Carb Cycling – Hollywood’s Best Kept Secret Diet?
What is the best low carb diet plan? Out of all the diets out there (Atkins, South Beach etc.) what might be the most effective one? After spending a lot of time learning about nutrition and fitness, I have come across a diet that, upon asking around, people in my gym swear by. And according to my fitness instructor, Hollywood swears by it as well. It’s a new twist to the old low carbohydrate-high protein diet and an advance fat loss technique that is called ‘carbohydrate cycling’. It’s also been called ‘carb cycling’, ‘zig, zag diet’, and ‘Hi-low’ dieting.
How It Works
Our body is conditioned to respond to starvation. This means that when we eat less our body thinks that there will be less to burn in the future so it goes to starvation mode. On starvation mode, our bodies will burn less and less because it thinks that there is no more to burn. This is why the traditional low carbohydrate dieters reach a plateau when they are on a low carbohydrate diet for some time.
Carbohydrate Cycling (I like to call it CC) is the most effective way to trick our bodies not to go into starvation mode. In a CC diet, you drop your carbohydrates for a few days then increase it again before your body figures out what’s going on! CC is based on the concept of rotating low carbohydrate days with high carbohydrate days instead of keeping carbohydrates low all the time. The beauty of this diet is that it takes advantage of the fat loss benefits of a low carbohydrate diet but eliminates all the low carbohydrate side effects! It keeps metabolism at a high rate and prevents your body from going into starvation mode.
The Game Plan
Low carbohydrates should be on a maximum of three days straight and then you fill up on the fourth day. Upon carbohydrate loading on the fourth day, your energy stays up and your metabolism gets a boost burning fat rapidly. On my low days, I eat my carbohydrates on my first two or three meals (snacks included) and the carbohydrates I eat are little. (Half cup of brown rice) After 4pm I have high protein meals with only fibrous carbohydrates (salads, greens etc)
On my high day, I simply eat anything I want (still no sweets and soda). This is where I eat a lot of starchy carbohydrates such as French fries, Chinese fried rice, mashed potatoes with gravy etc. It not only fills me up with the needed carbohydrates but also gives me a feeling of reward after three days of low carbohydrates. After losing 20 pounds and shaving off 11 points on my body fat percentage, I am really convinced that this is really the fastest method to lose weight and what seems like the easiest as well. =)