The Basics of Carb Cycling Nutrition

lean, lose fat, diet, low carbNutrition and the use of carb cycling is how bodybuilders quickly lose body fat, but many people misunderstand how to do this. Carb cycling is a process of learning how to increase or decrease your carbohydrate intake to become leaner. This may sound simple enough, yet even experienced bodybuilders can be misinformed about what true carb cycling really is. Understanding carb cycling is important because doing it wrong defeats the purpose.

Carb Cycle Days

A carb cycle involves a series of days in which you control your car intake. You will have high carb, low carb and no carb days, arranged in succession. You may need to experiment with the diet to see which rotation of days works best for you. Body types matter as well, another reason to adjust the program to suit your needs rather than following it blindly.

No matter which day you are on you must eat at least one cup of dark green vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach or kale. These should be eaten in addition to the foods recommended on a particular day.

High, Low, No

On everyone’s favorite, high carb days, you can eat healthy carbohydrates like brown rice, oats, beans, whole grain breads, wheat pasta, legumes, all bran cereals, sweet potatoes, yams or starch rich vegetables like peas or corn. You should only eat four meals on a high carb day and for two of them, you must include at least one piece of fruit. Your other two meals on that day should be primarily protein plus your favorite healthy carbs.

On the low carbohydrate day, most dieters find they need discipline to do it right. Meals will be eaten six times per day. The first three meals may contain carbs, and at least one of them should take place immediately following your daily workout routine. The other three may contain a gram of carbohydrates for every pound of your body weight and must include one piece of fruit.

On the no carbohydrate day, termed “approaching zero,” the instructions are very basic. You eat six meals that contain only proteins. There are no carbohydrates on this day at all. Just your six protein meals and your daily vegetables.

Putting It All Together

You should cycle for one or two week periods. First, cycle for one week, keeping the three days in succession in a cycle. Avoid back-to-back days of any one-carb regimen. After week one, you can go for one or two weeks, but you should extend each type of carb day for two days. Continue lengthening your carb regimens up to four days in a row of any single type of day. Never try to do more than four-day cycles without having more experience. As you move through the cycling, you should be able to tell if you are getting the desired effects or if you need to tweak the program.

This is one of various versions of the diet written by many different dieticians, so your best bet is to get a carb-cycling book that will walk you through the program step by step. Carb cycling is a complicated diet, but it works for many people simply because they don’t get bored. They get a reward for being good on low carb and no carb days, which gives them the motivation to stick to it.

You may also wish to get a protein supplement to help you get enough protein on low carb days. Protein is a great way to curb hunger on those low carb days.