Carb cycling is a variant on low carb eating that has been getting bodybuilders lean and fat free for decades. I’ve used carb cycling in the past as a way to get into contest shape and have gotten shredded using this approach! Typical carb cycling involves rotating low, medium and high carb days in order to facilitate the maximum amount of fat loss.

On a low carb day, the focus will be on consuming lean proteins, along with fibrous carbohydrates. These days will be your maximum fat burning days.

On a high carb day, you build up your carb content with a mixture of starchy carbs and a few simple carbs (preferably from fruit). High carb days are also known as re-feed days. They provide an opportunity to re-feed and replenish the glycogen levels in your muscle cells.

So, what are the benefits of carb cycling?

Of the three macronutrients, carbohydrates do the best job of activating your metabolism stimulating hormones. They replenish muscle glycogen, give your muscles fullness, and provide a surge of energy to power your training and allow you to get a great muscle pump.

The strategic implementation of carbs will provide an anabolic effect that will allow you to retain your muscle mass while you are stripping off the body fat. In addition, the carbs you consume on your re-feed days will not be stored as body-fat because your muscles will be starved of glycogen as a result of the low and medium carb days. They’ll soak up all the carbs like a sponge.

Carb cycling also improves the functioning of your metabolism. On a constant low carb diet, your levels of the T3 thyroid hormone are lowered, which leads to a lowering of your basal metabolic rate. When you throw in high carb days, however, you boost T3 production and stimulate your metabolic rate to burn more calories.

Carb cycling also impairs insulin sensitivity. The balancing of high and low carb days allows our cells to become desensitized to elevated insulin levels in order to avoid further weight gain.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of carb cycling is psychological. You will always have something to look forward to food-wise. If you’re struggling on a low carb day, you know that a re-feed day is not too far away. This can make the difference between success and failure!

You will naturally have more energy on your high carb days. On your medium days you will concentrate your carb intake around your workouts. This will help to fuel your muscles for the workout and then replenish muscle glycogen to speed up recovery and keep you in an anabolic state.

In short, carb cycling is the quickest and most efficient way I’ve found to strip bodyfat and maintain muscle mass while transforming your body.

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