Full body workout Every Other Day
Carb cycling is central to every quality nutritional guide I’ve ever come across.
It is recommended by some of the most highly-regarded coaches and transformation experts in the world and has been used by fitness models, bodybuilders and athletes to acquire some of the most impressive physiques ever seen.
In 2013, a British study confirmed what the fitness elite already knew instinctively, when it was found that this style of diet was superior to a standard, daily calorie-restricted diet for reducing weight and lowering blood levels of insulin (more on this later).
Yet, despite its effectiveness and popularity amongst the fitness elite, it’s a method of dieting that is shrouded in mystery.
For years, I wrongly assumed that carb cycling was an advanced technique that would make my life more complicated, and that I didn’t need carbs in my diet at all.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Implemented properly, carb cycling makes fat loss easier than ever from a physiological standpoint and, best of all, it makes dieting enjoyable because you actually get to eat carbs (aka pretty much every food you love).
Many diets, such as Paleo or Atkins, almost completely ban you from eating carbs.
When I tried the Paleo diet for myself, I found this style of eating overly-restrictive, and after months on the diet my body looked far from how I wanted it to.
But here’s the thing: I did lose weight, and lots of it.
To get a better idea of why that might have happened, it’s important to understand the effect that carbohydrates have on our bodies.
How Do Carbohydrates Affect The Body?
When you consume carbohydrates they are broken down into sugars (otherwise known as glucose) that then enter the blood stream.
A hormone called insulin is released to remove glucose from the blood stream.
A large insulin ‘spike’ will occur when you consume a simple, or refined source of carbohydrates (such as fruits, fizzy drinks, or chocolate), whereas a smaller ‘spike’ will occur when you consume a complex source (such as vegetables or certain grains).
Insulin has shouldered much of the blame for obesity in recent years. The theory is that insulin tells your body to remove glucose from the blood and store it as fat.
That’s not entirely accurate, because insulin actually tells your body to burn the glucose, instead of fat stored in cells. You can learn more about this process here.