What you need to know about carb cycling

carb cycling picHey everybody!

I have some informations for you today, about a diet plan called carb cycling, which is one of the most effective diets used by body builders and fitness personalities. This article may be a little longer than other articles I used to write, but trust me it worth your time.

Carb Cycling is a low/no-carbohydrate diet with intermittent periods of high or moderate carbohydrate consumption.

Most people have the misconception that consuming low carbs on a daily basis for long periods of time is good for them. You cannot eat that way forever. Your body needs carbs for its daily functions. They deplete your energy and strength and are not the best method when attempting to lose body fat and retain muscle.

There are also those individuals who preach high carb diets. While high carb diets help to speed your metabolism, they are not ideal for weight-loss or reduction of body fat as we know, for weight loss the body needs to be in a  calorie deficit.

This is where carb-cycling comes in. Carb cycling is an in between type method that will give you the benefits of both a low and high carb diet which allows you to hold on to the muscle you already have and shed body fat.

This type of diet will also help you maintain your sanity, strength, and energy.

So let’s see how this diet works

Carb cycling works by giving your body the fuel it needs to increase your metabolism and create a calorie deficit to increase fat loss.

There are typically three types of days when carb cycling:
high-carb days
low-carb days
no-carb days.

These days are rotating between them.

Generally the most common carb cycling approach used is where you will place higher carbohydrate days on your heaviest training days and then lower carb days on off/low-intensity training days. This plan is usually based on eating 5 smaller meals per day, 3 meals and 2 snacks (healthy ones)

In order to lose weight, our bodies need the right combination of proteins, carbs, and healthy fats.

Here’s why:

  • Protein builds and maintains muscles and these muscles burn calories like. Protein also breaks down more slowly than carbs and fat, which burns even more calories and helps you feel fuller longer.
  • Carbs are the preferred fuel source for your muscles and organs, and they come in healthy versions (vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes), and not-so-healthy versions (cakes, cookies, soda, doughnuts, candy, and many processed foods).  Healthy carbs are also very important for burning calories, and since they break down more slowly than those not-so-healthy carbs, they keep your blood sugar and energy levels steady
  • Healthy fats (unsaturated fats) eaten in moderation help the development and function of your eyes and brain and help prevent heart disease, stroke, depression, and arthritis. Healthy fats also help keep your energy levels steady and keep you from feeling hungry.

So why do we alternate high-carb and low-carb days in carb cycling?

On high-carb days you’re stocking your calorie-burning furnace so that on low-carb days your furnace burns fat, and lots of it! So it tricks your metabolism into burning a lot of calories, even on those low-carb days. It’s an amazing and well-proven process.

Occasionally, you may feel hungry on your Low Carb days. This is because you’re avoiding starchy carbohydrates which fill you up fast and contain a lot of calories.

In these cases you can add more protein and vegetables to your meal. There’s no harm in eating an extra chicken breast or more salad.

Here is the list of the approved carbohydrates:

  • Brown rice
  • Oats (Slow Cooked Preferred)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Spelt whole grain
  • Starchy Veggies (corn, peas, etc.)
  • Beans/Legumes

Approved Yet Limited Carbohydrates

  • Whole-wheat pasta
  • Whole grain breads, pitas, etc.

Approved Lean Protein Sources (A)

  • Chicken (white meat)
  • Turkey (white meat)
  • Tuna Fish (can), natural, no oil
  • Fish (flounder, tuna, salmon, shark)
  • Shellfish (all types)
  • Protein (preferably whey post workout, and casein before bed; must be low-carb)
  • Lean beef (including lean cuts of steak)
  • Cottage Cheese (0 or 1% fat)
  • Egg whites (egg beaters)

Approved Higher-Fat Protein Sources (B)

  • Chicken (dark meat)
  • Turkey (dark meat)
  • Eggs (half whites, half whole eggs)
  • Steak and other meats
  • Cottage Cheese (Whole Milk)

Fat Sources

  • Almonds, wallnuts, nuts, peanuts (or nuts natural butter)
  • Flax Oil
  • Cod Liver Oil
  • Hemp Seed Oil
  • Olive Oil

Water Consumption
In short, you can never have enough. The ten 8-ounce glasses per day recommendation is the minimum. You should drink at least a gallon (3.5-4 liter) per day

Here is a weekly cycle that should work nicely for most:

Monday = No Carb
Tuesday = Low Carb
Wednesday = High Carb
Thursday = No Carb
Friday = Low carb
Saturday = High Carb
Sunday = Low Carb

The carb cycling diet is easy to maintain, and because you cycle on and off carbs, the body does not plateau like it would on a prolonged low carbohydrate diet.

Carb cycling speeds up metabolism and gets your body to efficiently use up fuel while sustaining muscle and burning off body fat! Use a carb cycling diet along with a consistent workout plan!

Hope you enjoyed it! Have a beutiful day! 🙂

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2 thoughts on “What you need to know about carb cycling

  1. Please share an example of a meal plan of what you’ll eat on a low carb day, no carb day and high carb day. Also, where would you include fruit? Thanks for the great article.

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