Advanced Fat Loss Strategy: Carb Cycling

If you’ve lost a lot of fat, and now, you’ve hit a plateau (you’ve stopped losing fat, even though you know you have another 5, 10 or 15 pounds to go), you’ll want to pay attention to this article. I’ll describe one advanced fat loss strategy called “carb cycling”. This way, by the end of this article, you’ll know how to break through that stubborn plateau, and maybe even indulge in a few of your favorite foods along the way.


Original source: here.

What is Carb Cycling? 

It’s no secret that low-carbohydrate diets are very effective for fat loss (as well as many other things, like heart health, mental function, etc.). And a lot of people will go very far on a low-carbohydrate diet. But with a good chunk of those people, a low-carbohydrate diet will not take you all the way to your desired end goal.

Why? Because bodies ignore constant stimuli. You know that watch you’re wearing? You felt the sensation of the metal (or rubber) on your wrist when you just put it on this morning, but a few seconds or minutes later, you forgot about it. Or let’s say you walk in the kitchen, and you smell something cooking. If you stay in the kitchen long enough, you no longer feel the smell. Those are just two examples, but again, the general concept is that bodies ignore constant stimuli.

Same thing happens with low-carbohydrate diets. Whereas at first, it was a very powerful stimulus for you to lose body fat, over time, your body adapts to it, and fat loss stops.

So carb cycling is following a low-carbohydrate diet for a period of time (typically 4-6 days), followed by a 1-day spike in carbohydrate intake.

How Do You Do It? 

For a period of 4-6 days, eat no more than 50-100 grams of carbohydrates per day. All non-starchy veggies are fair game. All meat, fish, and seafood are fine. Nuts and seeds are fine. Just hold the starches.

Then, on the remaining 1-3 days, spike up your carbohydrates to between 300-600 grams per day. You can go the clean route, and eat potatoes, rice, etc. Or the not-so-clean route, and have the foods you’ve been craving: pizza, cake, donuts, etc.

What’s Right for Me? 

As you’ll notice, the ranges for how to make it work are very large. So how do you know whether you should do 4 days of low-carbohydrates or 6 days? How do you know whether you should have 300 grams of carbs or 600 on your high-carb days?

If you’ve been reading my newsletters for any length of time, or you’ve attended my seminars, the way to individualize is to measure your body composition (not your weight). For instance, if we have a client who is doing 6 days of low carbs, and is having 500 grams of carbs on their high-carb days, and is losing body fat on this strategy, we keep it up. On the other hand, if this client gains fat on this strategy, we tweak a few things. But again, how would you know what to do without measuring? The answer is: you don’t. So if you’d like some help breaking through your fat loss plateau, you can apply for a consultation here.

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