Carb Confusion

Complex carbohydrates and healthy living - learn more at http://heidipowell.net/4514
Confused about carbs and how they fit into carb cycling? Believe me, you’re not alone! Many of my most frequently asked questions are about carbs. And yes, with all the talk of “carbs this” and “carbs that” in the media, it can get a bit confusing. It gets even more complicated when you think you need to keep track of grams of carbs per meal and per day and the “good” vs. the “bad.”

It’s time to rethink how you think about carbs, agreed?!

First, the basics: carbs—and the roles they play in your diet—are actually pretty simple. If it comes from a plant, it’s a carb, and carbs are the preferred fuel source for your muscles and organs. Breads, beans, potatoes, table sugar, fruits, and vegetables are all carbs.

There are two categories of carbs: simple and complex. The simple, not-so-healthy ones are found in foods such as cakes, cookies, some commercially made breads, and many processed foods. Fruits are also considered simple carbs because of the type of sugar they contain, but they’re a healthy choice because they’re loaded with vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, antioxidants, and some fiber. Your body breaks down simple, not-so-healthy carbs very quickly, which spikes your blood sugar levels and stimulates the release of insulin, resulting in a craving for more simple carbs. And that is soooo not good!

Complex, healthy carbs – like those found in legumes, root vegetables, whole-grains, cereals, breads and pastas – are typically high in fiber, which slows food digestion and the release of sugars. This keeps your blood sugar and energy levels steady (and longer lasting), so your calorie-burning furnace stays hot and burns more calories! And that is awesome! ☺

So how do carbs fit into our carb cycling program? It’s actually pretty simple. No matter what carb cycle  you choose, every breakfast of every day is a high-carb meal, which means you’ll eat a portion each of protein, carbs, and hopefully vegetables. Every breakfast, every day. Your carb can be a grain, a legume, a starchy or root veggie, or a fruit.

On low-carb days, your remaining four meals (spaced every three hours) consist of a portion each of protein, fat, and veggies (think fibrous green veggies, not the starchy, root kind), and on high-carb days, your remaining four meals (spaced every three hours) are made up of a portion each of protein and complex carbs (grains, legumes, starchy or root veggies, or fruits). And if you’re still hungry, you can always throw in a portion of veggies (again, the fibrous greens). Remember: with carb cycling, you can have a portion of fibrous green veggies with every single meal (starchy, root veggies, like potatoes, will fall into the carb category)! Pretty simple, right?

Here’s what it looks like, including some handy portion size helps:

Learn more about carb cycling at http://heidipowell.net/2713/carb-cycling-101/

Here’s another great idea that will help with carb confusion: sign up for Chris’s FREE enewsletter at ChrisPowell.com, and you’ll receive a FREE printable food guide that will make choosing foods for your low-carb and high-carb meals even easier!

Here’s the most important take-away about carbs: with carbs and carb cycling, it’s not about a magic number of grams of carbs to eat every day. It’s about spreading your carb intake throughout your high-carb days—using portion sizes instead of gram counts—so your body gets the greatest benefits from those healthy carbs you eat. And wouldn’t you much rather measure portions sizes than count grams? I know I would!


144 Comments

  1. leanne - December 17, 2014

    Besides cheese, dressings, avocados, and oils, are there any other smart fats I can eat on low carb days? I would prefer not to consume nuts and seeds due to their high arginine/low lysine levels (and side effects on my body).

    Thanks,
    Leanne

    • Team Powell - December 17, 2014

      There is an extensive approved foods list in “Choose More, Lose More for Life,” and you can get an abbreviated version for free on Chris’ site. Go to http://www.chrispowell.com, enter your email address in “Join the Transformation,” and when you hit “Join,” the next page will have the link to download the list. In addition to those you already listed, olives (13) and egg yolks (2) are also on the list. Happy carb cycling!

    • leanne - December 17, 2014

      egg yolks!! perfect. thank you so much!

  2. laura - December 16, 2014

    If I was to choose a protein shake to help lose weight… what should I look for? or choose? do I eat that with my breakfast? or lunch? or by its self as a meal replacement shake?

  3. laura j - December 16, 2014

    Im just starting to get into exercising… and I tried to do a pull up today… cannot. any good ways to help build arm muscles and to have a goal to complete a pull up? I have 2, 5, 8 lbs weights and a kettle bell. also push ups?? how many sets? I did dislocate shoulder in highschool so my one shoulder is weaker.

    • Team Powell - December 16, 2014

      To strengthen your upper body, do pushups, bicep curls, tricep dips or raises, shoulder presses, chest presses, and ab exercises to strengthen your core. If your shoulder starts to bother you, it would be a good idea to get it checked out sooner rather than later. Start with two sets of 12-15 reps with a rest in between sets. If you can finish the second set, then increase your weight a bit. If you can’t quite finish that second set, then your weight is pretty right on. Good luck! :)

  4. Sara - December 10, 2014

    Hi! A month ago I started carb cycling, love it so far! Also seeing/experiencing results while I was already quite “in shape”, so that’s great! I’m just confused about one thing: The book says you can add two fist portions of veggies to you meals, or as much as you want. Does this mean the calories of the veggies don’t count? Or do they? Hope you can help me, thankyou!

