lately i’ve noticed that my workouts haven’t been giving me the same results that i’m used to… i must be at a plateau! there are a few signs of being at a plateau: noticeably reduced progress, feeling more tired throughout the day, feeling more hungry than usual.
i am pretty confident that my workouts are not the problem because i have been lifting heavier than usual lately… it must be my diet!! i’ve been eating extremely clean for over two years now, so i definitely think it’s time to change up my diet for a while. air-go, carb cycling.
here’s an article that describes why a low-carb diet is the most effective way to lose weight fast (and healthily!!)
i’ve done a ton of research lately on this concept and, while it’s generally utilized by body builders before a competition, i don’t see why i can’t do it to reduce fat but still build muscle. it is a very strict diet that takes planning and dedication, but i’m definitely up for the challenge. here are the basics:
- it centers around the idea of constantly changing how many carbs are consumed each day. carbs are the power source for our metabolism, so by cycling carb consumption, the metabolism will always be guessing and will not slow.
after lots of research, i have come up with a weekly plan for carb consumption and simultaneous work outs that i think will help me blast through my plateau. i intend to follow this pattern for 3-4 weeks.
day 1: high — total body circuit
day 2: low — cardio in morning, shoulders/legs
day 3: no — off
day 4: low — cardio
day 5: high — total body circuit
day 6: low — cardio in morning, biceps/back
day 7: no — off
High carb days
- eat as many carbs as you want on this day
- 4/6 meals have carbs; 2/6 only protein
- eat a small piece of fruit before every carb meal
- minimize extra fats
- perform your hardest workouts on this day
- consume at least 1g of protein per lb of body weight on this day
- do not place two high carb days back to back
low carb days
- consume around 25% of your calories from carbs
- eat carbs 2/6 meals, the rest protein only (i eat carbs for breakfast and after my workout)
- eat 1.5g lean protein/lb body weight — spread it out evenly among 5-6 meals
- perform lighter, less strenuous work outs and cardio
no carb days
- carbs can only come from leafy, fibrous greens (spinach, broccoli, kale, etc.) at 2-3 meals
- do not perform strenuous workouts on this day (light walks or light yoga only)
- lots and lots of protein with healthy fats!
- do not place two no carb days back to back
- Brown rice
- Oats (Slow Cooked Preferred)
- Sweet potatoes or Yams
- Fiber One (All Bran) Cereal
- Starchy Veggies (corn, peas, etc.)
- Approved Yet Limited Carbohydrates**
- Whole-wheat pasta
- Whole grain breads, pitas, etc.
approved lean proteins
- Chicken (white meat)
- Turkey (white meat)
- Tuna Fish (can)
- Fish (flounder, tuna (fatty or not), salmon, shark, etc.)
- Shellfish (all types)
- Protein (preferably whey post workout, and casein before bed; MRPs must be low-carb)
- Lean beef (including lean cuts of steak)
- Cottage Cheese (0 or 1% fat)
- Egg whites (egg beaters)
approved higher-fat protein*
- Chicken (dark meat)
- Turkey (dark meat)
- Eggs (half whites, half whole eggs)
- Steak and other meats (not exceptionally high fat cuts)
- Cottage Cheese (Whole Milk)
*do not consume higher-fat protein for more than 2 meals a day
- (Natural) Peanut Butter
- Flax Oil
- Heavy Whipping Cream
- Hemp Seed Oil
- Olive Oil
just be mindful of how much fat you are consuming each day. try to consume less than 20g of fat from the above list. you will be getting some fats from other sources throughout the diet, so i wouldn’t worry about fats too much.
In order for this to be an effective diet, you need to calculate your recommended daily caloric intake. go to my links page to determine this. then follow this equation to determine how many calories you NEED to consume each week:
- determine your daily caloric intake (pretend it’s 2,000)
- multiply this number by 7 to determine how many calories you need each week (14,000)
- subtract 3,500 from this number to determine how many calories you need each week to lose 1 lb/week (10,500)
- consume 18% of those 10,500 calories on your high carb days: .18x10500 = 1890 calories/high carb days (2)
- consume 14% of your weekly calories on low carb days: .14x10500 = 1,470 calories/low carb days (3)
- consume 11% of your weekly calories on no carb days: .11x10500 = 1,155 calories/no carb days (2)
by following this diet plan, you will be changing your calorie and carb consumption on a daily basis. this will force your body to use fat storage for energy on your low and no carb days and refuel on your high carb days.
if you have any questions, let me know!!