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The carb cycling diet is one of my favorite diets because it is one of the fastest way to burn fat while retaining as much muscle as possible. Most people don’t know that carb cycling is actually a form of ketogenic dieting. The ketogenic diet is a diet that is lower in carbohydrates, which makes our body convert more dietary fat and body fat in to keytones in the liver. Which it then goes on to use for energy. Like I’ve said in many of my videos the human body prefers to use carbs as its primary source of energy. You’re body won’t produce too many keytones on a high carbohydrate diet, because your body won’t need extra energy from fat due to the fact that its getting its energy from the more preferred carbohydrates.
The only way for our body to use more fat for energy is by not having its preferred source there all the time. Eliminating carbs completely, however can have many drawbacks on our health and well being. Protein, carbs, and fats are all important and necessary for our body. So in comes the cyclical ketogenic diet aka carb cycling and also known originally as the anabolic Diet.
There are many different approaches to carb cycling, but the general idea is that At some points of the week you’re going to have a high amount of carbohydrates, and at other points of the week you’re going to have a low amount of carbohydrates. Setting up the high carb and low carb splits will vary from one plan to the next. Some people may have very small changes in the amount of carbs they have from day to day. An example of this would be to set up a low carb, medium carb, and high carb day. Let’s say 300 grams of carbs on high carb, 250 grams of carbs on your medium carb, and 200 grams of carbs on your no carb day. Another more advanced approach would be to do a High carb, low carb, and no carb day. The way that I like to set this kind of split up is by having a high amount of carbs on my high carb day, which for me would be somewhere around 400 grams, I would have one third or at the most half that amount for low carb day, and then try to get as close to 0 grams as possible on my no carb day and then repeat. An even more advanced approach would be to just cycle between high and no carb days. Or take it even a step further and do high, no, no. I don’t really recommend having any more than two no carb days in a row.
Make sure you don’t jump to any extreme carb restrictions. An example of this is doing a 800 calorie diet when you could lose weight and maintain a better body composition with a 1500 calorie diet. Jumping to an extreme will not help you lose weight faster, in fact it’ll probably backfire. Also in case you’re wondering what kind of food you can eat on your no carb day, some great options are fish, chicken breast, ground turkey, protein shakes, Steak occasionally, and you can also have healthy fat sources like avocados, coconut oil, olive oil. and fatty fish like Salmon. For carbs make sure you are eating good sources of carbs like oats, brown rice, and sweet potatoes and avoid the junk food carbs. You can incorporate one cheat meal on one high carb day in the week, but that’s it one cheat meal.
You may notice that your strength and energy levels may go down while dieting like this. In fact you may feel like straight up garbage in the beginning. Understand that a lot of people feel this way when creating any kind of a calorie deficit. You’re body will take a little while to adapt to using fat for energy instead of carbs. So the first 2 weeks can feel miserable. Give your body some time to adapt. A good idea is to plan your high carb days the day before a heavy lifting day, because this way you have stored glycogen available for your heavy lifts the next day.
If you have no idea how many carbs to have on each day, try using a calorie calculator to find your maintenance macros and then add at least 50 grams of carbs to get the number for your high carb day. I’ll include a calorie calculator in the description. Once you have your high carb number you should be able to figure out your low carb day. No carb day is obviously no carbs. After doing a carb cycling plan you may need to do some reverse dieting