As mentioned in my previous blog post, I said I was going to do carb cycling a little bit different from what everyone else does. I am having my high carb days on rest days and the day after heavy tranining sessions. And I’ll tell you why:
So lets say you train late afternoon/evening – you have eaten maybe 60-70 % of your total food intake that day – you go to the gym, you do your heavy workout, you go home and have a meal or 2. The next day you’re having a low carb day…
Lets get some facts straight first.
- To build muscles you need to eat more food than usual. As the muscles needs energy to build up the muscles tissues you just teared up.
- When you eat a meal, it doesn’t digest right away. It (normally) takes around 6-8 hours (of course this depending on the meal, if you are male/female etc) for it to be fully absorbed and digested.
- The average time for muscle recovery is 48 hours
- After lifting weights you’re (hopefully) in an anabolic state and your metabolism is on a higher speed than usual.
- If not enough food is ingested the body have to use stored fat or protein or/and muscle tissue for fuel.
- Stored body fat cannot be transformed to muscles
- Carbs promotes faster recovery, prevent muscle breakdown and helps support muscle growth.
That being said, it should make absolutely sense why you should eat MORE food the day AFTER a heavy training day??
No? Still not clear yet? Right let’s try to explain:
Your muscles need more food after you’ve been lifting as it needs it to support muscle growth. If you are having a low carb day after your heavy lifting day there is not enough food to support this and your body will need to use stored fat or protein/muscle tissue as a reserve. What does this mean?
You might burn more fat, BUT you might not build muscles as fast or maybe not at all.
Another thing to mention is that if you have a high carb day on heavy training days you might just burn off all the food you’ve been consuming all day and not use stored body fat for fuel.
Fuck, if that doesn’t make sense to you I don’t know.
But Dina, I need carbs for energy to support my heavy leg sesh – Shut up. Most of this is all in your head. You do not have to go zero carb on low carb days, and you should get more than enough food and energy during that day for your workout. Have a coffee pre gym if you need a bit of a boost. (PS. On your high carb days you are putting more fuel in your body for the next days training sesh)
All that being said, this isn’t something new I just figured out in my head. I know that some coaches uses this approach (as I’ve worked with one), but they don’t say this out loud, obviously.
But why isn’t everyone saying the opposite to what I just said? Honestly I don’t know, I might be completely wrong. But for me this sounds like the more logical approach.
And for a final note, who really wants to have a rest day with no carbs? Like seriously?
Note* If you are training in the morning I would go for a high carb day that day and a moderate one the following day.
Yesterday I started a new diet – carb cycling. This is a very popular diet in the fitness world, both in a normal everyday diet as well as a competition diet.
Theres been a few times I’ve tried to do it, but fallen off as it does require a bit of planning. You do have to plan out your meals and you do need to count macros to some extent. Although, I’m quite happy to do this now as I miss a proper diet and training routine.
This is how I’m going to do it:
Monday: Low carb – Under 100 g
Tuesday: Low carb – Under 100 g
Wednesday: High carb – ca 200 g
Thursday: Low carb – Under 100 g
Friday: Low carb – Under 100 g
Saturday: High carb – ca 200-250 g
Sunday: High carb ca 200 g
I’m going to keep my protein intake pretty steady ca 140-160g a day and ca. 50 g of fat (and add a bit more on low carb days)
There is so many different ways you can do carb cycling. You can have low and high days, low, moderate and high or no carb, moderate and high. There is no “perfect” way to do it, although you have to find the perfect way to do it for your body. I do not know the way I’ve sat up my diet is ideal or not. That’s why I am going to play around with it, see what the first week does – do I have to add or take away carbs? Do I have to change the days? Just that being said – there is a few meals planned out on days that I have decided is going to be a low carb day, so then I will change the days around.
In simple terms the idea of carb cycling is that you are meant to “shock” the body with the sudden high amount of carb intake. Which in theory will cause your metabolism to easier utilize stored fat for energy and not carbohydrates and protein.
As well they say that this is the optimal diet for both getting lean and adding muscles.
I am going to change-up my training program as well, and follow a few tips I got from my DNA analysis. I will share this with you this week.
One thing I’m doing differently is to have heavy training days on low carb days (normally they say have high carb days on heavy training days) – and I will tell you why in the next blog post.
Stay tuned 🙂
Follow me here for more frequent updates:
Finally I received my results from Fitnessgenes. After my first DNA sample got lost in the mail, they gave me fantastic costumer service and sent a new one to me.
First of all I would say it is definitely worth the money – It did confirm things I already knew and also gave me new interesting information. Would absolutely recommend it!
