Intermittent Fasting And Carb Cycling Dont Have To Be Complicated Learn How To Use These Strategies To Start Burning Fat And Feeling Great
More than 100,000 FASTer Way clients have learned how to live a healthy lifestyle that doesnt required special products or expensive supplements, it simply requires a little science know-how and some good old-fashioned determination.
Two of our core strategies, Intermittent Fasting and Carb Cycling, are simple to learn and easy to practice. They are free to do and can be done anywhereeven on vacation!
It all started when FASTer Way to Fat Loss creator Amanda Tress was tired of the runaround from all the popular mainstream advice. She says:
For years I lived by the diet and exercise advice the fitness gurus swore by: several mini-meals throughout the day, a regular low-calorie intake, and long form cardio. While I found myself in decent shape, there came a time when I hit a plateau. I couldnt quite find my six pack, I didnt have a ton of energy, and I found myself getting sick a little too often for my liking. So, I did a little research and began experimenting with Intermittent Fasting and Carb Cycling. In addition, I changed up my workouts and added in some serious strength training and HIIT.
I can honestly say that I have never looked or felt better. Because of the amazing results I saw with this combination of nutrition and workouts, I created what has now become the FASTer Way to Fat Loss. Today, countless clients have seen significant results in terms of fat loss, energy levels, overall health and confidence.
Why Do People Practice Carb Cycling
Intelligently mapping your carbohydrate intake against your training schedule is a great way to promote weight loss or muscle gain. Its a very subjective and goal-oriented diet, and people tend to go into it with these two objectives in mind.
The link between carb consumption and weight regulation is well established . Controlling the amount of carbs your body turns to for energy is a very efficient way to burn fat, build muscle, and lose weight. Hence the popularity of keto and other low carb diets.
However, certain carbs are good for you. Theyre also delicious. Carb cycling is a way of enjoying the benefits of a low carbohydrate diet on certain days while reaping the rewards of eating the right kind of carbs on other days.
Carb Cycling Diet Rules
1. Eat 5 to 7 times a day2. Dont drink your calories3. Eat lots of vegetables for fibre 4. Be prepared! Meal planning will ensure you dont snack on bad foods5. Perform intensive full-body weight lifting workouts on high carb days6. Do cardio or rest days on low carb days
- Brown Rice
- Refined Cereals
Before I provide you with the meal plan I want to define what a high-carb, medium-carb, and low-carb days will look like.
This is generally speaking. There are a few hard and strict rules for metabolic carb cycling, so Ill let you make a few of your own choices.
Give This Eating Approach A Try To Get Lean Fast
Ill let you in on a little secret: Paleo diets can work. Low carb diets can work. Flexible diets can work. Intermittent fasting can work. High carb diets can work. Just eating food can also work. Juicing meh, stick with one of the above.
Im not being facetious here. The point is, most diets can work. When implemented with consistency, that is. But by that same token, they can fail miserably if youre not goal-focused and apply them slapdash in between binges.
But thats not why youre here. Youre here because you want to know which one is the most effective. There is one. And its not in that list. But more on that in a moment.
First, some house keeping: the key to fat loss is being in a calorie deficit. Simple, right? Not exactly. Men in particular are prone to unwittingly being in a calorie surplus and then wondering why they dont have shredded, six-pack abs. Monitor your intake. Rule one.
Now on to actually getting shredded, six-pack abs. If youre looking to maximize your fat loss while holding on to as much muscle as possible you should try out my favorite diet system the one I use with all my clients, be they action movie stars or men on my online training program. Its called carb cycling. And heres how it can work for you.
Carb Cycling While Flexible Dieting
Im often asked about carb cycling while doing flexible dieting or counting macros.
Im not a believer in the strictest form of the concept. I feel it is another rigid dieting regimen. Flexible dieting seeks to break people free from such restrictions.
I believe IIFYM actually achieves the same goal of carb cycling but does it naturally and intuitively.
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Day Carb Cycling Meal Plan: 1200
28 Days of on Target, Easy to Follow Meals so you can:
Theres evidence that low-carb diets and carb cycling can help women, when done right, especially those in perimenopause or menopause, to achieve weight loss goals, improved blood sugar control, better quality sleep and reduced menopause symptoms like hot flashes or night sweats.
Jumpstart your metabolism with carb cycling! This 4 week meal plan is what every person starting carb cycling needs for success. Put together by a licensed dietician and approved by me! Carb cycling is one of the methods that helped me shed over 30 lbs in just a few months AND keep it off! See whats included
Example Meal Plans For Every Fast
In this section, youll find one-day meal plans for the most popular intermittent fasting regimens.
These recipes are nutrient-dense, low-carb, high-protein meals that compliment the benefits of your intermittent fast by continuing to maintain healthy blood glucose, insulin, and ketone levels while providing all the macro and micronutrients you need to maintain a healthy metabolism.
