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View Full Version : Why do some people carb cycle?



Jamie94
06-21-2011, 02:46 PM
Is it for a certain reason or iust personal preference?

QGH
06-21-2011, 02:59 PM
The body uses carbs to produce glycogen. You body stores glycogen in the muscles and liver. If the liver and muscles are full, the the carbs can be stored as fat. People cycle to ensure they are not storing carbs as fat. You minimize carbs for several days, until you feel depleted. At that point you load up. Or you simply eat more carbs on days with higher activity and less on days off.

MAX.MAREK
06-21-2011, 02:59 PM
for me, i do it to keep my bodyfat in check while in offseason. have hi carb days when i train legs, and back. plus it keep the diet tweeked, and my body always guessing....so it doesnt adapt to it as fast. gains just keep coming. same happens in pre-contest...just that the carbs are at a lower starting point. simple as that.

Jamie94
06-21-2011, 04:21 PM
Is this kinda stuff scientifically backed, or is it a kinda thing that's one of those things people do because it works for them?

EddyCutting
06-21-2011, 04:25 PM
I don't think it's bro-sience but it seems not as important as daily-nutrition/macro's.

joejccva71
06-21-2011, 04:34 PM
Honestly I'd rather just do Intermittent Fasting.

EddyCutting
06-21-2011, 04:37 PM
Honestly I'd rather just do Intermittent Fasting.

Due to better controll of my kcal intake and my carb sensivity I agree with you. Fasting and feasting is much better for my hunger. Btw, you can carb cycle and IF :D

jrcoreymv
06-21-2011, 04:41 PM
I do IF and cycle my carbs, using the leangains protocol. Martin (of LG fame) recommends high fat and low carbs on non-workout days, and vice versa on workout days. Seems to have good results with his clients.

naturalguy
06-21-2011, 05:02 PM
Is it for a certain reason or iust personal preference?

It has several bennies. It can help when dieting to keep you out of or to get past a plateau.

sawoobley
06-21-2011, 05:56 PM
The body uses carbs to produce glycogen. You body stores glycogen in the muscles and liver. If the liver and muscles are full, the the carbs can be stored as fat. People cycle to ensure they are not storing carbs as fat. You minimize carbs for several days, until you feel depleted. At that point you load up. Or you simply eat more carbs on days with higher activity and less on days off.

not true

kathrin_
06-21-2011, 06:12 PM
not true

everything will be stored as body fat, if it is too much.

WonderPug
06-21-2011, 06:15 PM
everything will be stored as body fat, if it is too much.
Not water ;)

joejccva71
06-21-2011, 06:17 PM
everything will be stored as body fat, if it is too much.

If you eat less calories than what you are burning for the day then no, it won't be stored as body fat.

It's Calories In vs Calories Out. Period.

kathrin_
06-21-2011, 06:22 PM
If you eat less calories than what you are burning for the day then no, it won't be stored as body fat.

It's Calories In vs Calories Out. Period.

isn't that what I said? too much = more than spent

HunterCML
06-21-2011, 06:26 PM
Not water ;)

No, but too much water at once can end your life (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_intoxication).

drewbie57
06-21-2011, 06:52 PM
It has several bennies. It can help when dieting to keep you out of or to get past a plateau.

Pardon the speculation on the subject, but are part of those benefits leptin and other hormone maintenance? I don't know what BF% one must be at before it starts making a noticeable difference to have refeeds/high-cycle days.

QGH
06-21-2011, 08:28 PM
not true

Thanks, I thought it was possible that carbs could be stored as fat if you body doesn't need them. Do extra carbs pass though or get turned into muscle?

foodandfitness
06-21-2011, 08:42 PM
In a sense, would carb cycling= refeeding?

is carb cycling just carb cycling or do you cycle calories in conjunction?




No, but too much water at once can end your life (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_intoxication).

Agreed : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drowning

Electricheadd
06-21-2011, 09:25 PM
Thanks, I thought it was possible that carbs could be stored as fat if you body doesn't need them. Do extra carbs pass though or get turned into muscle?