There is a lot of information you get provided with this test. I’ve shortened down a lot to make it easier for you to read.
Note that this is Part 1 and there is more results but I havent received them yet.
Next to the results you can see how what % of the world population carries the same genes as I do.
Note that this type of testing is still a new thing, and more research needs to be done before we can get an absolute accurate understanding. Some of the genes they test they didn’t provide too much information on them, as they said more studies needs to be done. However, It does give you a better understanding of the function of your body and you can use it to your own advantage.
PS!! Not only do you get your DNA tested, but also a lot of training and diet tips ACCORDING TO YOUR DNA on their site! They even give you a complete 4 week training program!
You can order your DNA kit here: FitnessGenes
ACE – A Gene for Endurance
ACE is a protein responsible for the production of angiotensin II, a hormone that causes blood vessels to constrict, encourages fluid retention and increases blood pressure.
My Result: DD (24 %)
Two copies of the ‘power/strength’ D allele.
- Higher levels of the vasoconstrictor ACE. This means I have a potential aptitude for power and strenght.
- Higher percentage of fast-twitch muscle fibres than other genotypes. This suggests my muscles may have less endurance capacity in terms of how long they can perform repetitive movements, such as lifting a moderately light weight or long durations of moderately intense running.
- Respond better to higher intensity, lower volume workouts
- Studies suggest I am are likely to respond well to HIIT in terms of improving your aerobic capacity
ACTN3- A Gene for Speed
ACTN3 is the world’s most famous ‘gene for speed’. This gene encodes for α-actinin-3, a protein that has been linked to greater baseline strength, a protective effect against muscle damage, and an increase in fast-twitch muscle fibres.
My Result: RX (44 %)
One copy of the ‘sprinter’ R allele and one copy of the ‘endurance’ X allele.
- My body is able to produce alpha-actinin-3 muscle protein, although possibly at lower levels.
- Likely to be less vulnerable to muscle damage, and suffer less painful delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), although studies also show recovery of muscle force during a bout of exercise may be slower.
- R allele carriers have been recorded as having higher baseline strength
CYP1A2 – A Gene for Caffeine Metabolism
My Result: AA (41 %)
You have two copies of the ‘fast metaboliser’ A allele, and are characterised as a fast caffeine metaboliser.
FTO – A Gene for Appetite
Genetics is known to influence food cravings, with carriers of a particular version of the FTO gene seemingly biologically wired to eat more and feel hungrier sooner. In ancient humanity, where food was scarce, this is likely to have been a straightforward survival mechanism, but it becomes problematic in a modern world with easy access to high-energy foods.
My Result: AT (40 %)
One copy of the ‘increased obesity risk’ A allele and one copy of the ‘typical obesity risk’ T allele.
- Increased appetite and exhibit higher loss of control of eating
- Preferentially choose fattier food options, consuming a higher proportion of energy from fat
- Even when eaten, there is evidence that achieving satiety for A carriers is much harder.
- Considered to be biologically programmed to eat more
- Higher levels of the ‘hunger hormone’ ghrelin in the system, therefore feeling hungrier, the brain respond differently to ghrelin and to pictures of food, leading to increased overall appetite.
- Higher-intensity exercise leads to greater suppression of appetite following training
- A allele carriers generally have poor response to ‘Atkins-style’ diets that emphasize high-fat/low-carb intake.
- A high protein/high carb diet
- No more than 12 % saturated fats and more polysaturated fats in the daily diet
IL15RA – A Gene for Muscle Volume
This gene is linked to the prevention of muscle breakdown as well as lean body mass and can affect how quickly individuals increase their muscle size (hypertrophy).
My Result: CC (35 %)
Two copies of the ‘muscle strength’ C allele.
- May favour muscle strength over volume and this is correlated with myofibrillar growth (the growth of the actual muscle fibres).
LCT – A Gene for Lactose Tolerance
Lactose tolerance is the ability to digest the lactose in milk and other everyday dairy products. For the majority of people, tolerance for lactose decreases after infancy, often falling away completely during adulthood. However, for others, due to a genetic variant in their DNA, they are able to continue to tolerate lactose indefinitely.
My Result: CT (16 %)
One copy of the ‘lactose tolerant’ T allele, and are likely genetically lactose tolerant.
I carry the genetic variation associated with the ability to digest lactose into adulthood and are likely lactose tolerant.
Individuals who carry one copy of the ‘lactose tolerant’ T allele, as opposed to two, have been found to have intermediate levels of lactase activity. This means that while you are able to effectively break down lactose, you may be more susceptible to lactose intolerance at times of stress or gastrointestinal infection.
