The Benefits of Carb Cycling for Weight Loss

Following a certain diet to help you lose weight and carb cycling is one of them. Your body needs to have the right nutrients to stay healthy. Consuming some carbs is not bad since it will allow your body to function as it should. 

Your body needs to have carbs, proteins, and fats to have the energy you need daily. The recommended amount experts advise is to have 50-55%of calories from carbs, 10-15% from proteins, and 28% or less from fats.

What is Carb Cycling and How Does it Work?

Carbs are needed to fuel the body, although too much consumption can make you fat. Carb cycling is a strict diet athletes and bodybuilders are doing. It's their way of reducing body fat to get more muscle mass. This is an athlete's diet since it will allow them to store more carbs on their bodies.

It involves going back and forth between low carb days and high-carb days. Carb cycling will allow you to have more energy during your fat shredding workouts or even if you're about to be in a marathon . It became popular for those who want to lose weight. Although most of the weight that you will lose will be from water, it's a great start to get back in shape.

Can Carb Cycling Help You Lose Weight?

Can cycling will help you lose weight since you're eating fewer carbs during the days that you're not active. During these days, you should only eat 0.5 grams of carbs per pound of your body weight.

You can have a no-carb day if you only consume less than 30 grams of carbs on a specific day. That will help you to lose weight more effectively. Then have your high-carb day on the days that you're planning to be more active.

What Exactly Should You Eat When Carb Cycling?

The key to making carb cycling effective is to choose to eat good carbs. Avoid eating the bad ones to make sure that your efforts will not be wasted. Good carbs are those types of foods that contain high fiber, slow to digest, and are unprocessed.

When carb cycling, make sure to eat whole grain starches, oatmeal, sweet and white potatoes, and fruits. It's also good to eat vegetables, legumes, beans, lentils, and split peas. Avoid highly processed food that is low in fiber and contains white flour and sugar. 

What Does a High-Carb Day Look Like?

Here's a sample of what your meals look like on a high-carb day.

  • Breakfast

     3 boiled eggs, 3 slices of Ezekiel or 7 seed/grain bread, tomatoes, mushrooms, and a side bowl of mixed fruit (60 grams carbs).
  • Lunch

    6 ounces of sweet potato, 6 ounces of lean meat or fish, and mixed vegetables (45 grams carbs).
  • Pre-Workout

     A serving of oatmeal, almond milk, a cup of berries, 1 scoop of whey protein (50 grams carbs).
  • Dinner

     1 serving wholemeal rice, 6 ounces of lean chicken, homemade tomato sauce, 1 serving kidney beans, and mixed vegetables (70 grams carbs).

What Does a Low-Carb Day Look Like?

Here's the sample meal plan during the low-carb days.

  • Breakfast

     3 eggs with 3 slices of bacon and mixed vegetables (10 grams carbs).
  • Lunch

     6 ounces of salmon salad with 1 spoon olive oil (10 grams carbs).
  • Snack

     1 ounce of mixed nuts with 1 serving of turkey slices (10 grams carbs).
  • Dinner

     6 ounces of steak, half avocado, and mixed vegetables (16 grams carbs).

    So, is Carb Cycling the Same as Keto?

    Carb cycling and the keto diet are not the same. Although the cyclical keto diet is often compared to this type of diet. In carb cycling, it involves lowering the carb consumption for inactive days but in keto, it happens every day.

    Is Carb Cycling Safe to Do for Everyone?

    Carb cycling is an extreme type of diet and for that reason, it's not for everyone. Don't even try it if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. It's not going to be a good idea since you have another life to nourish.

    If you're already underweight, carb cycling is no longer necessary. It may do you more harm than good. Carb cycling is also not for those who are managing or dealing with an eating disorder. It can be detrimental to your health so it's best to just skip it.

    Who is Carb Cycling Right for?

    It's a strict type of diet that's why it's not exactly for everyone. Carb cycling is for athletes and bodybuilders who are serious about this diet plan. They need to lower their body fat, have more muscle mass, and store carbs for competitions. 

    What are the Side Effects of Carb Cycling?

    When you start consuming lesser carbs, you can experience carb flu. But it doesn't last for a long time so you have nothing to worry about. These side effects are feeling of tiredness, sleeping problems, constipation, bloating, and mood issues.

    To relieve yourself from the side effects of carb cycling, drinking water and electrolytes will be a great help. It will not last long so you don't have to stop doing it right and get back to your old eating habits.


    • How fast do you lose weight on carb cycling?

      You will lose weight in about 2 to 4 weeks of being on carb cycling depending on your body's response. Although you will feel better and have more energy as soon as one week. You could also look into more weight loss supplements.
    • How does carb cycling burn belly fat?

      Carb cycling will burn belly fat by consuming fewer carbs within two days and eating more carbs the next day. When your body carbs reserve is about to run out, the high carb day will speed up your metabolism.


    Carb cycling has benefits that other types of fad diets don't. During the low carb days, it will help burn fat faster, increase insulin sensitivity, enhance metabolic health, and improve your cholesterol levels. On the high carb days, it will have a positive effect on your hormones. That's why it's one of the most recommended diets for athletes.

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