Welcome to the highs and lows of carbs–or at least that’s how they describe carb cycling. But what is it, really?
Is a Carb Cycling Diet Good For Me
Does it even work? More importantly, is it a diet or an eating method, and is it ideal for you?
You may find yourself looking for some Carb Cycling program overview online to get into the nitty-gritty details of how it works, but we’re going to do a quick discussion here on what this new trend has to offer, so read on to find out.
What Is Carb Cycling Diet?
Carb cycling got its name because of how you’re supposed to create a cycle of eating high carbs on certain days, such as when you plan on actually doing a heavy workout and eating low to no carbs on other days.
There is no specific calorie count for the carb cycling diet, and it is usually done by people who have experienced a plateau in their weight loss goal amidst their regular workout.
Who Is It For, Ideally?
If you’re one of the people who have experienced the feeling that no matter how you’ve been progressing with your exercise routine and careful eating and still yielding little to no changes in your weight loss, then the carb cycling is what will suit you best.
Additionally, if you have a weak spot for carbs–thus, the Keto diet or Paleo diet doesn’t work for you–then this one just might.
The best part about cycling your carbs intake is that you’re not completely taking carbs out of your diet, which will not put you at risk for weight gain that people inevitably get when they’re reintroduced to a food that was once completely taken out of their diets such as Keto or Paleo diets.
Does It Work?
Carbs are one of the body’s main sources of energy. Carbs will increase your blood sugar which can activate your pancreas to create more insulin.
This is why people who consume too many carbs are at risk for Type II Diabetes. However, by controlling how your body cycles in your carbs intake, you can train your body to burn fat instead of carbs.
This is essentially how the carb cycling diet works. By taking breaks from taking in high carbs, your body will resort to burning fat during low-carb days.
On days when you’re consuming high carbs, you need to remain active and aid in your body’s burning process so that you also won’t gain weight.
If you’re already on a workout routine and a diet of cycling carbs, you can push this further to the extremes by doing a very low-carb on your low-carb days, especially to get off the plateau of your last few pounds.
Additionally, during those days, you should instead be taking in more vegetables and fruits that are rich in fiber and protein.
By doing this, you will speed up the process of burning fat due to the extreme high-calorie shortage.
On days when you’re back on your high-carb intake, push the intake of carbs which will aid greatly in the cycling of your carbs and boost your metabolism rate.
The carb cycling diet is usually done for a short period of time and for targeting specific areas such as the remaining pounds that are left on the plateau. They are proven to be safe generally.
What to Expect
Because your body is going to be on a cycle of extremes, you might find yourself having trouble sleeping, feeling exhausted and moody, experiencing constipation, and/or feeling bloated when you’re on your low-carb days.
Some people refer to this as the “carb flu,” but it doesn’t stay for long and can be remedied by upping your hydration and your electrolyte intake.
Like all diets, the carb cycling diet is for specific targets and people and is definitely not for everyone. If you’re pregnant, underweight, and/or having mood disorders, the diet will not do you good.
Generally, like all diets, it is still pretty much dependent on your daily routine, diet, exercise, and what your doctor has to say.
The carb cycling diet’s most attainable goal is for you to overcome the plateau in your weight loss goal, but it isn’t meant to be the diet you should keep for a lifetime.
It is effective and safe in keeping that goal reachable. Additionally, if you’re planning on pushing through with a carb cycling diet, you should consider fibrous fruits and vegetables as part of your diet, along with low-fat dairy products, legumes, whole grains, and lots of water.
You should also veer away from processed food and other refined grains and added sugars. The goal here is to get yourself to reach your healthiest weight without having to extremely damage your body.
What your doctor has to say about how your body is working on the inside matters as much as how it looks and feels, so do take their word and advice prior to getting on with the diet.