When planning how to break your fast, whether its at breakfast or lunch, steer clear of high-carb foods like fruits or grains that may spike blood sugar and lead to a crash later in the day. If you follow a Keto or low-carb lifestyle, youll already be familiar with eating this way.
Keep in mind that your portions will vary based on your individual needs. The goal isnt to consciously limit calories, though it will probably happen naturally.
Also, dont feel pressure to make every recipe. Theres no shame in eating leftovers, and batch cooking ahead of time often goes hand in hand with meal planning.
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Calculating Your Required Intake Of Carbs And Protein
As I mentioned before, when carbohydrate cycling, you dont need to alter the amount of protein youre consuming from one day to another. How much should that be, though?
Exercise scientist Rob Allen suggests the following simple formula for working out your required protein intake: Simply make sure youre consuming 1 gram of protein for every pound in your body weight every day.
When it comes to the required about of carbs, use the following method:
Low Carbohydrate Day – Multiply your body weight by a factor of 0.3 for women and 0.5 for men.
High Carbohydrate Day – Multiply your body weight by a factor of 1.2 for women and 1.4 for men.
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Is Carb Cycling Actually Healthy
When I began evaluating carb cycling, I immediately reached a roadblock. Theres essentially no research on the health effects and weight loss potential of varying carbohydrates on a daily basis. While theres plenty of data on following low-carb diets, as well as higher carb, lower fat diets, for a certain period of time, you wont find much about alternating between the two every other day.
To effectively evaluate carb cycling from a nutrition perspective, I followed a cycling plan for two weeks. Based on my estimated energy needs, this is what my eating plan for one week looked like:
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How Carb Cycling Works
When you eat food that has carbohydrates and your blood sugar goes up, your pancreas makes more of a hormone called insulin that takes glucose into cells. There, the glucose is either converted into energy, stored for later, or turned into fat.
Taking short breaks to cycle carbs can give your body a chance to burn fat instead of carbs and muscle tissues. But itâs important to remember that if you arenât doing plenty of exercise or intense training while carb cycling, high-carb days might make you gain weight.
There isnât a lot of research on the long-term effects of carb cycling, but itâs generally safe to do for a short time. Make sure your overall diet is healthy so you can keep blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels under control.
If Youre A Health And Fitness Pro
Learning how to help clients manage stress and optimize sleep can massively change your clients results.
Theyll get unstuck and finally move forwardwhether they want to eat better, move more, lose weight, or reclaim their health.
Plus, itll give you the confidence and credibility as a specialized coach who can solve the biggest problems blocking any clients progress.
What Is Carb Cycling
Carb cycling is a diet tactic where you eat different amounts of carbohydrates on alternate days depending on your activity.
Unlike intense dieting, which can lead to weight loss then the yo-yo effect once the diet is over, this method helps maintain steady body weight by regulating hormonal stress caused by calorie restriction.
The idea behind carb cycling is that people cant stick to the same low-carb diet indefinitely without craving somethingusually, carbs. When this happens, they either go back to their old eating habits or quit altogether. Carb cycling aims to make it easier to adhere to and lose weight with a zero-, very low-, or low-carb diet.
In some cases, carb cycling can help combat fatigue and decline in energy levels that often occur when following a low-carb diet over a long period.
- High-Carb Days. You eat more carbs than usual and fill up on things like whole grains, legumes, fruit, and starchy vegetables. Research suggests that these types of carbs will not only give you energy but also help keep you full .
- Low-Carb Days. Your carb intake is much lower than usual. You may still be in a calorie deficit , but the calories from carbs are drastically reduced. This may lead to greater fat loss and less muscle loss compared to steady-state diets.
How To Test Carb Tolerance
There is no clear definition of what it means to be carb tolerant, so there is no best way to test for it. However, we can define some parameters that may suggest someone can tolerate carbs, and we can then describe ways to measure that response.
Blood sugar and insulin response to eating carbs are two potential metrics. You can test your glucose tolerance with an oral glucose tolerance test .20
Even better is the Kraft test, which is an OGTT measuring both glucose and insulin levels. As Dr. Kraft showed, abnormally high insulin responses often occur years before abnormally high glucose responses, thereby allowing us to identify those at risk much sooner than waiting for blood sugar to climb too high.21 In general, testing insulin levels is more expensive than a simple blood sugar test and is not done as frequently.
However, as we previously mentioned, eating less than 150 grams of carbohydrate per day in the days to weeks preceding an OGTT will often result in higher blood sugars after the 75-gram glucose load. As such, experts in the field recommend against using this test if you are eating a low-carb diet.22
For many, a better measurement may be a real-world tolerance test. You likely arent going to be drinking an overly concentrated, synthetic glucose drink in your daily life, so why should you test your response to it?
