Carb cycling has emerged as a popular weight loss technique. However, nutritionists claim there may be other healthier alternatives to pull off the same benefits.
As more and more people are competing with each other on several health and lifestyle patterns, it wouldn’t be strange to hear mixed reviews about the famous low-carb diet. Currently, the phrase “carb cycling” has become a buzz everywhere as a highly effective means of weight loss. Today we will help you figure out all the fact you want to know.
Decode “carb cycling”
Typically, carb cycling is all about consuming high carbohydrates on some days and low on the other days. So the high carb days promote muscle growth that help you stay fresh and active for a longer period of time while the low carb days help you burn fats or at least minimize your fat gain.
- High-carb days
High-carb days typically call for 2 to 2.5 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight. They are usually your highest calorie days.
- Low-carb days
Low-carb days typically call for about 0.5 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight. They are usually your second-highest calorie days.
- No-carb days
No-carb days typically call for less than 30 grams of carbohydrate. They are usually your lowest calorie days.
Why it may interest you
People who have adhered to this fitness regimen claim that such a diet helps them build up their muscles, decreases the body fat and improves their overall performance.
A study was conducted to understand the effect of irregular carb intake and calorie restriction on 115 obese women aged between 20 to 69. The women were randomly divided into three groups for three months. One group was asked to consume a low carb, calorie restricted diet twice a week. The second group was asked to follow the same diet plan but with the liberty of having unlimited amount of protein and healthy fats on the low carb days. And the third group was asked to follow a calorie restricted mediterranean diet throughout the week.
The researchers found that the women from both the low carb groups seemed to have better results in terms of weight loss, by witnessing an average loss of 9 pounds, as compared to the group that followed a mediterranean diet, who witnessed only a 5 pound weight loss.
However, one of the major drawbacks of the carb cycling approach is the lack of dedication in people to strictly follow it. Researchers have also found some side effects in individuals who follow a low carb diet such as constipation, dizziness, bad breath, headaches and food fixation, causing them to easily give up on this routine.
Carb matching – a more sustainable alternative approach
In order to achieve a better balance, we should adopt the concept of “carb matching”; wherein you can easily arrange your carb intake in accordance to your energy needs, which may vary from day to day or even from time to time.
According to this, you need to include high carbs in your diet when you have planned a long and active day ahead such as scheduling a morning workout before stepping out of home. While alternately limit your carb intake, if you decide to hit the office desk straight after breakfast, and spend the entire day working at your desk.
Thus we can easily find out, as carb cycling is a rigorous approach, and carb matching focuses on creating a balance which you can surely rely on. Remember that, always listen to your body’s cues to give you a better guidance.