Carbs can be stored as fat. Just not when your in a caloric deficit.

drewbie57
06-21-2011, 10:50 PM
In a sense, would carb cycling= refeeding?

is carb cycling just carb cycling or do you cycle calories in conjunction?
From what I've noticed is that the term "refeed" usually implies consuming over maintenance, which a carb cycling plan may or may not require.

There are tons of different plans with different compositions; most I've seen cycle both caloric and carb intake. The most planned one I've seen is the UD2.0 (http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/ultimate-diet-20), but I'm sure there are others out there of equal or greater complexity.

SuffolkPunch
06-22-2011, 12:16 AM
Carbs are almost never converted to fat in the human body - read about de novo lipogenesis

Same goes for protein - there is no pathway for protein->fat

This does not mean that eating too much carb/prot will not make you fat because the presence of carbs stops your body from oxidising fat as fuel.

To answer the original question, carb cycling is done by people who are already fairly lean to get very lean. Periods of low carb causes a rise in catecholomines which can have positive body composition effect in the short term. In the longer term, the opposite can actually be true so we need to 'refeed' with carbs to give the body a break and restore leptin levels.

MarkVI
06-22-2011, 12:21 AM
Carbs are almost never converted to fat in the human body - read about de novo lipogenesis

Yes, in theory. But that's never what happens. Eat a very low fat diet (30grams or under) and high carbs and protein, far over maintenance...the carbs will be stored as fat. absolutely.

SuffolkPunch
06-22-2011, 12:28 AM
Huh? I thought I was agreeing with you...

Just to clarify, Lyle seems to think it requires a ridiculously high level of carb intake:
http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/how-we-get-fat.html

MarkVI
06-22-2011, 12:39 AM
Huh? I thought I was agreeing with you...

Just to clarify, Lyle seems to think it requires a ridiculously high level of carb intake:
http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/how-we-get-fat.html

I think we are. I don't think that the conditions under which de novo lipogenesis are too extreme though.

once glycogen stores are topped off...it goes to fat, like Lyle says

SuffolkPunch
06-22-2011, 12:45 AM
Yes, he talks about a short term overfeed which would be quite a challenge to do but I guess for people who are bulking day in day out, their glycogen stores would be topped out all the time.

MarkVI
06-22-2011, 12:46 AM
Yes, he talks about a short term overfeed which would be quite a challenge to do but I guess for people who are bulking day in day out, their glycogen stores would be topped out all the time.

The article basically serves as a deeper explanation as to why cals in versus cals out dictates fat/mass gain or loss

Ajaro
06-22-2011, 12:47 AM
I think we are. I don't think that the conditions under which de novo lipogenesis are too extreme though.

once glycogen stores are topped off...it goes to fat, like Lyle says

In a sedentary-overeating average-American-diet sort of person, its not extreme, definitely. But I can't see it happening for anyone who is active and hasn't made 60oz sodas their own food group.

sawoobley
06-22-2011, 02:00 AM
Thanks, I thought it was possible that carbs could be stored as fat if you body doesn't need them. Do extra carbs pass though or get turned into muscle?

They tend to get burned off preferentially and the fat from your diet gets preferentially stored as fat. This is a technicality but it's important because you'll here people say carbs are bad because they will make you fat. It's more useful to say excess calories will make you fat.


Carbs can be stored as fat. Just not when your in a caloric deficit.

Technically possible, but rarely to any significant degree. It occurs more in rodents than humans. Even under the extreme condition where carbs are stored as fat it is an expensive process where quite a bit of carbs are burned in the process of trying to store them as fat.


Carbs are almost never converted to fat in the human body - read about de novo lipogenesis

Same goes for protein - there is no pathway for protein->fat


This is my understanding as well.


Huh? I thought I was agreeing with you...

Just to clarify, Lyle seems to think it requires a ridiculously high level of carb intake:
http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/how-we-get-fat.html

It's an interesting read.