If you are looking to lose weight and become healthier, you might want to consider carb cycling. This diet is popular among weight lifters and fitness enthusiasts because you can quickly burn fat and build muscle. But before you give carb cycling a try, find out whether it is right for you.
1. What is carb cycling?
Carb cycling means that you cycle in the days you eat carbs with days that you eat very little carbs. Basically, you are mixing up your eating routine and instead of the same diet day in and day out. This might sound confusing but once you learn the basics, it is simple.
2. How do I get started?
The first step is choosing which cycle you need to follow. If you have a lot of fat to lose, it would be best to start with 3 low carb days followed by 1 high carb day. If you are already very athletic and looking to gain muscle, it would be more appropriate to do a 1:1 ratio of low to high carb day.
3. What will I eat each day?
Low carb days are mostly made up of protein and fat. You can eat carbs, of course, but they are very restricted and usually only come from vegetables. You also eat fewer times during the day on low carb days because you are more full from eating high-fat foods.
High carb days contain, you guessed it, a lot more carbs. They also include less fat. You eat more often during the day on high carb days since you will not be as full from the lowered fat content.
4. What carbs are okay?
While it sounds exciting to eat more carbohydrates, the diet does not call for a free fall into a pile of doughnuts and French bread. Instead, you fuel your body with healthy, clean carbs like sweet potatoes, rice, quinoa and steel cut oats.
These may sound boring but you can add honey, cinnamon, and fruit to literally sweeten the deal. You can eventually have that doughnut or baguette. Save them for about once a week on a high carb day.
5. How should I exercise while carb cycling?
Exercising while carb cycling will help you accelerate your fat loss. The key is to plan your workouts based on what day you are on in the cycle. If you are on a low carb day, it is okay to not go as hard at the gym. You can incorporate high intensity interval training (HIIT) to get an effective workout without tiring yourself out.
Save your few carbs on these days for right before and after your sweat session. Your big exercise days should happen on high carb days when your body is getting the most fuel as possible. This will give you the energy to perform at your best.
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Now that you have learned all about carb cycling, do you feel like giving it a try? Remember to choose the cycle that is best for your body type and go from there. Try a cycle for at least 21 days to see the results before you change your ratio. Have fun, lose fat and build muscle.