Carb Cycling: The Turbo Cycle

If you want to shed those extra pounds extra fast, the Turbo Cycle is for you. Of the four carb cycles, this cycle takes off weight the fastest. Unlike the Easy and Classic cycles, which alternate low and high-carb days, the Turbo Cycle pits two low-carb days against every high-carb day. That means you’ll burn fat two days in a row before your body’s furnace (metabolism) is re-stoked on your high-carb day, and you’ll lose weight really, really fast!

Even though the Turbo Cycle has an extra low-carb day as compared to the Easy and Classic cycles, it is not a calorie-restricted cycle. Women should not consume fewer than 1,200 calories a day, and men should not consume fewer than 1,500 calories a day. And since you’ll have two low-carb days in a row, you may feel less energetic on the second low-carb day. But this is okay. These low-carb days are powerful weight-loss accelerators!

Here’s what a Turbo Cycle week looks like:

  #CarbCycling: The Turbo Cycle #HeidiPowell #ChrisPowell #ChooseMoreLoseMoreforLife Learn More at

As with the other cycles, you can stay with the Turbo Cycle as long as you want, or you can change cycles. This program is tailor-made to you and you alone!

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


  1. Lynne - July 20, 2014

    Would hummus be an acceptable fat?

    • Team Powell - July 21, 2014

      It depends on what exactly is in the hummus. Since it’s mostly made from chickpeas, it would qualify mostly as a carb. If it has added fat, it would probably be best eaten as part of a reward meal or on a reward day.

  2. Gena - July 7, 2014

    I had been on the Easy Cycle and seemed to get stuck (weight plateau). I switched to the Turbo Cycle and the reward days (even with staying within the 2500 calories) set me back and then I spend the rest of the week getting it off. My weight has plateaued and I’m having an extremely difficult time getting out of it. I have 15 pounds to lose and don’t know what to do. Should I go back to the Easy Cycle? What can I do??

  3. Shannon - July 7, 2014

    Hello! I CrossFit ~4 times a week, train for Olympic lifting a few times a week, and get some gymnastics in on the weekends. I have about 20 lbs of fat to lose to make it down to 21-22% body fat, which would make me much more competitive. Which carb cycling plan should I try? I’d like to get rid of these 20 lbs as quickly as possible!

    • Team Powell - July 7, 2014

      Hi Shannon: With your workout schedule, you might want to try the Fit Cycle. Best of luck! :)

  4. Lindsey - July 6, 2014

    I just finished reading Chris’s first book on 7 day carb cycling “Choose to lose” and I’m so excited to get started tomorrow! However I’m really wanting to try the turbo cycle. I didn’t realize the book I bought wouldn’t have that info. I’m familiar with the classic cycle but what is the workout schedule like for the turbo plan?

    • Team Powell - July 7, 2014

      Hi Lindsay: If you’ll follow the info in the Turbo Cycle post, you’ll be good to go. The only difference between it and the Classic Cycle (in “Choose to Lose”) is the schedule of low and high carb days. As for the workout schedule, it’s the same for all four carb cycles (Easy, Classic, Turbo, and Fit). The 9-Minute Missions in the second book (“Choose More, Lose More for Life”), called “Shapers” in “Choose to Lose,” are a bit different. Instead of doing Shapers Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, you do a 9-Minute Mission Monday-Friday. You can get awesome results no matter which book you’re using for your workout plan. Hope that helps clear things up! :)

  5. Jenee - July 6, 2014

    Hi Heidi.

    I am a runner/lifter (5 times per week vs twice a week). 5’4″ female. I have just come off 2 months of lchf primal diet. I tried low carbs because I have ovarian cysts and hoped it might alleviate some of the symptoms that go along with those. I felt good and my running didn’t really suffer, but I did lose the ability to sleep at night and all last week I was experiencing heart palpitations before and during workouts. Scared and frustrated, I have added carbs back into my diet. I am a mom of 1, in good shape, but I could stand to lose about 10 lbs and get my booty up where it belongs. I work out pretty hard but these last 10 sometimes feel like the fight of my life. Will this eating cycle help me with that?

    • Team Powell - July 7, 2014

      Yes, it will! And please – if you have any more issues like you’ve described in your post – discuss them with your doctor. We want to keep you safe and healthy! :) You might also look at the Fit Cycle since you work out pretty intensely. You won’t lose the weight as quickly, but you’ll be able to better fuel your body for those workouts.

  6. ashley - July 5, 2014

    I want to do the turbo plan. I was wondering what a sample meal plan would be for a week on the turbo cycle?

