We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
Like many others, I am sure you’ve happened upon this post curious about low carb, carb cycling or perhaps any consideration for weight loss. Carb cycling is actually very popular. The basic premis is low carbinga and ‘cycling’ in some higher carb days. With that, I am here to share what Carb Cycling is and some great recipes to get you started!
Guide to Carb Cycling for Beginners
What is Carb Cycling?
The world of fitness has what seems to be a never-ending list of ways to get in shape. There are hundreds of workout routines, and diets that are all attempting to become the dominant force through large scale marketing and advertising strategies, but is there a more natural way to get in good shape without having to buy expensive memberships, specialized videos and workout equipment? To put it simply, carb cycling is a system of alternating your levels of carb intake.
What Is Involved
Most of the carb cycling diets appear to share some relatively similar attributes. Most will include 5 meals, with the first of the 5 taking place no more than 30 minutes after you wake up. The rest of the meals will be eaten at 3-hour intervals through the day. The most important thing about those meals is that they have to be the right types of foods for your diet, and you must drink at least one entire gallon of water within a day. These attributes make the diet somewhat easy to follow and easy to plan for through the week.
How It Works
The food that we eat contains the very building blocks of which we’re made. The foods we eat are broken into groups such as proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Each of these foods has a specific relationship to our body and how we eat them in which sequences can produce both desired and undesired effects. For the purpose of this diet, you are trying to establish a healthier system so that you can get more of the positive effects of being in better shape. Proteins are powerful and burn longer than carbs, but carbs are needed to regulate the blood sugar so balance is very important and regulates fat burning and storage.
The Big Picture
The point of keeping track of the process of fat burning and storage, is to utilize the body’s natural ability to adjust itself based on what you put into it. When you train your body to metabolize fats at a highly efficient level, and lower your calorie intake the following day then your body will continue to burn fat at that level resulting in weight loss. Over time, the continued cycling will optimize your body’s ability to digest foods and distribute energy to the appropriate areas.
What are the Benefits?
Even though it can be very hard to have a high level of discipline with some habits, it’s clear that hard work can yield some very amazing and exciting benefits in life. This is especially true in matters of health. The practice of carb cycling has been proven to be an effective way to improve multiple areas of health in the body and many of these can go far beyond the most obvious aesthetic improvements. The purpose of this article is to explore of few of the benefits so you can see exactly why carb cycling has become so popular.
The most known side effect of carb cycling is weight loss. This takes place because the practice of carb cycling can help make your metabolism more efficient. Through the week, you alternate the levels of carbs that you intake, resulting in a state where your body is less likely to hold onto extra energy in the form of fat storage.
The other part of increased energy use, is that you will have more available energy during your day. You probably aren’t going to be feeling as much lethargy when you’re doing a cyclical diet such as this because all of your energy is more accessible, and instead of storing the energy as fat, if goes right back into your system to feed muscles and keep your body moving.
Better Insulin Sensitivity
Insulin helps to regulate fat storage. When you low carb diets, it is easier for your body to know when it should be storing energy or burning it. This increased amount of efficiency helps you to stay in shape, and keep you feeling ready for whatever might come up in the day. This also protects your organs from damage when eating can cause unhealthy extreme insulin spikes that are too mushy for the organ tissues to deal with.
Lean Muscle Mass Growth
When you have more functional insulin sensitivity, it can help you to gain and keep lean muscle mass, which would otherwise be used as an energy source. Keeping carbs in the diet and cycling them can help supply your muscles with glycogen so that they can stay fed and fully formed instead of becoming the thing your body is feeding on. Everyone is different so experimenting with different types of carb cycling might be a good way to find what works for you.
Tips for Starting Carb Cycling
If you’ve been getting more serious about getting into carb cycling, you probably have been doing a decent amount of research on how it works, and how you can get the most out of your routine. Carb cycling is an excellent way to lose weight and show off your progress. Sometimes it can do you a lot of good to focus primarily on some of the most important steps so that you can begin the journey. The following article will be geared towards sharing some tips to get you started in carb cycling.
