Carb Cycling, is it worth it?
I've been consistently losing about a pound a week just by decreasing my diet. Now, I heard the expression if it aint broke don't fix it but I was very interested in doing carb cycling and was wondering about the results. Does a low carb diet really matter when dieting anyway?
I bet you already naturally carb cycle.
Do you have a PWO shake with sugar in it on off days? Most likely not, that is a form of carb cycling, i.e. 200 carbs on off day, 200 + 50 in shake = 250 g on training day.
Or, ever take in more carbs for a grueling session and less for shorter session? Again, carb cycling.
Don't make it more complex than it has to be. I like the idea of "eat for what you do"
Naturally, if you are not doing much, carbs will be lower, if you are highly active they will be higher.
i was just about to type the same.. EVERYONE carb cycles.. literally. unless you dont have Pre/intra or postworkout shakes ever...you must be carb cycling
I agree with all. Don't make it more complicated than it has to be.
A diet does not have to be a low carb diet per se. But just realize that calories count. So as a result of reducing calories, carbs will naturally be lower while cutting.
Now some will purposefully do a low-no carb diet that is typically higher in fat. But I would argue that doing so isn't ideal or necessary. Carbs don't have to be so low. And the calories from the fat adds up quick. Such diets can be a life saver for obese people who wouldn't have a clue how to lose the weight otherwise. But they aren't practical for the long term, and without the practicality for the long term you aren't going to have a plan that will get you as lean as possible.
Speaking of practicality for the long term, that's actually why I like how intermittent fasting (IF) works. Because it works so well at reducing calories, you end up with a little bit more wiggle room to eat what you want. And a diet plan that can be more flexible is also a diet plan that will be more likely to work in the long run.
One more thing I'd like to add about carbs is that you can continue to lose weight with more carbs so long as calories are reduced. As an example, one year I was doing somewhat of a low carb diet and my weight loss stalled. A good friend of mine (personal trainer) gave recommendations for a low fat approach and to get carbs mainly from starches such as oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and brown rice. I tried it and was eating more carbs than before, and I still lost a lot of weight because the calories were reduced.
Many will argue for the low carb diet approach because they think that weight loss won't happen as well if carbs are too high. There is some truth to that and studies support it. However, if you get your carbs from the right sources there won't be a problem. Because they fill you up before you can eat too much.
So your diet should be lower in carbs when compared to that of a typical american who drinks soda, fruit juice, and sweet tea. But atkins diet low simply isn't necessary.
I tried a CKD (Cyclical Ketogenic Diet) diet a few months back. I'd had success with an Atkins diet some years before.
I hated it the CKD.
I would go low-carb during the week, and carb up on the weekend.
By Friday, my energy levels were zero. I couldn't wait for Saturday. The main reason I quit this diet was that I noticed was that my insides would stack up, and the weekend carbs would bring relief on the porcelain throne. This odd processing convinced me to stop. The diet didn't feel healthy, and to make my carb counts I had to eat carb-free foods--many of which I didn't care to eat. Put'em together and it was an unsustainable diet.
I'm on a more sensible diet now. I count everything during the week, and eat freely yet sensibly on the weekends. My target is 2100 calories, 190-200g of protein, 10% fat, and 220 to 240g of carbs. The results show a greater fat loss than weight. Since ending the CKD, I've lost 3 pounds and 1.5 inches off the waist. I'm pleased with the results, and I can continue this diet because I look forward to the foods I eat, and they come frequently enough to keep hunger away.
The only drawback is I create quite a few dirty dishes, but feel great.
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