You may have heard the term carb cycling flung around a few times. If you’re confused, carb cycling is just this: eating more carbohydrates on some days (high carb days) to help promote muscle development, and eating less carbohydrates on other days (low carb days) to help promote fat loss or minimise fat gain.

Your diet’s focus will mostly be on carbs, not fat and protein, because carbs seem to have the most influential effect on body composition.

What happens?

High carb days trigger an insulin response that transport nutrients in your muscle cells in order to grow. They refill glycogen stores that fuels your muscles, and also energises you.

Low carb days can help with fat loss by ‘tricking’ your body into burning fat for fuel, instead of the sugar it would normally get from carbohydrates. It also keeps your body more receptive to insulin, improving your body’s muscle-building response.

How to eat

Both your high- and low carb days are the same (lots of protein, vegetables, and fat) with just one simple replacement; grains and fruit is replaced with greens on a low carb day.

Starchy carbohydrates contain a high number of calories and fill you up. It’s not unusual to feel a little more hungry on a low carb day, so stick out the hunger by adding extra vegetables and protein to your meals.

Junk food has a higher number of calories and fat than healthy food options, so it isn’t advisable to gobble down a few burgers on a high carb day. Your body might just pack on some body fat if you don’t burn enough fuel on a ‘junk food day’, thanks to high blood insulin, high blood sugar and fat.

The Good Guys

Potato / Sweet Potato / Quinoa / Brown Rice / Oatmeal / Whole wheat pasta / Whole grain bread

The Bad Guys

Cake / Muffins / Pizza / Pastries / White bread / Cereal etc.

Training Rules

The rules are simple; on the days you lift weights, eat starchy carbs with protein, vegetables, and healthy fats. Your muscles will soak up the nutrients after a tough workout.

On your off days or cardio days, don’t eat any starchy carbs, but continue to eat protein, vegetables, and healthy fats.

Sample cycle

Monday               Full-Body workout            High carbohydrate

Tuesday               Rest day                               Low carbohydrate

Wednesday         Full- Body workout           High carbohydrate

Thursday             Rest day                              Low carbohydrate

Friday                   Full- Body workout          High carbohydrate

Saturday              Rest day                              Low carbohydrate

Sunday                 Rest day                              Low carbohydrate

Stick to the rules, and see your body transform!

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