    • Team Powell - December 10, 2014

      Great question! Yes, the calories of the veggies do count towards your daily total, but since they’re veggies, the calorie count is small. Happy carb cycling!

  5. Cindi - December 9, 2014

    I’m excited to get started on carb cycling, but have a question regarding the inclusion of only low fat dairy and egg whites. I try to eat ‘whole’ foods and wonder if full fat dairy and whole eggs can be used with carb cycling? and what the impact of that would be? Thank you for your insight.

    • Team Powell - December 9, 2014

      Great question! Here’s some info that will hopefully help you figure things out: 4 egg whites = 1 protein serving, 2 egg yolks = 1 fat serving (so basically, 2 eggs would be 1 fat and 1/2 a protein). Full fat dairy would be considered a fat due to the high fat content. Happy carb cycling!

  6. Sandi - December 5, 2014

    I know there are recipes in Chris’s book, but is there another place online where we can find other carb cycler’s recipes or Chris or Heidi’s additional recipes. I’m trying to find new and simple meal plans so I don’t get bored. Thanks so much.

  7. Danielle - December 4, 2014

    Hi!

    I have just reread Chris’ newest book as I am in my first week of carb cycling (Turbo Cycle). I have a couple of questions that I can’t seem to find the answer to:

    1. What is hummus considered…a healthy fat? Since it is Chickpeas, I wasn’t sure if this could only be consumed on High Carb days.

    2. In regards to the slingshot week, am I correct that you are saying to eat the serving of carbs each meal of each day, but no healthy fats at all that week (unless they are eaten on the reward day)? That seems awhile to go without eating a healthy fat of some kind, so I wanted to double check that.

    3. Is it okay to work out on the reward day, but to take off working out on one of the low carb days?

    Thanks in advance!

    Danielle

    • Team Powell - December 5, 2014

      Great questions! 1) 2 tbsp on hummus is considered a flavoring. More than that would be considered a carb or fat depending on how much fat is in the hummus. 2) Yes, during your slingshot week you don’t eat any healthy fats (except on reward day). 3) It’s best to follow the exercise program as outlined in the book. Happy carb cycling!

  8. Sandi - December 1, 2014

    I started carb cycling about a month ago and I’ve lost 15 lbs! It’s so helpful that I’m not hungry or craving, likely because I’m eating such a balanced diet. Could you please clear up for me whether or not we “have” to eat two fists full of veggies at our snacks? I would rather only at meals, but if it’s necessary to eat the veggies at all 5 meals, I’ll do it. Thanks!

    • Team Powell - December 2, 2014

      Congrats on those 15 pounds gone – that’s awesome! Two fist fulls of veggie are recommended for all low carb meals, and for high carb meals if you’re still hungry. You got this!

  9. Jen - November 25, 2014

    I just have a question regarding the veggies, this is only my first week on the classic cycle. My first day on low carb was pretty hard and I had to eat some extra veggies. What I am wondering is if we can have 2 servings (if needed) at the snack time or if it is just with the whole meals 3 times a day?

    • Team Powell - November 25, 2014

      You can have two fist fulls of veggies with all 5 meals every day. Happy carb cycling!

  10. Leanne - November 25, 2014

    Hello — I want to start carb cycling and get my family into it, but I’m somewhat confused. In the post above, Heidi says every breakfast of every day is a high carb meal, but none of the recipes (looking in the “Choose More, Lose more for life” book”) beneath “Breakfast” have a carb included in them for low-carb days.. help!

    • Team Powell - November 25, 2014

      At the end of every recipe in “Choose More, Lose More for Life” there are instructions on how to make each one either a low or high carb meal. Hope that helps. Happy carb cycling!

  11. Amy - October 20, 2014

    I have been reading a lot lately about reverse dieting in the bodybuilding world primarily and the damage that low calories can have on your metabolism. The calories suggested for women, even on high carb days, seem low to me at 1500. I know this is probably an estimate but wanted to hear your thoughts on the topic. At some point would it be acceptable after the body is responding to the cycling to slowly add more calories to our diets each week so that we are eating the max amount of calories possible while still losing/maintaining weight? I hope this makes sense. I would really like to try this carb cycling but am curious about my questions above.

  12. Jen - October 19, 2014

    Can I do this program if I don’t eat dairy?

  13. Woody - October 14, 2014

    Hi Heidi
    I watched the television show and read Chris’s book “Choose to lose” and I loved it.
    My biggest challenge is proteins due to allergies. I can’t eat read meat and eating chicken too often drastically slows my bowel and causes a lot of pain and discomfort. I can eat some fish like salmon but not shellfish.
    I’m okay with nuts but allergic to peanut.
    ANY SUGGESTIONS?

