Carb Cycling: What You Need to Know About It
In your journey to getting a healthier self, you will learn the various kinds of diet to try. There are lots worth the try, but Keto is among the popular, which refers to the high-fat and low-carb diet. While Keto has proven its effectiveness for people who want to lose weight in the long run, it created a fearmongering for high-carb intake. However, another concept of diet debunks the idea of a high-carb diet as unhealthy, called carb cycling.
Carb cycling is the alteration of carbohydrate intake in a given time to prevent fat loss and maintain metabolism. Ideal for short-term use, it refers to eating high amounts of carbs in one day and lowering it in the next day. Throughout a week or so, the alteration should continue depending on the physical activities done each day.
How does Carb Cycling work?
The idea behind carb cycling is eating a high-carb diet on days you plan to work out and going low-carb on inactive days.
Carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of energy. When digested, carbs break down into glucose, which the body uses for fuel. When you work out, your body burns energy from carbs along with fat instead of protein. On the other hand, when you eat a high-carb diet without exercising, your body can release too much insulin, a hormone that takes glucose into cells. This can lead to weight gain and other severe illnesses.
When you alter the high-carb intake according to activities planned for the day, you allow your body to burn fat as fuel. This can result in effective weight loss and muscle gain.
Who is carb cycling for?
Anyone can do carb cycling, but it’s more often used by bodybuilders, endurance athletes, and active people looking to lose weight. If you are any of these, you might find carb cycling helpful to your fitness goals.
For bodybuilders and athletes, lowering the carb intake during pre-season prepping and training will allow the body to better use carbs once increased right before reaching the highest peak of performance.
For weight loss enthusiasts, maintaining a low-carb diet contributes to maintaining weight and watching out for overall health.
The effects and precautions of carb cycling
When you go down in your carb intake for a few days, you might have trouble sleeping, fatigue, constipation, bloatedness, and mood swings. The early days can be quite exhausting but usually eases out not long after. These effects can be helped with the proper intake of water and electrolytes.
Due to its extreme tendencies, carb cycling is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women, underweight, and persons with a history of eating disorder. It is suggested to consult with a doctor if you can handle such a drastic alteration in your diet.
Tips on how to start with carb cycling
Before getting on with the dietary plan, here are some helpful tips before you start carb cycling.
1. Know how many calories needed
Set a goal for your calorie goal daily. Ideally, if you aim to lose weight, you can multiply your body weight by 10. The product should be your calorie count for the day. If you want to maintain your weight, you can multiply your weight by 12. Whereas if you want to gain weight, multiply your weight by 15.
2. Measure the macros
The primary macronutrients consist of carbs, protein, and fat. All these should be measured to balance everything and arrive with your weight goals. The calories derived from your computation should be divided by these macros.
Carbs and protein both have four calories per gram, while fat has nine calories each gram. Aim for one gram of protein per pound of your body weight. During high-carb, you’ll increase your carb intake and calories while keeping protein and fat at the same level. And on the low-carb days, you’ll shed off calories as you lower your carbs and maintain protein and fat.
3. Increase your leafy vegetables during low-carb days.
Green leafy vegetables are low-calorie foods that are loaded with helpful nutrients like fiber. It adds to the bulk of what you eat without sabotaging your carb intake. Not only are they filling, but they are nutritious as well.
4. Choose whole-food fats
Whole foods are your better source of fats, especially during low-carb days. You can add eggs, avocado, nuts, coconut oil, butter, coconut oil, butter, and more to your diet.
5. Avoid skipping meals
Whether you are on a low-carb or high-carb diet, do not skip your meals. This can lead to breaking down of muscles, which you don’t want to happen, especially when you are trying to lose weight or gain muscles. Stick to your eating routine, and do not starve yourself.
The good carbohydrate sources to try
Just because you are on a high-carb diet doesn’t mean you should binge on every carb-loaded treats you see. There are certain types of ideal carbs you should go for and unhealthy ones to avoid. Here are the good ones to include in your diet.
- Whole grains like brown rice, oats, and quinoa
- Vegetables in every color
- High-fiber fruits
- Legumes like beans, peas, and lentils
- Tubers like potatoes and sweet potatoes
- Any unprocessed kind of food
On the other hand, these are the carbs to avoid:
- Processed foods
- Low-fiber treats
- White flour found in white bread, cakes, and cookies
- White (processed) rice
If you want to get a little more in-depth with how carb-cycling can help you in your fitness journey, you can get more helpful guidelines in this online personal development course, Carb Cycling: Discover this Secret of Weight Loss.