Yes, I fully understand if you’re thinking to yourself “here we go again: another weight loss program”, but before you discard this article as just another gimmick, what is carb cycling for weight loss?
Why Is Carb Cycling Different from Other Diets
Understandably, people who have tried many different weight loss programs and diets tend to end up quite cynical. The promises can seem too good to be true, and sadly, a lot of them are.
There’s an additional issue that occurs when these programs don’t work. You’re left feeling low, depressed and frustrated. If you’ve forked out your hard-earned cash, you also feel like you’ve been fleeced!
I don’t think it comes as any great revelation, but a lot of the success of a weight loss journey is to do with mindset, so you end up treading a hamster wheel of highs and lows – not something that’s likely to help you on your journey.
Maybe you’ve heard about carb cycling. It’s the newest kid on the block as far as eating plans go, and it’s getting quite a bit of attention. Yes, you may be skeptical and write it off as just another fad diet, but its rapidly increasing popularity would indicate that it may be worth at least having a look at it.
Carb cycling is not a traditional diet. Although one of its outcomes is weight loss, it’s really more about healthier eating habits and overall well-being. In fact, it may be the ideal eating plan for you, specifically because it’s so different.
Carb cycling is different from a typical diet in many ways, but here we’re going to discuss the main differences.
No Carb Restrictions
This is probably one of the key differences between carb cycling and other diets. For example, programs like South Beach, Keto and Atkins use a heavily restricted carb intake. Sure, it will result in weight loss, but you have to decide whether the side effects will outweigh the benefits.
There is no restriction on healthy carbs with carb cycling. Quite the opposite really as carbs are the mainstay of the plan. Logically, this makes sense because carbs are the main fuel that the body’s metabolism requires.
The secret is in the alternation of high carb days with low carb days. This creates a cycle that uses the body’s metabolism to fuel fat burning and thus promote weight loss.
No calorie counting
Carb cycling does not require you to keep strict track of the calories you eat. You only have to stay within a recommended range that is based on your weight and gender. A couple of extra calories every so often isn’t going to ruin things.
The recommended calorie range is:
Low carb days: 1950 calories, consisting of 250 grams of carbs, 100 grams of protein and 60 grams of fat.
Moderate carb days: 2150 calories, consisting of 250 grams of carbs, 150 grams of protein and 60 grams of fat.
High carb days: 2550 calories, consisting of 300 grams of carbs, 200 grams of protein and 70 grams of fat.
These figures are an average range and will change according to your gender, your exercise routine and your weight.
No side effects
You’d have to live under a rock if you haven’t heard any of the horror stories about diets that restrict carbs. The severity of the side effects can vary between individuals, but it stands to reason that there must be some kickback from your body if you are depriving it of an essential fuel source.
Dizziness, constipation, fatigue, nausea, kidney stones, high cholesterol and hair loss are some of the side effects of long term diets that restrict carbs. With carb cycling, these symptoms do not occur, and the only slight discomforts may be feeling a little sluggish and lethargic. These symptoms should subside after a few days as your body begins to adapt to your new regime.
No hunger and fewer cravings
When you mention the word “diet”, most of the time it conjures up feelings of hunger and deprivation. It’s something we accept in order to shed those excess pounds. With the carb cycling plan, this is not the case.
This is because you will actually lose weight and still eat your favorite foods. Even cakes, cookies and desserts are not off the menu, although healthier versions.
As long as you stick to the recommended quantities of healthy proteins, fats and carbs, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy delicious, filling meals without feeling hungry or deprived.
It suits any lifestyle
Any lifestyle can incorporate carb cycling because it so simple. If you regularly exercise, synchronize your exercise days with your high carb days and you can stay focused and energetic. If you have a day with a heavier work schedule than normal, you can take advantage of a high carb day in this instance as well.
Carb cycling doesn’t require any special preparation and doesn’t cost anything. All you need to ensure is that you create your weekly eating plan and stock up on the carbs that are healthy.
It helps build lean muscle mass
With most other diets, you quite often lose muscle mass and when you’ve completed your weight loss, you need to work even harder to tone your muscles and get rid of that annoying flab.
Carb cycling is the only known eating plan that builds lean muscle mass at the same time that it burns fat. Moderate exercise is all that is required to keep your body firm and toned.
Many people who use carb cycling find it hard to believe how effective and simple it is. In fact, many of them say that it doesn’t feel like being on a diet at all.
Maybe it would be a better idea to look at carb cycling as a healthy, sensible eating plan rather than a diet – with the added advantage of losing weight.
The unique differences that we’ve discussed here show well and truly that carb cycling is not a bogus dieting plan, nor is it a passing fad.
If you’d like to find out more about carb cycling and find out exactly what is carb cycling for weight loss, you can get more information here.