    • Team Powell - October 15, 2014

      Here are some ideas: dairy products (cottage cheese, egg substitues/whites, Greek non fat plain yogurt, vegetable proteins (tempeh, TVP, tofu), pork tenderloin, and whey protein shake powders. Hope that helps!

  14. CAROLINE - October 14, 2014

    i’m loving the carb cycling I’ve been on it a week now and have lost 6 pounds. i’m having trouble coming up with some snacks for the in between meals?
    thanks

  15. Charlotte Posey - October 3, 2014

    Are raw carrots ok to eat on a low carb day?

    • Team Powell - October 3, 2014

      Carrots are considered a starchy/root veggie, so they are best for high carb meals. :)

  16. Carly J. - October 2, 2014

    Hi …I just got done reading Choose More Loose More and I am excited to start this journey …I have one question I think I am just “thinking” to much about it and getting confused….If I want to make up my own meal for example I love overnight cold oatmeal in the mornings ..I make it with 1/2 c oatmeal 1/2 c greek yogurt and 3/4 c almond milk… Is this something I could eat on my high carb days? Or how do can I figure out what I need to adjust to make this work for cycling? any help is greatly appreciated…
    thanks so much

    • Team Powell - October 2, 2014

      This oatmeal recipe would have most of a carb portion (the oats – an actual portion is 3/4 cup), most of a protein portion (the Greek yogurt – an actual portion is 3/4 cup), and a healthy fat (the almond milk – anything over 1/2 cup is considered a healthy fat). So as you’ve described it, this would be a great reward day meal. Please refer to the foods list beginning on page 192 for more information. Happy carb cycling!

  17. Jamie W. - October 2, 2014

    Hi Heidi, I am a 26 yo female with hypothyroidism. I am trying to lose about 35 pounds. I am currently 178 pounds and 5’11”. I want to be around 140 at the end of my journey. I’ve lost about 8 pounds, but it’s taken me about 2 months (trying to wean off eating out and drinking alcohol). I want to add a protein supplement and start the turbo carb cycle. Do you have any ideas if this will affect my hypothyroidism? I am currently on medication to keep it in a normal range. Please let me know! I appreciate your help!

    • Team Powell - October 2, 2014

      It’s best to discuss this with your healthcare team as they are best equipped to know if the program will work for you as-is or if any modifications need to be made for your hypothyroidism. Happy carb cycling!

  18. Christy Brinkley - October 1, 2014

    I’m excited to get started with Carb Cycling! As a general rule, how many carbs is considered “low” versus “high”? I’ve purchased the book, but haven’t seen it anywhere. Thanks!

    • Team Powell - October 1, 2014

      We don’t count grams of carbs in carb cycling, we count portion sizes. There’s a great graphic in this post (as well as lots of other awesome info) that will teach you how to put together every meal – both low and high carb – in carb cycling: http://heidipowell.net/4514/carb-confusion/. Happy carb cycling!

  19. Marissa - September 30, 2014

    I have a question about protein. The amount I weigh requires me to eat 140 grams of protein. (Weight is 284lbs.) To lose weight. …Does this sound right to you?

    • Team Powell - September 30, 2014

      Hi Marissa: In carb cycling, we don’t really count grams, we count portion sizes, so it’s hard to answer this question.

  20. Marissa - September 30, 2014

    I love you both! The show has inspired me to quit being lazy and lose weight! ! Being more active, trying to eat healthier, and being a better example to my kids. :)

  21. Patti - September 26, 2014

    Do think you can eat too much fruit? I eat very healthy, want to carb cycle, but LOVE my fruit.

    • Team Powell - September 26, 2014

      While fruit is very nutritious, it’s also important to eat other things like proteins, healthy fats, whole grains, and veggies. In carb cycling, however, you can have fruit as the carb portion of any breakfast and of any high carb meal. Happy carb cycling!

  22. Brittany - September 25, 2014

    Are quest bars good on both low carb and high carb days? If it has low net carbs, then it would work for low carb days?

  23. Margie - September 24, 2014

    This helps me because I am still in that ‘Atkins’ mentality where I want to count carb grams. I did sign up with Chrispowell.com but haven’t received any printable meal plan. I have both of his books on carb cycling but they are on my Kindle and it is hard to read those charts from there. Is there a link to printable charts?

    • Team Powell - September 24, 2014

      As for the printable food guide, once you enter your email address in “Join the Transformation” and hit “Join,” the next screen will have the link to the food guide: CHRISPOWELL_SMARTFOODSLIST. Click on this link, and you’re good to go! And I’m sorry, but there’s not a link to the printable charts. Happy carb cycling! :)

  24. Sarah - September 23, 2014

    I started eating clean about 2 years ago and have lost about 30 pounds. I am looking in to carb cycling to get past a plateau. My question is-I eat a lot of dairy, but it is all full fat (and grass fed, of course) and I see that almost all of the dairy on the smart foods guide is low-fat. Do you think I will still see results if I follow one of the carb cycling plans, or should I modify in some other way? Thanks!

