Carb Cycling 101

Carb cycling is the foundation of what my husband, Chris, and I do every day and with every client.  We know through years of experience with many different clients that carb cycling works, so I’m going to introduce you to the basics and the five different carb cycling plans—Easy, Classic, Turbo, and Fit, and Extreme, our newest cycle.

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 breakfast 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.
  • 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.

I’ve only skimmed the surface of carb cycling, so learn more about our five carb cycling plans to find your ideal cycle, and let’s get cycling!

Easy Carb Cycle

Classic Carb Cycle

Turbo Carb Cycle

Fit Carb Cycle

Extreme Carb Cycle

Get even more information on carb cycling in both or our books: Extreme Transformation (the newest edition to our carb cycline lineup featuring the Extreme Cycle) and Choose More, Lose More for Life (which features our other four cycles).



  1. Mandy - April 18, 2017

    Question- Do you count net carbs or solely whole not subtracting fiber etc? thanks 🙂 Was trying to go through and find that answer but couldn’t find it.

    • Team Powell - April 19, 2017

      Hi Mandy: We count total carbs to make things easier, but we do recommend you aim for around 25 grams of fiber a day on high carb days. 🙂

  2. Amanda - April 17, 2017

    I have a question about monitoring saturated fat intake while doing the turbo cycle. Depending on the meals I choose from the app, it is very likely that I am consuming 25-30 grams of saturated fat due mostly to coconut oil and butter. This seems high to me, and I am wondering what amount of saturated fat you recommend per day? The app only really tracks fat in general, not really the type of fat. Please advise. 🙂

    • Team Powell - April 18, 2017

      Hi Amanda: All of the macros in the meals on the app fall into acceptable percentages, and you can choose meals with unsaturated fats if you’d like. We tried to make the meal plan appealing for those who are already healthy eaters and for those who are trying to become healthy eaters. Hope that helps!

  3. Amy - April 15, 2017

    So Easter Sunday is supposed to be a low carb day but also want to enjoy the holiday with my family. Should I change my reset day for this week or wing it tomorrow? I know how important the low carb days are and I only do 2 per week. I’ve already got my meals lined up for my work week, I just don’t want to mess up my metabolism by switching things around.

  4. Lindsey - April 12, 2017

    I have never done carb cycling and I stumbled on your website. I’m going to give it a shot. Going with the classic cycle. I already track my macros at about 250C, 125P, and 56F (so 50, 25, 25). This was what was suggested for me since my workouts burn some serious calories. So given that…how many carbs for low carb days vs high carb days? Is there a ratio? I already use My Fitness Pal so I’m hoping to hear back from you guys on the gram amounts. Thanks!!

    • Lindsey - April 12, 2017

      Also, I eat about 2014 cals per day…so do I still eat that amount each day and just adjust the macros basically?

    • Team Powell - April 13, 2017

      Hi Lindsey: On the Classic Cycle, women eat around 1200 calories on low carb days and around 1500 calories on high carb days. If you use the app, these numbers are adjusted based on YOUR body and YOUR goals, so your numbers could very well be different. Hope this helps!

    • Team Powell - April 13, 2017

      Hi Lindsey: Since we’ve planned all your macros for you in this plan, we really don’t have numbers to offer. And your macros are different depending on whether or not it’s a high carb or low carb meal also, so a blanket number for a day needs to take that into account. If you’ll follow the portion sizes for each macro for each meal, you should be good to go! You also might be interested in Chris and Heidi’s new Transform with Chris and Heidi app, which offers a completely customized meal and workout program, and it will adjust your program as you progress towards your goal also. It’s amazing! You can learn more about it here:

    • Lindsey - April 13, 2017

      But in all honesty, If I’m burning 700 per workout… and am active through the day…I don’t think 1200 calories would cut it. Right? I’ll take a look at the app and download it. Thanks for the response. 🙂

  5. Tabitha Geary - April 11, 2017

    Hello, my sister and I are both following this plan. We are having a debate: Where does cottage cheese fit in? Thanks!

    • Team Powell - April 11, 2017

      Hi Tabitha: Cottage cheese falls into the protein category! 🙂

  6. Abby - April 5, 2017

    Hi there. I am 143 pounds (5’6). I am looking to lose a bit of bodyfat and be a steady 138-140 pounds. I have worked hard to gain a good amount of muscle and I train 5 days a week (cardio and lifting). I am on my second week of the Transform App (woohoo)… but I am a bit confused. I am on the “fit cycle”, but it has me at 1950 calories on high carb days and 1800 on low carb days. This is much higher than the 1200-1500 that I have seen in many comments for all women in the carb cycles. Is this accurate for me??

    • Team Powell - April 5, 2017

      Hi Abby: You’re doing awesome! The recommendations in Chris and Heidi’s books and are very general and while they do work, they are for a wide range of people. In the app, your program is customized to YOUR body and YOUR goals, so these numbers will naturally be different. And it is VERY common to be surprised at the amount of food you should be eating to reach your goals! Most people have the misconception (and “old school” mentality) that you have to starve yourself to reach your goals – this is not the case at all in both the books and this program. For our approach, we start you at the highest calorie intake possible to boost your metabolism and prime your body, then if you EVER plateau, the program will adjust your portions in a “step-down” manner, to maximize your results and keep you losing. This is transformation the way it SHOULD be done! Your meal plan is totally customized to you and your goals, and so you can feel confident that if you eat all of that delicious food, you will achieve your goals!

  7. M Lepore - April 4, 2017

    What is the best way to go about the meals as a Vegetarian? Is there a particular Carb Cycle that would work better? I do eat eggs and dairy products, but no other animal products. I use to eat seafood when I followed the Extreme Transformation program last year, but I would prefer not to eat meat this time around. Thank you in advance!

    • Team Powell - April 5, 2017

      Hi! There are several vegetarian options you can use in carb cycling: tofu, plant proteins, tempeh, seitan, and TVP, to name a few. And eggs and dairy products are great also!

  8. Melissa - March 31, 2017

    Hi there! I’m following carb cycling with the new Transform app, with two high carb and one low carb day. I want to be lean and shredded and wouldn’t mind building a little more muscle. Would it be detrimental to my carb cycling to add in a supplement protein shake (20 G protein) with my am snack so I can try to build more? Or just trust and stick with plan and forget the supplement protein powder unless it’s included in my meals for the day automatically? Thank you!

    • Team Powell - April 1, 2017

      Hi Melissa: Protein is the foundation of every single meal in this program, and it’s been included in the program at the correct quantities, so you won’t want to add any additional protein to any meals. Instead, we have many meals that do include a protein shake, so you could choose one of those. Hope that helps! 🙂

  9. Erin - March 18, 2017

    I’m confused as to which cycle I need and the quiz I took had three in a tie. I’m looking to drop about 20lbs and lose fat. But I’m also an obstacle course racer and need to build lean muscle/have energy.
    I have the book choose more, lose more.

    • Team Powell - March 20, 2017

      Hi Erin: Since you are active, you might want to start with the Fit Cycle. And you can change cycles at any time! 🙂

  10. Wendy - March 16, 2017

    Is there a place on the website to view a sample menu of a low carb and high carb day??

    • Team Powell - March 16, 2017

      Hi Wendy: There are 21 days’ of menus in Chris and Heidi’s book, “Extreme Transformation” (, and in their other books, you’re able to put your own meals together based on your food preferences. There are also lots of awesome recipes in all of their books. And there are charts in these posts that outline how to put meals together in each of the carb cycles: and Hope that helps! 🙂

  11. Betsy - March 13, 2017

    Today is the first day of my transformation. My goal is to loose
    150 lbs. I have 2 questions.
    1. I’m a little confused between the turbo vs extreme options. I would love to get a quick start and build some momentum. Which option is best for me?
    2. Due to a work emergency I missed my 2nd meal and it was 5 hrs between breakfast and lunch. Is it more important that I get all 5 meals in or should I just skip that meal all together.
    (This is a bump in the road and a learning opportunity not something that will derail me at all)
    I’m so EXCITED!!!!!

    • Team Powell - March 13, 2017

      Hi Betsy: Let’s get you some answers to your questions! 1. I’d start with the Extreme Cycle. 2. Things like this happen #reallife, so you should be fine to just skip it. You might try keeping some healthy options in your purse, or at your desk (or some place handy at work) just in case this happens again. You’re doing awesome! 🙂

  12. Wendy - March 10, 2017

    I am really struggling and need you help with this diet plan. I don’t usually even eat 1200 calories a day so now doing this diet I feel like I am over eating. I have only been on this diet 2 days and I feel like I am gaining weight. What do you suggest?

    • Team Powell - March 10, 2017

      Hi Wendy: This is totally understandable! The minimum number of calories required for women for good health is 1200, so do your best to reach that number on those low carb days. If you’re still struggling, try increasing your calories by 100/day, and you will get to that 1200 calorie number! You can do this!

    • Wendy - March 10, 2017

      Okay thank you all good info. One last question on high carb day can you also include “fat” carbs also or just good carbs low in fat??

    • Team Powell - March 11, 2017

      Hi Wendy: You are so welcome! Since some carbs naturally have a bit of fat in them, just keep things simple. Eat carbs for high carb meals, fats for low carb meals (some fats do have a bit of carb in them), and protein with every meal. Chris and Heidi have tried to make this program as simple as possible! 🙂

  13. wendy - March 9, 2017

    I really don’t understand this plan. First I don’t think I am use to eating this many calories which maybe my reason for not loosing weight. How within the 5 times you eat the portions do you fit them in your hands measurement wise and accumulate 1200 and 1500 calories. Am I missing something here? I can’t get to this calorie in take. Am I making sense?

    • Team Powell - March 10, 2017

      Hi Wendy: If you’re having trouble hitting those calorie recommendations, there is a 100 calorie chart in “Choose More, Lose More for Life” that can help you put your meals together to achieve those daily calories. Using the portion guides also works, especially since you’re eating 5 meals a day. You can do this!

  14. Wendy - March 9, 2017

    What foods are considered healthy fats?

    • Team Powell - March 9, 2017

      Hi Wendy: Great question! Chris and Heidi recommend nuts, all-natural nut butters, oils (fish, flaxseed, and olive), cheeses, mayonnaise, seeds, avocado, olives, butter, and some others. I hope that helps!

    • Wendy - March 9, 2017

      Okay so on low carb day for morning snack its protein and fat. I had almonds and a few slices of sharp cheddar cheese. According to your comment that would actually be two fats right? What should I consider a low fat protein then confused?

    • Team Powell - March 10, 2017

      Hi Wendy: Yes, you are correct. Both cheese and almonds are fats. Choose one of these and pair it with a protein (lean meats, protein powders, nonfat/low-fat Greek yogurts, egg whites, low-fat cottage cheese, etc.), and you’re good to go!

  15. Jami - March 4, 2017

    Does it matter which days are high carb/low carb? It sounds like it should be tailored to my schedule. For example my heaviest days are T/Wed/Th/F Sat/Sun rest Mon light. So I should high carb the 4 heavy days low carb 2 days and make 1 day a reward day. Should I low carb Sat/Mon and Reward day Sun? Also, reward day? Unclear as to how many calories, macro % on this day or are you saying to throw it all out the window in this day and do what you feel?

    • Team Powell - March 6, 2017

      Hi Jami: All of the carb cycles take into account your workouts, but if you find that you need to adjust the schedule, do your hardest workouts on high carb days. And you can totally follow the schedule you’ve suggested in your comment, just be sure to keep the HC and LC days in the order as outlined. For your reward day, you’ll eat up to 1000 extra calories, so 2500 total for that day. You’re welcome to track these calories if you’d like to, but you don’t need to follow any specific macro percentages. Hope that helps!

  16. Connie - March 4, 2017

    Hello, I’ve been scouring through your articles and book. With the information I’ve read and the calculators I’ve used in confused what my intakes sound be. I’m a46yo female. I weigh 179 and am 5’4. Right now I am moderately active at the gym but would like to get better. I am looking for what my protein, carb and fat intakes/macros should be for my low carb/ high carb days. I was looking at trying the turbo plan. I was looking into the extreme plan but I’m not sure which would be better for me. Could you please help me on this? Thank you…

    • Team Powell - March 4, 2017

      Hi Connie: Chris and Heidi have figured out all of your macros for you in all of their cycles, which makes things super simple! I’d do the Extreme Cycle, and here’s a post that outlines several meal prep options for this cycle as well as a “Create Your Own Meals” chart that can help you put your own meals together: Just remember that each gram of protein or carb = 4 calories, and each gram of fat = 9 calories. Hope this helps!

  17. Kelly - March 1, 2017

    Ive been working out for the past 2 month 4 days a week. I am down 7 lbs and several inches but i have felt my diet needs to be tweaked. I am interested in starting the TURBO CYCLE but I am worried about having 4 low carb days. I suffer from gout and struggle to get lower carb days in when I worry about setting off my gout due to potential higher protein days. I know what foods to eat in moderation but do you think the TURBO CYCLE is a good plan for me?

    • Team Powell - March 1, 2017

      Hi Kelly: I’d do what is best for you medically, and if you’re worried about the two low carb days in a row, you can try the Easy, Classic, or Fit Cycles, and you’ll do great!

  18. Michael - February 25, 2017

    If Im using an app, like MyFitnessPal, to track macros and caloric intake would the non-root, non-starchy vegetables be deducted from my daily allowance of macros and calories?

    • Team Powell - February 27, 2017

      Hi Michael: You’ll want to track everything you eat – it keeps you accountable. And these types of veggies really don’t carry a big calorie load. We wish you the best!

  19. Chris - February 24, 2017

    Hi team powell,

    Can I still follow the plan if I’m vegetarian. Will swapping meats for tofu or lentils effect whether it falls into proteins or cards? Any help would be appreciated.

    Kind regards,

    • Team Powell - February 27, 2017

      Hi Chris: Yes, it can still work for you! Here are some vegetarian options: Soy protein sources such as tofu and tempeh and other vegetarian protein options such as hemp, bean, and pea protein. You can do this!

  20. Angie F - February 24, 2017

    I am very interested in learning more about carb cycling. I have about 35 lbs left to loose and really struggling. I keep yoyoing back and forth and its starting to frustrate me. I should say I have already lost 80 lbs.
    What I am curious about is how many calories a day to consume during both low carb and high carb days.
    Is there a guidline somewhere I could follow? Also what is the percentage of macros for both low and high carb days?

    • Team Powell - February 24, 2017

      Hi Angie: For the Easy, Classic, Turbo, and Fit Cycles, women eat 1200 cals on low carb days and 1500 cals on high carb days. For the Extreme Cycle, women eat around 1500 cals/day. And congratulations on losing 80 pounds – that’s awesome! 🙂

  21. Michael - February 22, 2017

    What would you recommend for someone that works Midnight shifts and wants to carb cycle. Also how do you suggest one decreases/increases macros on high and low carb days. For example if the default macro count percentages are 40:20:40 (Carbs:Fats:Proteins) how would these numbers change on a high carb day and a low carb day.

    • Team Powell - February 23, 2017

      Hi Michael: Here’s a post that can help you figure out how to structure your meals on a crazy schedule: And if you’re following one of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling plans, they’ve figured out all of your macros for you for both low and high carb days. You just need to follow your chosen carb cycle, and you’ll be good to go! You can totally do this!

  22. April - February 16, 2017

    Hi so sorry I also forgot to ask.. I would like for Sunday to be my reset day since this is my day off from the gym and our family day.. I started your extreme cycle on Tuesday so my rest day shouldn’t be till Monday. How do I change my days of high and low without screwing things up?
    Also is it ok to be on a low carb day on a leg day with 30-45min of cardio after? I ask because the extreme cycle will have me on a low carb day on a day I weight train doing legs for a hour followed by 30/45 min of cardio after.. thankyou so much again!

    • Team Powell - February 18, 2017

      Hi April: No problem! Make Sundays your Reset Day/Day 7, then begin Day 1 on Mondays. And you should be okay to do legs/cardio on a low carb day, but if you find it’s not working, then move your leg day to a high carb day. 🙂

  23. April - February 16, 2017

    Hi just started the extreme cycle and was wondering if the Walden farms pancake syrup and jelly ok to use? Are there certain artificial sweeteners that we should avoid ? Monk fruit ?
    Also I weight train and do cardio Mon,tues, wed Friday and Saturday , Thursday’s I do just cardio and sundays are my off days .. would I be ok with the extreme cycle ? So reset day is usually the day you would add a additional 1000 calories on top a typical high carb day which would probably be around 2500 calories and we don’t worry about how many carbs, fats or protein we eat? I just want to make sure I do it right .. is there any drawback on putting reset day and then highcarb day back to back? Thankyou again ..

    • Team Powell - February 18, 2017

      Hi April: Chris and Heidi recommend all natural sweeteners like stevia, Truvia, and xylitol. Any other sweeteners with calories need to be included in your daily totals. You should be good to go with the Extreme Cycle! And your Reset Day is extra calories for a total of no more than 2500 for that day, and you can eat anything you’d like to eat. Lastly, you’ll want to keep the order of the days (low and high carb) as outlined. You can do this!

  24. DANA EARLY - February 15, 2017

    I’m going to give the extreme carb cycling a try. How many carbs on high days and how many on low days??

    • Team Powell - February 15, 2017

      Hi Dana: All of your macros (proteins, carbs, and fats) are figured out for you in the Extreme Cycle, you simply need to follow the plan! Chris and Heidi have tried to make things super easy. You can do this!

  25. Brittney - February 12, 2017

    Hi! I am just going to be starting my carb cycling journey tomorrow and I was wondering if adding Crystal Light to my water was an option to help get through the gallon per day?! Thanks! 🙂

  26. Jillian - February 8, 2017

    Hey! So all the macro calculators give me different values and seem to be higher in carbs? Help not sure which one to go off as I keep hearing lower carb and higher fat is best? Is that true

    • Team Powell - February 9, 2017

      Hi Jillian: Yes, each calculator can give you different numbers depending on how they’re set up. Chris and Heidi incorporate both low and high carb days into their carb cycles since both carbs and fat are important for not only weight loss, but good health as well. Unless you’re carb cycling, you’ll want to make sure to get enough carbs and fat into every day. I’d try one out and see how it goes and go from there. 🙂

  27. Nicole - February 7, 2017

    Currently doing the Extreme Cycle and am loving it- I think it’s working ;)… how do you know what is the best cycle for you? I just chose it because I’m reading the book Extreme Transformation.

    Also, my hubby and I were confused this morning as he was making his oatmeal. The container says that 1/2 cup of dry oats 150 calories. The Extreme Cycle plan says that 3/4 cup is 100 calories. We went with our gut and followed the sheet but in that instance, should we always just follow the plan even if the container of something says it’s way more calories? We didn’t want to de-rail ourselves so we went with the plan. Also, are there brand specific items that Heidi and Chris recommend that they get their specific calories from? Or are they rounding up and down for easy math?


    PS… Team Powell does a FANTASTIC job at keeping up with these blog comments. I love knowing I’ll have an answer in a couple days at the least. Is there a way to get an alert when a question has been answered via email? I figured that was what the email box was for.

    • Team Powell - February 7, 2017

      Hi Nicole: I’d stick with the Extreme Cycle, it’s the most up-to-date of the carb cycles, although all of them are awesome! As for your oatmeal question, similar food items can be a bit different in calories and macros, so I’d always go with what the label says. And Chris and Heidi use general information when they put together the food lists for their books, but the true numbers can be a bit different depending on which specific item you choose. You guys are doing awesome! And to be honest, I’m not exactly sure if you’ll receive an email alert when a comment is answered – it depends on how the comments were set up, and that’s handled by our technical team. (And thank you! 😉)

  28. Chrissy - February 1, 2017

    Hi! I’m so excited to start? What are some on the go snack options or brands of granola? I’m a busy mom and teacher & need a few quick meals/snacks to bring along that I can throw in my bag.

    • Team Powell - February 2, 2017

      Hi Chrissy: Go for low-fat, low-sugar granolas. Other than that, choose the ones you like the best!

  29. Nicole - February 1, 2017

    what is your recommendation and/or tricks and tips to feeding three small kiddos (ages 4.5, 3, and 17 months) while my hubby and I carb cycle?

    I am half way through Extreme Transformation and am absolutely LOVING it. Seriously inspiring. Even though my hubby and I already eat pretty and we’re only looking to tone up and build muscle, I still find your book super helpful and informative. You guys rock.

    I’m torn between following the weekly shopping lists in the back of the book and the recipes and then meal prepping OR just meal prepping while picking away at the approved foods in the back of the book while staying within the guidelines of carb cycling. What do you find is easiest for you and your family?


    • Team Powell - February 1, 2017

      Hi Nicole: For meal prepping, here’s a post with several options that might be helpful: As for including your kids in carb cycling, they can eat what you eat, but make sure they have a protein, fat, AND carb with every meal. And here’s another post with some fun and healthy snacks for kids: Hope this helps! 🙂

  30. Linda - January 31, 2017

    Hello and thanks so much for your response. I will def give the extreme a try.

  31. Linda - January 27, 2017

    Hello, lately I’ve been super interested in trying out carb cycling but can’t seem to figure out which program would fit my schedule. My daily 5 sometimes 6 days a week is strength training (med/heavy usually 3-4 sets 8-10 reps) on Mon, Weds, and Fridays all starting with a 15min warmup and ending with a 20 min cardio session. Tues. Thurs and sometime Saturdays are my boxing training class. I really want to do carb cycling as I tend to hold onto my B/F around my midsection 🙁 I am in my early 50’s. Thank you much and hope to hear from you soon.

  32. Ashton - January 25, 2017

    Hi! I started the Turbo Cycle 2 weeks ago and am down 4.6 lbs since I started dieting 3 weeks ago. Should you expect to lose some kind of weight on the scale each week? I made the mistake of stepping on the scale this morning after I had already eaten breakfast and saw that I was up 2 lbs from last weeks weigh in. I am a little nervous to weigh myself on Saturday to see that my weight is either up or I didn’t lose at all. What are the general weekly weight loss expectations when doing this kind of diet? Thanks!!

    • Team Powell - January 25, 2017

      Hi Ashton: Chris and Heidi recommend that you weigh once a week, and for the Turbo Cycle, you’ll weigh first thing the morning of your Reward Day. As far as a rate of weight loss, that’s hard to say since each person has a different body composition, starting weight, weight loss goal, and other factors that can affect a weekly rate of weight loss. Stick to your plan exactly, and you’ll be good to go!

  33. Janet - January 24, 2017

    Hi! I was wondering, i read on your book choose to lose that after every three weeks you should do one week where everyday is high carb. Is the every fourth week from the very start or you only should do the full week of high carb if you have hit a plateau?

    • Team Powell - January 24, 2017

      Hi Janet: You’ll do a slingshot week (a full week of high carb days) every 4th week no matter what. 🙂

  34. Becka - January 15, 2017


    I’ve recently purchased you and your husband’s book Extreme Transformation after doing many days of research on carb cycling. I implemented the strategies outline in the week just over a week ago. I’ve lost 2.5 pounds in my first week and am relieved to finally see some results. I LOVE how easy the recipes are and how fast I can prepare them. I’m not much for cooking…

    As someone who considers myself to be in good health and very active, I’ve struggled in the last year to maintain my fitness as a result of recent hormonal changes due to a newly developed physical ailment. I am not someone who is extremely over weight and my goal although really big to me, is to lose less than 10 pounds. I do however wish to maintain wellness and fitness well into my senior years and had been seeking a method for which was sustainable for me.

    I travel VERY frequently for work (2-3 days a week) and find it hard at times to adhere to really strict programs that require a regimented plan of cooking your own meals. I hope to find more solutions as I progress in knowledge and understanding of carb cycling and would love any advice you can give me.

    I currently prepare breakfasts and snacks to take on the road with me to minimize the high calorie impact eating out usually consists of. I read a couple articles on your site that are very helpful in identifying restaurants that offer meals that comply with carb cycling. Do you have any other tips to add.

    Best wishes and thank you for being real!,


  35. Darcy - January 11, 2017

    I’ve started the Extreme Carb Cycle on Monday. I am prone to migraines which are normally controlled but each day so far I have had multiple headaches and am on my second migraine. Is this common when moving from processed sugar and foods to this program?

    • Team Powell - January 11, 2017

      Hi Darcy: Headaches can be a by product of a new program, especially if you’re eating differently than you’re used to; however, what causes headaches can be different for each person. Some people experience headaches at first on low carb days, but you’ve only done high carb days so far. If you know what usually triggers your headaches and it’s something in the program, you can definitely modify the program if necessary. And if they continue, you might want to chat with your healthcare team and then follow any recommendations they might have. We wish you all the best!

  36. Michael - January 6, 2017

    I’ve been following the Classic Carb Cycle guide and it’s working really well but I’ve just changed to late night workouts and didn’t know what/when to eat. I finish training at 9.30pm and normally go to bed at 10.30pm so don’t have time for 2 meals – should I have a fast digesting shake after working out, a slow digesting meal or combine both (i.e. dextrose, protein, creatine & porridge)?

  37. Dustyann - January 5, 2017

    Hey Heidi! I watched Chris show so many times and it was awesome! I have been trying to figure out a macro ratio for me to follow. I have PCOS, Insulin resistance, high blood sugars and it seems like everything I do to loose weight isn’t working. I only seem to gain unless I don’t eat that much. I am very sensitive to carbs and feel better the protein I eat. I have been weight lifting 3-4 times a week. I love it but nothing has changed other than I realized that I gain muscle very fast lol. Can you recommend a ratio for me to follow or a link to give me an idea? Or which Carb cycle would be best for me to follow. I know when I have done Atkins before I felt so sick! I am going whole and clean for the most part withy Jyms Pre and post workout powders! Thanks!!

    • Team Powell - January 5, 2017

      Hi Dustyann: If you follow any of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling programs, they’ve figured out all your macros for you – you just follow the plan! If you want more information on macros, including a link to an awesome macros calculator, please check out this post: And please discuss any nutrition and exercise program with your healthcare team first and then follow their recommendations. Hope that helps – you can do this!

  38. laura hawes - December 30, 2016

    Hi I’m just about to start your diet bet and wanted to carb cycle, do you have any advice for a vegan who wants to carb cycle. Thank you

    • Team Powell - December 31, 2016

      Hi Laura: There are several vegan options for proteins for carb cycling including soy protein sources such as tofu and tempeh
      and other vegetarian protein options such as hemp, bean, and pea protein, so you should be good to go! And good luck in the DietBet game!

    • Lori Rogers - January 3, 2017

      That’s my same question. I’ve been using Beyond Meat products

  39. Eva - December 28, 2016

    I want to start with carb cycling and I am used to count calories and macros, but now I am bit confused – according to your answer from September 2016 “Easy, Classic, Fit, and Turbo Cycles: High Carb Meal (including EVERY breakfast): Protein: 40%, Carbs: 40%, Fats: 20%, Low Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 20%, Fats: 40%.” – is it true, that a man should eat 200 g netto proteins a day on hi-carb days? Isn´t it a bit much? Thanks!

    • Team Powell - December 28, 2016

      Hi Eva: Yes, that is correct. It’s recommended that a man eat 2000 calories on high carb days, which equates to 800 calories from both protein and carbs plus 400 calories from fats for a total of 2000 calories. I hope this helps!

  40. Bethany - December 15, 2016

    Can you tell me when I should eat and what? My workout is Mon-Thurs Hiit fit at 5 am and random weight lifting and some cardio on weekends. I cannot eat 30 mins after waking. What do you recommend?

  41. natalia - November 29, 2016

    hi! I hope i didn’t miss this skimming through the comments but how do you actually track your macros? pen and paper? app?

  42. Rachel - November 17, 2016

    Hi Heidi. For low carb meals could you do a protein bar such as quest, mission one or oh yeah one bars?

    • Team Powell - November 18, 2016

      Hi Rachel: Quest-type bars are awesome options for low carb meals!

  43. Inini - November 7, 2016

    Hi so how do the workouts relate to the program do i do cardio on high carb days or lifting on low carb days is there a particular way to work out

  44. Jessica - October 30, 2016

    I’m ready to start tomorrow! But I need protein powder. What is the best powder to purchase? What should the breakdown be of protein, carbs, etc?

    • Alicia - December 6, 2016

      I’m a huge fan of Shakeology! Protein PLUS tons of super foods like chia, flax, quinoa, Maca root, etc. I workout from home every day, 3 busy kids and run an at home business and Shakeo is SO convenient!
      Running a FB fitness/health group starting Monday if you want to join, totally free, just some awesome accountability through the holidays ???

  45. Chandra - October 29, 2016

    Hello! I have about 5-10lbs I would like to lose and I’m trying to figure out which method of carb cycling would be best. I’ve never done the cycling before but I think it would really work with my lifestyle. I train 5-6 days per week and fairly fit but just would like to lean out a little more.

  46. Jessica - October 27, 2016

    Hey! I’ve just finished reading Extreme Transformation. I’m excited to start and try all of the recipes. However to make my life easier and to be sure to stick to the plan, I was wondering if I can repeat meals through out the week. That way I can prep less food, but more of it, to last for the specific meal during the week.
    Thanks in advance!

  47. Sue - October 18, 2016

    I want to start the carb cycling. I am a runner and run 6 days a week and weight train 3 to 4 days a week. My problem would be that I do not eat meat. I will eat Chicken maybe 2 times a month and Fish maybe once a week. Do you have any advice for protein on low carb days. I drink smoothies everyday with plant based protein. I would like to lose 15 to 20 lbs and its been a struggle since I have turned 50. Thanks for your help.

    • Team Powell - October 18, 2016

      Hi Sue: There are several protein options in Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program, and fish and chicken are two great ones as often as you can eat them. You can also do dairy products like nonfat/low fat Greek yogurts and cottage cheese, as well as eggs in addition to protein powders. Hope that helps! 🙂

  48. OP - October 17, 2016

    I workout 5 times a week with a trainer, I’m 34, 5’3, 140lbs and I’m a size 2/4. I’m going to start doing more heavy lifting, wanting to get some major toned/muscle definition. I’m new to carb cycling, which one do you recommend?

  49. Bethany - October 7, 2016

    Hi there — I have dug through several of your posts and even through the comments sections to see if my question has already been addressed. Wondering what to do with pre/post-workout meals, low carb days especially. I’m looking at doing Turbo and I am a runner. My workouts usually either fall in the early morning (start time 5am) or closer to 6pm if I’m working out with my team. I like to eat something prior to the key workouts (intervals, tempo, long runs) and I know carbs are essential for post-workout recovery. So, how do you address eating around workouts when carb cycling, especially on the low carb/high fat days?

  50. Kelli - October 4, 2016

    Hi! My husband and I are on your “Fit Cycle” through the America’s Fittest Couple Challenge (love it so far!). My goal is to lost fat and gain lean muscle (seriously Heidi your bod is #goals lol) & my husband’s (end) goal is to honestly be similar to Chris’. My question is kind of multi-layered, but here it goes! If we wanted to order your Chef’d meals, could these be incorporated onto this plan as substitutes for dinners? — I couldn’t find the Macros so I couldn’t compare to the plan we have. In addition, if we have meals that meet (or are very similar) in macros to those on the plan, can we sub those out for more variety?

    • Team Powell - October 5, 2016

      Hi Kelli: Any recipes/meals that match the macros in the challenge recipes are great options to use to add more variety into your meals. 🙂

  51. Jordyn - September 29, 2016

    Hi there!

    I’m just 3 weeks out from my first figure competition and want to implement carb cycling when I am done, specifically the fit carb cycle.
    Is there a calculator I can use to determine my macros/calories for my high and low days? I’m sure its here somewhere but perhaps I missed it 🙂

    • Team Powell - September 29, 2016

      Hi Jordyn: There’s a macro calculator in this post: For macros for low and high carb days, it’s really best to work with a macro coach who can help you figure out what works best for you based on your body composition and goals, since these are different for each person. In general, here are the macro percentages for the Fit Cycle: High Carb Meal (including EVERY breakfast): Protein: 40%, Carbs: 40%, Fats: 20%, Low Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 20%, Fats: 40%. But again, these are very general percentages. Good luck on your competition! 🙂

  52. Megan - September 28, 2016


    First off, love love love this article!!! Second, I am just about to compete in a bikini competition this Saturday and I have been implementing carb cycling throughout my entire prep. My last 3 weeks of prep have involved 3 NO carb days back to back followed by a HIGH carb day and I had 2 of those a week. This last week I only have 1 LOW carb day (the day before the show) and my show day will involve carbs in the morning.

    My question is, I want to slowly find my maintenance calories while still doing carb cycling. Should I slowly reverse my cycle so that I can get back to a normal amount of food? I am so depleted right now that I am stuck on how to gradually bring myself back up to more amounts of carbs.

    • Team Powell - September 29, 2016

      Hi Megan: Since figuring out how to adjust carb cycling and macros as you’re wanting to do is a very individualized thing (it’s based on your current body composition and goals), it’s best to work with a macros coach who can work with you personally now and in the future to make any necessary adjustments as you go along. There’s a link in this post (as well as some other helpful information) to Heidi’s coaches: And good luck on your competition! 🙂

  53. Shannon R. - September 28, 2016

    Hi Heidi,

    I started the Turbo Carb Cycling program about a month and a half ago. I’ve lost about 4 pounds so far, but now I’m plateauing. The scale hasn’t moved since the last few times I’ve stepped onto it and it really stinks. I’m working out 5 times a week, (alternating between barre and cardio kickboxing) and I strictly follow the plan. What’s your recommendation to get the scale moving again? Thanks!

    • Shannon R. - September 28, 2016

      P.S. I also have PCOS, so I don’t know if this a contributing factor to the struggle.

    • Team Powell - September 28, 2016

      Hi Shannon: PCOS can make it harder to lose weight, so you might chat with your doctor about the program and see if he/she has any modifications that might help. And don’t forget to do the Slingshot Week every 4th week too. 🙂

    • Sasha - January 24, 2017

      I was actually wondering if it matters which days I kickbox? I tend to do it a few times a week and I am about to start carb cycling so I was wondering if I should focus on doing it on low carb days or high carb days?

      Hope you can help! Thanks!

    • Team Powell - January 24, 2017

      Hi Sasha: Up to an hour of cardio is figured into the program Monday-Friday, so you should be okay to kickbox on any day. If you find that this is difficult, you can kickbox on high carb days. 🙂

  54. Rich - September 27, 2016

    I’m hearing its extremely bad to eat a lot of broccoli. Is it safe to consume 2 cups of broccoli at each meal on low carb days? I currently eat 8 cups a day (2 cups per meal not counting breakfast) on low carb days during the turbo cycle. Am i doing anything wrong?

    • Team Powell - September 28, 2016

      Hi Rich: Broccoli is an awesome veggie, and 2 cups at one meal is totally okay. However, it is important to eat other veggies also, so you might choose to eat different ones for different meals. We recommend going for all the colors of the rainbow throughout your day – yellow, green, red, orange, purple, white – to make sure you’re getting all the different nutrients you can. Hope that helps!

  55. Stacy - September 26, 2016

    I came across this carb cycling program and macro-patterning. What is the difference between the two? How long can you safely stay on either of these programs?

    • Team Powell - September 26, 2016

      Hi Stacy: Carb cycling is alternating between low and high carb days. Macro tracking involves tracking the proteins, carbs, and fats you eat daily. You can do both at the same time, and both can be followed for life! Here’s a post about macro tracking that might help: 🙂

  56. Erin Z. - September 23, 2016

    Why did the carb cycling change so much? Chris’ book was every other day and this new book is completely different.

    • Team Powell - September 24, 2016

      Hi Erin Z: As you continue to do something, you find even better ways to do it, so the new Extreme Cycle in “Extreme Transformation” is the result of Chris and Heidi’s experiences working with their contestants and clients since “Choose More, Lose More for Life” was published. Any of the carb cycles can help you achieve your goals, so choose whichever one you’d like to follow. And remember, you can change cycles at any time!

  57. Melissa - September 21, 2016

    I have been looking into carb cycling for sometime now, I have tried programs such as the 21 DayFix and quite enjoyed it, but looking for something new. My biggest question is that my day starts at 5:00 am in which I go straight to the OrangeTheory for a 60 min workout. Your meal plans all clearly state to start with breakfast within 30 mins of waking, but I cannot eat before I go or I feel nauseous. I usually have a banana or an egg frittata muffin, something small and then when I come home I have shake consisting of skim milk, peanut butter, banana and protein powder. Can you let me know if this okay, or what should I do. Also what is you opinion on energy powders for for before, during after a workout (for ex BCAA aminocore)?

  58. Chris - September 20, 2016

    I had been carb cycling for a few weeks when I happened across a few days straight where I was unable to control my meal choices (camping retreat). What is the best way to ‘restart’ the classic cycle.

    I was thinking of just viewing the last few days as reward/lost days and beginning again tomorrow with a Low Carb day and then classic cycling away from there.

    Thanks for any input!

    • Team Powell - September 20, 2016

      Hi Chris: This happens to the best of us! Just begin again today, and you’re good to go!

  59. Christine Negron - September 19, 2016

    I am just about to start carb cycling. I just received my book Choose More , Lose More for Life. My question is what protein powder do you recommend for the shakes? I have lupus so I try to use a powder that is as clean as possible.

    • Team Powell - September 19, 2016

      Hi Christine: In general, Chris and Heidi recommend low-fat, low-carb powders with around 20 grams of protein per serving. And welcome to carb cycling! 🙂

  60. Barbara - September 19, 2016

    Hello Heidi and Chris,

    My husband and I are starting the classic cycle, inspired by reading Choose more, lose more. New to carb cycling we want to follow the sample weeks at first. The samples for week 1 and two aren’t translated well in the book, meanig the printing in very light and difficult to read. Week 3 and 4 are readable. Is it possible to get these sample weeks anywhere?

    Thanks for reading

    • Team Powell - September 19, 2016

      Hi Barbara: Are you using an ebook copy of “Choose More, Lose More for Life”?

    • Barbara - September 26, 2016

      Hello there team Powell,

      No i’m using the real book!


    • Team Powell - September 26, 2016

      Hi Barbara: All of the charts look great in my book, so I’m not sure why you’re having this issue with your book. I’d try contacting the customer service department where you purchased your book and see if they can help you with this issue. Unfortunately, we don’t have these charts available for download. We wish you both the best on the Classic Cycle – you can do this!

  61. Sharna B - September 12, 2016

    Team Powell,

    Please help! I am 53, going through menopause and seeking to lose 10 pounds. I have done the classic and turbo cycles and lost only 1 pound on each. I exercise 5-6 times per week doing both cardio (cycling) and strength training classes. I’ve maintained this level of activity for since losing 30 pounds 14 years ago. I only recently started gaining weight which I believe is due to menopause. What do you suggest? Is your recommendation for 1200 calories on low carb days and 1500 calories on high carb days next exercise?

    • Team Powell - September 12, 2016

      Hi Sharna: It can be more difficult to lose weight during menopause, and the weight can come off more slowly. You might want to try the new Extreme Cycle, which recommends about 1500 calories each day. You might also discuss carb cycling with your healthcare team and see if they have any helpful modifications to suggest. And the calorie recommendations for all cycles are formulated with the exercise recommendations in mind. You lose weight through a calorie deficit – burning more calories than you consume. You might also want to check out the new Extreme Cycle and see if that might help: You can do this!

    • Dawn - September 14, 2016

      Sharna, if you’ve hit a plateau, it might be your choice of exercise. Cycling is a good source of cardio, but after a while, choosing the same exercise will stall your progress. I would look more towards challenging yourself with free weights if possible. Strength classes are a good start, but you may need to up your weight and change up how you train.

  62. Sabrena Swain - September 9, 2016

    I purchased the Extreme Transformation and am excited to get started. I lost 125 pounds in a year eating healthy and starting to exercise, then in January I hit a plateau. I have tried increasing exercise, changing up exercise, adding grains (I wasn’t eating them before), increasing calories, and nothing seems to budge the plateau. I am hopeful that this will be the ticket. I have a couple of questions: I have had my RMR tested and know for my body what the calorie range for weight loss is, which is a little higher than the 1500 you suggest for women, should I go with the 1500 or the 1650 from my RMR test? Second question, I do Orangetheory workouts 6 days a week, they burn at least 500 calories with EPOC, with this amount of working out/calorie burn do I need to adjust my calories? I’ve been told if you don’t eat enough your body will hold on to whatever you give it and I want it to let go! Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

    • Team Powell - September 9, 2016

      Hi Sabrena: Wow! Congratulations on losing 125 lbs! That’s awesome! You should be good to go with the 1500 calories/day recommendation, and cardio is included in the program 6 days a week, so you should you be fine doing your Orangetheory also. You can do this!

  63. Michael - September 7, 2016

    Thank you for your explanation on how to break through a plateau. At age 43 I was having difficulty for about two weeks, not losing any weight. Its been tough because my body’s natural response to working out also includes suppressing my appetite. So I kept up on my calorie count, making sure I ate enough. Though I did not understand it, I did a slingshot week of carbs and additional meal. Altered my workout a little… By the end of the week, BAM! I lost 5 lbs. Thank you.

  64. Allie - September 5, 2016

    Team Powell,

    Me again. I’m confused on the difference between sugar free syrup and pure maple syrup.. Maybe a silly question but the only think I can find for sugar free syrup is like coffee flavorings..

    Help 🙂

    • Team Powell - September 5, 2016

      Hi Allie: You can find sugar-free maple syrup with the other pancake/waffle syrups. It’s sweetened with artificial sweeteners, and one sweetened with stevia is your best choice. 🙂

  65. Allie - September 3, 2016

    Hi Heidi,

    I’m on day 3 of the extreme cycle and I love it! I am never hungry and learning some awesome recipes with healthy foods!

    I am curious what I am allowed to drink on the extreme cycle. Obviously water is unlimited but what about coffee? Tea? Alcohol?

    Thank you!

    • Team Powell - September 3, 2016

      Hi Allie: Welcome to the Extreme Cycle! You have black coffee or tea, but be sure to only use 0 calorie sweeteners. Alcohol is considered a reset/reward day drink. Hope that helps!

    • Shelly K - September 9, 2016

      I am looking for a printable of the 21-Day Tracking sheet from my book…Appendix A. The book pages are tiny and I want to duplicate but they are set up two a day…I want it larger so I can make notes as I track my progress. Just starting program Monday with a friend…very excited and hopeful! Thanks!

    • Team Powell - September 9, 2016

      Hi Shelly: Unfortunately, we don’t have any of the charts available for download at this time. And welcome to carb cycling – you can do this!

  66. Amanda - September 1, 2016

    i have lost 50lbs doing Whole30 and working out. I have added something back, make overall healthy choice, i still have an occasional treat. I am looking to add muscle now and tone the rest. I am a little nervous about carb cycling.. i do not want to have to count calories or marco(????)

    I currently eat.. a lot of protein, veggies, avacoado, but i eat as much as I want and do not count.. can i do carb cycling without counting?

  67. Melissa Schwartz - September 1, 2016

    Hi Hedi,

    I have been reading your blog post on Macro eat and carb cycling. Already being an avid user of MyfitnessPal this peaked my interest. I do have a question- Is Carb cycling and Macro eating two different eating lifestyles or do they go hand and hand? My Macro calcualtions differ from you Classic cycling Macros given for women above. How do I know how many told macros I get per day on low and high carb days for the Classic Cycling? Thanks!

    • Melissa Schwartz - September 1, 2016

      that was Total** macros per day.

    • Team Powell - September 1, 2016

      Hi Melissa: Carb cycling takes macro counting to a new level, and you count macros in carb cycling. If you’re following one of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycles, here are the recommended macro percentages: Easy, Classic, Fit, and Turbo Cycles: High Carb Meal (including EVERY breakfast): Protein: 40%, Carbs: 40%, Fats: 20%, Low Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 20%, Fats: 40%. Extreme Cycle: Breakfast (EVERY day): Protein: 30%, Carb: 40%, Fat: 30%, High Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carb: 50%, Fat: 10%, Low Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carb: 10%, Fat: 50%. If you’re wanting to put together your own carb cycles, it’s best to work with a macro coach who can put your plan together based on your body composition and goals. 🙂

  68. S - August 30, 2016

    Hi Heidi,

    I love all your blogs! Two quick questions, based on weight, what is the basic calculation for High and Low days for Carbs, Protein and Fats? And do you count total carbs or net carbs?

    Thank you for your time! Your page has been my go to since carb cycling.

    • Team Powell - August 30, 2016

      Hi S: On the Extreme Cycle, women eat around 1500 calories a day, and men eat around 2000 calories a day. For the other four cycles, women eat 1200 calories on low carb days and 1500 calories on high carb days, and men eat 1500 calories on low carb days and 2000 calories on high carb days. Here are the macro percentage breakdowns for all of the carb cycles: Easy, Classic, Fit, and Turbo Cycles: High Carb Meal (including EVERY breakfast): Protein: 40%, Carbs: 40%, Fats: 20%, Low Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 20%, Fats: 40%. Extreme Cycle: Breakfast (EVERY day): Protein: 30%, Carb: 40%, Fat: 30%, High Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carb: 50%, Fat: 10%, Low Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carb: 10%, Fat: 50%. And we count total carbs. Hope this helps!

    • Jennifer - August 31, 2016

      If I can not exercise for a few days on the extreme cycle due to surgery, should I lower my daily calorie intake?

    • Team Powell - August 31, 2016

      Hi Jennifer: You should be okay leaving your calories the same for a few days. Your body does need good, healthy calories to heal, and we hope you recover quickly!

  69. Katy - August 30, 2016

    Hi guys,

    I’ve just read ‘chose more lose more’. I’m intrigued by carb cycling. I actually train 3x a week weights and 1-2 cardio. I am currently 67kgs. This weight had been unchanged for a year but I am much happier with my shape and have quite a lot of muscle mass. I am at the frustrating ‘last 15lbs’ stage and can’t seem to get the last few pounds to budge! I note in the book the recommendation for females is 1200.
    Currently I track macros and have tried weaning up to 1750 kcals And also down to 1400. I really think I’d struggle to train on 1200.
    Would there be some wiggle room for me to carb cycle on 1400-1500 and still lose those ‘vanity pounds’?


    Thanks guys, am a huge fan X

  70. Pam - August 28, 2016

    It’s day 5 for me and I’m feeling absolutely amazing! Have a question. I’m wondering if you have any suggestions for a *low cost* lactose free or vegan protein powder that tastes great that would work with this program? The ones I can find either have 15 carbs 5 fat etc.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
    Thank You!

    • Team Powell - August 28, 2016

      Hi Pam: You’re doing awesome! We don’t have any brands to recommend, but yes, go for low-carb, low-fat versions (if 5 grams is the lowest you can find, that’s totally okay!) that have around 20 grams of protein per serving. You can totally do this! 🙂

  71. Chuck - August 24, 2016

    Hi, I am new to all this. Just wondering if the reward day allows to eat anything all day, or is it just for one meal? Thank you.

    • Team Powell - August 24, 2016

      Hi Chuck: For your reward day, you can eat anything you want up to an extra 1,000 calories for that day.

  72. Elle - August 24, 2016

    I Have been a big fan of Chris & Heidi’s for years! With every episode of Extreme Weight Loss I get more inspired to lead a healthier lifestyle! I just purchased Choose More, Loose More book which I am about to begin reading. I walk 2 1/2 miles 5 days a week. I have lost 44 pounds so far by making better decisions about food and switching to drinking just water, but I still have 67 pounds to go to make my goal weight. Any input would be greatly appreciated and which Cycle to start with would help as well! Thanks so much!

    • Team Powell - August 24, 2016

      Hi Elle: Congratulations on losing 44 pounds! That’s awesome! I’d start with the Turbo Cycle in “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” You can totally do this!

  73. Charity Thorp-Brosseau - August 24, 2016

    Hello I just purchased choose more, lose more for life. I’m trying to wrap my mind around this whole carb cycling thing. The idea of eating 5 servings of veggies a day I”m concerned is going to be unmanageable in the long term. I have to force myself to eat 2 a day because I don’t enjoy them. Are there any actual meal plans that I can follow to help me visually understand this?

    • Team Powell - August 24, 2016

      Hi Charity: I’d move up to the 5 servings of vegetables a day gradually. We don’t have meal plans, but there’s an awesome graphic (and other helpful info) in this post that can help you put your meals together, as well as some awesome recipes in the book: You can do this!

  74. Darryl Le Roux - August 22, 2016

    Hey guys,

    Quick question. I have lost over 220lbs over the course of three diets. All moderate carb of 100-150g.

    However, now at 33 years of age, I am trying to lose again! (I am now siting at 313lbs at 6″ tall). I am positive that I have messed up my metabolism from the first diet at 21. Sitting at 900KCal a day. Second at the same, and third at the same as well. I was under eating!

    I have tried LCHF this past time (Did not finish due to the restrictions placed onto the diet), and lost 20Lbs in a week. Obviously water, but there was something moving on the scales. This last week, after a month break from LCHF, I have been doing a higher Calorie diet with carbs, but lost 0lbs. I was bloated the whole time.

    I have forgotten how long it takes for the bloat to go away, I think it is 2 weeks? But nevertheless, I felt extremely uneasy in body, as if I was doing nothing to try and sort myself out. I see that you do a carb cycling program. Is there a reason as to why it s not solely a LCHF diet? I sit due to the fact that the body would be more satisfied n the food choices?

    I have also been a massive fan of your show, and have always wondered what the contestants eat throughout the program. I know that the competition show that is on the TV for years, they tend to starve the contestants, and when they go ack to their everyday lives, they blow back up to their regular sizes, and more. This is exactly what happened to me.

    Any advice in getting my body back to burning the calories that it should? (I stay 100% on plan when dieting, hence the 70lb lose in each spell which has never gone over 6 months).

    Thank you ever so much! I am a father of a 5 year old, and I seriously just want to be the best dad I can be while he is still young and is forming memories.

    • Team Powell - August 22, 2016

      Hi Darryl: I think Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program could work for you, and it’s a lifestyle, not a program that you’ll go off of once you achieve your transformation goals. It’s the right combination of proteins, fats, and carbs in the right portions at the right times to keep your body healthy, and it gives your body the calories it needs to function properly and lose weight. I’d start with the Extreme Cycle ( You can do this!

  75. Shannon - August 17, 2016

    Hi, I have 2 questions. 1) Is fruit considered a carb? For my LC days, I was having low fat greek yogurt and pineapple. 2) Is Hummus low fat enough to have on HC days? I’m currently on a HC day, eating a salad, and instead of dressing, I had a side of hummus.

    • Team Powell - August 17, 2016

      Hi Shannon: Let’s get you some answers to your questions! 1) Yes, all fruits are carbs, so you’ll not want to eat them for a low carb meal. 2) Hummus can count as a carb, just watch the portion size. 🙂

  76. Erin - August 16, 2016

    Hi Team Powell!

    I just want to check in and make sure I am on the right plan… any advice you have would be awesome!

    So, here’s my situation. I had my 31st birthday last week and decided I’m sick of carrying around the extra 30 pounds that I’ve gained in the last 3 years. Time to start keeping those promises! So, on a whim, I bought the extreme carb cycling book late on Sunday evening, headed to the grocery and then started Monday morning. Awesome so far – I can’t believe I got to eat chips and salsa today!

    Now that I have had time to sit and read your blog a bit more, I just want to make sure that I am on the optimal plan to achieve my goals. I currently weigh 154 and would like to get back to somewhere in the low 120s, really as quickly as possible. I am 5’6″.

    Would love your input!


  77. Victoria Brown - August 15, 2016

    Hello Heidi
    I’ve hit a plateau in my weight lose, and I’m very curious abut carb cycling.
    My question is how do I figure out my calories for my low and high carb days??
    Thank you, Victoria

    • Team Powell - August 15, 2016

      Hi Victoria: It depends on which cycle you follow. Everything is figured out for you in all 5 cycles, and you can learn about each one by following the links in this post. For the Extreme Cycle, you’ll eat around 1500 calories a day. For the other cycles, you’ll eat 1200 calories on low carb days and 1500 calories on high carb days. You can do this!

  78. affan - August 13, 2016

    Hi heidi

    I am 26 year old guy who has struggled alot with weight and muscles .i am 227.076 lbs i want to loose more but every time i have problem with diet and carbs if i start loosing i loose muscles as well.So which cycle would you prefer for me and is their any additional suggestion would you suggest me ??

  79. Erin - August 12, 2016

    Hi Heidi, I am intrigued by the concept of carb cycling. I am not sure which cycle would be best for me. I have been running in 5ks, but I feel that my weight is inhibiting my progress. I’m 5’4″, female and 193 lbs. I jog 2-3 miles three times a week and I’m also doing Hip Hop Abs 6 days a week. Which cycle should I do?

  80. Kenzi - August 10, 2016


    I have a 4 month old baby and I am still strictly breastfeeding. I’ve seen great results with macro eating and exercising and am down to my pre baby weight but really want to start toning more (especially wanting my abs to pop more). Will carb cycling be good for me? Will it mess with my milk supply at all? Thanks for your help!

    • Team Powell - August 10, 2016

      Hi Kenzi: Congratulations on your new baby girl! Here’s a post that outlines Heidi’s breastfeeding program, and I hope it can help you figure out what will work best for you:

  81. Silvia - August 5, 2016

    Hi Team Powell 🙂

    I’ve been following the turbo cycle for 3 weeks…I lost 7.4 lbs week 1 & then 1.2 lbs week two but now I’m up 2 lbs after week 3 (I am weighing myself on the recommended day as per your book).
    I workout a minimum of 9 times a week (1 hr sessions each) & sometimes 2 hrs at a time & train with a personal trainer five times a week as well as do bootcamp & boxing/kickboxing classes. My question for you is if I should be increasing my calories since I’m working out quite a bit & increasing my water to even more than what is suggested in the book? My goal is to lose 80-100 lbs in total. Currenlty I’m doing a personal 8 week challenge. Thanks in advance! 🙂

    • Team Powell - August 5, 2016

      Hi Silvia: The recommendations in the book should work, but since you are working out more than what is recommended (yay for you!), you might need to adjust your calorie intake accordingly, as well as you water intake. You’re doing awesome!

  82. Kellie Patterson - July 31, 2016

    Hi Heidi,

    I am just starting out with the turbo carb cycling and I have a question. Sorry if you’ve addressed this previously. I like having yogurt and kashi cereal to start my day. Is it a problem then to have yogurt again later in the day, like adding it to a protein powder? Im thinking since it’s a protein, it would be okay, but then again, technically it’s dairy. Thanks for your advice 🙂

    • Team Powell - August 1, 2016

      Hi Kellie: Nonfat plain Greek yogurt is considered a protein in carb cycling, so it could potentially be the protein portion of any meal. Regular dairy yogurts don’t have enough protein to be considered a protein, and they do have quite a few carbs. Hope that helps!

    • Kellie Patterson - August 2, 2016

      Thanks! Very happy about that! So if I wanted to make a smoothy with both a whey powder ( a protein source with less 4 g of carbs) and add nf plain greek yogurt to it, (another protein source) how would I proportion all that protein to equal a fist full? 1 scoop of the whey powder is equal to 36 grams. Thanks again 🙂

    • Team Powell - August 3, 2016

      Hi Kellie: You can use part of a portion of protein powder and part of a portion of Greek yogurt so that combined they equal a serving of protein (around 20 grams). 🙂

  83. Rachel - July 28, 2016

    Hi Heidi do you have any recommendations for travelling? I want to follow the plan but don’t have access to normal foods! Are protein bars like mission one or quest good options? Thanks

  84. Julianne Coogler - July 24, 2016

    Hi! I am interested in buying the books on carb cycling and wondered if there are vegan options or if it’s strictly meat based? I only eat whole, plant based foods and no dairy or processed oils or fats. Many thanks!

    • Team Powell - July 25, 2016

      Hi Julianne: Yes, there are some vegan options in carb cycling. 🙂

    • Tiffany - September 18, 2016

      Did you find carb cycling options for your plant based diet? If so, where? I’ve been looking & have only had people tell me that the options exist, not actually give me any concrete ideas. If you could point me in the direction of some actual recipes that would be awesome!

    • Team Powell - September 18, 2016

      Hi Tiffany: You can substitute most any plant-based protein source for any meat-based protein source in most of the recipes. Some options are soy protein sources such as tofu and tempeh and other vegetarian protein options such as hemp, bean, and pea protein. Hope that helps!

  85. Nancy Herrera - July 19, 2016

    Hi, I was wondering if there was a certain amount of carbs I should stay within with the high and low carb days?

    • Team Powell - July 19, 2016

      Hi Nancy: It depends on which carb cycle you’re following. Here are the recommended macro percentages for all of the carb cycles: Easy, Classic, Turbo, or Fit Cycles: High Carb Meal (including EVERY breakfast): Protein: 40%, Carbs: 40%, Fats: 20%. Low Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 20%, Fats: 40%. The Extreme Cycle: Breakfast (EVERY day): Protein: 30%, Carb: 40%, Fat: 30%. High Carb Meal: Protein: 40%
      Carb: 50%, Fat: 10%. Low Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carb: 10%, Fat: 50%. Or there are some helpful graphics in both of these posts: and Hope this helps!

  86. lIZ - July 17, 2016


    I workout early in the morning and preferably do fasted cardio as I feel that burns more fat but seeing as carb cycling says we should Eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking what do I do??

    • Team Powell - July 17, 2016

      You can do whatever works best for you as far as eating and working out go. So if you like to work out before eating, go for it!

  87. Sharlene - July 17, 2016

    Hi there, I’ve decided that I want to give carb cycling a try to see if I can help kick myself off a plateau. I’ve lost 70 pounds over the last 2 years with proper diet and exercise, but I still have about 40 pounds to go. I’ve been completely stalled as far as the scale goes for about 3 months. I have lost a few inches, and I do know the scale actually means very little in the scheme of things, my muscle definition is much better, but I still have fat to lose.

    Currently I follow a plan of macro counting and carb bracketing, eating carbs around my morning workouts. My macros have been 40% Protein, 30% Carbs, and 30% fat with a calorie goal of 1400-1600 per day. I weight train 4x per week and spin 1-3 times per week (depending on class schedules), and walk nearly everyday.

    I do have a few questions regarding how the carb cycling may help me…

    1 – do you think it will help me break the plateau? Instead of eating carbs only in the morning each day, will it help me to do a plan like this where my macros are changing on alternate days? I’m a little afraid of eating more carbs.

    2 – on Spin days I have class at 6am. I’m getting up a 5:15 am to get myself ready and drive to class. I do spin classes fasted, (and have zero problem with energy). Will it be ok to eat within 30 minutes of class instead of 30 min of waking since I can’t get myself up early enough to eat and digest before class?

    3 – I was going to start on the Classic cycle, but do you think there is a different cycle that would work better for me?

    4 – is it important to have the cheat day each week and have more calories on that day or can we just do a regular high carb day? Of course I will have a “Sunday Funday” once in a while, but I find I do better if I don’t let myself indulge too much, even after 2 years of this lifestyle my off switch doesn’t work very well once I start indulging.

    Thanks very much, love the books and all that Heidi and Chris do and looking forward to trying this.

    • Team Powell - July 17, 2016

      Hi Sharlene: Congratulations on losing 70 pounds! That’s awesome! 1. Yes, I do think carb cycling could help you as it’s outlined in Chris and Heidi’s program. 2. Here’s a post that can help you figure out the eating and working out thing: 3. You can use whichever cycle you think will work best for you, and you can change cycles at any time! 4. Yes, the cheat/reward day is super important for weight loss on these carb cycles. I know, it’s hard to trust in it, but it does work! If you’re afraid you’ll overindulge, you can eat healthy foods all day if you’d like. The main thing is to eat the 1000 extra calories on that day. You can do this!

  88. Wendy D. - July 17, 2016

    Hello Heidi,
    I am planning to start your carb cycling plan but have a couple of questions. First, I know you (and your books) say that it is important to eat within 30 minutes of waking. My problem is that I wake at 4am to go to work. If I eat at 4:15, that means my next meal would have to be at 7:15, then 10:15, then 1:15, then 4:15. I am just wondering if it would make a big difference if meals were 4 hours apart or if I could snack on veggies or something in between to extend the time – only because I do like to eat with my kids at least in the evening! Also, I see you suggest protein shakes but I have difficulty tolerating protein powders. Any suggestions? Thanks so much,

    • Team Powell - July 17, 2016

      Hi Wendy: Welcome to carb cycling! Here’s a post that can help you structure your meals on a crazy schedule: And you don’t have to use protein shakes at all, there are several other protein options you can choose from! You can do this!

  89. Kendra - July 16, 2016

    I’m just trying to get started on the turbo cycle and I’m confused with the cheese part. I generally make wraps or pita pizzas on whole grain. However, I always added a little shredded cheese on each of these. Grains are high carb days and my cheese looks like it’s under fat on the low carb day. Am I wrong? Also, I’m a huge deli ham fan and bacon bits fan on my wraps…where do these fall?

    • Team Powell - July 17, 2016

      Hi Kendra: Cheese and bacon are fats so you won’t want to eat them on high carb days. Ham can be eaten as a protein, but look for low-fat, low-sodium versions. Hope that helps – you can do this!

  90. Brenda - July 15, 2016

    I struggle with protein in my diet, I eat turkey and chicken but not red meat or pork and I don’t like eggs. Any advice?

    • Team Powell - July 16, 2016

      Hi Brenda: You can also eat seafood, Greek yogurt, protein powders, and cottage cheese as protein sources. Hope that helps!

    • Tera - July 16, 2016

      Hi Heidi
      I’m needing some help I recently got your book Extreme Transformation and I’m having trouble figuring out what I can eat because I’m a picky eater so I wanted to use the create your own meals and I know you can use the Appendix D that are in 100 calorie but how do I figure out a low carb meal when it saids <30 I really want to do this the right way. Thanks for any help

    • Team Powell - July 17, 2016

      Hi Tera: Welcome to carb cycling! Use the foods in Appendix D as a guide to what you should eat on the Extreme Cycle, then portion out your foods to hit those calorie recommendations in the “Create Your Own Meals” chart. And for low carb meals, just make sure your carbs are less than 30 calories for each low carb meal. The “Meal Planning Guide” chart can be helpful when putting your meals together also. You can do this!

  91. Lin - July 15, 2016

    I’m a week into the program and feel energized and optimistic. I do have a question, however. I think I understand that I should eliminate fats during the high carb days. If that is the case, does that mean I eliminate fats during the entire sling shot week?

    • Team Powell - July 15, 2016

      Hi Lin: For the Easy, Classic, Turbo, and Fit Cycles, you will eliminate fats during the Slingshot Week. For the Extreme Cycle, you will still eat your fat for breakfast, just like on any other high carb day. Hope that helps!

  92. Alex - July 15, 2016

    Hello! After hearing a lot of hype about carb cycling (and after reading Chris’ book) I decided to give carb cycling a try. I am on day 5 and so far so good! I have more energy, I have been in a better mood, and I am already seeing a difference in my belly bloat! : )

    My questions is about my upcoming “Cheat” day on Sunday. Do I still follow the 5 structured meal times and just add a few extra calories here or there or is the day also less structured? I feel like I have done a lot of great work so far, so I am really nervous about cheating. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you,

    • Team Powell - July 15, 2016

      Hi Alex: On your cheat day you can eat anything you’d like to up to an extra 1000 calories over the calorie recommendation for a high carb day. Enjoy!

  93. Julia - July 14, 2016

    I purchased your husbands books and I just started turbo this week and I’m finding that on my low day after a high day I’m very tired. I get the same amount of sleep every night (which isn’t enough) but for some reason today more than most I’m very tired.

    • Team Powell - July 14, 2016

      Hi Julie: This can be common as your body is getting used to a new way of doing things, and it should get better. Getting more sleep can definitely help, and be sure you’re eating those two fist fulls of veggies with every meal and your carb for breakfast on your low carb days. Welcome to carb cycling!

  94. Jessica - July 10, 2016

    Hello! I am not sure if anyone already posted this question, but I was planning on doing the turbo cycling. This will be my first cycle that I actually understand lol. However one question I do have is, I know my macro count on a normal basis. But when I cycle… How do I meet my macro count on low and high days? And how do I calculate the total amount for low and high days? Right now I am on a lower carb higher far due to breast feeding. And trying to lose my “baby” weight. Lol I have 3 little boys and two of them are 14 months apart. Just unsure how to calculate ?

    • Team Powell - July 11, 2016

      Hi Jessica: Here are some general macro percentage recommendations for the Easy, Classic, Turbo, and Fit Cycles: High Carb Meal:
      Protein: 40%, Carbs: 40%, Fats: 20%. Low Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 20%, Fats: 40%. And remember that a gram of carb or protein = 4 calories and a gram of fat = 9 calories. And here’s a post that outlines Heidi’s breastfeeding carb cycling program: Hope this helps!

  95. Nicole - July 10, 2016

    Hi! I’ve been doing carb cycling for a week and I have lost 9.2 pounds! Now, I know that is a skewed number as much of it is water weight and all, but I am so stoked and excited to keep going. I am having a little trouble figuring out how to build recipes in this different way, but while I work it all out, I’m keeping it super simple, filling my meals with the approved foods, and its been not-so-bad.. I’m really quite enjoying it. (Except carrots. We’re still working on building a friendship) I had been eating so bad for so long, I had a tough time the first couple of days, like, super flu like symptoms but I didn’t give up! And that’s something I would have done DAY ONE in the past! I’ve counted points in the past and had major success but I gained all the weight back and then some.. I’ve been feeling bad about myself for a long time- partly anger and even more embarrassment that I allowed myself to go back to that. I’ve been hiding from my life. I’ve been skipping vacations and outing with friends because I have been uncomfortable in my own skin But reading the book and making a plan and after some scale movement I feel good about my new start. It’s a complete 180° for me, from how I’ve tried it in the past and I’m actually excited about that. I’m a strong girl and have always been proud of that… In the past trying to lose weight, I’ve never focused on my strength, it’s always been about that smaller size (which is part of it, no lie), but I feel different about it this time, to explore and learn and push my body to see how I can transform. I haven’t admitted that to anyone in my close proximity, but i feel comfortable proclaiming here for some reason. So, looooong story short, thanks for all the inspirational posts and tips and support for people you don’t even know. I’ve been in a rut for a long, long time and I have a long way to go, but I really think, no, I know, I’m going to be able to do it. Oh, and seriously, has anyone else had trouble on “cheat day”? This is my first one and none of my previous go-to foods sound good. ?

    • Team Powell - July 10, 2016

      Hi Nicole: Love your comment! You’re going to crush your goals! 🙂

    • Leah - July 15, 2016

      You’re an inspiration! Go you! I am just reading this all and thinking about starting.

  96. Lin - July 6, 2016

    Thank you so much for your reply to my earlier question. I have another area of concern you could assist me with! How do you determine the percentage of calories of the protein vs. the carbohydrates when deciding which protein shake or snack bar to select. When I read the labels I find the number of calories from fat specified along with then total number of calories. I assume there is a way to calculate calories per gram for the protein and carbohydrates, but am at a loss as to how to do that. Also, when dietary fiber is included in the carbs, is there yet another adjustment that needs to be calculated?

    • Team Powell - July 7, 2016

      Hi Lin: For protein shakes, Chris and Heidi recommend low-fat, low-carb shakes with around 20 grams of protein per serving. In general, each gram of protein or carb = 4 calories, and each gram of fat = 9 calories. And we go by the total carb count of a food, which makes things much easier. Hope that helps!

  97. Laurie - July 5, 2016

    Hello – I think I posed this question about a week ago but cannot seem to find the question or potential response… I am following the turbo cycle per the book chose more, lose more and being a numbers person, I tend to follow the 1200/1500 calorie intake and the 40/40/20, 40/20/40 much more so than the portion sizes. My question is whether I need to add the 2 servings of vegetables in to my counts if I am using the calories/macros or if they truly are “free”. If I add in the veggies to the macros, it is near impossible to achieve the 20% carbs on LC days.

    Thanks for your help!

    • Team Powell - July 6, 2016

      Hi Laurie: Hi Laurie: It’s best to count everything you put in your mouth, but if your veggies are throwing your counts over a tiny bit, you should be fine.:)

  98. Jessica - July 5, 2016

    Hi guys! Im finding low carb days extremely hard! Could I add a protein portion or a fat to help me? Thanks

    • Team Powell - July 5, 2016

      Hi Jessica: It’s best to stick to the program as outlined if at all possible. Sometimes it just takes your body a bit of time to adjust to a new way of doing things, and remember, you can have veggies with every meal, which can really help. You can do this!

  99. Cindy Hackett - July 4, 2016


    Will there be a Carb Cycling recipe book in the (hopefully near) future? I am on board with the carb-cycling, just getting started actually (I’ve got 70 lbs to lose, hubby has about 20), and I love getting ideas for meals when I sometimes can’t figure it out on my own – or I’m just too tired from work. My awesome hubby and I are also new to meal-prepping, I think it would be awesome if you could put a recipe book out to accompany your books 🙂 Love the show, love your books. Keep up the awesomeness!!

  100. Heather Winchell - July 4, 2016

    Hello Heidi! I’m thinking about doing the Turbo plan. I’m currently training for a marathon (about 40-50miles/wk), but am 7 months post baby (nursing) and trying to lose the last baby pounds. Trying to find a good balance in caloric intake to fuel my running and nursing but low enough to lose weight. I’m hoping carb cycling can help! I’m 5’6, 30y/o, 130 lbs. Do you have a recommended caloric intake and low/high carb # to hit? Thanks in advance and sorry for the information overload… Happy Independence Day 🙂

    • Team Powell - July 4, 2016

      Hi Heather: Here’s a post that talks about carb cycling and nursing, and I hope it can help you figure out what will work best for you: And good luck on your marathon! 🙂

  101. Alexa - July 3, 2016

    Hi team Powell! I have both books.. I was wondering what cycle you would suggest to do out of all your cycles to lose the last 5-10 pounds!
    Thanks 🙂

    • Team Powell - July 3, 2016

      Hi Alexa: Any can work, but I’d do the Extreme Cycle (in “Extreme Transformation”). And welcome to carb cycling!

  102. Lin - July 3, 2016

    Your carb cycling plans really appeal to me and I appreciate the open communication I find here on your web sites. In selecting a carb cycling plan, should age be a consideration? I am a young at heart 69 year old who is about 70 lbs. overweight. My hobbies are largely sedentary which I know isn’t great but I participate in an intense aqua aerobics class for three hours a week and average about 7600 steps per day, every day.. My overall health is good – no need for prescriptions (yea!). I simply need to get busy on a plan to lose weight safely.

    • Team Powell - July 3, 2016

      Hi Lin: All comments have to be approved before they post, so that’s why you didn’t see your comment. These carb cycles can work for any age! And it sounds like you’re already on the right track to achieve your transformation goals! You can do this!

  103. Jennifer - July 3, 2016

    First off I want to say Thank you. Extreme Transformation and carb cycling has done more than just allowed me to lose weight.
    I started carb cycling in March and was really really successful for 3 month then fell off the wagon, broke promises left right and center. So I’ve stalled, not lost and even regained a couple pounds. It’s hard for me because I am new to where I live and don’t have a support system or transformation team to keep me on track and accountable. So I make silent promises again, and of course breaking them.
    I reread the book and learn a few more skills especially Lesson 10 and 11. Letting go of things is hard for me, and definitely acknowledging any successes I have. I grew up being told where’s the A+ if I got an A. So the idea of I should have done better regardless of how well I did, is hard wired. I’m still working on that. I have been successful and even hit my goal weight, but then said, I could do better and added another 10 pounds to my goal.
    I have been eating primarily the recipes out of extreme transformation, but I love cooking, and wanted to try to make some of my old favorites (a lot of them from Skinny Taste, others just my own concoctions ) and have some questions about macros. I know each gram of protein and carb have 4 calories and fat has 9, but when I’m looking at a recipe how do I calculate how much to eat so it fits in my daily goal. (right now I’m doing 40% carb, (158g) 40% protein (109g) and 20% fat (48g) on a high carb day and switching the fats and carb on Low carb days.
    How do I calculate macros easily or use carb cycling with different recipes?
    Also, (and sort of more importantly) is there any group, blog, FB page for support and group discussion? Somewhere I can go when I am struggling?
    Thanks again! You’ve helped me change my life.

    • Team Powell - July 3, 2016

      Hi Jennifer: Thank you so much for your comment, and we’re so excited carb cycling has been working so well for you!!!! Here’s a post that can help you figure out how to create your own meals: And you can find great support right here and on Chris and Heidi’s Facebook pages too. 🙂

  104. Rachel - July 2, 2016

    Hi Heidi! Doing the extreme cycle! On low carb days I struggle to even walk up the stairs I lack so much energy.. Would it be detrimental to my results if I didn’t work out on low carb days?

    • Team Powell - July 3, 2016

      Hi Rachel: If you’re new to the Extreme Cycle, it can take your body a bit of time to adjust to this new way of doing things. And be sure and eat that carb portion for breakfast, and then veggies throughout your day (which also have some carbs in them). And feel free to adjust your workouts to match the LC and HC days. You might do an easier workout on LC days until your body gets adjusted. You can do this!

  105. Aidan - July 1, 2016

    Hi Team Powell. I am trying to go from 195 to 140. Should I start off carb cycling or should I just start off with a basic low calorie diet?
    I am vegan and I am having the most difficult time finding examples of Carb Cycling meal options for vegans.

    • Team Powell - July 1, 2016

      Hi Aidan: You can go right into carb cycling! There are 5 cycles to choose from (links to each are in this post), and there are several vegan options too.

  106. Leah - June 29, 2016

    I have a question. When you are tracking your water consumption, do you include the water that you put into your protein shakes? Thank you

    • Team Powell - June 30, 2016

      Hi Leah: Yes, you can count that water towards your daily total, but try to drink your recommended water in addition to what’s in your shakes. 🙂

  107. Erika - June 29, 2016

    Hi Team Powell,
    I am on my 6th week of carb cycling- turbo. The first week I lost 4 lbs., 2nd- 2 lbs., 3rd- 2 lbs, 4th- 2lbs. I guess by the end of my slingshot week (I still watched what I ate), I gained 2 lbs back. And for the whole 5th week I just maintained. I thought “damn I was right I shouldn’t have done the slingshot week!!”. But this week I started back like to week 1, and in two days I’ve lost 2lbs. + 1!!!! I feel completely different this week. Now, I’m craving veggies like crazy. I look forward to my “cheat day”, but I don’t want some crappy McDonalds or something. I want like a slice of pizza from a REAL pizza place or a burger from a legit burger joint. I want something that will be worth it. I’ve never been happier on a diet EVER. I feel that it’s easy once you find some good recipes. I’ve been finding sooooo much on Pinterest, things to keep the food fun and not the same old boring stuff every night. Anyway my problem is, I’m not eating enough calories. I’m maybe eating 800-almost 1000. But im eating breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Which I NEVER did before. But it’s all good stuff, more protein than what is recommended and a lot of veggies. I use cheeses often in a lot our dinner recipes. But on my macros my fat is always high, protein is high and carbs are low, which is what I want right? So how can I make the calories without eating too much fat but low carbs. For fatty stuff I’ll eat avocados, nuts, cheese, stuff like that. With all that said I’ve lost approx 10-11 lbs. and I could not be happier with this lifestyle change. I do not deprive myself, I just pay attention to what I’m putting in my mouth and HOW MUCH!!! I look forward to my reward days so it makes it more exciting to think about what I want to eat for that one day all week! Love this diet, I’ve NEVER stuck to a diet like this and I don’t even like to call it a “diet”, more of a conscious way of eating. Thanks for the inspiration, I was miserable before and I still have a ways to go but seeing the results is really motivating me!!!

    • Team Powell - June 29, 2016

      Hi Erika: You’re doing awesome!!! As far as hitting those calorie recommendations, it is important that you aim for 1200 on LC days and 1500 on HC days so your body has the nutrients it needs to function properly AND lose any extra pounds. If you follow the portion size guides for the cycle, you should be good to go. And here are some macro percentage recommendations that might help too: High Carb Meal:
      Protein: 40%, Carbs: 40%, Fats: 20%, Low Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 20%, Fats: 40%. Hope that helps!

  108. Alana - June 28, 2016


    I am going to try the Turbo Cycle. I already eat very clean, watch my macros, and am in the gym lifting with a trainer 3x per week. I also do my own cardio and/or yoga on the days I do not lift (another 3x per week) and then take a rest day usually on Saturday or Sunday depending on my weekend plans.

    In general, I usually end up eating out and/or going out for drinks about 2-3x per week for work and social occasions. I do my best to stick to the healthier options and arrive with a sense of my remaining macros but I also really hate being a stick in the mud when out and it is always during these times that I find macro and cycling mentally burdensome.

    My question is this: instead of having a free day during my weekly cycle, can I just count it as another LC day and consider the few meals and drinks I have during the week as my freebies? Within reason of course…

  109. Jess - June 26, 2016

    Loving the book! I’m a big fan of protein powders as I have used them for years and years. I get mine here that was recommended from a friend:

    I’ve been experiencing some amazing results and am super happy I’ve paired this program with healthy eating and my protein shakes. Thanks you guys!

  110. Jen - June 24, 2016

    Hello, I have a question that I haven’t been able to find an answer to in the book. When measuring out a portion of chicken, should I be weighing it raw or cooked? For instance, if a portion is 3oz of chicken, is it 3oz raw or 3oz cooked? If it matters, I’m on the Turbo cycle. Thanks!

    • Team Powell - June 24, 2016

      Hi Jen: If a recipe calls for cooked chicken, measure it after you’ve cooked it. If it doesn’t specify, measure it raw. Hope that helps!

  111. CE - June 22, 2016

    Hello. I have a question about the Turbo plan. On week 4, 8, etc. do you still slingshot and do high carb weeks? I’ve been on the classic cycle for about 1.5 weeks and thinking about switching over to Turbo on week 3. Any insight or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    • Team Powell - June 22, 2016

      Hi CE: On the Easy, Classic, Turbo, and Fit Cycles, every 4th week is a Slingshot Week – a week of all high carb days. Hope that helps!

  112. Jaci Callender - June 22, 2016

    Hi Heidi, my husband and I are just starting out. We’re going to do Turbo Cycle together. We are very confused about breakfast. It seams that we are two have two fistfulls of vegetables for breakfast every day but the breakfast recipes in the book sometimes have no vegetables at all. Can you help clear this up please? Thanks!

    • Team Powell - June 22, 2016

      Hi Jaci: You can add two fist fulls of veggies to any meal, and they might not always be listed in the recipes in the book, but it’s totally okay to add them! You both can do this!

  113. Lynne - June 17, 2016

    Hello – I am interested in carb cycling. Is there a food list/grocery list available. What book is best to purchase to get started?

    Thank you, Lynne

  114. Mira Vasiljevic - June 15, 2016

    Hi Heidi and Chris,

    I wrote to you guys last week here on this blog and unfortunately did not get a reply back. What I was asking was this how often can you change from each of your 5 carb cycle plans? Can you do 2 weeks of 1 and change to another? I want to start my own transformation but want to make sure I am doing it right. I would greatly appreciate some advise so I know that I am going on the right path!

    Thank you so much!

    • Team Powell - June 16, 2016

      Hi Mira: I did reply to your comment, but sometimes it’s hard to find replies. 😉 It’s best to stay with the same carb cycle for several weeks, as outlined in Chris and Heidi’s program. Yes, you can change cycles at any time, but for the most part, it’s best to stick with one cycle for at least a month or two so your body can get used to it and then start losing weight. If after a month or two of following a cycle to a T and you’re not losing weight, then you can change to another cycle. I hope that helps!

    • Michelle - June 16, 2016

      How do I ask Heidi a question?

    • Team Powell - June 16, 2016

      Hi Michelle: I’d be happy to answer any questions you have. 🙂

  115. John Gutierrez - June 14, 2016

    Ok, last question. So I’m attempting to do zuchinni pasta, however, looking at nutritional facts I’m noticing most of the sauces are around 10g carbs. Haven’t been able to find anything lower. Even looking at roasting garlic and using tomato sauce and some chopped tomatoes, however it still comes out around 11g carbs. Any suggestions or is this ok, being it’s from vegetables. I have choose to lose and carb cycling and the recipes just say use marinara sauce.

    • Team Powell - June 14, 2016

      Hi John: Marinara sauces are fine, just watch the sodium and choose the lowest carb one you can. And keep an eye on serving sizes too.

  116. John Gutierrez - June 13, 2016

    Hi Team Powell

    I’ve seen this low carb pasta made by isolator fitness. Wanted to try and implement it on low carb days. It’s made out of protein, but does have 7grams of carbs. Was curious as to whether or not that was ok. Thanks so much.

    • Team Powell - June 13, 2016

      Hi John: This pasta has 7 g of net carbs, so it has too many carbs to be considered low carb in Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program. Hope that helps!

    • John - June 13, 2016

      Yes, it has thank you. I guess Zuchinni Noodles it is then.

  117. Sheereen - June 11, 2016

    Hi Team Powell
    I have tried many different diets but I can’t seem to stick to one. I have decided to give your classic carb cycle a try. I do boxing and functional training three times a week, I also run twice a week. I find both workouts equally strenuous so I am not sure which I should pair with my high carb days. I would also like to know if you can have protein shakes on low carb days as they contain carbs. Thank you for the great posts !

    • Team Powell - June 11, 2016

      Hi Sheereen: Since up to 60 minutes a day (Monday-Friday) of cardio are included in this plan, you should be good to go as the plan is outlined. If you find you need to move your workouts around to better fit the HC and LC days in your carb cycle, that is okay too. What works for one person may not work for another, so it’s hard to give a one-size-fits-all answer to what would work best for you. If you find that the LC days aren’t working with your workouts and the Classic Cycle, you might want to try the Fit Cycle ( or the new Extreme Cycle ( As far as protein powders, Chris and Heidi recommend low-fat, whey-based powders with between 15-20 grams of protein and less than 5 grams of carbs per serving, and this powder can count as the protein portion of any meal. Hope this helps, and we wish you the best! You can do this!

  118. Kimberly Newberry - June 1, 2016

    Hi there 🙂 What are some good choices of protein powder? Do you have like a week sample of carb cycling? Just to try and get someone started?

    • Team Powell - June 2, 2016

      Hi Kimberly: Chris and Heidi recommend low-fat, whey-based powders with between 15-20 grams of protein and less than 5 grams of carbs per serving. We really don’t have a week of carb cycling menus available. On the Easy, Classic, Turbo, and Fit Cycles you have the flexibility to plan your meals as you’d like to. There are 21 days’ worth of meals for the new Extreme Cycle, and there are other options for meal planning on this cycle too: For the other 4 cycles, there is an awesome graphic in this post that can help you put your meals together: Hope this helps!

  119. Deborah Talbot - June 1, 2016

    How many grams of carbs should I stay under on low carb days? Does it go by weight or is there a “magic number”. My husband and I just started carb cycling today so we’re new at this.

    • Team Powell - June 1, 2016

      Hi Deborah: That depends on which cycle you’re following. For the Extreme Cycle, there’s a chart at the end of this post that outlines recommended macros for each meal: For the Easy, Classic, Turbo, or Fit Cycles, here are some general recommendations: High-Carb Meal: Protein: 40%. Carbs: 40%, Fats: 20%, Low-Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 20%, Fats: 40%. Hope this helps! 🙂

  120. shelley - June 1, 2016

    If I purchase the book about the 4 carb cycles, does it also help with when and how you should work out on what days? I lift/exercise about 5-6 days a week and want to maximize my fat loss without losing my muscle. I am looking for lean muscle/

    • Team Powell - June 1, 2016

      Yes! Both books (“Choose More, Lose More for Life,” and the new book, “Extreme Transformation”) both have complete exercise programs!

  121. Kristin O - May 28, 2016

    I just purchased and read most of your Extreme Transformation book already. You guys are amazing and I’m so excited (and nervous) to be going on this weight loss journey. As I am trying to bestly prepare myself so I do not fail this time I wondered if there was a place every to connect with other people starting this journey like myself. Also, I was hoping their was a printable 21-day daily tracker.

    • Team Powell - May 29, 2016

      Hi Kristin: Heidi and Chris’ FB pages are a great community of support, so that’s an option. And unfortunately, we don’t have a printable daily tracker. Welcome to carb cycling – you can do this!

  122. Jennie - May 28, 2016

    Team Powell! I have to share my excitement with y’all–I started carb cycling 1 month ago and am LOVING it! I started with your classic cycle for the first 3 weeks, fell off the bandwagon last weekend (food and drink temptations at bachelorette party and wedding got the best of me ?) so started the turbo this week instead of my slingshot week. I have to say, even with 3 cheat days last weekend, I’m overall still down 5-6# since starting. My body is getting more defined and efficient, it’s crazy! I’m getting in much better shape now doing this with a 9 minute morning mission + 10-20 min shredder than I was training for and running marathons in the past few years. PLUS I have wayyyy more time margin in my life. It’s fabulous ?. I ate predominately whole and fresh foods before carb cycling, but my portions and frequency of fruit over veggies and protein was WAY off and I had no idea!
    So thank you guys sooo much for sharing your passion with us in such an approachable way…and for allowing/demanding cheat days ?????

    • Team Powell - May 29, 2016

      Hi Jennie: We love to get posts like your! Congratulations! Carb cycling is amazing, and we’re so excited it’s helping you achieve your goals! ???

  123. Maggie - May 26, 2016

    Hi. I am starting the turbo cycle next week. I plan on working out 6 days a week. I will be doing a combo of strength training and cardio. Do I need to adjust my calorie intake. On the more strenuous days?

    • Team Powell - May 27, 2016

      Hi Maggie: You should be good to go with the program as it’s outlined! You can do this!

  124. Sara N. - May 23, 2016

    Hi Heidi,

    I’m a registered dietitian and have been carb cycling (turbo) for the past 4 weeks. I started at around 110# (5’1″), hoping to trim down some. I stepped on the scale today and had gained 5#!?! What the heck could I be doing wrong? I crossfit 6 days/week and do some running (2-3 miles) a couple of times a week. After my daughter was born 3 years ago, I seem to just keep gaining weight. I was at 100# when I got pregnant, gained 20# with her, and lost that easily after she was born. And now it just keeps climbing…

    I’ve felt like I haven’t been as bloated since starting the turbo cycle, but now I’m all freaked out about the scale. Any recommendations?


    • Team Powell - May 23, 2016

      Hi Sara: It sounds like you’re doing awesome! Did you do the Slingshot Week for week 4 as recommended? If so, since carbs (even the healthy ones) can cause you to retain water, this could simply be water weight and it should go away in a few days.

    • Sara N. - May 23, 2016

      I have not done the slingshot week yet. This is the start of my 4th week, sorry, I should have clarified better.

    • kathy - June 20, 2016

      What is slingshot week?

    • Team Powell - June 21, 2016

      Hi Kathy: Every four weeks in carb cycling you do a slingshot week which is an entire week of high carb days. This helps to get your body out of any routine, which can lead to plateaus. Hope that helps!

  125. Michele O'Neil - May 21, 2016

    Hi Heidi and Chris
    I live in the UK and have just bought your ‘Extreme Transformation Lifelong Weight Loss in 21 days’ book which I love. The only problem I have is trying to convert the recipes to UK weight and measures. I’ve looked at a few weights/measures conversion sites on the web and I’m getting different conversion amounts from different sites….so I’m totally confused as to how much to eat.
    How do you recommend I convert cups of dry and wet ingredients into grams and mls, please? I want to get going but I’m afraid I’ll be eating the wrong amounts. HELP!!!!

    • Team Powell - May 21, 2016

      Hi Michele: I’m so sorry you’re having this issue. I don’t have any resources to share for converting recipes from US measurements to UK measurements. We really don’t differentiate between measuring wet and dry ingredients, so that might help you figure things out. And if there are any minor differences between conversion charts, these really shouldn’t affect your calorie count or taste at all. Since the vast majority of the recipes in “Extreme Transformation” are for one person, the ingredient amounts are small, which should also help keep things consistent calorie and taste-wise during conversion.

  126. Trisha L. - May 18, 2016

    Hi Team Powell!

    I’m excited to get started. I’m having trouble deciding which cycle to follow. I have been working out with a personal trainer 3x a week for over 2 years now. We do mainly, crossfit style metcon workouts. I have a paleo background… recently doing a carb cycling following a 5 day LC / 3 day HC cycle.

    I was thinking I should start with Turbo, given my LC/Paleo background, but wonder if I should do fit instead?


    • Team Powell - May 18, 2016

      Hi Trisha: You can do whichever cycle you think will work best for you, and you can change cycles at any time!

    • Becky - August 1, 2016

      Your background sounds similar to mine. I’m just beginning carb cycling and not sure which cycle to follow. What did you try and how did it work?

  127. barbara morgan - May 18, 2016

    Hi Chris/Heidi can you please explain fruits.. do I eat them on HC or LC day and what kind of fruits should i eat

    • Team Powell - May 18, 2016

      Hi Barbara: All fruits are considered carbs, and you can eat any fruits as the carb portion of any high-carb meal. 🙂

  128. Jen - May 16, 2016

    Just starting the Turbo Cycle and had 2 questions (not sure if I’m overthinking some of this).

    In Choose More, Lose More for life, under the list of Smart Food, carrots, corn, and peas are listed under carbs. So can we not eat these as part of the “2 handfuls of veggies at each meal” and only count them as carbs on HC days?

    Also, for the weekly cheat day, if we want to plan this day for a particular day of the week (say I want a cheat day this Friday for a party, and then next Saturday for a wedding), is there any rule about how to arrange the other days around it? Should a cheat day always be followed by a low carb day?

    • Team Powell - May 16, 2016

      Hi Jen: Let’s get you some answers to your questions: 1. Corn and peas are considered carbs so they should only be eaten for high-carb meals. Carrots can be eaten as both a carb and a veggie (this is a change since the book was published). 2. It’s best to not change your cheat day unless absolutely necessary, and yes, your cheat day is followed by a low-carb day. If you do change your cheat day, keep the days in the order as they’re outlined.

  129. Jenny - May 15, 2016

    Hi Heidi! I have been following carb cycling and on low carb days I am genuine hungry all day. I don’t struggle on days I eat carbs. I have a fast metabolism and struggle to stay at 1,200 calories. Is there flexibility to increase my calories on low carb days and still lose weight?

  130. Jonathan - May 14, 2016

    I work 3 days a week then off 4. I usually strength train the four off days. I was wondering how to fit this into carb cycling. Is there a certain way to structure workouts around carb cycling? Such as leg day on high carb and arms on low carb. Any help would be appreciated!

    • Team Powell - May 14, 2016

      Hi Jonathan: You can try any of the carb cycles to find out which one will work best for your workout schedule, and you can change cycles at any time. What works for one person might not work so well for another (some people do great doing a leg workout on a low-carb day while others don’t, for example), and a lot does depend on the intensity and duration of your workouts too. And don’t forget the importance of cardio, as this is a great way to burn off calories to get you one step closer to achieving your weight loss goals!

  131. Gianluca Vergani - May 9, 2016

    Hi team Powell,
    I have gout can do the carb cycling? Which?
    When you coming in Italy with extreme makeover? My weight is 260 lbs.
    Best regards.

    • Team Powell - May 9, 2016

      Hi Gainluca: It would be best to discuss the program with your healthcare team and then follow any modifications they might recommend. And I’m not aware of any plans to come to Italy.

  132. Natasha Myers - May 8, 2016

    Dear Powell Team
    I have been on South Beach But I am changing to your plan, my question is about eggs. so you always say egg whites. Do we not eat yolks at all?

    • Team Powell - May 9, 2016

      Hi Natasha: Egg yolks are considered fats on the Easy, Classic, Turbo, and Fit Cycles, and 2 egg yolks are a fat portion. In these cycles, 4 egg whites are a protein portion. On the Extreme Cycle, 5 egg whites or 2 egg yolks are both considered protein portions. Hope that helps!

  133. Jennie - April 30, 2016

    Hi! I’m super excited to have gotten your book from Amazon this week and to start the classic cycle Monday!
    I’m a bit confused about the palm/fist/thumb size references compared to the 100cal listings/recipe amounts. I’m confused in particular with veggies, spinach for example. Is 2 fists of spinach not enough? Or is it supposed to be 3 cups of spinach plus 1 carrot equals 2 veggie servings (like at end of protein shake recipe)? Or 10 cups (!!) like in the 100cal list??
    I know I can’t overeat veggies on this plan but don’t want to undereat them either.

    • Team Powell - May 1, 2016

      Hi Jennie: It’s best to go by the palm/fist/thumb measurements. The calorie lists at the back of the book are for reference purposes only for those people who also like to count calories, and those amounts do not match up with the palm/fist/thumb measurements for the most part. Doing the list in 70-100 calories segments made it much easier for reference purposes also. For veggies, aim for 2 fist fulls with all low-carb meals and with high-carb meals if you’re still hungry. Here are some macro percentages that can help you make sure you’re staying on track too: High-Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 40%, Fats: 20%. Low-Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 20%, Fats: 40%. You can do this!

  134. Linda - April 30, 2016

    Hey team Powell. I read that on the extreme cycle you should eat around 1500 kcal daily. Is it possible (beneficial) to do as the other cycles ? 1200 on low carb and 1500 on high Carb days ? I have a lot to lose and trying to get the best start 🙂

    • Team Powell - April 30, 2016

      Hi Linda: It’s best to follow the Extreme Cycle as it’s outlined. You can do this!

  135. Iddette Smith - April 29, 2016

    Hello Team Powell,

    I purchased Extreme Transformation: Lifelong Weigh Loss in 21 Days in audio form and am having a difficult time following the meal plans auditory. Is there anyway I can get the PDF in hard copy?

  136. Wendy - April 28, 2016

    Hi Team Powell,

    I love your work and I am just trying to decide which book to buy. I know Extreme Transformation has the most up to date information, but does this include all of the carb cycles or just the Extreme Cycle? I would like to option to choose which one works best for me! Thanks 🙂

    • Team Powell - April 28, 2016

      Hi Wendy: “Extreme Transformation” only has the Extreme Cycle. “Choose More, Lose More for Life” ( the other four cycles. And you can change cycles at any time too!

  137. Tara - April 27, 2016

    I just started the Carb Cycle and I noticed after entering my meals for a low carb day that I’m at over 1500 calories. I’m afraid that I’m not getting my portion size right. I’m basing it off of the portion sizes but is there a recommendation for grams? I know that you recommend we only use portion size but I think I’m failing at that. 😛



    • Team Powell - April 27, 2016

      Hi Tara: Here’s how you can count your own macros, which might help with your meal planning: High-Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 40%, Fats: 20%. Low-Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 20%, Fats: 40%. And it’s difficult to hit 1500 calories exactly, so just aim to get as close as you can.

  138. Kelli Mortenson - April 27, 2016

    Hello Heidi, Love you and your family.

    I am thinking about trying carb cycling but let’s talk coffee. I LOVE coffee. I typically have a latte every day, either at home or a venti at Starbucks. Does this fit at all? I don’t use any sweetener, just espresso and milk. It honestly doesn’t give me a boost and I don’t get headaches if I don’t drink it, I just love it and love to start my day with this hot delicious beverage. If I need to give that up, what are my options for both low carb and high carb days? I don’t love just plain black coffee. I will be honest, this has been one of the main reasons I haven’t started. 😀

    • Team Powell - April 27, 2016

      Hi Kelli: Coffee is okay in carb cycling, but you’ll want to drink it black with natural sweeteners if possible.

  139. Scott - April 24, 2016

    Dear Chris and Heidi. I just started your book, after purchasing it at least two years ago. But I’m in t and getting the cycles going. I have 3 questions: I know water is critical. Is diet soda out completely, or just try and limit it?
    2. What if meal #5 comes along 30 minutes before bedtime. Eat it or skip it?
    3. I work occasional long days, meaning it could be 22 hours before I get back to bed. During that 22 hour work period… just keep eating every three hours?

  140. Leslie - April 23, 2016

    Hi ! First off thank you so much for the very informative and clear idea how to carb cycle. A brief history, I’m 30 y/p female 5’6 and 130 lbs. I had knee surgery 4 months ago that hasn’t gone well and has completely made me go from a competitive runner (50-60 mile weeks with high intensity/weight lifting) to the most sedentary u have ever been:( I struggle just walking around the grocery store….. So I hardly walk and sit most the day. I am able to do about 30 mins biking (HR doesn’t go above 100 though, single leg activities on my good leg, core and upper body weight lifting). Of course my normal steady (5 years +) body composition always had been 125 with about 16% body fat without eating sensibly but not tracking macronutrients/calories. I tried to not eat as much while struggling with this injury, but a few weeks ago started tracking my nutrients and realized I was eating over 2000 calories with living a very sedentary life! I want to feel better about myself, and not being able to exercise/walk pain free has had me go into some depression. I’ve decided to take control of what I can and that being nutrition! In saying this, I want to maybe loose a couple pounds, but more importantly I want to try to change my body composition to what I’m mores to without being able to do cardio or heavy leg weights. Any suggestions which carb cycle to do/calorie intake….I know it was stated at 1500 for women, but if one is very sedentary due to injury would this change? Thanks so much!

    • Leslie - April 23, 2016

      Meant to say * with eating sensible!

    • Team Powell - April 23, 2016

      Hi Leslie: Any of the carb cycles you’d like, and you can change cycles at any time. On the Extreme Cycle, you’ll consume around 1500 calories a day, and on the other four cycles, you’ll consume 1200 calories on low-carb days and 1500 calories on high-carb days. You never want to go below 1200 calories a day also. Since a huge majority of weight loss is good nutrition, follow the cycle you choose, work out as you can, and you can achieve your goals!

  141. Sydney - April 21, 2016

    I’m still confused about which carb cycle I should do.. I do 40 min of 6 days per week, and I do Heidi’s booty building program 2 days per week. I also try to fit in some yoga and stretch every day trying to improve flexibility.. Which cycle can work for all this? So confused- want to build muscle but still stay lean for yoga and flexibility!

  142. Taryn - April 19, 2016

    On average I burn between 500-750 calories per workout (3-4 times per week) on the days that I workout, do I need to add more calories to my diet? I am following the Classic Carb Cycling 1200 low carb, 1500 high carb. I use my fitness pal to keep track of macros, but when I plug in my workouts it adds more calories to eat. Should I stay in the deficit or make sure to eat more?

    • Team Powell - April 20, 2016

      Hi Taryn: You don’t want to add any calories to make up for calories burned. These add to your calorie deficit, which leads to lost pounds. It’s like this: calories consumed – calories burned = calorie deficit (lose weight) -or- calorie surplus (gain weight). You can do this!

  143. April - April 18, 2016

    I read that while nursing you’re supposed to eat between 2000 to 2500 cal per day but I wanted to do your extreme carb cycling program what would you advise?

  144. Rachael - April 18, 2016

    How many net carbs should one eat on High Carb and Low Carb days?

    • Team Powell - April 18, 2016

      Hi Rachael: Chris and Heidi have figured out all of your macros for you in carb cycling (for both low- and high-carb meals) for the Easy, Classic, Turbo, and Fit Cycles, so you don’t need to worry about tracking them. However, if you’d like to count your own macros, here are some general recommendations: High-Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 40%, Fats: 20%. Low-Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 20%, Fats: 40%.
      I hope this helps!

  145. Katie Griffin - April 17, 2016

    Hello! I’ve decided to follow the Turbo Cycling Plan but my confusion is around the reward day. Obviously, this day isn’t for eating 5,000 calories but how much of a reward day should this be? I know that’s a very general question but are there any “general rule of thumb” ideas behind reward day? Also, could this day be a break from work outs or should I definitely get a work out in on reward day? I would assume yes but might as well ask 🙂 Thanks!

    • Team Powell - April 17, 2016

      Hi Katie: Welcome to carb cycling! On your reward day, you can eat up to 1,000 extra calories for a total of 2,500 calories for that day. Since your reward day is scheduled on Sundays, and since there are no workouts scheduled for those days, you can take a rest day. Hope that helps!

  146. Kelly - April 10, 2016

    Hi Heidi and Chris!
    First of all, I love the new book from what I am through so far. I know for your carb cycling plan you provide a portions list that will help for high/low carb days. I feel like I am where I want to be in terms of weight, but I would like to continue to gain muscle and cut fat. Is there a certain calculation or method you use to get your specific macros that is more fine tuned when working towards those goals? I have looked online at a few different calculators and the results vary slightly from each. I definitely like your information on carb cycling best, but I looking now to burn fat and continue to see definition. Thank you both so much for being so inspirational!

    • Team Powell - April 10, 2016

      Hi Kelly: Congratulations! Here’s a post that might help: You’ll have to tweak what you’re doing depending on the results you’re getting, but you can add in more strength training to build muscle, keep doing cardio to burn calories, and make sure that you stay on point with your nutrition. There’s not really a hard/fast equation since each person is at a different place with a different body composition. Hope this helps!

  147. Tara - April 5, 2016

    quick question!
    Any help or advice for anyone who works 12-16 hour night shifts? Sometimes i am up almost 18 hours a day so can i add an extra snack/meal in for my nights to get me through?
    Thank you!!!!!!

  148. Leslie - March 25, 2016

    Hi. I have a question regarding the 100 calorie portion food lists.

    After 3 weeks on the Extreme cycle, I didn’t lose anything during week 2 or 3 so I decided to switch to the Turbo cycle and after 1 week I finally had a loss. The recipes in Choose To Lose are pretty simple giving the exact amount of each ingredient to use. In choose More Lose More, the recipes use hand portions. I use Myfitnesspal and I’m kind of anal about knowing exactly how many calories each item has so I’ve always measured and weighed everything. I don’t use hand portions.

    In the recipe section of Choose More Lose More it has a “Carb-Cycling Portion Conversion: Average Per-Meal Estimates” chart using hand portions that says for a woman a protein portion is 3 oz, carbs is 1 cup, veggies 2 cups and fats is 1 Tbsp. It then gives food lists in 100 calorie portions. The recipes include a protein and then I have to add a carb or fat (depending on the day). For whatever food I choose to add, do I use the specific amount shown in the 100-calorie lists? I’m confused because that first chart says a hand portion for carbs is 1 cup but in the list rice for example is 1/2 cup. Also the protein weights (2 oz salmon, 2.5 oz white fish, etc) seem so low it seems it would be hard to reach the 40% target for the day. Unless those are cooked weights.

    Hopefully that wasn’t too confusing to follow. 🙂


    • Team Powell - March 25, 2016

      Hi Leslie: You’ll use the portion size guides when putting your meals together. The 100 calorie guide is for general reference, and it was less confusing to list everything in those calorie amounts than to have many different calorie amounts. Here are some macro guidelines for the Turbo Cycle that might be helpful for you: High-Carb Meal: Protein: 40%, Carbs: 40%, Fats: 20%. Low-Carb Meal:
      Protein: 40%, Carbs: 20%, Fats: 40%. And congratulations on losing some lbs! ?

  149. Brandee Wheeler - March 22, 2016

    How do you know which cycle plan to start out on?

    • Team Powell - March 22, 2016

      Hi Brandee: There are links within this post to each of the cycles so you can read through each one and see which one will work best for you and your goals. And you can change cycles at any time, so the program is totally flexible!

  150. Leanne Davis - March 21, 2016

    Hi there, I’m based in the UK, watch the show and own choose to lose. I have coeliacs and hashimotos and due to this 30lbs to shift. I’m a bit unsure about how many carbs I should be aiming for on low carb days and high carb days as I try to keep track. Also due to my medication I can’t eat anything for an hour upon waking as that’s how I have to take my med does this have a big impact as I normally skip breakfast altogether but am trying to eat now? Any advice would be fab xxx

    • Team Powell - March 21, 2016

      Hi Leanna: There’s an awesome graphic in this post that outlines how to put your meals together: And follow your doctor’s recommendations for your medications and you’ll be fine!

  151. Connie - March 17, 2016

    I just bought a couple of the carb cycling books, but I have a silly question…what is “Spray Butter?” (I ended up here after doing a Google search for it). I found an artificial “butter-flavored” spray (I Can’t Believe it’s NOT Butter), but nothing that is “spray butter.” I’m just not sure this stuff is “Spray Butter.” Thanks!

    • Team Powell - March 17, 2016

      Hi Connie: So sorry for the confusion! Do a Google search for “butter spray” instead, and then use the image option. You’ll find several options to choose from and most should be at any grocery store. Hope that helps!

  152. Kristi - March 16, 2016

    I absolutely love to follow Heidi and Chris and the amazing work they do with helping individuals lose weight. I am currently looking to lose 75-85 pounds. My doctor has suggested a low card diet, but it seems to do all low carb will cause me to feel drained of energy all the time. I have stubborn visceral fat that needs gone. Would carb cycling work for me? And as a beginner where should I start? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • Team Powell - March 16, 2016

      Hi Kristi: I think it could work, but you’d want to discuss the program with your healthcare team first. This post outlines the nutrition basics, and this other post outlines all parts of the programs: You can do this!

    • Margie - March 19, 2016

      I too am wondering which book I should purchase, the “Choose to Lose” or one of the other books, please give me your advice. I also have 75# to lose but want to purchase the correct book that works best for me.

    • Team Powell - March 20, 2016

      Hi Margie: I’d purchase Chris and Heidi’s new book, “Extreme Transformation.” It has the most up-to-date information and cycle based on their experience over the past few years working with their contestants on the show. You can do this!

  153. Maddie - March 15, 2016

    Hi! I’m going to be doing the turbo carb cycling plan and I know in the book it gives calories per servings for each type of food criteria. However, I wanted to know if there were any already made meal plans for the turbo cycle for a woman?

    • Team Powell - March 15, 2016

      Hi Maddie: There are not meal plans for the Turbo Cycle. You can use the recipes in the book and the graphic in this other blog post to help you put your meals together:

  154. Greg - March 15, 2016

    The link to “Choose More, Lose More for Life” at the bottom of the article is a bad link.

  155. Talissa Soto - March 14, 2016

    Hey Powell Team,
    My friend and I are starting the turbo carb cycling this week. I have both books- Choose More Lose More & Extreme Transformation. We are stuck with snack options since your books list mostly meals. Can you provide some snack options? Thanks so much!

    • Team Powell - March 14, 2016

      Hi Talissa: You put your snacks together the same way you put your meals together. There’s an awesome graphic in this post that can help: You both can do this! ?

  156. Marisela - March 13, 2016

    I have a question. It was mentioned in the replies earlier that women should eat 1200 calories. However, on the “All About Calories” article, it says I should be eating 1700 calories and that is with a 1000 calorie deficit to lose 2 pounds a week. How would this change apply to the carb cycling diets in the books? Please help me understand! 🙂

    • Team Powell - March 14, 2016

      Hi Marisela: For the Easy, Classic, Turbo, and Fit Cycles, women eat 1200 calories on low-carb days and 1500 calories on high-carb days. On the Extreme Cycle, women eat 1500 calories every day. The only difference is the extra calories eaten for reward meals, reward days, or reset days (depending on the cycle you’re following). These are the recommendations for all women. The information in the “All About Exercise” post, and the numbers you get from the formula, is for general information. If you’re doing carb cycling, then you’ll follow the calorie recommendations for the cycle you’re following. I hope that helps!

    • Marisela - March 15, 2016

      Do you have meal plans for the turbo plan? I know in the back of the book it gave calorie breakdowns for each food group, but is there a sample meal plan for the turbo plan for a woman?

    • Team Powell - March 15, 2016

      Hi Marisela: There are not meal plans for the Turbo Cycle. You can use the recipes in the book and the graphic in this other blog post to help you put your meals together:

    • Marisela - March 20, 2016

      Unfortunately, that link does not work. Also, how do fruits fit into carb cycling? are they considered a carb?

    • Team Powell - March 21, 2016

      Ooops. Forgot a letter in the link. ? Try this one: And fruits are carbs – there’s more about this in this post.

  157. Mindi - March 13, 2016

    Where do coconut flour and almond flour fit into carb cycling? Fat? Grain?

    • Team Powell - March 13, 2016

      Hi Mindi: Those are counted as fats in carb cycling. ?

    • Mindi - March 18, 2016

      serving sizes?

    • Team Powell - March 19, 2016

      That depends…if the flour is the entire fat serving for a meal, the serving size would be different than if it is part of the serving size for a meal. If you’re following the Extreme Cycle, there’s a chart at the bottom of this post that outlines how many calories of each macro to include in each meal, and this could help you figure this out. If you’re following one of the other four cycles, here’s a macro percentage breakdown for each type of meal:

      High-Carb Meal:
      Protein: 40%
      Carbs: 40%
      Fats: 20%

      Low-Carb Meal:
      Protein: 40%
      Carbs: 20%
      Fats: 40%

  158. Terri F. - March 12, 2016

    Before I found out about your Carb Cycling Plan I started a low carb diet with 20g of carbs, or less, per day. It was super tough the first three days but now I fell less hungry and have more energy. I’m afraid that if I add in the carb cycling it will throw me off. I was actually going to stay on the low carb induction for two weeks and then add in some healthy carbs such as berries, etc… What are your thoughts and suggestions for me? I love you and your husband and value your opinion. Thank you!

    • Team Powell - March 12, 2016

      Hi Terri: Carbs (the healthy type) are super important for weight loss. They are the kindling that stoke your weight loss fire, so that’s why they’re included as they are in Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program. Give their program a try!

  159. Leigh - March 1, 2016

    Hi Team Powell!

    I’ve read the book “Choose to Lose” and read about the Turbo Cycle on Heidi’s blog, and am SO excited to get started! A few questions I have that I hope you can help me with:

    1) Is there a time of night you should’t eat past? I am a SAHM with three small children and we all get up by 7:30am and eat breakfast at 8 or 8:15am. That puts my last meal at 8pm, but if my daytime meals get off schedule at all (meaning 4 hrs go by instead of 3 because of kid activities or my work out classes), then my last meal will be at 9pm… is that too late? I typically go to bed at 11pm.

    2) Which protein bars and protein shakes do you recommend for HC and LC days? I think I need to have some on hand for on-the-go meals with the busy schedules we have, we are always on the go!

    3) Should I be tracking my calories? Or should I just trust the portion sizes that are listed in the book and go for it? Tracking takes up so much time!!

    4) And my bonus question for you today – we are about to start a kitchen remodel next week and we won’t have a sink, stove top or dishwasher for about 2 weeks, maybe 3. Any ideas for eating on this plan with only a microwave and oven to cook with? No sink to wash veggies, stove to brown meat, etc… There may even be some days we can’t walk on the floors to the oven????? I’m dying over here!

    Thanks! Love everything I’ve read and seen from you guys. And my littlest’s name is Ruby too! 🙂

    • Team Powell - March 2, 2016

      Hi Leigh: Let’s get you some answers to your questions! 1) The main thing is to begin eating within 30 minutes after waking and then every 3 hours for a total of 5 meals. 2) For protein powders, look for low-fat, whey-based powders with between 15-20 grams of protein and less than 5 grams of carbs per serving. For protein bars, the key to knowing which bar is best for which type of meal is to look at both the carb and fat content. If more calories come from fat than carbs, then that bar is a good option for a low-carb meal. If the reverse is true, then that bar is a good option for a high-carb meal. 3) You can track your calories if you’d like to, or simply go by the portion size guide. 4) This can be tricky! Meal prep will be key. You can pre-cook your proteins and do any other prepping ahead of time, freeze some meals ahead of time, basically do all you can ahead of time. A meal plan will be key! Good luck!

    • Leigh - March 2, 2016

      Thank you so much! Another question I have is in regards to frozen veggie burgers – are they proteins or carbs or what? Could you have one with a whole wheat bun, lettuce, tomato, and salsa on a HC day? And could you have one with cheese or avocado on a LC day? The brand I’m looking at is Morning Star – the “Roasted Garlic & Quinoa” and “Spicy Black Bean Burger”…. thoughts?

    • Team Powell - March 2, 2016

      Hi Leigh: These veggie burgers count towards a protein serving. They are a bit short of protein to count as an entire serving, so you’d need to add some additional protein. Here’s a post that offers more meal planning tips, including how many calories of each macro to include in each meal (to learn how many grams of each macro to include in each meal, divide the calories for protein and carbs by 4, and the calories for fat by 9): And your ideas for high- and low-carb meals are awesome!

    • Leigh - March 2, 2016

      Thank you again! I’m not sure I understand how to calculate the macros though. The link you sent says 100 calories of protein for a HC meal. Those veggie burgers are over 100 calories each, so they should be ok, right? Maybe I’m missing something though?

    • Team Powell - March 3, 2016

      Hi Leigh: I’m so sorry for your confusion. The chart refers to 100 calories for protein, not 100 calories total for the burgers. 100 calories of protein equates to 25 grams of protein per serving. Hope this clears things up!

    • Leigh - March 3, 2016

      Aw… thank you! I’m new to this for sure… this is going to get much harder or more interesting… thanks!

    • Leigh - March 3, 2016

      So, just to make sure I understand this…. Based on that chart, for a LC meal, I should be having 37.5g of Protein, less than 7.5g of Carbs and 11g of Fat. Is that right? If so, then the Kind+ bars I bought for LC meal replacements for on-the-go days don’t have anywhere near enough Protein. They only have 4g Protein and 190 calories total. Right? Thank you again for your help with this healthy eating transition!

    • Team Powell - March 3, 2016

      Yes these numbers are correct. And you’re right about these bars. You’re so welcome!

  160. ghadeer - February 29, 2016

    Hello my name is Ghadeer and I’m 17 years old and im 88kg overweight.157cm.I’ve been on my own weight loss journey but not on a straight way like I binged a lot but worked out heavily. when I was 12 i weighted 73kg, after a year I lost 16 kg and then it was the battle of losing weight and gaining it for million times. in 2014 my appetite exploded all I want to eat a lot of food so i gained 36 kg.i really really just need a simple answers I’m so tired and depressed and exhausted not forgetting the fact that last year i had a disk on my back so my workouts can’t be too my questions are, what is the carb cycling type for weight loss?? and can I go on a normal diet ( like eating normal healthy numbers of carbs ,protein,fats) when I finish my weight loss journey ?? can I workout like cardio abs workouts and lifting if I have a back disk?? does carb cycling have a certain numbers of calories ??

  161. Hannah - February 27, 2016

    Heidi and Chris I am 25 weeks pregnant and I am 5ft 4 in and 180 pounds my starting weight was 170 which is according to my BMI obese for someone who wants to start after baby is born is it safe to do while breastfeeding and what is the first step I should take to start?

    • Team Powell - February 27, 2016

      Hi Hannah: Congratulations! Here’s a post that outlines Heidi’s breastfeeding nutrition program: As for exercise, it’s best to get your doctor’s okay before exercising postpartum. We wish you the best!

  162. Joi - February 24, 2016

    I have a question about portions. I started on the Turbo Cycle but moved to the Extreme Cycle and I am in week four and I lost 17.8lbs! My question is I am getting fuller, quicker so I can’t finish a whole portion for women. I know I shouldn’t eat once I’m full (I mean satisfied) but then I worry that I’m not eating enough calories. Is this normal? Is it okay to not finish the whole meal? Thanks!

    • Team Powell - February 24, 2016

      Hi Joi: Congratulations on losing 17.8 pounds! That’s awesome! It’s best to eat the entire portion, but if you can’t, that’s okay too. You body should adjust to eating all these healthy and tasty meals, it just takes some time for some people. We with you the best!

  163. Britt - February 22, 2016

    Should a person detox before they start a carb cycling diet?

    • Team Powell - February 22, 2016

      Hi Britt: You really don’t need to do that, but do what works best for you and your goals!

  164. Cathy M - February 20, 2016

    Hi Team Powell, I have 2 questions. I have a bunch of Muscletech Mission 1 Protein Bars at Home. Is there a way to fit part (a quarter or half) or a full bar someplace(s) in the Turbo Cycle Plan?
    Is it beneficial to limit the non-fat Greek yogurt and low fat cottage cheese to reduce the stomach bloating. Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks so much!

    • Team Powell - February 20, 2016

      Hi Cathy: Each bar would count for the protein and fat portion of a low-carb meal. As for the Greek yogurt and cottage cheese, do what works best for you. Many people don’t have any issues with bloating. Hope that helps!

  165. Leslie - February 19, 2016

    Is there a brand of low-sugar BBQ sauce and low sodium cottage cheese that Chris and Heidi recommend/use? For cottage cheese the lowest I’ve found in my area is Daisy Brand and that has 350. Is there one lower than that?

  166. Grace - February 18, 2016

    Do you have any recommendations of which cycle someone participating in track or other sports could benefit from? I am not looking to lose weight.

  167. Grace - February 17, 2016

    Is hummus considered a fat?

    • Team Powell - February 17, 2016

      Hi Grace: Two tablespoons of hummus are considered a carb portion. ?

  168. Amy - February 17, 2016

    Hi I just started the carb cycling and was wondering are there any recommend soups that would fit into the plan?

    • Team Powell - February 17, 2016

      Hi Amy: There are some soup/chili recipes on this blog that could work: And you can make your own soups by adding a protein, carb, and veggies (high-carb meal), or a protein, fat, and veggies (low-carb meal). Try and use low-sodium or sodium-free products when you can.

  169. Leslie - February 17, 2016

    Like Heidi, I really like my Quest bars and typically will have one as a snack (baking into cookies – yum!) almost every day. Are they acceptable and should they only be on a high carb day? Should I add anything to it to round out the meal? Is a Larabar okay on high carb days?

    • Team Powell - February 17, 2016

      Hi Leslie: Quest-like bars are great options for low-carb meals, and would count as both the protein and fat portions of that meal. ?

  170. Molly - February 16, 2016

    I would like to try carb cycling but am not sure where to begin. I would like to build muscle and work on body recomposition. I do not want to lose any weight. I currently do workouts like black fire from daily burn and have also done p90x3 but I need to stay in shape for field hockey in the fall. I think the carb cycling could really help me but I just need some guidance on things like which cycle to start with and how to go about it. I am a teenage female who is about 5’7 and 136 lb. Thanks for any help you can give.

    • Team Powell - February 16, 2016

      Hi Molly: Thank you for your post, you have some awesome goals! Since you are a teenager, it’s best to discuss any nutrition program with your healthcare team and then follow their recommendations. We wish you the best as you work to achieve your goals – you got this!

  171. Erin - February 15, 2016

    I have read the new book and I have a few questions that aren’t clearly answered in the book. First, for a food like peanut butter for example is it solely counted as a fat even though there is protein in it? Where would a whole hard boiled egg fall (protein, fat, or both)? I saw on the website here that egg yolks are fats but in the Extreme Transformation book they are listed under protein but a whole egg is not listed at all. I eat a lot of specialty low carb things like pasta that has a net carb count of 8g and bagels that have a net carb count of 6g the rest is made up of a lot fiber and some protein. So where would something like these fall into the program? Is there a way to take into account net carbs vs total carbs? Like the bagel is 100 calories but only 6g net carbs so only 24 calories are coming from digestible carbs so how would I count this food, still as a carb? A macro count would be so helpful if Chris and Heidi could provide that for people who don’t want to make their complicated recipes or don’t like the recipes they offer. If we had the guidance of macros per meal rather than calories per meal it would make it so much easier to plan your own meals! And I may be missing it but I did not see a guide or calorie count for the reward/recharge day. There was a chart on page 72 that only shows breakfast and high carb and low carb meal calorie counts per protein, carb and fat. No real guidance anywhere on the recharge day other than the fact that it’s a high carb day. Are you supposed to eat extra that day or just things that are more “junk foody” but still within a regular high carb day total? Thanks for any help with this.

    • Team Powell - February 16, 2016

      Hi Erin: Let’s get you some answers to your questions! 1) Yes, peanut butter is counted only as a fat. Peanut butter does have some protein, but not enough to count as a protein serving. 2) 2 egg yolks or 5 egg whites count as a protein serving, so if you want to eat whole eggs, use these recommendations to do so. 3) To make things easier, we go by the total carb count in carb cycling, so any pastas and bagels would count as carbs, even though they do have some protein in them. 3) You are welcome to follow the recipes as outlined in the book, or you can put your own meals together also. There is info on how to do this on page 28 and in Day 4. 4) For your Reset Day, aim for 1000 extra calories, so 2500 calories tops on these days, and you can eat anything you want on these days–healthy foods, “cheat” foods, or both. Hope this helps!

  172. David - February 7, 2016

    I loved the book. I still just have a question though. What are the calories you are supposed to be eating at each meal. The Hand guide is cool, but I am looking to make dishes that combine the ingredients, so if I knew the calories I would know the proportions to add of each.
    I saw the post that gave the caloric breakdown for breakfast! Thank you! Because that helped me know how to make my protein oatmeal with chia seeds. I want to make a tofu, sweet potato mash for high carb meals. So knowing what proportion of tofu to sweet potato would be great.

    High Carb Breakfast: X calories from protein food, x calories from carb food
    High Carb other meals: X calories from protein food, x calories from carb food

    Low Carb Breakfast: X calories from protein food, x calories from carb food
    Low Carb other meals: X calories from protein food, x calories from fat food

    • Team Powell - February 8, 2016

      Hi David: For the Easy, Classic, Turbo, and Fit Cycles, we really don’t have a calorie breakdown for each meal, but for men, aim for 5 ounces of protein, 1.5 cups of carbs, 3 cups of veggies, and 2 tablespoons of fat. You can also use the food list in both books for examples of 70-100 calories portions. If you have “Extreme Transformation,” there’s a per meal calorie breakdown on page 72. Hope this helps!

  173. Katrina - February 5, 2016

    Hey there team Powell. I just finished Kickstarter with you guys, and won, losing 6.4 lbs with diet change. I always work out! I currently weigh 142. I really want to tone up and be totally fit my 40th bday this August. How does one determine the carbs for high/low carbs days? I’ve tried every calculator out there. Lol. When I did kickstarted, I ate roughly 132g a day kicking it up to 160 on high intensity work outs (orange theory fitness) to prevent lethargy. This seems too high for carb cycling? BTW I have looked for your book at Walmart and Targrt abd can’t find it. Strange considering we both live in the Phoenix area. You are an inspiration Heidi. And I have also have the crazy blended family thing going on, it’s all about the kids at this point.

    • Team Powell - February 5, 2016

      Hi Katrina: Congratulations! In Chris and Heidi’s new book (which you can order here:, all your macros are figured out for you, which makes it so easy. There is an amazing meal plan, or you can put your own meals together (there are guidelines for this), or a combo of the two. It’s awesome! ?

  174. Beth - February 3, 2016

    Thanks so much for all of this! I do mix heavy weight with Metcon training 6 days a week but have always felt at a loss with which nutrition plan to follow. Question…I workout at 530am each morning. When is a good time for breakfast??

  175. Lina - February 2, 2016

    Good Day ,

    I have been doing the extreme cycling for about 3 weeks , my question is my fourth week is approaching but I am confused.. I would like to try the turbo cycle next ,should I do a sling shot week before I start (4 th week) or get into the turbo cycle for my next step . Does sling shot week breakfast include any fat?


    • Team Powell - February 2, 2016

      Hi Lina: You can do whichever one you’d like. For the Slingshot Week, you do not include fats with breakfasts – all your meals during that week are high-carb meals. And congratulations on completing a whole Extreme Cycle cycle! ?

    • Lina - February 3, 2016

      Thank you for your quick reply.. okay one more question I have a wedding on Saturday being Italian the feast never ends.. so I am on day 4 of extreme high carb day was wondering if I can switch my this around meaning day 4 and 5 low carb and reward day on Saturday and start turbo on sunday??

      thanks for all the help

    • Team Powell - February 3, 2016

      Hi Lina: Yes, it is okay to switch your reward day occasionally, but you really don’t want to do it very often. Have a fun time! ?

  176. Anka - February 1, 2016

    Hi Team Powell,

    I have a couple questions I need clarification on. I just read 3 of your books and I have a few questions.:

    Question 1)
    Trader Joes sells a Natural 100% whey based protein that has 18G protein and is 100 calories per serving and has Total Carbohydrate is 6g with Dietary Fiber 3g and sugars 2g. Is this an okay protein to use or do I need to find another Whey protein with 5 or less total Carbohydrates? The brand I purchased is called Designer Whey gourmet chocolate and also purchase a vanilla one?
    Can you recommend some brands?

    Question 2)
    Drinking a lot of water is super hard in the cold winters can I put a lemon or lime wedge in my water?

    Question 3) Is it okay to use Crystal light artificial flavors in my water they do have 5 calories with 0 carbs and 0 g of sugar if no can you recommend a brand that I could use?

    Thank you so much!

    • Team Powell - February 1, 2016

      Hi Anka: Let’s get you some answers! 1) This powder should be okay since it does have some fiber in it. 2) Yes! You can put a lemon or lime in your water – that’s an awesome option! 2) I’d try and find a brand sweetened with stevia or xylitol. There are some available on the market. You can totally do this!

    • Anka - February 1, 2016

      Team Powell thank you for the quick answers. Should I or do I need to count the Lemon or Lime in my gallon of water as anything for additional calories or carbs?

      Also do you know of any brand for flavoring of the water that you would recommend similar to a crystal light?

    • Team Powell - February 1, 2016

      Hi Anka: You don’t need to count the lemons or limes if you’re using them simply for flavoring. And I’m so sorry, but I don’t have any water flavoring brands to recommend.

  177. Mary - January 29, 2016

    I’ve just started the turbo cycle and I have a couple of questions. I don’t see cream of wheat on the list of carbs and was wondering if it would be acceptable to have cream of wheat instead of oatmeal. Also I noticed hummus listed under condiments. Does it have to be low fat or can we have regular hummus and also how much of it and on which days and which meals. I usually use it to dip my veggies in it but not sure if it’s acceptable and if it would count as a fat or protein or only a condiment. Thank you so much. I’m loving this program.

    • Team Powell - January 29, 2016

      Hi Mary: Cream of wheat is an acceptable carb. For hummus, you can have 2 tablespoons, which count as a carb. You can do this! 🙂

  178. Lindsay - January 27, 2016

    I am an avid runner and lift/run around 6 day a week with some two-a-days. I was looking for a way to lean up and lose fat without compromising my muscles. I ran competitively for 8 years, but never achieved the lean mass I wanted despite high mileage weeks. Ive been reading your books, and thought it might be the one to try. However, I am worried about the calorie defects….1200-1500 calories is really low and how do you decide the best carb cycle?

  179. Becky - January 25, 2016

    First – read the book and LOVED it. Things finally make sense, and I am getting more comfortable eating carbs again (yessssssss!). But I am confused.

    I get that low carb days = 1200 calories and high carb = 1500 calories… but if, for example, I burn 600 calories at the gym on low carb day… am I supposed to eat back any of those carbs?
    (I get that I am not “eating them back” per se, but I don’t know how else to phrase the question.)
    In my head, that equates to me basically consuming 600 calories that day… which seems to be in bad form. So, at the end of the day, do I eat 1800, burn 600 and arrive at 1200 for the day? Do i eat 1600, burn 600 and arrive at 1000 for the day to work towards my defecit?

    Help. 😐

    • Team Powell - January 26, 2016

      Hi Becky: Great question! No, you don’t eat back any calories you burn through activity. Those calories go towards your daily calorie deficit, which leads to lost pounds. It works like this: calories consumed – calories burned = calorie deficit (lose weight) -or- calorie surplus (gain weight). I hope that helps – you can do this! ?

  180. Emily - January 21, 2016

    Hi Team Powell – quick question here. I just bought and devoured “Choose More, Lose More for Life” and am working on making my meal plan for next week. I love omelettes but hate plain egg whites. Is it possible to use whole eggs? Why do you have just egg whites listed? My cholesterol is fine (I do have low HDL which I’m trying to work on with exercise). Also, any tips for staying motivated and disciplined? I wish you had a “Moderate Weight Loss” show, haha. I’d apply in a heart beat! Here’s hoping I lose the weight before my goal day (I’m in a wedding!) Any additional tips/words of encouragement are greatly appreciated! Thanks!


    • Team Powell - January 22, 2016

      Hi Emily: We’re so excited you love “Choose More, Lose More for Life”! In the carb cycles in “Choose More, Lose More for Life,” egg yolks are considered fats and egg whites are proteins, so that’s why egg yolks are separated from egg whites. And here’s Chris and Heidi’s #1 transformation tool, and it’s awesome at helping you stay motivated and disciplined: Give it a try – it works! We wish you the best – you can totally do this! ?

  181. Madeline - January 18, 2016

    I am a college student, which kind of goes with staying up for a long period of time. Since I will be eating my first meal around 7:30am and not going to bed until about midnight, would 3 1/2 hours between meals be okay? Or would this be an obstacle to my weight loss?
    Also, do you have any ideas for on the go meal options that contain all three elements (protein, carb and veggie or protein fat and veggie)?
    Thank you!

  182. Megan - January 17, 2016

    Hi Heidi.
    I am reading more about carb cycling in Choose more to lose more for life and I was wondering if you have advice about incorporating this into Myfitnesspal. I’ve used the app for years and I love it. How would I change my macros for a high carb day vs a low carb day?


    • Team Powell - January 17, 2016

      Hi Megan: While we don’t have macro counts, you can input the recipes you use into MyFitnessPal and it will figure out the macros for you. Hope that helps!

  183. John Jaconsky - January 15, 2016

    Hi Heidi,
    I was in Sam’s Club looking at pants. I am on the verge of going up to a size 38. In a twist of fate your book Extreme Transformation was on top of the pile of 38 inch pants. I bought the book instead and cannot put it down. I like the way everything is laid out covering the days , the mental aspect,the setting of goals, the commitment and of course the meals.
    I’m only on my first week and enjoying it so far. My only problem is that there is a lot of preparation involved in making the meals . Iv’e done all of the 1st weeks shopping. I had to go to 3 different stores to get the list completed also , after completing the meal prep for the first 3 days I found that there still is a lot of prep work involved in most meals spending way to much time getting meals ready. So I was wondering if you had a meal plan with less complicated recipes for 21 days .

    • Team Powell - January 15, 2016

      Hi John: We’re so excited you’re loving the book! As far as meal planning goes, you can totally substitute recipes within the plan. Just make sure you sub a high-carb meal for a high-carb meal, and so forth. If you want to bulk prep some meals and eat the some of the same meals throughout the week, that is totally okay. If you want to bulk prep your meals and freeze some for later, that’s totally okay too! If you want to put your own meals together, there’s some info on this in day 4 and on page 28. You can also use any of the recipes in any of their other books. Chris and Heidi had so many requests for a detailed meal plan with a variety of foods, so that’s where this meal plan came from. But you can tweak it to fit you and your schedule, as long as you keep the meal types the same (high-carb, low-carb). I hope that helps!

  184. Jessica L. - January 9, 2016

    Hello Team Powell,

    I left a comment earlier and unfortunately Im not seeing it 🙁 Im a little confused with reward day. On page 89 of your “Choose more, Lose more” a diagram shows “Carb Cycling- Week at a Glance”. With the Classic Cycle, reward day would fall on a Sunday for me since Im starting on Monday. Am I correct that Sunday would be a low carb day? I would still eat 5 low carb meals on Sunday, BUT can add 1000 EXTRA calories on top of my daily caloric intake for a low carb day?

    thank you – Jessica

    • Team Powell - January 9, 2016

      Hi Jessica: All comments have to be approved before they’re posted, so that’s why you’re not seeing your comment yet. I’ll go ahead and reply to your first comment.?

    • jessica L - January 9, 2016

      so sorry about that!

    • Team Powell - January 9, 2016

      No problem! 🙂

  185. Jessica L. - January 9, 2016

    Hello–I have just learned about carb cycling and just this morning ordered your “Choose more, lose more” and have been reading it on my Macbook. I first learned of Chris from watching Jacqui on Extreme Makeover and I was so amazed at her transformation!

    After deciding that the Classic Cycle is for me, Im still a little confused on my reward day. On page 89, there is a diagram- “Carb Cycling -Week at a Glance.” I would like to start my cycle on a Monday and reward day on a Sunday. With that being said, my reward day would still require me to eat 5 meals. My confusion is would those meals be high carb or low carb? I was assuming it would be low carb because according to the diagram, Saturday is a high carb day. Also, just so Im understanding correctly, 1,000 EXTRA calories is what Im allowed ON TOP of my daily caloric intake on reward day, is that correct?

    I think Im understanding everything else!
    Im so excited to start!

    • Team Powell - January 9, 2016

      Hi Jessica: Great question! On your reward day, you can eat anything you want up to 1,000 extra calories for a total daily calorie count of 2,500 calories. These can be healthy foods, treat foods, a combination of the two – anything you’d like! Hope that helps!

    • jessica L - January 9, 2016

      Great! thank you so much for the reply! Sorry about doubling posting!

    • Team Powell - January 9, 2016

      No problem! 🙂

  186. Rochelle - January 7, 2016

    Hi! I am really excited to start this diet. I just have a few quick questions. I read thru the comments before and found that one serving of fats is about 1/3 cup! I was so excited about this! As a mom I KNOW measuring cups! It is a measurement I am very familiar with! I would LOVE to know if there are comparable cup measurements for the other portions? If 1 fat portion is about 1/3 cup what would the carb and the protein measurement be? Also if I got a good whey protein as recommended could that replace a meal (say breakfast or lunch)? Thank you so much for your help and God bless y’all and your work!

    • Team Powell - January 8, 2016

      Hi Rochelle: I don’t believe that 1/3 cup for fats measurements came from one of our team members (I looked back through all the comments from our team…). A fat portion is the size of your thumb, or around 2 tablespoons. As for the other macros, a carb portion is around a cup (the size of your fist), veggies are around 2 cups (the size of both fists), and it gets a bit trickier for proteins since some are more dense than others. Shoot for a 3-4 oz size for meats, and the palm of your hand is a good gauge too. And a good whey-based protein powder with between 15-20 grams of protein and less than 5 grams of carbs can count as the protein part of any meal. If the powder has added carbs, it can count as both a protein and a carb. Hope that helps!

  187. Katerine - January 7, 2016

    Good morning Team Powell!!

    Thank you for taking the guess work out of carb cycling. you made the options simple and easy to do.

    My question is…numbers wise what is considered low-card vs. high carb? I mean when I low carb how many carbs are the target vs. on a high carb day?
    Thank you for your help.

    • Team Powell - January 7, 2016

      Hi Katerine: In the Easy, Classic, Turbo, and Classic cycles, since they’re based off of portion sizes, we really don’t have any grams counts available. For the Extreme Cycle, all the macros are figured out for you in the meal plan. If you’ll follow the portion size guide, all your macros will be taken care of. Here’s another post with a graphic that explains the portions sizes: Hope that helps!

  188. Monica A. - January 6, 2016

    Hello team Powell I bought the choose to lose 7 day carb cycle and we are trying to get started with it but are a bit confused. It says to find our portions based on your current weight see master portion list? So I looked and am still confused as to how to figure it out how many calories do my husband and I need?!! Am I overlooking it? Please help so I can get started!! Thanks in advance!

    • Monica Armenta - January 8, 2016

      Hello team Powell I haven’t got a response yet to my question. Can someone help me figure out how many calories I’m supposed to have?

    • Team Powell - January 8, 2016

      Hi Monica: I’m so sorry, but your first comment must not have gone through. For the Easy, Classic, Turbo, and Fit Cycles, you’ll eat 1200 calories on low-carb days and 1500 calories on high-carb days. For the Extreme Cycle, you’ll eat around 1500 calories a day. Hope that helps!

  189. Kara J - January 4, 2016

    Hey Team Powell,

    I am a night shift (7p-7a) nurse and after reading Chose To Lose, have a few questions on how to adapt carb cycling to my day.

    1. If I wake at 3pm, start eating my 5 meals by 3:30 I would be done eating by 3:30am and would not eat again per plan until after I go home, sleep and wake up again around 3pm. That seems like its going against what the plan is trying to do and while going 12 hours without eating would be my norm, I am trying to avoid the habits that got me here.

    2. On a day I didn’t work the night before and wake up early and start my eating (i.e. 10am), then go back to sleep in the afternoon, get up and work all night I could potentially be going all night on my shift without having any meals left to eat, then well into the next day while I sleep. (greater than 15 hours without eating).

    3. On a day I work, come home, go to bed in the am and get up around 3pm (eat by 3:30p) yet don’t have to go to work that night, I am not sure how to get all my food in as I try to go to bed at a normal time and not stay up until 3:30 am trying get my 5 meals in.

    Any guidance would be appreciated. Its hard enough trying to lose weight when your body has been on nights for 12 years and never knows when it is time to eat, sleep, wake etc! Thank you so much for the help!


    • Team Powell - January 5, 2016

      Hi Kara: It can be a bit tricky to schedule your meals when you work a crazy schedule for sure! Here are some tips that might help: 1. Instead of eating every 3 hours like Chris and Heidi recommend, spread that in between meals time to every 3½ to 4 hours. 2. Split your meals in ½ and space these ½ meals every 2½ to 3 hours. Eat ½ each of your protein, carb, and veggies for a high-carb meal, and ½ each of your protein, fat, and veggies for a low-carb meal, then eat the other halves later. 3. If you find yourself getting hungry in between meals, then “volumize” your meals. Add in non-root/non-starchy veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, asparagus, etc., which are super low in calories but high in nutrition. Bonus tip: Prep those veggies ahead of time so you simply have to grab and go! Hope that helps – you got this!

    • Kara J - January 5, 2016

      Thank you so much for the help!


  190. Tracy - January 3, 2016

    Been following you and Chris since the amazing transformation of my college friend, Mike Epstein. I recently lost 20 lbs. but not in a very healthy manner. Just started carb cycling to lose the last 15 without compromising my health. I am confused about whether or not i count the calories from the veggies at every meal. I will not lose weight if i eat any more than 1200 calories a day so I am checking just to make sure. I am working out with a structured weight training husband put together by my husband who has been weight lifting for the past 30 years. Also, do you have a recommended protein powder for shakes? I am a 1st grade teacher so two of my five meals a day will be shakes because it is too difficult to eat meals with 21 busy little 6 year olds and the tight schedule of a teacher. Thank you so much for your inspiration and role modeling!!!

    • Team Powell - January 3, 2016

      Hi Tracy: It’s a good idea to track the calories of everything you eat. As for protein powders, Chris and Heidi recommend whey-based powders with between 15-20 grams of protein and less than 5 grams of carbs per serving. Hope that helps – you got this!

  191. Jennifer - January 2, 2016

    Hi, I bought your latest book as a gift to myself this Christmas and I am very excited to start. I am reading the book, however the meals seem so complicated and not what I normally eat, are there any simpler recipes of usual things, like I don’t have time on a work day to make French toast for example.

  192. Angela - December 30, 2015

    So I am officially starting Carb cycling next week. Doing a practice run this week though to get in the flow. Some things can be a bit confusing for me….like why some cheese is a protein & some a fat. All and all it has been a good 3 days of practice. I do have a few questions though:
    1) I am not a huge eater in the morning. I get up at 6 and leave for the gym by 630. I started drinking a low carb prot shake on my way to the gym and then eating my HC breakfast as my “2nd” meal. Do you think this is okay?
    2) Today I started to eat lunch at 1230 but didn’t get through it till about 2. Totally spaced my 330 meal because frankly I was so busy and not hungry. This may happen frequently based on my job. Any thoughts on how to handle?
    3) Every 3rd weekend I work 4a-4p. I get up at 0230. There is no way I am eating breakfast at 0300. I am wondering if it is okay to stick with my weekday routine and eat when I would “normally” get up?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Team Powell - December 31, 2015

      Hi Angela: Welcome to carb cycling! Let’s get you some answers to your questions: 1) Yes, this is totally okay. Different things work for different people as far as eating our before working out goes, so do what works best for you. 2) Just do the best you can! Make sure you’re getting in all your portions at some point during the day, and try to eat every 3 hours. 3) Yes, this would work. Crazy things will always come up, so just do the best you can. You got this! ?

  193. Danielle Perry - December 28, 2015

    Can you eat the same meal plan for two days in a row? For example if Mon and Tues are both high carb days can you eat the exact same meals both days? Or, will this slow progress?

  194. Stacy - December 3, 2015

    Hi Heidi.
    I work out early in the morning and typcially do not eat prior to working out. I prefer to workout on an empty stomach. How do you navigate through eating within 30 minutes of waking and working out early in the morning? THANKS!

  195. Leilani - December 3, 2015

    Hi, I am 5′ 4 1/2″ and I weigh 125 Ibs. I def want to gain muscle. However I do not want to loose weight nor gain weight. Would this cycle be best for me? Secondly I noticed that you suggest 1200 on low day and 1500 calories on high days, I was curious to how this works if someone has a BMR with a higher calorie number than that suggested to intake on low and high calorie days? Which should they follow the carb cycle calorie intake or the BMR calorie intake?

    • Team Powell - December 3, 2015

      Hi Leilani: Here are a couple of blog posts that might help you figure out what will work best for you:

      In a nutshell, you’ll want to make sure your calories consumed and calories burned are as equal as possible, and add in strength training over and above the 9 minutes recommended in the 9-Minute Missions (strength training) part of Chris and Heidi’s plan. It might also be a great option to work with a Certified Personal Trainer for a bit who can help you put a program in place that will help you reach your goals. You can totally do this! 🙂

  196. caroline - November 28, 2015

    Hi, I actually struggle with high-carb days. It is so hard to cook with no oil whatsoever; I wind up burning things or they don’t taste good. Is it possible to cook with a tiny bit of oil on high-carb days and just limit my intake?

    • Team Powell - November 28, 2015

      Hi Caroline: Have you tried using cooking spray? That’s a great option to use. Or you can use oil in a spritzer too. Hope that helps!

  197. Jeff Walter - November 27, 2015

    Very excited about trying this, do you have an approved food list??? I think that would help me … Thanks you both rock..

  198. Heather - November 23, 2015

    Hi Heidi, I work long shifts in the hospital and sometimes don’t have time to sit down for a meal and a protein or nutrition bar works best. I was looking for some suggestions for bars that would work on LC or HC days. I know you have mentioned QUEST bars before, but I truly cannot stomach them or any bar that has any of the artificial sweetners like mallitol, sorbitol, xylitol, etc 🙁 Wondering what you thought about the following (I know I should limit to one/day):

    Kind + Protein for a LC day : 200cal, 14g fat, 13g carbs, 10g protein
    Cliff bar for a HC day: 260 cal, 7g fat, 43g carbs, 9g protein

    Is there a min/max number of carbs/fat/protein the bars should contain?


    • Team Powell - November 23, 2015

      Hi Heather: For low-carb meals, Chris and Heidi prefer Quest and Kind + Protein bars, so you’re good to go there. For high-carb meals, they recommend Think Thin and Cliff Builder, even though they do have some fat content. The key to knowing which bar is best for which type of meal is to look at both the carb and fat content. If more calories come from fat than carbs, then that bar is a good option for a low-carb meal. If the reverse is true, then that bar is a good option for a high-carb meal. Chris and Heidi do recommend consuming only one protein bar a day, since it is best to eat whole foods whenever possible. 🙂

  199. Dana - November 21, 2015

    My previous post got deleted and I’m not sure why so I’ll try again.

    My husband and I are getting ready to start the Turbo cycle. I have 100lbs to lose and he has 200+ to lose. We both need it for our health…Not to mention we want a baby! I have PCOS and he has some issues as well but weight can help both factors. My questions are:

    1. How fast do most see results? I know it is a lifestyle change but I’m just curious what we can expect. Obviously the quicker the better but we want to be smart about it too.
    2. Am I correct in thinking that I don’t have to count any macros? Just eat from the list in the book and the correct portions? I don’t need to worry about carbs, calories, protein, fat or anything?

    Thanks so much for putting this out there for people like me. You are both amazing!

    • Team Powell - November 21, 2015

      Hi Dana: Your post didn’t get deleted – all posts have to be approved before they’re posted. 😉

    • Dana - November 21, 2015

      Good to know for the future! Sorry I was impatient waiting for a response! 🙂

  200. Dana - November 21, 2015

    My husband and I are doing this together and getting ready to start the Turbo cycle tomorrow (after we go to the grocery store and clear all the bad food our of our house)

    1. I have about 100lbs to lose and my husband has about 200+lbs to lose and I was curious what results we should see? I know this is a lifestyle change but I am still curious about how quick we should see the pounds and inches start to disappear.

    2. Am I correct in thinking that I do not have to count macros? I only need to stay within the portion size on the plan and watch calories? I am very confused on what I need to track.

    • Team Powell - November 21, 2015

      Hi Dana: Let’s get you some answers to your questions! 1. Your rate of weight loss depends on body composition, current weight, and how well you adhere to the program. How quickly you’ll see pounds and inches disappear can be different for every person. Stick to your cycle, and you should be successful! 2. No, you do not have to count macros, just portion sizes (and calories if you’d like to). This makes it so much simpler! You both can do this! 🙂

  201. Rosa - November 19, 2015

    hi! I do a lot of heavy weight training and I would like to do the carb cycling, but how much calories do I have to take? In the scedual I saw it was 1500 for the man, 1200 for woman, but that is way to low when I train 6 days a week. And how much f/c/p on hi and low days? thnx!!

  202. Niall - November 17, 2015

    Hi Heidi,

    Many thanks fro yours and chris’s book and work, its very useful 🙂

    Quick question, for the calories level, is this a universal 1500 / 2000 regardless of starting weight?e.g. if someone is 200kg, would they still only have 1500 cals on a low carb day?



    • Team Powell - November 17, 2015

      Hi Niall: Yes, those are the calorie recommendations for all males. Good luck – you can do this!

  203. Lindsey - November 9, 2015

    I am interested in carb cycling. I am about 200 pounds and really need to lose 30 plus pounds. I am trying to get ,y macros just right, there are so may different numbers out there. Can you please confirm what the percentages should be, is it 1 gram of protein per pound. 200 grams just seems so high.

    • Team Powell - November 9, 2015

      Hi Lindsey: In carb cycling, we don’t count macros or grams, just portions sizes (and calories, if you’d like). It makes things so much easier! If you follow the meal outlines, you’ll be getting in all your macros. There’s an awesome graphic in this post (as well as some other helpful info) that you can use as a quick reference for meal planning: Hope that helps – you can do this!

  204. Brian - November 8, 2015

    I was wondering how would i do this since i am a vegan (for ethical reasons). What foods would i add in. I also do not consume gluten.

    • Team Powell - November 8, 2015

      Hi Brian: You can eat tofu, tempeh, or TVP as protein options. Hope that helps!

  205. Carmen - November 6, 2015

    Dear Team Powell,

    Are Quest Bars and protein powders (Im taking Horleys Sculpt for women) permitted during the turbo plan?


    • Team Powell - November 6, 2015

      Hi Carmen: Yes, Quest bars (and similar bars) are a great option for your protein + fat portions of a low-carb meal. As far as protein powders go, choose whey-based ones with between 15-20 grams of protein and less than 5 grams of carbs per servings. This would count as the protein portion of any meal. Hope that helps!

  206. Michelle - November 2, 2015


    I saw a video of Chris on Dr. Oz, talking about carb cycling, he was giving an example of what you can eat on a high and low carb day. The example he was showing for a low carb day for a snack was celery with peanut butter and a cheese string. I’m trying to understand carb cycling, but for that snack wouldn’t that example be two fats? Instead of a protein and a fat. Wouldn’t the cheese string and peanut butter both be fats? Thank you for helping me understand.

    • Team Powell - November 2, 2015

      Hi Michelle: Great question! If the cheese is reduced/low fat, it can count as a protein. Hope that helps!

  207. Ruth - October 29, 2015

    Hello Team “you’re gonna make me skinny”,

    Where do I find the chart in chapter 15 that tells me how much to eat for my age and weight? Chapter 10 says I’ll find it there but I must be blind.

    I’ve watched you guys on ABC for a few years and I must say the transformations are amazing.

    I’m a professional dieter and have lost as much as 100 pounds but it always finds a way to creep back on (maybe not all of the 100 but 1/3 at least). Now I know why and I’m so excited to Carb Cycle to get and keep the weight off for good!

    Thanks a bunch and I’ll keep you updated on my progress!

    • Team Powell - October 29, 2015

      Hi Ruth: Check on pages 164 and 165 for calorie and portion size recommendations. Women will eat 1200 calories on low-carb days and 1500 calories on high-carb days. You can do this!

  208. Britney - October 29, 2015


    I have a question about the carb cycling graph, first it’s so great that Chris and Heidi put this together so helpful. For the high carb day, lets say for the dinner meal, I have chicken and whole grain pasta, because chicken is my protein and the pasta would be my carb, does that mean I can’t put anything on the pasta? In the graph is it one serving of each protein and carb? So by doing my protein (chicken) and carb (pasta) I’ve used up the serving for protein and carb?

    On a high carb day where I wouldn’t eat fat, because my protein and carb foods would have some fat in them, is there a certain amount of fat grams I should be staying under on a high carb day? And same thing for a low carb day, where I need to stay under a certain amount of carbs when I eat the protein and fat?

    If I did zero fat greek yogurt with granola for a snack on high carb day, because I used the granola as my carb and the yogurt as my protein, I couldn’t put fruit in it because that would be a carb and I used my carb for granola, is that right?

    I saw Chris recently on Doctor Oz and he was celery and peanut butter with a string cheese for snack, I’m having a hard time understanding, wouldn’t the peanut butter and string cheese both be the fat? As they are both in the fat column in the approved foods and then he is missing the protein in this snack?

    Can you please help me understand, thank you so much for your help:)

  209. Whitney - October 28, 2015

    I am 5’3′, 120 pounds and trying to lose a few pounds to lean out and see all of those muscles I work so hard for. I am active and work out.
    Here are my problems:
    I feel like I am starving at 1200/1500 calories.
    I am eating lots of veggies.
    Will this huger go away? Like, my hunger pains are CRAZY mid day and even after dinner.
    I feel like I’m eating a lot at each meal (like i am full, but then I am hungry an hour later.).

    • Team Powell - October 28, 2015

      Hi Whitney: I’m not sure which cycle you’re following, but you might try the Fit Cycle: And if you’re just beginning carb cycling, your body should get used to this new way of doing things. Make sure you’re drinking your water every day (1/2 your body weight, so 60 oz), and hopefully those hunger pains will go away. If not, please post again, and we’ll go from there. 🙂

  210. Krysten - October 26, 2015

    I have been on the Turbo plan for 8 weeks now, i am down 15 lbs. I am very happy with that. I have made it through 2 rounds of full week of HC meals. On these (2) weeks i have lost more weight than i have on the regular turbo weeks. I am wondering if this is normal or does by body need more carns to lose weight? Should i switch to classic? I am thinking that i may not be getting all of my calories on my LC days. Any advice?

    • Team Powell - October 27, 2015

      Hi Krysten: This can be very normal! Just be sure you are getting in all 1200 calories on low carb days, and remember, veggies are technically carbs, so you are getting in great carbs even on low-carb days. And congrats on those 15 lbs gone – that’s so exciting!

  211. Mike - October 24, 2015

    Hi Powells love your book. I want to start weight lifting while carb cycling but the gym I go to is twenty minutes from home, and I’ll workout before work in the mornings. I wondered what is more important eating within 30 minutes of waking or getting my workout in before eating. Thanks

  212. Christina - October 24, 2015

    Hi team power I mean Powell .
    Big fans from Vancouver Canada.
    My hubby and I love you.

    Question. Does carb cycling work for breast feeding mamas? I had my son 3 months ago and I need to get my butt into gear.

    I went from running two half marathons months before I got pregnant last year, and now a big bumpy lumpy bug on a log.

    Heidi your amazing. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
    Thank you.

  213. Amanda - October 23, 2015

    Hi Team Powell!
    Quick question: What type of exercise should I do on high carb days versus low carb days?


    • Team Powell - October 23, 2015

      Hi Amanda: The entire carb cycling exercise program is laid out for you. You can get links to both parts of the exercise part of the program here: If you’re following your own program (and that’s totally okay), you can do what’s best for you. Some people have problems doing intense workouts on low-carb days, and others don’t, so it’s kind of an individual thing.

  214. Kim - October 16, 2015

    Hello Heidi,

    I am currently in Ketosis, can I use carb cycling as a way to reintroduce carbs? Will I have weight gain at first?

    • Team Powell - October 16, 2015

      Hi Kim: It’s hard to tell what will happen with your body when you start carb cycling since each body can handle it differently based on what state the body is in when you begin. If you do gain any weight, that should be temporary weight gain. Hope that helps!

  215. Lisa - October 14, 2015

    I bought the books and trying to get organized to start carb cycling. Do you have or would it be possible to have a printout of the workouts and sample week instead of carrying the book with me all the time. 🙂 Didn’t know if there were a digital copy of the sample week so I type in the food and activities? Maybe like flash card workouts??

    • Team Powell - October 14, 2015

      Hi Lisa: I’m so sorry, but we don’t have print outs of the workouts and sample weeks available. Good luck carb cycling – it’s an awesome program! 🙂

  216. Leslee - October 11, 2015

    Hey Team Powell!! What’s the best way to select the best carb cycling plan for me? I don’t have a lot of weight to lose; I’m wanting to supplement my workout plan and kick some of the bad habits and cravings I’ve picked up. I’m very active; I do weight training/crossfit 4-5 days a week. I’ve gained 10 pounds in muscle since starting crossfit 6 months ago (I’m 5’10 and 150lbs). Does the book detail how to select a plan that’s right for my fitness goals? I am looking to supplement my healthy lifestyle, not a diet. Thank you!!

    • Team Powell - October 11, 2015

      Yes – “Choose More, Lose More for Life” has a chart and other info that helps you choose what cycle to begin with, and you can change cycles at any time too. And you can follow the plan for life – which is awesome!

  217. Mirieke - October 10, 2015

    Hi Powells
    I just finished medical school and will be starting internship soon, and that will require me to work a 24hour shift once or twice a week.
    I’ve always been active, currenly lifting weights and cardio 5 times a week. I’m an ectomorph and my goal is to gain some muscle and get some definition, but so far I haven’t seen much results. So I’m thinking of starting the Classic Cycle next week.
    Any advice on the staying awake and working all night thing? Should I still just eat the 5 meals during the day and nothing during the night? And if not, what type of meals should I add?
    Your help would be much appreciated

    • Team Powell - October 10, 2015

      Hi Mirieke: You’ll want to eat your 5 meals every 3 hours for the longest period you’re awake during the day. If you work a crazy schedule, you’ll need to adjust this a bit so you can have the nutrition you need while you’re working. Good luck!

  218. Kayla y - October 7, 2015

    Hey team Powell! I’ve been carb cycling on the turbo plan for 9 weeks now and have lost 43 lbs, I’m noticing on high carb days, and during my slingshot week I feel nauseous, tired, emotional, headaches and just plain yukk. I’ve been tested in the past for gluten allergy I don’t have an allergy. On high carb days I eat a mixture or fruit, sweet potatoes, Brown rice, and whole wheat weight watchers bread, but no matter what a eat I feel crummy! On low carb days I feel great and have tons of energy! I’m not sure what to do because slingshot week was horrible, but I know I cannot stop eating carbs all together! Any suggestions?

    • Team Powell - October 7, 2015

      Hi Kayla: I’m so sorry you’re having these issues! Usually people can experience just the opposite of what you’re experiencing. I’d suggest you chat with your healthcare team and see if they have any ideas that might help you – I’m so sorry I’m not more help. 🙁

  219. Cat - October 6, 2015

    Which one would be best for someone who is pre diabetic and having trouble with maintainting normal sugar levels?

  220. florence - October 6, 2015


    On low carb days are you aloud chickpeas and quinoa as they are high protein for vegetarians?

    Many thanks!

    • Team Powell - October 6, 2015

      Hi Florence: In carb cycling, chickpeas and quinoa are only considered carbs.

  221. Jamie Glawson - October 6, 2015

    Hey. My husband and I began carb cycling 44 days ago. We are currently following the Turbo Cycle. Before we started we took a couple of weeks to just cut out sugar and white bread. I felt like an addict detoxing (In the past I have worked as an addictions counselor so I understand this reference). The first couple of weeks of carb cycling we were both very tired, but knew our bodies felt better. We love the program and know it is something we can do for life. My husband is just dropping the weight and has lost almost 30 lbs. I am losing weight but it is slow. I’ve lost 13 lbs. in this 44 days. Last week I lost 1lb. I am also working out at the office with some ladies each weekday and after work at my church 3x per week. I am taking my Levothyroxine as prescribed and we are following the program diligently as I am preparing our food weekly that we take to work with us. Is my slow weight loss the average? I do realize that men tend to lose faster than women. I just did the math and see that 13 lbs is an average of 2lbs a week. I guess I just need some encouragement. I am sticking with this!!! I have a goal to be in a size 12 for my son’s wedding by next Nov. I am currently an 18. When I get to the 12 I want to get to a 10. I am 5′ even and 46 years old.

    • Team Powell - October 6, 2015

      Hi Jamie: 13 pounds in 44 days is amazing! A 2 lb/week loss shows that you’re truly making life-long changes, so keep it up! You got this! 🙂

  222. Alicia - September 29, 2015

    Hello,I started the turbo cycle 16 days ago. I have only weighed twice once at the end of week one before my reward day and again after week 2 same time, and same scale. I have gained just over 8lbs. I have the same workout routine as before I CrossFit 5 days per week and have post knee arthroscopy PT on 2 of those days. I know I’m following the plan to a T as I do all the cooking and my husband is on the plan too. I’m 32% body fat so I really need to continue to lean out. Im strong and lift heavy each week. My clothes are getting tighter in all the wrong places. Please help!

  223. Missmasu - September 28, 2015

    Hi there, I’m trying my self to be healthy and I have quite a bit of wEight to lose, I’m trying to make this work for my whole family to make meals easier can these meal plans work for kids to just maintain a healthy diet? Or are they any special things I need to watch out for, my kids are a healthy weight, and just need better nutrition to keep the, that way
    Thanks again!

  224. Andrea - September 27, 2015

    Just wondering if you have any tips for carb cycling as a vegetarian. I do eat eggs and dairy but am looking for some alternate protein sources. Before I tried carb cycling I ate nuts and cheese for protein but am limiting them in the classic cycle. Any suggestions?

    • Team Powell - September 28, 2015

      Hi Andrea: There’s an extensive list of approved foods in “Choose More Lose More for Life,” and some other protein options for you are TVP, tofu, and tempeh. You can do this!

  225. Sarah - September 22, 2015


    I’m starting the Turbo Cycle tomorrow. How many carbs should I have for a low-carb and a high-carb day?

  226. Rich - September 22, 2015

    Hello Heidi, would this type of routine need to be modified for someone like myself who has type-II diabetes? I’m currently trying to control my blood sugar through diet and exercise, while taking a low dosage of medication. My goal is to get off the meds entirely.

  227. Kelsey - September 22, 2015

    Hi! I’m sorry if this was asked already. What constitutes a low carb day, compared to a high carb day? That is, how many carbs are in low carb day and what’s the Max for high carb? Do carbs from all veggies count, or can you eat tomatoes and carrots and corn like it’s going out of style for free? I’ve always been overweight, and in my early twenties I’ve ballooned to 275 pounds and can’t have babies because of PCOS. From all my yoyoing, I know that dieting and exercise regulate my period, which makes me hopeful that I can lose the weight and reverse the symptoms… Then gain it all back in the form of pregnancy, my ultimate goal ;). I want a baby so badly, and my husband does too. I’m trying to finally make this a reality, so I appreciate your answering! Thank you!

    • Team Powell - September 22, 2015

      Hi Kelsey: There’s an awesome graphic in this post (as well as some other really helpful info) that shows you how to put all your carb cycling meals together: And you can have two fist fulls of veggies (the non-root/non-starchy type, including carrots and tomatoes – but not corn) with every meal, on both low and high-carb days. And please discuss this program with your healthcare team first, and then follow any modifications they might recommend for you PCOS. We wish you the best – you can do this!

  228. Heather B - September 22, 2015

    I am planning to start carb cycling next week, doing all my grocery and meal planning this week. I’m curious as to what ratio of carb/fat would be in a protein bar to be used for a high carb day vs. a low carb day? I frequently make my own protein snacks and was curious how I could alter the recipe for each day. For example the usual recipe I make has about 200 calories per serving. total fat is roughly 13g and total carbs 8g. I would think this would be a good option for low car due to the higher fat content but is the carb amount too high? Thanks!

    • Team Powell - September 22, 2015

      Hi Heather: Great question! The key to knowing which bar is best for which type of meal is to look at both the carb and fat content. If more calories come from fat than net carbs (total grams of carbs – fiber grams), then that bar is a good option for a low carb meal. If the reverse is true, then that bar is a good option for a high carb meal. Chris and Heidi do recommend consuming only one protein bar a day, since it is best to eat whole foods whenever possible. Hope that helps!

  229. Trish - September 22, 2015

    I am mostly a runner who has just started lifting heavier and more.
    I’m currently training for a half marathon. I do 1 long run, one speed workout and one tempo run. (3 days total on runs) and 3 separate days I focus on my strength training.
    I’m not sure what my carb cycle should look like.
    Thanks for any advice.

  230. Krysten - September 21, 2015

    My sister in law and I started carb cycling just over 4 weeks ago. We are on our 4th week which is high carb all week. I am not feeling good about this for some reason. I already feel “fat” again. Would it be against the plan to do a half half week or should we just stick through what the plan says?

    • Team Powell - September 22, 2015

      Hi Krysten: You’ll want to do the complete high carb week. Carbs (even the healthiest ones) can retain water, so that’s probably what you’re feeling. Once you get back to your regular carb cycle next week, you should be good to go. Please trust in the plan – it works!

    • Krysten - October 5, 2015

      Thank you for the encouragment to stick with the plan, IT WORKED!!!! I still lost weight even though i felt like i was gaining that week. The following week i went back on the normal plan and lost more than I had in the previous 5 weeks, besides week one!!! This plan works, its easy and I never call it a diet. Everyone wants to know what we are doing and many have bought the book to start the plan. Thanks again. 🙂

    • Team Powell - October 5, 2015

      Awesome! Thank you for the update – you got this! 🙂

  231. Sammy Jo - September 20, 2015

    Which carb cycling plan is recommended for someone with PCOS and lots of weight to lose?

    • Team Powell - September 20, 2015

      Hi Sammy Jo: You can choose any of the cycles, but be sure and discuss carb cycling with your healthcare team first, and then follow any recommendations they may have. Good luck!

  232. Yolanda - September 17, 2015

    Hey Team Powell,

    I just recently started the classic cycle but I’m having some trouble with making it work with my work schedule. In my current position I work in the community a lot and may not always have the ability to get in my food or know what foods to eat. For instance, yesterday I was out in the community meeting with my clients and I wasn’t able to eat my prepared lunch. What can I do in a situation like this? Unfortunately, with my current job this is the norm and I’m trying to figure out how can I schedule and prepare foods to fit into my hectic days. Please help!


    • Team Powell - September 17, 2015

      Hi Yolanda: A busy schedule can be tricky! Make sure you have other options (that require no refrigeration) with you at all times just in case. Things like protein powder (you can add to a bottle of water), protein bars, nuts, veggies, fruits and/or whole grain products (for high carb days), and other things that are portable. It’s all about planning ahead, and keeping options with you. Hope that helps!

  233. Jen - September 16, 2015

    Hi Team Powell!

    I’m looking in to starting the Turbo Cycle but I was wondering which book I should purchase? Should I purchase the Choose to Lose, 7 day carb cycling book or Choose More, Lose More? Or should I purchase both? Which would be more helpful as far as the Turbo Cycle and what each food is considered(carb or not carb)? Do they have meal plans/ideas to follow in the book that you suggest? Thank you!

    • Team Powell - September 16, 2015

      Hi Jen: You’ll want to purchase “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” It’s an update from “Choose to Lose.” And there are general guidelines, an extensive foods list, and lots of awesome recipes!

  234. Evelyn - September 16, 2015

    Hey Team Powell!

