If you’ve ever tried to lose weight then you’ve probably heard someone talk about the evils of carbs and how they are single-handedly responsible for making America obese. Okay, that may be a little dramatic, but carbs get a pretty bad wrap that I believe is totally undeserved!
While there are plenty of people out there who would like to demonize carbs in all forms, science is clear on the matter: we need carbs for our bodies to function optimally. So why the fuss over carbs and their role in weight loss or weight gain?
Processed carbs like those found in sugary foods, white breads and sodas offer no nutritional value...so they are considered “empty calories.” To be fair, these foods certainly do play a part in America’s obesity epidemic. “Empty carbs” don’t fill you up and make it far easier for you to overeat. They provide your body with little to no nutrition while leaving you craving more. This naturally leads to over-consumption and weight gain.
However, not all carbs are created equally. Complex carbs, like those found in fruits and veggies, are necessary for brain function, energy levels and good moods. So, saying no to all things carb related is probably not your best plan of action.
That’s why carb cycling is such an effective strategy for weight loss.
Carb cycling is exactly what it sounds like: a cycle of carbohydrate intake. When utilizing this strategy, you rotate your days between normal carb days and low carb days.
Why should you consider carb cycling?
When you cut out carbs completely, your energy levels will bottom out, you will experience brain fog and you will find yourself unable to complete challenging workouts. In addition, people who restrict carbs often don’t eat enough. This will ultimately lower your metabolic rate and make it harder for your body to burn fat effectively. Plus...we all love carbs, don’t we? Living a carb free life can be incredibly challenging for most people. While many are able to make the change for a period of time, they find it difficult to sustain that type of lifestyle.
However, there are benefits to having some low carb days during your week. When you cut back on carbs, your glycogen levels quickly become depleted. Since glycogen is the first thing your body burns for energy, it will have to reach into its fat stores because there won’t be any glycogen available. 1-2 days per week of eating low carb with some HIIT workouts will do wonders for your body in terms of fat burning.
If you have too many low carb days, you will find it incredibly hard to complete a challenging strength training workout. These are important for building muscle that will rev up your metabolism. So, having a few days per week where your carbs are less restricted is ideal, specifically on strength training days.
Normal carb days increase your thyroid output and help you control hunger. When you cycle your normal carb days with your low carb days, you will see fat loss, increased energy levels, and improvements to your overall body composition. You will also see improved insulin levels which will teach your body to store less fat.
Carb cycling isn’t quite as difficult as it seems and is best paired with strategic workouts for optimal fat burning. Low carb days can be challenging at first, but once you find some go to meals, you will find them to be a lot easier than they seemed. Regular carb days are easy to fill up with all kinds of delicious fruits and veggies to keep you energized and thinking clearly.
Carbs are not the enemy my friend. In fact they play an important role in helping you look and feel your absolute best. They keep your body running optimally and keep you feeling alert and energized throughout the day.
Talk to you soon,
P.S. If you are interested in learning more about how to implement this nutritional strategy, check out the next round of my FAT Loss program! Carb cycling is a huge part of this program and has helped countless women reach their goals, including me! Let me help you take the guess work out of implementing this strategy and give you everything you need to burn fat and feel great all while eating the foods you love!