What is Carb Cycling and How Does it Work?

February 25, 2022

Many different diets and techniques for weight loss and fitness rely on carbohydrate intake. Limiting carbs is not new, but can carb cycling work for you? Find out what you need to know right here.


The Potential Benefits of Carb Cycling

Although carb cycling is a relatively fresh approach and not much solid research exists, many of the benefits make sense if you’re looking to lose some weight or get bigger. That’s because hormones, energy levels, and your metabolism play a big part in promoting both weight loss and muscle building success:

·  Better insulin sensitivity

·  Faster fat burning

·  Lower cholesterol levels

·  Improved metabolic health 

·  Hormonal benefits, such as testosterone, thyroid hormones, and leptin


So, What Exactly is Carb Cycling?

In short, carb cycling is a dietary approach to manipulating your carb intake and depends on several different factors. It’s when you optimize your carb intake by regularly altering how much carbohydrates you eat during set periods. 

Athletes and fitness enthusiasts might use carb cycling to exercise or perform better while losing weight or trying to burn fat. You can cycle carbs daily, weekly, fortnightly, or monthly. 

It’s a good idea to get tailored advice from a local personal trainer before deciding how to proceed. Speaking with a personal trainer here at BLK BOX Gym in Richmond will also help you establish daily or weekly limits for carb intake according to your specific physical needs.


A number of factors might dictate how you construct your own carb cycling program, such as:

·  Your Goals: Whether that’s short-term muscle building or longer-term improvement in performance.

·  Rest Days to suit how you work out: Some people benefit from making high-carb days correspond to gym days.

·  Competitive schedules: Athletes and bodybuilders might time carb intake to coincide with elements of preparation for events or competitions.

·  Carb intake according to training type: Some may find it helpful to adjust carb intake according to the fluctuating demands of a workout schedule.

·  Monitoring body fat: If your body fat levels tend to fluctuate, you can attempt to control that with a reactive carb cycling approach.

Does Carb Cycling Help with Weight Loss?

It Can. Carb cycling can play a part in losing weight, but you absolutely must maintain a calorie deficit, and it will very help if you eat plenty of protein.

One of the most significant benefits for maintaining steady results during a weight loss program is that carb cycling can help you maintain the energy to keep working out. It’s a factor that affects many of our clients here at the personal training studio in Richmond, BC. Weight loss can result in reduced stamina, and carb cycling has the potential to combat that.

One of the downsides of carb cycling is that it can be complicated to monitor and maintain while keeping to a safe, healthy, and effective carb deficit. That’s why many pro athletes decide to get professional help with carb cycling, and it overwhelmingly produces most of the best results we see from this technique.

If you get easily bored with the monotony of different diets, carb cycling could also offer a way to alleviate some of that.


Can Carb Cycling Help me Build Muscle?

Maybe. The way carb cycling works suggests it could play a part in helping you optimize your performance and build muscle, but that’s not yet confirmed by any solid research. Everyone is different, and it’s a good idea to visit and talk with your Richmond personal trainer.

As mentioned earlier, tailoring your carb intake according to your workout plan can yield some performance improvements, and that has to be a good thing when trying to bulk up.

When it comes to the physiological intricacies of making muscle tissue, there’s no evidence that carbohydrates are essential for that, as long as you get enough protein. Your diet will be a crucial component for success, so be sure to speak to us about nutritional coaching.


How Do I Start Carb Cycling?

Getting started with carb cycling isn’t that complicated, but a visit to your Richmond personal training studio may help. There are several different options for carb cycling, from daily to weekly or monthly regimes and changes.

Your personal trainer can give you a good idea of how to begin, based on your specific needs and characteristics, then tweak and adjust from there to optimize effects.


Recommended Carbohydrate Food Sources

So, hold up for a second. High-carb days or weeks are not – and I repeat, ARE NOT – an opportunity to overeat junk foods or takeaways, although we all have moments of weakness!

When you’re on a high-carb day, it’s vital you stick to as many healthy whole-food sources of carbohydrates as possible. Here’s a good guide to what you should be eating on a carb cycling plan: 

·  Stick to whole grains, like brown rice, quinoa, and oats

·  Tubers, like potatoes and sweet potatoes, are acceptable for carb cyclers.

·  Vegetables: eat a full range of colors to get the maximum amount of vitamins and minerals.

·  Fruits and berries

·  Legumes are an excellent example of carbs you digest more slowly, plus they’re full of fiber and a great source of minerals.


Book an Appointment at Our Personal Training Studio in Richmond BC - Find Out if Carb Cycling is For You

Periods of low-carb intake could well help you gain several different health benefits. However, if you’re considering-carb cycling, get professional advice and start out the right way.

Here at BLK BOX gym in Richmond, BC, we help hundreds of people find the right fit for their personal fitness goals. We’re a friendly bunch, so book a consultation soon and begin your own carb cycling journey.

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