Carb cycling diet for weight loss – The amount of contradictory information we have heard over the carbs concerning carbs are seriously confusing. Over the centuries, we’ve heard things like carbs are terrible for the body. We’ve also heard that you must consume more carbs in order to lose weight.
You will agree with me that this different information around this incredible nutrient is just jaw-dropping.
If you spoke with 10 people concerning what they thought of carbohydrates, you will probably have 10 different answers.
You can bet these responses emanated from the different conflicting reports they’ve come across on the internet.
They may have also heard it on a TV show. Also, it might be through their favorite celebrity who is simply endorsing the latest trend on a carb diet.
The purpose of this article is to clear the air about carbs. It will also show you how carbs can help you lose weight through carb cycling.
With all the conflicting information out there, it’s difficult to know the eating plans that are just right for you(1).
However, there is one thing you must realize – there is no single-size-fits-all carb diet plan.
We would all be doing the single plan if there was.
This then brings out to the carb cycling plan. It can be hard to know if carb cycling is the perfect diet plan for you.
It is extremely important you do extensive research to weigh the cons and pros of the carb cycling plan.
Luckily for you, this is exactly what this article is all about. We are going to show you all that carb cycling is all about.
You will also see if it’s the right diet plan for you. Before we proceed, let us look at what carb cycling really is.
What Is Carb Cycling?
Carb cycling is a diet plan that is based on alternating the number of carbs you eat every day.
All these will actually depend on your daily schedule.
Some of the foods that are included in the carb cycling plan are pasta, crackers, and bread.
Fruits like starchy vegetables and also dairy products like cheese and yogurt are also included in the carb cycling diet plan.
When it concerns a carb cycling plan, there are only two possibilities – limiting them or simply filling your body with these nutritious foods.
However, you must remember that carb cycling does not mean you always have a large intake of carbs. The days when you consume a large number of carbs are those days that you workout hard in the gym.
Exercising consumes a lot of energy from your body and carbs are to thank for always replenishing this energy.
Whenever you exercise, the body uses carbs that are in the form of glycogen, for energy.
Glycogen is always stored in the body’s liver and muscles and is used during any physical activity.
When you have used up the glycogen storage levels, it is your job to replenish them by consuming foods that are rich in carbs.
That is why health and fitness experts have always emphasized that it is important to consume carbs as both a pre and also a post-workout food.
This will prepare you for the exercise and also help restore your energy levels.
The term cycling really comes into play on those days that you do not really work out.
Just like those rainy Sundays where you’re stuck inside your house and the only thing you do is grab the remote and tune in to your favorite TV show.
These are the days that you have to limit the number of carbs you consume.
You must always remember that whenever you are not working out or performing any physical activity, then you must lower your carb intake.
This is simply because of the body stores unused carb sources as fat in the body.
It only takes a large intake of unused carbs to turn into fat.
So don’t be scared when you eat one cup of brown rice or one piece of fruit and you fail to visit the gym that day. This will not instantly turn to fat.
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How Do I Carb Cycle?
The human body responds differently to carbs just like people respond differently to fat sources and protein.
Some people discover that they can actually lose weight by carb cycling or by undergoing a low carb diet plan.
However, most people do not know how this varying eating plan affects the body from inside.
One other fact about carbs that people tend to forget is the fact that they help in burning body fat. Yes, carbs can help you burn fat.
When the human body is deprived of carbs, it is possible for you to experience some sort of negative side effects.
Even though you may think that you’ve started to lose weight, it might just be that you are losing water.
Also, you may actually just be getting a lean body mass.
Most importantly, for those that workout regularly, your body needs carbs just as much as protein.
This will allow them to maintain their shape and strength.
Side Effects to a Low Carb Diet
Some other side effects to a low carb diet include symptoms such as
- Bad breath,
- Digestion Problems,
- Headache, and also fatigue.
You must also be aware that consuming very few carbs can cause you to maintain that big body weight or even blow you up.
When you deprive your body of the nutrients it desperately needs, then you are allowing it to activate the starvation mode.
If the body does not get the amount of carbs it deserves on a daily basis, then it will grab on to the little source it can get.
This will allow your body to maintain it’s current weight or even lead to you gaining more weight.
In addition, this can also deplete your body’s energy content thereby making it difficult for you to complete your workout sessions.
Sample Carb Cycling Meal Diet Plan for Weight Loss
In order to you create your own carb cycling meal diet plan for weight loss, we have decided to bring you a general idea on how to properly cycle your sources of carbs.
This carb cycling guide will help you achieve the overall goal of weight loss.
The Days you Eat High Carb
- For breakfast, you take a cup of oatmeal, a banana, and also one cup of 1% milk.
Nutrient count: 366 calories, 15.5g PRO, 66g Carb, and also 5.5g Fat.
- For lunch, you take 3 oz. of deli turkey mixed with 2 slices whole wheat bread, lettuce, an apple, a slice of cheddar cheese, one bag of baked chips, and three slices of cucumber.