    • Team Powell - July 5, 2014

      While we don’t have a complete week’s worth of sample menus to share, here are some ideas for both 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 book), in the proper proportions, to create meals to fit your needs. Happy Turbo Cycling! :)

  7. Kattie Grissom - July 4, 2014

    Hi heidi,

    I am 26 and I weigh 367 pounds. I want to lose weight but I just dont know where to start. On top of this I have a bad back and a lot of movement is extremely painful. What are somethings I can do to try to get this weight off?

  8. Tracy - July 3, 2014

    So I have a question, I have already lost 25 pounds but I have plateaued. So I bought Chris’s book choose to lose. I do cross fit three days a week and I also run 2-3 days a week. So you get Extra calories when you exercise. Also I am diabetic,.I am worried about getting too many lows on a low Carb day? Any suggestions would be great, thank.


  9. DIane - July 3, 2014

    I did one of these low to high carb diets and DIDNT lose a pound , my doctor said that evidently carbs are not my problem , so now I just exercise and not changing what I eat and have lost 10.5 lbs in 2 months .. so ill stick to what I am doing..

  10. chris - July 3, 2014

    I work 14 hours a day, then with my running around for the gym and kids I average a 18 hour day. Would I space out meals or add meals? Im having a hard time losing weight and getting very discourages. Please help

    • Team Powell - July 3, 2014

      Still eat 5 meals a day and do the best you can to work your eating schedule around your busy schedule. And make sure you’re following your chosen carb cycle exactly as outlined in the book. Remember – you can have a 2 fist-sized portion of veggies (the non-root/non-starchy type) with every single meal. And remember to drink your water every day too – 1/2 your body weight in ounces every day (150 lbs = 75 ounces). Dont give up – you can do this! :)

  11. Alex - July 3, 2014

    Hi Heidi, you are such an inspiration! Thank you for your great articles! What type of regimen would you recommand for a Crossfiter? Thanks.

    • Team Powell - July 3, 2014

      Any of the cycles would work. If you’re training for something, try the Fit Cycle. :)

  12. Nicol - June 22, 2014


    I just finished CMLML and I loved it! However, what would you recommend for a person on the Turbo cycle to choose as snacks on low carb days? Thanks!

    • Team Powell - June 23, 2014

      You can choose any of the options under proteins, veggies, and healthy fats for snacks on low carb days. Greek yogurt is always a great choice, and nuts, and peppers…the list could go on and on. Just choose one item from each category and you’re good to go! :)

  13. Pam Radcliffe - June 21, 2014

    What if you can’t eat that many meals in a day?

  14. Meagen - May 9, 2014

    How many calories would be considered low-carb, and how many calories for high-carb?

  15. Sadie - May 6, 2014

    Please do a sample eating plan for this!

  16. cassie - March 28, 2014

    hi i would also like to know how many carbs on low and high days, i am 5’3 119lbs i am trying to lose some fat for mothers day weekend as my husband and i are going on a delayed honey moon (i was preg when got married) i have good muscle and i just want to lose a little more to show more defanition. also i have a lame desk job! any advise would be so great!!!! thanks and i love Chris show and i love when u appear on them:)

  17. Heidi Hearn - March 18, 2014

    Hi question on turbo cycle how many grams of carbs should I have on low day and how many on high days doesn’t say in Chris’ second book. If I can get some help thank you so much.

  18. Joanie macintosh - March 16, 2014

    Would love the eating plan for the turbo cycle please

  19. jo - March 1, 2014

    what foods can you eat on the turbo cycle

  20. Linda Wilkinson - February 20, 2014

    Hi! Thanks so much for writing about the carb cycles. I’m leaning towards the Turbo Cycle and wanted to know if you have a meal plan that goes along with this cycle. I’m 44 years old, 5’4 and weight 135. My goal is to lose 10 pounds. I love your site. Keep up the great work! Linda Wilkinson
    P.S. I’m friends with Kathie Morton. Love her fb profile pic of y’all. I’m so excited for her & Josh. : )

  21. dana - February 17, 2014

    Hi Heidi- I am trying the carb cycling for the first time- I tried the easy for 3 weeks and while I feel I am getting more solid, I am not losing lbs. In fact I feel heavier. So I am switching to the Turbo- my question is- on low carb days- what are the total carbs allowed? it seems like there are some carbs in almost everything…
    I am 130lbs & 5’2″ tall- I want to lose 11lbs- help please :)
    Thank you,

  22. Laura - January 29, 2014

    When starting carb cycling and an excerise program is a “recumbent” bike okay to use, I have about 70 pounds I need to loose?

  23. Elvia - January 8, 2014

    I’ve started the Turbo this week and I am loving it, I know I’m only on my third day but because I am not eating all that sugar that I was eating I have much more energy during the day and dont feel lethargic. I truely hope that I can stick with it and make this change in my life that I so much need it. I’m starting at 244.4 lbs and I am hoping to drop down to at least 175 lbs.