MSTN – A Gene for Hypertrophy
Skeletal muscle growth in response to training is determined by genetics, and a rare version of the MSTN gene, which encodes the muscle-limiting protein myostatin, is associated with much greater muscle mass and strength.
My Result: KK (87 %)
Two copies of the ‘normal myostatin’ K allele.
- Normal baseline levels of myostatin.
- Takes longer time to build muscles
PGC1A – A Gene for Aerobic Capacity
As well as being a marker for good health, having a high aerobic capacity enables your body to work harder during prolonged exercise. Some of us are lucky enough to have a naturally high aerobic capacity due to our genes. A variation in the PGC1A gene is associated with greater baseline aerobic fitness.
My Result: GG (57 %)
Two copies of the ‘endurance’ G allele.
- The GG genotype is considered the optimal genotype for endurance athletes.
- Likely to have higher baseline levels of PGC1A protein and irisin on average. PGC1A protein is associated with predominance of the more aerobic-friendly slow-twitch muscle fibres, conversion of muscle fibres from fast-twitch to slow-twitch and also the generation of new mitochondria (the energy producers of the cell). The presence of more PGC1A protein has also been linked to higher rates of new blood vessel production (angiogenesis). Finally, PGC1A protein is associated with an improved ability to resist inflammation and oxidative damage.
- Improved aerobic capacity overall and greater baseline fitness
PPARA – A Gene for Fat Burning
The ability to switch use fats as fuel over carbohydrates combined with the distribution of fast and slow twitch muscle fibres are both important factors affecting endurance performance. The PPARA protein plays a role in these.
My Result: CG (23 %)
One copy of the ‘power’ C allele and one copy of the ‘fat-burning’ G allele.
- Will tend to have levels of PPARA protein intermediate. As PPARA turns on genes that shift our metabolism from carbohydrate burning to the more energy-efficient source of fat, this genotype is able to efficiently switch between carbohydrate and fat burning.
- Significantly higher percentage of fatigue-resistant slow-twitch muscles
UCP2 – A Gene for Metabolism
One mechanism of fat loss is through the generation of heat by the body. There are small molecules in fat and muscle cells which are responsible for this and affect the body’s metabolism.
My Result: AA (33 %)
Two copies of the ‘fast metabolism’ A allele.
- Individuals with this genotype have been observed to have a higher metabolic rate on average and a lower metabolic efficiency
- Greater level of ‘uncoupling’ – a process that controls how much energy, in the form of ATP, we can produce from the food we eat. Instead of a molecule of ATP being created, the ‘uncoupling’ causes the energy to dissipate and be lost as heat instead.
HERC2 – A Gene for Eye Colour
Eye, hair and skin colour vary around the world because of the production of a pigment called melanin. One gene in particular, HERC2, is one of the genes responsible for melanin production and its effect can be seen directly from your eye colour.
My Result: GG (10 %)
Two copies of the ‘blue eye’ G allele.
- Two copies of the ‘blue eye’ G allele which usually results in blue eyes, although green eyes are possible too. (I have green eyes)
- More likely to have light coloured eyes as the action of this gene will result in a decreased amount of melanin being produced.
- Level of melanin you produce is believed to be linked to how likely you are to be deficient in a key vitamin: vitamin D.
FOLATE – Genes that impact homocysteine levels
Folate, or folic acid, is usually something we associate with pregnant women, but might it have important consequences for you too? The role of folate in red blood cell production and tissue repair makes it a particularly important vitamin for athletes, bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts. Folate deficiency can also increase homocysteine levels in the blood, which is an indicator of certain health issues.
My combined genotype for the MTHFR, MTR and MTRR genes is MTHFR AC, MTR AA and MTRR AG
Are at relatively LOW to MEDIUM risk for mild to moderate increases in homocysteine levels.
MTHFR is an enzyme that converts dietary folate or folic acid to the active form so it can be used by your body. It is the C allele of this gene that is linked to a reduced ability to convert folate to its active form, which may lead to elevated homocysteine levels. Which may indicate reduced ability to convert folate into its active form.
MTR is an enzyme that helps convert the non-essential amino acid homocysteine to the essential amino acid methionine. For this reason, MTR is key to maintaining low levels of circulating homocysteine. This is important because high levels of homocysteine are potentially toxic to certain cell types and are associated with multiple health problems.
A allele is more accurately associated with elevated homocysteine levels and reduced DNA methylation as a result. Which may indicate reduced ability to convert homocysteine to methionine.
