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. Are there any type of meal replacement bars you can use for when you are on the go? If so, what kind and how do you know which type to buy?

    1. Quest bars are great for low carb days. With any protein bars, pay attention to the fat and carb contents so you can know which type of meal (low or high carb) they are best suited for. You’ll have to look at the nutrition labels of every bar to make sure, as there are so many varieties with differing nutritional values.

  2. I am a plant-based vegan. How would carb cycling work for me since all of my protein comes from soy, nuts, legumes, grains and plants? Would I just stick to nuts and seeds with green veggies on low carb days?

    1. Hi Amy,

      I too am a vegan (and an Amy : ) I was wondering if you are carb cycling now and how it is working for you? I am trying to go through in my head how our options will work and I am getting stumped. Any suggestions or sample menus would be appreciated : ) We vegans need to stick together, thank you.


  3. Which program would you recommend for a nursing mommy? My baby is two months old and I would like to breast-feed as long as I can? Would like to get my eating habits back on track but don’t want to risk diminishing my milk supply.

    Love your show! You and your hubby are an amazing team! Very, very inspiring!

  4. What if I cannot eat within 30 mintues of waking? I take a thyroid pill 1st thing every morning and cannot eat for an hour. Will this have an effect on my results?

    1. With medications, it’s best to follow your doctor’s recommendations. This shouldn’t affect your weight loss at all! Happy carb cycling! 🙂

  5. On low carb days do you still eat a high carb breakfast? What is considered high carb – oatmeal and turkey sausage for protein? And last question: 😉 Does the type of carb cycling depend on how much exercising you are doing?

    1. Great questions! Yes, every breakfast is a high carb breakfast. There’s an awesome graphic in this post that will show you how to put together every meal in carb cycling, both low and high carb: There’s an extensive list in both of Chris and Heidi’s books (“Choose to Lose” and Choose More, Lose More for Life”), and you can also get their free approved foods list at Enter your email address in the “Join the Transformation” section, hit “Join,” and you’ll be given a link to download the list. And the amount of recommended exercise is the same for all four carb cycles. Happy carb cycling! 🙂

  6. Hi,

    Love your show, absolutely so inspiring and amazing. Quick question….I want to get this book, just wanted to know if it covers carb cycling for vegans? I am vegan, so just wanted to make for sure. Thanks for all that you do!

    1. There are some vegan options available in the book, as well as Chris and Heidi’s complete exercise program, and lots of other awesome info. Check it out!

  7. On Sunday and Tuesday I don’t eat meat or fish or eggs.
    I really want to start carb cycling. I’m think Tuesday and Sunday should be high carb days for ease. Is there any other vegetable protein you guys could recommend and is it ok if I have lets 2 highs n then low or does it have to high low high.
    I want to carb cycle for weight loss.

    Thank you in advance.

  8. I just started carb cycling yesterday. My plan was to try the turbo cycle first. Yesterday was my low carb day and I ended up feeling hungry, nauseous, and dizzy all day and with a headache. I decided to change to the classic cycle. I feel much better today adding the carbs. Will I feel like I did yesterday on every low carb day? Also, where can I add a Quest bar in my day? I’ve tried them in the past and their awesome especially when you have a sweet tooth. Will it keep me full?

    1. Low carb days will get easier! It might take your body a bit of time to adjust, but it will adjust. This is actually pretty normal too. 😉 Quest bars can be eaten as the protein and fat portions of your low carb meal. Good luck! 🙂

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