Carb cycling allows you to still eat carbs whilst burning fat. A lot of diets completely cut out carbs such as a Keto diet, but carbs are not the enemy and you can still utilise them to help with your weight loss goals.
I have recently been dropping body fat myself and I had done a lot of research on fasting as a lot of you know and have probably read, if not I suggest you read it its a good blog. Anyway back to this blog, I tried out fasting and enjoyed it very much, but I had not received the results I had previously received when I was carb cycling. So I jumped straight back onto carb cycling after four weeks of fasting.
The body fat was soon to be dropping off quicker and I was becoming leaner and leaner by each week. Not as much as I did previously but that was more down to my training intensity due to being injured this time. Carb cycling still worked wonders for me and I did not find it hard to follow. Mentally and physically it is easier than you may think, this is due to not completely cutting carbs from your diet. I Followed the diet for 6 weeks and dropped 5kg, averaging a 0.83kg per week. I never had any lack of energy which is what most people fear when carbs are reduced non of my workouts suffered as a result of this.
What is carb cycling? Carb cycling is where you cycle your carbs throughout the week, one day you will consume high carbs (carbs with all your meals), the next day medium carbs (carbs with two of your meals) and then low carbs (carbs for breakfast only). On the days you consume low carbs you want to increase your protein and fat intake slightly to make up for the lower calories.
How does it work? Because you aren’t consuming carbs everyday you wont have as much stored glycogen in your body. Glycogen is what your body breaks carbohydrates down into and stores in the muscles for fuel. This is your bodies preferred type of fuel for exercise as it is easier to convert into energy as apposed to fat. When carb cycling your glycogen levels are much lower this means your body will have to burn fat instead for its source of energy. Carbohydrates are your bodies best source for energy this is why we aren’t cutting them out completely, also because everyone loves carbs only crazy people cut them completely. You want to have your high carb days on your hardest and longest training days saving your lower carbs for your lower intensity or your rest days. By doing this you ensure to still get the most out of your workouts as you want the most energy on the hardest days.
Carbohydrates also increase your insulin levels so by eating less carbs you lower your insulin sensitivity level which helps with better body composition (i.e lower body fat). When following a calorie restrictive diet your leptin levels start to drop (leptin is a hormone that keeps you from being hungry) high carb days help increase your leptin levels and prevents your metabolism from slowing down.
What carbohydrates should you be consuming? Here is a list of the best clean carbs to include in your eating regime.
These are the main points you need to know in order to get started with your carb cycling. In addition to this I would include 1-2 meals a week ‘off plan’ on your high carb days, and in moderation. This will help make this new eating regime easier to stick to and more enjoyable.
If you have any other questions you can contact me through my facebook page The Lemon Frog Fitness Company, my Instagram @lemon_frog_fitness or email email@example.com.
Thanks for reading :)