Carb Cycling For Fat Loss

When it comes to fat loss there’s a
million strategies out there with an endless stream of people shouting at you
they have the best-kept secret It can feel almost impossible to know
who’s just selling you something and who’s actually trying to help. The truth
is there’s no magic diets and it all comes down to creating the calorie
deficit but carb cycling is something that can help in some situations. So
today I’m gonna talk about some of the positives and negatives of carb cycling
and let you determine if it’s right for you. Hey this is Colin DeWaay if you want
to master your metabolism and create forever results, start that process now
by subscribing and click on that Bell notification so you don’t miss anything. Alright I want to dive deep into carb cycling today so make sure you stick
around to the end of the video because I’m gonna not only explain what carb
cycling is but I’m gonna show you different examples of it, I’m gonna show
you exactly how to set up each example for yourself, and explain in which
scenarios it will make the most sense for you. Now there are a lot of ways you
can go about carb cycling but the basic premise is really simple… Some days you
eat higher carbs, some days you eat lower carbs. The first and probably most
commonly used type of carb cycling is where you do more of like a refeed
approach where you have six days of lower carbs and one day of higher carbs. In this instance it’s more of a psychological benefit than it is
anything else sometimes people just have a really hard
time sticking to the plan especially if you have constantly low calories like
you’re going to in a dieting phase. Well if you have a day of higher carbs that
you can look forward to sometimes that makes it easier to stick to the plan,
knowing you have that day of more food coming. So if this strategy helps you
adhere to your numbers better you’re going to see better results. The other
potential benefit of the strategy is you’ll probably have better performance
on the day of or potentially the day after your refeed as you’ve refilled
your glycogen stores that have been depleted from the lower carb days. When
carbs have been lower for a while you’re just more likely to feel rundown and
tired and if you have a dayof higher carbs it can kind of spark a little life
into you, it can help recover a little bit better between sets, and just be able
to train a little bit harder. Now as far as how to set up a refeed strategy of
course there’s a lot of variations and many different ways you can do this what
I generally suggest for the most part is increasing your carbs by about 40 to 60%
on the day of your refeed. Now I know some people will say to do more and even
upwards of like 70% even up to a hundred percent more carbs on a refeed day I
just have found that that seems to be a little bit too much
for the majority of people but of course everyone’s different. Now when it comes
to cutting carbs are by far the most variable macro however we could
potentially make some small changes in protein and fats as well and for me
personally if someone’s above one gram per pound of body weight in protein I’ll
usually drop their protein either maybe by about 10 grams or even all the way
down to whatever 1 gram per pound is for them, because carbs are protein sparing
so you don’t need as much protein when carbs are higher.
I’ll also sometimes increase fat by maybe 5 to 10 grams just because it does
help with digestion and it allows for a little bit more flexibility in your diet
as well. One thing it’s always important to remember, however, is that with this
strategy or any strategy we take everyone’s a little bit different. Some
clients might in respond really well to where you feed and even oftentimes we’ll
see a drop in the scale after them. Other people seem to gain when they have a
refeed and have a really hard time bringing it back down again. For some
people having a refeed approach will help them adhere to their diet better
having extra calories for others it sets them not to overeat so it’s really
important to pay attention to your body and your emotional state and do what
works best for you. As far as what day to do the refeed I usually typically just
say whatever day you look forward to having more calories the most to be able
to enjoy more food however if you want to look at it from a performance
standpoint than the day before whatever your toughest workout will be is
probably the best day to do it or potentially the day of if you workout
later in a day. Now for this next carb cycling approach one thing we need to
keep in mind is dieting does have an impact on our hormones and our
metabolism. The more we diet the longer we diet the more aggressively we do
things the more this is going to have an impact. However it doesn’t appear that a
single day refeed does anything with regards to improving our actual hormones
but research is starting to show that multiple day refeeds could have a
positive impact on things like hormones and your metabolism. So the carb cycling
approach of doing five low days of carbs with two high days of carbs not only
still has the mental benefits of a single day refeed but it could have
positive impacts on hormones and metabolism as well as help with sleep