Carbs on Training Days
When you are going to have a training day, those should be your days with the highest carbs. You will need the energy and nutrients so that your body can heal itself after an intense workout. This is also good because your cyclical diet will help train your body to know how to use those extra carbs before and after you’ve worked out, which means that you’ll be less likely to experience and substantial weight gains.
Limit Fat on High Carbs Days
It’s a good idea to limit the amount of fat that you eat on your high carb days. This helps you to maintain a healthy carb ceiling when you are eating a calorie restricted diet. You will take in more important nutrients that will be essential to your workout plan for that day, as well as encourage your body to burn the fats that you have already stored.
Eat Complex Carbs
The best types of carbs to eat will be either complex carbs that break down into the essential glucose, or foods that are readily available sources of them. These types of foods keep you from experiencing the fatigue that could be expected from a workout. Things like sweet potatoes and broccoli can go a long way and help you to have that boost of energy that you need.
Make Sure to Eat Enough Calories
One of the mistakes that many people make is that their intake of calories falls too far below what they need to survive. This can happen very easily if you are working out and not eating enough to take the place of the carbs that are being used to sustain activity. It is even beneficial for you to have a small carb snack that can help your muscles repair themselves after a serious workout.
So now that you know what it is, how to do it and tips to make it work for you, I’ve got recipes to show you how to put it to work.
With this you will alternate days. First day is low carb, next high carb and so on. You’ll select a breakfast lunch and dinner (and snacks) for each day from the list and prepare. Preparation on a day of makes life easier. Anything you can make a quantity of and serve for more than one day also helps.
Low Carb Days:
- Egg muffins
- Sour Cream and Chive Egg Clouds
- Keto Cinnamon Roll Pancakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Mexican Breakfast Bowls
- Keto French Toast
- No Bake Cinnamon Vanilla Breakfast Protein Bites
- Keto Berry Mug Cake
- Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers
- Layered Taco Salad
- Dill Chicken Salad
- Italian Herb Bruschetta Chicken
- Chicken, Bacon, Avocado Ranch Lettuce Wraps
- Stuffed Taco Zucchini Boats
- Egg Roll in a Bowl
- Easy Mozzarella Chicken (Low Carb Chicken Parma)
- Steak Fajita Roll-Ups
- Easy Balsamic Glazed Steak Tips and Mushrooms
- Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
- Parmesan Dijon Pork Chops
- Bacon Chicken Caesar Casserole
- Caprese Chicken Sheet Pan Meal
Snacks:String cheese, rice cake with peanut butter, greek yogurt with blueberries or blackberries, protein shake, Hard boiled eggs, hummus with baby carrots,
High Carb Days:
- Blueberry baked oatmeal
- Taco Scramble
- Mexican Breakfast Bowls
- Kale and Chives Egg Muffins
- Southwest Protein Breakfast Bowls with Sweet Potato and Black Beans
- Sweet Potato Whole30 Breakfast Bowl
- Breakfast Hash
- Southwest Chickpea Salad
- Chickpea, Spinach and Sweet Potato Brown Rice Bowl
- Buffalo Chicken and Broccoli Bowls
- Salmon Noodle Bowls
- Garlic Mushroom Quinoa
- Mexican Caesar Salad
- Grilled Chilli Lime Chicken Fajita Salad
- quinoa salad with chicken breast
- 5 Ingredient Mexican Brown Rice
- Blackened Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner
- Spinach Pesto Quinoa Bowl
- Sweet Potato Black Bean Vegan Burritos
- Whole Grain Penne with Spinach, White Beans and Garlic Oil
- Sheet Pan Sweet Potatoes and Black Bean Hash
Snacks: Hard boiled eggs, string cheese, protein shake, hummus with baby carrots or sugar snap pea