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TOPIC: Macro Cycling

 
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May 24, 2012 4:50 AM
So, I've been following LeanGains for about 5 weeks now (and love it). I cycle 2000 calories on rest days, 2500 workout days. However, as I re-read the LeanGains page (repeatedly) he suggests cycling carbs/fat as well. I hit my minimum protein everyday, with a little bit higher (+35 grams) on workout days. I haven't been cycling carbs/fat deliberately, other than the changes that come with the +/- 500 between days. I've been more focused on hitting my calorie and protein goals, less on the fat and carbs. How crucial is the carb/fat cycling between days? LeanGains doesn't give a percentage suggestion (or I haven't found one). I don't want to stress over it if I don't need to, but I also don't want to hinder my progress either.
  7457644
May 24, 2012 4:56 AM
IF is more about calorie restriction than macro/calorie cycling i reckon, But its nice to have an excuse to eat salmon and eggs. Heres a calculator that seems pretty good and is roughly what i eat to when i cycle http://www.1percentedge.com/ifcalc/
May 24, 2012 5:54 AM
I have been using that link as well. Standard weight loss calories and 50/50 split for carbs and fat. It makes things very easy.
  7457644
May 24, 2012 5:58 AM
In layman's terms, pretty please, what on earth is Macro Cycling? blushing
May 24, 2012 6:22 AM
Basically alternating between high carb + low fat days and high fat + low carb days. LeanGains suggests high carb + low fat on workout days, high fat + low carb on rest days. I was merely trying to find recommendations for what's considered "high" and "low" for each. Though I think I will stick with just hitting my protein and calories for now. I'm getting results, so I won't change anything yet.
  7457644
May 24, 2012 6:30 AM
I would just stick to hitting fat and protein macros first regardless of activity. Then let your activity for the day influence carb intake. I can see where this would be tricky if you are trying to stay in a calorie deficit...maybe just go with the bare minimums on protein (around 1g/lb of LBM (not weight)) and around 30g fat then let your carbs do the rest
May 24, 2012 8:27 AM
QUOTE:

Basically alternating between high carb + low fat days and high fat + low carb days. LeanGains suggests high carb + low fat on workout days, high fat + low carb on rest days.


Thank you smile
May 24, 2012 10:14 AM
LeanGains recommends a 75% carb/ 25% fat split on training days; 50%/50% split on rest days. 2.5-3 g protein per KG of lean body mass every day.

My understanding of the reason for cycling macros is that when you break fast after training on workout days your body's primed to use the carbs efficiently, and by not eating as many carbs on rest days by the time you train again you'll be quite carb/glycogen depleted and will thus burn fat for energy when you work out.

Calorie cycling is different, and depends on your goals--standard recomp, fat loss, lean gain, etc. You can figure all this out at www.1percentedge.com/calc

I'm doing the cycling currently--it's hard to set it up on MFP though. I reset my goals for the workout day, and will just go lower on rest days.
May 24, 2012 6:48 PM
Hmm, I'm new (as in haven't started yet, but think I want to start lean gains, since I naturally tend to only eat in a 10 hour window anyways). How would I cycle if I work out most days, sometimes cardio, sometimes weights (usually: 2-3 days lifting, 1-2 days HIIT, 1-2 days steady state cardio). Would you only do the high carb on weight training days, or would it be fine on cardio days too?
  9684357
May 25, 2012 1:56 AM
QUOTE:

I would just stick to hitting fat and protein macros first regardless of activity. Then let your activity for the day influence carb intake. I can see where this would be tricky if you are trying to stay in a calorie deficit...maybe just go with the bare minimums on protein (around 1g/lb of LBM (not weight)) and around 30g fat then let your carbs do the rest


why 30g? The figure you tend to see is from .35 per lb -.75 per lb. I weigh 160 so my fats should be at least 56g minimum, and you look like you're probably bigger than me (in the good sense)
May 25, 2012 2:50 AM
QUOTE:

Hmm, I'm new (as in haven't started yet, but think I want to start lean gains, since I naturally tend to only eat in a 10 hour window anyways). How would I cycle if I work out most days, sometimes cardio, sometimes weights (usually: 2-3 days lifting, 1-2 days HIIT, 1-2 days steady state cardio). Would you only do the high carb on weight training days, or would it be fine on cardio days too?


I calorie and macro cycle and do high calorie and carb on weight days only. Cardio days I stick to the lower calories and carbs.
Edited by devilsangel2 On May 25, 2012 2:53 AM
May 25, 2012 3:02 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I would just stick to hitting fat and protein macros first regardless of activity. Then let your activity for the day influence carb intake. I can see where this would be tricky if you are trying to stay in a calorie deficit...maybe just go with the bare minimums on protein (around 1g/lb of LBM (not weight)) and around 30g fat then let your carbs do the rest


why 30g? The figure you tend to see is from .35 per lb -.75 per lb. I weigh 160 so my fats should be at least 56g minimum, and you look like you're probably bigger than me (in the good sense)

30 g fat is about the bare minimum to avoid hormonal deficiencies in men (I believe the actual number Lyle McDonald came up with was 18 g fat but it is rounded up to 30 g just to be safe)
I just go by IIFYM based on Lyle McDonald, not leangains

I am only 7 lbs heavier than you but probably taller (6'0)
Edited by VMarkV On May 25, 2012 3:06 AM
May 25, 2012 6:38 PM
The numbers I have been using with great success:
Every day: Protein=2.5-3g/kg LBM
Workout day: Fat=20-40g (as low as feasible, no lower than 20g), carbs = remainder (can eat more protein if you want as well)
Rest day: Carbs=20% total caloric intake, Fat=remainder (can eat more protein if you want as well)

Have noticed a decided improvement since getting strict on carbs on rest days.
May 26, 2012 3:05 AM
If you are interested, look into Lyle McDonald's ultimate diet 2.0, it is similar to MB's carb cycling but has really specific numbers to go by. Google "bodyrecomposition Lyle McDonald"
May 26, 2012 6:06 AM
I am personally not a fan of going low on fat. I don't think macro cycling will domuch for the average Joe anyway.

