T Nation

Cutting Carb Cycle


Hey guys,

My average day looks like this:

MEAL 1: 1 cup egg white, 1 whole egg, 2 small chicken tenderloins
MEAl 2: 2 scoop MD, 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
MEAL 3: pre workout: 1 FINiBAR, post workout: 1 scoop Surge Recovery
MEAL 4: salad (1/2 bag romaine lettuce, 1 small tomato, 1 small bell pepper, 2 tbsp dressing, 1 can tuna) and either a handful almonds or 1 scoop MD
MEAL 5: dinner: chicken, fish, lean turkey burgers, or some other lean meat....and a bag of trader joe's veges, such as broccoli, cauliflower, or some other mixture
MEAL 6: sometimes if I'm hungry, serving of plain almonds
PRE BED: 2 scoops MD w/ 1 scoop EVOO if needed

This is an average day, and macros look something like this:
cals - 2000-2200
carb - 110-130g
fat - 60-75g
protein - 220-250g
sugar - 50ish g

This is my "average" carb day...Low days (days off from training) would be basically the same, just without the peri workout nutrition...That would mean around 70-80g carb....I'm not sure if I need a high day, what do you guys think??

Also, what do you guys think about subbing the Surge Recovery for a scoop or two of Grow!? This would lower carbs even more, which seems to work pretty well for me....I just honestly want to lower carbs HARD during the week, and possibly have one day where i can have a shitload of oatmeal, rice, etc....the things i crave....

I currently follow www.sealfit.com for training. It's basically like Crossfit on steroids - really really intense stuff, but I love it!

Anyway, and help would be appreciated! Thanks guys, I'm asking these questions b/c I want to learn, so please school me.....Thanks!


If it were me, I'd throw a real high day in there. That will keep you from going insane. 110-130g carbs seems like a low-medium carb day for me, but everyone is different. Maybe you could try one or two real high carb days on your priority workouts.


An average day for me (cutting) is 2800 cals and 225 - 250g carbs (I'm 5'8, and normally around 205)



I take it the majority of that (150 or so) is peri-workout?


Yeah, Stu - is that counting peri workout?

By the way, is it better to sub Surge Recovery with whey protein, especially if the day's training mostly consisted of cardio/high intensity work, such as complexes, etc...I'm following a program caled Sealfit which is mostly hardcore complexes, 2-3 mile runs, and a lot of sprinting/oly lifts....I'm drenched in sweat by the end of the session. I usually have a FINiBAR before, and a scoop Surge Recovery after, but i was thinking about changing the Surge to a scoop or 2 or Grow! Whey when the Surge is out....And Stu, since these are my macros, what would a "high day" look like?

I'm really curious, I just want to learn, so ANY input would be GREAT! Thanks guys, the patience and advice you all show really changed the game for me, and I'm still learning


Ah,.. I didn't realize that you weren't counting the Peri-numbers (why do people keep treating them separately? They factor in to your daily totals).

Personally I prefer to use FINiBARs instead of SWF when I can simply because I train better with something solid in my stomach. I will on occasion use 2 Bars with an extra scoop of Surge when I have to adjust numbers a bit (keep carbs up but cals lower). As far as using Whey instead of Surge, I don't think it would be a problem. The arguments I've seen all state that carbs+prot after any training will assist in protein synthesis, but just prot will result in better continued fat burning, albeit slightly less protein synthesis. You have to assess your goals I guess. I haven't done the 'rush home for protein and carbs within 20 mins" thing since I started focusing on Peri-workout supps (Anaconda), and I don't think it's hurt my progress one bit.

For a high day, try your best to keep your numbers at maintenance levels (at least!). Even when dieting, my high days have over 3000 cals, and easily over 300g of carbs (sometimes 350g as long as I can get them all in without feeling overbloated).



I have been counting my peri numbers....My peri workout consists of a FINiBAR before and a scoop of Surge post...which im going to switch out with a scoop or two of Grow Whey! for a while. When carbing up, should I eat the carbs before lifting? I lift around 11am, and I wake up around 8 30...I could eat a serving or 2 of oats, but would that be enough? Where else could I add carbs? Post workout meal? And if yes, then what are your favorite complex carb sources? I bloat easily by the way, and I'm prone to the good old binge....Hahaha


I always eat carbs before lifting, even on my lower carb days. How much Oats you eat is going to be a personal thing. I can't eat more than 1 cup (precooked) at a time without thinking my stomach's going to burst (this is with an omlette and some Almond Butter as well though).

As to whether you should try to get all your daily carbs in my 11 am,.. don't worry so much about timing if you're training in the AM. Sure I wouldn't be pounding down tons of carbs before bed (even though I will have a bowl of oatmeal in the evening in high carb days), but your daily numbers in a cyclical diet are much more important than obsessing over timing so much IMO.

My personal favorite sources are simply Oatmeal and Ezekial Bread. Sure I'll have a poptart or two on high carb days, and yes I stick to my Finibars every day (I think I truly have an addiction problem), but aside from Green Veggies, I keep things very very simple (and boring -lol)



There you go Stu, this one's for you :slight_smile: Great post-workout meal. 2 scoops Metabolic Drive and two pop-tarts.