Nutrition

7 Carb Secrets for Success

Ditch the carb hype in favor of concrete analysis.

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7 Carb Secrets for Success

#4 DON'T SNUB THE SPUDS

Many dieting bodybuilders avoid eating potatoes for fear these starchy spuds convert quickly into sugar, the net result of this rapid conversion being out-of-control hunger. That, in turn, leads to the kind of binging that works against a successful diet. However, all potatoes are not created equal! Bodybuilders should avoid russet potatoes -- they do convert quickly into sugar -- and opt instead for red potatoes, which break down more slowly and leave the dieter feeling fully satisfied.

#5 MIX AND MATCH YOUR CARBS

The goal in consuming carbs is to raise insulin levels to promote muscle growth. The best way to elevate insulin via carb consumption is to mix fast-acting carbs, such as raisins, juice and Cream of Wheat (which provide an immediate insulin burst), with slow-to-burn carbs, such as oats, yams and Cream of Rye (which provide a prolonged insulin response), during the six-hour window after training (see #3).

#6 CARB ME UP AND CARB ME DOWN

If you want to look bigger and fuller, whether for a contest or just for personal training objectives, you will need to deplete carbs for three days and load them for two. The rule of thumb is that for every gram of carbs you deplete from your diet, add 1.5 g of carbs in loading.

For example, if you are a 200-pound bodybuilder who typically eats 500 g of carbs per day (see #1) and depletes to 100 g daily (figured by dividing bodyweight by about 2 g per pound or 200/2 = 100), you are eliminating 400 g of carbs per day from your diet. Multiply that number by 1.5 to get the additional amount of carbs you'll need (in this example, 400 x 1.5 = 600).

To calculate your total daily carb requirements in the loading phase, take the sum of your additional carb requirements and your typical carb consumption (600 g + 500 g). The total (1,100 g in our example) is the number of carbs required to supersaturate your body with glycogen for a tight full look.

#7 GOOD FATS YIELD BETTER CARBS

A mass-building diet should derive 20% of total calories from fat sources, such as flaxseed oil and fish oils. These unsaturated fats help your body store carbs and increase glycogen reserves; the extra calories from the fats (instead of from carbs) can be burned as energy. Remember that fully loaded glycogen stores equate to better workouts, enhanced recovery and optimal muscle growth.

 FLEX 

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