You’ve been working out hard, eating clean, but you still are not making any progress. Carbohydrate cycling is the most effective low carbohydrate diet and will help you bust through that plateau!
Carbohydrate cycling is the practice of lowering carbs for 2-3 days and then bringing your carbs back up for 1-2 days, instead of just keeping your carb ratios the same all the time. This helps your body to burn fat at a higher rate on the lower carb days and then replenish your carbs on higher days. This keeps your metabolism from slowing down and makes sticking to your ‘diet’ easier knowing that you will be able to eat higher carbs and calories in a few days.
There are no strict rules when using the carb cycling diet. Everyone is different and you will need to play with the days you stick with lower carb days and higher carb days. Finding the right ratios are also something you will need to experiment with. Some people can eat more starchy carbs and still lose fat, but others, like me, will need to restrict their starchy carbs and focus more on using fibrous carbs to meet their carbohydrate needs.
You can also plan your carbohydrate cycling around special events or plans that you may have. That is what makes this diet so easy and personalized.
I have recently been doing a low carbohydrate diet for 5 days and then 2 higher carbohydrate days. I do find that during the 5 low days, I do have a tendency to have less energy. Carbohydrates are what provide our body with the energy, so I find that by focusing most of my carbs around my workouts, it helps provide me with enough energy to really put in a good workout.
On average, women should lean towards 125-175 grams of carbs on low days and 200-300 grams on higher days. Men, 175-225 grams on low days and 350-400 grams on high days. Like I mentioned before, every person is different and may need to play with these numbers a bit to find what works best for you.
Pay attention to how your body is feeling. If you are lacking in energy and feeling very week, increase your starchy and fibrous carbs, but focus your starchy carbs around your workouts. If you have plenty of energy, but aren’t seeing any fat loss results, slowly decrease your starchy carbs.
Your body is a tool and you can use it to achieve many things. Don’t be afraid to try something different, especially if you have hit a plateau. Changing things up, whether it be nutrition or your workouts, are always a good way to stir up your metabolism and help you to start making progress again.