    • Team Powell - September 23, 2014

      In order to see the results from carb cycling, you’ll need to follow the program exactly. You can have a variety of low fat dairy products throughout your day – give it a try! :)

  25. Mike - September 18, 2014

    Since I work at night, I like to get to the gym first thing in the morning. (Usually around 45-60min after waking up.) Do you recommend that I should still eat breakfast as soon as I wake up or would I be better off eating after the gym?

  26. Mel - September 17, 2014

    How would the estimated calorie intake/portion sizes be adjusted for an extremely active female? I regularly use a fitness tracker and have an average calorie burn of 2,500 calories/day.

  27. Shannon - September 15, 2014

    I’m having trouble finding ideas for the protein portion of snacks. Can you please give me ideas? I can only eat so many eggs or yogurt and I’m not a fan of cottage cheese. Help please!

    • Team Powell - September 15, 2014

      You can find an extensive list of options in both Chris and Heidi’s books (“Choose to Lose” and “Choose More, Lose More for Life”). You can also download their approved foods list for free when you sign up for Chris’ free enewsletter at http://www.chrispowell.com. Some quick ideas: low sodium deli meats or protein shakes. Happy carb cycling!

  28. Teshara - August 27, 2014

    My question is abt exercise, if this is not relevant to this page, pls forgive me, but i really need advice from an expert, so pls help me.

    i think I have only abt 5 kg to lose (Im 5ft and 58 kgs.), but i have really large thighs and arms.,
    so should i do mostly cardio OR weights? if its a mix of both, pls advice me how much time to spend on cardio and how much time for weights.

    THANK YOU SO SO MUCH.

  29. Chelsea - August 25, 2014

    Hello Heidi!
    My partner and I love your show! Together we have lost almost 80 pounds, but are doing carb-cycling to break through our plateau!! Question: can I prep roasted veggies for high and low carb days by misting on extra virgin olive oil, or do you recommend cooking spray?? Thanks!

    Chelsea

  30. Teshara - August 23, 2014

    started reading Chose to lose, and what i gathered was, that in the high carb meals, we can eat only 1 slice of bread as the carb, am I right? so what if I eat bread for all 3 meals on the high carb days, would that be too much of bread??

    Pls clarify if we are only allowed 1 or 2 slices per meal, thank you so much.

    • Team Powell - August 23, 2014

      1 slice of bread would count as the carb portion of a high carb meal. And while bread can be a good carb choice, you might want to mix it up a bit and eat a different carb (say a fruit or root/starchy veggies or legumes, etc.) so you’re not missing out on any of the nutritional benefits of other carbs.

  31. melaineb - August 22, 2014

    Hi Heidi & fellow carb cyclers!

    I recently started following the program & have hit A snag. I would like to incorporate a shake into a few of my meals. If following the rules on a high carb meal it would be one protein one carb and veggies so I’m not sure with my shake that has carbs in it I should add fruit to it etc… Thanks hope this makes sense…

  32. Teshara - August 21, 2014

    im still waiting for your Book to arrive from EBay, So Pls help..

    Is the Turbo Cycle effective if I have to lose only about 10 kgs??? and pls tell me around how long does it take to see results?, This is my 2nd week, and i have lost only 1Kg!

    Thank you.

    • Team Powell - August 22, 2014

      Any of the carb cycles will work no matter how many pounds you want to lose. Seeing the results you’re looking for depends on how exactly you follow the program: portion sizes, exercise, water, reward days, slingshot week, etc. And please be patient – sometimes it takes our bodies a bit of time to adjust to a new way of doing things, and as you get closer to your goal the weight does come off more slowly. Actually, losing 1 kg (2.2 pounds) in two weeks is not bad at all since you’re just beginning! You got this!

  33. Julie - August 18, 2014

    Hi guys, I was wondering what category chicpeas fall into…..protein,carb or fats?

  34. Ashley - August 16, 2014

    Hi,
    I just finished the Choose to Lose book and I am very excited to start the Turbo Cycling plan! I am a little confused on what I should be having for breakfast on low carb days, because in the chart above you show protein+carbs on both low and high carb days, but the recipes in the book do not include carbs on the low carb days. I just want to make sure I am following the plan correctly. Can you provide some guidance here?

    Thanks!!

    • Team Powell - August 16, 2014

      Every single breakfast, on both low and high carb days, is a high carb meal: protein, carb, and veggies (the non-root/non-starchy type). Happy Turbo Cycling!

  35. Cindy - August 14, 2014

    I would love to know how many carbs I should be eating on a low carb day and on a high carb day. I was following a low carb program and sticking to 20 net carbs a day and lost 20 lbs. I have since lost nothing else even though I increased my carbs to 30 net carbs. With all the research I have been doing, I am realizing that this way is not very healthy even though I was eating healthier. I have read, Choose More to Lose More and I love the Carb Cycling. But because I am used to counting carbs, I would appreciate if you could give me numbers, thanks! Love what you all do for so many.

