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Thread: What is the best method of carb cylcing?

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  1. #1
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    What is the best method of carb cylcing?

    Nearly all bodybuilding programs incorporate a process of calorie and/or macronutrient cycling. Two currently popular methods are outlined in Leangains and Carb Backloading (CBL).

    In Leangains, carbs and calories are kept low until after a workout. Then a high carb, high protein meal is ingested post-workout. Subsequent meals for that day are progressively lower in carbs and calories. Rest days are oppostie: high fat and low carb.

    I am not as familiar with Carb Backloading, so if I am off in my description, someone please correct me. From what I have heard, the ideal protocol is to eat minimal carbs and fairly low calories until you workout in the afternoon/evening, then have a post-workout carb feast. If you have an additional meal, I believe it is recommended to be lower carb. If you train in the morning, you similarly fast until postworkout, then have a not-gigantic carb meal, then stay low carb until evening when you can then eat a large amount of carbohydrate.

    This mouse study (Time-of-Day-Dependent Dietary Fat Consumption Influences Multiple Cardiometabolic Syndrome Parameters in Mice) that was cited in a J. Stanton (gnolls.com) article suggests that eating a high-fat meal as your "breakfast" (whatever time of day that happens to be) will help you maintain your metabolic flexibility. This seems to lend credence to the CBL way of doing things more than the Leangains method.

    My question pertains to my particular situation. I train at noon and have been following the Leangains method outlined above, where I eat the majority of my carbs post-workout and then a somewhat higher fat meal later in the evening.

    Would I be better served to have a less carbolicious meal post-workout and then have a carb feast for dinner?

    Is the slightly higher fat meal in the evening detrimental since my fat metabolism is "messed up" from the high-carb post workout meal?

    Does the ~16 hour fast negate the potential downside of breaking my fast with a high-carb meal or not? Does fasting simulate eating a high-fat meal from a metabolic standpoint? If not, would it then be beneficial to have a small high-fat meal pre-workout?

    On the flipside, is eating high fat and then switching to high carb bad? How long does it take for low carb eating to downregulate insulin sensitivity as described by Peter here? And does a moderate carb intake negate this effect: http:/high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2009/09/physiological-insulin-resistance-and.html

    I know the best way to determine what works for me is to test this out for myself, which I may do. I just wanted to get some different viewpoints on the matter.
    Last edited by yodiewan; 12-20-2012 at 09:05 AM.

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