People are fond of carb cycling as it gives quick fat loss results, it removes the stubborn fats and helps in gaining muscles without gaining much fat.
In this article we shall discuss carb cycling and if you should give it a try.
What is carb cycling?
It is actually the diet you prepare by playing with the portion of carbohydrates depending upon various other factors.
Swinging between intake of low-carbs food and high-carbs food is known as carb cycling. Eating less quantity of carbs in one day and high carbs on some other day is the most common approach towards carb cycling.
The intake of low-carbs and high-carbs are scheduled according to the workout days and non-workout days. Some follow this whereas some do the carb cycling in a single day. While doing the workout they consume high carbs and low carbs is eaten during the rest of the days.
A well-planned diet containing all the required nutrition is necessary for those who carb cycle. It is not easy to follow and also needs constant support from the fine dietician and nutritionist.
The importance of carbohydrates in carb cycle
In the carb cycle the focus is on carbohydrates and not protein or fats. Carbohydrates have a greater impact on the hormones than proteins and fats.
Less intake of fats can stop the menstrual cycle in females and a diet with poor portions of protein can cause muscle loss and mood swings. All these are a result of hormonal imbalance.
What happens in carb cycling?
There are following things that carb cycling does to your body –
1.Eating less quantity of food can bring various changes in the body such as a drop in metabolic rate and less energy is burned while working out. Your physical activities in your daily routine also seems to decline.
The body needs to adapt with the change in metabolism and the change is done with food restriction. This makes it tough for an individual to achieve the target weight and it is also not easy to maintain the ideal weight with carb cycle.
2.Dieting causes fluctuation in hormones such as leptin, thyroid hormones, testosterone and estrogen. Leptin hormone is released by fat tissues and has a key role in hunger and adjustment of the body with metabolism. Higher the body fat higher is the leptin in your blood. It helps you to decide the calorie intake, nutrient absorption, hunger and calories used.
When you are on a diet a few days later there is drop in leptin as a result the brain sends the message to eat more. The hormone also influences the thyroid and reproductive hormones. So, by consuming calories from carbohydrates at certain intervals, the level of leptins rises for some time. As a result, you will not feel the hunger pangs.
3.Consuming a low carb diet is effective in people suffering from type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndromes. Low carb diet includes foods that contain less than 30% of daily calories from carbohydrates. Keto diet is one of the most popular low carb diets.
Keto diets low in carbs are effective in fat loss but are not easy to stick to for a long time. Thus, cycling between low carbs and higher carbs benefits by making it easier to follow for long.
4.Ketogenic diet is used by the athletes to adapt their body to fat. This helps them to burn a great amount of fats while working out extensively. While the athletes do a lot of work out, the body majorly depends upon the carbohydrates. As a result, the body slows down when there are less carbs stored. This is the reason that athletes need 60 to 90 grams of carbs in certain intervals while competing. It acts as a fuel to keep going.
Thus, fat adaptability makes your body rely more on fats than carbs. All these signifies that a ketogenic diet being low in carbs and high in fats benefits the athlete to last long and hard on the field. But following the carb cycle ketogenic diet at times is a bit problematic.
5.According to people who follow carb cycling, muscles gain without gaining fat is a result of insulin hormone. Because when you consume carbs, it raises the blood sugar level and as a result insulin is released. Insulin regulates the blood sugar and is also responsible for growth of muscles.
But there is no evidence to support it. So, we cannot surely say if carb cycling is really good for weight loss. But if you are burning more calories than you consumed while following the carb cycle then it will definitely help you lose fats.
If following a carb cycle benefits you without much effort then it is a good deal but mostly carb cycling is tedious with a low impact. Hence, carb cycling is not meant to be followed by everyone. But we can conclude by saying that carb cycling does work in weight loss if there is a calorie deficit in the body.