A lot of cutting and shredding program tell you to cut carbohydrates from your diet. Its a myth in fitness industry that carbs are bad for fat loss goals. In this article we will study about carb Cycling , importance of carbs, carb cycling for fat loss ,weight loss, Its benefits ,disadvantages, carb cycling calculators etc.
What is Carb Cycling?
It is a dietary change which still allows you to eat carbohydrates and keeping your body fat percentage in check. It also helps you in burning your stored body fat as fuel for energy. There is a myth in fitness industry that eating carbohydrates like whole wheat, brown bread,pastas,sweet potatoes etc will hamper fat loss goals. However the reality is quite different, It has number of benefits including proving energy throughout the day, replenishing glycogen and glucose stores which helps in preventing fatigue , helps you to do an intense workout session.
Carbs cycling makes you enjoy carbohydrates in your food without fear of getting fat. It is the process in which you eat higher amount of carbs on a particular days and lowering it on the other days. Increasing your carbs intake generally is recommended on days when you are working on bigger muscle groups. These muscle groups include Legs day and back /Lats Day. The basic science behind this type of eating pattern is getting benefits of consuming higher carbohydrates on few days and lower carbs or no carbs on other days.
How to Do Carb Cycling for fat loss?
First of all you have to understand that which carbs sources are we talking about here . We wont include carbohydrates from fibrous vegetables here we are just talking about starchy carbohydrates which include sweet potatoes, brown rice, Brown Bread, Pasta etc. The right way to do carbs cycling is adding higher number of carbs in your diet on the days when you are hitting bigger muscle group , followed by rest of the days when you consume lower amount of carbs .
The days when you are eating high carbs will help replenish glycogen stores, muscle growth and supply of high energy for intense workout. Other other hand, lower carbs days will help you to keep your body fat percentage in check, will help weight loss and increases insulin sensitivity. Keep in mind that you keep a check on your nutritional values and track your progress. This will help you in adjusting with the macros according to the results you are getting.
How does it work?
Higher carb days burns a higher number of calories . Also,It increases certain hormones which help you from not feeling hungry. Also on lower carb days you loose fat , it also increases insulin sensitivity which is again connected to lowering of body fat. The above said process prevents your metabolism to drop down and in turn results in fat burning. However getting your carbohydrates intake right is the thing which should be focused upon. Huge part of success depends upon your mindset and your will to achieve your goals. The benefits which you want to get solely depends upon how clean you eat and how badly you want to achieve body of your dreams.
Types of carbs you need to eat during carb cycling?
In this eating pattern you can include fibrous vegetables which wont be counted as carb source . This will provide you with good quality of micro-nutrients, including vitamins and minerals which are very important for overall wellness. You only have to consider eating complex carbohydrate sources which include whole wheat , Brown bread, Sweet potato, baked potatoes , oatmeal, Corn , banana, apples, Quinoa, Berries etc.
You can have simple carb sources in your carb cycling diet . But these carbs must be consumed right after your workouts . Its a lot to ask for complete elimination of Junk food from diet, but the more you eat clean the better results you will notice. Sugar is a big NO even if you are on carb cycling, try eliminate junk and sugar completely from your diet.
How to do carb cycling the right way?
The basic which is to be kept in mind is that the weekly calories should be kept in check which are essential for fat loss. Lets understand it by an example
Lets consider that your maintenance calories are 2400 calories per day. This can also be said as 16,800 calories per week . For decreasing 01 pound body weight per week (which is a healthy rate), you have to consume 3500 calories lesser for entire week. This comes out to be 13,300. On a standard diet if you want to achieve your goal you have to consume 1900 calories(2400-500) per day .
Now if you are following carb Cycling method , you will have 03 higher carbs day in which you will be consuming more carbs. Lets say your calories on these days comes out to be 2600 . It means you have already consumed 7,800 calories in 03 days and you are left with 5,500 calories. This calories is to be divided in rest of the 04 days . This will come out to be approximately 1,375 calories . If you don’t want your calories to come that low on a particular day , just manipulate your calorie intake on high carb days and bring them slightly downwards. You just have to count your maintenance calories and play with it .
Things to be kept in mind while on carb cycling for fat loss
01. High carbohydrates must be consumed on days when you are performing heavy training. On these days generally you have to perform compound exercises and exercise involving bigger muscle groups. Some of the muscles groups include legs and lats which are comparatively bigger muscle groups of body.
Reason for this is that the body needs carbohydrates the most on these day for providing a constant supply of energy. Consuming them before and after workout will help in heavy training in Gym and to replenish glycogen stores afterwords which aids recovery. Since you want to utilize carbs to its best , you have to take care that you will take them before and after workouts throughout your week. This will ensure that it doesn’t gets stored as fat.
02.You will gain some water weight
This point is essential for those who fear about their minute gains and losses. You have to understand that per gram of carbohydrate stores 04 grams of water. So if you are consuming 200 gram of carbs you will surely be accumulating 800 gram water weight. This is one thing which you have to bear with if you want results in long run.
03. Decrease amount of fats intake on High carbohydrates days.
01 gram of fat contains 09 calories , consuming it same as high carb days can lead you to exceed your calorie intake. Rather you should plan your fat intake accordingly and consume it more on days when you are on low carb or low calorie. On low calories day you struggle to pack up your calories as the options of food get lessened because of carb restriction. You also have to remember that where its a high carb day or low carb day you have to keep your protein intake constant.
04 Some disadvantages
You have to keep in mind that this diet plan has some kind of disadvantages like drop in workout progress, increased level of cravings as you are going low on carbs on some days , lowered metabolic rates, lack of focus might also be observed in some cases. However in few days the side effects will subside and you will see great results in your fat loss journey.
What to do if you hit plateau during carb cycling for fat loss?
After a certain period of time you will see little or no effect in your body composition . This almost happens in all diet patterns which you follow over a certain period of time. This is the time when cheat meal or cheat days come into play. These words when used in moderation doesn’t hamper your goals. The time when you feel like you have hit a plateau incorporate a cheat meal in your diet. This will kick start your metabolism and help restart the fat burning process.
So here is the entire information you need to know about carb cycling for fat loss . However it will require a good meal preparation and count your nutritional needs on a weekly basis. You can always play with calories if you are finding it hard to see results. These changes can be the further decrease in carbs intake or may be having a day or two with no carbohydrates but only veggies etc.
I am Shweta Singh, Director and CEO of Kirola Sports Private Limited. Former national level player in basketball, taekwondo and high jump. I have also started training in Mixed Martial Arts. Health, fitness and motivation are pillar of success for every individual. My only aim is to make every individual fit and healthy. I will be motivated if my blogs motivates you to take one step closer towards your fitness goals. Kirola team will help you to stay fit and healthy through our blogs . We also aim to motivate you all through motivational stories of lesser known people and about their struggles and achievements. If you need any assistance and guidance related to health and fitness. Contact us.