To lose weight, your body must have the right macro combination of proteins, healthy fats, and carbohydrates. You must also take in an adequate amount of nutrition without consuming too many calories. Carb cycling is an excellent way to ensure good nutrition, while also kick-starting your metabolism to help burn more calories.
What Is Carb Cycling?
Carb cycling involves alternating between low and high carb meals. Depending upon your plan, you may eat foods that are high in carbohydrates one day and enjoy those that are low in carbohydrates the next. You might also enjoy certain reward meals or even reward days. The idea is to stock your body with lots of carbohydrates so that during low-carb periods, your body’s metabolism kicks into high gear burning what you have already stored.
Carb Cycling Basics
There are actually several different carb cycling plans you can follow; however, all of them will contain some of the same basic components. For example, most plans require you to eat five small meals per day and to walk within 30 minutes after having breakfast. The remaining four meals will be spaced approximately three hours apart. While on a carb cycling program, you should drink plenty of water and avoid eating processed foods or those containing a great deal of refined flours and sugars. It is also important to schedule high-carb meals for your most intense training days to ensure you have adequate energy.
Benefits of Carb Cycling
One of the biggest benefits to carb cycling is the fact that it helps speed the metabolism. As such, it is perfect for anyone who struggles with a low thyroid or a sluggish metabolism due to aging. You may also want to consider carb cycling if you lead a relatively sedentary lifestyle that has resulted in you packing on a few extra pounds. It provides you with plenty of delicious meal choices that are also easy to prepare, meaning that carb cycling is easy to fit into your busy lifestyle. You should also notice greater energy, enhanced sleep, and better muscle development.
Who Should Consider Carb Cycling?
If you are having a hard time losing weight and have had little success with low-carb diets, you may want to consider carb cycling. Likewise, if you find counting calories difficult or wish to “splurge” occasionally, a carb cycling diet might be worth considering. If you regularly experience hunger pangs or unusual cravings, this type of diet can help you beat both of those issues. Bodybuilders can benefit from carb cycling just before a competition to help them reduce body fat, as can professional athletes who need to slim down and tone in order to enhance their performance.
One of the best things about carb cycling is that you can easily tailor a program to fit your nutritional needs, workout goals, and lifestyle. Whether you use it only temporarily to help you shed pounds, or on a permanent basis to maintain your weight, you will likely notice quite a few health benefits regardless of the type of program you use.