Carb Cycling

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OK……here we go.  This is probably the number one asked question I get besides how to build your glutes lol.  First thing I want to point out is that I am not a nutritionist.  I can only provide general information and tips.  If you are starting your weight loss, muscle-building, or over healthy lifestyle journey I highly suggest you meet with a nutritionist who can address your individual needs.

I also suggest working on the basics before your try a more complicated program like carb cycling.  First, try to drink more water. Second, get rid of sugar, Third, eat more green, leafy veggies etc.  You must have your bodies basic nutritional needs met before it will devote extra energy to muscle-building and fat loss.

In short, carb cycling is used to keep your metabolism guessing.  Extended periods of being low carb or in a caloric deficit cause your metabolism to ultimately slow down.  Your body is very smart.  It starts to think it is not getting enough calories and nutrients and starts to slow your resting metabolic rate (calories burned at rest) meaning your ultimately start to burn fewer calories a day and store more fat.

Livestrong describes carb cycling as such:

Carb Cycling

Carb cycling is a method most commonly used by bodybuilders to help lose body fat. Instead of placing the most importance on calories, carb cycling focuses on carbohydrate intake. The simplified definition of carb cycling is to alternate between higher and lower intakes of carbohydrates on different days. For example, if you consume 400 grams of carbohydrates per day normally, you would drop your carbohydrate intake down to 100 grams for a period of around two days each week. Once the two days are over, you increase carbohydrate intake back up to 400 grams per day for the rest of the week. After five days of 400 grams per day, reduce intake back to 100 grams for the remainder of the week.

Theory Behind Carb Cycling

Your body prefers carbohydrates as its main source of energy. When you lower your intake of carbohydrates, your body turns to fat for energy. The fat in your body is stored in your adipose tissue. When your body uses this fat for energy, it lowers your total body fat percentage, allowing you to lose weight and reveal lean muscle.

This is the simplified definition.  More info can also be found on http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/par30.htm.

I don’t want to get too much into the science here but basically you want to use your high carb days on your hardest lifts during the week typically legs works best.  Make sure those days are evenly spaced out.  You can do a high/low/no , high/moderate/low or high/low  Ultimately, it depends on how active you are.  If you lift multiple times a week then you will need more carbs.  They are our number one source for energy.

Everyone has their on opinion on the exact amount but your protein is always constant with this diet and carbs and fats are inversely related.  So high carb day fats are low.  Low carb day fats are high.

I like the multiplying your protein by minimum 1g per body weight and upwards of 1.2-1.4 depending on your goals.  I tell my clients try the 1g/bw first and aim slightly higher as time goes on and they develop good eating habits and really figure out the type of physique they want.  The chart listed below shows one approach.  I personally focus on the carb part of this chart the most because it is very high protein and tough for most people.

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http://www.cutandjacked.com/Carb-Cycling-Made-Easy

My personal success has come from using the CARB and fat portion of this chart, minimum of 1-1.2g/BW of protein a day. Have I done the super high protein? Yes.  Do I think its realistic for most? No.  I believe it take time getting into this kind of specifics.

For those interested in this I suggest getting the “lose it” app and logging your food.  This app will allow you to track your macros and adjust throughout the day if you are too low in one macro.  Example, say your protein is too low.  Next meal maybe have a few more ounces of chicken, or turkey.  This allows you to make adjustments all day and plan cheat meals into your week so I personally love this sort of dieting.

This falls into the increasingly popular “if it fits my macros” diet.  My idols Chady Dunmore and Joesph C. Donnelly follow this diet and I have adopted it as well.  Basically, if a food fits into your alloted macronutrients for the day you can eat it.  I believe it allows for more moderation, less craving, and a lifestyle of healthy eating.  I believe it helps rid most people of binging and starving themselves as well. Read more about it here http://iifym.com/iifym-layne-norton-interview/

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Key points:

1. Remember to multiple your macro count by what you WANT to weigh (if try to lose).  Slow and steady wins the race.  Start with 5lbs less, when you hit that goal do another 5 lbs.

