Carb cycling is a method of intermittent fasting where you eat carbs during the day and restrict them at night. This helps to balance blood sugar levels and burn fat faster.
But how exactly does carb cycling work? Keep reading to find out.
What Is Carb Cycling?
Carb cycling works by restricting your intake of carbohydrates in the evening, when your body stores glycogen (a type of carbohydrate) for energy later on.
By doing this, it forces your body to use stored glucose from glycogen instead of relying on glucose that’s being released into your bloodstream through digestion.
When you do this, your metabolism slows down and you start burning more calories than usual.
The best time to limit carbs is just before bedtime. Your body will be using up its glycogen stores as soon as you go to sleep, so if you wake up feeling tired or sluggish, it’s because your body wasn’t able to store enough glycogen overnight.
When we restrict our carbohydrate intake, we also tend to lose water weight. That’s because the process of breaking down carbs releases water into the bloodstream.
So by limiting the amount of carbs you consume after dinner, you can help your body retain less water.
How Does Carb Cycling Work?
There are two main types of carb cycling: low-carb and high-carb.
In both cases, you should avoid eating any refined sugars, such as white bread, cakes, pastries, candy, etc., as well as processed foods like pasta and rice.
Instead, focus on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and lean meats.
Low-Carb Carb Cycling
This is one of the most popular methods of carb cycling. It involves consuming only between 50 and 100 grams of carbs per meal.
The lower end of this range is ideal for people who have trouble sticking to their diets, while the higher end is better suited for those with an active lifestyle.
You can achieve these numbers by eating mostly protein and healthy fats throughout the day, then having a small portion of carbs around 6 p.m.
High-Carb Carb Cycling
This method involves eating about 200 to 300 grams of carbs per meal, which is similar to what you would get from a standard plate of pasta or pizza.
However, you need to make sure that these meals contain plenty of fiber and other nutrients to keep your digestive system functioning properly.
If you want to try this approach, I recommend starting with a few days of low-carb carb cycling first to see how it affects your overall health.
What Are The Advantages Of Carb Cycling?
If you’re looking for a way to shed some pounds quickly, there are several advantages to carb cycling.
First, it allows you to eat whatever you want without worrying about gaining too much weight.
Second, it’s easy to stick to since you don’t have to worry about counting calories or weighing yourself every morning.
Third, it makes dieting easier because you won’t feel hungry all the time. And lastly, it gives you more energy throughout the day.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Carb Cycling?
As mentioned above, carb cycling isn’t suitable for everyone. For example, if you’re trying to lose weight, you may not be able to handle the lack of carbs during the early stages of your diet.
Also, if you've been diagnosed with diabetes, you might experience symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) when you cut back on carbs.
Another potential problem with carb cycling is that it can cause nutrient deficiencies.
This happens because cutting out carbohydrates means that you’ll be missing essential vitamins and minerals in your diet.
To prevent this, you’ll need to supplement your daily intake of B12, vitamin D, iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids.
How To Do Carb Cycling
To begin, simply follow these steps:
Step One – Eat A Normal Breakfast
This includes eggs, bacon, toast, cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, fruit, etc. Don’t skip out on breakfast! Eating a good breakfast helps set your metabolic rate for the rest of the day.
Step Two – Make Lunch Your Biggest Meal Of The Day
Try to eat at least three meals each day, but ideally four or five small meals. Choose something simple — like salad, soup, grilled chicken, or fish — and fill half of your plate with veggies.
Step Three – Have A Snack In The Afternoon
A handful of almonds, a piece of cheese, or even a banana are great options. Just remember not to go overboard.
Step Four – Finally, Have A Light Dinner
Avoid heavy dishes like lasagna, macaroni and cheese, and fried food. Stick to steamed veggies, salads, and soups instead.
Step Five – Repeat
Repeat Step 1 through 4 until you reach your desired goal. For example, if you’d like to lose 10 pounds over the next month, you could start by following this plan for 3 weeks.
Then, gradually increase your daily calorie intake by 500 calories per week, incorporating an exercise routine and eating healthily will help you keep the weight off long-term.
Step Six – Continue Doing This For Up To 12 Months
Remember, you shouldn’t expect results overnight. It takes time to change your habits and adjust your metabolism. But if you stick to the plan long enough, you will eventually reach your goals.
Step Seven – Once You’ve Reached Your Goal, Continue Eating As Usual
After a couple of weeks, you may notice that you’re feeling hungrier than before. This is perfectly normal. Your body needs to adapt to its new lifestyle. So just enjoy the foods you love while making healthy choices most of the time.
You can also use carb cycling to maintain your current weight. Simply cut back on the number of carbs you consume during the day and add them back after dinner.
Keep in mind that this isn’t a “one size fits all” solution. Some people find that they gain weight when they reduce their carbohydrate intake.
While others experience the opposite effect. So experiment with different amounts to determine what works best for you.
Carb cycling is one of the oldest methods of dieting. However, it has recently gained popularity due to some recent studies showing how effective it can be.
If you want to lose weight quickly, then carb cycling is definitely worth considering!