Anyone who has attempted to get their body fat % into single digits will tell you that it can be almost impossible using standard methodologies. This is because the body really does not want to drop the body fat % too low, so it is programmed to hang on to the fat it has. This is why different measures need to be used in order to get to your goal. If you want to hit single digits, carb cycling is your answer.
What Is Carb Cycling?
Carb cycling is a low carb form of eating where you introduce short periods of high carb intake. It is a means for burning fat and maintaining maximum muscle. Carb cycling can be complicated and is not something you should try if your body fat % is extremely high.
Low Carb Days
When using carb cycling, the secret is to keep carbs very low (under 50 grams) on low days or moderately low (under 100 grams) on moderate days. The remainder of the caloric needs are met by protein and healthy fats. The low carb days are aimed at depleting glycogen storage so that the body is forced to turn to fat for fuel. It is a scientific approach that really does work well.
In addition to forcing the body to burn fat for fuel, it restricts the body's ability to take carbs and turn them into fat.
A refeed day involves spiking the carbs to a higher level for one or more days. The goal of the refeed day is to replenish the glycogen levels in the body and to give you that much needed energy boost to maintain high levels of intensity when training.
Refeed days require careful planning. You do not want to eat so much carbs that you wind up getting fat instead of leaner. This means watching the carb levels even on refeed days. Be diligent and hit your levels.
Muscle Building and Fat Burning
Carb cycling will help you maximize fat burning. It will get you into the single digits on fat %. At the same time, it will help you increase muscle mass. The extra glycogen will go towards giving you extra energy during your weight training sessions, which will help you increase your muscle mass. This, too, will help your fat burning efforts because more muscle means more fat burning capability.
Give carb cycling a try if you are down to 15% or lower body fat and want to shatter the single digit area. Let me know how it goes!