The Carb-Rotating Diet for Bodybuilders

The pros, cons, and who should follow it.

PHILOSOPHY

Carbs have many different effects on the body. When you consume very few of them, you begin to burn body fat. But your metabolic rate—the number of calories your body burns every day—also begins to decrease. However, drastically changing up the amount of carbs you take in on a daily basis helps rev up your metabolic rate.

Rotating the amount of carbs you consume from day to day will help you feel better over the long haul, and it will allow you to burn more body fat than consuming a low-carb diet in which you don’t include high-carb days.

WHAT YOU SHOULD EAT

Virtually every food on a standard bodybuilding diet, depending on the day of the week. This includes high-protein foods: meat, eggs, protein shakes, cheese, and vegetables and fruit. And even high-carb foods, such as low-fat sugary treats on specific days.

WHAT YOU SHOULDN'T EAT

Foods high in both fats and carbs. This plan allows you to consume foods that are high in carb content or fats but not both at the same time.

CONS

Many bodybuilders follow the same meal plan every day. Carb rotating forces you to change up your plan based on the day of the week.

PROS

The high-carb days help your muscles get full while you're also reducing body fat.

WHY YOU SHOULD FOLLOW IT

This is one of the best plans for maintaining muscle mass while burning body fat.

HOW TO FOLLOW THE CARB-ROTATING DIET

Instead of having a daily plan, it’s crucial to understand how many carbs you should consume each day of the week, because your diet varies significantly from day to day. Good sources of slow-burning carbs are yams, brown rice, oatmeal, and whole-grain breads. Fast-burning carbs come from sugar, honey, and low-fat processed breads. You can even consume desserts such as angel-food cake on some days so long as they are extremely low in fats. The following plan is based on a bodybuilder who typically eats about 300 grams of carbs per day for of-season bodyweight maintenance. You may need to adjust these numbers up or down depending on your body weight, metabolic rate, and typical carbs/calorie intake when you’re not dieting.

 MONDAY  150g from slow-burning carbs in the morning, and fast-burning carbs around your workouts. Divide these into nearly equal servings. Other than vegetables, avoid carbs with your dinner and late-night snack.

 TUESDAY  Same as Monday.

 WEDNESDAY  Same as Monday.

 THURSDAY  400–500g of carbs, getting in plenty of carbs throughout the day. Cut dietary fats very low on high-carb days.

 FRIDAY  Same as Monday.

 SATURDAY  Same as Monday.

 SUNDAY  300g of carbs. Emphasize one large “cheat” meal rather than consuming carbs throughout the day. A low-fat pasta meal is a good example of a cheat meal for this day.

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