Have you heard about carb cycling to lose weight? Carb cycling is the latest fad for weight loss. It’s a popular diet among body builders and some fitness experts. However, this diet is not a perfect fit for everyone.
1. What is carb cycling? Carb cycling forces you to alternate between low and high carbohydrate days during each week. Although there are several variations, some of the most popular ones are to eat low carbs five days a week and high carbs two days a week.
○ During carb cycling, you may have one day as a reward. Many people choose Sunday as their reward day and eat whatever they want.
○ The key is space out your high carb days, so they don’t occur two days in a row. For example, you can have a low carb day on Monday and a high carb day on Tuesday. Wednesday would be a low carb day, and so on.
2. Eat complex carbohydrates. Carb cycling is not about eating junk food to get more carbohydrates. This diet requires eating complex and healthy carbohydrates.
○ You can eat brown rice, quinoa, and oats to get more carbs. Avoid foods like white bread and donuts.
○ Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest, so you have fewer blood sugar spikes. In addition, you have more energy throughout the day. They’re a healthier alternative to simple carbohydrates.
3. During low carb days, it’s important to eat enough protein. Health experts recommend eating lean meats such as chicken and turkey.
○ You can also get protein from other sources such as fish, eggs, tofu, nuts, and seeds. Variety is important because diets can get boring, so try different proteins.
4. You get reward days. Also called cheat days, reward days can be built into the carb cycling diet. Many people choose to have at least one reward day a week, often on the weekend when they can go out to eat.
○ However, you have to be careful with reward days. Moderation is still important on cheat days.
5. Does carb cycling work? Some people report positive results with carb cycling, and others struggle with this diet. Your results will vary based on multiple factors.
○ Since this diet restricts carbs, you may lose weight. However, it may not help you lose body fat. It’s also important to realize that your starting weight will have a big impact on how much you’re able to lose.
○ Your body may respond to this diet in a unique way, so it’s not possible to predict results.
○ Exercise is still important for losing fat and building muscle.
○ Carb cycling is unlike other diets because it doesn’t have a true end date. Many people continue this diet for weeks and months. Others give up because they’re not satisfied with the results or find it hard to keep track of everything they eat.
Carb cycling is a popular diet. However, before starting a new diet or changing how you eat, it’s important to talk to your doctor. Discuss all of your health issues, medications, and supplements to see if the diet won’t interfere with them.
Will carb cycling work for you? Maybe. Maybe not. Talk with your doctor and give it a try if you’re intrigued by this process. You might like it.