Carb Cycling is an amazing tool we can use to help burn more fat off the body. It has long been used by athletes going in to a competition like wrestlers making weight, body builders cutting for a show, etc.
So what exactly is it? A nutritional therapy of increasing healthy carbohydrates for a time then followed by removing all carbohydrates for a time. It is designed for short term use only. The body can handle short term carbohydrate restriction very well. However long term carb restrictions can cause potential health issues with the body’s natural functions.
When we raise the calories via carbohydrates we are giving the body a break from the calorie deficit and restoring the fuel source its been relying upon too heavily (sugar). It is believed that this gives the body a break for a time allowing it to rest. Then by removing all the carbohydrates again the body is forced to go back to burning fat again. After this brief break it is more apt to burn more fat again. Think about it like sleeping at night. That restores and refreshes to body to do it again the next day.
Here is the approach we recommend:
If you have been in a calorie deficit for more than 30 days:
Increase the carbs for 1 week by adding an extra fruit or starch at each meal. Acceptable starches are. After that week is complete then cycle out ALL carbohydrates. Keep the carbs out until the fat loss begins to significantly slow or stall. Make sure during this time to continue follow your nutrition plan in every other way.
If you haven’t been in a calorie deficit for more than 30 days then:
Increase the carbs for 3 days by adding an extra fruit or starch at each meal. Acceptable starches are half a potato, half a sweet potatoes, 1 ear of corn, 2 cups of carrots, and half a cup of rice. After that week is complete then cycle out ALL carbohydrates. Keep the carbs out until the fat loss begins to significantly slow or stall. Make sure during this time to continue follow your nutrition plan in every other way.
Tip: Keep weighing everyday. It is common for weight, not fat, to go back up slightly during this time of increased feeding. Don’t worry about that during this time. You are eating more food so of course you will have more waste which is weight. Carbohydrates also cause you to retain more water as well which will increase weight. Once you cycle these back out that water weight will be eliminated quickly and you should begin seeing the fat loss increase.
*Of course if there is any health concern check with your primary care doctor before beginning any nutritional therapy.