You Are Not Carb Cycling
Carb cycling, or carb manipulation, is a great tool for those who struggle to lose weight. It’s the practice of maximizing the benefits from eating carbohydrates, while minimizing the negatives.
Here is how it works:
You eat your normal amount of carbohydrates during your training days, which should be about 50% of your total daily calories.
And you eat fewer carbohydrates during your rest days (i.e. when you’re not exercising).
The goal of carb cycling is for you to match your body’s need for carbs.
During your training days you will need more carbohydrates to help fuel your workouts. And because you don’t need as many calories and energy for your resting days, you eat fewer carbs.
The high-carb days are also in place to help refuel your muscles’ glycogen stores, which will help improve workout performance. They will also help the function of appetite and weight regulating hormones – leptin and ghrelin.
Your low fat, resting, days will switch your body to a more “fat based” system for energy. This will improve your body’s ability to use fat, and stored fat, as energy.
This study shows how after 8 weeks of switching to a high fat high protein breakfast (such as eggs) participants saw a 65% improvement in weight loss.
As a guide, if you follow the traditional 50% ratio of carb calories during your training days. Lower that amount to about 10% – 20% for your resting days.
As you are lowering your carb intake, lower your calorie intake too. This will make it easier so you don’t have to stuff your face with protein and fats to maintain the same calories. Lower your resting day calorie intake with 200 to 400 calories.
Carb cycling utilizes the benefits of carbs while minimizing the negative effects. Eat carbs as you would (40% – 50%) of your total calories on your training days. And eat about 10% to 20% of carbs (from your total calories) during your resting days. Lower the total amount of calories you eat during resting days with about 200-400 fewer calories.