  24. Christina N - December 31, 2013

    I’m starting with classic and then want to switch to turbo.
    What is the best amount of time on classic before the switch?
    Is it necessary to slingshot every fourth week or can it wait until a plateau?

    • admin - January 3, 2014

      You need to slingshot every fourth week. Stay on classic as long as it takes to keep your commitments.

  25. melissa - December 26, 2013

    for every meal do you have your protein, carbs, veggies, and smart fats?

  26. Amanda Foster - November 6, 2013

    Quick Q: I have reactive hypoglycemia and struggled today (high carb day of the turbo carb cycle). I had 3 drops in blood sugar. What should I increase? Protein, carbs, or fat? What can be an emergency go to without deviating from the protocols?

  27. Tiffany Cavegn - November 3, 2013

    I am extremely addicted to sugar and I’m concerned about cravings on the high carb days. Any advice which plan to use for 100 lbs to lose and a sugar addiction??.

  28. Sherry - October 22, 2013

    I need help please. Started the classic version of carb cycling with the hopes of getting it down in 2 weeks to move into the turbo cycle, but I need breakfast ideas at don’t include eggs. Also where does skim milk fall. Is it a protein or fat.? I’m struggling at breakfast because I don’t like eggs!! It would be helpful if somewhere there was actually a meal plan for a period of time to visualize. Any. Help would be appreciated!!

    • mike jojes - June 18, 2014

      Good breakfast meal. A protein shake. One bannana and a handful of nuts (walnuts almonds etc.)

  29. Brandy - October 17, 2013

    If you will print off the list from Chris’ website, it tells you exactly what is considered high carb & low carb. Also it is outlined pretty good in his book. But just for reference, foods like oatmeal, brown rice, sweet potatoes, bananas, whole grain (not whole wheat) bread are some high carb. Of course you are limited to one serving of those foods. Low carbs are veggies, protein, eggs, etc.

  30. Jo - October 15, 2013

    What are high carbs and what are low?!? If I’m to eat different ones different days, I’ll need to know what each are…

  31. Brynn - October 8, 2013

    I love this plan. It’s the perfect amount of guidance and structure but free enough to piece together a DIY Bootcamp. As a former binge eater I crave something that’s both independent and structured so I can keep myself feeling safe around food.

  32. Anjie - September 23, 2013

    I just finished the book but and I am ready to start turbo but I am still confused on what “high” carbs and “low” carbs are…or what those days meals should consist of ….I would appreciate help from anyone …Thanks

  33. Lavern - August 20, 2013

    I’m doing the turbo cycle and as soon as I wake up I do 20 minutes worth of kettlebell swings. I throw on an episode of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition for inspiration (Chantell’s episode is my favorite) and I do 10 swings and then rest 30 seconds over and over again until 20 minutes are up. Heidi, do you think that is a good morning work out for a female who has 150 pounds to lose?

  34. Tracey - August 20, 2013

    Was up until 2AM reading choose more lose more!! Just finished my breakfast for Day one of Turbo cycle. Plain steel cut oats (with some cinnamon) and eggs with green pepper and tomatoe. Im so excited to see how I do!! :)

  35. Shae McEntire - August 10, 2013

    I’ve been using this cycle for 3 weeks and have been losing 1lb every week. This program has definitely made me more aware of the kinds of food I eat and how they make my body feel! Thanks for educating me on carb cycling…it has been the difference I needed!!

  36. Vera Butler - August 9, 2013

    What is the best workout to do with this cycle when trying to lose 100 pounds?

  37. Sarah - August 8, 2013

    You guys will probably never really know the ripple effect you are having on the world! In just MY small sharing of your mission and success tools, there have been hundreds of lives changed! I can share the compassion and the drive, but I was lacking the simplicity of your system. thank you and god bless

  38. Janet Ivens - August 8, 2013

    Over 300 lbs I need to turbo cycle. The past couple of weeks I have started noticing nausea and faintness when I bend or do any exertion. Scared that its diabetes, too embarrassed to find out :(

  39. Kim Lechner - August 8, 2013

    Looking to lose almost 100 lbs and this seems like something I can stick to. A little confused on what you would consider low/high carb but will continue reading to see if I missed something.

  40. Michele - August 8, 2013

    What kinds of workouts could you do if you might feel less energetic on the 2nd LC day? Would HIIT or Tabata be out of the question?

  41. Christopher Lehnherr - August 8, 2013

    Sounds perfect for me! Hopefully I win the boom so I can try this!

  42. Kristi Harrison - August 8, 2013

    I’m really interested int trying carb cycling. I’ve printed stuff off to read about it and can’t wait to try.

  43. Brenda - August 8, 2013

    Well, I have downloaded the Choose More, Lose More for Life book on my kindle but I’ve decided I need the paper copy. I’m at least 120 pounds over weight and have decided to give your program a try. I hope it works!!!!

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