Which diet is best for you? – Carb Cycling
Less is More
Originally I compiled all the information, on the world’s most popular diets, in my DIET HARD series but on review, the post lacked some punch.
So I’ve broken them up into their own bite size sections, hopefully giving you the chance to focus on the specific ones that interest you the most.
Remember, this information is here to give you an understanding of how these plans work and the type of people most likely to use them. Unlike many other sites, they also give you some of the stumbling blocks associated that cause people to either quit, or relapse weight wise.
The goal is to pick a diet that fits you. One you are most likely to stick to based on your habits, ethics and lifestyle. otherwise there is no point,
So be honest with yourselves to see whether you can juggle the pros and cons of each before making your decision.
Tour de Carb Cyclers – Carb Cycling
As highlighted previously, cutting carbs totally is a bitch and some people can’t handle it on a long term basis. What you can do is fudge or cycle your daily numbers so you are never without it for too long..
So instead of crashing your calories. you create a smaller manageable weekly deficit and stagger out the pain of dieting instead. So with all things being equal, maintaining your protein and fat numbers, this method really comes down to the daily manipulation of your carbohydrate intake in order to create the deficit.
Let’s say for example, from your calculated macronutrient breakdown, you find out that you require 250 grams of carbs each day to maintain your weight.
So a carb cycler may look at that and organise their daily macros so they have something along the lines of this
Monday – 50 grams carb allowance –800 calorie deficit
Tuesday – 100 grams carb allowance – 600 calories deficit
Wednesday – 150 grams carb allowance – 400 calories daily deficit
Thursday – – 200 Grams carb allowance – 20o calorie deficit
Friday – 225 grams carb allowance – 100 calorie deficit
Saturday – 50 grams carb allowance – 800 calorie daily deficit
Sunday – 100 Grams carb allowance – 600 calorie deficit
And so on and so forth
On review, you only really have one day in every five where you have to physically ‘cut’ back on carb intake (the sixth day of the cycle). However when you look at your intake for the whole week, you’ve still obtained a total calorific deficit of 3500 calories so you should have lost that pound of fat with all things being equal.
In comparison to the 500 calories daily deficit route.(calculated as a 125 grams daily carb allowance), you only have 2 days of the week where you are dieting significantly above or below this value and the low days are never in a row. You can also manage a lower carb day better if you’ve had a big carb one the night before so it’s not a big stumbling block.
While the weight loss here is steady and controlled, it is usually slower than the average atkins/paleo type diets because you are not restricting your carb intake by that much.
Using the model above, if you were to cut the 250 grams out completely you would get a 2 lbs a week weight loss, which is twice as fast as this method.
Some may say,
This is more effort to monitor my food and it gives me slower results, no thanks.
There are some advantages to slowing it down though
You are less likely to breakdown muscle tissue here so your metabolic rate should not be affected by your weight loss
It gives you a healthier relationship with carbs and means you don’t have to cut them out of your diet or restrict them drastically, you can modify them so you get high days and low days. You can also work it around your schedule. So if you do train a few days a week, you can align them with your higher carb days (for resistant training) and your lower carb days for (cardio training). This means it is still possible to lead an active lifestyle while on a diet.
Plus for most days, you have the psychological factor of knowing you can eat more food, the next day and the next, which is a rare situation to be in with most diets.
Figurimng out the logistics of it can bea little odd because you may have to eat similar types of food daily in order to make sure you can keep on top of your varied carb intake
It also means you have to be more vigilant with your diet to make sure you know how many carbs you are supposed to consume on that day. You don’t have the benefit of just going into autopilot and waiting for the weight to come off, like with the Atkins method
When it comes to adjusting your calories for additional weight loss, if you wish to continue evenly distributing your daily cycle allowance, it may get a bit jarring. What you could do instead is just bring down to the total numbers on your high carb days.
Using this method could be an option for those who are starting to feel the drain of being on a diet for a long period of time and would like some form of variation to drown out the monotony of it.
On paper, I don’t have too many bad things to say about carb cycling, it just the fact you may need alot of paper and a calculator, a diary and perhaps a personal assistant and a NASA supercomputer, in order to keep everything in check.
I would say utilse this method if you don’t mind dieting slower and your daily carb allowance is calculated as borderline low and you don’t particularly want to reduce it significantly.
If you have a high carb allowance and you are happy to cut back on them regardless, perhaps try something else and save yourself a little headache figuring out the calcs.