    • Team Powell - August 14, 2014

      Hi Cindy: Since we don’t count carbs in carb cycling, and since the actual carb count for each person would be different, I’m unable to give you a daily carb count number. If you’ll follow the portion sizes for each meal, you’ll be fine! :)

  36. Teshara - August 12, 2014

    im currently 58 kgs and 5ft , so I only have abt 5 kg to lose, (im able to go down to 55 if i really cut my calories but I usually gain it back after a few months), will carb cycling help me to lose those 5 kg, and usually how long does it take to lose abt 2 kg, bcoz i heard that its harder for some ppl to lose even 1 kg. and i usually give up if i dont see 1 kg less in 1 week. (P.S. i exercise 5 days a week duration 1 hour)

    pls pls reply to me

  37. Teshara - August 11, 2014

    im still waiting for your Book to arrive from EBay, therefore i need some help ls.,

    1. is Cornflakes with non fat milk, considered a low carB meal or high carB meal?

    2. potatoes are carBs, right??

    • Team Powell - August 11, 2014

      Great questions! Milk isn’t on the approved foods list in the book because depending on which you choose (whole, 2%, 1% skim) it not only has a good amount of carbs, but it can also have a fair amount of fat. We suggest using unsweetened almond milk on cereal. The corn flakes would be a carb, and we suggest choosing a cereal with more fiber so that you’ll feel fuller longer: All Bran, Fiber One, Kashi (Go Lean, Good Friends, Heart to Heart), Low fat granola, and old fashioned or steel cut oatmeal. And yes, potatoes are carbs. Happy carb cycling!

  38. George - August 7, 2014

    Hello I have bought both of Chris’s books and was interested in knowing I am about ready to go into my fourth week which is all high carbs. I am using the turbo cycle if I am still losing a good bit of weight week three should I still use the fourth week as a high carb week or can I continue doing the turbo cycle of high carb low carb for week 4,5, and so on until I slowdown from losing weight?

    • Team Powell - August 7, 2014

      You always want to do the Slingshot week every 4 weeks, even if your weight loss hasn’t slowed down. Happy carb cycling!

  39. Donna - August 6, 2014

    How many whole almonds in a fat serving? Book only mentions chopped almonds.

  40. april - August 4, 2014

    Hi heidi i wanted to know can i eat the light activia yogurts that are,60 calories on the turbo cycle if so on high carb or low carb days..please help

    • Team Powell - August 4, 2014

      Chris and Heidi recommend eating Greek yogurt as it has more protein in it, but you can choose other types as long as they’re low carb and high protein. Either way, yogurt is considered a protein, so you can eat it as the protein part of any meal on any cycle. :)

  41. Paige - August 1, 2014

    What are the proteins and fats that you recommend? I’m trying to carb cycle but I’m a little overwhelmed at where to start.

  42. Tiffany - July 22, 2014

    Hi Heidi!

    I am so happy that I found this site, and am starting the turbo cycle next week. I attempted this week but hard to do when I haven’t gone grocery shopping yet, haha.

    I did have a question regarding calorie intake. I have checked my BMR and TDEE and it’s saying I require 1480 calories a day to reach my goal weight, but in the book it says to do 1200 on low carb days, and 1500 on high carb days. I’m a little confused. Should I just eat my recommended amount of 1480? I don’t want to compromise my weight loss for not taking in enough calories.

    Also, I eat a ton of veggies and they have carbs too, but you say we can 2 fist fulls a day. Can you please clarify this? Do veggies count as your carbs?

    • Team Powell - July 22, 2014

      Follow the calorie counts as outlined in the book. Changing up your calories from day to day actually helps with weight loss. And you can have 2 fist fulls of veggies with every meal, just make sure they’re the non-root/non-starchy type, and they do not count as your carb portion. Good luck! :)

  43. Abby Pellegrin - July 16, 2014

    If grabbing a quest protien bar, do you count Total Carbs or Net carbs?

  44. Charlagirl23 - July 11, 2014

    Whew! This explains so much! Total clarity! Thank you thank you thank you!!!!! :)

  45. Christina - July 7, 2014

    Started day 1 today—missed both snacks due to class and a late lunch hopefully day 2 goes better!… I mentioned this plan to my doctor and her only response was ‘I recommend low carb/no carb only’… I made my own choice to try carb-cycling after doing a lot of research on it.

  46. trina - July 3, 2014

    Hi I currently do crossfit to help loose weight and for strength my question is I work out 6 days at week at the 5 am class now as much as I would love to eat before class I don’t for fear of it coming back up I do have a protein shake. .Can I eat my morning meal 30 min after class ?

  47. Divyani - June 19, 2014

    Thank you Chris and Heidi… I was able to finish my 1st day of turbo cycle successfully and didnt even feel hungry… infact was not able to eat so much… just because of you guys.. You guys motivated me to try it once again and it workedd…. I am so happy… THANKYOU SO MUCH!!!!… will keep you guys updated about my weight loss… !!!! :-D..
    Current Weight = 76 kgs.

