We all know that carbohydrates provide energy but, most fad diets aim at total elimination of carbohydrates and fats. However, there is a diet that encourages you to consume more carbs to target weight loss! Can this be real? Let’s find out how does carb cycling actually work to lose weight without starvation.
Back in school, I had a friend who was always teased by boys for being obese. Nevertheless, she had a terrible time in her adolescent years. A few days ago, I bumped into her at the mall. She recognized me, but I couldn’t tell it was her. Am I a pathetic friend? No. Well, maybe because what I was not aware of was that she had been religiously shedding all that fat all these years. She is now 68 pounds lighter!
Let’s face it, we all have had weight issues be it for being 3 pounds overweight, 50 pounds overweight or 10 pounds underweight. We try so many fat loss tricks, but to utter failure, we either do not lose it or we gain back all the weight. Back to my friend’s successful weight loss story, she did not just lose all that fat, she toned up her muscles and she looked gorgeous! For the first time I could believe that all the major weight loss that celebrities achieve is not always the result of going under the surgeon’s knife. Do you want to know my friend’s fat loss secret? Carb cycling or cyclic ketogenic diet.
Working of Carb Cycling
Carbohydrate cycling or carb cycling as it is popularly called, is a weight loss technique wherein you ‘cycle’ all the carbohydrates consumed few days a week. Thus, it is strictly to be followed only for a short-period of time with breaks in between. It avoids monotony with the inclusion of high-carb, low-carb and no carb days in your weekly calendar. This diet works for weight loss by targeting the psychology of the dieter. It provides an incentive for your hard-work. Physiologically, the mechanism of this diet never lets the body hit a plateau as your calorie intake keeps dwindling coupled with workouts which keep your metabolism rate elevated as the body never gets used to your diet or exercises.
Having high carb, low carb and no carb days manipulates the carbohydrate consumption in your body. However, the intake of fats and proteins remains constant. Your low carb day should consist of less than 50 g of carbohydrates, depending on your body weight and metabolism rate. This diet also happens to be the bodybuilder’s secret to gain muscle mass while reducing body fat. If it works for you, you can alternate between low carb and high carb days and completely do away with no carb days in your cycle.
You can, then, increase your protein intake on low carb days. This will not reduce your calorie intake and will help you build muscles. You will also have sufficient energy reserves for your next workout. However, on no carb days with minimal workout, keep calorie consumption low. On carbohydrate cycling, your week should have 2-3 low carb days, 2-3 no carb days and maximum 2 high carb days.
Outcome of Carb Cycling
Some people advise that you should time your carbohydrate intake right after your workout as it replenishes lost energy while you also fulfill your appetite. To make this diet work for weight loss better than the average expected results, cut down your 3 big meals to 6 smaller ones and have them in a gap of every 2-3 hours. You will not be starved and you will target weight loss. You can expect up to 3 pounds of weight loss per week if you workout and follow the diet with dedication.
Fad diets and exercises help you lose weight by creating a calorie deficit and manipulating your metabolism rate. Here is a word of caution. As you progress through the diet, it can also starve you, and as you start showing symptoms of carbohydrate deficiency, it becomes difficult to stay on the diet or exercise any further. So, While following this diet, you have to prevent yourself from getting in to such a situation. Once your body is on the starvation mode, your metabolism rate drops and you hit a plateau. Carbohydrate cycling helps you lose fat really quickly. In fact, it is an excellent option for all individuals aiming for weight loss to try this diet. You can enjoy your weekends with your friends, and go back to strictly following it throughout the week. Its win-win situation.
I am surprised how I have been so ignorant and totally unaware about this new diet all along. It wouldn’t be right to call it a diet. It is a health and lifestyle revolution. What could be easier than following a health regime that is lenient and still gives you result? But, the only drawback with this diet could be your weak will-power. If you indulge yourself on high-carb days and extend them to more than required while avoiding your low carb days by not following them with dedication, you, my friend, will end up gaining weight instead of losing it. Once you ‘let go of yourself’, your willpower won’t be strong enough to help you get fit and healthy. The part that I like the most about this diet is that on an average, your carbohydrate intake remains the same. It does not create a deficit of carbohydrates in your body to lose weight and so you will remain devoid of cravings. The results are noticeable quickly.