2. Log, log, and log again.  This holds you accountable.  Measure everything until you have the foods your eat the most down.

3. Eat your vegetables! All this means shit if you aren’t getting two big servings (1/2 a plate) of green leafy veggies a day.

4.  Drink tons of water.  Water is key in all cellular activity!!! You also need it to help with digesting all this stuff.

5. Keep your carb sources on the cleaner side most of the time.  Low glycemic index carbs throughout the day keep energy levels up and insulin steady.  Think sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice, etc.

Most importantly, the foundation of any nutrition and exercise plan is consistency, patience, and hard work.  The right way to transform your body takes a little longer but ultimately you end up with a strong metabolism, more energy, and look fantastic year round not just for summer or a special event.

Lower body flexibility

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I will begin the flexibility question with the areas I find to be the most tight on my clients the psoas, hip flexor and it band. Listed above are fantastic psoas stretches (more info http://stronglifts.com/the-psoas-is-it-killing-your-back) along with more information on what it actually does and problems it may cause if it is tight.

If you are not foam rolling or have a masseuse on hand, start now. When we lift we develop little adhesions on our muscle (small tears). These adhesion restrict movement and cause or body to recruit other muscles to compensate for lack of movement where the adhesions are located. A foam roller relies on a technique called myo-fascial release. Meaning a release of restricted muscle fibers and it’s connective tissue. Only focusing on a muscle and not releasing the connective tissue will not allow for a full release or stretch of the muscle. The fascia or connective tissue will simply pull the muscle again tightening it. Foam rolling regularly and finding a masseuse with knowledge in myo-fascial release and trigger point therapy can keep you healthy and constantly making gains!

Here are some general guidelines from ACE Fitness:

Roll over the muscle slowly, feeling for areas that are tight or “hot.” When you find a “hot spot” your instinct will be to roll away from it. Instead, support more of your body weight with your arms or opposite leg and breathe deeply as you gently apply pressure.
Focus on small areas. Move incrementally rather than in large repetitive movements that cover the entire muscle, which can lead to greater inflammation.
Stay on one spot for one to two breaths and then move an inch higher, lower, right or left. If you do not find anything in that direction, move an inch in another direction and repeat this process.
Avoid rolling over the joints. Keep the foam roller on soft tissue only.

The greater the amount of body weight you put on the roller, the more intense it will feel. For example, in the first photo below I am using my opposite leg to support my body; therefore, I have less weight on the roller and the massage is not as deep. If you are new to foam rolling, this is a good place to start. In the second photo, I am using my opposite leg to add weight and increase the pressure of the massage. The more often you roll, the fewer hot spots you find and the more pressure you will be able to apply.

When it comes to foam rolling, it is especially important to listen to the feedback your body is giving you—use it as a guide for when to go deeper and when to back off. Initially, rolling will most likely feel uncomfortable, so start with small doses–10 minutes a day, for example. Ease into the process to prevent excessive soreness or injury.

Here are five of the most common tight areas in the lower body, simple directions for how to roll them out and a complementary flexibility move you can do immediately after rolling to get the most out of your stretch routine.

For more info please visit their website:

https://www.acefitness.org/acefit/healthy-living-article/60/3422/5-foam-rolling-moves-for-the-lower-body/

For the follower who asked me specifically about hamstrings here is some great information.

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http://goldmedalbodies.com/hamstring-flexibility/

Miss pizza?

klewis19:

Decided to repost the Spaghetti Squash Pizza receipe since a lot fo people want to try. Go crazy with the veggie toppings and make it your own.

Originally posted on Krush It Fitness:

Miss pizza?

Really excited to try this new pizza recipe. I have had great success with spaghetti squash noodles.  The texture and taste is amazing.  This sounds like a new favorite.

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