T Nation

Coming off a cutting phase

Does anyone have any suggestions in terms of increasing carbs after a cutting phase is completed? The reason that I ask is that I’ve gradually been increasing my carbs for four days now. Although my strength is coming back, I’m holding onto a lot more water (besides that which accompanies muscle glycogen). Since it’s especially around my abdominals, I come across as looking very smooth when I’m only 7% bodyfat. Is this normal for the first few days, and, if so, when can I expect it to return to normal? Thanks in advance.

Just a question and possibly some perspective…if you are not about to do a photo shoot(which I would assume not or you would not be “coming off” of a cutting cycle) why are you that worried about water retention when you say your body fat percentage is around 7%? Have you seen some of these “professional” bodybuilders on the off season? Aside from holding an Ozarka water delivery truck full of H2O, they are concerned about one thing…putting on more size. Seriously, don’t you think that is a little obsessive? I could see if you were dieting down and worried about the water but damn, you are trying to GAIN weight.

I understand your perspective and your point is well made. I am definitely looking to put on size now, but the reason for my original post was to find out whether others dramatically increase their carbs, or whether it is a gradual increase in order to maxmize the lean mass to fat mass gain ratio. Please don’t get me wrong- I know that I’m going to be adding some fat in the long run- I’m just wondering what the hell is going on right now because I’m pretty uncomfortable.

You’ll probably find you get better results if you slowly increase your calorie and carbohydrate intake. Keep activity level roughly the same and increase carbs (low glycemic and insulinogenic only)by about 10% per week while adding A.L.A., fish oils and weaning yourself off caffeine and fat burners. You might shun at the thought of keeping activity level the same if you’ve been involved with a heavy workload during your dieting but with the extra carbs you’ll have more energy and probably enjoy it.