Carb cycling is a very good form of dieting that doesn’t seem to get the recognition that it deserves. Part of the reason seems to lie in perceived complexity about the diet. Another reason is that it hasn’t become fad and gained quick popularity with the masses.
That is too bad because as far as a diet plan goes, this one is a great option to both build muscle and get ripped.
Yes, I just stated that this plan can help build muscle while losing fat and that isn’t even the best part.
The Secret of Carb Cycling
It really isn’t a secret, but sometimes it seems like it is. People just don’t talk about this diet option much which is disappointing because it can be so effective when employed properly.
The secret of the carb cycling diet is that you don’t allow your body to adapt to either high or low carbs. Instead, you zigzag back and forth obtaining the best benefits of each style of diet without getting stuck with negative aspects.
In fact, carb cycling not only helps trick the body into maintaining a high metabolism like with a high carb diet, but it also keeps Leptin production normal even on low carb days. Leptin is a hormone that works with hunger and triggering metabolism.
On top of that, some medical professionals like Dr. Roman Malkov have pointed to carb cycling as a way to reduce cancer risks, reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and decrease the prevalence of diabetes. Last but not least, you get to actually eat food and not starve yourself!
How do you Cycle?
A carb cycle diet is based on alternating between high, medium, and low carb days. The organization of those days can vary in a week depending on if you are trying to gain muscle and maintain current bodyfat or reduce bodyfat and maintain muscle.
An example for a bulking routine might be:
- Monday – High Carb
- Tuesday – Low Carb
- Wednesday – Med Carb
- Thursday – Low Carb
- Friday – High Carb
- Saturday – Low Carb
- Sunday – Med Carb
There are very specific math formulas you use, based on your bodyweight, to determine how many calories you take in on each specific type of day. You also have different calculations to determine the proper amount of fat, carbs, and protein you ingest on those days.
Doing the calculations and initial set-up are a little more complex than other diets. In essence it is like planning for 3 different diets instead of one.
Also there are food restrictions. Typically you draw from a pool of specific foods that most healthy diets work with like meat, fish, dairy, poultry, whole grains, fruit, and vegetables. Of course you can easily simplify things by eating the same things on each low day for example.
Top 3 Advantages of Cycling
- Your energy levels are generally higher on this style of diet. Low carb diets can make it difficult to maintain energy all the time which can affect life and even workouts. With the changing levels of carbs your body doesn’t get stuck for a prolonged period without valuable fuel.
- Mentally it is easier to sustain. It can be hard to feel hungry a lot or feel like you can’t enjoy food. With high carb days and even medium carb days you get to eat more and enjoy food a bit more. As the low carb days are only every other day you can mentally recharge on the other days which makes cheating less likely.
- It is a two-for-one opportunity. Usually you either try and gain muscle or lose fat. This diet offers the chance to do both or focus more on one than the other while still maintaining. That means you have more options which is always a good thing.
The Bottom Line
Generally low carb diets were not meant as long term solutions, but people try to make them one to lose weight. Instead of dealing with the difficulty and frustration of starving yourself, why not look at carb cycling instead? It has a lot more positives aspects to it.
Dave Coulter is a fitness entrepreneur who writes for the Nutribomb.com Fitness Blog. You can follow Dave by subscribing to our RSS feed or you can follow the Nutribomb on Google Plus.