Studies Show Carb Cycling Offers A Wealth Of Benefits
Carb cycling has gained a bit of popularity over the past few years. This low or no carbohydrate diet helps users to cycle carbs in order to achieve better results. Carb cycling has helped to dispel myths that eating relatively low carb diets constantly can produce good results.
“The main problem with low-carb diets is that they are meant as temporary diets; they deplete your energy and strength and are not the best method when attempting to lose body fat and retain muscle”. – Cut and Jacked
Studies show that eating a diet low in carbohydrates for long periods of time is simply not healthy. The human body requires carbs in order to perform the most basic daily functions. There are, on the other hand, those that claim high carb diets are best for weight loss and muscle building because they help to boost the metabolism. While carbohydrates will provide energy, this energy is not enough for ideal weight loss scenarios and could cause a rise in blood sugar levels on a more permanent basis.
Carb cycling simply seems to be a better way of doing what both a low and high carb diet does, without the risky side effects. This zig-zag type of eating will provide the benefits of carbs while allowing users to retain the muscle that they have and lose body fat. It works by providing fuel for the body so that metabolism can be increased and a calorie deficit which aids in weight loss. Days are basically rotated between high and low carbohydrates with some days having no carbs whatsoever.
“Carbohydrate manipulation is key here”. – Bodybuilding.com
The exact diet itself may vary depending on certain things like gender, overall weight and desired goals. Some may choose to follow four days of low carbs and just one high carb followed by a no carb day. Others may choose three days of low carbs followed by a high and then a no carb day. There are many variations to the diet but the key is in keeping carbs rotated so that the full benefits can be enjoyed.
High carb days typically include eating around 2 to 2.5 grams of carbs for each pound of body weight. Protein intake would ideally be 1 gram for each pound of body weight with fat intake being 0.15 grams for each pound of body weight.
On moderate carb days, the numbers change to 1.5 grams of carbs, 1.2 grams of protein and 0.2 grams of fat – per each pound of body weight.
Low carb days include eating approximately 0.5 grams of carbs, 1.5 grams of protein and.35 grams of fat, again for each pound of body weight. No carbohydrate days will consist of less than 30 total grams of carbs for the entire day. This means that only a few servings of vegetables and other carb containing foods can be eaten on those days. Protein should be around 1.5 grams for each pound of body weight and fat increases to around 0.5 to 0.8 grams per pound of body weight.
Carb cycling is designed to do what dieters have been attempting to achieve for decades. It provides carbs for energy but keeps those carbs from overwhelming the body and turning to fat.
“Carb cycling combines the best of both worlds, a protocol that has you spending either a large portion of a day, entire days, or even weeks abstaining from carbs”. – MetroWeekly
While it is not feasible to completely eliminate carbs from the diet, simply because they are found to some extent in all foods, there is a way to limit those carbs. Once the down cycle begins and more carbs are ingested, energy levels are restored and the metabolism kicks in, helping with weight loss. It is recommended that carbohydrates come from healthy food choices such as fruits, whole wheat foods and others although many simply choose the carb source that they prefer with regards to taste.
Before fatigue can begin to take over, the body is refueled with carbs so that energy levels are restored but the carbs are limited so they do not add to weight issues or interfere with muscle tone. Workouts are also recommended when carb cycling, particularly for those who want to achieve muscle mass. Workouts can include walking and other forms of cardio as well as body building workouts to achieve the desired muscle mass. as with any diet or change in eating, it is recommended that a doctor be consulted prior to beginning, particularly for those who have any underlying health issues.