Carb Cycling: The Easy Cycle

Do you have a hard time going without your favorite foods, but you still want to lose weight? Then the Easy Cycle is for you. In this cycle you alternate low-carb and high-carb days, and on every single high-carb day you can have a reward meal, as long as that meal isn’t your dinner meal.

That’s right, you can eat the foods you love—four days a week— and still reach your weight loss goals. And by favorite foods I mean pizza, ice cream, bacon, chocolate cake, cheesecake—they’re all okay. The power of this cycle is that if you get those favorite food cravings on low-carb days, you only have to wait until the next day to satisfy them. Anyone can do that! Success can be yours with this cycle.

How is this possible? First of all, you’ll be following the low-carb/high-carb eating plan for your non-reward meals, and the success of this pattern has been proven many times over. And even though you’ll be rewarding yourself, you’ll be rewarding yourself less often. Let’s say you usually eat seven servings of ice cream a week. With the Easy Cycle you’re already eliminating three bowls of ice cream a week, and that’s a lot of calories! You’re satisfying your cravings without depriving yourself, and losing weight.

Here’s what an Easy Cycle week looks like:

#CarbCycling: The Easy Cycle  #HeidiPowell #ChrisPowell #ChooseMoreLoseMoreforLife Learn more at

For all your meals, on both low and high-carb days, try and eat smaller portions than you would pre-carb cycle. The more calories you can cut, the faster you’ll lose that extra weight!

And yes, you won’t lose weight as quickly as you would in other cycles, but the important thing is that you will lose weight, and you’ll also be forming healthy habits that will last a lifetime. And when you’re ready, you can move onto another cycle if you want to. Or you can stay with the Easy Cycle throughout your weight loss journey. It’s totally up to you!

For more information on the Easy Cycle or any other cycle, check out my book, Choose More, Lose More for Life.


  1. Krystina Pellerano - February 14, 2015

    I have been doing turbo for a week. Do the low carb days get easier even after you do the high carb day and cheat or so you feel bad again like you did cutting carbs

    • Team Powell - February 14, 2015

      Yes, the low carb days will get easier. It just takes our bodies a bit of time to adjust to a new way of doing things. Hang in there, keep following the Turbo Cycle exactly, and you’ll be good to go! You can do this!

  2. michelle w. - December 28, 2014

    I don’t know which carb cycle to do, I practically live in my car for work. (sales) I am 38 5ft 4 & 178 pounds. I have had 3 kids and I weigh 25 pounds more then when I went into labor! (ages 20,15,9) I have gained 30 pounds since getting an IUD

    • Team Powell - December 29, 2014

      Choose whichever cycle will help you be successful at the beginning, and that will fit into your busy schedule. You can change cycles at any time! You can do this!

  3. Michele - October 19, 2014

    I am in Sales across 3 states and quite frankly can average 10-12 hours a day in my car in between customers. I travel thru Rural areas where the local food is a fast food chain and just can’t stand eating any of it. Most days I will not eat at all until dinner … I’m 47… My weight fluxuates between 20-30lbs over what I feel is a comfortable weight … I run 3-4 times per week normally and would love to work out again mostly to strength my leg muscles to reduce injury but I just don’t have the time. Between my grueling travel and poor food choices how can one of these carb cycling plans fit into my schedule?

    • Team Powell - October 20, 2014

      As far as fitting the nutrition part into your schedule, you can carry a small cooler in your car and stock it with many of the things on Chris and Heidi’s approved foods list. It will just take some advance planning. And as far as working out, fit it in anytime you can during your day. If your hotel has a fitness center, take advantage of it – even for short periods of time – anytime you can. And some fast food chains are now offering healthy alternatives. You can get oatmeal for breakfast and a salad for lunch, for example. Many also have their nutritional information on their websites, so you can also plan your meals ahead, or at least have a go-to list for each chain so you can make better choices. And don’t forget about local grocery stores – they are a good option and can help you keep that cooler stocked with healthy foods. You’ll have to plan ahead and be a bit creative, but it can be done!

  4. Marie-Helene - October 8, 2014

    Hi guys!

    I was wondering if your book is available in French? Although I’m practically bilingual, it would be easier for me to read it in French.

