Diet trends come around every so often. Now though, there’s the internet that can fact-check everything and with that those interested probably should have realized that the healthiest way to lose weight and stay healthy isn’t with a “quick fix”. Instead, it’s investing a long-term lifestyle change.
There’s the Atkin’s, Paleo, Keto, and “whole 30” diets.
Thanks to Instagram, the Kardashians, and pyramid schemes there even are juice, protein shake and tea cleanses. Which, by the way, are easy and much cheaper to make at home instead of buying the pre-packaged sets.
The ingredients in Fit Tea, the company that gets a lot of shoutouts from the Kardashian’s, aren’t made up of much that you haven’t already heard of. In them, you’ll find green tea, oolong wu yi, garcinia cambogia extract, pomegranate, organic rooibos, ginger, stevia, and honey.
Most of these ingredients you can find at your local health store. As much as it seems like an effort to go through and combine these, try making a unique blend depending on your own preference.
What is Carb-Cycling?
More recently, carb-cycling has been making an impression on dieters.
It’s relatively self-explanatory, instructing individuals to “cycle” their carbs throughout a period of time. It also focuses on balancing the number of carbohydrates depending on the amount of exercise done throughout the dieting period.
High-carb intake days would occur on workout days, therefore making days off or lower activity workout days, the time to reduce carbs.
This meal planning process will work by manipulating the carb intake, protein intake and overall activity level for the optimal weight loss.
What is Carb-Cycling?
Precision Nutrition praises the idea of this carb diet by saying…
“If eaters plan a higher carbohydrate intake at regular intervals, their bodies won’t ever get too close to starvation mode.”
Diets similar to this one fail because people feel they aren’t getting enough grams of carbs and feel exhausted and constantly hungry. But the difference with carb-cycling is that there isn’t a constant purge from filling foods.
A Forbes article reads…
“Carb Cycling works well because you never completely cut something out, yet you still reap the benefits of low carb days and high carb days.”
With the reoccurring pattern of high carb days, this could potentially increase motivation and encourage dieters to continue through to the end of the cycle. Carb days will be on the horizon and be a push for when lentils and salad again make you want to cut your gym membership card in two.
How the Body Reacts
Obviously, diets are developed to aid people to lose fat and hopefully, replace the loss with an increase in muscle mass. By working out on high-carb days, the body will be able to exercise more, due to its increase in fuel, a.k.a carbs and protein.
Despite a lot of research that suggests protein is better for workouts than carbs, the rule of cutting back on them during skip days will help reduce the build-up of fatty deposits from the unused “fuel”.
It may seem tempting to eat comforting foods on your couch on weekend days, however, this diet discourages that as you won’t be using it.
In an interview for Women’s Health, Brian Murray, A.C.E.-certified personal trainer and certified nutritionist says…
“You don’t need to be hoarding all these extra calories if they’re not going to be used,” Adding, “Unlike your fat and protein intake, your carb needs vary from one day to the next.”
Depriving your body of carbs, and pretty much anything you like can take it’s toll emotionally and physically.
Again, this is why so many diets end up failing. It’s important to remember that re-feeding days, the high-calorie ones, doesn’t mean you can order $100 worth of Chinese take-out and binge.
It’s still a diet and diets are for weight loss. When you’re “allowed” to eat carbs, this diet still requires you to eat whole carbs and healthy fats. Not fast food and an endless amount of baguettes. If only!
Precision Nutrition notes that a helpful tip is to…
“scale back the fat and protein intake slightly. Carbohydrates have a protein sparing effect so less dietary protein is required. This will allow for one’s calorie count to remain in check.”
Will it Work For You?
Nearly every diet plan comes with a warning: Speak to your nutritionist/doctor before adjusting your eating plan; this may not work for everyone; follow the diet carefully; stop if any medical conditions arise. And so on.
Similarly, every diet plan has its flaws and cynics arguing against it and, usually, diets as a whole.
“The proposed mechanism of carb-cycling is to maximize the benefits of carbohydrates and teach the body to burn fat as fuel. While this makes sense in theory, more direct research is needed,” says Health Line.
Doing plenty of research and confirming that your body, lifestyle, and health can adjust to this is important if you want to stay safe and for it to be successful.
Interestingly, carb-cycling isn’t as new as most researchers and nutritionists believe. Its longevity with certain athletes could prove it’s reliability, too. Bodybuilders have followed a similar carb intake routine, by eating a lot to “bulk up” before competitions.
Shelby Starnes, a professional bodybuilder, spoke to Daily Burn about cycling…
“Eating healthy carbs on certain days keeps your metabolism revved up, and sticking to mostly protein and vegetables on days in between keeps insulin low enough that you can burn fat without losing muscle.”
After you’ve checked to see if your doctor recommends it and you’ve researched it, you might be set for a diet plan that will work. And one you’ll like. Since those that try it claim it ends in results.
Given that you’re organized and have a set meal-plan to you keep track of, exercise, and only do it for the recommended time, it should most likely, work for most.
Some Cycle Tips
On both high and low activity level days, try to adopt the “little and often” rule. Drink lots of fluids, but stay away from sugared and caffeinated ones. This will ensure you don’t feel hungry and tempted to give up. Plus, drinking can make you feel full.
One study showed that when a group of people was asked if they were hungry or thirsty they thought they were hungry, when in fact, 62% of the time they were actually dehydrated.
Diet or not, you should be drinking a lot of water. We wrote about the importance and tips to stay hydrated earlier this week, here.
Don’t want to get up and work out? Remind yourself that what you’re doing isn’t forever, it’s a diet and short-term.
Read some of these things people tell themselves to get their running shoes on. On the other hand, don’t let it take over your life. There are so many other important things to worry about other than looking “thin”.
Try seeing a therapist if it gets to be too much mentally. Work to find ways to love yourself and be healthy without trying every new diet craze that’s online. Be healthy and happy over starving.
Being healthy should be the main goal to be achieved with this as with any other diet.
Unfortunately, diets aren’t something a lot of health professionals recommend. Ultimately, they help inspire the “yo-yo” culture of losing and gaining weight. In addition to that, many people are misinformed about what to eat and end up lacking in certain vital nutrients.
Dietitian, Haley Goodrich of INSPRD Nutrition and her colleague Jennifer Rollin, debunk several diets in an article on Huffington Post. They claim that diets “don’t work” in the long run and can be harmful to individuals trying them out.
“These diets at large promote the idea that we can make blanket recommendations when in fact, human’s needs/diet are so highly individualized.”
Go for a run. Order a pizza. Have balance and still be able to live without using your calculator every time it’s time to eat.
“When you look back on your life at age 80 do you really think that you will be fondly reminiscing about the years spent as a slave to the treadmill, chugging juices, counting calories, or obsessing about your body shape and weight?”