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Carb Cycling does this work?

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SparkPoints: (65,093)
Fitness Minutes: (35,097)
Posts: 2,166
12/11/12 2:29 P

People who try to build muscle need a caloric surplus to achieve that. However, whenever there is caloric surplus, some of it always becomes fat, which is undesirable. So what people do is that they eat a lot of carbs during heavy training days, and then cut back on carbs and also fats in the rest of the week when they are recovering. That way they try to achieve both building muscle and staying lean. It is tough though, because often recovery days must also be at a caloric surplus because muscle building still must continue, and thus the recovery is not a full recovery when the carbs are cut back.

You can also reduce your weight by cutting back on your carb consumption, because refilling glycogen stores through burning fat takes a long time and when those stores are empty, there is a large amount of free water eliminated from the body, leading to substantial reduction in weight. That is how protein diets work too: Initial weight loss is mostly water loss because of depleted glycogen stores.

Posts: 478
12/10/12 11:01 P

Carb cycling definitely works. I've done it and I did it before my competition. Do the results last? Ha, no chance. You just cant live like that. Once you stop cycling, you will probably find that your cravings for carbs were worse than before and it is possible that you may gain back more weight than you initially lost. I wouldn't suggest it as part of a long term solution.

Posts: 26,575
12/10/12 7:10 P

Weight loss is truely brought about by a decrease in calorie intake; not by "carb cycling." Since you question this as a "lifestyle" change, I would therefore encourage you to focus more on calorie intake, staying in your SP ranges for carbs, fat and protein---and using healthy, smart carb choices: fruit, beans, lentils, legumes, lowfat milk, whole grains, oatmeal, brown rice, etc.

Hope this helps
SP Dietitian Becky

Posts: 116
12/10/12 4:33 P

Hi Sparks, I am starting my second week of the Chris Powell carb cycling program. I was wondering if anyone has tried carb cycling and does it work for long term weight management? I've done a lot of research and it appears that most carb cyclers are weight builders. I'm wondering if this will work for someone like me who is average and wants to lose 15 pounds. I just completed my first week and I am 3 lbs lighter, I'm happy about that but I'm wondering if I can do this for a lifestyle change of eating. Has anyone tried this program and for how long? I also need more suggestions for low carb days because I'm not sure if I should be eating dairy products on these days emoticon

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