    Thank you!

    • Team Powell - October 9, 2014

      I’m so sorry, but it’s only available in English.

    • Verriest - October 14, 2014

      Marie-Hélène, I saw your comment and I just discovered that if you download the Vemma Bod-e app (I found it for my iPhone and on Android) and your device is configured in French that all the info and recipes available via the app are in French.
      En espérant que ça t’aide! Laura

  5. Jamie - October 4, 2014

    I am a 33 year old 5’5 woman and I weigh 430lb. I am desperate for something to safely help me loose weight quickly but healthy. Which carb cycle do you think would work best for me? Thanks in advance for any help..

  6. Tammy - September 26, 2014

    Hello I have lost 150 lbs I want to loose 10 lousy little lbs more and for the life of me I cant, through out my journey I have done different things to get to where I am now but I can’t seem to loose any more. I have bought Choose more loose more book and call me stupid but it is a bit confusing to follow , I used Jenny craig for most of my weight loss, I’m my mom’s full time care giver and have no time to really cook so having the food all set for me was what i needed. plus I eat big portions with using salad veggies, I know I need to eat less but the hunger is what I can’t deal with, I’ve tried drinking water, eating no cal noodles just about everything. Please help

    • Team Powell - September 26, 2014

      So sorry you’re confused! There’s a great graphic in this post (as well as some other awesome info) that shows you how to put together every meal in carb cycling: And since with carb cycling you eat 5 meals a day and you can have veggies (the non-root/non-starchy type) with every single meal, you shouldn’t be hungry. Yes, it might take your body a bit of time to adjust to this new way of doing things, but it works! Hope this helps – you can do this!

  7. audrey - September 18, 2014

    I have been type 2 diabetic for 5 years. Currently I have a. A1c of 10.3 way high. My doctor is giving me one more chance to fix it befor they put me on insulin. I have been going to the gym at least 5 days a week. And trying so hard but the food. Is killing me how does your diet plan work for diabetics? Please give me some advice. I’m not even sure I’m doing the right exercises. I’m such a failure at this. But I want to do it right.

  8. Josh - September 17, 2014

    Hello. I am a 38 year old born with Spina Bifida. I am confined to a wheelchair, but have full upper body mobility and I am looking to lose about 60 pounds I am currently at 214 pounds. Any advice on the best way for a disabled person to get fitor have you ever done a show with a disabled person?

    • Team Powell - September 18, 2014

      Hi Josh: I’d suggest discussing Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program with your healthcare team to see what modifications need to be made to work around your health issues. It can be done, it just might take a bit of creativity. Happy carb cycling!

  9. Jennifer C - September 17, 2014

    I work third shift, 11pm to 7am. I then come home and sleep from 8am till 330pm. How could I fit carb cycling into my schedule?

  10. June - August 20, 2014

    Hi! I am looking to start carb cycling, I am currently still nursing my 5 month old son, is the diet safe to do while I am still breastfeeding?

  11. Justine - August 15, 2014


    Curious if it’s better to work out on high or low carb days? And if you’re drinking protein shakes along with workouts can that count as a meal?

    • Team Powell - August 15, 2014

      In Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program you work out on both low and high carb days. Their entire workout program is outlined in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” Yes, protein shakes can be the protein part of any meal, and depending on the carb count, they could also be a complete meal replacement. Chris and Heidi’s Powell Perfect Protein Shakes ( are meal replacement shakes. As far as drinking protein shakes and working out, yes, that would count as at least the protein part of a meal. If your shake is not a meal replacement shake, you’d also need to add either a healthy fat or a carb. Here’s a post about eating and working out: :)

  12. Ty - August 13, 2014

    I have a question! Am I limited to only the foods on the food list that your website provides? Say I have granola which has 4g of protein per serving could I substitute that for the protein portion of my snack meals?

    • Team Powell - August 13, 2014

      No, for a food to count as a protein it would need to have closer to 15+ grams of protein/serving. And it is best to follow the approved foods list. There’s an even more extensive list in Chris and Heidi’s book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” Hope that helps!

