This week’s chronicles of average Joe focusses on a very common issue we come across in the fitness industry, cheat days. Often labelled as ‘’refeed’’ days people eat like a health saint for 6 days of the week to then abuse their digestive and endocrine systems with bucket loads of calories made up from all the foods they have craved for the previous 6 days. Not good! Today a little information, perspective and theory will be shared in the dialogue.
Client: What do you think of carb cycling for fat loss?
AG: Love it, it is my ‘’go to’’ tactic with many clients in fact. Obviously, the scale and structure of the cycle differs from on to the other.
Client: Great – I have just started carb cycling. I am on 6 low days, 1 high.
AG: Right, that is one format I have used myself with great success – it can be a great way to go. How high are your ‘’high’’ days and vice versa for ‘’low’’ days?
Client: On the 6 low days I focus on keeping carbs to almost zero and on the high day I eat whatever I want.
AG: Whatever you want? As in, chips, burgers, chocolate, cereal, ice cream and everything in between with no limits on quantities?
Client: Pretty much.
AG: And how have your results been?
Client: I have only been doing it 3 weeks but pretty stagnant at the moment. This is why I wanted to ask if you have any tips?
AG: Absolutely I do, cut the ‘’cheat day’’ BS and use it as a ‘’high’’ day. High days don’t mean you eat what you want; there is a lot more science to it than that. For one, your fat intake on those days needs to be as low as humanly possible – obviously right now it is HIGH meaning ‘’high’’ days are in fact high calorie days for you, not just carbs.
Client: Right, so what would you suggest?
AG: Start your high days with 400-500g of carbohydrates, predominately complex but afford yourself maybe 100g of sugar to enjoy some of the ‘’good’’ stuff. Keep protein moderate, around 120-150g and keep fat as low as possible – under 20g if possible. As you get leaner and you have managed to ascertain that the high day volume of carbs isn’t causing an ‘’over spill’’ gradually increase this number. Push the boundaries – in theory the more you can tolerate the better because the cycle becomes more aggressive leading more drastic changes.
Client: OK, on it!