This week I would like to provide a quick overview of carbohydrate (carb) cycling.
A number of successful and easy to implement lifestyles (Atkins, Primal, Keto) utilise a change in the carb intake over different days dependant on the load being placed on the body - this can be done on a daily or weekly basis and is known as carb cycling.
Commonly used to initiate fat loss by taking the carbs low, we can now cycle intake with an increase in days when we have a higher energy demand - i.e training days.
In short, carb cycling aims to time carbohydrate intake to when they provide maximum benefit and exclude or moderate when not required - at times when we use fat for our energy source.
Carb intake can be varied based on a number of factors such as:
- Training and rest days. Higher carb on training days, lower on rest days
- Body composition. Reduce carbs for a longer period during a diet phase
- Refeed. Increase carbs during a prolonged diet such as preparing for a contest
- Competition. Athletes ‘carb-loading’ before an event such as a marathon, cycle race etc.
By manipulating the carb (one of the three macro nutrients as covered in a previous blog) intake, we can increase/decrease fat and protein to ensure we continue hitting the daily caloric goal for your body composition requirement.
Carb cycling is used here at TAWC as an advanced dietary strategy to aid in a sustained fat-loss cycle. On your scheduled low carb days, you'll lose fat, while the high carb days cause the body to burn more calories. Higher carbs also increase the hormone Leptin, which stops you feeling hungry. This prevents the low-carb days from stalling your metabolism and leading to a binge, allowing you to keep losing weight in a more sustainable manner than calorie restriction alone.
Feel free to contact me in order to discuss training and fat-loss. Its good to TAWC !