CARB CYCLING FOR FAT LOSS (IN IT’S MOST SIMPLE FORM)
We know that to lose body fat you need to be eating in a calorie deficit (less calories than your maintenance), but that doesn’t always workout. Sometimes life happens. You may have a busy social life, you may travel a lot for work, or maybe you just LOVE food and wish you were eating more of it. Welcome to the magical world of carb cycling.
Today we are just going to explain carb cycling in it’s most simple form and the theory behind it (why it works). *This same method can work for calorie cycling in general or even fat cycling.
What is carb cycling?
Simply undulating your carbohydrate intake over the span of a week to allow for one or multiple days of a higher carb/calorie intake. At the end of the week your average intake is still the same, meaning if you’re eating in a calorie deficit then you will still lose fat, even with the inclusion of higher carb/calorie days where it may feel like you’re not even dieting.
Who should use it?
- Those who struggle to stick to a low calorie intake 7 days a week
- Those who enjoy a busy social life
- Those who are wanting to break through a fat loss plateau
- Those who want to prioritise certain training days and get more out of their bodies for those particular sessions
What are the benefits?
- Can be easier mentally to stick to a calorie deficit for a longer period of time
- Helps to maintain a healthy metabolism
- Can improve training in the days following, which leads to greater overall energy expenditure
- Can help maintain training performance
- Allows you to enjoy social outings guilt-free
- Can be great for those competing, to see how your body responds to a spike in carbs/calories
Here’s how you can do it (the most simple version)…
For this to work, you need to know your numbers (calories, proteins, carbohydrates and fats)
What you’re going to do is take 25g of carbohydrates from your daily average from 6 days of the week.
Example: If you usually eat 175g of carbs per day, from Sunday to Friday you’ll now eat 150g per day. Now, although you’ve taken those carbs away, you aren’t getting rid of them for good. In fact, there’s no need to do that because you’re already in a calorie deficit with that average intake.
So what will you do with them?
Over 6 days you have taken out a total of 150g of carbs which equates to 600 calories. On one day of the week you’re going to add those carbs back in on top of your usual carb intake.
Example: 175g (usual intake) + 150g (the amount you took out during the week) = 325g of carbs on any day you choose (aim to place your high day on the day of or day before a lower body day or whatever muscle group you’re currently prioritising) An extra 600 calories without having to feel guilty at all!
There are many variations that you can apply with carbohydrate and calorie cycling, but start with this. Thanks for reading MN!