T Nation

High CHO Days - How Low is Too Low?


Hey guys! I have a question regarding high carb days whilst carb cycling. I have been carb cycling for 7 weeks now and the fat loss is slowing.

My carb intake on high cho days is obviously decreasing as I lower carbs with diet adjustments as progress slows. My question is, how low can carbs be taken on high days whilst still raising leptin enough to signal the body that it isnt starving? My carbs are as low as 225 now (bodyweight of 177 from 191 at the moment) and worry that as they continually decrease, my high days will become ineffective at ramping up metabolism.

Cheers guys - Stefan.


I would consider upping my carb intake on high CHO days


But surely I need to stick to my calorie requirements? If I up carbs on high days I am just going backwards?


Move 50g of carbs from your low days to your high days. This will create an extra 200 calorie deficit on low days and add 200 calories to your high days, so the net calorie balance will be the same. You might also consider lowering your caloric intake 5-10% if you seem to be stalling or add daily cardio if you're not already doing it. If you lower your total calories, then subtract them carbs and fat, don't lower protein.


Have you tried adding more cardio?



This was what I was kind of getting at. You'd be surprised how a nice day of carbs will help stoke the metabolism again. If you're stalling, this might be whats needed.

I'm assuming you've been doing your cardio, training hard and have already tried lowering your overall calories.


I appreciate the idea of a refeed, although I was under the impression that 'normal' carb loads (24 hours or less) refill glycogen and turn off catabolism but that to effectively affect metabolism at least a 48 hour + refeeds are really required (or even returning to maintenance for 1-2 weeks to 'reset' metabolism - although I would want this as a last resort!).

Macro intake is as follows:

High: 250c, 280p, 50f
No: 0c, 280p, 50f
Low: 125c, 280p, 50f
No: 0c, 280p, 50f
High: 250c, 280p, 50f
Low: 125c, 280p, 50f
No: 0c, 280p, 50f

Average daily calories = 1998
Training = High and Low days
Cardio = Have played around with HIIT on high days and LISS on No days (feel like maybe the diet is aggressive enough as it is though at present)
BF = I would hazard a guess and say 10-11% now.
Also currently running the ECA stack.

Carbs and proteins are very closely measured. Fats on the other hand I am a little slack about and tend to guestimate them (Naughty me!).

Thanks for the help guys, much appreciated.