and recovery. Not only that but anytime you’ve been lower carb for a while
you’re just eventually gonna start feeling pretty rundown and tired and
with this we tend to just kind of lay around more and aren’t as active on a
day-to-day basis. So multiple-day refeeds not only help with the physiological
side of things but it also can help you just feel better and probably burn more
calories just because you’re gonna be a little
bit more active. Keep in mind with a double refeed approach the two refeed
days NEED to be consecutively if you want to get the hormonal benefits from
it. So doing like a three low, one high, two low, one high approach wouldn’t give you
that same benefit. I’ve personally found this to be a pretty good strategy a lot
of the time especially after you’ve been cutting for a while and you’re feeling
the effects of dieting more. In fact this is the exact approach my coach Paul
Revelia has been doing right now as I’m in contest prep and for the most part
despite being almost stage lean it’s kept me in a pretty good place with regards
to energy and hunger plus it’s nice to have those two days of higher calories. Setting up a double refeed is pretty much the same as a single refeed where
you increased your carbs by around 50% but obviously you’re doing it for two
days instead of one. To give you an exact example I’m just gonna go ahead and give
you mine since I’m currently doing this, just remember that the exact macros are
specific to me. So I’m currently at 200 protein 195 carbs and 55 fat on my low
days and 190 protein 290 carbs and 50 fat on my high days. So Paul also used the
sort of “half rule” with carbs bringing protein down slightly but the difference
is he wants me to eat lower fat instead of increasing the fat like I typically
do. You could also take this approach a step further and do like a three day
refeed and keep in mind you don’t have to keep everything to a week. So you
could do three days of high carbs and then even do like five, six or even seven
days of lower carbs and repeat that cycle. Now keep watching because I do
have more strategies that I want to cover but I’m also gonna tell you
exactly how I suggest progressing through your own personal cut at the end
of this video. Alright another common approach to carb cycling
is to do training day and non training day macros. With this approach you have a
higher amount of carbs you eat on days that you train and then on your rest
days you eat less carbs. The benefit of this is you’re gonna have more carbs for
the days that you train where energy expenditure is gonna be higher so it
just kind of makes sense, however, keep in mind that as long as your total calories
for the week are the same it really is irrelevant if you have them on training
and non train day macros it’s just some people prefer to have those extra
calories on the days they train. That being said there is another benefit to
this in that if you’re going to miss a normal training day well now you’d know
how much to eat you can just bring your calories back to your non training day
macros and go with that to account for having less expenditure that day. Now with this approach you won’t have nearly as big of a difference between
high and low days like you would with a refeed approach. Here I typically
recommend that you eat about 10 to 15 percent less carbs on non training days
than you eat on training days. I also often have people reduce their fats by
maybe 5 to 10 grams but you don’t necessarily have to do that because keep
in mind the carbs is what we use for training and fat is more for things like
digestion and hormone support so they can be left alone if you prefer. Alright this next approach isn’t something that would normally be
considered carb cycling but it really is in a way and it’s a really important
thing to talk about and that is diet breaks. This is where you bump up your
carbs to around refeed levels maybe even increase your fat by a little bit like 5
to 10 grams and you do this for an entire week or even multiple weeks. This
is where you really see the benefit of improved hormones improving metabolic
rate and keeping yourself in a good place metabolically for the duration of
your cut. Implementing frequent diet breaks not only keeps you in a better
spot to be able to better burn fat throughout your cut but it also has the
mental benefit of being able to enjoy more food and not feeling like you’re on
the grind all the time. Diet breaks can also be really helpful
with regards to helping hunger not only during the diet break but throughout
your cutting phase as well. And research has shown that taking frequent diet
breaks helps burn more fat when you’re on the actual cutting macros. Alright
this next carb cycling approach is the one that typically most people probably
think about when it comes to carb cycling and that is eating a different
amount of carbs every day of the week or at least most days of the week. Honestly
I almost never use this approach. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing but I find
the body does better with more consistency. Pretty much the only times
I’ll implement a strategy like this is if someone who’s been dieting for a very
long time, usually they’re extremely lean or been really low-calorie and high
