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What is Carb Cycling? Carb cycling is simply alternating be-


tween low and high-carb eating days. There are many different styles and variations of carb cy- cling, but each program should be based on the individual’s lifestyle, eating habits, food pref- erences . . . and will power! As with almost any objective, preparation is the key for success.


What’s in your food? Before you begin, it is important that you understand the macronutrients found in your food and why they are important in your body. The primary macronutrients are; protein, fat, and carbohydrates.


Protein is the most satiating macronutri-


ent, meaning it leaves you feeling the fullest for the longest. It functions in building, rebuilding and repairing muscle tissue in the body and can be found primarily in meat, fish, and poultry. Fat is second to protein in satiety, it


comes in good and bad forms. Good fat is mono or poly-unsaturated fat, it is necessary for brain function, lubricates joints and organs and can be found in things like nuts, seeds, peanut but- ter and avocados. Bad fat is saturated - it has no beneficial purpose and is not necessary in any quantities whatsoever. It is found in fried, greasy, processed foods. Carbohydrates are the preferred source


of immediate energy for the body and they


come in two forms: simple and complex. Com- plex carbohydrates are slower digesting, stabi- lize blood sugar levels, provide satiation and can be found in foods such as sweet potatoes, quinoa, whole grains and whole wheats. Sim- ple carbohydrates break down fast, spiking and dropping blood sugar levels leading to crashes in energy and spikes in appetite. Simple carbs can be found in foods high in sugar such as candy or sweets, white rice, enriched and pro- cessed foods.


Benefits of a Carb Cycling diet Choosing to cycle your carbs can have many positive impacts on your body composi- tion, overall health, energy levels, and fitness goals. As a personal trainer I have had great success for my clients (who vary in age from adolescence to 60+) as well as myself with body transformation utilizing carb cycle varia- tions.


Carb cycling has become popular with


those wishing to drop body fat. This method of dieting is effective in facilitating the loss of body fat while simultaneously building lean muscle mass and strength. This unique method of controlled eating allows you to enjoy foods that you prefer, without restricting or going hungry. You will likely notice an increase in en- ergy levels while attaining a freedom from that annoying body fat that is weighing you down! By taking the time to plan out your meals, you will surely learn more about the foods you are eating, and how to make better choices in the future to help keep the body you desire.


Starting a Carb Cycle program Whenever beginning a new diet


or


training program, it’s best to apply the KISS principle: Keep It Simple Stupid. The most ba- sic form of a carb cycle diet alternates every day from high to low carb. If you’re wonder- ing how to figure out what constitutes a ‘high’ or ‘low’ day follow these guidelines: on a high carb day you can eat between 1-3 grams of car- bohydrates per pound of your bodyweight, and on a low carb day you can consume just .75 grams or less per pound of bodyweight. Start at a range that is reasonable for you to achieve, and increase the intensity over time to keep you progressing forward. In the template below I have outline a beginner’s carb cycle plan, in-


42 • March 2016


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