydrate) by itself. Make sure you’re taking in at least some protein to blunt the insulin response.



Those are my two caveats. Other than that, enjoy your fruit to your heart’s content. It’s such a good food group that I’m hard pressed to even consider it a cheat meal.



T-Dawg 2.0 is an excellent choice for your cutting cycle. If you’re hypocaloric, lowering your carbs to 70g & 100g will force your body to utilize fat stores for energy.



Now, here’s where I would ask you to trust me. In a cutting cycle, with reduced carbs and a caloric intake that is less than maintenance, I’m going to ask you to do TWO carb refeeds a week. And I will give you some precise guidelines, do’s and don’ts, etc. I promise you, properly done, it will not affect fat loss, and it will NOT cause fat gain.


  1. Choose starchy carbs for your carb up; i.e., pasta, rice, potatoes. Avoid sugary carbs, honey and fructose.


  2. When you increase carbs, lower fat. Insulin is a storage hormone that wants to store glucose (in the liver and in the muscles). Unfortunately, it also wants to store fat (in adipocytes). If you lower fat with a carb up, you minimize fat storage. Fat should be kept to <5g per carb up meal.


  3. Timing of carb ups. My preference is to carb up at the times we’re all most insulin sensitive, which is your first meal of the day or the meal right after you work out. However, if a carb up causes you to lose control or suffer from cravings, then save your carb up for the LAST meal of the day. When you wake, the carb up will be a distant memory, and you’ll have slept through any cravings.


  4. Amount of carbs (in grams). This is a number you’re going to have to play with, but I can give you some guidance. It needs to be greater than 60 grams of carbs. Protein should be kept to <20g on the carb up meal. Fat, as I said, should be kept as low as possible (<5g if possible). What I would probably recommend is a nice round number. Shoot for 100g of carbs for your carb up meal. And other than that carb up meal, keep your carbs low for the day. You want a spike.



    As I said, the 100g is a number you can play with, but you must take in AT LEAST 60.



    The reason I said you could play with the number of grams is that on the cutting cycle, you should lose a little weight (i.e., BF) every time your Day 7 carb up comes around. If you don’t lose at least a little weight every Day 7 carb up, I would recommend that you drop daily calories a little for Days 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6. Or if your carb up was a high number of grams (some people carb up with 200+ grams on their carb up meal), then obviously you could also reduce the number of carb grams on the carb up. But you must take in greater than 60 grams on your carb up. That’s the minimum.


  5. How often to carb up. Twice per week, on Day 3 and on Day 7. Those “days” can be any of your choosing.



    Ryan, I know that’s a lot to digest, but print it up and read it a couple of times. I’d be glad to answer any questions you have.



    Carb refeeds really do work. They ENHANCE fat loss. It requires that you play with the number until you find out what works for you, but once you find that number, it’s like you reach nirvana.


Hey, Timbo. Don’t you just love those Bucs? (grin)



I gave Ryan some pretty precise information based on his particular situation. Your situation is going to be different. My recommendation is that you spend some time with Rob Faigin’s book (since I know you ordered it and it’s on its way), and at that point, start a new thread, and I’d be glad to make some recommendations. What I have in mind for you is a blend between the General Population diet and the BB diet. And if you’ve read about both, you’ll be able to work me over good. (grin)



In the meantime, if you do a search, Joel Marion has written on carb refeeds and cheat meals here on T-Mag. He’s got another article on the subject in the works. He’s brilliant, and he definitely walks the walk. He won the Body for Life Contest in 2001, I think it was.



Does that work for you? It’s probably what makes the most sense.

During miantenence weeks im going to have fruit after my grappling sessions, 3x’s a week, 2 of them are at night. This should take care of my cravings. Ive been eating branflakes in my dorm room but i just noticed that the 3rd ingredient is high fructose corn syrup. Should these be out of the question now? I was very intrested in the cheaters diet by Joel Marion and thats what i planned for my next cycle. Tampa Terry i just saved your post onto my computer and will be using your info on my cutting cycle. i stated above that i tried the origanal t-dawg without success, but i think the combination of the carb up 2x’s a week, especially comming down the stretch as i get leaner, and the increased protien, i think it will work well. Thank you again.

Ryan, I didn’t get into it because my post was long enough as it was. Here’s the deal on fructose, honey, sugar, etc. Fructose is a type of sugar that preferentially refills glycogen in the liver. What you want is for glycogen to be refilled in the muscles.



The liver uses its glycogen stores to maintain blood sugar in a narrow window, which is a good thing in general. The problem is that it’s the liver glycogen stores that cause cravings (after a carb refeed), which is why I gave you the option of doing a refeed late at night and going to bed and sleeping through the cravings.



Honey is high in fructose. Sugar is a disaccharide (meaning 2 sugars bonded together), one of which preferentially refills glycogen in the liver. Even milk sugar (galactose) has a one of its two sugars that peferentially refills glycogen stores.



So repeating myself, even though fruit is made of fructose, go forward as planned. There are some offsetting factors that don’t make it so bad (re refilling liver glycogen stores). But DO stick with your starchy carbs, rice, pasta, potatoes and avoid your sugary carbs for carb refeeds. This is a major technical point on which Joel and I disagree. Joel actually recommends the sugary carbs because he wants a substantial insulin spike. I don’t. However, I still give credit to Joel for putting me on the path to successful fat loss. He’s been one of the more significant people here on T-Mag to me, John Berardi being another. And that’s what makes things interesting 'round here is all the different people with all their different ideas. All you can do is try things out and see what works for you, what give you the best results. Myself, I’ve drawn from many, many people to get to where I am, in knowledge and in achieving the results I was looking for, both. So definitely check out the article. It’s good stuff.



Good luck to you, Ryan!!!