  13. Jennifer - August 3, 2014

    Hi Hedi, I’m not over weight I’m 117 lbs 5’2″ 40 yrs old, but I’m looking for a easy way to eat healthy. I work out 3 days a week. Moderate to intense cardio. With light weight training alternating.
    Would this plan work for me? I have 3 kids so sometimes I eat on the run.

    • Team Powell - August 4, 2014

      Yes – the easy cycle is a great way to get started. And you can change cycles at any time. Happy carb cycling! :)

  14. Janice - August 3, 2014

    Can you carb cycle when your diabetic?

  15. Amy J - August 3, 2014

    You two are awesome! What a great couple. I am a vegetarian, no red meat no fish no chicken no eggs. I love carbs a lot more than I should. This looks like something I could try. I have a hard time finding proteins so I always fill up on carbs. Any suggestions?!

    • Team Powell - August 4, 2014

      You can get Chris and Heidi’s free approved food guide when you sign up for Chris’ free enewsletter at This list will give you options to choose from. There’s an even more extensive list in Chris and Heidi’s new book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” Hope that helps! :)

  16. Candace - August 3, 2014

    Am I missing the location for sample meal plans? I have the book Choose to Lose and the program concept is very clear, but it would be really helpful to have more food guidance once that is clear. What does a week of high/low carb days look like? How would we read nutrition labels to identify foods to completely avoid? The only thing I recall about this was the advice on which Whey power to purchase pertaining to the carbs. I’m not liable to use recipes for entrees, per se. The food on this plan is pretty basic but what would be helpful is a simple menu plan so that you get a feel for a complete 7-day cycle. Also, with everyone being on the go, shakes don’t always work for the mid-morning and afternoon meals. Do you have recipes for those meals other than an apple with peanut butter, for example? I find that it isn’t so much the main meals that trip me up, it is the tendency to stress eat between meals. It has to be something that can be interesting to keep me from straying. Overall, I think this is such a great lifestyle change and I love your positive attitude and your genuine care for others. I’m just starting and see a difference already. Yay!

    • Team Powell - August 4, 2014

      I’m so sorry, but we don’t have sample meal plans available. Here’s a post that has a great graphic (as well as some other useful info) that will show you how to put together each meal on all the cycles: There is even more info – as well as an introduction to all 4 carb cycles and more recipes/options – in Chris and Heidi’s new book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” And we’re so excited that you’re seeing a difference – that’s awesome! :)

  17. Christine Hall - July 28, 2014

    Can you do the Carb Cycling with kids? I don’t want to be making separate meals for husband and son every day.

  18. Melissa Watson - July 24, 2014

    I am considering trying this however, I have anaphalactic food allergies. My food allergies are: eggs, bananas, lime, all nuts, kiwi, avocado, all melons, and soy. That and I only will eat limited meats primarily nothing on a bone or with skin – chicken and occasionally beef.

    I am about 75 pounds overweight and have many health issues including: diabetic, asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides and more.

    Do you have any tips that would be helpful for me both food and exercise wise?

    • Team Powell - July 24, 2014

      I’d suggest discussing carb cycling with your healthcare team so they can help you put together an exercise program that will work for you with your health issues, as well as a nutrition plan for your food allergies. There are so many food options in the plan, that you should be able to follow it in spite of your food allergies. Best of luck!

  19. Robin - July 24, 2014

    Hey chris and Heidi, I really love your show, I am 337lb I am trying so hard, but its hard for us older folks…I am 47 yrs old and have arthritis so bad that it is hard to exercise, I sure wish you guys had more show availability, because I have such a hard time with rejection, have ever since I was 3 when my mom left 9 of us kids, I dont know how to get over it, I know sounds absolutely crazy at my age….been to counseling nothing seems to help so I just continue to cover my feelings with food..I wish I could get your help, but I know you guys have so many people to help…why me…

    • Team Powell - July 25, 2014

      Help is on the way! You can get Chris and Heidi’s complete carb cycling program (the same one they use on the show) in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” There’s a link to purchase it in this post. With your health issues, I’d suggest discussing the program with your healthcare team to see what modifications can be made for you so you can reach your goals and stay safe and healthy. And hang out on Chris and Heidi’s Facebook pages – they have a great community of people who are also working to reach their goals and they help and support each other! And be sure to check out the part about Promises – these are a key to any transformation. Learn more about Promises here: You can do this! :)

