Carb cycling is the practice of rotating low-carbohydrate days with high-carbohydrate days and sometimes moderate-carbohydrate days. Rotating between different amounts of carbohydrates allows you to get the benefits of a low-carbohydrate diet without completely taxing your system. There are several unspoken rules to carbohydrate cycling – such as lowering your fat intake on high-carbohydrate day, eating for volume on low-carbohydrate day, and correlating your carbohydrate intake with your training schedule.
1. Lowering your fat intake on high-carbohydrate day
The reason I say lower your fat intake on high-carbohydrate day is because it will allow you to maximize your results coming from the carb rotation diet. If you lower your fat intake on high-carbohydrate day, you are allowing your body a little more leeway to adapt to the extra calories consumed via additional carbohydrates.
2. Eat for volume on low-carbohydrate day
In order to stay full throughout the lower carbohydrate days, you must consume the majority of your calories through volume foods. Volume foods are usually described as lean protein and high-fiber foods. Examples of volume food would be Brussels sprouts, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, lean ground turkey, chicken breast and fish, just to name a few. Be smart about your food choices and your tummy will thank you!
3. Correlating your carbohydrate intake with your training schedule
This is probably the most obvious rule of them all. Schedule your higher carbohydrate days with your higher impact training days, so you put your extra fuel to use and vice versa. I like to schedule leg days with my high-carbohydrate days. Schedule your lower impact days, such as your rest days, with your lower carbohydrate days.
These three simple rules will allow you to maximize your results while following a carb cycling nutrition plan.