Melting Off the Belly Fat: Carb Cycling
Carb cycling is a diet used to lower one’s body fat percentage. A full carb cycle lasts three days and consists of three parts (one for each day). The first day of the carb cycle you can go carb crazy. Eat bagels, cereal, oatmeal, etc. etc. This day is meant for splurging. The second day your carb intake must be restricted to approximately one carb per pound of body weight. Finally, on the third day carbs are a no-no. Once the cycle is complete, you begin again. Results are relatively quick if you do the carb cycling right. Progress should be tracked every nine days, no more than that though. Fluctuations in weight occur from day to day; obsessing over the scale does more harm than good. Just because your carb intake is altered does not mean that you should lower your calorie consumption. Your body requires a certain amount of calories per day to function properly. To make up for the lack of carbs you will be consuming, protein should take a larger role in your diet*. Because your macronutrient ratio will be altered, it is likely that you will notice a difference in your energy level and mood on low carb and no carb days. If you choose to cycle your carbs, be aware that it may not be fun. Some people feel lethargic and/or easily agitated when their carb intake is lowered. And keep in mind; it only works if you are engaging in your cardio routines as well. In order to melt the fat off, you can’t just change your eating habits. The biggest pitfall of this ‘diet’ is not cheating (but don’t cheat). After a couple cycles you will see differences. A few pounds may disappear, or your waist might shrink a bit. This good news may lead you to the conclusion that you should restrict your carb intake even more. YOU SHOULD NOT DO THIS. Even initially altering your carb intake is risky. If you cut your carbs more than you should, you are putting your health at risk and throwing off your body’s metabolism. You won’t (and shouldn’t try to) lose weight any faster.
*On the low carb and no carb days the following are excellent sources of protein: Chicken (white meat) Cottage Cheese (low fat) Egg whites Fish (don’t forget the canned tuna and salmon) Lean beef Turkey (white meat) Whey protein shakes --While these items are low in fat, don’t fear fat while doing carb cycles. The body needs fat too; just be smart about it and don’t overdo it.