  20. Juan O. - July 24, 2014

    Hi, love you guys, don’t miss a show, whether live or DVR. True inspiration to me. I just turned 53, and have dropped from 279 to 228 and now back up to 237. My goal is 200 lbs. Problem is plateau and diet. I have done it with simple treadmill, walking, lots of Spinning classes and some weights. At minimum I do 30 minutes of something 5-6 days per weeks. Reduced my food intake to somewhere between 1200-1800 calories. Have done this for the past 8-9 months. I have read your carb cycling program but is there anything else you can suggest to get beyond the “staleness” plateau’s I have encountered? Just need a little help.

  21. Shirley Blanchard - July 24, 2014

    I love your show and i love you both, im 72 diabetic highb/p arthritis, fibromyalga. im going to start the easy cycle, i could use some tips its hard exercising i cant get on the floor bad bad knees, walking on treadmill gets my hip to hurting, but i want this 100 pounds off i weigh 275 and i know 100 wont be my weight i need but to be under 200 i will be happy, my stomach hangs to my knees and im so embrassed to go out in public, thank you for being there for me and ever one else
    Shirley Blanchard

    • Jeanette - July 24, 2014

      Hi Shirley…you can do a lot of exercises in bed…avoid the floor ….crunches, leg lifts, pushups and planking can all be done on your bed…try it out! start slow!

  22. Deb Wiliams - July 24, 2014

    Have you worked with anyone that had Thyroid cancer and did you help them to loss the weight? I am 240 and was 298 at one point. I am at a stand still. I workout (have done three half marathons and a Sprint Triathlon in the past year and a half.


    • Team Powell - July 25, 2014

      Congrats on the weight loss – that’s awesome! I’d suggest discussing the complete carb cycling program with your healthcare team just in case any modifications need to be made for you. We want to keep you safe and healthy as you work to reach your goals! :)

  23. Shannon Nash - July 3, 2014

    I’m going to start the easy cycle. I have about 30 lbs to lose. Where can i get recipes and list of things to buy to start doing this? I’m the type person I have to have someone else lay it out for me or I just don’t get it….
    I need someone to say ok eat this for breakfast,lunch,dinner etc…… give me a list of foods


  24. Sarah - July 3, 2014

    Thank you for all of the info! I have to do this, if I don’t and gain as much as I did with my daughter I’d be 300 lbs : / I’m 14 weeks pregnant and I’m about 75 lbs overweight, would the easy cycle be the best way to change my lifestyle during pregnancy?

  25. Cheryl Madden - July 3, 2014

    I understand what Shauntiel. I am the exact same way. Now I’m without a job and eat even more. I just don’t love myself at all. I also have diabetes and high blood pressure. I’ve tried every diet possible. I want to lose 185lbs. I wish I could be helpful to you but I’m in the same boat.

  26. Jill - July 3, 2014

    Love your show, it makes me move, more great motivator! I’ll be looking for your books.

  27. Bernice Erhardt - April 7, 2014

    I hope this works for me

  28. Shauntiell Rice - November 26, 2013

    Hello Powell Family, I am 33 year old and have been battling with my weight all my life. I have lossed some weight but I can’t seem to stay focus after a few week my menus go out the window. Each time I become ill I sleep and take meds and eat. Until I physically feel ok. But truly I don’t I few like crap on stick after I see that I had gain all the weight back. I have tried groups and lose weight then I go back down the yellow brick road of death. I pray that I can get some help. Today I was on a fast for healing in this area of my life and some other area as well. To be set free from the addcation of food. I feel so hurt on the inside and just feel like I can’t do this. I want to be happy and live. I was looking at the casting for show but it is closed. It would be nice to get some outside help. I have serveral medical issues. High blood, diabetes, asthma, PCOS, Psuedo tumor cerbri,and GERD. For once I would like to be free from the weight and pressure of this.
    All my doctors tell to get bypass and you will lose the wieght. I have seen that in my family and it don’t look good if the underline issues is not handled.

    Please Help!!!

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