The carb cycling diet also known as the carb rotation diet is one of the best ways to burn fat and lose weight quickly and without a bunch of diet drama.
It works by increasing and decreasing carb intake over a 7 day period in a way that forces your body to start using up stored fat.
There are many carb cycling plans out there and all of them do the same thing in slightly different ways. The 2 plans below are the easiest and most effective for women struggling with stubborn fat and slow weightloss.
According to Jayson Hunter RD CSCS author of The Carb Rotation Diet, "there are two general carb cycling diet approaches. The first approach is to follow a “no, no, no, high carb” program. This means you would eat no carbohydrates at all for the first three days and then eat a high amount of carbohydrates on for the fourth day. The fifth day you are back to eating no carbs again.
This plan can be effective, but you have to be very strict. It is an aggressive approach that may trigger your starvation response. Yes, the very same starvation response which causes elevation of a hormone called lipoprotein lipase. When this hormone becomes elevated your metabolism begins to slow down. And since that is the last thing anyone who is trying to get rid of unwanted pounds wants, it is not the approach I recommend.
Additionally, when people deprive themselves completely of carbs for three days they have a tendency to:
The much more common sense approach is to follow a "high, low, no carb" rotation program. There is much more room for error with this type of plan. It is much easier to follow and leads to much greater success.
Rotating your carbs in this manner allows you to shed fat and keep your metabolism elevated, which is the key to long term weight loss. There is a consistent transition with a high, low, no approach because every fourth day you repeat the cycle and you are not depriving yourself of carbs for three days straight, and again: potentially triggering the elevation of lipoprotein lipase.
We tend to eat too many carbs, we eat the wrong types of carbs and we may not be eating adequate protein or fat. But by following the guidelines laid out in a high, low, no carb program we are manipulating the blood sugars and insulin response in our body to achieve rapid of fat loss.
Rotating Carbs allows you to control and manipulate your blood sugars and insulin response so you are allowing your body to burn more calories for energy instead of storing carbs as fat. This means you're shedding fat and increasing your metabolism. Two very good things!"
If you are willing to curb your carb intake a couple of days a week you can lose up to 15 pounds in the next 30 days with Jayson's Carb Rotation Diet. You'll learn how to get your body to use stored fat for energy, prevent weightloss and fatloss plateaus, and get killer results without having to give up carbs ever.
I first read about carb cycling back in 1995 in a book called Sliced by Bill Reynolds. I liked the idea of cycling carbs for fat loss but at the time I didn't know half of what I know now about fitness or eating healthy. I also was not working out the same way I do now so I felt that maybe just cutting back on starchy carbs in general and increasing the intensity of my workouts would help me get leaner and fitter and I was right.
Fast forward to 2004 just a couple of years after losing 30 pounds of post pregnancy weight...I had dropped from 150 lb. to about 121 lb and my bodyfat had gone from 32% to 22% bodyfat but I wanted to get leaner and none of the low carb diets I had tried were working so a trainer I was working with who was a competitive cyclist started me on his carb cycling diet plan.
In a little over two weeks after starting I was down from 121 lb. and 22% bodyfat to 118 lb. and 18% bodyfat then lost 1 more pound and 1 more % bodyfat a couple of weeks later. The results were so unbelievable that I actually had two trainers measure me with calipers to make sure this was correct and it was. Turns out my friend had taught me the same system that Jayson Hunter outlines in his Carb Rotation Diet plan.
A few years later when I developed stage 1 adrenal fatigue due to a very hectic work/single mom schedule I tried Ori Hofmekler's plan The Anti-Estrogenic Diet. His eating plan is not really a carb cycling diet but it felt like one and it helped me recover from adrenal fatigue and shed 6 pounds of stubborn belly fat without having to workout harder which I could not do at the time.
I did purchase Ori's entire line of fatloss supplements while I was on his diet. I don't think I would have recovered as quickly or lost belly fat as fast without his Fat Solution Supplement Kit.
Ori's plan is great for women struggling with stubborn fat and weight gain due to adrenal fatigue that also causes chronic fatigue and poor endurance. His plan is 4 phases including:
1. DO NOT make the mistake of thinking high carb means you can eat as many carbs as you like just because your choices are healthy. Get the carb rotation diet plan to figure out your ideal carb intake for high and low days or get a trainer to do it for you like I did back in 2004.
2. Plan to be very busy on no-carb days and don't skip meals on this day. This makes getting through the day a lot easier. Once you've done it a few times it will be easy!
3. Weigh yourself every 8-10 days. Being on a carb cycling diet means your weight can change dramatically overnight so don’t use your bodyweight scale daily or after a high carb day.
4. Get your body fat measured. The scale is not a good indicator of your fatloss progress. Use calipers or a handheld bodyfat monitor or Tanita bodyfat scale.
5. You need to determine if having a cheat meal works for you or not. This has never worked for me in the past but seems to be working right now. This is a very personal thing so decide before you start whether to cheat or not cheat while carb cycling.
6. Stay hydrated and eat plenty of dark leafy greens. Doing both guarantees that you don't experience cravings for sugar, alcohol, caffeine, or other foods that can prevent fatloss.
7. Determine a fatloss goal that is right for you. No sense trying to look like a fitness model if that is not something that you are willing to sacrifices a normal healthy lifestyle to get. If you set smart fatloss goals that are realistic for your lifestyle you will get real results much faster.
Bonus tip: It takes a lot of work to stay ultra lean year round. You can do it but most people even fitness competitors don't. If you get super lean you may want to establish a good bodyfat to cycle back up to at certain times of the year. Set a bodyfat percentage range that works for your lifestyle to prevent excessive gains.