Carb Cycling for Bikini Competitions

Carb Cycling for Bikini Competitions

Carb Cycling Nutrition for the Bikini Athlete

Thinking of doing a bikini competition but don’t know where to start? It can be a complicated confusing task with all the nutritional information out there! The best first step is hiring a good competition prep coach that can guide you through the nutrition that best fits your lifestyle, body type & goals!

That being said, I’m assuming you may also be reading this blog because you are curious carb cycling and how it may, or may not, fit into your competition prep? If so, you are reading the right blog! However, it is important to note, that without the proper guidance and accountability from a coach this task can be pretty daunting and overwhelming. Be sure that when you are experimenting with different types of dietary approaches that you have the proper assistance required for your ultimate success!

Carb Cycling for Bikini Competitions

There are different methods of carb cycling. However, the common theme behind them is that protein and fat intake stay relatively constant while carbohydrate intake is manipulated.

Carb cycling also typically involves calorie cycling. Since carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram, adjusting carbohydrate intake while keeping fat and protein more or less the same can greatly alter calorie intake.


Days where carbohydrates (and usually calories) are increased are often known as “re-feed” days.

Re-feeds usually occur when dieting and are scheduled in order to provide a brief day of psychological relief as well as a number of physiological benefits.

Since carbohydrate intake will be increased on the re-feed days, it is important to scale back the fat and protein intake slightly. Carbohydrates have a protein sparing effect so less dietary protein is required. This will allow for one’s calorie count to remain in check.

The same principles of good nutrition apply equally to “everyday” eating and carb cycling phases, including proper meal frequency, omega-3 fat intake, adequate protein and fiber intake, plenty of vegetables, etc.

Examples of Various Re-Feed Methods:

Infrequent, big re-feeds

Higher carbohydrate intake every 1-2 weeks during a lower carbohydrate intake phase.

Frequent, moderate re-feeds

Higher carbohydrate intake every 3-4 days during a lower carbohydrate intake phase.

Carb cycling for Bikini Competitions

Those interested in stepping on stage as a bikini competitor are needing to gain muscle mass and stay contest prep lean. In order to gain muscle mass the body is in need of a calorie surplus.

Unfortunately, if competitors grossly over-consume calories for too long, they’ll probably gain bodyfat. Thus, one way to optimize muscle gain over fat gain during a muscle gaining phase is with carb cycling.

This is a “strategic carb cycling” approach where menus are planned according to your weekly schedule in order to create a temporary calorie surplus. This can assist with lean mass and strength gains.

Strategic carb cycling for Bikini Competitions

This consists of structuring different menus with moderate carbohydrate intake at strategic intervals during a lower carb intake phase. This approach steers away from an extremely high carbohydrate intake because the menu changes regularly. But it does allow for metabolism to play catch-up with dietary intake. Thus preventing metabolic damage that most competitors face post show.

Too much re-feeding can result in body fat gains. This is why it is important to have a Glam Girl coach guiding you every step of the way so that you bring your best body on bikini competition day!

In conclusion, there is not a one size fits all approach. A Strategic Carb Cycling method may work well for one and not the next. Proving once again, it is important to hire a bikini competition prep coach to assist you.

Glam Girl Bikini LLC coaching can not only guide you to receive the proper nutritional support needed to step on stage, but can also structure your nutrition year round. This approach sets you up to take a very healthy approach to your life and maintain life balance.

One of the most difficult phases of the competition journey I see occurs after the show-“Now what?” Glam Girl Bikini coaching provides a strategic plan about how to complete a healthy reverse diet. In this way, post show, a competitor can overcome metabolic damage.

Important tips for each carb cycling approach

  • Base the dietary approach on basal calorie needs and activity levels.
  • Always pick out the re-feed days in advance.
  • Stay on course until the re-feed day arrives.
  • Keep your decisions outcome-based. Different re-feed strategies work better for certain body types. Look to your Glam Girl coach for guidance as they can evaluate based on the evidence from your photographs and body composition tests to ensure that you are on the right track.
  • Try to exercise on the re-feed days for optimal body composition results.
  • On the re-feed days, the body still tolerates carbohydrates best first thing in the morning and around times when physical activity is high.

Summary and recommendations

  • Use carb cycling only if you are nutritionally advanced and have exhausted basic methods.
  • Use only for a short duration.
  • Work with your coach to pick a carb cycling strategy that is right for you. This may be dependent on how you feel with lower carb intake days, how much muscle mass you carry, your physique goals and length of time you anticipate on the carb cycle can all be various factors. Lean on your coach as they can adjust accordingly for you.
  • After a carb cycling strategy has been selected, utilize a coach to establish your calorie intake goal.
  • Second, establish with your coach a protein intake goal (which remains relatively constant).
  • Third, establish with your coach a fat intake goal (again, relatively constant).
  • Finally, work with your coach to pick a carbohydrate intake goal for the different days.
  • Your coach will help you divide your total intake of all the nutrients up into regular feeding intervals with appropriate spacing due to workouts.
  • Schedule the re-feeding times with your coach based on your progress. You are ready to go!

For more informationIf you are seeking guidance on how to carb cycle or find to the proper nutrition

for your bikini competition goal contact:

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