T Nation

Effectiveness of Bulking with Restricted Carbs?

How effective would it be to bulk up while restricting carb intake (to only pre and post work out) as opposed to bulking without trying to cut back? I am restricting my carbs in order to avoid fat gain since I do not handle them well, being a former fat kid.

I have read the “testimonies” of several members on diets such as AD and they seemed happy with strength and weight gain/fat loss.

However, I’ve had several recent conversations with nutritionists working at my gym that tell me that it would be silly to try and restrict carbs and bulk at the same time.

I’d also be glad if someone could share personal results from bulking with and without (or with restricted) carbs.

You make it a lot harder for yourself trying to bulk up without carbs.

I’ve done the AD - great for fatloss, not so much for muscle gain in my experience.

If you want to minimize fat gain being a former fatty, add in some cardio a few times a week.

Can anyone else testify to the effectiveness of bulking with restricted carbs?

I am also having trouble structuring my meals in a way that will let me bulk but gain as little fat as possible.

Right now my last 3 meals are:

Carb + protein (post work out solid food meal 45 mins after my shake)

Fat+protein- 4 hours before bed

Fat+protein- 30 mins before bed

Unless you’re fat adapted I wouldn’t restrict carbs too much. And fat adaptation takes a few months to begin to really show it’s benefits in most cases.

Since the consensus seems to be that I can bulk much easier WITH carbs, I am left wondering how I can minimize fat gain as much as possible?

Eat only “healthy” complex carbs and avoid carbs before bed?

Minimizing fat gains ultimately would mean not eat too much - obviously you need to eat enough for growth but don’t overdo it and eat 6000kcal a day.

This also means not eating too much in one sitting, that is why it’s better to split meals up into smaller, frequent portions. Keeps the metabolism up, reduces chances of overeating in one sitting and ensure constant nutrients in the body for growth and recovery.

Better food choices would be my next step - things like not mixing too many fats with too many carbs will help you make wiser food choices in the long run. And yes, eating complex carbs (lower GI) will help as you won’t be spiking your insulin levels all the time causing your body to store extra food as fat.

Lastly, like I said before - add in some cardio a few times a week (I mean like 2-3 15 minute sessions). Get lots of sleep too.

I am a firm believer in lean bulking, see my thread under “introduction” in tcell alpha. As for wether or not this includes carbs I will simply say it is an individual thing.