When people start their cut, typically the first thing they do is cut carbohydrates. Thing is, carbs are not the enemy, just as fat isn’t the enemy.
Unfortunately most people go to the extremes all the time. By extremes I mean they either go high carb or low carb, no inbetween.
Here is what is wrong with an all or nothing approach;
I will start with a high carb approach first;
When you eat carbs regardless of whether they are Low or High GI your body releases insulin to lower your blood sugar and carry the nutrients to the cells.
Over time, should this approach become the norm the insulin receptors start to shut down which will lead to problems down the line.
When your insulin sensitivity reduces your body will become inefficient at processing carbs. Now a lot of people blame it on old age, but it is nothing to do with getting old.
It is to do with the amount of abuse the pancreas has been put under from the over consumption of carbs. Sure you might grow faster than someone who has low carbs, but that growth will be short lived, at the expense of what might be irreversible damage caused to the body.
A low carb approach might be better from a health point of view but not as good for fat loss if it is continued long term.
We need carbs for energy especially in the gym. Not only that if you are constantly on low carbs many metabolic functions will shut down, your metabolism will crash, you will feel flat in the gym with no energy to train so your fat loss process will take even longer.
What is carb cycling?
Carb cycling means staggering the carbohydrates that you eat, some days you eat more than other days. You get the benefits of eating low carbs on some days and the benefits of eating higher carbs on others, the best of both worlds.
The low carb days will help with weight loss and insulin sensitivity. The high carb days aid in recovery, replenish glycogen, and support muscle growth.
Don’t count fibrous vegetables into your total carb count for the day
How to carb cycle
There are many different carb cycling methods out there, but you can alternate between the 3 methods that I am going to share with you below.
- High-carb days
High-carb days typically call for 2 to 2.5 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight. They are usually your highest calorie days.
- Low-carb days
Low-carb days typically call for about 0.5 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight. They are usually your second-highest calorie days.
- No-carb days
No-carb days typically call for less than 30 grams of carbohydrate. They are usually your lowest calorie days.
How to structure carb cycling
Here is one method that you can use..
Monday: Low-carb day
Tuesday: Low-carb day
Wednesday: Low-carb day
Thursday: High-carb day
Friday: Low-carb day
Saturday: Low-carb day
Sunday: Low-carb day
Monday: High-carb day
How does carb cycling help me lose fat?
- You are manipulating your body’s energy stores.
Glycogen is a form of stored energy in the muscles and liver.
Once both are full they’re full and the excess carbs will get stored as fat. When you use a form of carb cycling you also stabilise blood sugar levels and insulin.
Constantly spiking insulin will harm your chances of getting leaner.
- You are in an energy deficit at least 3 days per week. To lose fat you need to be in a caloric deficit.
- By having two higher carb days you upregulate leptin levels and stimulate thyroid, which will have an impact on metabolism.
Make sure your higher carb days are on the days that you work your biggest muscle groups such as chest, back, legs. That way the extra carbs are put to good use.