Carb Cycling: An Exercise in Weight Loss
Posted December 2, 2018
By Len Canter
FRIDAY, Nov. 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Trying to choose between a high-carb and a low-carb diet? There's a third option that might suit you even better.
The concept is called carb cycling, shorthand for alternating between high- and low-carbohydrate days. There's even a variation that lets you make every seventh day a cheat day.
The idea is to mesh two theories about carbohydrates -- that low-carb diets lead to more effective weight loss but that carbs are needed to maximize the effects of high-intensity exercise days. Adding in high-carb days could also be better for your metabolism than a constant low-carbohydrate diet.
Carb cycling lets you tailor carbohydrate intake to your needs. For instance, the American Council on Exercise points out that to lose weight, you might try a plan of five low-carb days and two high-carb days each week. If improving muscle mass is your goal, reverse that ratio -- five high-carb days interspersed with two low-carb days, matching the high-carb days to your most intense workout days.
Carb Cycling to Lose Weight:
Processed, packaged high-carb foods with added sugars don't deliver good nutrition and can trigger hormonal changes that can make losing weight harder. Whenever you're putting carbs on the menu, choose fresh or minimally processed foods that are high in fiber and have only naturally occurring sugars.
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