So, what the F is carb cycling all about?
Hi fitness family!
Unfortunately, you’ve probably heard how bad carbs are for you. This is not the case at all! Good Carbs are good for you – crappy carbs are bad for you. I know, too simple but it’s true. Carbs get a bad rep because people abuse carbs and lots of processed foods are in carb form – which vilifies them We also need to clarify something – there are two types of carbs – fibrous and starchy. Fibrous carbs are fruits and veggies and should be consumed in abundance.
Starchy carbs are your bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, etc. Starchy carbs should NOT be avoided altogether; they just need to be in moderation and they have their time and place where they can be awesome. WHEN you eat starchy carbs can make a big difference.
A good general rule is to eat starchy carbs no more than 2-3x a day and preferably before your workout (for energy) and after a workout when your metabolism is at its highest (and for recovery)… then spread your fibrous carbs throughout the day.
There’s also this concept that many people follow called CARB CYCLING. It has worked well for many people but requires planning in advance and strict adherence. This is not for the person just starting out but a moderate or advanced “dieter” that has all the basics nailed down.
Even though we don’t have one set of nutrition procedures at 360 Fitness (everyone is different) we have a moral obligation to help you weed through the crap info out there and wanted to tell you our spin on carb cycling and some important info.
As you know, your body is incredibly smart. If you cut carbs from your diet you will lose a little at first, but your body will adapt. This is usually just because you are in a calorie deficit now (shocker that you lost weight) and that you are losing water as carbs hold water pretty well.
Suddenly, you’re eating no carbs and not losing body fat. What the heck!? That’s where the concept of CARB CYCLING comes in handy. It’s basically a planned re-feeding of starchy carbs that tricks your body by making it think you aren’t entirely restricting carbs so it can continue with the fat loss process.
There are a 2 main ways to carb cycle:
- Infrequent, big re-feeds (only good for people who can be 100% compliant) Plan, let’s say a 2 week cycle. On days 7 & 14, you consume large amounts of starchy carbs. ZERO deviation on the plan can happen the other days, otherwise this type of cycle will not be effective.
- Consume about 3x your daily intake from your normal days.
- You must exercise on re-feed days
- Assess after a cycle to make sure this type of plan is working for you.
- Frequent, moderate re-feeds
- You eat very few starchy carbs, then up your intake for one day every 4 or so days.
- Carbs must be HIGH QUALITY – think sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice, fruits
- Consume about 1.5x your daily intake from your normal days
- You must exercise on these re-feed days
There you go, more info on carb cycling 🙂 But remember, in order to lose weight the most important thing is that you are in a moderate calorie deficit, you are strength training 2-4x week, drinking lots of water and getting good sleep. Don’t overthink this stuff – it all comes down to these facts, the rest is just minutia and little details.
If you have any nutrition questions, we’re here to help! Simply hit message us, and we’ll get back with you right away!
Yours in Health,
P.S. If nutritional support is an ongoing need for you then you gotta check out our 21 Day Challenge that starts on October 30th (personal training 3x week, nutrition plan and support) that is set to help you lose 10-20lbs and create new good habits. Check it out here > http://360fitness.ca/21daychallenge