  48. Divyani - June 16, 2014

    Hi,
    I read chris’ book- choose more lose more.
    I have few doubts and posted that on fb, I guess this is the right place I should have posted. :-).
    Please please answer my questions:
    1) when can we have beverage?
    2) what if the calorie intake exceeds the standard calories?
    3) I saw few items whose calories differ from the calories given in the book. Please tell me which one to follow.
    4) how much of solid food can come in 1 oz? This is my first day, all I am ending up is measuring the protein on food weighing machine as 1 oz = 26 gm. Please tell me the measurement.
    5) sometimes the portion size you have provided exceeds or doesnt reach to the portion sizes according to my hand. What should I do in this case?
    6) How should I measure the cardio exercises like zumba and dance (except trademill) and can I do them for as much as I want to do, exceeding 5 minutes for sedentary people?
    7) can I include wheat and black chickpea?

    For now I can only think of these.. please please answer my question. I have already started my day and thinking whether this diet will work or not as there is a lot of difference in calories given in book and the calories given on net. I just want myself to feel motivated to do this diet and struggling to make myself believe that yes, I can reduce 57 pounds and ton my body using your formula.. please please help me……

  49. Vera - April 10, 2014

    Is carb cycling healthy for breastfeeding moms? My baby will be a year and I will start weaning her soon. I just want to know if it’s safe to start as I’m weaning her. Thanks!!!

  50. Bobi - April 9, 2014

    Hi! I am on week two of the turbo cycle. I find it incredibly difficult but I believe it is worth the sacrifice. I have ten pounds to lose to be at a healthy weight. I have hit a weight loss plateau for more than three months and was really hoping this would do the trick. I exercise 4-5 days per week and burn 600-800 calorie during each session. My intensity is there because I often have to bring my heart rate back down after hitting beyond 85% of my maximum. The scale is not moving nor are my measurement. Any advice is appreciated:) Thank you for being Awesome!

  51. blair lee - April 3, 2014

    would love to get the free printable food guide!

  52. cindy - January 27, 2014

    How do I do this if I am gluten free?

    • admin - January 29, 2014

      when you chose carbs on high carb days, simple pick gluten free carbs like sweet potatoes, gluten free pastas and such.

  53. Jennifer - January 8, 2014

    According to my “Smart Food Guide”, Greek yogurt is listed as a protein and yogurt with fruit is listed as a carb. I generally have Greek yogurt every day as part of a meal as protein. Should I only be having this on a high carb day?!? I generally have the Greek yogurt with almonds and veggies on a low carb day.

  54. Rose - January 4, 2014

    Hi Heidi, I am wondering how or if I can do carb cycling with any workout regime. I am not new to fitness, been consistently exercising for a about 5 years.(never been sedentary though) I alternate cardio and weight training e/o day for 6 days a week,changing up cardio weekly and weights monthly, always challenged there….but, I have been stuck in a plateau with only about 10 pounds to lose for about 6 months. :( any suggestions you can give me would be great. thank you

  55. Brenda Johnson - December 15, 2013

    “receive a FREE printable food guide that will make choosing foods for your low-carb and high-carb meals even easier!”

  56. Stacie Boss - December 11, 2013

    Heidi,
    Hi! I have been at a plateau for over a year and a half now weight wise. I lift heavy three days a week with cardio two other days. I have leaned out quite a bit even though my weight has stayed the same. My question is this. I am still trying to lean out a little more and lose those last pesky 5 lbs. Where does dairy fit into this equation? I love greek yogurt and usually eat a serving a day with fresh berries and raw nuts. I also have a small serving of half & half in my coffee and a serving of cheese a day (type varies). Is this hurting my goals? Should I remove some or all of this dairy from my diet? Which category, carbs, protein, etc. does it fall into? Also is there a limit on the amount of fruit you should eat in one day? Thanks so much for your help!
    Stacie

  57. heather - November 30, 2013

    i dont understand carbs but want to learn please

  58. EJ Rosenblum - November 13, 2013

    I am celiac, also a pescatarian. I do not eat ‘junk food’ not even the gluten free versions, yet I cannot seem to lose any weight. I need to lose about 30lbs. The last 2 1/2 yrs I have been under lots of stress and also a life cycle change and now have found that I have gained about 18lbs. I read both of Chris’ books and am still confused about the high/low carbs when I eat like this all the time.

  59. veronica graves - November 10, 2013

    Legumes, which is known to cause leaky gut along with pasta, whole grain, all these “good carbs” that u are advising others to consume are not good for people. Most of these items contain partially hydrogenated soy bean oil, are processed, filled with sugar, enriched wheat or white flour. Can u please tell me what u advise about all these things contained in most of these products?

  60. Patti - November 7, 2013

    If you eat before a workout, is your body burning fat stores or the food you just ate?

  61. Jan - November 3, 2013

    What is the type of carb-cycle you would recommend for someone who does Crossfit 4-5 times a week?

