FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $69.99

Should I Do Carb Cycling To Lose Weight?

Written by:

Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Should I do carb cycling to lose weight? It is an alternative way to lose weight but if you do lose weight from carb cycling it is not because of cycling carbs. It is because you are in a caloric deficit as that is the only way you can lose weight.

It is important to understand the science of why you are losing weight when you implement any weight loss program. People always want to blame a specific macronutrient like carbs for being the culprit to gaining weight. Most of the time the case is that you are consuming too many bad and empty calories.

Carb cycling is a dietary method in which you alternate carb cycling daily, weekly, or monthly. You adjust the carbs from low to medium to high in routine or in a cycle.

Should I do carb cycling to lose weight? Photo Credit: iStock- Visual Generation

When you carb cycle you are doing it on a couple of factors such as:

  • Based on your current bodyfat level or specific fitness goals.
  • Based on your training and rest days.
  • Based on certain athletic events or competitions.
  • Or a refeed after being on a prolonged diet for a while. Then you would refeed your body with more carbs.

The scientific basis of carb cycling is to provide carbohydrates around intense workout days. People do it to match their bodies’ needs for calories and glucose.

There are some studies that have revealed that when you are in your low carb days, and you target carbs around your most intense workouts, it can help improve insulin sensitivity. And this is an important health marker which is greater insulin sensitivity. The maximum benefit of carb cycling is to teach your body how to use carbs as fuel.

Can Carb Cycling Help You Lose Weight?

The only way that carb cycling can help you lose weight or improve fat loss is if your body is in a caloric deficit. If you are not in caloric deficit, you will not lose weight, it is really that simple.

But carb cycling can possibly enhance physical performance in the gym because of its ability to use your carbs as fuel from a timing perspective. There still needs to be more research on this theory to 100% validate it. There is quite a bit of observational evidence when it comes to this.

There are some research studies that have shown that consuming carbs around workouts can help with recovery and glycogen replenishment.

Drawback to Carb Cycling

Not everybody can do carb cycling and go from low carbs to high carbs because of how it affects their energy levels, concentration, and focus. Going from low carbs for a couple of days to high carbs can really affect your mood and day to day functionality.

 It is not a sustainable lifestyle day to day approach, and it is not conventional either. The reality is you don’t need to do carb cycling to drop body fat, lose weight or increase your performance in a workout. Despite what you read on the internet or on some silly pseudoscience blog.

Here is a sample carb cycling program

Monday- Weight Training- High Carb Day- 200 grams

Tuesday- Cardio Exercise- Moderate Carbs Day- 100 grams

Wednesday- Rest Day- Low Carbs Day- 25 grams

Thursday- Weight Training-High Carbs Day- 250 grams

Friday- Weight Training- High Carbs Day- 200 grams

Saturday- Rest- Low Carbs Day- 25 grams

Sunday- Rest- Low Carbs Day- 25 grams

With this carb cycle sample program example, you can clearly see the amount of carbs each day in terms of how you are specifically implementing the carb cycling plan.

Recommended Carbs

Some of the recommended carbs are whole grains like brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa. Fruits like apples, bananas, oranges, peaches, etc. Vegetables like spinach, broccoli, asparagus, green beans, etc.

“The only way that carb cycling can help you lose weight or improve fat loss is if your body is in a caloric deficit.” Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert Obi Obadike

The Bottom Line is carb cycling is a popular method among athletes to optimize their physical performance. Although it is promoted as a weight loss strategy it isn’t necessary to do this to lose weight.

If you do lose weight through carb cycling it is not because of carb cycling. It is because you are in a caloric deficit plain and simple.

If you have any interest in trying any of our Ethical Supplement products to help you heighten your immune system or assist you with your fitness, weight loss or health goals. You can go to

https://offer.ethicalinc.com/suppressant-offer/

References

  1. Volek JS, Noakes T, Phinney SD. Rethinking fat as a fuel for endurance exercise. Eur J Sport Sci. 2015;15(1):13-20. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2014.959564. Epub 2014 Oct 2. PMID: 25275931.
  2. Gower BA, Goss AM. A lower-carbohydrate, higher-fat diet reduces abdominal and intermuscular fat and increases insulin sensitivity in adults at risk of type 2 diabetes. J Nutr. 2015 Jan;145(1):177S-83S. doi: 10.3945/jn.114.195065. Epub 2014 Dec 3. PMID: 25527677; PMCID: PMC4264021.
  3. Volek JS, Sharman MJ, Gómez AL, Scheett TP, Kraemer WJ. An isoenergetic very low carbohydrate diet improves serum HDL cholesterol and triacylglycerol concentrations, the total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio and postprandial pipemic responses compared with a low fat diet in normal weight, normolipidemic women. J Nutr. 2003 Sep;133(9):2756-61. doi: 10.1093/jn/133.9.2756. PMID: 12949361.
  4. Volek JS, Phinney SD, Forsythe CE, Quann EE, Wood RJ, Puglisi MJ, Kraemer WJ, Bibus DM, Fernandez ML, Feinman RD. Carbohydrate restriction has a more favorable impact on the metabolic syndrome than a low fat diet. Lipids. 2009 Apr;44(4):297-309. doi: 10.1007/s11745-008-3274-2. Epub 2008 Dec 12. PMID: 19082851.
  5. Badenhorst CE, Dawson B, Cox GR, Laarakkers CM, Swinkels DW, Peeling P. Acute dietary carbohydrate manipulation and the subsequent inflammatory and hepcidin responses to exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2015 Dec;115(12):2521-30. doi: 10.1007/s00421-015-3252-3. Epub 2015 Sep 3. PMID: 26335627.
  6. Mata F, Valenzuela PL, Gimenez J, Tur C, Ferreria D, Domínguez R, Sanchez-Oliver AJ, Martínez Sanz JM. Carbohydrate Availability and Physical Performance: Physiological Overview and Practical Recommendations. Nutrients. 2019 May 16;11(5):1084. doi: 10.3390/nu11051084. PMID: 31100798; PMCID: PMC6566225.
  7. Escobar KA, Morales J, Vandusseldorp TA. The Effect of a Moderately Low and High Carbohydrate Intake on Crossfit Performance. Int J Exerc Sci. 2016 Oct 1;9(3):460-470. PMID: 27766133; PMCID: PMC5065325.
  8. Kim JY. Optimal Diet Strategies for Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance. J Obes Metab Syndr. 2021 Mar 30;30(1):20-31. doi: 10.7570/jomes20065. PMID: 33107442; PMCID: PMC8017325.
  9. Gower BA, Goss AM. A lower-carbohydrate, higher-fat diet reduces abdominal and intermuscular fat and increases insulin sensitivity in adults at risk of type 2 diabetes. J Nutr. 2015 Jan;145(1):177S-83S. doi: 10.3945/jn.114.195065. Epub 2014 Dec 3. PMID: 25527677; PMCID: PMC4264021.
  10. de Moraes WMAM, de Almeida FN, Dos Santos LEA, Cavalcante KDG, Santos HO, Navalta JW, Prestes J. Carbohydrate Loading Practice in Bodybuilders: Effects on Muscle Thickness, Photo Silhouette Scores, Mood States and Gastrointestinal Symptoms. J Sports Sci Med. 2019 Nov 19;18(4):772-779. PMID: 31827362; PMCID: PMC6873117.

More great content you may like

More great content you may like

Before you finish your last lap...

Don’t miss any of our great newsletters.