For several years now, a number of health professionals have been extolling the virtues of carb cycling. Many people have experienced success using this method. The foods you eat matter, and some experts say it matters more than the kind of physical activity you engage in. To help you decide if it’s right for you, here are some of the benefits of carb cycling. Read more about diet plans for women and weight loss plans for men.
What is It?
As the name suggests, carb cycling involves eating lots of carbs some days and keeping them low on others. This keeps your body from getting used to a consistent carbohydrate intake, which makes it significantly easier to hold onto lean muscle while losing fat. That said, the benefits of carb cycling can vary widely for each person depending on the way their body is affected by carbohydrates. In addition, carb cycling tends to focus on eliminating “bad” carbohydrate sources and replacing them with “good” ones. When you consider that the average American consumes over 150 pounds of refined sugars each year, it’s easy to see how carb cycling can be a healthy option.
On the days when carbohydrate intake is high, you provoke an insulin response that provides your muscles with nutrients. This helps fuel muscle growth and gives them additional glycogen, which is what they use for energy. Furthermore, the increase in carbohydrates on these days will produce increased levels of the neurotransmitters involved in happiness and contentment.
On days when you keep your carbohydrate intake low, you’re setting the stage for fat loss. When carb intake is low, you fool your body into burning fat stores for energy. In a time when nearly 70 percent of Americans are overweight, this is great news for anyone who wants to shed extra pounds. As an added benefit, low-carb days also make you more sensitive to insulin, which enhances your ability to build muscle.
What Are the Benefits?
There are several benefits of carb cycling that can be an advantage for almost anyone. It burns fat, helping you to slim down and enhancing the definition of your muscles. It promotes the development of lean muscle mass, which improves strength, appearance, hormonal profile, fat-burning ability and metabolic rate. Because it makes your body more sensitive to insulin, it can even help you avoid fat gain, insulin resistance and diabetes. According to Jay Robb, author of The Fat Burning Diet, “Excessive consumption of carbohydrate foods stimulates the release of a hormone called insulin.” Insulin makes your body store fat. However, when the you limit high carbohydrate consumption to every other day, it keeps your body guessing and actually prevents it from storing fat.
Carb cycling even helps you stick with a healthier diet, which can benefit you in numerous ways. This method of eating requires you to cut out unhealthy carbs like baked goods, candy, sodas and other sources of refined carbohydrates. Instead, you focus on eating healthy, nutritious sources of carbs like sweet potatoes, whole grains, quinoa and fresh fruits.