  62. Dawn H - November 3, 2013

    I have a concern. I really REALLY want to try this Carb Cycling, however, I have been told by personal trainers as well as my own research, that due to my own rigorous workout schedules (I teach/do High Intensity Circuit Training classes 3-4 days a week PLUS 2-3 times a week I’m at the gym beating myself with strength training), I should be taking in upwards of 2400+ cals a day..I have read the *Choose To Lose* and I am having a really hard time trying to figure out what my “High Days & Low Days” should be. Then I see this post here, and now I’m more confused. His book talks about 2300 (High Day) 1500 (Low Day), that’s a HUGE caloric difference and with me having MS, I cant afford my body getting too run down due to major caloric deficits. I have a considerable about of muscle mass, but my BF% is still pretty high and I want to change that. At 5’9, my peak was 232# and have been holding 194-198 for over a year and would like to think this program would help me thin out my BF% & also help me “feed the machine” to keep my body strong as my MS is starting to progress a little more. Also, I don’t know if I should, or need, to follow the workouts Chris has in the book seeing as how much I already do. Even the littlest about of guidance would be SO appreciated.

    • Admin1 - November 4, 2013

      It all depends on what you are trying to achieve and it sounds like your workouts are pretty intense already. Because of your health challenges I would recommend sticking to what your doctor says. :)

  63. Dawn - October 31, 2013

    Greetings :)I hope this gets to you… My husband and I are trying your suggested life transformation and have a couple questions. 1. In Chris’s book he writes in his “promise” section to eat a fruit a day. But if we are carb cycling and fruit is a carb..is this kind of carb ok everyday? I am confused. Also, he mentions to eat 30 minutes upon waking. ok But in another section he mentions its ok to go right from 9 min mission into my hour work out but then I don’t eat for 1.15 hrs after waking. Is this still ok? I have tried soo many programs before and don’t want to screw it up. Also, my husband has a distended barrel abdomen and no matter how fit he gets it is still hard as a rock and barrelly.. It sticks out past his pecs… What is that all about? HELP he is soo frustrated. Thanks so much for your help. Love the show and the book! Dawn

    • Admin1 - October 31, 2013

      Great questions! 1. Fruit is ok everyday as long as you eat it for your first meal. 2. Get that first meal in within 30 minutes of waking. IF you want to split it up a bit (part before your 9 minute mission and part after) that’s ok too. The important thing is to eat every 3 hours from there. 3. Every body is different. You might want to talk to your family doctor about it. :)

  64. Karen - October 30, 2013

    this is helpful but I find it all confusing even though I have the book. It wasnt clear what to do with fruits but here is sounds like I can only eat them on high carb days or for breakfast.

    hmmm there goes those green smoothies. Gotta have some fruit in them.

  65. aj - October 30, 2013

    Is there any way to translate carb servings into daily macros for low and high? Ie low carb day 30g and high carb 100.

    • Admin1 - October 30, 2013

      You don’t have to do that. :) We’ve taken all of the complicated calculations out of it for you. YAY!

  66. Vicki - October 30, 2013

    Thanks Heidi, just the article I needed on the day I was questioning myself on those carbs I love so much.

  67. Jennifer - October 30, 2013

    Actually, I am still confused. As fruits are carbs as well, does that mean they should only be eaten on high-carb days or at breakfast any day? That is what I have been following, but I’m not sure if I am right in doing so. Thanks!

  68. Kate - October 30, 2013

    This is great on explaining more about carbs!
    Could you please explain more about the good fats?
    I try and follow whats in your book but the list is very limited.

  69. BRIAN - October 30, 2013

    IM TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT AND TURN IN TO MUSCLE WHATS BEST WAY TO DO IT

  70. Cheryl Thomas - October 30, 2013

    I work third shift I need some suggestions how to eat doing this. I eat at noon go to bed like 2. Get up at 9. Have coffee don’t eat again until 230 am . Sometimes snack on popcorn during day .

  71. Stephanie - October 30, 2013

    I am wondering…can the carb cycling plan work for a vegan? Most everything I eat is technically a carb! Thanks!

  72. Renee - October 30, 2013

    I just started th 7day carb cycle. Good so far my only concern is I’m hypoglycemic, should I be doing anything different? I am only finding it hard doing the exercises first thing in the mornig. And what I mean is working out on an empty stomach and how weak I feel after I’m done.

  73. Lilliam Izquierdo - October 30, 2013

    I lost 80 pounds in about 2 years. I continue to exercise and keep a watch in my food intake. I would love to lose 20 more pounds but it has not been easy. The scale started playing with me the yo=yo game.

  74. Jennifer - October 30, 2013

    This was really helpful. I’ve been following carb-cycling for a few weeks now, following Choose More to Lose More for Life. My main confusion were with fruits as carbs and vegetables like carrots. Confirmed – high carb days only! Thanks! ;)

  75. Bethany - October 30, 2013

    Everyone always talks about how to lose weight….how do you actually MAINTAIN weight after you have finally lost all the weight?

