T Nation

Importance of Moderate Carb Days?

Hi. I have started carb cycling, and I was wondering what the importance of medium carb days is. Why would it not be better to have more no carb days and then high carb days…more fluctuation?

yeah sure you would lose more weight, you would lose alot more if you stoped eating in general

one of the reasons would be you might be able to pull off a decent workout if you have more carbs for energy

I guess I’ll take a stab at this one … or at least share my thoughts. Hopefully others will drop by with their.

One of the benefits of a medium carb day would be that carbs are refilling muscle glycogen. I think of moderate days as maintenance, though that’s not necessarily the case.

Carb cycling is not like the Anabolic Diet with has 5 or 6 days of low carbs (<30g per day) with 1 or 2 days of very high carbs. In the case of the Anabolic Diet, the body makes a metabolic shift from being a sugar burner to being a fat burner. After the shift is made (takes a week to 10 or 12 days), it’s a very protein-sparing (LBM protecting) diet, and carbing up one or two days a week doesn’t allow the body enough time to shift back to being a sugar burner.

Going high and low on carbs like you were asking about without forcing your body to make the metabolic shift from being a sugar burner to being a fat burner, would very likely result in the loss of unacceptable amounts of LBM.

Bottom line, if you’re carb cycling, play by the rules, hit your numbers, and stick with it long enough to determine whether you like it and get the results you want.