A Closer Look at Cyclical Diets

Morning Weight – 168lbs

IMG_1733

Workout –

  • Legs/Biceps/Traps
  • Trap bar deadlift 5×6-8 (worked up to 205) (Personal best is 260, but 205 felt heavy for some reason)
  • Trap bar shrugs 5×12 (205)
  • Barbell curl 4×8 (75lbs)
  • Squats 3×8 (185lbs)
  • DB Lunges 3×8 (45, 35, 25)
  • Cable Bicep Curl 4×15,12, 8, 6
  • DB curl 3×8 (25, 20)
  • Bicep hang 2x30sec, 15sec

I’ve done a lot of variations of bicep curls, but the basic curl is usually what does it for me.  I feel like a lot of the other ones are just weird ways to do the exact same thing the basic curls do.  Also, really felt my quads working on the trap bar dead-lift.  I might drop the squat for now and just focus on the trap bar.  Finished with a bicep hang, which is really good way to finish off your biceps and your abs.

Nutrition – (Calories 2100; Protein 205g; Fat 60g; Carbs 173g)

Chocolate Pudding 1 scoop of Elite XT Fudge Brownie 3 Tbs Almond milk 1 Tsp Almond Butter 1 Splenda Optional - Frozen Berries

Chocolate Pudding
1 scoop of Elite XT Fudge Brownie
3 Tbs Almond milk
1 Tsp Almond Butter
1 Splenda
Optional – Frozen Berries

Chocolate Oatmeal Protein Shake 1 packet of Weight Control Maple and Brown Sugar Quaker Oats 1/2 scoop of chocolate protein 2 Splenda 1 cup of Almond milk Crushed ice

Chocolate Oatmeal Protein Shake
1 packet of Weight Control Maple and Brown Sugar Quaker Oats
1/2 scoop of chocolate protein
2 Splenda
1 cup of Almond milk
Crushed ice

Homestyle Denny's Meal 1 whole egg 4 egg whites 1 Tbs parmesan cheese 1 slice of Eziekel toast 9 oz of shredded hash browns 1 small onion

Homestyle Denny’s Meal
1 whole egg
4 egg whites
1 Tbs parmesan cheese
1 slice of Eziekel toast
9 oz of shredded hash browns
1 small onion

Dipping Sauce Plate low sugar ketchup Greek Yogurt Mayo Bolthouse low fat ranch 2 Laughing Cow Cheese wedges

Dipping Sauce Plate
low sugar ketchup
Greek Yogurt Mayo
Bolthouse low fat ranch
2 Laughing Cow Cheese wedges

Journal

I use to be a fan of cyclical dieting (which is still very popular with a lot of diets), but after taking a closer look at these diets I realized just how irrelevant they actually are.  Check this out for an example: (based on someone who weighs 160lbs)

Low Calorie Day (Burn fat)

  • Calories at 1600 (10x bodyweight)
  • Protein 160g
  • Carbs 115g
  • Fat 60g

High Calorie Day (Build muscle)

  • Calories at 2400 (16x bodyweight)
  • Protein 200g
  • Carbs 265g
  • Fat 60g

Averaged out over the course of two days:

  • Calories at 2000
  • Protein at 180g
  • Carbs at 190g
  • Fat at 60g

Over time, cyclical diets or calorie or carb cycling (whatever you want to call it) are not really needed to make progress.  I consider the averaged out amount above to be a nutritional sweet spot for building muscle and burning fat. I prefer consistency and eating the same way every day.  On cyclical diets I would always enjoy the high calorie day and dread the low calorie day, when in reality, I could have easily just eaten the same amount every day and gotten the same results.  Some diets even go more extreme to the point of eating zero carbs one day and over 400 carbs the next. In my opinion, its a pretty dumb way to diet.  I’m really enjoying the balanced diet and eating the same way everyday.  My strength, desire and energy levels are up.  My food also tastes way better because I’m not separating carbs and fat out of everything.  Take two people over the course of a year; one doing the cyclical diet, the other doing the averaged out amount and I guarantee the results will be exactly the same.

There is a principal called 80/20 which I have fully embraced here recently.  It basically means focus all your effort on being right 80% of the time and you’ll get all the results you seek.  A lot of people and especially myself in the past focus way too hard on the 20% (the cute protocols that make diets unique) and not enough on the 80%.  No one is perfect all the time, so what’s the point in trying to be.  This principal definitely lifts some stress off your shoulders when your diet/workout doesn’t go according to plan.

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