Looking back at the beginning of my weight loss, I was carb cycling to lose weight and didn’t even realize it. Prior to 2013, my normal daily diet was carbs, carbs, and more carbs. Problem was, after 40, that also meant pounds, pounds and more pounds. That was until I decided enough was enough.
The carb cycling diet turned out to be a great way for me to lose over 35lbs. Salads are great, but who wants to only eat salads? Carb cycling for women works because what woman doesn’t love carbs?
I love carb cycling (sounds like a bumper sticker) for the flexibility it provides while giving the results we want. Anyone can do low carb a day or two at a time if you know a high carb day is right around the corner, right?
What is Carb Cycling for Women?
Carb cycling has been around for decades. It uses the body’s natural processes and reactions to food to boost metabolism while burning fat cells rather than muscle tissue.
Without getting into too much science, we want our fat cells to burn rather than muscle tissue. That may sound very logical, however, there are many women (including me, years ago) are starving themselves to lose fat, only they are losing muscle.
When we shed pounds through starving our body, our muscle tone goes away, causing us to weigh less, but we are not fit, healthy or slim. Which is exactly why the scale may move but the clothing size doesn’t move as much as it could.
Example. Many years ago, I would lose weight through diets and starvation only. No exercise. Yeah, the weight was dropped, my clothing size even dropped a little. I would weigh about 140lbs, and wear a size 8/10.
However, I never could get below an 8 and thought it just wasn’t possible for me.
Once I started eating healthy and exercising, my muscles were toned, the fat was burned and I am now a size 0/2 without a day or hour of starving. Did I mention I still weigh 138lbs?
You can see the difference in how eating right and exercising can be beneficial for results.
Metabolism is kicked up through what we eat and the amount of muscle tone we have.
What exactly do you need to eat to lose weight the right way?
What is a carb cycling diet?
A carb cycling diet is alternating carb macro amounts from day to day. You may have 3 low carb days and 4 high carb days per week. Or, maybe it changes from week to week. There are many different combinations to carb cycling. Carb cycling is changing the number of grams of carbs eaten.
I believe carb cycling to lose weight could be the key.
Without intentionally planning, I am pretty sure my eating habits have had some carb cycling effects.
Knowing my goal was to be healthy, I have been trying to eat clean, moderate carbs for a few years. Like you, I have had my weak days or even gladly ate a cheat meal here and there.
When that happens, I then make sure my clean healthy, moderate carb meals are on point for at least a few days to make up for it.
In simple terms, that is what carb cycling is.
What Should Your Carb Cycling Macros Be?
There are different carb cycling plans with different macro numbers to follow depending on your goals. Each plan is a rotation of high and low carb days. In the FFM Weight Loss Plan, high carb days are a 40 40 20 macros split, while low carb days are a 20 40 40 split, rotating carbs and fats.
If you are wondering what do you eat on a high carb day, you’re not alone. There are so many choices of carbs. Although the carb cycle plan has some flexibility, every high carb day can’t be full of breads, pastas and sugars. Sure, those are high carbs, but those carbs will wreck your diet if you eat them often.
How Many Carbs Should I Eat When Carb Cycling?
As stated above, on our plan, we believe 40% carbs is a good number for high carb foods day. In our program, we have an easy to follow program with lists of foods to choose from to fulfill proper macros.
On the lower or moderate carb cycle days, 20% carbs are the goal.
Learning about macros for women can be an important step to educating yourself for weight loss and better health. Tracking macros for fat loss is vital to get a clear and honest view of how your body uses the food you’re eating. Simply cutting back calories at this point in our lives as women over 40, just doesn’t work like it used to.
If you need help in how to calculate your macros, visit my post on Nutrition for the details.
Depending on what day it is your carbs will range from a high – low – moderate amounts. You will adjust the rest of your macros accordingly. Meal plans for carb cycling can be confusing, but through meal planning and tracking it becomes easier.
Carb Cycling for Weight Loss
Carb cycling is a genius food plan. Really, it is.
You’ve heard of cheat days? Well, with carb cycling you get a cheat day without the guilt!
Basically, carb cycling for weight loss rotates low and high carbs days within a week. Depending on personal weight loss goals, that determines how many of each are planned.
Then there’s the cheat day. The cheat day or cheat meal depending on the exact plan you are following and will consist of ANYTHING you want!
Because of the constant change from high to low carbs and with the cheat meal or day scheduled in, the body burns more calories!
On the high carb days, it burns the food instead of storing because there is enough. On the low carb days, the body is forced to burn fat.
It’s best to correlate your exercises with your carb cycling schedule. If you need help scheduling, we have both the workout plan and the carb cycle diet in an easy to follow weight loss program (available 2019).
As I learned about carb cycling, I realized in some ways I had already been doing this plan, albeit not quite as structured.
Of course, the carb cycling diet plan in the FFM Weight Loss Program will have more structure and science for best results.
Carb cycling for women is easily customized for different goals and works right along with vacations and individual schedules. I really love the flexibility and carb cycling schedule that can work for anyone.
Join the Fit Found Me Weight Loss program if you want help following a carb cycling meal plan!
Have questions? Comment below for answers!
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