I do enjoy calorie cycling, because it makes me feel like I'm eating "normally" for a few days per week.
May 26, 2012 10:46 AM
QUOTE:

If you are interested, look into Lyle McDonald's ultimate diet 2.0, it is similar to MB's carb cycling but has really specific numbers to go by. Google "bodyrecomposition Lyle McDonald"

+1 for Lyle McDonald... that guy is like the Chuck Norris of fitness
May 28, 2012 8:07 PM
QUOTE:

The numbers I have been using with great success:
Every day: Protein=2.5-3g/kg LBM
Workout day: Fat=20-40g (as low as feasible, no lower than 20g), carbs = remainder (can eat more protein if you want as well)
Rest day: Carbs=20% total caloric intake, Fat=remainder (can eat more protein if you want as well)

Have noticed a decided improvement since getting strict on carbs on rest days.


I'm hoping to limit carbs on rest days.

My calorie intake is 1600. I lift 4 days a week and usually run 1-2 days a week.

Should I shoot for 20% on rest days or lower?

And should there be a difference in lift and running days for carb percentage?
  118735
May 28, 2012 8:21 PM
QUOTE:


I'm hoping to limit carbs on rest days.

My calorie intake is 1600. I lift 4 days a week and usually run 1-2 days a week.

Should I shoot for 20% on rest days or lower?

And should there be a difference in lift and running days for carb percentage?

Yeah, you want to eat a ton of carbs after you lift. Cardio I count as a rest day. I highly recommend you do cardio fasted... It can be very taxing, but actually gives results (unlike non-fasted cardio), and you can eat right after you finish. This strategy gives you most of the benefits of a Keto diet without having to be miserable from the side effects of chronic carb deprivation.

You probably want more calories on your lifting days as well, especially if you really push yourself. I'd recommend you eat at least your TDEE on weight days, and have your deficit happen on rest days.

Just started back on a bulk cycle, you can look at my last two days for examples (I have tomorrow entered already as well). Only doing 3.2-3.3k cals this week to ease back in to eating that much, next week will be the full 3.5k. Did weights on Sunday, fasted cardio today, weights again tomorrow. Cut is the same deal, only I do TDEE+35%/-10% for bulk and +10/-25 for cut (can go to -35 if you are not already below 20% body fat).

Edit: you can go below 20% carbs on rest days. I am not sure what the lower bound is, but I try to get at least 50-60g.
Edited by wackyfunster On May 28, 2012 8:23 PM
May 28, 2012 9:02 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:


I'm hoping to limit carbs on rest days.

My calorie intake is 1600. I lift 4 days a week and usually run 1-2 days a week.

Should I shoot for 20% on rest days or lower?

And should there be a difference in lift and running days for carb percentage?

Yeah, you want to eat a ton of carbs after you lift. Cardio I count as a rest day. I highly recommend you do cardio fasted... It can be very taxing, but actually gives results (unlike non-fasted cardio), and you can eat right after you finish. This strategy gives you most of the benefits of a Keto diet without having to be miserable from the side effects of chronic carb deprivation.

You probably want more calories on your lifting days as well, especially if you really push yourself. I'd recommend you eat at least your TDEE on weight days, and have your deficit happen on rest days.

Just started back on a bulk cycle, you can look at my last two days for examples (I have tomorrow entered already as well). Only doing 3.2-3.3k cals this week to ease back in to eating that much, next week will be the full 3.5k. Did weights on Sunday, fasted cardio today, weights again tomorrow. Cut is the same deal, only I do TDEE+35%/-10% for bulk and +10/-25 for cut (can go to -35 if you are not already below 20% body fat).

Edit: you can go below 20% carbs on rest days. I am not sure what the lower bound is, but I try to get at least 50-60g.


Thank you so much for your input!

I'm trying to get my BF% lower. I am ~27%. And I'm really struggling to get it lower. I've literally been this weight since I was 16 (~163 lbs, 5'7")....well, besides gaining weight in college for a brief time and when I got pregnant.

I don't mind fasted cardio. As long as I'm hydrated properly, I prefer it.

I've never heard of considering cardio day a rest day as far as macros go. Thanks.

As far as how hard I'm pushing myself on lift days....
It typically takes me 40-60 minutes to do my workout. I'm in the weight room alone though so I can get through my sets faster because I don't have to weight on equipment or anything. I am a high school coach, so I have access to our facilities. Anyway, today I did shoulders/arms and I feel a little "swoll" right now but don't feel very tired. On friday, I did hams/glutes and feel like I killed myself. I lift heavy (for me) and progress whenever possible. I guess I just always feel like I'm not doing enough in the weight room.

Again, thanks for your advice. I'm going to give it a go!
  118735

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