Lose Weight With Carb Cycling


For years, carbs have been called “the enemy” of weight loss. You’ve been told to avoid high amounts of carbohydrates if you want to get lean. The first thing to understand is that carbohydrates are not the enemy. The problem is eating too many calories, especially from sugary, junk-food carbs. In other words, you’re taking in more carbs than the body can use productively. Sure, when mass is your goal, eat a little more. Yet the bulk of your extra calories should come from protein and lower glycemic carbohydrates. With those points in mind, if you’re on a cut cycle, you can successfully lose weight with carb cycling. Let’s find out how!

What Is The Problem With Carbohydrates Anyway?

It’s important to understand that carbohydrates are the body's primary source of energy. However, too many carbs beyond what the body can use towards energy needs leads to any excess being stored as body fat. This is a problem especially when you eat a lot of simple, sugary carbs, which spike insulin. As important as insulin is, it’s a double-edged sword because it causes fat gain from any excess carbs in your diet.(1)

What Is Carb Cycling?

The basis of carb cycling is simple - you’ll cycle high carbs days with low carbs days. Many lifters pick their training days to go higher, which makes sense. They then go lower on their off days. If weight loss is your goal, you should plan on consuming about 50% of your total allotted carb intake for the day in the hours around your workout. This approach will promote maximum training energy and recovery. By alternating your carbohydrate intake in this way, you’ll utilize carbs when you need them most. You’ll also limit intake, thereby avoiding any excess that could end up as body fat. 

An Example Plan

As an example, a common carb cycling plan alternates 2 low carb days with 1 high-carb day. The problem here is that you may find yourself going low carb on a training day. Therefore, you can alter the plan to go higher carbs on training days and lower carbs on off days. Make sure you choose low glycemic, clean carbohydrates. Even your simple carbs should be clean choices, such as fruit. Also, be sure you are tracking your calories and your carbs, protein, and fat intake. 

The 5% Nutrition Supplements You’ll Need

5% Nutrition makes several products that can help. Real Carbs, Real Carbs Rice, Real Carbs + Protein, and Freak Show. These 3 powders utilize whole food, lower glycemic sources of carbohydrates. This approach avoids insulin spikes and promotes longer-lasting cellular energy. Of course, the protein sources in Real Carbs + Protein come from whole food.

Freak Show is an insulin mimicker. That means that when taken with your 2 highest carbohydrate meals, Freak Show helps pull those carbs into your muscles where they can do the most good. A great trick is to eat your carbs about an hour or so before your workout, drink plenty of water, and then use a 5% pre-workout that features cell volumizers like glycerol, creatine, and betaine. This combination pulls more water into your muscles, greatly increasing muscle fullness or pumps. Of course, Rich Piana was all about the pump, and this approach optimizes just how big and full you can look. 


Use carb cycling when you’re getting ready for a show or just want to lose weight. Add your choice of Real Carbs powder and Freak Show to your program when you want to manipulate carbs and chase the pump, just like Rich did. Of course, 5% Nutrition has what you need to make it happen!


  1. Ludwig, D. S., & Ebbeling, C. B. (2018). The Carbohydrate-Insulin Model of Obesity: Beyond "Calories In, Calories Out". JAMA internal medicine, 178(8), 1098–1103. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.2933
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