In the fitness world, carb cycling is very popular for weight loss and changing one’s physique. And as it grows in popularity, I often get questions from my clients about it. When enough people ask about it, I know that’s it time to research it more. But my research isn’t about doing the research and applying theory, it’s about BEING the research.
I’m the guinea pig and you get to sit back and decide if you want to do something like this for yourself.
What Is Carb Cycling?
It’s simply altering your carb intake on a planned basis. For me, I’m following 3 days of low carb (about 0.5 grams of carbs per body weight) followed by 2 days of high carb (about 2x grams of carbs per body weight). At 168 pounds, I’m roughly getting 80-90 grams on low carb days and 330-340 grams on high carb days.
The average American gets 300 grams of carbs per day and we have a major obesity, diabetes, and heart disease issue so I’m a little nervous to bombard my body with those loads.
For protein, I’m keeping it at 1 gram per body weight (165-170 grams of protein). And for fat, I fill in the difference based on total calories. On low carb days, I’m shooting for 2100-2200 calories. On high carb days, I’m shooting for 2600-2700 calories. Though you will see, it takes some work to get the macros and calories dialed in. The 2nd week should be better as I have a better experience.
Essentially, I’m flip flopping my carbs and fats. On a high carb day, I’m staying low fat. On a low carb day, I’m staying high fat.
Today is the start of week of 2 for me. I started September 28th. I didn’t take any measurements to start due to scheduling conflicts. But today I got my InBody results.
Baseline Starting Measurements
Weight: 166.1 lbs (down from 168 on July 4)
Skeletal Muscle Mass: 87.1 (down from 87.7 on July 4)
Body fat Percentage: 9.1% (up from 9.0 on July 4).
What Last Week Looked Like
Monday, September 28: 60 grams of carbs, 147 grams of fat, 178 grams of protein. 2312 total calories
Tuesday, September 29: 87 grams of carbs, 152 grams of fat, 155 grams of protein. 2331 total calories
Wednesday, September 30: 112 grams of carbs, 124 grams of fat, 184 grams of protein. 2259 calories.
Thursday, October 1: 318 grams of carbs, 93 grams of fat, 162 grams of protein. 2747 total calories
Friday, October 2: 327 grams of carbs, 96 grams of fat, 176 grams of protein. 2847 total calories.
Saturday, October 3: 95 grams of carbs, 139 grams of fat, 171 grams of protein. 2295 total calories.
Sunday, October 4: 104 grams of carbs, 79 grams of fat, 183 grams of protein. 1841 total calories.
I think why the ‘low fat’ era failed miserably is that it wasn’t actually low fat. It was just low saturated fat. Most anything high carb that comes in a package is also high on the fat due to being cooked, processed, and preserved in vegetable oils. In order to get high carb items by themself, it’s straight fruit (fresh or dried) or fruit juice like apple cider (’tis the season) or the starchy vegetables like a sweet potato or rice.