MTRR is an enzyme that is necessary for the activation of MTR in the methionine cycle, and it is therefore also important in the maintenance of low levels of homocysteine. Individuals with the G allele version of this gene may have a reduced ability to generate methionine as a result of decreased MTRR enzyme activity. This could lead to increased homocysteine levels. May have reduced ability to convert homocysteine to methionine as a result of reduced MTRR enzyme function.
APOA5 – A gene for blood triglyceride levels
My result: AA (71 %)
Two copies of the ‘average triglyceride levels’ A allele
CLOCK – A gene affecting sleep cycle
AKT1 – A gene associated with aerobic exercise response
The AKT1 gene codes for an enzyme related to muscle building and metabolism. Some of us carry a particular version of this gene that is linked to better resting metabolic factors and greater increases in VO2 max in response to aerobic exercise.
My Result: GT (34 %)
One copy of the ‘average metabolic levels’ G allele and one copy of the ‘improved metabolic levels’ T allele.
- Generally have a lower % body fat than non-carriers, and also lower triglyceride, fasting glucose and insulin levels
- There is some limited evidence that carrying a copy of the G allele can be linked to greater strength gains
- T allele appears to inhibit transcription production of AKT1 in fat cells, it seems to enhance transcription in muscle cells, suggesting it has tissue-specific effects
- Moderate benefits from both endurance and resistance training.
- Greater capacity to clear lactate which will allow you to perform higher volume/high intensity exercise without inducing muscle fatigue early on.
- Women produce lower levels of lactic acid compared to men during exercise of the same intensities which means your post-exercise recovery should be pretty quick! Lower lactate production with a high capacity to clear it will delay its accumulation.
We girls are some funny creatures. And what most of us women want to look slim and be sexy. Although we still put ourself through misery when it comes to dieting. I’ve summed up 5 points that I think every woman should know.
- Youve heard it before, but I’m saying it again. Lifting weight wont make you muscular. (Unless you want it to) If you are one of those girls who go to the gym maybe a few times a week, picking up the smallest weights and do mostly do body weight exercises and cardio as you are afraid of looking like a man. Youre SO WRONG. If you don’t follow a somewhat eating plan and getting enough food in you, you will NEVER get big muscles. And it takes VERY long time before that even happens. Lifting heavy weights is much better for you as you will shape your body, strengthen it, you’ll have more energy and also lifting weights will make your body burn of fat even after you’ve done your work out. Which cardio does not. 30 min is enough. Get lifting.
*note that if you have never lifted before (includes both men and women), you will see quicker results that someone who have lifted for years.
- Alcohol cannot be stored as body fat. Most girls try not to eat much before a night out. And it is normally 2 reasons for this. 1. They want to get drunk easily (= cheap night out) or 2. they know what they will consume much more calories than they do normally, and want to save those calories for the drinks. Alcohol can not be stored as body fat. The only reason people tend to gain weight if they drink a lot is because alcohol goes first in the line of what the body wants to metabolize (Alcohol > Carbs > Protein > Fat). So if you have a night snack when you get home or a hangover pizza the next day, the body is too busy to get the poison (yes alcohol is classified as poison to the body) metabolised. And what you consume after (up to 12(if not more) hours after your last drink) will come in second line, resulting in a very slow metabolism and that will most likely be stored as fat. BUT I’m not saying you shouldnt eat after you’ve been on a night out! Hell no. Eat foods that is easy for the body to digest.
- It is not scary to go to the gym. I know this one, as when I started to take lifting serious I felt uncomfortable going to the gym or even worse – going to the lifting area. As that place is mainly dominated by men. Big, muscular scary men. My advice to you is to just put some headphones in your ears and keep yourself to yourself. I still do this. Just focus on you. And if you are unsure how to do an exercise correctly – Ask people who works there. They are there to help you. Or look at others doing it or even easier – look at some youtube videos.
- Calories doesn’t matter. It is what you eat that does matter. Eating a small amount of calories a day is bad for your health. Stop it, eat foods that are nutritious, eat when you are hungry and eat untill you are satisfied. Dont count calories. It will only make you obsessed.
- Going on crash diets fucks up your body. All these nonsense of juiceplus, herbalife or any meal replacements. “Cleansing” diets that promise you to drop x amount of body weight in x amount of time or bloody diet pills. Dont be stupid and waste your money. You are only resulting in hurting your health and your bank account. There is no miracle cure out there and proper nutritious eating habits and exercise is the only thing you need. You should read this brilliant article: