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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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. 🙂

  5. 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.

  6. 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?

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. 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?

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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?

  17. 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!

  18. 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!

  19. 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!

  20. 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?

  21. 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!

  22. 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!

  23. 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!

  24. 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!!!!!!

  25. 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! 👊

  26. 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!

  27. 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!

  28. 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!

  29. 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!

  30. 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:

  31. Greg - March 15, 2016

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

  32. 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! 😊

  33. 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.

  34. 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%

  35. 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!

  36. 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!

  37. 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 ??

  38. 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!

  39. 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!

  40. 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!

  41. 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!

  42. 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?

  43. 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.

  44. 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. 😊

  45. 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.

  46. 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. 😊

  47. 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!

  48. 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!

  49. 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!

  50. 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! 😊

  51. 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??

  52. 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! 😊

  53. 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.

  54. 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! 🙂

  55. 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?

  56. 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! 😊

  57. 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! 😊

  58. 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!

  59. 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!

  60. 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!

  61. 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! 🙂

  62. 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! 🙂

  63. 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!

  64. 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!

  65. 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!

  66. 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!


  67. 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!

  68. 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.

  69. 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! 😊

  70. 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?

  71. 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!

  72. 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! 🙂

  73. 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!

  74. 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..

  75. 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. 🙂

  76. 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! 🙂

  77. 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! 🙂

  78. 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!!

  79. 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!

  80. 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!

  81. 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!

  82. 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!

  83. 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!

  84. 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!

  85. 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:)

  86. 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. 🙂

  87. 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!

  88. 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

  89. 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.

  90. 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.

  91. 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!

  92. 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! 🙂

  93. 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!

  94. 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!

  95. 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. 🙁

  96. Cat - October 6, 2015

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

  97. 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.

  98. 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! 🙂

  99. 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!

  100. 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!

  101. 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!

  102. 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?

  103. 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.

  104. 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!

  105. 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!

  106. 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.

  107. 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! 🙂

  108. 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!

  109. 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!

  110. 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!

  111. 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!

  112. 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!

  113. 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!

  114. 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!

  115. 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!

  116. 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!

  117. 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. 🙂

  118. 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. 🙂

  119. 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!

  120. Paula - August 31, 2015

    Is coffee allowed when you are carb cycling?

  121. 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!

  122. 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!

  123. 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.

  124. 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!

  125. 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!

  126. 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!

  127. 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!

  128. 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!

  129. 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!

  130. 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.

  131. 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!

  132. 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!

  133. 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.


  134. 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!

  135. 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.

  136. 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.

  137. 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!

  138. 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!

  139. 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!

  140. 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!

  141. 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.

  142. 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. 🙂

  143. Rebecca - August 11, 2015

    Hi! I’m turbo-cycling with great results. However, my “Sunday Funday” was not so great– I felt yucky afterward and it stalled my weight loss. Is it OK to skip that day and keep on the low-carb/high-carb rotation schedule?

    • Team Powell - August 11, 2015

      Reward days are a key to weight loss, so keep doing them. If you don’t want to, you don’t have to eat all of the extra 1000 calories, and you can totally eat any extra calories in healthy foods. And while it seemed like it stalled your weight loss, just be patient – it really does work!

  144. Tony Villanueva - August 11, 2015

    I like the carb cycling plan but I was wondering how do I figure out my macros with it? How do I figure out how many calories I should eat a day? Is it possible to build muscle and lose fat on this program?

    • Team Powell - August 11, 2015

      Hi Tony: In carb cycling, we don’t count macros or grams, we count portions. There’s an awesome graphic in this post (as well as some other helpful info) that shows you how to put together all your meals in carb cycling: And men eat 1500 calories on low carb days and 2000 calories on high carb days, and women eat 1200 calories on low carb days and 1500 calories on high carb days. And yes, it’s very possible to build muscle and lose fat on this program. You can get Chris and Heidi’s complete carb cycling program in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” (Here’s a link to purchase the book if you’re interested: You can do this!

  145. LS - August 6, 2015

    What if I like to workout in the morning before eating breakfast? Not because of any fasted cardio or whatever but just because I prefer it. I wake up at 5:50 and get to the gym by 6:15. I drink BCAA’s and a preworkout before and then eat breakfast after (usually oatmeal with berries and a protein shake). In this situation, is it THAT vital that I am eating within 30 minutes of waking up? I am super active and workout 5-6 days a week (weights, HIIT and biking) and my calorie intake is between 1800-2100 calories per day. I don’t want to lose weight, per say, but I would like a bit more ab definition 🙂 I was thinking of testing out the fit cycle.

  146. Rhonda - August 6, 2015

    um can I just say that I’m loving Extreme Weight Loss Club. After reading the Choose More Lose More book I still had a few questions about the program. Whoever has been responding here has been very helpful and the Extreme Weight Loss Club really simplifies it even more, anyone who is serious about carb cycling should join!! You’re whole team is amazing, wish I could be a part of it!

  147. Sandy - August 5, 2015

    Hi! I have a question regarding the shredders.

    My husband and I are going to start the carb cycling and doing the 9 Minute Missions in the am. With regards to the shredders, we currently Crossfit four to five times a week, so how do we count that towards the shredders? It isn’t a full hour of straight cardio but it is a workout. Do you have any suggestions?

    Thanks so much!

    • Team Powell - August 5, 2015

      Hi Sandy: CrossFit definitely counts as Shredders! And the recommendation is up to 60 minutes a day, so do the best you can to hit that number, but don’t stress too much if you don’t as long as you’re happy with the progress you’re making towards your goals.

  148. Shawna - August 4, 2015

    My issue is I am an RN in a busy ER… I realistically cannot break to eat every 3 hours… Between codes, and accidents coming in I some days will literally go a 12 hour shift with 2 bites to eat ( or a quick meal on the fly) and only one potty break… Let alone trying to even get down 12 oz. of H2O… Any suggestions?

    • Team Powell - August 5, 2015

      Hi Shawna: With a crazy schedule like yours, just do the best you can. Keep healthy options close by, drink your water as you can, and make sure your nutrition is spot on when you’re not working.

  149. Nat - August 4, 2015

    Are you suppose to work out certain body parts(upper/lower) on high/low carb days? Does it matter?

    • Team Powell - August 5, 2015

      Hi Nat: In carb cycling, you’ll do your 9-Minute Mission (strength training) first thing in the morning (Monday-Friday), and then Shredders (cardio) sometime during the day. The 9-Minute Missions program is put together to work all the muscle groups in certain combinations, so all you have to do is follow the plan!

  150. Jody V - August 4, 2015

    This is the first time I hear about carb cycling and I’m very interested in implementing it in my daily nutrition. My only question is: would you recommend this program to breasfeeding mothers? I’m exclusively breasfeeding my 4month old and plan on doing it for as long as I can; however I’m desperate to loose baby weight.

  151. Jen - August 4, 2015

    Hi! My husband and I love watching your show and hearing about all of the lives you have helped to transform! I have a 5 mo old son whom I exclusively breastfeed. I hope to do so until he is at least a year old. During my pregnancy, I ate very healthy and did Crossfit pretty intensely until 36 weeks. Since having a cesearian, I have been experiencing pretty bad low back pain and have had to really slow down in the gym. That said, I have been very cautious about dieting (going back to my low fat/low carb pre-breastfeeding diet) because I am afraid I will lower my milk supply if I don’t get enough fat and calories in my diet. I have done a lot of research, but can’t find anything super helpful when it comes to breastfeeding moms. Do you guys have any suggestions? I still need to lose another 15 lbs to get back to my pre-baby self! Thanks so much in advance!

    • Jen - August 4, 2015

      One more thing…my husband a many Crossfit friends have been doing flexible dieting and macro counting. I have attempted, but am unsure how to adjust for my specific need to continue producing adequate milk supply. My lactation consultant stressed the importance of taking in adequate healthy fats and proteins, but I’m not sure what is too much or little…? Thoughts?

    • Team Powell - August 4, 2015

      Hi Jen: Congrats on your new baby! Here’s a post that outlines Heidi’s breastfeeding nutrition program: Hope it helps!

  152. Angie - August 4, 2015

    Hi! I love the plan! And I love Chris and Heidi. I have been on the turbo plan for about 4 weeks now and have lost a total of 16 pounds! I am feeling great! I did have a question, because I feel like it wasn’t really discussed in the book. But fruit.. Where does that fit in? Is that considered a carb? Or is that it’s own thing? Should I avoid fruit on low carb days?

  153. Kimmie - August 4, 2015

    1 thing i really like about these programs is that I can switch from 1 to another. I was reading in the book that the Slingshot week is to help fool your body from a pattern. Is it still necessary to slingshot on the 4th week if I have switched from one cycle to another for two weeks? thanks so much

    • Team Powell - August 4, 2015

      Hi Kimmie: Since the slingshot week is a full week of all high carb days, you’ll still want to do it every 4 weeks.

  154. Rhonda - August 1, 2015

    I’m not sure if anyone responded to my previous post but I finally figured out the carb cycling but was hoping to get some more ideas for snacks. I fount the two in the book but not a big fan of cottage cheese or greek yogurt. Are foods like hummus with veggies considered a healthy snack or another side salad or a side of fruit? Or would my afternoon snack look more like what I have for lunch.

    Appreciate your help

    • Team Powell - August 1, 2015

      Hi Rhonda: You can choose any of the approved foods on the list to put your meals/snacks together. There’s an awesome graphic in this post (as well as some other helpful info) that shows you how to put together all your meals. You can have 2 Tbsp of hummus as a flavoring with your veggies. To make this a high carb snack/meal, you’d add a protein and a carb. To make it a low carb snack/meal, you’d add a protein and healthy fat. A side salad made with non-root/non-starchy veggies would be considered a veggie, and fruit falls under the carb category. Hope that helps!

  155. Diana - July 29, 2015

    It’s hard for me to eat veggies for my first two 5:30 and 8:30 the thought of veggies grosses me out…

    • Team Powell - July 29, 2015

      For breakfast, since it’s a high carb meal, you can skip those veggies if you’d like to. Hope that helps!

  156. Vanidy G. - July 28, 2015

    I just started reading your book and I am so excited to start carb cycling. However, I am unsure how to fit in a proper eating schedule. I work nights 10p-6a so I am up all night, am I still not supposed to eat after 7 or does that not apply? I am also the mother of an 18 month old who is usually wide awake and waiting for me when I get home. So needless to say my sleep schedule is way off. Basically I sleep when I can so even though I am awake I am exhausted and eating isn’t really a priority. So what do I do? Do I still eat breakfast and just go to sleep directly after or skip it altogether. I would really appreciate if I could get this question answered. THANY YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR INSPIRATION!!!!!

    • Team Powell - July 29, 2015

      Hi Vanidy: Crazy work schedules can make eating every 3 hours a bit tricky, but it can be done. Space your meals every 3 hours (as best you can) while you’re awake, and you’ll be good to go! Just make sure you’re getting the recommended calories in a 24 hour period.

  157. Stephanie - July 27, 2015

    I’m going to try this. I tend to eat pretty healthy anyway, but I have noticed some slumps in my energy in the last year and want to kick that to the curb now that I am about to begin the next school year (I am a college professor who also works 2 jobs…and spends long hours reading badly written papers, holding office hours, and lesson planning. More consistent energy would be helpful).

    I have a question, though. How do I handle quinoa? While it is prepared like a grain (cooked in a pot), it’s technically a complete protein. So do I count it as a grain (and something I can only eat on high carb days), or as a protein? I see it treated both ways (and some people who say “well quinoa is a seed anyway), and my roommate–who is a vegan–relies on quinoa as a staple in her diet. I just know that I love it so much and enjoy the variety of ways I can eat it (and depending on the cost of it at the grocery store, sometimes it gets to be a staple in my diet). But some clarity on how I should treat it in carb cycling would help me prepare for starting the ‘classic’ carb cycling plan next week–a week of making sure I have this down pat before I start my school year!!!

    • Team Powell - July 28, 2015

      Hi Stephanie: Quinoa is considered a carb in carb cycling, so you could have it as the carb portion of any high carb meal. Welcome to carb cycling!

  158. Patsy - July 27, 2015

    Just finishing your great book. I’m going the Classic route for now. Have exercised for years, but at age 56 I have found 10 lbs that need to go somewhere else. Old methods to drop weight are no longer working for me. The foods you list look great, but I’m having a hard time coming up with good protein/fat snacks. Suggestions please? Can’t wait to get going on the plan! Thanks for doing all the hard work in advance for us!!


    • Team Powell - July 27, 2015

      Welcome to carb cycling! For meals and snacks – you simply choose items from the lists. There’s an awesome graphic in this post (as well as some other really helpful info) that shows you how to put together every meal in carb cycling for both low and high carb days: You can do this!

  159. Wendy Shepard - July 19, 2015

    I have been doing the carb cycling for about two weeks. I can’t seem to get enough protein on the low carb days without going crazy with the carbs. What are some good protein sources with little carbs?

    Thank your

    • Team Powell - July 19, 2015

      There’s an awesome list of approved foods (including proteins) in “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” You can eat any lean meats, egg whites, non-fat/low carb Greek yogurt, low fat cottage cheese, and others. Hope that helps!

  160. Lisa - July 18, 2015

    Team Powell,
    I’ve been on the turbo cycle for 6 weeks now. I have not cheated, I’ve drank my water, and I do my reward day and slingshot week. I also workout 5 or 6 days a week. Other than the week one and the week after slingshot week, I have only lost one pound or nothing a week. At this rate it’ll take forever to lose what I want to lose. I know the body has to adjust to new ways of eating but it’s been way over a month and I should see more results. I watch the show and they lose way more at this point. I’ve been eating about 1200 calories a day because I read that women should be between 1200-1500. Since I’m trying to lose weight, should I eat less calories? If so, how much less? Or am I doing something wrong? Help!

    • Team Powell - July 18, 2015

      Hi Lisa: From what you’ve told me, you need to adjust your calories a bit. On high carb days you should be eating 1500 calories. You’re okay with your low carb days – they should be at 1200 calories. For your reward day, you can eat up to 1000 extra calories, so up to 2500 calories, and your slingshot week will be an entire week of 1500 calorie days. How long are you working out each day? And a 1-2 pound weight loss per week is actually not bad! Your rate of weekly weight loss depends a lot on your starting weight and how many calories you burn over what you consume during the week. I hope that helps! You can do this! If you have further questions, comment again, and I’ll do my best to help.

    • Lisa - July 18, 2015

      In response to your reply, I am about 5’5 and my starting weight was 215 and I am 45 years old. I workout 45 min a day 5 days a week. Am I working out enough? And if I up my calories on high carb days to 1500 calories, you’re saying I should probably see more of a loss? Thank you for the help! Yall are the best!

    • Team Powell - July 19, 2015

      Chris and Heidi recommend their 9-Minute Missions (strength training) Monday-Friday first thing in the morning, and up to an hour of cardio those same days. You can even bump that up a bit if you want to. And yes, varying your calorie intake should help you lose weight. Our bodies get used to routines – they can get stuck – so variations help keep them from getting stuck. You got this!

  161. Sandy - July 15, 2015

    I have some back, knee and hip issues that are preventing me from exercising right now. I’ve gained a considerable amount of weight because of it. Can I still lose weight by following the carb cycling plan without the exercise?

    • Team Powell - July 15, 2015

      Yes, you can still lose weight if your exercise is limited, but it might be a bit of a slower process. But it can be done! Move as you can as directed by your healthcare team, make sure your nutrition is spot on, and you can do this!

    • Robin - August 4, 2015

      Sandy I saw your post on the back and knee issues and wanted to tell you I ended up being very seditary with severe back problems back in Oct and ask Heidi that same question before starting. And yes you can lose. I lost 21 lbs with no exercise but you have to be serious with your eating process as to whatever cycle your doing. I had surgery and was off of it a bit in the spring but back full force and losing again. Love carb cycling. Best decision I’ve made in my way of life eating. Healthy. 🙂 good luck.

  162. Sandy - July 13, 2015

    I recently started your carb cycling program as well as the exercise portion. I have a 5 vertebra spinal fusion and pain free sit-ups are and will be impossible for me to do. In the meantime I am doing crunches as a replacement. My question is… Does you and Chris have a modified exercise routine for people with bad lower backs?

    • Team Powell - July 13, 2015

      Hi Sandy: Welcome to carb cycling! I’d suggest you discuss this with your healthcare team and have them help you figure out some modified exercises for your lower back issues. They are best equipped to help you since they know your exact issues and can work with you on a one-on-one basis. We wish you the best!

  163. Becci Smith - July 13, 2015

    Hi, I have been carb cycling now for just over 4 weeks using the turbo cycle. I’m doing really well having lost 23lbs so far. My only issue is that every monday morning (after my sunday cheat day) I feel sick when I get up and this lasts for a few hours. Is there anything I can do to help this or is it something I’m doing wrong with the diet?

    Thanks in advance

  164. Leah - July 11, 2015

    Team Powell,
    I am 18 years old, 5’3, and 5 weeks ago I weighed 135. My original goal weight was 125 because I figured I had atleast 10 lbs to lose being this height/age. Ive been on the turbo cycle now for five weeks and at 3 weeks I was down to 129.6. I did my slingshot week and then last week was back to the normal turbo cycle again. I weighed myself this morning and I weigh exactly the same, even to the ounce as I did at 3 weeks (129.6). I haven’t cheated and I workout 6 days a week and I’m drinking my water. Is it possible that I have nothing else to lose and I’m just gaining muscle weight from here on? I thought I had more than 6 lbs to get off. My mom has followed the plan too and she lost 4 lbs after her slingshot week so I know the process works and I’m not discouraged 🙂 just curious! Thank u!

    • Team Powell - July 11, 2015

      Hi Leah: It sounds like you’re doing great! Keep in mind that after the slingshot week it might appear like you’ve gained weight or your weight has stayed the same, but this can be normal. It’s all part of the process. And yes, you could be replacing fat with muscle, so that number on the scale isn’t the only way to gauge how you’re doing on reaching your goal. If you haven’t already done so, take your measurements (chest, upper arms, waist, abdomen, hips, thighs), and then re-measure again from time to time. You got this!

  165. Stephanie - July 6, 2015


    How should carb cycling apply to a workout schedule? I typically do cardio every morning, weightliftingt M/W/F and yoga T/TH/Sa.

    I’m assuming that the high carb days would be on the weight training days but would like to be sure.
    Thank you!

  166. Ciara - July 5, 2015

    Dear Team Powell,

    I just started using the carb cycling solution (Turbo Cycle). My BMI is 38 and I am 22 years old.

    Every day I am scared that I eat to much, but I can’t seem to reach my daily calorie intake of 1200 on LC days and 1500 on HC days.

    This is an example of my high carb day:
    Morning (6am) greek yoghurt (0%fat) and a small banana
    Snack (9am) a slice of wholewheat bread with some chicken and slices of tomato and cucumber
    Lunch (12am) a salad with chicken, tomato, cucumber and some croutons
    Snack (3pm) a slice of wholewheat bread with chicken and slices of tomato and cucumber
    Dinner (6pm) tilapia filet with tomato salad and 1 small potato

    Am I on the right track? Because I have the feeling I’m doing something wrong.


    • Team Powell - July 5, 2015

      You are on the right track, but you do need to make sure you’re getting in your calories every day. Your body needs a certain number to simply function properly, and if you’re not getting enough, it can be harmful to your health and stall your weight loss. There’s an awesome graphic in this post (as well as some other helpful info) that can help you better understand how to put your meals together: Don’t be afraid – follow your cycle, make sure your portion sizes are right on, and you’ll be good to go! You can do this!

  167. Sheena - July 3, 2015

    Great article! I have PCOS and just had a baby! Yay! Haha. Can you do carb cycling while breastfeeding to where won’t effect my milk supply? Thank you!

  168. Erin - June 27, 2015

    I just finished both books and am a little confused on portion sizes. For example, It says in one place that a portion of pasta (the size of my fist) would be 1 cup of pasta, but where the foods are broken down into servings by 100 calories, it says a serving is 1/2 cup of pasta. So when adding pasta to a meal for a carb serving, would I be adding 1 cup or 1/2 cup? Is a serving of an English muffin a whole muffin or a half muffin? If each category in a meal equals 100 calories then you are eating 200 calories a meal (whether it’s a protein + carb or protein + fat depending on high or low day) plus veggies? That would make your calorie totals the same for high and low carb days (5 meals at 200 calories a meal + veggies per meal) but high carb days are supposed to be more than low carb days the books say. I guess my question is are we supposed to eat 200 calories of carbs per meal on a high carb day if so then why is it broken down into 100 calorie servings in the books? Thanks for clarification.

    • Team Powell - June 27, 2015

      So sorry for the confusion! The calorie breakdowns in the book are just for reference so you can be aware of how many calories you’re eating (kind of a double check), and to show you what 100 calories looks like (and it’s much easier to list things in 100 calorie portion sizes than to break down each food into calories). Follow the portion sizes in the book, keep an eye on the calories, and you’ll be good to go!

  169. Phil - June 27, 2015

    Hi I wondered is it still possible to carb cycle while you’re trying to gain weight? If so how do you work out how many calories you should have each day as I know you should have a calorie surplus to gain weight? I’m really confused. Thanks.

    • Team Powell - June 27, 2015

      Yes, carb cycling is a program you can follow for life. Here’s a post that might help you figure out how many calories to eat so you have a surplus each day: While a lot of the info in this post is how to lose weight, the same principles (in reverse) can help you figure out the numbers to gain weight in a healthy way. You might have to play around with the numbers to learn what works best for you, but it can be done. Good luck!

  170. Rachael Strode - June 27, 2015

    Hi Heidi!

    What if you don’t need to actually lose weight, but just lose some stubborn fat like cellulite on legs, and a little on the stomach. I am 5’6″, 124 lbs. I can see bones in my chest, and vascularity up top at all times, yet, I have cellulite ( quite a bit!) I lift very heavy 4x’s a week and do HIIT and Plyo 2-3 days a week. I am starting carb cycling as a last ditch effort! I have quite a bit of muscle on me legs under the fat but I just want to shed the fat to show it off. Would I eat maintenance on heavy lifting days and under maintenance on those low carb days? I don’t want to become any more lean than I am up top though except my stomach! TIA! Also, I read the carb confusion post. 🙂

    • Team Powell - June 27, 2015

      Yes, carb cycling can work! I’d suggest trying the Fit Cycle ( since you are really active and want to get rid of that bit of stubborn fat. You can follow the calorie recommendations in the program (1200 for low carb days and 1500 calories for high carb days), however, since you really don’t have much to lose, you can adjust the daily calories if you need to. And you can change cycles at any time, based on your goals and needs. Good luck!

  171. Cassie - June 24, 2015

    I just started carb cycling and was wondering if there were any protein bars for low carb days that you recommend. I have 3 little ones so I like having a snack option I can keep in my bag when we are out running around that.

    • Team Powell - June 24, 2015

      Protein bars can be a healthy option for both low and high carb meals, especially when you need a quick source of healthy nutrition. 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. Hope that helps!

  172. Mar - June 23, 2015

    Would increase calories with carbs increase or would you cut down on fats or protein to stay at the same calorie level (deficit of 20% in my case).
    My carb cycling would look like this:
    50,100,150,200,250,300 and 350 or more grams on 7th day.

    • Team Powell - June 24, 2015

      The meal/snack calorie recommendations and portion sizes for all carb cycling meals are formulated to help you achieve your weight loss goals, so there’s no need to make any changes. For your reward day, you can eat up to 1000 extra calories of any foods. Hope that helps!

  173. Denise Yeich - June 20, 2015

    This carb cycling, how will it work with gluten free. I am highly sensitive to gluten (not allergic, but it does effect me physically if ingested) and I abstain from it due to an autoimmune disease. Any suggestions on this. I tried to read thru all of the above, but there is soooo much. I didn’t see anything about GF. Thank you

    • Team Powell - June 20, 2015

      It can work, just choose gluten free food options from the approved foods list in “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” You might also discuss Chris and Heidi’s plan with your healthcare team, and then follow their recommendations. Happy carb cycling!

  174. Vanessa - June 13, 2015

    I am doing Carb Cycling Easy and the first week, I lost 7.2 lbs. I am currently at 242 lbs. and I just finished week two without any loss. Is this normal? I have done everything by the book and my reward meals don’t go over 500 calories for the day. Start week three tomorrow.

    • Team Powell - June 13, 2015

      Hi Vanessa: Yes, your weight loss rate can fluctuate after the first week. It can take a bit of time for our bodies to get used to a new way of doing things. Depending on which cycle you’re following, your reward meals shouldn’t go over 250 extra calories/meal (you’ll only eat reward meals on high carb days0, and on your reward days you can eat up to 1000 extra calories that day. And remember to do your slingshot week on week 4. Don’t forget your water too! You can do this!

  175. Lisa - June 12, 2015

    I have recently started carb cycling and find many of my meals don’t really fill me up unless I eat ALOT more than the 2 servings of vegetables recommended. For this first week I’ve been preparing recipes EXACTLY as they appear on the Vemmabode website to be sure I am getting the hang of it. I read both of the Chris Powell books and they recommend that women get 1200-1500 calories per day (depending on HC or LC day). I am a 6’0″ tall woman. Should I be eating more calories in a day or, if not, do you have some food/meal suggestions that would be more filling?

    • Jenn - June 23, 2015

      Hi Lisa,

      I was disappointed to see that your question has not been addressed by Team Powell, as I would love suggestions in this area. I’m also 6 feet tall, and I have struggled in the past with many diets that fail to consider that 1200 calories for a larger built woman is unreasonable. It’s tough enough for a 5’3″ tall woman (e.g. My mother), and almost unattainable for a woman of our height to eat so few calories and fell well-balanced and energetic.

      There are excellent calorie calculators online that can help you figure out exactly how many calories you can eat and still lose weight. By the way, your current weight is much more important in determining this than your height…..although the taller you are, the more you likely weigh. Also, keep in mind that once you’re losing, you will need to recalculate, as your caloric needs also decrease with weight loss.

      These calorie counters give you daily intake, so I’m not sure how to adjust for carb cycling. Perhaps add 500 calories on the high carb days and subtract 500 for low carb days? It would be great if someone from Team Powell could weigh in.

    • Team Powell - June 23, 2015

      Hi Jenn: Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. When fans post more than 1 comment, any additional comments are automatically approved and are easy to miss when we are replying. I’ve replied to Lisa’s comment, so hopefully that will help you also. Thank you again!

    • Team Powell - June 23, 2015

      Hi Lisa: I’m so sorry I didn’t reply to this comment. When fans have posted more than 1 comment, any additional comments they post are automatically approved, so it’s easier to miss them and not reply. This is a great question. When losing weight, you want to burn more calories than you consume. Since you are 6’0″, you could up your calories a bit to compensate for your height. Try 1500 calories on low carb days and 1800 calories on high carb days, and see if that helps, while making sure you still have a calorie deficit every day. Make sure you’re also upping your portion sizes to make up for those extra calories, of protein especially, to make sure those extra calories are most beneficial. Hope this helps, and we wish you the best!

  176. WWP - June 9, 2015

    There is no place on the Chris Powell Website to “sign up” for a newsletter and receive the food list. There’s no link on the home page, the about page, the contact us page or any other page.

    • Team Powell - June 9, 2015

      I’m so sorry – Chris’ site has been recently redone and that area has been removed. We’re working on getting this option added to Heidi’s site. Please be patient with us!

  177. Annette - June 8, 2015

    Hi Heidi,
    My husband and I just started carb cycling but are horrible about eating withn half hour of waking up.. Also we’re not too sure about what to make for snacks and meals during high and low carb days . Do you guys have recipes that we can use?

    • Team Powell - June 8, 2015

      Eating within 30 minutes of waking up can be quite the change for a lot of people. Just do your best, and eventually it will get easier. As far as what to eat for meals and snacks, there’s an extensive list of foods in “Choose More, Lose More for Life,” and there are lots of great recipes in that book and Chris and Heidi’s first book, “Choose to Lose.” Or there’s an awesome graphic (as well as other useful information) in this post that might help too: Happy carb cycling!

  178. Beth - June 4, 2015


    Two questions for you.

    1. I just can’t eat first thing in the morning when I wake up. My stomach doesn’t like it. I start with a cup of coffee and then maybe an hour or two later will have breakfast. Is this bad?
    2. How do I know if I am getting too much fat in my diet? I am focused on lower fat foods or good fats, but when is it too much?

    • Team Powell - June 4, 2015

      Great questions! 1. If your stomach can’t handle eating right after you wake up, then eat as soon as you can and go from there. 2. If you follow the portion sizes, you won’t eat too much fat. There’s an awesome graphic (as well as some other great info) in this post from this blog: I hope it helps!

  179. Tina - June 4, 2015

    Will cycling help me tone and lean out if I workout 3-4 times a week

    • Team Powell - June 4, 2015

      It can. In Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program, they recommend working out 5 days a week (Monday-Friday), as well as doing their 9-Minute Missions those same days. Learn more about the exercise component of their program here: Happy carb cycling!

  180. lexi - June 3, 2015


    Im going on holiday in just over 2 weeks time, but its supposed to be my slingshot week next week. I want to lose a few more pounds before the holiday, do you recommend sticking to the cycle or would it be ok to use my holiday as my carb week, and do the next 2 weeks as normal turbo weeks?



    • Team Powell - June 3, 2015

      Since you will be on vacation, it’s okay to switch up your slingshot week this time if you’d like to. Have a fun trip!

  181. Stephanie - June 3, 2015

    So today is my first High Carb day of my carb cycling, I followed all of the guidlines as far as portions but my calories are barely pushing 1300. I have a protein a carb and veggies with each meal/snack should I be concerned about my calories being too low for the day? If so what should I add?

    • Team Powell - June 3, 2015

      With 1500 calories allotted for the day, that’s about 300/meal/snack or however you’d like to split it up during the day. Double check your portion sizes, and adjust them (everyone’s hands are a bit different in size) and your calories so you’re hitting your 1500 calories/day mark. You can do this!

  182. Donna F. - June 2, 2015

    My husband and I are reading Choose More, Loose More, about to start carb cycling. We understand most of it but have a question. On HIGH carb days, is adding a fat to some meals or snacks OK as long as we stay within the daily calorie maximums? We’d like to add grass fed butter or coconut oil to the quinoa or quinoa pasta or veggies. OR…. do HIGH CARB days need to be LOW FAT days for carb cycling to work? Thanks so much for the clarification.

    • Team Powell - June 2, 2015

      Great question! No, you don’t add any fats to high carb meals, but there are some low-fat options in the flavorings section on page 199 in “Choose More, Lose More for Life,” and you can add these to any meal (watch the calories, of course!). Happy carb cycling!

    • Kent F. - June 2, 2015

      I was curious if you have some examples of a couple weeks of food plans? We are going through Choose more, Lose more and haven’t run across it yet. I’m struggling on figuring out how to get to 1500-1800 calories a day.

    • Team Powell - June 2, 2015

      We don’t, but here are examples of a low and high carb day: (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. Happy carb cycling!

    • Kent F. - June 2, 2015

      One more – In you book you have sheets that state ” Sample weeks 1 of 4″ Do you offer that in a PDF form? We get our books on iPads and they are not user friendly in printing

    • Team Powell - June 2, 2015

      I’m so sorry, but we don’t. 🙁

    • Kent - June 14, 2015

      Okay…we did our first reward day….wow.thats a bunch of food. I’ve gone through the book and haven’t been able to find rules of rewards day? The extra calories…. Do you break that up through out the day? Eat a normal high carb day and then add 1000? Or is all 2800 fair game for a guy.

      If you could direct me to the page in the second book…that would be great.

      Also… Is it wise to choose red meat for your protein? Curious due to it having higher fat?

      Imy wife and I really want to be successful with this and want to eat bad enough to trick our bodies but good enough to continue our loss to hit our goals.

    • Team Powell - June 14, 2015

      For your reward day, you can eat those 1000 extra calories whenever you’d like, and you can eat whatever you’d like. So for women, eat up to 2500 calories that day, and men will eat up to 3000 calories that day. For red meat, Chris and Heidi recommend choosing lean cuts(refer to p 192 in “Choose More, Lose More for Life”). Happy carb cycling!

  183. Lisa - June 1, 2015

    Hi! I just started the 4 cycle solution as part of a 6 week boot camp challenge at a fitness center in my city. I’m a vegetarian so need to substitute the meat protein with non-meat alternatives. Would love ideas on how to use tofu, TVP, tempeh, and other non-meat alternatives. I notice of course that beans are high in carbs as are many veggie burgers and “chicken” type soy products.

    I’m in week one!

    Thanks so much!!

    • Stephanie - June 3, 2015

      I am also vegetarian and I have been eating cottage cheese, tofu, yogurt, and eggs for my protein. I bought tempeh a while back but forgot about it in the back of my fridge so I never tried it. I’d suggest hitting up pinterest for recipes and how to’s.

      I am three days into carb cycling and MAN I have doubled my protein intake but still I’m struggling to get to my calorie minimums. I am never going to be hungry again!

      Good Luck Lisa!

  184. Justin - May 29, 2015

    When we choose low carb… are we looking for 0 for the day or a certain # or % to stay under?


    • Team Powell - May 29, 2015

      Great question! Since you’ll have veggies (the non-root/non-starchy type) with every carb cycling meal (they’re optional for high carb meals if you’re full), and since veggies are carbs, you will have some carbs in each meal. There’s a great graphic (as well as some other awesome info) in this post that shows you how to put together every meal in carb cycling: Happy carb cycling!

  185. Elissa - May 26, 2015

    Hi. I am breastfeeding and I am wondering how to modify this plan to still be able to lose weight safely. I know Heidi has said somewhere not to carb cycle while breastfeeding. Thanks:)

  186. Vanessa - May 26, 2015

    Read both books on Carb Cycling and am excited to start next week. The issue I have right now is that I feel overwhelmed by all the choices. It isn’t like a “eat this” menu plan type of thing. I know that it will be a lot of trial and error while I start. My main question is how to start making my menus? And with me being 250 lbs, should I only be eating 1200 calories on low carb days? Need help on where to start.

    • Team Powell - May 26, 2015

      Great questions! Yes, you’ll eat 1200 calories on low carb days and 1500 calories on high carb days. As far as putting meals together, you’ll simply choose from the lists. For a low carb meal, choose a protein, healthy fat, and veggie (the non-root/non-starchy type). For high carb meals, choose a protein, carb, and veggie (the non-root/non-starchy type). With carb cycling, you have the freedom to choose so your meals fit your likes and you won’t get bored. You can do this!

  187. Gwen - May 25, 2015

    Hi. I have the new book, and plan to start this week. I had to grocery shop first! I have a question about eggs (whole eggs, not whites). Since it’s a protein, is one egg a serving? It doesn’t really equate to the palm-size rule.


    • Team Powell - May 25, 2015

      Great question! 2 egg yolks count as a fat, and 4 egg whites count as a protein. Hope that helps!

  188. Kathy - May 7, 2015

    I have a couple of question about carb cycling. I started on Monday so today is day 4. I have to say this is a doable lifestyle. My husband is a personal trainer and we have a full gym in our home. Here is my delima: I portion my food out for hte day and have found on high carb days, I cannot eat all the food with out eating for 1.5 hours. Should I just limit it to what I can eat in 30 minutes? If I do this, I do not see how I can possible eat 1500 calories. I love veggies, but wow.

    Second, my husband is 5’6″ and 165 pounds. He is all muscle but wants to carb cycle with me in order to support me. He currently eats 3200 calories a day. What should his calorie intact be in carb cycling? He does not want to lose weight nor muscle and is extremely active.

    Thank you,


  189. Cassy - March 22, 2015

    Hey! I am waiting for Chris Powell’s new book to come in the mail and am eager to begin carb cycling. My sister already started and loves it. I have been doing low carb since January and only eating about 1/2 cup of a starchy carb per day (following another program) but due to migraines, it was suggested that I eat the carb in the evening. The days I didn’t eat a carb in the evening I got a bad head he in the a.m. It may have been a coincidence, but pretty sure it wasn’t. How can I work this out in carb cycling? I think I have hit a wall in my current program and don’t feel 100%. Thanks!!!!

    • Team Powell - March 22, 2015

      In carb cycling, even though they’re carbs, veggies have their own category. You can eat two fist fulls of veggies (the non-root/non-starchy type) with every meal, so those could be your carbs at night on low carb days. Happy carb cycling!

  190. Amy - March 15, 2015

    I get up at 4am to workout with friends, a variety of cardio, weights, n HIIT but my diet is a problem and I’ve been unable to drop weight for many years. After three kids I was able to get back in decent shape but I’m having real trouble reducing calories and I get easily frustrated. I’m a female, 6ft tall and 170-173 lbs. I enjoy working out bit I crave sugar daily and I eat well most of the time but I overeat frequently so I thought carb cycling may be the answer. I read Chris’s second book but the calories for me seem low, 1400 low carb days n 1600 high carb… Is that correct? Also I don’t like to eat before I workout because it makes me feel nauseous, can I eat afterward?.. This would be 2 hours after waking! Any advise would be helpful. I’m now finding myself in a Nasty yo yo period that’s lasted way too long, 2-3 years!

    • Team Powell - March 16, 2015

      The calorie recommendations for women are 1200 on low carb days and 1500 on high carb days. As far as eating before working out, that is totally a personal decision, so do what works best for you. If you don’t eat before working out, then eat your first meal of the day as soon as possible after working out. Here’s a post that might also help: Happy carb cycling – you can do this!

  191. Kelly - March 15, 2015

    Hi, I was just wondering, would it be at all possible to follow the turbo cycle using five low carb days? For instance, day 1 low carb, day 2 low carb, day 3 high carb, day 4 low carb, day 5 low carb, day 6 low carb, day 7 reward day. I am on week three of the turbo cycle and am finding the low carb days easier to stick with and prepare meals and snacks for than the high carb days. Please let me know, as I cannot find any information on if this switch would hinder my plan. Thank you!


    • Team Powell - March 15, 2015

      It’s best to follow the plan as outlined. Your body does need carbs to function properly and burn fat, so those high carb days are important. And each cycle is outlined as it is for some very good reasons and to help you be successful! Happy carb cycling!

  192. Diane De Staercke - March 6, 2015

    I saw you and your husband in an old Dr Oz episode they broadcasted here in Belgium a few weeks ago and I immediatly thought: that’s my solution. Feeling great with the classic carb cycle but I have one question right now: is quinoa a carb or a proteine?

    Thank you and keep up the good work you’re doing.


  193. Wesleigh - March 1, 2015

    Would beef jerky be a protein?

    • Team Powell - March 1, 2015

      Yes, just be really careful of the sodium content.

  194. Liane - February 24, 2015

    I have been carb cycling for a few weeks now, following the turbo cycle in Chris’s book. I track my food on my fitness pal and I’ve noticed that many times I don’t meet the recommended daily calories of 1200 on low carb days and 1500 on high carb days. I don’t feel hungry, I feel like I am eating enough. Is it okay if I’m below those calorie suggestions?

    • Team Powell - February 24, 2015

      You’ll want to stick to the 1200 calories for low carb days and 1500 calories for high carb days. Your body needs a certain number calories to simply function properly, and the program is designed to help you lose weight based on these calorie recommendations. Double check your portion sizes and make sure you’re getting all of the portions of each thing (protein, carbs, veggies, fats) with each meal. You can do this!

  195. Rachel G - February 23, 2015

    Hey Heidi! I’m very interested in trying carb cycling. Currently I’m weight training about 3 days a week and doing a lot of running. I’m wanting to transition into weight training 4-5 days a week and doing more HIIT instead of steady state cardio. I don’t really want to lose much weight-maybe 5-10 lbs but I want to build muscle and tone. Which cycle do you think would be the best for me? And which books should I get?? Thanks so much, yall are awesome!!!

    • Team Powell - February 23, 2015

      You’ll want to get “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” It contains Chris and Heidi’s complete program, including all four carb cycles. Any of the cycles could work for you, and you can change cycles at any time. There is a section in the book that helps you figure out which cycle to start with. Happy carb cycling!

  196. Joanna - February 10, 2015

    I think this program is an awesome idea, I just have one burning question:
    For women, is it 1,200-1,500 NET calories or CONSUMED calories? I work out very often (teaching exercise classes and such) and burn around 200 calories just with my normal job. So would I then consume 1,700 on high carb days and 1,400 on low carb to accomidate for the caloric deficit? Or would it still be 1,500 and 1,200, respectively?


  197. Lissa Kristine - February 4, 2015

    Just three questions about this whole thing:

    1. Is it completely terrible if I have a reward meal for dinner? I eat out a few times a week, and having the reward meal for dinner would make things more flexible for those occasions.

    2. Due to my work schedule, I often only eat 3-4 meals (3 meals and maybe a dessert after dinner. Even if I have a snack, it’s between lunch and dinner. Can this work of I eat breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and then another snack? (At least a few times a week- some days, I might be able to to do the midmorning snack more easily).

    3. Is calorie counting required? I get that weight loss is calories in/calories out, but all the counting overwhelms me.

    Oh, and a bonus question. Suppose I’m on the easy cycle and I take a trip to NYC or it’s a holiday. How “bad” is it to take a day off and make it a reward day and then just continue on the next day as if nothing happened? Obviously, it might impact my weight loss that week, but some eating plans are very against any kind of straying off plan.

    • Team Powell - February 5, 2015

      Great questions! Let’s get you some answers: 1. The program is designed that your reward meals should not be your dinner meals because for most people this is a bit of a slippery slope and people have a hard time not overdoing that reward. And remember, you only have a reward meal on high carb days, and this is only for the Easy Cycle. All other cycles have a reward day, not reward meals. 2. It’s best to eat all 5 meals if you can. If your schedule doesn’t allow this, then do the best you can. The important thing is to get in all the required parts of each meal/snack (protein, carb or fat, and veggies), and you’ll want to try and stay away from a dessert after dinner (see #1). 3. Calorie counting is not required. Many people use it as a back up to portion counting to double check that they’re not getting too many or too few calories. Bonus: It’s best to follow the cycle as outlined. For holidays (like Thanksgiving and Christmas), it is okay to change that reward day, but otherwise you’ll want to keep the schedule as outlined. If you want to “permanently” change your reward day to say Friday, instead of Sunday, then you can do so, but just keep all the days in the same order. They are arranged this way for a reason. If you do add in extra reward meals/days, just keep in mind that this will affect your rate of weight loss. You can get much more information about the plan that will also answer additional questions in Chris and Heidi’s book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” It’s a great resource to have on hand. Happy carb cycling!

  198. Liane - February 3, 2015

    Hi! I posted this question yesterday but now I can’t find where I posted it, so I’m posting it again. Sorry for the redundancy.
    I’m starting the turbo cycle and I work night shifts 3 nights a week. I know that the first meal is the one that has the carb even on low carb days. So, on my days off, my first meal is around 8am. But after working the night shift, should my first meal still be at 8am when I am getting ready to go to bed or when I wake up around 5pm?
    Thank you!

  199. becci smith - February 2, 2015

    I just started carb cycling and I’m a little confused about reward days. do i still need to eat 5 meals throughout the day? how many more calories should I be eating on these days?


    • Team Powell - February 2, 2015

      On your reward days you can eat up to 1,000 extra calories, and you can space these throughout the day however you’d like. Happy carb cycling!

  200. Kimberly Copeland - January 31, 2015

    Hi guys! Just a question to make sure I’m understanding correctly. Even on low carb days you eat a high carb breakfast correct? My husband and I have been carb cycling and have had some success. I just want to make sure that we are doing it right! Thanks!!

    • Team Powell - January 31, 2015

      Yes, you are correct. Every breakfast is a high carb breakfast. Happy carb cycling!

  201. Kala - January 26, 2015

    None of the links to the carb cycling options are working!

    • Team Powell - January 26, 2015

      I just checked them, and they’re all working. So sorry you’re having issues – please try again.

  202. Rinn - January 13, 2015

    Can I use Flavored Fat Free/No Sugar added creamer for coffee on the turbo carb cycling?

    • Team Powell - January 13, 2015

      Flavored fat free/no sugar added creamer is not on the approved foods list, but if you must use it, be sure and include those calories in your daily calorie total and use as little as possible. Happy carb cycling!

  203. Paula - January 11, 2015

    Can you give more specific measurement information how much protein/fiber/carbs you need for each meal? That is, what % I should look for on food labels?

    Thank you.

  204. michelle - January 3, 2015

    Hi Heidi,

    I read Chris’s book on carb cycling and maybe I missed it, but are the portion sizes supposed to be the same for all 5 meals?

    Thank you!

  205. André - January 2, 2015

    Hello Heidi!

    I’m a fan from Brazil and EWL inspired me to lose some pounds (about 100) and I’ve also bought Chris’ Choose More, Lose More…I read it all in 2 days! Very motivating!

    However, I have a question about the cycles. I’m doin’ the Turbo one and my problem is the snacks (before lunch and before dinner) on LC days. You guys said “no carbs on LC, except breakfast”, right? But, what about a protein shake? Can I have it for snack? It has some grams of carbs, doesn’t it?

    I read the “pumpkin-pie-protein-shake” recipe and it has 10 grams of carbs… can I have it for snack?

    Thanks very very much!

    • Team Powell - January 2, 2015

      You can have protein shakes on low carb days – just make sure your powder/shake has 15-20 grams of protein and less than 5 grams of carbs per servings. And yes, you can have the pumpkin pie protein shake on a low carb day. Happy carb cycling!

  206. Kay - December 27, 2014

    Thank you so much for all of the information, books, and TV show. I get encouraged when I see the transformations. I am 5ft 2 inches tall female, age mid 40’s, weighing 270 pounds. I want with the help of your books and website this to be the year I transform. I am American but live overseas in a developing country, for my job, so eating can be a challenge. I bought a lot of protein powder to take back with me after Christmas.

    If the nutrition label says 1 scoop protein powder=120 calories, do I reduce my fat allowance to make up the extra 20 calories? I plan on using natural peanut butter for the fat since it is cheap and easy to buy where I live.

    Happy New Year 2015!

    • Team Powell - December 28, 2014

      No, you’ll just keep track of the calories, and make sure you only eat 1200 calories on low carb days and 1500 calories on high carb days. Happy carb cycling – you can do this!

  207. laura - December 16, 2014

    I am 5 ft 2, 130 pounds and Id like to be 115. I eat fairly decent. oatmeal or eggs, or yogurt for breakfast. sometimes a breakfast sandwich. a coffee with just milk (skim) or or 2 T. creamer.
    I drink water or green tea or unsweetened tea. for lunch ill have a protein of meat and a veggie. or rice meat and a veggie. or a wrap with chicken or turkey. sometimes a salad with a protein. snacks are mostly fruit or sometimes nuts. dinner is normally whatever we have at home, just in moderation. . I cant seem to lose… I do walk at my job and I do try to work out whenever possible…help!? is it stress? or am I eating wrong? I do splurge on weekends with pizza, but like 2 pieces and beer. …is that whats weekends? I don’t hardly ever eat cakes cookies or any of that anymore. only a birthday. should I cut our breads? I do eat some with breakfast sandwich or a wrap with lunch….or a roll for hamburger for dinner. I do try to choose fat free or whole wheat for dairy and bread products.

    is adding cottage cheese to my eggs too much with a wrap for breakfast?
    breakfast egg white on English muffin ..bad?

    yogurt, fruit, a meat and veggie…too much for lunch?


    • Team Powell - December 16, 2014

      Try Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling plan as outlined in this post, and you can find their complete program in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” Everything you’ll need to know and do – both for nutrition and exercise – is outlined for you on a daily basis. All you have to do is follow the plan! Here’s another post that might help too: You can do this! 🙂

  208. Jody - December 9, 2014


    I am thinking of buying the Choose to Loose book. Is it recommended that I buy the Choose more, loose more for Life book also?

    So does book 2 consist of book 1+extra info/recipes or is book 1 totally independent of book 2? In that case, should I start following book 1 and then book 2?

    Please help, I’m lost!

    • Team Powell - December 9, 2014

      I’d suggest buying “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” It has four carb cycles (an update from “Choose to Lose”), as well as an updated exercise program. Both books have different recipes, so if you’d like the extra recipes, you could also buy the first book. But everything you need to know program-wise is in “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” Happy carb cycling!

  209. Lauren Maccarone - December 3, 2014

    Hi my name is Lauren, I am 17 years old and I am really trying to loose weight. In the beginning of summer 2013 I weighted 181.4 pounds which was my heaviest point at the time. I finally decided to go on a diet with my cousin who was younger than me. At the end of the summer I was 163.0 and my cousin lost all of the weight she needed (lucky her), I still had to loose more weight, Then school started and I stopped my daily schedule with working out, & I was with my friends & ate foods that weren’t good for me. Now, I am a senior in high school and I currently weight 197.5 pounds. I’ve never been so disappointed in my life. I feel like I don’t know how to loose weight correctly because I try to eat healthy and I feel like it’s so hard. Much harder than when I went on the diet with my cousin. I don’t feel like I have a schedule and I certainly don’t know what to eat because if I eat healthy I feel like I am eating the same thing all the time. Any Advice? I would love your input!

    • Team Powell - December 4, 2014

      Hi Lauren: It is so difficult to be a teen these days! You are constantly bombarded with images and advice on how and what you should do and be and look like, and most are very unrealistic. Heidi has addressed the teens and body image issue in this amazing post on this blog: In this post, she offers lots of helpful suggestions for both teens and those with teens in their lives, and I hope you can find some ideas that will help you develop healthy habits that will benefit you your entire life! And please discuss your health-related concerns with a parent or someone close to you – a support system can be such an awesome resource as you’re working to achieve your health and fitness goals. Here’s another thing that might help you on your journey to get and stay healthy. One awesome tool Chris and Heidi use with every client is to make and keep a small, simple promise to yourself every day. This is truly a key to achieving any goal! Learn about the process here: What will your first promise be today? Make and keep that one, then make and keep one tomorrow, and so on. It works! You can do this! 🙂

  210. Cathy W - December 1, 2014

    I would like to do the carb cycling but right off I have a problem with the timing. I am on Synthroid and have been told not to eat for 2 hours before taking it and then to wait 4 hours after. That means that I cannot eat for 6 straight hours in the morning (told to switch to AM instead of PM to take it). I currently eat, wait 2 hours, take medicine, and then wait 4 hours until lunch. Is there any way to still do the carb cycling around this schedule? Would like to do the fit carb cycling as I already have issues with energy.

    • Team Powell - December 1, 2014

      Yes, you can still carb cycle. Just do the best you can with your medication schedule – it’s more important to take your medications as recommended. You can do this!

    • Kathy - May 7, 2015

      Cathy, I would ask my doctor for clarification. I have been on synthroid for 18 years and never go 6 hours without eating. I believe this if for when specified foods are eaten.
      Here are the directions that come with my pills:

      Take Synthroid as a single dose, preferably on an empty stomach, 30 minutes to 1 hour before breakfast.

      Take Synthroid alone. Some foods may cause your body to absorb less Synthroid, including infant soy formula, cottonseed meal, walnuts, and high-fiber foods. Your dose of Synthroid may need to be adjusted if you consume these foods.

      Some medications or supplements can make Synthroid less effective if taken at the same time. So it’s best to take Synthroid 4 hours before or after you take these things. Some examples are iron products, calcium supplements, or antacids.

      Again, I would check with the doctor.

  211. Jackie - November 20, 2014

    I agree and understand with carb cycling, it does work….. When you have a lifestyle that allows for it. I know the Powell Pack travels a lot and they probably can make it work while traveling, but what about people who travel for a living? I am a fligjt attendant. I cannot just stop every 3 hours and eat. I am sometimes workong a 15hour day and dont have time for meals. We don’t get “breaks” in the air or even in between flights most days. Sometimes I can grab a (VERY quick) snack like a handful of fruit or veggies when I get 30seconds to breathe before a call light goes off. How does someone like me make carb cycling work?

    • Team Powell - November 21, 2014

      Yes, it can be difficult with a schedule such as yours, but just do the best you can, and grab your snacks when you can. And even though you might not be able to follow the every 3 hours schedule, just make sure that everything you can eat is healthy. It sounds like you’re already doing a great job with that! And remember that protein is key. 🙂

    • Léa - November 26, 2014

      Hey!! I’m a 22 year old woman boxer 🙂 I have high intensity training 3 times a week for about 1h30-2h, and also one sparring session (8 rounds) each week.
      I would like to loose some weight in order to compete in a lighter category but I don’t want to compromise my strength ; would Card Cycling be a good solution for me? And which program do you recommend? Also, should a have high carb day on training days or one resting days?
      Thank you!

    • Team Powell - November 26, 2014

      I’d try the Fit Cycle since you do workout intensely. With the Fit Cycle, you have two high carb days followed by one low carb day, twice a week, plus your Reward Day, and this cycle is designed for those who do work out intensely. If you do find that you need to, you can schedule your training days on whichever days work best for you. And you can change cycles at any time too. Happy carb cycling!

  212. Jackie T - November 19, 2014

    I have a question in relation to the eating 30 minutes after you wake up and then every 3 hours go-forward.

    While this works GREAT for me 4-5 days a week, I struggle the other few. The challenge is that I commute a long distance for work a few days a week where I’m up at 4:30 AM and then in transit for a few hours. At that hour, I REALLY don’t feel like eating – especially since I’ll often nap during the first part of the commute. Plus – I end up getting home late and working out late that night (it’s a LONG day).

    Would you recommend still eating a full meal within 30 minutes of waking on those days? I’m also afraid if I adhered to the eating every three hours and sticking to 5 meals that I’d run out of meals well before it’s time to refuel before/after my 8 PM workouts.

    Any guidance is SUPER appreciated! 🙂

    • Team Powell - November 20, 2014

      While it’s best to stick to the eating program as outlined, it’s okay to tweak the schedule a bit if you need to due to your own schedule. You can eat that first meal later, but then stick to the every 3 hours schedule the rest of the day.

    • Jackie - November 20, 2014

      Jackie- are you also a flight attendant (who commutes to base?)

  213. Stacy Biggs - November 17, 2014

    I am having a really hard time coming up with different recipes. Any suggestions? I would love for Chris and Heidi to come out with a carb-cycling cookbook with nothing but recipes!!

    • Team Powell - November 17, 2014

      There are lots of awesome recipes in both books: “Choose to Lose” and “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” Check ’em out!

  214. Nikki - November 15, 2014

    I need to lose weight for my wedding in May. Im not overweight, I am 9 stone but am only 5ft4 and hold most of my weight on my hips and thighs. Most especially the inner thigh. My question is which plan would be best for me to combat the weight on my legs and drop approximately 10lb?

    • Team Powell - November 15, 2014

      Unfortunately, you really can’t spot reduce. It’s best to follow a great nutrition and whole body exercise program, like in carb cycling. As to which cycle you choose, that depends on your schedule, and how well you’ll stick to the program. The Turbo cycle drops weight the fastest, and the Easy Cycle is a great beginning cycle. And remember, you can change cycles at any time. Happy carb cycling!

  215. Brooke - November 14, 2014

    Hi! I asked a question about bars for high carb days. I realize that they all vary so with that in mind do have any suggestions on amount of carbs/protein/fat to look for in bars? It would really help for my buys work days when I can’t get a full meal or snack.


    • Team Powell - November 16, 2014

      Hi Brooke: Great question! I’m working on getting some very specific guidelines for you, and I’ll reply to this comment when I receive them. Thank you for your patience. 🙂

    • Team Powell - November 18, 2014

      Hi Brooke! Here’s the information you were asking about: For low carb meals, Chris and Heidi prefer Quest and Kind + Protein bars. They have some carbs on the label, but since most of these carbs are dietary fiber, they are actually what we call “non-impact carbs,” and these carbs don’t count. They also have a good amount of protein and fat—perfect for low carb meals! For high carb days, they recommend Think Thin, Cliff Builder, and Larabar protein bars, 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.

  216. Julie - November 4, 2014

    Hi. .I’m having trouble meeting 1200 calories on my low carb days..ESPECIALLY if I include the loss of calories through exercise and strength training. I’m trying to make sure I have 100 calories each of protein and a fat at each of the five meals. ..but if I get a deficit of 400 calories because of exercise I’m confused on how I should make them up…more protein? More healthy fat?

    • Julie - November 4, 2014

      Or can I just NOT make them up? Would i drop my weight faster?

    • Team Powell - November 7, 2014

      You don’t want to eat back any calories burned through exercising – those add to your daily calorie deficit which leads to lost pounds.

  217. Stacy - November 2, 2014

    what carb cycle program should we follow if we want to gain muscle?

    • Team Powell - November 2, 2014

      The exercise program is the same for all four carb cycles, so pick the one that best fits your goals, how quickly you want to lose any weight, and your schedule. Happy carb cycling!

    • Stacy - November 2, 2014

      but what cycle should we do if we want to gain muscle?

  218. Brooke - November 2, 2014

    Do you have any suggestions for a protein bar for high carb days?

    • Team Powell - November 2, 2014

      Since every bar can be different (even those by the same manufacturer), you’ll have to check each label for fat and carb content.

  219. Erica - November 1, 2014

    Hello!! I am super excited to start carb cycling but I am a little lost on where to start. I am 5’6 190lbs and I am weight training with a trainer 3x a week in addition to cardio 30-60 min 5x a week. Would the Turbo Cycle be beneficial or would I need to have my weight training days be high carb days?? Thanks in advance!!!!

    • Team Powell - November 2, 2014

      You could try the Turbo Cycle and see how it goes. Some people don’t have an issue weight training on low carb days, and some actually do better if the day before their weight training days are high carb days. And remember, you can change cycles at any time. Happy carb cycling!

  220. Julie - November 1, 2014

    Hi! I started your plan 3 weeks ago and I’ve only lost 1 lb. I always lose weight VERY easily and I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. I keep looking over my food diary and it’s on plan. The only thing I see is that I’m eating way too much sodium on my low carb days. (I guess eggs have a lot of sodium). For some reason I seem to be lighter after my high carb days. Any clue to what I may be doing wrong?

    • Team Powell - November 1, 2014

      Hmmm…let’s try and figure this out. Which cycle are you following? Yes, sodium can retain water, and it can take your body a bit of time to adjust to a new way of doing things overall. The speed at which you lose your weight can depend on how much weight you need to lose, and the more you have to lose, the more quickly you should lose it. Also, how is your exercise going? How much exercise are you getting in a day? Here’s a post that might help you figure things out a bit: And while we really don’t count calories in carb cycling, you might want to do this for a bit to make sure nutrition is spot on. A few extra calories here and there really can make a difference, so shoot for 1200 on low carb days and 1500 on high carb days. And there’s an awesome graphic in this post (as well as some other helpful info) that will help you double check how you’re putting together your meals: One last thing: Are you drinking half your body weight in ounces of water every day (200 lbs = 100 oz)? I hope this helps, and please don’t give up – you can do this!

  221. Blaire - October 29, 2014

    Sorry if this is a double post but I have a question about Quest Bars. I’ve read that they are a good option for low carb days but I guess I’m confused on whether they count as a protein and fat or just a protein. Any clarification would be great! Thanks!

    • Team Powell - October 30, 2014

      Great question! They count as both your protein and your fat. Happy carb cycling!

  222. Jessica - October 27, 2014

    I am so excited to start carb cycling! I just finished reading the book and I am working on laying out the next 6 weeks. I run Biggest Loser Challenges here in Arizona and our 4th round just started. I am excited to have a plan for this round.
    On Days that I do crossfit or zumba, would I count that as my Shredder?
    I have 30-40 lbs to lose and would love to get it off by February so we can go see our fertility dr and hopefully get this body pregnant! 🙂 Anyway, Just want to make sure I do this right to get the best results and get closer to a healthy me. Thanks!!

    • Team Powell - October 27, 2014

      Yes, any type of cardio is considered your Shredders. Happy carb cycling!

  223. Stephanie - October 27, 2014

    I’ve just started the program and have been struggling with breakfast – alittle. I get the protein and good part but the spray butter – would this be something (in moderation) that I can also use? Otherwise I’ll have some very dry toast and/or english muffin. Thank you in advance – love the program thus far.

    • Team Powell - October 27, 2014

      Yes, spray butter is totally acceptable (in moderation). 🙂

  224. Sueli - October 22, 2014

    Hello! I´m from Brazil and I´m starting this program to my benefits, to get a better life.
    Thanks for sharing!

  225. Jennifer - October 22, 2014

    I currently wake at 5am and workout by 530/545 each morning because it is the only time of day I can get in a workout… will it be ok to eat my first meal post workout which would be about 90 minutes after waking?

    • Team Powell - October 22, 2014

      Here’s a post about eating and working out: Hope it helps!

    • Jennifer - October 23, 2014

      Thank you! One more question, today was my first low carb day and I am having a hard time reaching 1200 calories, I have all of my food logged for the day and I’m sitting at 850, should I bulk up my meals more to reach 1200 or add a few more snacks?

    • Team Powell - October 23, 2014

      Are you eating the veggies (the non-root/non-starchy type) with every meal on your low carb days? Are you eating the correct portion sizes? There’s an awesome graphic (as well as some other great info) in this post that might help: If you have either book, there’s also an approved foods list that is broken out into 100 calorie portions that might also help you get enough calories. Happy carb cycling!

  226. Karen - October 21, 2014

    My family and I have been doing your classic carb cycling for about 6 weeks and we have all had great results. The one problem we have is finding low carb recipes. I have both of your books and prepar majority of thoserecipes. Will you be putting out a low carb recipe book anytime soon. If not do you recommend any?

    • Team Powell - October 21, 2014

      We’re so happy you all are enjoying carb cycling! Heidi’s not working on a cookbook right now, and I really don’t have any to recommend. However, any recipe that has protein and healthy fats should be a good option.

    • Lenna O - October 21, 2014


  227. Lisa Fink - October 21, 2014

    I just started the Carbo Cycling this week but I eat a vegan diet. I used legumes as a source of protein in my everyday diet but they are listed as a Carbohydrate for purposes of the carbo cycling. Is it okay to still use legumes as a source of protein instead or a carbohydrate since I am limited on the types of protein I can eat?

    • Team Powell - October 21, 2014

      Even though you follow a vegan diet, legumes are still considered carbs for carb cycling purposes. The protein vegan options Chris and Heidi recommend are tofu, tempeh, and TVP. Hope that helps. 🙂

    • Shari - October 22, 2014

      I am in the same boat as Lisa. I am vegan and typically eat mostly fruits, veggies, and beans/legumes. I use soy/tofu, tempeh, and TVP occasionally but don’t like eating it (feels like processed food) several times a day.

    • Donita - November 19, 2014

      I too am vegan and don’t like to use soy very often.

    • Melissa - March 5, 2015

      Vegan carb cycling without soy feels impossible.

    • Jessica - May 12, 2015

      What about seitan? It’s high protein and appears to be low carb. Made at home it can have very minimal ingredients. Would that be a good alternative to soy products?

  228. Michelle Sterling - October 21, 2014

    I hope this question reaches you. I am excited to start my weight loss journey with you. I have been reading up on the carb cycling and for the most part I get it. I do have a question about recipes; how do I or can I incorporate recipes that I would normally make into my day? For example I make a quinoa salad that my kids and I really enjoy. I am really confused about using my favorite recipes and knowing how to count it. Thank you for your help!!

    • Team Powell - October 21, 2014

      You’ll simply go through the ingredients in your recipes and see if there are proteins, carbs, veggies, and/or healthy fats. You can use the approved foods list in the book to help you figure out the amounts of each to know how to count them towards a carb cycling meal. If a recipe has a protein and a carb, then it’s a high carb option. If it has a protein and a healthy fat, then it’s a low carb option. If it has a protein, a carb, and a healthy fat, then it’s a reward day/meal option. And check out this post for some awesome carb-related info as well as a handy graphic: Happy carb cycling!

  229. Shantel - October 21, 2014

    I am extremely interested in carb cycling. I like that you seem to stick to whole foods which is something I am very passionate about. I have PCOS which is why I want to start. I however have Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy that is pretty significant. I cannot do more than walking unless I can get my heart healthy again. Do you know a good way to start lifting without putting pressure on my heart?

    • Team Powell - October 21, 2014

      I’d suggest you discuss the exercise part of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program with your healthcare team to see what modifications need to be made so you can reach your goals and stay safe at the same time. You can do this!

  230. Sissa - October 20, 2014

    Hello there,

    I’m about to start carb cycling but I am not sure which of the cycles would fit me best…

    I’m a 20 year old girl, vegetarian, 5’8 ft tall, 148 lbs and I workout 5-6x a week, (3-4x strength training, 6x cardio), aiming to loose weight.
    Which of the cycles should I follow?
    Thanks a lot 🙂

  231. Marcia Brown - October 19, 2014

    Hi, Heidi!

    I am a type II diabetic. I have my A1C checked every three months. My last A1C was 6.1 which I managed to lower eating healthier and losing about 15-20 pounds over about 7 months. I would like to lose about 35-40 more pounds which would put me at about 140-145. I just turned 64 this month. Which of the carb cycles would be beneficial to me without sending my sugar levels into overdrive? I do not check my sugars during the day as suggested by my doctor. I get about an hour or more of exercise Monday through Friday which includes weights and/or cardio. (Cardio every week day)

  232. AJ - October 11, 2014

    Everyone seems to be getting good advice here. I’ve been trying to get some guidance on the carb cycling. How many carb grams would be considered a low day or high day for a middle age female that is a very easy keeper?

    • Team Powell - October 12, 2014

      In carb cycling we don’t count grams, we count portions. There’s an awesome graphic (as well as some other great info) in this post: The graphic will outline how to put together every meal in carb cycling – both low and high carb. Happy carb cycling!

    • AJ - October 12, 2014

      Thanks for the chart but I’m a very detailed analytical person and I have to put the numbers to it; I will try to uncover some other rocks.

  233. carrie basham - October 11, 2014

    Do you have a sample menu for those just getting started and need the extra help with menu planning in the beginning.

    • Team Powell - October 11, 2014

      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 ortion 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.

  234. dawn - October 11, 2014

    Where can I find your book carb cycling. Have a real hard time losing weight. Need to lose at least 130lbs for my height.

  235. crystal ray - October 7, 2014

    Could you start the carb cycling plans while pregnant?? I’m currently 20 weeks pregnant but I am overweight. I don’t want to do anything to harm my baby, but I’ve heard of women who lose weight while pregnant and still have healthy babies.

    • Team Powell - October 7, 2014

      Here’s a blog post that outlines Heidi’s pregnancy/breastfeeding nutrition program: And it’s best to discuss this, or any nutrition program, with your healthcare team first while pregnant or breastfeeding. And congratulations on your pregnancy – that’s awesome!

    • Keri - October 13, 2014

      Hi! I just started carb cycling today actually! My hubby and I are doing it together. I have around 77 lbs to lose, give or take. I have 5 children ages 10, 8, 7, 4, and the baby is 16 months. I got gestational diabetes with EACH ONE

  236. Danielle K - October 5, 2014

    I just got Choose More, Lose More and plan to start the turbo cycle tomorrow (I’ve been on a very low carb diet for the past 3 months and just need something more sustainable for the rest of my life). I noticed on the low carb days, you recommend having a carb with breakfast only. Would it be ok to save that one carb to have after my workout? I usually go to the gym before lunch and I’ve heard it can be good to give your muscles carbs after a workout, so I was hoping to eat my carb with lunch instead of at breakfast.

    • Team Powell - October 5, 2014

      Here’s a post that talks about eating and working out: On low carb days, it’s best to have that carb with breakfast, but you can have veggies (the non-root/non-starchy type) with every meal. Or maybe try a protein bar like a quest bar? The carbs in these bars are considered to be negative carbs, so they’re a great option for low carb meals. Happy carb cycling!

  237. Nora - October 5, 2014

    Is it possible to do to turbo cycle, but have a reward meal on each high carb day instead of a whole reward day?

  238. Bobbi Adwell - October 3, 2014

    First let me say that I adore you both! I have read Chris’ first book and I never miss your show…it’s always very inspiring. I have been thinking about giving carb cycling a try but I have a question about breakfast. You say that you should eat within 30 min of waking but what if you workout first thing in the morning? My CrossFit class starts at 5:30 so it’s very difficult to get a meal in before class, not to mention I usually don’t feel good if I eat before a workout. What should I do???

  239. Aiden Wolfe - October 2, 2014

    My partner has us on the classic carb cycling. I am a type 1 diabetic. While I am dropping weight at an astounding rate, I am on a blood sugar roller coaster. It has only been a month since we started so I am hoping at some point it evens out. (Started 259 (9/01) – Today 233 (10/02). I am thinking longer cardio workouts on high carb days and shorter on low carb days. We shall see.

  240. Leonte - September 29, 2014

    Hello Heidi,

    Since May of this year I have been living a HFLC lifestyle – to date I have lost 15.1kgs. Don’t get me wrong, I love the plan. But it really doesn’t allow for any lenience.

    My question is, would I benefit from carb cycling if I have been living a HFLC lifestyle already? Carb cycling seems so much more liveable.



    • Team Powell - September 29, 2014

      Heidi and Chris’ carb cycling program has been proven to work over and over again, so give it a try!

  241. Charlotte W - September 19, 2014

    Hey there,
    I’m on Turbo cycling, and i have almost four days of weight training. How can I do weight training on low-carb days ? And i’ve been thinking about No-carb, Low-carb, High carb cycling ? do you guys recommend that kind of cycling ? (since i’ve seen other athletes are doing this..)
    Also, I am living at dorm, thus there’s no possible way to prepare 5 meals a day… Is it okay to have 3 meals a day, but also make a complement to carb-cycling?
    One more question please, on low or high-carb day, if i feel very hungry after a meal…is it okay to have extra vegetable (not starchy kinds) …? and as i saw the Chris Powell’s approved food list, regarding to the beverage section, is it include the meals ? or in between the meals ?

    I’m quite confident about this approach, just lots of questions though…


    • Michele - October 1, 2014

      I’m no expert, but with all the changes and exceptions you’re wanting to make, it’s not even the same plan; it won’t work at all the same. I’m not trying to be rude, but this is exactly why our country is so fat and unhealthy ( & this is coming from someone 6’0″ & 478lbs so I’m not pointing any fingers!!). We beg our experts to find the secrets and then pay BILLIONS of dollars every year to have them impart their knowledge to us; but when they come back saying “If you want to lose weight, do this…exactly THIS.”, we whine and fidget and ask “Where can I fudge the rules. She specifically says that for this plan to work “Eat 5 meals a day; no more, no less”. That doesn’t sound like there’s ANY wiggle room there. Do I understand that you live in a dorm & it’s difficult to prepare meals at all, much less 5 times a day?! Yes. But your body is not a jury you can plead your case and explain your situation to. It is like asking a fire not to burn. No amount of pleading & no matter how great your reasoning is (it will be very bad if you continue, Mr. Fire. You’re about to burn down a forest…); in order to be successful on this plan that’s what you have to do. So guess what? THIS PLAN IS NOT FOR YOU! THIS PLAN DOES NOT FIT YOUR LIFESTYLE! I’m not trying to pick on you or single you out, there are millions just like you (me!) out there that literally want our cake and eat it too! Until we realize we have to follow very specific laws of nature to achieve optimal health, wellness, & the body we want, we will never meet out goals.

    • Team Powell - October 1, 2014

      The entire exercise schedule is outlined for all the cycles, so you’ll simply need to follow it. You can eat half your meal before you work out and half after, if that helps. In order for the carb cycling program to work, you really need to follow all aspects of it. You might need to be creative, but you can find ways to work in 5 meals a day with a crazy schedule or living situation. And yes, you can have a portion of veggies (the non-root/non-starchy type) with every single meal if you’d like. The beverage section can be worked in throughout your day as you see fit (just don’t over-do it, make sure they don’t put you over your daily calorie limit, and make sure you’re getting all the portions in for your meals every day), but always remember to get in your daily water allotment (1/2 your body weight in ounces – 150 lbs = 75 oz.). Hope that helps!

  242. Ashlyn Jones - September 18, 2014

    I have been watching your show extreme weight loss since the first episode ever. You and your wife and the stories are so inspiring!! I never struggled with my weight till after I had my son who is now 4 1/2 years old. 6 weeks after he was born I had to get my gull bladder removed and I gained weight. Even though not a lot compared to some of the cases from the show but I got up to 200 lbs and held the weight for 2 years. The first time I watched your show it inspired me to work out and I have maintained my weight at 170 lbs with some muscle for the past year. But I still have a goal to lose 30lbs more. And I am not giving up, Just have to tell you guys I get so pumped when I see the transformations. So thank you for existing and being such a motivation in my life!

  243. Joy S. - September 18, 2014

    I am just about to start the classic plan. I work out more strenuously on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Should I aim for those days being my “high-carb” days?

    • Team Powell - September 18, 2014

      You can move the schedule around to fit your needs, but you’ll need to keep the days (high and low carb, etc.) in the same order. Happy carb cycling!

  244. Melissa B. - September 18, 2014

    Hey Guys! I am just starting my carb cycling today! I did have a question though.. When is a good time to weigh yourself? I have Chris’s book but unfortunately it is packed up for our move (Army Family) so I just wanted to ask real quick 🙂 Keeping track of my weight loss is a huge motivator for me so I wasn’t sure when the best day would be to do that, also I am doing the Turbo Cycle if that makes a difference! Thank you guys so much for all of the info. and encouragement! God Bless!


    • Team Powell - September 18, 2014

      With every cycle but the Fit Cycle, you weigh yourself first thing in the morning on day 6. For the Fit Cycle, you weigh yourself first thing in the morning on day 7. 🙂

  245. Dawn - September 18, 2014

    Hello Heidi,
    My question is regarding the first meal of the day on your carb cycling plan. I get up very early to train but find that eating a meal before working tends to make me feel sick or nausous. Is it nessecary to eat first thing in the morning on this plan or can I eat following my workout?

    • Avril - September 18, 2014

      I wonder the same thing and haven’t really gotten a definitive answer. I do cardio first thing in the morning (isn’t that good to burn thru the stored glycogen, I’m told???) and THEN eat. OR, sometimes – I’ve read that people do this – I eat half my meal (so just a little to get the engine/metabolism going) and the other half after work out. I’m interested to see what others say…..

    • Char - September 19, 2014

      I’ve been wondering the same thing about breakfast before a big workout. I will often just have a half of a banana. Then have other half in protein shake after. Always wondered what my best option is. Very little time.

    • Team Powell - September 19, 2014

      You can totally do this, in fact, that’s what Heidi does!

  246. Jon - September 17, 2014

    Heidi, Thanks for the advice I am desperate I am now at an all time high of 458lbs and am scared that I am starting to loose the ability to physically change. I really appreciate all the information and you and Chris put out there for people.

    • Kay - April 12, 2015

      You can change. Maybe you can’t do so much exercise so go to youtube and look at exercise for people in wheelchairs. Little steps and making everyday decisions lead up to big, positive changes in the long run. I also had to remove all the food from my house except for non-carb foods. When I need food for the high carb days I buy that same day single portions of fruit to use. Don’t lose hope, you can do this.

  247. Geetha Sridhar - September 17, 2014

    Will this diet pattern work for a vegetarian who will not eat fish, eggs and meats.

    • Team Powell - September 17, 2014

      It can. You can choose tempeh, tofu, and texturized vegetable protein (TVP) as your protein sources.

    • Avril - September 18, 2014

      I’m vegan! It works!!! I use Vega (it’s vegan, low in carbs, fat and cals and high in protein ) protein powder, 2 oz tempeh or 4 oz of tofu as my protein options. IT WORKS! Not a ton of of options for protein being vegan, but so what! Can also use seitan and other protein ‘meat-type’ substitutes.

  248. Jessica - September 17, 2014

    what are the amount of carb that you should have on a high carb day vs a low carb day?

    • Team Powell - September 17, 2014

      In carb cycling we really don’t count carbs or grams of carbs, we count portion sizes. There’s an awesome graphic that will help you put together both low and high carb meals, as well as some other great carb-related info, in this post: 🙂

    • Avril - September 18, 2014

      I did the math using the MyFitnessPal ap based on the amounts they give on the 100 calorie list in the Choose More Lose More book. Just to get a rough estimate of amounts, I plugged in for a high carb day: 3.5 oz of grilled boneless/skinless chicken breast, 1/2 C long grain brown rice, 2 C romaine lettuce plus 1/2 C of steamed broccoli and 1/2 C of steamed mushrooms (and 2T of chili sauce as the side). I MULTIPLIED THIS MEAL TIMES FIVE to come up with basic/rough amounts for a HIGH CARB day.

      Here’s what I came up with in grams :
      Total Cals – 1504,
      Total CARBS – 153,
      Total FAT – 22,
      Total PROTEIN – 164,
      (sodium – 1938 and sugars – 19)

      I used a typical meal for my low carb day (subbed chicken for tempeh/tofu since I’m vegan) and multiplied times 5 to come up with estimate for amounts for
      LOW CARB Days – and here’s what I came up with *(see below for the meal I used, FYI):

      Total Cals – 1233,
      Total CARBS – 75,
      Total FAT – 56,
      Total PROTEIN – 156,
      (sodium – 2497 and sugars – 13)

      This is MY math and my trying to figure it out for myself so keep that in mind. I also happen to be vegan so the chicken isn’t something I eat – just used it as an example. Here’s the meal I used for a low carb day, for above (and multiplied times 5): 3.5 oz of chicken breast grilled/skinless/boneless, 1 C steamed cauliflower, 1 C romaine lettuce, 1 C spinach, I used 1T of tobacco as side, and a combo of avocado (1C) and mozerella (2 oz) as the fats

  249. Pamela A - September 17, 2014

    Just started carb cycling love it so far. Have lost 60 before starting but stopped losing any more weight. I have a question on the meals. How many proteins and fats and carbs do we get each meal?

  250. Kelly - September 17, 2014

    Hi Chris & Heidi!

    I’ve been working with the BEST group and have tried Carb Cycling but feel so much better on a Vegan-ish diet. Do you have any suggestions or potential plan for Vegans?



    • Team Powell - September 17, 2014

      There are some vegan options in carb cycling, and if you don’t have Chris and Heidi’s book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life,” you can get their free approved food list when you sign up for Chris’ free enewsletter at Enter your email address in the “Join the Transformation” section, hit “Join,” and you’ll be give a link to download the food guide. 🙂

    • Avril - September 18, 2014

      Tempeh (2 oz), Protein Powders (I use Vega and Hammer brands: Low in fat, cals and carbs and high in protein), tofu (4 oz), seitan or other meat replacements…. Also, if you’re “vegan-ISH” and occasionally eat eggs, doing egg whites here and there adds to the variety too! I’m vegan and also feel better sticking to a vegan diet. Carb cycling is conducive for sure. 🙂

  251. Nikki - September 17, 2014

    Powells first I want to say I love u guys and second I wanted to ask some questions I am doing the turbo cycle and I started two weeks ago at 387 pounds and have gotten down to 371 pounds on my reward day I gained 3 pounds even though I kept count of my calories and portions sizes four days later I finally lost that 3 pounds but I seem to just be balancing on a beam my mom is on this with me and is actually gaining weight what am I doing wrong I follow the book do everything the right way follow schedule both me and my mom do a little walking I have bad knees she has bad hips and neither one of us is able to really work out hard like the people on the show we keep our calories between 1200 and 1400 and twice now I have been stuck in one spot for days and my mom keeps gaining she started and 317 was down to 307 the Saturday before last this Saturday she was at 304 and the doctor weighed her this morning and she is at 305.7 what is happening please help us so we can get back to losing weight

    • Team Powell - September 17, 2014

      First of all, make sure you’re following the Turbo Cycle exactly (especially since you can’t move as much as you’d like to), make sure you’re eating 1200 calories on low carb days and 1500 calories on high carb days, and that you are eating up to 1000 extra calories on your reward days. And don’t forget to do the slingshot week every 4th week. Since you’re not able to exercise as much as you’d like to, I’d suggest discussing the exercise part of the program with your healthcare team to see what modifications can be made so you can move as much as possible. And since you’re not able to move as much as you’d like to, it will take a bit longer for you to lose the weight, but hang in there – it will happen! Also, remember to only weigh yourself on the morning of day 6. You got this! 🙂

  252. Paula Stafford - September 17, 2014

    Have you guys considered doing a spiral bound notebook with all of this broken down? I’ve read the book and all, but still find it confusing, but if I could just plug in my food and workouts in an informative notebook that you guys put together….that part of this process would be so much easier….just a thought….I’d love to buy one myself!

  253. Donna Krause - September 17, 2014

    Hi Heidi,
    I have struggled w/ my weight since age 7 (now 41) I had a few times in my life where I lost a significant amount but as always, it eventually came back on plus some. Now at my highest weight ever, 275 I am again struggling. For my entire life food was an event for me (I’m Italian) and I remember my grandmother being so passionate as she was cooking and eating. Well the last 5 years have turned my extreme love of food into an addiction. Bingeing at times. I can’t get more than 3-4 days into my diet and I give in. All I think about is when I get to eat again so when I am trying to eat right those thoughts are even stronger. Then I’m so miserable and ashamed…’s a cycle I just can’t seem to break. I bought Chris’ most recent book when it firrst came out back after I wasn’t chosen for your show but I just can’t seem to get my head straight even though I have SUCH a STRONG desire to change my life. I watched this last season and cried during each of them. I saw something in everyone of them that I struggle with and was so jealous of the help the had from you. My husband would watch with me but I think he hoped it would help me get started again, I would hide behind my hands and cry for so many reason as I watched. So I sit here and think, do I have a question for you…….I think my question I ask each day is HOW does someone break this life-killing cycle I am on when they have to do it all by themselves? How do they do it when NO-ONE in their family views food the way they do and when you try to explain they just can’t grasp it? HOW do I figure out how to fix what is broken with me? I love all the work that they two of you do. I follow you on FB and Instagram and watch the shows & save the ones that touch me most praying that one day I will ‘get it together’ and be successful too. But I turned 41 last week, I’m not sure if I ever will. Thank you again for all that you do and if you are ever in Atlanta reach out and say Hello (I know but I just had to say it)

    • Team Powell - September 17, 2014

      Hi Donna: Here’s where you begin, and this is the first step Chris and Heidi take with every single contestant: You make and keep a small, simple promise to yourself every day. It sounds simple, but it works! Learn about the process here: What will your first promise be today? Make it, then keep it, then make and keep another one tomorrow, and so on. You can do this! 🙂

  254. Lisa - September 17, 2014

    I am on the sling shot week. I lost the first week, but gained weeks two and three. I am trusting that the sling shot week will work and that the first week of the next cycle will show a loss! I am getting frustrated, I have been doing everything the book says, I have the first book, and I am doing the exercises plus two nights a week I am going to a weight based exercise class. My clothes are looser but the scale is up.

    • Team Powell - September 17, 2014

      Yes, the slingshot week is a key to being successful. And remember, each body loses weight differently, sometimes it takes your body a bit of time to adjust to a new way of doing things, and there’s a lot more to it than the number on the scale. Loose clothes is a great sign! Be patient, follow your cycle exactly, and you should be good to go! 🙂

  255. Becca - September 17, 2014

    Hey team Powell!

    I am 27, bulimic AND obese! My treatment team last year suggested I not go on any diets or restricting any food groups to keep me from relapsing BUT I cannot stay this size forever! I want to so badly get down to a healthy size and I’ve relapsed but I feel like if I could get on this easy cycle it would be a nice slow pace for me to try and lose weight and create maybe healthier eating habits. I feel sad to go against what they say but I also KNOW that being this big is just as dangerous if not much worse. What do you think? Help please!!

    • Team Powell - September 17, 2014

      I’d suggest discussing the Easy Cycle with your treatment team and see what they think. They might say okay, okay with some modifications, or wait a bit longer, but no matter what, please be patient and follow their recommendations. Hope that helps! 🙂

  256. laci - September 17, 2014

    Hello- I started carb cycling in January I did fairly well then changed to after reading both of the books. I thn follow a diabetic diet for a class my doctor had me take. (I am not diabetic but do have pcos) Since January 13 I have lost 43 pounds. I exercise 5 days a week through jazzercise and do strenthusiasm training 1-2 hours a week (@ jazzercise). What I found tough to figure out is how much is the appropriate for low and high carb days. I am a number person so I can count calories and in the diabetic diet I was give a specific a number of carbs for each meal. So in carb cycling what is a carb goal for high carb day and a low carb day? And how much protien is the goal for the day?

  257. Ariel - September 17, 2014

    Heidi, I have tried to carb cycle and lose weight the only thing stopping me is I get very light headed and start to see dots (when on a lox carb day) that’s usually when I start to give up.. how do I fix that? (im trying to lose 30 lbs) thank you Ariel

    • Team Powell - September 17, 2014

      This can happen when you’re first trying carb cycling, and it should get better as your body gets used to a new way of doing things. Make sure you’re following your cycle exactly, make sure your portion sizes are right on, eat every 3 hours, drink all of your water, be sure to eat a high carb breakfast, and you should be okay.

  258. Tiffany - September 17, 2014

    Hello Powell Pack! I am a CrossFitter and currently attend my box 4-5 times a week. I have tried the Paleo diet, but I just can’t do it. It’s just too many limitations so I found your info on carb cycling. I am wanting to lose these last 12 pounds and lean out. What cycle would you suggest? I also go to the box at 5:30 am and I always workout fasting because if I eat within an hour before my workout I have stomach issues. How does that fit into cycling if I can’t eat within 30 minutes of waking? Thank you for your help!!

  259. Nathalie - September 17, 2014

    Hi Chris and Heidi!
    I’m interested in carb cycling, but i suffer from multiple food allergies and am vegetarian. My main protein sources are soy( not a big amount but i refuse to yield to the current misconceptions on the subject) , eggs, legumes and the meat sbstitutes such as veggie burgers and sausages( tofurky) , nuts and soy milk. I also use Garden Of Life Raw meal and proteins.
    Now, this beiing said, i balance the thyroïd with sea weed.
    Is there any way i CAN do carb cycling? I love this approach.
    Oh, forgot to tell you, i don’t have much weight to lose, 25 lbs.

    Thanks guys!

    • Team Powell - September 17, 2014

      Yes, you can still carb cycle. There’s an extensive approved foods list in Chris and Heidi’s book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life,” and you can get a free copy at Enter your email address in the “Join the Transformation” area, and when you hit “Join,” you’ll be given a download link. Happy carb cycling! 🙂

  260. CONNIE FRAZEE - September 17, 2014


  261. Greg - September 17, 2014

    Hello I am very overweight and on the verge of dying if I don’t change something now. I know this is way out there but I would like to speak to Chris. I know you can’t take on everyone as a client. But I need your help before it’s too late. 🙂

    • Team Powell - September 17, 2014

      Hi Greg! Casting for season 5 is closed, and you can find out about future casting calls at But you don’t need to wait for the show to begin your own transformation with the tools Chris and Heidi have provided for all of us to use. Check out their carb cycling program in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” The book contains their complete nutrition and exercise program, and it’s the same one they use on the show. It will teach you everything