Carb Cycling: Lose Weight While Eating Carbs

Updated on April 30th, 2020
Carb Cycling

Carb cycling diet is an elevated level of nutrition strategy, and it works by alternating between high and low carbohydrate intakes. This strategy requires strict devotion and should only be followed for a shorter period of time. The primary objective of crab cycling is to push the body to utilize the accumulated fat as energy and fuel, instead of using glycogen, which is a type of stored carbohydrate.

Exercise is one of the essential elements of this cycling. It increases the body’s ability to burn much more fat, and it can be used as fuel once the stored glycogen has already been utilized.

The nutritional requirements while going through this cycling process depend on the body requirements of every individual person, and the kind of exercise they perform will differentiate on nutrient consumption. Vegan carb cycling is quite difficult to maintain as there aren’t many options, glutinous flour, nuts, butter, oil, starchy fruits, and vegetables can provide the carb needed for vegans during this diet.

Diet Plan

There are several variations of carb cycling, and it depends on the body requirements of individuals. Carb cycling keto diet is also possible, but all the products have to be purely organic and properly cooked at home devoid of any additives.

Here Is a Table That Illustrates Sample Carb Intake for a Week

Day Exercise Carb intake Fat intake Amount of carbs
Monday Weight training High carb Low fat 200 grams
Tuesday Aerobic training Mod carb Mod fat 100 grams
Wednesday Rest day Low carb High fat 30 grams
Thursday Weight training High carb Low fat 200 grams
Friday Weight training High carb Low fat 200 grams
Saturday Rest day Low carb High fat 30 grams
Sunday Rest day Low carb High fat 30 grams

Carb cycling for beginners requires a lot of adjustment. You cannot just begin carb cycling; you need to prepare your body slowly to deal with the routine and adjust it accordingly. Experiment with high and low carb according to the table, and slowly, your lifestyle will adjust and envelope according to the diet.

The diet carb cycling to lose weight is possible, only if fat and cholesterol intake can be reduced and replaced with more healthy vegetables, grilled, or baked food made at home. The carb cycling meal plan can help in muscle gain and fat discharge.

Here is a table that will tell you how you can adjust your diet according to low carb and high card which will suit your body

Low carb period High carb period Amount of carbs
Day 1 to 11 Day 12, 13 & 14 200 grams – 400 grams per day
Week 1 to 4 Week 5

150 grams – 400 grams per day

As suggested in this table, you can refeed your body carbs every alternate week or can do a significant time period of low carb at a stretch. You can also follow a continuous 4-week low carb diet and one week of feedback. Weight loss is quite evident as the diet is controlled and food items are consumed in proportion.(1)

The amount of carb intake and its effect can also depend on carbohydrate tolerance, activity level, and muscle mass. An athlete who exercises regularly for about 2 to 4 hours a day may require the upper limit, whereas a general person who performs normal activities will only need to refeed oneself on just 150 to 200 grams.

Carb cycling is not exactly a strict, maintaining diet. It’s more of a strategy that can be modified according to body requirements. Hence that is why you should consult your dietitian before following this diet.

Finally, these examples are suggestions only. There is no fool-proof formula or ratio for carb cycling, and you should tailor and experiment with it yourself.

There aren’t any specific carb cycling recipes. It’s just that they have to be cooked at home with fresh vegetables and fruits, if possible grilled or baked.

Carb Cycle Strategy Menu

The carb cycling food list is quite diverse. The only specific elements that are eliminated from this list are processed and packaged food items. There are three of the sample carb cycling meal plan menus of low, moderate, and high carb day.

Low-Carb Day

Breakfast: Three slices of bacon ( or any other carb), 3 eggs, and green mix vegetables or salad. (Carbs 10 grams)

Lunch: Fish salad; preferably salmon (6 oz) with a dressing of 1 tablespoon oil, preferably olive oil. (Carbs 10 grams)

Snacks: One Turkey slice and mixed nuts (1 oz). ( carbs 10 grams)

Dinner: Mixed vegetables, half avocado or any other natural carbohydrate, and 6 Oz steak. (Carbs 16 grams)

Moderate-Carb Day

Breakfast: 130 grams of mixed berries, high protein organic yogurt, 1 tbsp seed mix, and stevia. (carbs 25 grams)

Lunch: 4 oz of diced starchy potatoes and 6 oz of chicken salad. (carbs 25 grams)

Before workout: Whey protein shakes with a banana. (carbs 30 grams)

Dinner: 6 Oz lean beef, one fried sweet potato serving, organic or homemade tomato sauce, mixed vegetables, and one serving of kidney beans. (Carbs 40 grams)

High-Carb Day

Breakfast: Organic whole grain bread, organic tomatoes, 3 boiled eggs, 200 grams of mixed fruit, and mushrooms. (Carbs 60 grams)

Lunch: 6 Oz fish for lean meat, 6 Oz sweet potato, and mixed vegetables. (carbs 45 grams)

Before workout: Almond milk, 130 grams of berries, 1 oatmeal serving, and one measurement spoon of whey protein. (Carbs 50 grams)

Dinner: Six oz lean chicken or Turkey, homemade organic tomato sauce, mixed vegetables, 1 serving of kidney beans, and one serving of whole-grain rice. (Carbs 70 grams)

Benefits of Carb Cycling

1. Improves Muscle Strength

strong Muscles 

Carb cycling, in general, can help in the improvement of physical performance and muscle gain. The regular balance of carb intake can help with body functions and improve muscle strength.

2. Improves Metabolic System

This diet, along with exercise, can help in glycogen replenishment, delivery of nutrients, and muscle recovery. Some research also suggests that the carb cycle helps in muscle growth & build-up, better insulin sensitivity, strengthen the metabolic system, and improve cholesterol. The diet of carb cycling for fat loss can be specifically useful when paired with a proper exercise routine.

Suggested Read:
•  Thrive Diet: The New & Popular Diet for Weight Loss

•  What is the Volumetrics Diet and Why Do Millennials Love it
•  What Is the Pegan Diet, and Why Is It the Next Big Thing?

Myths and Side Effects

Carb cycling is a certain kind of lifestyle regulation that, once put in action, needs to be taken care of. If any alteration happens, then there can be a severe imbalance within your body.

To maintain this diet, you have to go through severe discipline and regular exercise, which will keep your muscles active and burn the fat that has been consumed. Without proper exercise, fat will accumulate in the body, and muscle strength wants to improve. That is why specialists recommend this diet only to athletic professionals mostly.


Carb cycling is not exactly a long term diet; rather it is specialized for athletes when they are physically active continuously and exercising for about 2 to 4 hours every day. Without this routine and discipline, a carb cycling diet will not properly work.

No research has ever suggested carb cycling as a long term diet. And it is always essential that while following this diet, you must take into consideration the advice of your dietitian or nutritionist as they will know your body requirements and activity level. Depending on these two aspects, they will formulate a carb cycle weekly plan for you to follow.


1. Can Processed Food Be Consumed During This Diet?

No, any processed food or added sugar and preservative items have to be eliminated from your regular diet. Consume only organic and whole meals.

2. Can Fruit Juice Be Consumed During This Diet?

It’s better to consume whole organic fruits rather than depending on fruit juice as they contain extensive added sugar, which is not good for the body.

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