    First, I want to say of much of an impact you made in my life. You guys are so inspirational! I’ve been sick for the better part of my adolescence. I got my appendix out, part of a lung removed, my thyroid treated with radioactive iodine…lost most of my hair because of treatments and was never able to lose weight, even when my diet was pretty restrictive because of my condition (eating 1000-1200 calories a day and gaining a lot of weight!!) . I used to watch EWL from my hospital bed and dream of the moment I could go to the gym!
    Finally, a year ago, my doctor gave me his blessing to start training. I started pretty slowly, but got hooked!! Now it’s boxing, strength training, cardio almost everyday! I lost almost 60 pounds (starting weight 200 pounds on my 26 year old 5” 6′ body!), and gained a loooot of muscle mass.

    For the first time in forever I feel in control of my body and pretty damn strong! It is the best feeling in the world!! And part of that comes from you guys. Thanks for the motivational push!

    Now, my question ^_^
    I was just wondering if you think it is possible to do the carbs cycling on a mostly vegan diet? I’m allergic to bovine protein, seafood, fish and eggs (yeah, I know!) so my protein source is really limited (mostly nuts, poultry, legumes and some soy products…) I already eat really healthy and I’m not really trying to lose weight, but I really don’t want to go back to where I was!

    Thanks!! Keep up the awesome work you guys do!

    • Team Powell - September 16, 2015

      Hi Evelyn: So happy to hear you’re back to working out, and congratulations on those 60 pounds gone! That’s awesome! Carb cycling can work for vegans, and there are some options that could work for you. It would be best to discuss the program with your healthcare team first, and then follow any modifications they might recommend. We wish you the best!

  235. Nicole - September 13, 2015

    Hi Heidi! I’m starting the Classic carb cycling tomorrow! I’m also going to do cardio mostly everyday and wanted to add weight lifting 3 times a week. Should I do weights on high carb days or low carb days? Thanks!!

    • Team Powell - September 13, 2015

      Hi Nicole: Welcome to carb cycling! There’s an awesome exercise component along with the nutrition component in carb cycling, and in this part of the program you’ll do 9-Minute Missions (strength training) first thing every morning and Shredders (cardio) for an up to hour/day – and you’ll do both Monday-Friday. You can get links to the exercise part of the program here: If you’d like to do your own strength training program, that is totally okay, and it shouldn’t really matter which day you do it on. Good luck!

  236. Mirmosa - September 12, 2015

    Hi Heidi,
    I’m following a carb cycling since one month, and I lost a little fat from my abs, and i feel great, but my hair started to fall a little (on the past, it always was a problem with the stupid diets I followed) And now I was wondering if I can follow carb cycling as a lifestyle. I don’t want to lose weight, just gain some mass. Can I follow it with no limits? It will be a problem with my hormones and metabolism? (my hair falling)
    Thank you very much!!!

    • Team Powell - September 12, 2015

      Hi Mirmosa: You shouldn’t be losing hair on carb cycling since each of the 5 meals has protein as a foundation, and protein helps with hair growth (as well as many other things). And the carbs and other food recommendations in carb cycling should not only keep your body healthy, but your hair as well. Double check your portion sizes and make sure they’re right on, and if this continues, you might want to discuss this with your healthcare team. And yes, carb cycling is a program you can follow for life, even after you achieve your transformation goals. Learn how to do this here: Hope this helps!

  237. Susan - September 12, 2015

    Hi, I’ve been doing Atkins for a little while, but am excited to switch to carb cycling as it makes so much more sense to me. I’m wondering if on your plan I should focus on net carbs, as is done in Atkins (i.e.: total carbs – fiber = net carbs). Or, should I just pay attention to my overall total carbs? Thanks.

    • Team Powell - September 12, 2015

      Hi Susan: In carb cycling, we don’t count grams of anything, just portion sizes and calories (if you’d like to). There’s an awesome graphic in this post (as well as other helpful information) that shows you how to put all your carb cycling meals together: Welcome to carb cycling – it’s an awesome program!

  238. Cristian Beza - September 9, 2015

    Hi Team Powell, great fan of your work right here. I’ve been meaning to try your fit carb cycle for a while now, but my exercise regimen. My question is can I modified the cycling to fit my exercise schedule to: Carb, Lowcarb, carb, Lowcarb, carb, Reward, Lowcarb. Will it be as effective as the design split you provided, and if is not as effective do you think this change will still be recommended. I train martial arts 5 days a week and lift at least three. Thank you very much and keep the good work. YOU GUYS ARE TRULY MAKING THIS WORLD A BETTER PLACE.

    • Team Powell - September 9, 2015

      Hi Cristian: It’s best not to change up the order of the high and low carb and reward days. You might be interested in the Classic Cycle, which follow more of an every other day outline as you suggested above: And you can move the weekly schedule one way or the other if you’d like, just be sure and keep the days in the same order as outlined. Good luck!

  239. Crystal - September 8, 2015

    I just finished Chris’s book on Sunday and was understand things pretty well, until the eat. I’m lost on what I should eat. I don’t really understand how to determine if something considered a carb or protein. I need help. I’ve been faithfully following weight watchers since October 11, 2013 and have lost 111.6 lbs; however, I still have alot more to go. I’ve been plateaued for most of the summer. I’m so frustrated and discouraged. Please help. I will purchase more details. I just need help.

    • Team Powell - September 8, 2015

      Hi Crystal: If you have “Choose More, Lose More for Life,” there’s an extensive list of foods – by category – you can choose from beginning on page 192. There’s also a list in “Choose to Lose” if you have that book. Here are a couple of posts that will help you know which foods fit into which categories for proteins and carbs:

      I hope these help, and congratulations on those 111.6 pounds you’ve already lost – that’s awesome! You can do this!

  240. Julie - September 3, 2015


    I just purchased Choose to Lose yesterday and was wondering if I can do my own workout routine? I am trying to build muscle so do I need to do anything different when it comes to the eating? Please advise. I love EWL and I feel so inspired and motivated every time I watch it 🙂

    • Team Powell - September 3, 2015

      Yes! As long as you follow the general guidelines, you should be good to go with your workouts and with building muscle. 🙂

  241. Sarah - September 1, 2015

    Hi Team Powell!

    Is there a way to do carb cycling as a vegetarian? I may have missed it in the above comments possibly. Is it even possible to carb cycle on a plant-based diet?


    • Team Powell - September 1, 2015

      Yes, there are some vegetarian options available for carb cycling. There’s an extensive list of approved foods in “Choose More, Lose More for Life,” so that would be a great resource for you. 🙂

  242. Alene - August 31, 2015

    Hi Team Powell! So I’ve been carb cycling for about a week and love it so far! I’m rarely hungry with all the eating, am down a couple of pounds, and feel GREAT! One of my goals this week was to join a gym, which I did. The gym came with a free health assessment and personal trainer which I thought was great. BUT, then I met with the trainer he crushed my world! He said that I should not be carb cycling, that I was eating too many carbs and too few calories, and that I would only get lasting results from the Keto diet (I read up….yikes!). He told me that as soon as I stopped I would gain all the weight back because the work outs I am doing aren’t intense enough to build muscle, and he also made me feel that I could not reach my goals without a personal trainer…which I cannot afford. Things where going great until I met this guy. Any advice? Is this common in the personal trainer world? My gut tells me to ignore him, follow the book and do my own thing. I have lost 60 lbs on my own and only have 10 to go to reach my happy weight of 150 at 5 ft 7 (He told me I need to lose 20 to be healthy weight). I am looking to find something new and sustainable to lose the weight and tone up. I was so excited and happy, and now I am just confused and not so enthusiastic

    • Team Powell - August 31, 2015

      Hi Alene: Wow. What an experience! First of all, carb cycling has been proven to work, and it’s a plan that you can follow for life – so no stopping! And as your strength and fitness increase, you can increase the duration and intensity of your workouts so you can reach all of your goals (including building muscle, if that’s one of your goals). And you definitely don’t need a personal trainer to achieve your goals. A good certified personal trainer can certainly be a good tool, but it’s definitely not a necessity. You’ve lost 60 pounds on your own, which says a lot. As for your ideal weight range, that’s something your healthcare team would be a good resource for if you have questions about that. And remember, when you build muscle, that replaces fat weight, so going by weight only is not always a true picture of what’s healthy. Let’s get back that happiness, excitement, and enthusiasm! You got this!

  243. Paula - August 31, 2015

    Is coffee allowed when you are carb cycling?

  244. Kristy - August 30, 2015

    I just finished reading Choose More, Lose More for life. When I looked at the recipes I noticed all of the breakfast items contained egg whites instead of whole eggs. Why is that?
    My husband typically makes scrambled eggs with onions for our breakfast each morning. I’m trying to figure out whether we would need to change that.

    • Team Powell - August 31, 2015

      Hi Kristy: Great question! The reason is that egg yolks are counted as fats and egg whites are counted as proteins in carb cycling, and since every breakfast is a high carb meal (protein + carbs + veggies), egg yolks don’t fit into those meals. Hope that helps!

    • Jessica - September 20, 2015

      Just call me confused,
      I have read the 2nd book, and started Carb cycling today (low carb day). I am still a little confused about fruit fitting in. For example.. today I had the Denver omlet : egg whites, ham, cheese, onions and peppers. Can I still have a fruit? Or would that fruit take the place of one of the veggies?

      Thanks in advance!

    • Team Powell - September 20, 2015

      Hi Jessica: Fruit can be a bit confusing. In carb cycling, fruit is a carb, so you can have it as the carb portion of a high carb meal. Hope that helps!

  245. SJ - August 29, 2015

    Love the Powells!
    I read Chris’ latest book and have been following the turbo cycle for two weeks. My first week I was down 4 lbs! This week I went back up 3lbs – so only a net loss of 1lb in 2 weeks. I’ve got a good 50 lbs to lose… is this fluctuation normal? Been following the plan… what am I missing, or am I being too impatient and have unrealistic expectations?

    • Team Powell - August 29, 2015

      Hi SJ: Yes, a fluctuation at the beginning of the program is very normal as your body gets used to a new – and healthier – way of doing things. Just make sure you’re following the Turbo Cycle correctly, and you should be good to go!

  246. Marlena - August 29, 2015

    I was wondering which carb cycling plan Chris is on. My husband is built a lot like Chris and his main goal is to gain weight & build muscle. He doesn’t have a lot of fat to loose. We have read through all 4 of the plans and we aren’t sure which would be the best fit for him.

    Thank You!
    P.s. Good luck this weekend in your competitions!

    • Team Powell - August 29, 2015

      Hi Marlena: Chris is currently following a different nutrition program to help him reach his physique competition goals. And it looks like it worked! As for your your husband, he might want to begin with the Fit cycle: And he can change cycles at any time, so the program is totally flexible.

  247. Kathie W - August 28, 2015

    I just started adjusting our menu to allow me to carb-cycle. Its been going ok so far. My question is about kids: I have a 3 and a 6 year old who love veggies and could theoretically eat low-carb day meals for breakfast and dinner during the week and all meals on weekends. Would you recommend still keeping more carbs in their meals? We have an appointment in October for their well child visits so I’ll be asking their pediatrician but wanted to see if anyone on Team Powell had thoughts on the matter.
    We are doing the Easy Carb Cycle for now.

    • Team Powell - August 28, 2015

      Hi Kathie: It is best that kids eat meals with proteins, carbs, veggies, and fats, so yes, they should have more carbs in their meals than is recommended for adults on low carb days. But as always, it’s best to follow their healthcare team’s recommendations. Good luck!

  248. Ginger - August 28, 2015

    I’m on day 5 of carb cycling and I’m wondering how important the timing of the meals are. I wake up at 5:00 to get my daughter off to school then I head right for the gym. I’ll get sick if I eat before the gym so my first meal of the day (a high carb/protein shake) isn’t until after my work out between 8:30 and 9:00. And then from there I eat every 3 hours leaving my last meal around 9:00 PM and then I go to bed between 10:00 PM and 11:00 PM. Is this going to cause a negative effect?

    • Team Powell - August 28, 2015

      Hi Ginger: While it’s best to get in all 5 meals a day, if you can’t eat before working out, then you’re good to eat 4 meals a day beginning as soon as you can after your workout. You could also eat a snack-sized “meal” at 9, since your body won’t be getting in any nutrition until about 12 hours later. Welcome to carb cycling!

  249. Sarah - August 26, 2015

    I’ve always been off and on the Atkin’s diet, and seem to have hit a plateau with losing weight while on it. Is there an easy daily meal plan I can follow to help with the Carb Cycling diet? It’s much easier to have something on paper to reference, instead of trying to decide on my own what to eat.

    • Team Powell - August 26, 2015

      Hi Sarah: We really don’t have any meal plans available – I’m so sorry! However, here are some meal ideas for low and high carb days (all recipes are from Chris and Heidi’s books: “Choose to Lose” and “Choose More, Lose More for Life”). Low carb day: Breakfast (within 30 minutes of waking): Basic Omelet with a corn tortilla to make it a wrap. Snack (3 hours later): A protein shake with a portion of a healthy fat, like peanut butter, mixed in. Lunch (3 hours later): Tomato Basil and Garlic Chicken with a portion of olive oil drizzled on top. Snack (3 hours later): Sonora Cottage Cheese with a portion of avocado. Dinner: (3 hours later): Lemon Chicken drizzled with salad dressing. High carb day: Breakfast (within 30 minutes of waking): Denver Omelet with a portion of your favorite fruit or oatmeal on the side. Snack (3 hours later): Greek Yogurt Parfait with a portion of low fat granola. Lunch: (3 hours later): Caribbean Jerk Chicken with a portion of brown rice. Snack (3 hours later): Protein shake with a portion of oatmeal mixed in. Dinner (3 hours later): Apple Cider Chicken. And remember, you can have veggies (the non-root/non-starchy type) with every single meal, and you can use any of the foods on Chris and Heidi’s approved foods list – in the proper proportions – to create meals to fit your needs. Hope that helps!

  250. Heather Mitchell - August 25, 2015

    I have a protein shake that has 20g protein, 6g carbs, and 7g fat. Would the fat content in this be okay for a high carb day?

    • Team Powell - August 25, 2015

      Hi Heather: This shake doesn’t have enough carbs to count as the carb for a high carb meal, and with the fat content, it would be a better choice for a low carb meal. Hope that helps!

  251. Amanda - August 25, 2015

    Hi Heidi!

    I just started the Turbo Cycling program yesterday (08/24) and I think I may be confused on a few things. I understand the portioning of foods, the carbs, fats, proteins, etc. but my biggest question is what should be my set carb intake for my HC/LC days?

    I found a calculator online that said I my LC Days should be 1200 calories/ 32.2 carbs/161g protein/16.1 fat and for my HC days 1500 calories/161 carbs/120.75 protein/ and as little fat as possible. Is this accurate or are there different numbers I should be going against.

    My second question is that in your book, it says veggies are an unlimited snack throughout the day for the Turbo program. Should I be counting their calories and carbs or should I just chalk them up to freebies and munch away?

    Your book just says to portion things out in the 100ish calories portions listed – but I want to make sure Im keeping within my guidelines of calories/carbs/protein/fat.

    Any help on this would be so greatly appreciated – I’d hate to weigh in on Sunday and realize I was doing this all wrong!

    Thanks A Million!

    • Team Powell - August 25, 2015

      Hi Amanda: Let’s get you some answers to your questions! 1. In carb cycling we don’t count grams, just portions sizes (and calories if you’d like to). This makes things so much easier, but because of this, I don’t have any gram counts for the day to offer you. I promise – the portion size system works! 2. As for veggies, you’ll still want to count those calories as even a few calories here and there can really add up. And you can use the portion guides (check out the graphic in this post:, and you can use the calorie guides in the book as a way to double check too. Welcome to carb cycling!

  252. Tara - August 25, 2015

    Hi! I’m in the process of training for my first physique competition and am interested in carb cycling to shed some extra body fat and build muscle. I’ve been doing two-a-day workouts, strength training in the morning and cardio with some body weight exercise in the evening. Should I stick to the 1200/1500 calorie plan or should I up my intake? 1200 seems pretty low. I certainly don’t want to lose muscle during the process. Thank you and excited to try this!

  253. Mary - August 24, 2015

    Do I need to still follow the 5 meals/3hrs rule on a reward day?

    • Team Powell - August 25, 2015

      Hi Mary: It is best if you can since it keeps your energy and sugar levels more balanced.

  254. Abraham Weaver - August 24, 2015

    Need tips on Gluten Free Carb-Cycling please : )

    • Team Powell - August 24, 2015

      Sure! You shouldn’t have any problem eating gluten-free in carb cycling since you can choose from all the protein options in Chris and Heidi’s approved foods list (watch for gluten-free protein powders – some have added forms of gluten), all the fats, and many of the carbs (fruits, legumes, root/starchy veggies), and non-root/non-starchy veggies. There’s an awesome graphic in this post (as well as some other helpful info) that shows you how to put all your meals together: Happy carb cycling!

  255. MM - August 23, 2015

    Any suggestions for a mid-morning snack? It’s hard for me to eat a snack at work (teacher) because I don’t have the means to sit down and eat a snack with 2c of veggies. I need something I can scarf down in less than 5 minutes. Any ideas? I’m assuming some kind of Shake?

    Also, I use progenex protein powder which has 10g carbs and 22g of protein per 2 scoops. Does this count as a protein and a carb?


    • Team Powell - August 24, 2015

      Hi MM: Getting in all 5 meals can be tricky on some schedules. On high carb days, you can skip the veggies if you’re full. Otherwise, just do the best you can. Carry easy to eat veggies (baby carrots, mini peppers, etc.). And yes, protein shakes or bars are a great option, and if you have a mini cooler or mini fridge close by, that opens up a lot of options for you like Greek yogurt, reduced fat cheeses, low sodium deli meats, etc. As for you Progenex shake, it would count as a protein and about 1/2 a carb. Hope that helps!

  256. Kim - August 23, 2015

    Just finished reading “Choose to Lose” and am jazzed to start! Couple of questions though…

    I’m starting at over 330 pounds, but my calorie intake should be the same as a woman weighing half that? Won’t that send my body into starvation mode?

    Is it okay to get all the exercise done first thing in the morning, then do breakfast? That would mean closer to 45 – 60 minutes after waking up, instead of the 30.


  257. Lindsay - August 22, 2015

    I’m so excited to start carb cycling, I just have a question on how to structure my week. I’m doing the Turbo Cycle and have decided to do two reward meals each week on the high carb days instead of the single reward day. Days 3 and 6 are 1,500 calorie days. Do I factor in my reward meal each day so the total is still 1,500, or do I plan 1,500 calories for those days before an additional 500 calories for each reward meal (totaling 2,000 calories for the high carb days)?

    • Team Powell - August 23, 2015

      Hi Lindsay: It’s best to not change the scheduled days and reward day of the Turbo Cycle as you’ve suggested. Each cycle is designed the way it is for a reason, and if you change up the design, it could very well affect your weight loss. If you’d like to have reward meals instead of a reward day, you might want to try the Easy Cycle: And each reward meal is only an extra 250 calories on the Easy Cycle (there are 4 reward meals during the week = 1000 extra calories). Welcome to carb cycling – you can do this!

  258. Beth Jones - August 20, 2015

    Two quick questions:
    1) Is there any recommendation on how to structure workouts with the plan? For example, suggestion on what to do on high carb days vs low carb days given available energy from carbs?

    2) Is this plan safe for moms who are breastfeeding? I’m assuming so since the calories can be adjusted, but thought I’d ask.

    Thanks Team Powell! And thank you for putting out wonderful information for us all.

  259. Vanessa Johnson - August 19, 2015

    Hi there,

    I was wondering if you absolutely HAVE to have a big breakfast 30 minutes after waking up? I’ve got a lapband, and all I can usually handle is like 1/4 of cereal (or something like that) without getting sick at that time. Can you change up the time of that?

    • Team Powell - August 19, 2015

      Hi Vanessa: Since you do have a lapband, it’s best to follow your healthcare team’s recommendations as far as your meal sizes and schedules.

  260. Megan - August 18, 2015

    Hello. Thank you for all this great information. I do have one quick question. I live a permanent, low carb lifestyle, which includes a cheat meal every couple of weeks. Would something like carb cycling be beneficial for me, as I would be adding days of carbs that didn’t exist before and confusing my body about whether it should be burning fat or sugars first? Thanks so much!

    • Team Powell - August 19, 2015

      Hi Megan: Chris and Heidi have found that carb cycling can work for pretty much anyone, so give it a try!

  261. Diana - August 18, 2015

    I’ve lost 8 lbs. in 8 weeks and going strong, but Low Carb day is beginning to be a bit of a challenge. Especially with my food allergies. I’m allergic to nuts and seeds so that takes quite a bit of options out of the equation. I’ve been eating avocado, black olives and cheese (on different days) for my fat, but missing the crunch. I eat protein first of course and I do eat a lot of veggies for crunch, especially salad. But allergic to cucumber, zucchini, egg plant and squash. Also I use sugarless gum off and on to help with my sweet cravings. I think I’m doing well, but not sure if I’m missing any other ideas for Low Carb days. Thanks!

    • Team Powell - August 18, 2015

      Hi Diana: Congrats on those 8 pounds gone – that’s awesome! With your allergies, it is a bit trickier to add variety into your diet, but it sounds like you’re on the right track. Do you have “Choose More, Lose More for Life”? There’s a complete foods list beginning on page 192, and you might find more options there. Otherwise, keep trying out new protein sources and veggies to add some variety, and you got this!

  262. Amber - August 17, 2015

    I read Choose More, Lose More for Life cover to cover today but I am a little foggy on where fruits fit into the equation. Also I am confused if I should base my portion on hands or the 100 calorie serving guidelines. Thanks for any clarification.

    • Team Powell - August 18, 2015

      Hi Amber: Fruits are considered carbs, and use the portion guide to put your meals together. The calorie counts are only for reference purposes, but if you want to also count calories, you certainly can!

  263. Erin - August 15, 2015

    Only on the first week of carb cycling. I feel full all the time…hard to eat all the food actually! I’ve been on target with my food, drinking my gallon of water, and am UP several pounds instead of down. Is this common to gain weight on this program initially??

    • Team Powell - August 15, 2015

      Yes, it can be common to gain weight at the beginning as your body is adjusting to a new way of doing things. Carbs, even healthy ones, can cause you to retain water, so if you’re eating those fruits, veggies, and healthy grains, you can have some water weight. Your body should get used to carb cycling soon, and you’ll be good to go! Just make sure your portions sizes are right and that you’re getting all your exercise in. You got this!

  264. Rebecca - August 15, 2015

    Can I eat marinara sauce? Zucchini “noodles” are great for a low-carb day, or marinara with wheat spaghetti for a high carb day. Just not sure if marinara is ok!

    • Team Powell - August 15, 2015

      Yes! Marinara sauce (meatless) counts as a veggie portion, so you can eat it on any day. If it has meat in it, it should count as a protein too.

  265. Janelle - August 14, 2015

    On my low carb day I sometimes am up early and late to bed. What do you recommend I eat or snack on? That last meal comes early and I feel hungry 2-3 hours later. Thank you!

    • Team Powell - August 15, 2015

      Hi Janelle: It’s important that you not eat more than those 5 meals a day, so try to do other things when those cravings hit. Here’s a blog post that might help: And maybe put together a list of activities you can do that will keep your mind off those cravings too. Sometimes we only need to distract our brains for a few minutes and those cravings go away. It’s pretty common to have these at night, so you’re not alone. 🙂

  266. Rebecca - August 11, 2015

    Hi! I’m turbo-cycling with great results. However, my “Sunday Funday̶