cardio for a while and just can’t see results. Especially when someone’s really
really lean this is when more non-traditional forms of dieting can
sometimes be a little more effective. So if you’re in a spot where you’ve been
grinding really hard and calories are to the point where you can’t drop them
anymore you can’t really do any more cardio and you’re completely stuck and
you’re already taking diet breaks and it’s not helping then this can be kind
of like a last ditch effort before just stopping the process and going into your
reverse diet. Here what you can do is you can either front load or back
your carbs and then either taper them down or slowly raise them up. For an
example maybe you start with a higher carb day of 240 grams of carbs and then
the next day you eat 200 grams of carbs and then the next day you eat 160 grams
of carbs and then 80 grams of carbs. You may even spend a day or two at like 40
50 grams of carbs and then cycle it back. The big drawback to this is this complex
it has a lot of variables and it’s kind of harder to stick to the plan so it’s not
very sustainable, but sometimes if you’re just totally stuck and you’re already
pretty lean it can help get things going again but you have to realize it’s
temporary. Alright now what I want to do is take you through kind of like a
typical progression through carb cycling from the beginning stages to an end
to see the best results possible throughout. First I want to make sure you
understand that unless you’re already pretty dang lean I still think that
total macros for the week should be equated whether you’re carb cycling or not. Some people just like the simplicity of keeping things the same and having the
same macros every single day so you don’t really have to think about it and
if that’s you that’s totally fine and in all honesty this is what I typically
recommend when you start a cut anyway. I typically find when starting a cutting
phase that if you do a refeed approach sometimes that high day can kind of
work against you. In a complete non-scientific type of analysis here
it’s almost like the body just thinks hey the calories are still kind of high
I don’t have to get rid of fat yet. So I usually recommend waiting at least two
weeks before implementing a refeed approach and then at that point if you
want one just for the psychological benefits then you can add one in. Just
remember you do want to equate calories in this instance so say for instance you
want to eat an extra 300 calories for your refeed day then you would need to
take away 50 calories from the other six days of the week to do that. Then I
usually recommend riding that out as long as things are working and going
okay we want to keep the more complex stuff for later on in the diet when
things get a little bit more difficult. So the next approach would be the double
refeed approach and there’s nothing wrong with doing it earlier if you like
it and want to do it I just personally like to save it for when things get
tougher but some people just do really well with it especially with the
metabolic and hormonal benefits so you can implement it sooner if you like. From
there it’s about taking more frequent diet breaks, maybe trying some triple
refeed approaches and just doing different strategies to try to keep your
hormones and metabolism in as good a spot as possible to keep your body from
fighting you the best you can because it’s going to. By the way you can take
diet breaks whenever you want to you don’t have to wait until things get
really difficult and wait till way down the line to do so they’re still
beneficial at any point to help kind of keep the suck to a minimum and to keep
your body in as good as spot as possible. Then from there the last-ditch effort is
the daily carb cycling method and again I almost never recommend this except for
in extreme scenarios or if you have just found that it works really well for you
and your body then by all means do it if you like it. Now something that’s super
important to make sure you set yourself up for a successful fat loss phase is to
not only know how to set up your initial macros but also how to make adjustments
as your body does adapt. So make sure you check out this video and I’ll show you
how to set up your initial macros and how to make adjustments as your body
hits plateaus. If you’re interested in getting online coaching so you can take
the guesswork out of it then just go to the website in the description below and apply under online coaching and I’ll see you next

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Reader Comments

  1. Marianne Jane

    Wow, your Da Bomb Colin! So much info, and its everything I wanted more info about. I am going to have to listen to it a few times. Just so scared with refeed days on putting weight on I have lost and still losing. I have been on low carb for a few weeks so far, doing well. Your pretty Ace Colin, you have outdone yourself today! I am not suckin up lol, just grateful for all the information.I just dont want my body to plateau again when it gets to a certain stage.Thankyou again. 🙂

  2. Christian

    Wow!! Had no idea you are so knowledgeable with coaching, diet and training!! Great info. Love love your logo too!! Great stuff Colin!🔥🔥❤

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