Everything You Need To Know About Carb Cycling

Expert’s view on alternating between low carb and high carb days to reach your fitness goals.

The world of diets is a fast evolving one-everytime you pause, there’s a new trending diet. In the last few years we’ve seen smoothie diet, keto diet, intermittent fasting to name a few. Its now time to introduce a new one: Carb Cycling. It’s favoured by athletes, body builders and fitness experts to deliver quick results. Carbs has always been in focus in dieting plans. In this new approach you shuffle between high and low intake days rather than cutting them out altogether. Ahead lies everything you need to know about carb cycling diet.

What is carb cycling?

According to Laveleen Kaur, head dietician of Diet Insight, carb cycling is a new way to focus on low carb diets. She says, “Carb cycling is considered as a nutritional strategy that includes alternating between high and low carbohydrate intake through the week. So, depending on your carb intake, you can have high carb, moderate carb and low carb days.”

The principle behind it is pretty simple, “It is believed that the high carb days provide fuel for muscles, boost metabolism and enhance athletic performance during the active days. On the other hand, low carb days can help in utilisation of stored fats by improving insulin sensitivity.” Theres still an ongoing scientific research about its long term results to be entirely validated.

What are the benefits of carb cycling?

Carb cycling can add to the momentum to your existing fitness and health goals. People often wonder if carb cycling is good for fat loss. Kaur says, “The most claimed benefits of carb cycling are weight loss, aid in muscle gain and recovery. The logic behind it is why consume extra carbs when you are not going to be using it such as, during a workout or other strenuous physical activity.” In comparison to other diets which restrict carb intake, she explains that one probably loses weight in the short term because carb hold onto water. So the initial weight loss is primarily because of water weight loss.

What are the benefits of carb cycling?
Carb Cycling Foods

How does carb cycling diet work?

Carb cycling for weight loss can be beneficial in short term for athletes or fitness conscious people where the aim is to lose fat quickly and be leaner. She adds, “It can prove useful for the protein-sparing effect—wherein the body derives energy from sources other than protein—needed by athletes and bodybuilders at a competitive level therefore, making it an ideal choice for athletic professionals working on getting specific and quick results.” 

If you follow this diet, on a high carb day, 45 to 50 percent of your daily intake will be carbs, moderate carb day will have 30 to 35 percent of your intake and on a very low carb day, 20 to 25 percent of your daily intake will be made up of carbs.

How quickly do you lose weight in carb cycling diet?

Ideally weight loss happens in about 3-4 weeks of beginning the diet depending upon your body. You start noticing difference in your body from the first week. You’ll start feeling and more energetic. However, don’t restrict your calorie intake completely. It can affect your body’s metabolism.

Our advice to people out there who want to try this diet. Don’t feel discouraged. Your key focus should be to cut out processed and refined carbs. If you do that, you’re already on the right track!

Also Read:

21-Day Smoothie Diet Challenge. Yay or Nay?

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Are Juices Really Healthier Than Smoothies?