  76. Katherine Ramirez - October 29, 2013

    I would love a diet with a actual menu to cook by to lose weight. There’s so many confusing ones out there, thanks!

  77. Danielle - October 29, 2013

    How do you carb cycle exactly. Do you do a low carb day followed by a high carb day or do you do a week of hi carbs and then a week of low carbs how often do you switch it up?

  78. André - October 29, 2013

    someday i will just be like you guys ! but i am greatfull over an answer if she can buy the bodé concept with the carb cycle when she got PCOS. Thank you for answer :) have a great day

  79. Teresa - October 29, 2013

    I have been working on my triglycerides for quite some time now. I am allerfic to all the meds the doctors can give me. I walk a mile a day and am doing zumba 2x a week but the doctors say to cut my carbs. I eat maybe a 3/4 cup prepared rice 1-3 times a week and maybe 6 slices of bread per week. Mostly I eat greek yogurt, fresh fruit, and 1/2 cup of granola for breakfast. Any advice to cut my carbs even more?

    • admin - October 29, 2013

      Show your doctor the carb cycling plan and see what he thinks. You do need carbs – the right kind of carbs. Fresh fruit is a carb and so is granola.

  80. André - October 29, 2013

    Hey ! you got realy great produkt over the bode concept. Someday i will be just like. I will be personly trainer and my biggest goal is to help people to get down in weight no matter what.

    I got a question from a freind of my. She has the sickdom “PCOS” it is a sickdom there the body doesnt take up all over the sugars.

    And i wonder if you think she can use the bodé concept. i was more thinking of the bode burn and cleanse and not the shakes

    • admin - October 29, 2013

      I have a video on my site on PCOS. That is also something she should check with her doctor on.

  81. Kim Wroldsen - October 29, 2013

    I need something basic to start losing weight. Hard to do when being under stress. :(.

  82. Marlice - October 29, 2013

    Need suggestions on calorie intake for someone who has Psoriasis and takes 100 mg shots of Enbrel a week (causes weight gain), uses topical ointments with steroids daily (which causes weight gain cause it gets in the blood stream thru the skin) and has Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (which makes me insulin resistant). I find the only way to loose the weight is follow the program and stay under 500 calories a day. I just purchased some bode products which are the protein powder, body cleanse and burn.

    Any suggestions or advise is appreciated. Matlice

    • admin - October 29, 2013

      You should NEVER eat under 1200 calories a day or you will put your body into starvation mode and you will not lose weight. You should check out the episode with Jami on Extreme Weight Loss (use the search box on my site to find more info on her). She had Psoriasis. i also have a video on PCOS. Good luck!

  83. sandra - October 29, 2013

    This is great advice! However for women with PCOS, like myself
    the amount of carbs you eat affects your fertility so having
    the perfect combination of food is critical, with lower carbs than for women without PCOS. I learned the hard way so I hope this helps
    someone. …

  84. april johnson - October 29, 2013

    how many low and high carbs do I do? one of each every other day?

  85. Summer - October 29, 2013

    Not sure that can answer this here but…..
    Can you become overly sensitive to simple carbs? I ask because I find that eating simple carbs and/or sugar knocks me out. I have the crash and become very tired without the benifit of the rush and can only figure this is becasue i dont eat these foods normally.

    • admin - October 29, 2013

      Yes. Make sure you’re not potentially eating things with gluten in them too, as it could actually be a gluten sensitivity that you are experiencing.

  86. Stacey Persico - October 29, 2013

    Thank you for all u do

  87. Antonia - October 29, 2013

    Thank for posting this. I would love to see a post on snack suggestions for those low carb days. The grab and go kind would be great. Being a mother keeps me on the go. I have Chris’s book and enjoy reading your blog. You two are a great team. I’ve always been active and thought that I had a pretty good handle with my diet. This has really helped me tweak it.

  88. Trina - October 29, 2013

    Hi I need help for me and my daughter. She is pre diabetic and 13. She is trying to change her eating but we need help to make sure we are putting the right foods together.

  89. Susan - October 29, 2013

    Hi,
    I just purchased, “Choose More, Lose More for Life”. I understand I need to create a calorie deficit. I multiplied my weight by 12 and got 2,844. I subtracted 1,000 calories to create a deficit which brought me to 1,844. So, each day whether it’s a low carb day or a high carb day I am to maintain a calorie intake of 1,844? Or should I consume 1,844 calories on low carb days and 2,344 on high carb days? Set me straight!
    Thanks,
    Susan

  90. Jenna - October 29, 2013

    Can you carb cycle while pregnant?

  91. erica - October 29, 2013

    Hi. I just have a question. Do you guys have your own line on of nutrional shakes that help you lose weight?
    I went to an advertisement of your husbands. I just want to make sure this is not a scam and really your guys! Because I have never seen him advertise on his show or on commercials.

  92. Adrienne - October 29, 2013

    So grateful for your posting this! I am finally ready to take the step in the right direction! You two rock and are an inspiration to me in so many ways! Thank you!

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