Q&A: How do you “carb cycle” on a Paleo Diet? April 13, 2012 By Allison Moyer
Question: I’m Paleo and have been reading a lot about the effectiveness of carb cycling. How would I carb cycle on a Paleo diet being that Paleo is low carb naturally?
SUPER question!!!! But keep in mind that Paleo isn’t LOW carb it’s MODERATE carb- you’re simply pulling your carbs from fruits and veggies as opposed to grains and legumes. It’s a shame that mainstream school of thought has widely accepted that in order for a food item to qualify as a carb it must be starchy and be a grain. NOT SO. Fruits and vegetables are carbohydrates as well and have to be accounted for when calculating out daily carbohydrate intakes- VEGGIES ARE NOT FREEBIES.
If you were a NON Paleo eater you’d more then likely simply remove the grains from your diet for a day or two each week to constitute a carb cycle, but since Paleo athletes already are grain/legume/dairy free, then that means we need to look to eliminate the sugar/starchier carbs that we are consuming. Carb cycling can be VERY effective at weight loss and body recomp, but how you structure your cycle will largely depend upon what you’re eating on a regular basis.
- I recommend 2-3 days per week simply DROPPING the more insulin spiking carbohydrates from your daily dietary intake- such as fruits and yam or potato (if you’re eating yam or potato).
- Instead stick to lean proteins, healthy fats, and green or detoxification veggies for your trace intake of carbs.
- The other key component to doing a low carb diet a few days a week is to make sure you’re taking in adequate amounts of lean protein and fat so that your caloric intake doesn’t dip too low (lower then 1200 for women and lower then 1800 for men are levels which I tend to not want to go below when working with clients unless we’re in the last stage of a contest prep).
A great sample plan for carb restricted days would be:
BREAKFAST: A veggie omelette comprised of spinach, tomato, maybe some bell pepper if it doesn’t bother your digestive system, 2-3 egg whites, 2-3 omega-3 whole eggs, and top it off with 1/4-1/2 chopped avocado
SNACK: Walnuts and pecans
LUNCH: 2 cups salad mix ( I always like a combo of butter and red leaf lettuce with some spring mix or arugula thrown in) or some chopped romaine if I want a crisper salad, combined with some uncured, nitrite free bacon, 1 chopped hardboiled Omega 3 egg, sliced black olives, tomatoes, cucumber, chicken breast or lean ground turkey, and some olive oil and balsamic as dressing
SNACK: 1 scoop egg white protein powder or Paleo friendly whey protein isolate, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 TBSP coconut oil
DINNER: Baked wild caught salmon with dill and steamed asparagus, sauteed baby portobello mushrooms, and a 1 cup side salad of mix greens, chopped cucumber, celery, and tomato, and 1 tsp flaxseed oil, lemon juice, black pepper, and sea salt as dressing
LINK WHERE THIS ARTICLE WAS FOUND: fitpaleo.com/2012/04/13/