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The Truth About Carb Cycling for Weight Loss To Optimize Your Body’s Metabolism

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Have you heard about carb cycling to lose weight? Carb cycling is the latest fad for weight loss. It’s a popular diet among body builders and some fitness experts. However, this diet is not a perfect fit for everyone.

Implementing a ketogenic diet for some women can pose unique challenges. This is where the option to consider carb cycling becomes very important.

What is carb cycling?

Carb cycling forces you to alternate between low and high carbohydrate days during each week. Although there are several variations, some of the most popular ones are to eat low carbs five days a week and high carbs two days a week.

Dr. David Jockers in his Keto Metabolic Masterclass recommends starting with a 10:1 ratio. Do 10 days on a keto diet and then do 1 day where you consume a higher amount of carbs (typically between 50- 150 grams of net carbs or the amount of carbs you feel best on) using the carb backloading strategy.

Carb cycling is not for everyone. Anyone with specific conditions should maintain ketosis for long periods to gain the benefits desired. This consists of individuals who have the following issues:

• Are significantly insulin resistance
• Are morbidly obese
• Have seizure disorders
• Have neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and dementia
• Have brain tumors or other cancers that respond well to ketosis

You may also consider experimenting with shorter rotations such as 5 days od keto with 1 carb day and longer rotations, 15 days of keto and 1 carb day until you find the range that works best for you.

According to Dr. Jockers:

It is important to sync carb cycling with your menstrual cycle. The menstrual cycle lasts for 28 days. The female hormones estrogen and progesterone are elevated at different points during the menstrual cycle. These important hormones impact insulin sensitivity and carbohydrate metabolism. Consequently, it is important to consider your hormone levels when determining the amount of carbohydrates to include in your diet.

Eat complex carbohydrates when carb cycling.

Carb cycling is not about eating junk food to get more carbohydrates. This diet requires eating complex and healthy carbohydrates.

    • You can eat healthy carbs like squash, beets, pumpkin, carrots, beans sweet potatoes, legumes, berries or your favorite fruit. You can also do tapioca, cassava, arrowroot or some other baking flours. Avoid foods like white bread donuts, grains, corn, sugar, white potatoes and any processed foods.vegetables for carb cycling on a white background
    • Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest, so you have fewer blood sugar spikes. In addition, you have more energy throughout the day. They’re a healthier alternative to simple carbohydrates.

During low carb days, it’s important to eat enough protein.

Health experts recommend eating lean meats such as chicken and turkey.

    • You can also get protein from other sources such as fish, eggs, tofu, nuts, and seeds. Variety is important because diets can get boring, so try different proteins.

You get reward days when you carb cycle

Also called cheat days, reward days can be built into the carb cycling diet. Many people choose to have at least one reward day a week, often on the weekend when they can go out to eat.

    • However, you have to be careful with reward days. Moderation is still important on cheat days.

Does carb cycling work?

Some people report positive results with carb cycling, and others struggle with this diet. Your results will vary based on multiple factors.

    • Since this diet restricts carbs, you may lose weight. However, it may not help you lose body fat. It’s also important to realize that your starting weight will have a big impact on how much you’re able to lose.
    • Your body may respond to this diet in a unique way, so it’s not possible to predict results.
    • Exercise is still important for losing fat and building muscle.
    • Carb cycling is unlike other diets because it doesn’t have a true end date. Many people continue this diet for weeks and months. Others give up because they’re not satisfied with the results or find it hard to keep track of everything they eat.

Carb cycling is a popular diet. However, before starting a new diet or changing how you eat, it’s important to talk to your doctor. Discuss all of your health issues, medications, and supplements to see if the diet won’t interfere with them.

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Get Started With Keto

If you’re totally new to the  keto low carb, high fat way of eating here are some of my most popular blog posts to get you started:

Ketosis and Fat Loss: How Healthy Eating Leads To A Healthy Lifestyle

Following a ketogenic lifestyle is easier than you think when you build on the foods you’re currently eating right now 

What is a Ketogenic Diet?

What is Keto Flu? And How To Avoid It

The 3 Most Dangerous Keto Diet Misconceptions

3 basic mindsets that ensure keto diet success

**Disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor do I play one on the internet. Please check with your doctor or registered dietitian before starting any wellness program.

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