“5 Easy Tips for Cycling Carbs” by James Barnum

“5 Easy Tips for Cycling Carbs” by James Barnum

Carbohydrates are essential if you want to look, perform, and feel your best. There’s no way around it – every cell in your body needs energy to function, and the majority of that energy during training is derived from glucose and metabolic byproducts.

That said, there are benefits to occasionally decreasing your carbohydrate intake and eating more fat to keep Calories relatively high. Of note, eating more fat tends to signal your body to burn more fat for a short time, especially during rest when demands for glucose are lessened.  This is the basis for Metabolic Flexibility.

To get the best of both worlds, you should cycle carbohydrates depending upon your daily activity levels. Here’s a quick primer on how to do this effectively:

1. Determine your total daily energy requirements and a suitable macro split. This is different for everyone based upon their age, weight, training frequency, etc. Check out the ETP Calculator for some help establishing these numbers.

2. On your weight training days, simply eat your “normal” macros – high protein, moderate carbs, moderate fat. You’ll load carbs around your workouts to maximize performance and recovery.

3. On your rest days, or days where you perform only light activity, decrease your carbohydrate intake. How low you go is completely up to you, but we recommend staying above 100g of carbs; your brain uses quite a bit of glucose throughout the day!

4. Don’t drop your Calories too low – for example, if you go from 300g of carbs to 100g, you’re dropping about 800 Calories. Fewer Calories will not necessarily lead to more fat loss, so make up the difference with a small increase in fat. 10-20g or between 90 and 180 Calories will do, depending upon your bodyweight and how low you’re dropping your carbs.

5. You may be asking: “Where do I get the extra fat from?” Try a bit of coconut oil in your morning coffee or in a protein shake but don’t overdo it! Grass fed butter is a great addition too – try cooking your veggies in it!