Nutrient count: 551 Calories, 30.5g PRO, 74.5g Carb and also 15.5g Fat.
- Lunch, you take ½ cup of whole wheat pasta, four turkey meatballs, ¼ cup of marinara sauce, and ½ cup of corn.
Nutrient count: 317 Calories, 19.5g PRO, 50g Carb, 11g Fat.
- Snack option 1: take Greek yogurt mixed with strawberries.
This has a calorie count of 140 calories, 17g PRO, 21g Carb, and also 0g Fat.
- Snack option 2: take two tablespoons of peanut butter laid on a rice cake.
This has a calorie count of 228 calories, 9g PRO, 13g Carb, 18g Fat.
Total on a high carb day: 1,602 Calories, 91.5g PRO, 224.5g Carb, and also 50g Fat.
You can notice that your carb sources make up about 56% of the total calories intake for this day.
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The Days you Eat Low Carbohydrate
- For breakfast, take a slice of whole wheat toast, ½ banana, a cup of 1% milk, a tablespoon of peanut butter, and one cup of strawberries.
Nutrient count: 369 Calories, 17g PRO, 51.5g Carb, and also 11.5g Fat.
- For lunch, you eat 3 oz. of deli turkey, ½ cup of cucumber, two tablespoon of shredded cheddar cheese, three cups of mixed salad greens, a hard-boiled egg, and also three tablespoons of raspberry vinaigrette.
Nutrient count: 453 calories, 26g PRO, 26g Carb, and 47g Fat.
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- Dinner, you take 3 oz. of grilled chicken breast, a tablespoon of olive oil, one cup of cubed sweet potato, and also ½ cup of broccoli.
Nutrient count: 465 calories, 27g PRO, 33g Carb, and 25g Fat.
- Snack option 1: eat 15 baby carrots with 4 tablespoons of guacamole.
This has a calorie count of 160 calories, 4g PRO, 23g Carb, and also 16g Fat.
- Snack option 2: take two tablespoons of peanut butter places on a rice cake.
This has a calorie count of 228 calories, 9g PRO, 13g Carb, 18g Fat.
Total on a low carb day: 1,675 calories, 83g PRO, 146.5g Carb, and also 117.5g Fat.
You can see that your carb sources make up about 35% of the total calories on a low carb day.
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You can see from the carb cycling sample plan above that the number of calories that you get from carbs varies between both days.
On the days that you consume high carbs, you meeting the daily recommendation of carbs intake.
While on the days you consume low carbs, you are way below the recommended amount of carbs you should consume.
Is Keto Better Than Carb Cycling?
An important question we always get is, “is keto or carb cycling better?”
As we described carb cycling above, it is when a person reduces the amount of carbs he or she consumes just for a few days and then follows it with a high or moderate day of eating sufficient carbs.
Keto diet, on the other hand, is an extremely low-carb and high-fat diet that makes sure you drastically reduce your carbohydrate intake and replace it with fat.
In a keto diet, your body switches to burning fat for energy.
As we stated before, the human body responds differently to the different sources of nutrients.
The way a person will respond to carb cycling might be different from that of another person.
It is also very important that you put your daily schedule into consideration when choosing between carb cycling and keto diet.
It is important you always consult your doctor before you start any diet plan like carb cycling or keto diet just to know if it is suitable for you.
Do you want to learn more about the keto diet? Check out this post: Ketogenic Diet Menu: 7 Day Keto Meal Plan to Lose Weight for Beginners
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Is Carb Cycling Good For Weight Loss?
There is no doubt that carb cycling really works for weight loss.
Carb cycling works in a way that you do not completely deprive your body of carbohydrates compared to the keto diet.
Carbohydrate is a major source of energy to the human body and so the body needs it on a daily basis.
However, carb cycling gives you that same carb and also makes sure you get a day off just to keep your carbs in check.
However, what is good for one person may not be good for another.
Even though carb cycling works, it is important you check in with your doctor before you embark on any diet plan including carb cycling.
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Is Carb Cycling Good For Building Muscle?
Another benefit of carb cycling is that it allows you to build muscle.
It does this by boosting your metabolism during the days you consume high calories while on the days of low calories, your diet helps to make sure your body keeps your insulin level so low in order to burn fat while also maintaining your muscle (2)
The high-carb days are simply adding fuel to your body’s ability to burn calories.
While on your low-carb days, your body will make sure it burns fat in place of carbohydrates.
This combination maximizes the fat-burning properties of your body while also maintaining your body’s muscles.
As they say, not all carbs are created equal, so you must make sure you avoid foods such as candy, french fries, and donuts.
Instead, consume foods such as legumes, vegetables, whole oats, fruits, and whole grains.
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Carb cycling diet men or women is one of the best ways for you to lose weight.
It is a safe method that has been passed down over the years. You can make use of our sample carb cycling recipes explained above to begin.
You should also make sure you make use of a carb cycling calculator to always check your carb intake on a daily basis.