Carbohydrate cycling is an eating regimen that focuses on rotating low-carbohydrate and high-carbohydrate days. X Research Source This concept was developed in the bodybuilding industry, but many sports professionals also believe that this method can be very effective for healthy weight loss when combined with a good exercise routine.
Learn to cycle carbohydrates
Choose a method. There is no single correct way to perform carbohydrate cycling. People use different plans to meet their different needs and goals. Therefore, you will need to choose one that is right for you.
For example, if you want to lose weight, you might need a weekly plan where you can have a low carb for 5 days and a high carb for 2 days.
On the other hand, if you want to build muscle, you might want to try a more even mix, like 4 days high and 3 days low.
The “classic” carb cycling schedule calls for alternating high and low intake for 6 days each week. On day seven, you’ll be able to treat yourself without monitoring your calorie and carb intake so closely.
Identify the amount of carbohydrates and calories you want to consume. As a general rule of thumb, on this diet, women need 1,200 calories every day; and men, about 1,500 calories on low days. On higher amount days, you’ll eat a few more calories.
Another rule of thumb to remember at the start is that on high-amount days, you should eat about 1.5g of carbs for every 1lb (450g) of body weight. So if you weigh 150 lbs (80 kg), you’ll need to eat 230 g of carbohydrates. On low-quantity days, you’ll want to avoid high-carbohydrate foods and only eat those that are high in protein.
Space the days evenly. It will be vital that you maintain a balanced schedule, for which you will have to separate the days of high and low carbohydrate consumption, so you will not have several similar days very close together. Instead, try to alternate them (or at least space them out so they’re even).
For example, if you include 2 days of high amounts and 5 days of low amounts, you might be tempted to eat high amounts on Saturday and Sunday. However, it would be better if you separated these days. You could choose Tuesday and Saturday.
Create a meal plan. One of the easiest ways to stay on track with carb cycling is to create a meal plan for each day. Make a detailed plan of what you are going to eat each day of the week. This will help keep you on track.
This could be an example of a low carb one day meal plan:
For breakfast, two scrambled eggs and one half of a paprika.
For a morning snack, you can drink a protein shake and eat a handful of berries (like raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc.).
For lunch, eat 3 ounces of grilled chicken with a cup of asparagus.
For an afternoon snack, you can serve yourself 1/3 cup of oatmeal (cooked) with 10 almonds.
At dinner, you can have a 3-ounce steak along with 2 cups of cooked broccoli or cauliflower.
For days of high consumption, you could make a plan like this:
For breakfast, half a cup of oatmeal with walnuts and berries of your choice.
For a mid-morning snack, you can enjoy an apple with 2 tablespoons of nut butter (such as peanut butter or almond butter).
For lunch, eat half a turkey sandwich on whole-grain bread.
As an afternoon snack, you can have a cup of vegetable salad with a cup of quinoa.
At dinner, try 3 ounces of grilled chicken and a cup of whole wheat pasta with pesto.
Monitor your progress. It will be vital that you monitor your progress very carefully, this will determine what is working and what is not, allowing you to modify your plan accordingly. If you don’t notice any progress after sticking to your schedule for a few weeks, you may need to adjust it. For example, if you’ve been eating low carbs for 4 days and high carbs for 3 days each week, you may need low carbs for 5 days and high carbs for 2 days.
Also pay attention to what you eat. This diet will require you to have a healthy lifestyle, and it is not a general quick fix. On high intake days, you’ll want to eat healthy sources like fruits, whole grains, and legumes. On the other hand, you should continue to eat healthily on low intake days. Fish and lean meats like chicken will be a good source of protein, which will help keep you from feeling hungry. In addition, you can eat low-carb leafy vegetables.
Consult a doctor. For some people, a low-carb diet may be beneficial in treating other health problems. However, it could also aggravate other diseases. For this reason, it’s a good idea to consult a doctor about cycling before starting the diet.
You’ll need to do this before you implement any major lifestyle changes, not just carb cycling. Before you implement these changes, it’s vital that you understand how they might interact with any illnesses you have.
You should consume healthy carbohydrates. Generally, diets of this type do not restrict what you can or cannot eat. However, it is clear that when consuming these components, you should eat foods that are healthy and not processed. For example, foods like rice, potatoes, whole-grain bread, legumes, and other whole grains will be a good source of healthy carbohydrates.
These are also known as resistant starches.
Some people also suggest limiting yourself to “complex carbohydrates” specifically. These are recommended as a replacement for refined ones, which are often highly processed and don’t contain much fiber. Complex carbohydrates include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, and nuts. Your body will assimilate them more slowly and they will keep you satisfied for longer.
Eat a treat from time to time. To stick to any diet long-term, you’re going to have to give yourself a treat. If you don’t, you’ll be more likely to get frustrated and give up. Therefore, you should treat yourself to one meal a week. This doesn’t mean you should binge, but it does mean you can enjoy a dessert or something you wouldn’t normally eat if you want.
When giving yourself a treat, you should really savor it. Don’t gobble it down without even tasting it.
Don’t skip breakfast. If you’re going to eat few carbs for the day, you might think that an easy way to cut some (and calories, too) would be to skip breakfast. However, you shouldn’t do this regardless of whether it’s a low or high drinking day. Breakfast will be vital for your well-being in general, and it is often useful for losing weight.
If you don’t have time to eat breakfast, you should eat something simple. You can make oatmeal in a microwave in just a couple of minutes. If you’re late, you can have a banana.
Identify the problems. The goal of carbohydrate cycling is to avoid the negative side effects that could arise from a low-carb diet. However, there are risks involved if you don’t get enough of them through your diet, and you could experience some negative side effects. You may need to balance your diet by changing your cycling schedule if you notice any of the symptoms listed below:
If you don’t get enough carbohydrates, you could experience headaches, weakness, bad breath, feeling tired, and constipation or diarrhea.
Learn about carbohydrate cycling
Keep in mind that this method is designed to be gentle on the body. Carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap in recent years. Unfortunately, they don’t really deserve it, as they are vital to keeping the body healthy and functioning well. If you restrict them for a long period of time, this can be detrimental to the body. Therefore, you will need to cycle to give him the amount he needs to stay active while losing weight.
Carbohydrates will be a vital energy source for the body. Without them, it will slow down in order to conserve energy.
For example, long-term restriction of these components can cause metabolism to slow down.
Keep in mind that cycling can cause you to get stuck. Regardless of whether your goal is to build muscle, reduce fat, or both; Many exercise professionals find carbohydrate cycling to be a good way to keep the body from stalling. So if you feel like you’re having a harder time building muscle or losing the last 5 pounds (2 kg), this method might help you break through that plateau.
This is because while you’re following a low-carb diet, you’re also “shocking” your body with a few high-carb days. This will prevent the metabolism from slowing down.
Keep in mind that this method also involves calorie cycling. On days when you eat more carbohydrates, you will also consume more calories, and that is fine as long as they come from healthy sources. This is because carbohydrates are naturally more calorie dense. On Low Days, you’ll eat fewer calories as long as you eat only healthy foods (like lean meats, fish, and plenty of leafy vegetables).
This will be especially important if you’re trying to lose weight because you’re worried about eating too many calories on high-eating days. In general, if you stick to healthy, high-carbohydrate meals with reasonable portions, these extra calories shouldn’t be a problem.