Carb Cycling 101

One very popular current diet method for Fat Loss (and one I have used quite often) is Carb Cycling!

Carbohydrates are used as energy by the body; they fuel our workouts, as well as providing ample fuel to be used throughout the day. Ingesting carbs also replenishes our glucose and glycogen stores to prevent fatigue.

Essentially carb cycling is a program where you switch up between higher and lower carbohydrate days in the effort to lose weight or fat without suffering some of the negative consequences of a simple low carbohydrate diet plan.

Some of these adverse side effects of a constant lowering in carbohydrate consumption include a drop in exercise performance, increased hunger levels, lowered metabolic rate, and difficulty focusing and concentrating due to lack of glucose in the bloodstream.

By having those higher carbohydrate days back in there, you offset some of these factors, so generally most people find this approach much more enjoyable to use.

You should be putting your higher days on the days you perform your hardest workout sessions.

For most people, this will mean legs or a latter body part. Having them ready before you carry out the workout will help fuel you in the gym so you can work harder and push more weight, and then having the influx of carbohydrates after the workout session will contribute to saturating the muscles with carbohydrate storage (muscle glycogen) and aid with recovery.

This is also why higher carb days are recommended on if you wish to try and improve or grow while still in a calorie deficit.

When it comes to food selection while performing this style of diet, you want to think glucose. Either simple glucose sources (preferably around the workout period when they are absorbed quickest) or complex that will break down into glucose.

Another important thing to remember is that you should also be decreasing your fat intake on days you go high carb. It is normal for most people to increase their overall daily calories on the high carb day but by lowering the fat intake, you allow more room for those carbohydrates without going really crazy with your calorie level.

Also, your body will not need the higher density energy levels provided in your fat sources in that day as your glucose levels will be higher.

As well as having slightly higher calories on high carb days, your lower carb days will be slightly lower. But it’s all about balance – make sure your weekly intake is where it needs to be and distribute the calories from there based on your set-up preferences.

This is also one of our preferred diet methods as it allows you variety in your diet from your lower and higher carbohydrate and fat intake days, keeping you more satisfied!

Any further questions or nutrition guidance:

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Beth Brennan
BPI Athlete Beth Brennan is a Level 3 Personal Trainer and Level 5 Nutritionist. She has a particular interest in Coaching women to feel Strong and Empowered on the inside and out! She specialised in Hypertrophy, Nutrition plans and Body Transformations. Her goal is to positively impact and educate as many Girls and Women as possible!

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