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Reducing Hunger And Cravings
In addition to helping decrease body fat levels by fueling intense workouts, another benefit of carb-cycling is that it does not lead to high-level hunger pangs. People who are trying to cut back on calories often complain about how hungry they get. Giving up carbs altogether comes with intense cravings that might make it harder to stick to the diet.
Carb cycling helps with this because you can eat a higher amount of carbohydrates around periods where your energy requirements are at their highest or when you need extra energy in general . You also get to indulge your cravings with a moderate amount of carbs every other day.
This may be helpful for some people who find that they do not want to stick to an extremely low-calorie diet plan because they feel hungry all the time even though they have given up soda, candy bars, chips, etc.
Is Carb Cycling Ketogenic
A carb cycling diet is not the same as the ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet limits carbohydrates to 20-40 grams each day in order to keep the body in a state of ketosis, where it’s burning fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. In contrast, carb cycling alternates the number of carbs eaten each day. You can’t follow both diets simultaneously because on a high-carb day, you would throw your body out of ketosis.
Pictured Recipe: Apple-Cinnamon Quinoa Bowl
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Other Benefits Of Carb Cycling
There is currently no scientific research on the health benefits of carb cycling.
It is important to consume the correct number of calories for a personâs daily requirements regardless of their diet.
It is also vital to consume enough macronutrients and micronutrients. Without sufficient quantities of these nutrients, an individual puts themselves at risk of developing
People can eat whichever healthy and balanced food they want on a carb cycling diet, as long as they do not exceed the amount of carbs their plan allows.
The following suggested meal plans are for people who require 2,000 calories per day.
Does Your Brain Hurt Yet
Theres actually more to it, but I realize that this might seem like a lot to think about. However, once you really understand this cycle and process, it is a truly simple lifestyle to live. FASTer Way clients are seeing amazing results from an intentional combination of Carb Cycling, Intermittent Fasting, and effective strength training workouts. You dont need to figure this out yourself, weve already done it for you in the FASTer Way to Fat Loss!
Ready to join? Register today and get ready for the most powerful program of your life. You wont just feel better and look better, youll even DO better. This is what our client Vanessa had to say
I am a high school teacher and mom of two very energetic boys. Many of my students struggle with parents with drug problems or abandonment. My two boys are ADHD and struggle in school. Daily I am mom to both my students and my own kids. In the two months prior to starting this program I felt broken, depressed, fatigued, and angry. Within two weeks of starting, this program balanced my life. I wake up happy, energetic, and focused. This program has changed my life. I am more patient with my kids and students. I have the energy to play with my kids, help them with their homework, and just do a better job loving them.I am a better mom to all. I thank God that I found this program. Thank you FASTer Way to Fat Loss!
If youre ready to wake up energized and ready to fulfill YOUR purpose, then join us today for the next round!
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Carbs Arent Your Only Concern
Dont make the mistake of thinking that carb cycling is only about counting your carbohydrate intake on certain days. There are other nutrients critical in helping you lose weight, building muscle, and remaining healthy that you have to pay attention to.
Firstly, a protein source.
Whether youre carb cycling as a vegan or not, its essential to maintain a consistent protein intake regardless of where you are in your carb cycle. The protein sources you select depends on whether youre in a high or low carb day. During vegan carb cycling on high carb days it is important to up your carbohydrate intake and eat healthy carbs such as oatmeal, legumes, bean, lentils, and split peas. On low carb days it is important to focus on good healthy vegan protein sources. Foods such as Seitan, tofu, edamame, and chickpea .It is important to make a good carb cycling plan which will help in overall fat loss and body composition goals.
Secondly, dont forget about fat.
On low carb days, your body will need an alternative energy source, so go wild with high-fat foods. On high carb days, however, go the low-fat route. See the section below for more information on foods recommended for these days.
Does Carb Cycling With Intermittent Fasting Work
If carb cycling can help burn fat, and intermittent fasting helps too, does the combination of intermittent fasting and carb cycling boost fat burn?
According to most experts, the answer is to be determined. Thats mostly because there hasnt been much scientific research on carb cycling.
After losing 100 pounds with a low carb diet, plus intermittent fasting, I believe fasting is a great addition to most plans. It can be especially helpful when it comes to keto since its not always the easiest diet to follow. On days you stray from a keto meal plan, fasting is a great backup to ensure you get results.
Of course, Im not advocating you purposely cheat because you also fast but its a good way to pad results in the event that life happens.
Carb cycling is something Ive added more recently into the mix but its a tool I wish I added much sooner. While you should be fat adapted prior to adding carbs back in, its a great way to stave off boredom. Eating high-carb foods a few days each week makes it feel like youre cheating on low carb, but on purpose.
As long as you dont take advantage of high-carbohydrate days by eating junk, adding in a few extra grams of carbs a few days each week could even help you become metabolically flexible.
The good news is you dont have to follow a keto carb cycling plan to make intermittent fasting carb cycling work. In fact, you may see quicker results when adding in a few low carb days from a high-carb diet.
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