Friday, March 11, 2016

Carb Cycling and the body

Carb cycling. Ever heard of it? If you've done 21 day fix extreme or are familiar with it, you may have noticed that the "Countdown to Competition" plan has a form of carb cycling involved.

The brain's preferred source of energy comes from carbs. Low-carb diets may work, but they are not the healthiest choice for long-term weight loss, or even short-term weight loss. Carb-cycling is a way to eat carbs on the days you need them most, and then cut them out on other days.

For example, if you do heavy weights or resistance workouts 3 days a week, these should be your carb days. This means you eat 3-4 servings of HEALTHY carbs (fruit, oatmeal, quinoa, whole wheat bread, brown rice, etc) alongside the appropriate amount of protein and veggies. On the other 3 days (cardio, yoga, or rest days), eat just protein and veggies (avoid dairy and sorry, but no fruits...). If you're serious, make your 4th day a protein and veggie day, otherwise you can allow yourself a no-stress day once a week (always try to avoid over-indulging!).

Carbs fuel your harder workouts, while protein and veggies allow your body to utilize fat as a source of energy on the cardio days. This sort of metabolism confusion kicks your fat burning process into high-gear.

Here's an example carb day:

7am: Oatmeal with apple and cinnamon
9am: Protein shake
11am: 2 eggs with veggie scramble
1pm: Turkey sandwich
3pm: Carrots and hummus
6pm: Salmon, salad, sweet potato.

An example protein/veggie day:

7am: 2 eggs with veggies
9am: Protein shake (with almond/cashew milk)
11am: Chicken and zucchini scramble
1pm: Carrots and hummus
3pm: Protein shake
5pm: Couple slices of beef jerky
6pm: Salmon, miso broth, and salad

While this may be a great way to lose weight fast, always aim to live a life of moderation once you hit that healthy weight! If you follow this plan and are ready to get back to the real world, slowly introduce carbs back into your daily life (add a piece of fruit every day for a couple days, then some other healthy carb every day). If you hit a plateau but still want to lose weight, go 4-5 days eating a controlled carb diet, and then start the carb-cycling again! EXTREME FITNESS. SIMPLE EATING. SERIOUS RESULTS.

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