Carb Cycling: The Classic Cycle

While the Easy Cycle is the easiest cycle, the Classic Cycle is the simplest carb cycle. It offers a quick and easy introduction to carb cycling and results in fast and steady weight loss.

Unlike the Easy Cycle, which has a reward meal incorporated into every high carb day, the Classic Cycle has an entire reward day every week. Imagine that—a whole day to satisfy those cravings for your favorite foods! And you’ll still lose weight.

Here’s what a Classic Cycle week looks like:

  • Monday: Low carb day
  • Tuesday: High carb day
  • Wednesday: Low carb day
  • Thursday: High carb day
  • Friday: Low carb day
  • Saturday: High carb day
  • Sunday: Reward day

Every breakfast—on both low and high carb days—will consist of a portion each of protein, carb, and fat. For the next three meals of the day, eat either low or high carb meals (depending on which day you’re on). Your last meal of every day will ALWAYS be a low carb meal. Follow the portion size guide to put all of your meals together.

With the Classic Cycle, besides losing weight at a quick and constant pace, you’ll also be able to tune into what is happening in your body during this carb cycle process. You’ll learn and actually feel how food affects your body, and while you may experience some brief periods of nausea, headaches, low energy, and other symptoms as you change the way you fuel your body, these will be temporary. In the end, you’ll have a whole new appreciation for this marvelous body you have! And you can stick with the Classic Cycle throughout your weight loss journey or move onto another cycle. You are in control!

For more information on the Classic Cycle, check out our book, Choose More, Lose More for Life. Interested in learning about the new Extreme Cycle? You can get all the info in our new book, Extreme Transformation.


And if you’d like some help creating your own meals, there’s a handy “Create Your Own Meals” chart in this post!

Note: If you’ve been carb cycling using our book, Choose Lose More, Lose More for Life, you’ll notice that we’ve changed a couple of things since that book was published: You now include a fat for breakfast, and every final meal of the day is a low carb meal. Like with a lot of things in life, the more you do them, the more you learn about how to do them even better!

275 Responses

  1. Hi Team Powell!! I am just starting the cycling process and have a few questions. How many carbs should be taken in on a low carb day and how many on high carb day? I have done low carb off and on for years so I am not sure what the carb range is for carb cycling.

  2. I have both books, but bought the second one on my Kindle. Is there anywhere on either Heidi or Chris’ site where I can find the exercises that he describes, and print them out? Even with the first book, if I can print them out from a website, it’s easier than trying to hold open the book (provided my cats don’t lay on either one!!) thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Dawne,
      Since they don’t seem to have a printable set of the exercises, try getting a cookbook holder; they would hold open the book to the page you are using and keep it upright for viewing. Plus: kitty can’t lay on it and cover your info anymore! 🙂 Good luck!

  3. I have purchased the Chris’s first book about carb cycling, but I am concerned about the frequent meals. I am a registered nurse who can barely get a 30 min break during 12.5 hrs, let alone every 3. Do you have any suggestions that might help me? I really need to lose 40 pounds to get my life and health back. Thanks in advance for your help.

    1. Me too Yvonne! There is an overwhelming majority of nurses & other healthcare workers who work 12-13hr shifts. Sometimes just a bathroom break is a luxury! Patients come first, not us. Would love to see some suggestions from Chris or Heidi!!!

  4. Is there information in the book about aligning the cycling schedule with your workout days? I think this may be a good way to maintain energy levels while training/competing in triathlons. this is my first season and I have a lot to lose but don’t want to wait until this season is over. I know that low-carb works well for me to drop fat, but it seems to diminish my performance. So would I exercise on high-carb days? or exercise the day after high-carb days so that my body is stoked with energy from the day before?

    1. In the book there are charts outlining both nutrition (low/high carb days) and exercise for each day, so I’d suggest following the plan as it’s outlined in the book – it works! And every breakfast is a high carb breakfast, so you’ll have everything your body needs to get going and do what you need to do. Everything is explained very well, so check it out!

  5. I just purchased your book, Choose More, Lose More for Life and am trying to figure out a menu for the week for my husband and I on the Classic Cycle. It’s pretty confusing… In the book it looks like you should have a protein and carb at every breakfast regardless of whether it is a HC or LC day. I notice in the comment to MaryAnn above, it is stated ” For a low carb meal, choose a protein, healthy fat, and veggies. For a high carb meal, choose a protein, carb, and veggies.” Thanks!

  6. In the book, are there tips for nursing and dealing with allergies (dairy, eggs, and peanuts)? My baby is almost 1, but I don’t think she plans on weaning anytime soon and I like having something in her diet that I know for sure is safe and healthy for her. Thanks for any help/advice/insight!

  7. I’ve read Chris’ book and am excited to get started. I understand the general principles of carb cycling, but I am a little lost in converting all that info into meal plans and a shopping list. I’d be very appreciative to have more definitive guides such as several weekly meal plans with a shopping list. I’d be willing to buy this for convenience. Thanks for the great work you and your husband do!

    1. We don’t have any sample meal plans available, but here are some ideas that might help: (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. For a low carb meal, choose a protein, healthy fat, and veggies. For a high carb meal, choose a protein, carb, and veggies. Hope this helps – best of luck carb cycling! 🙂

  8. I started carb cycling this week using this cycle, except I am choosing to have a treat meal once every six weeks in place of weekly 🙂 thank you for the great info! Chad Crystal Froemming on Facebook.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join the Waitlist