Ever wondered how to make your social life and weight loss coexist? I’m going to show you how carb cycling can be adapted to create a long-term lifestyle, and I’ve created a carb cycling calculator that will show you exactly what your fat, carb, and protein intake should be.
To help you out even more I’m giving you a free bonus at the end of the article. It’s a sample carb cycling meal plan you can use, so be sure you download it.
What is Carb Cycling?
Carb cycling is a way to make your fat loss more effective by cycling your carbohydrate intake between low, medium, and high days.
Many people assume carb cycling is effective due to its insulin sensitivity boosting effects. And this is definitely true to an extent.
Any time you reduce carbohydrates you make your cells more receptive to carbohydrates when they are reintroduced. This is simply due to GLUT-4 receptors being translocated to muscle cells.
All this means is that when you are glycogen depleted, either through reduced carbohydrate intake or through intense exercise, your muscle cells are demanding carbohydrates and will preferentially store them in the muscle instead of fat.
But I argue that this is not the main reason why carb cycling is so effective. Instead, I think carb cycling’s benefits lie its ability to coexist with your lifestyle.
Carb Cycling For Weight Loss
Yes, there are the physiological benefits laid out in the section above. And those benefits will affect your fat loss to a degree, but that degree is much smaller than people think.
Instead, the benefits of carb cycling are due to its flexibility in meshing with your social behaviors.
What in the world does that mean?
It means you now have the ability to structure your calories in a way that your social schedule and physique goals can coexist. It means calories can be lower when your day is more predictable and they can be higher when you let loose with friends and family.
This way you can plan your meals so you eat less when it’s easier and more socially acceptable, and eat more when the situation makes it more difficult to control your calories.
Note: If you’re getting negative numbers or numbers that don’t make sense, you’ve entered in your stats wrong. The biggest mistake is the “height” entry. Make sure you enter your height in inches or centimeters. That means if you are 5’7, you would enter 67, as that is how many inches it is.
Now these guidelines are flexible. You don’t need to hit them on the dot each day. Nor do you need to do them in the exact order they are shown.
Instead, notice there are 3 low, 3 medium, and 1 high carb day. Fat and protein remain constant day to day. These 7 days should be arranged in a way that fits your social calendar.
For example, my family has a very predictable Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, so the low carb days would be best utilized on these days.
My wife and I tend to go and get sushi on Wednesday, and we eat more relaxed on Fridays and Saturdays by eating ready-made meals. These days are best suited for medium carb days since they are harder to control.
Then on Sunday we usually watch football or do something else and let go a little. Our meals reflect this behavior and the high carb days fit perfectly here.
When you average out the calories for the week we are still eating in a calorie deficit, but the deficit is easier to adhere to since it meshes better with our social schedule.
And that, in my opinion, is the biggest benefit to carb cycling – its ability to improve adherence to a caloric deficit due to its lifestyle-coexisting capabilities.
Because when it comes to weight loss that’s what matters most – maintaining a caloric deficit over a long period of time. And it’s also where most weight loss programs fail.
Carb cycling makes this easier on you, and if you follow the guidelines laid out when you used the calculator, you’re going to do great losing weight.
Carb Cycling Meal Plan
To give you a better idea of what carb cycling would look like in real life with real meals, I’ve put together a free bonus for you. Download your free 1 week carb cycling sample meal plan by clicking here.
It’ll show you exactly what to eat on what days so that you’ll get all the lifestyle benefits of carb cycling. And as always, if you have any questions about carb cycling you can ask them in the comments below.