Carb cycling is the foundation of what my husband, Chris Powell and I, do every day and with every client. It works! I’m going to introduce you to the basics of carb cycling and the four different carb cycling plans—Easy, Classic, Turbo, and Fit—as well as 9-Minute Missions, which work in combination with carb cycling for optimal weight loss results.
First up, the carb cycling basics.
What is Carb Cycling?
Carb cycling is an eating plan with alternating high-carb and low-carb days. It’s that simple. It also has built-in reward days or reward meals (depending on the plan you’re following), so you can still eat your favorite foods on a regular basis. Sounds pretty much perfect, right? You can eat healthy foods, enjoy foods you love, and still lose weight.
While each plan has a different mix of high-carb and low-carb days, each day works basically the same:
- Eat five meals—no more, no less.
- Eat a high-carb breakfast that includes both protein and carbs within 30 minutes of waking.
- Eat your remaining 4 meals—either high-carb or low-carb, depending on the plan you’re following—every 3 hours.
- Choose approved foods (Sign up on Chris’ website to receive a FREE printable food guide!)
- Drink a gallon of water.
How does it work?
In order to lose weight, our bodies need the right combination of proteins, carbs, and healthy fats. Here’s why:
- Protein builds and maintains muscles and these muscles burn calories like an inferno. Protein also breaks down more slowly than carbs and fat, which burns even more calories and helps you feel fuller longer.
- Carbs are the preferred fuel source for your muscles and organs, and they come in healthy versions (vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes), and not-so-healthy versions (cakes, cookies, soda, doughnuts, candy, and many processed foods). Healthy carbs are also crucial for burning calories, and since they break down more slowly than those not-so-healthy carbs, they keep your blood sugar and energy levels steady, and they also keep your calorie-burning furnace hot so it burns more calories!
- Healthy fats (unsaturated fats) eaten in moderation help the development and function of your eyes and brain and help prevent heart disease, stroke, depression, and arthritis. Healthy fats also help keep your energy levels steady and keep you from feeling hungry.
So why do we alternate high-carb and low-carb days in carb cycling? On high-carb days you’re stocking your calorie-burning furnace so that on low-carb days your furnace burns fat, and lots of it! This pattern tricks your metabolism into burning a lot of calories, even on those low-carb days. It’s an amazing and well-proven process.
What are the benefits?
Carb cycling has many benefits:
- It fits any lifestyle.
- You’ll learn how to shed weight and body fat, and how to make smart lifestyle choices for the rest of your life. This puts YOU in control.
- You’ll feel better and have more energy.
- You’ll eat the foods you love.
- You’ll build lean, strong muscles.
- You’ll be empowered physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
We’ve touched briefly on carb cycling. Learn more about my four Carb Cycling plans to find your ideal one and let’s get cycling!
We’ve just skimmed the surface of carb cycling here. Get even more details on carb cycling in our books Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution, and Choose More, Lose More for Life