Carb cycling is a diet program where you mix higher carbohydrate days with lower carbohydrate days and sometimes no carbohydrate days to burn fat and supercharge weight loss. This way the dieter does not suffer some of the negative consequences of a pure low carbohydrate diet plan, like depriving the body of macro nutrients (which are carbohydrates, fats and proteins). Majority of diets programs out there usually limit your food choices however, carb cycling does advocate a number of general healthy eating principles as well as moderating carbohydrate intake. The carb cycling diet forces the body to metabolize fat and protein to generate a substance called a ketone. Ketones are the result of the body burning fat for energy.
In general you can decide to go for 3 days of low carb followed by 1 day of high carb intake, then back to low carb days. Alternatively you can go for 2 days of low carb followed by 1 day of high carb and then 1 day of no carb. Overall calorie intake on low carb days should also be lower. When starting the diet, you need to calculate your required daily calorie intake and work out the required quantity of carbohydrate you should be eating. If you are aiming for a healthy weight loss of one to three pounds per week, try to ensure that your calorie intake on low carb days is low enough to help you achieve this goal. It is a great idea to engage in tough workouts on a high carb day.
Carb cycling focuses more on carbohydrates (and not protein or fats) because carbs seem to have the most influential effect on the body composition and how you look. The easiest way to get started with carb cycling is to follow the plan and then adjust from there. Once you’ve mastered a particular carb cycling strategy of your choice and you’re ready for some more fine-tuning with your nutrition, the next step would be to adjust your carb intake for each individual meal to suit your body and your goals. At this point it might be wise to bring on a coach to help you make these adjustments.
Aside from varying carb intake, most carb cycling or rotation diets programs also promote a diet of healthy foods such as fruit, vegetables, high fiber carbohydrates, low saturated fats and a moderate intake of healthy unsaturated fats. Many also recommend avoiding any form of refine sugar and refined carbohydrates except the natural sugar in fruits.
Let me give one important advice here, please note that a high carb day shouldn’t be a day to eat all the junk food available. However don’t be afraid to give yourself a treat with different types of high calorie foods either, as long as total carbohydrates are accounted for.
Most people consider the carb cycling procedure a lot more convenient because of the fact that high carb days are comfortably accommodated. Therefore the common unwanted side effect such as reduced fat burning capacity, high craving for food and lack of adequate exercises due to weakness are exempted. This is because high carb days refuel the muscle’s glycogen levels making you feel good and energized.
If your goal really is gaining as much muscle as possible while keeping fat gain to a minimum, then carb cycling is an ideal strategy. Ultimately, it is possible to use this approach to gain lean muscle in the long run. So, carb-cycling for weight loss: does it work? The judgment is yours and a try out will certainly prove this diet method’s suitability.