I’ve received thousands of questions over the years of personal training and there’s one question that has surfaced recently that I felt the answer should be more understood:
What is Carb Cycling and will it help me lose weight?
I think this is a great question, as it’s a key factor of why my online clients are so successful in losing weight.
To put it simply: Carb cycling is a way to manipulate macronutrients (fat, protein, carbs) to help reduce body fat and avoid the cannibalization of your very hard earned muscles as much as possible.
In other words,
It will absolutely help you lose weight!
Carb cycling essentially works by both burning fat and boosting your metabolism.
The truth is, carbohydrates are your body’s preferred source of fuel – and when you feed your body a consistent amount of carbs, it knows what to expect. By cycling carb intake – eating high carbs one day and low carbs the next – you essentially confuse your body by not feeding it a consistent, dependable food source. This constant depleting and replenishing of your carbohydrate stores ensures this effective loss of body fat.
Carb cycling is a delicate thing that requires discipline and a detailed plan… it involves measuring, weighing, timing and following-through for weeks at a time in order for it to work successfully.
In general, when I write plans for clients during die-hard carb cycling, I stick to about 15-20% carbohydrates from calories on low-carb days and around 45-55% carbohydrates from calories on high-carb days.
I add in a carb-stagger program within the carb cycling to prohibit the body from becoming accustomed to this cycle process.
On days with less carbs, we replace the calories with higher protein and healthy-fat options. This ensures that your muscles stay well fed and your energy levels aren’t zombified.
If carb cycling is something you’re interested in, make sure you go at it with a plan – you must stay focused, stay disciplined and it is of course preferable that you have a solid support system around you.
Have you tried carb cycling? Comment below and let me know your experience with it!