If you've been reading a variety of the fat-loss diet literature that's available, you've very likely come across a technique called 'carb cycling.' Essentially carb cycling is a program where you mix higher carbohydrate days with lower carbohydrate days in the effort to lose weight without suffering some of the negative consequences of a pure low carbohydrate diet plan.
Some of these negative side effects include a drop in exercise performance, increased hunger and craving levels, lowered metabolic rate, and difficulty focusing and concentrating at work or at school.
By having those higher carbohydrate days back in there, you offset some of these factors, so generally most people find this approach much more enjoyable to use. Before you hop onto the carb cycling diet program though, there are a few key facts that you must keep in mind and remember. Here's what to know. High Carb Days Should Be Placed On Your Heavy Training Days
The very first thing you must know as you go about designing this type of diet program is that in order to see your best results, you should be putting your highest carbohydrate diets on the days you perform your hardest workout sessions. For most people, this will mean leg day (or if you're using a full body workout, it may mean going high carb on all three of those days).
The reason for doing this is simple - the body needs those carbohydrates the most on these days. Having them before you do the workout will help fuel you in the gym so you can work harder and push more weight, and then having the influx of carbohydrates after the workout session will help saturate the muscles with carbohydrate storage (muscle glycogen) and aid with recovery.
Since you want all these carbohydrates to be put to best use on this diet, and have the least likely chance of turning into body fat, this means timing them correctly throughout your week.
The Body Needs Carbohydrates The Most On Heavy Workout Days.
Expect To Experience Some Water Weight Gain
Second up on the list of 'musts' that you need to know, and be prepared for, is that you will very likely experience some water weight gain when doing the higher carbohydrate day. For every gram of carbohydrate you take into the body, you'll store four grams of water with this. If you're eating 200-300 grams of carbohydrates on those high carb days, this adds up very quickly.
Those who are leaner tend to experience this effect the greatest because at that point, any water weight gain is highly noticeable. Try not to let yourself get too alarmed over this. It's a normal process and is not fat gain. Within a day back on your regular low-carbohydrate plan you should notice this recede.
If you're someone who really struggles psychologically with weight fluctuations (and how you appear in the mirror), this very well could mean carbohydrate cycling is not for you. It is a side effect of this type of plan, and therefore something for which you must absolutely prepare yourself. Fact #3: Choose Carbohydrates Highest In Glucose Or Complex Carbs
When it comes to food selection while performing a carb cycling fat-loss diet, you want to think glucose. Either simple glucose sources (preferably around the workout period when they are absorbed quickest) or complex carbohydrates that will break down into glucose.
What you want to avoid here is fructose (such as high-fructose corn syrup), as this type of carbohydrate will behave differently in the body and won't have the same benefits as glucose does. If you were to intake a large amount of fructose on your high carbohydrate days, there is a much greater chance some of this may get converted into body fat gains since it won't get stored…