Health Tips | 18/06/2020

The Ins and Outs Of Carb Cycling

By Sid Mohiuddin
Copywriter, SSSPORTS.COM

It is a fact that majority of us have binged on food and entertainment during the quarantine. As a consequence, there might have been a bit of weight gain. Losing weight and getting fit requires dedication. But a crucial part also lies in a plan of action. With this blog, we aim to highlight some features of a carb cycling diet.

Intro To Carb Cycling

Carb cycling is the strategic alteration of carbohydrates between low and high-carb days in order to prevent a fat loss plateau and improve workout performance.

The right amount of carbs at the right time resets metabolism and produces hormones, such as thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3) hormones, leptin, which help maintain a healthy weight. Low-carb days encourage the body to utilize stored glycogen and switch over to burning body fat for fuel.

With the right schedule, you won’t activate the body’s starvation mode, which causes the body to conserve fat and reduce metabolism. All of the above accompanied with a caloric deficit trend, enhances your body’s fat loss process.

Points To Highlight
  • It is a high level nutrition strategy for those who require a more meticulous nutritional approach. Use carb cycling only if you have exhausted basic methods.
  • Best results are achieved when accompanied with exercise. Working out is recommended. Please consult a certified expert for personal tailoring in case of injury or time constraints.
  • It is best suited for a short duration of time. Low-carb days, when done for more than three days can lead to fatigue, carb cravings, constipation, bloating, sleep disturbances, moodiness and irritability.
  • People who are insulin resistant, pre-diabetic, type 2 diabetic or weight-loss resistant can benefit from this.
  • People who are pregnant, lactating, underweight, have an eating disorder (current or past), or have disordered eating habits should not try carb cycling.
Meal prepping is key to draw maximum benefit
How to Carb Cycle

First, you’ll need to track your macros using an app or food journal. Next, you’ll need to figure out how many grams of carbs to eat each day. This is highly individual and includes many factors like how many grams of carbs to eat, body weight, age, gender, intensity of workouts, hunger cues, etc.

  1. Pick a carb cycling strategy on individual body metrics and objectives.
  2. Then, establish your calorie intake goal.
  3. Establish a protein intake goal (should remain relatively constant).
  4. Establish a fat intake goal (should remain relatively constant).
  5. Finally, pick a carbohydrate intake goal for the different days. Then divide your total intake of all the nutrients up into regular feeding intervals with appropriate spacing for workouts.
  6. When in doubt, get expert advice.
Sample Week
  • Day 1: 50 grams carbs
  • Day 2: 100 grams carbs
  • Day 3: 150 grams carbs
  • Day 4: 200 grams carbs
  • Day 5: 125 grams carbs
    (Numbers are for representational purposes only)

Day 4 would be the most intense training and day 1 would be the least intense. Keep protein the same, but adjust fats accordingly when you adjust carbs. (Obviously, the fats have to be healthy like avocado, cheese, chia seeds, etc). Conversely, if carbs go up, fat intake goes down to compensate for the shift in calories. This is a better choice for those trying to lose weight or body fat.

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