Fat-loss diet plans number in the dozen and if you’ve been doing your research, you’ve most like come across the diet called “carb cycling”. Basically, carb cycling is a program where you mix high carbohydrate days with days of low carb consumption in order to shed weight without experiencing any negative effects from it such as increased hunger, lack of focus and concentration, poor exercise performance, and even reduced metabolic rate.
Before you do carb cycling, however, there are a few things you need to know about this plan:
Water weight gain
You will experience weight gain during those high carbohydrate days since for every gram of carbs that you consume you are storing about 4 grams of water. You can already do the math based on the amount of carbs that you eat during these days.
Reduce fat intake on high carb days
It is necessary to lower your fat intake during high carb days so that you will leave more room for carbohydrates to do their work. Keep in mind that your overall calories tend to go up during high carb days. Just make sure that your calorie intake is within 300 to 600 during low carb days so your body won’t store excess calories to cancel the fat loss.
Choose complex carbs or high in glucose
When following a carb cycling diet, you should lean towards foods that contain glucose or complex carbohydrates. Just make sure that you stay away from fructose because this will have a different effect on the body.
Sample Plan for Carb Cycling
Low carb day. During low carb days, you will need to reduce your carbohydrate intake to 75 grams. If you can bring it lower than 50 grams then you are off to a good start.
High calorie day. You can refer to this as “feast day” but there are certain restrictions to keep in mind. If you are following a carb cycling plan, you will need to eliminate soy, gluten, alcohol, and dairy but you can have more meals and snacks to refill your stomach. You should still eat 50% fewer compared to your regular days.
No-carb or fast day. When you are in your fasting day, you will need to keep away from foods while limiting your intake of liquids such as water and herbal teas for a period of 24 hours. During this no-carb day, you will need to aim for less than 25 grams of total carbs while focusing more on lean proteins, high-fiber vegetables, as well as healthy fats.
Regular day. During regular days, you can go back to eating a normal nutrient intake but focusing more on complex carbs, healthy fats, and lean proteins.
Low calorie day. This day is somewhat similar to regular day and it is not really specific about ratio of nutrients that you are getting. However, you will need to create a small calorie deficit where you need to consume about 25% lower than normal.