Carb cycling comes in many forms, in fact to my knowledge there is no ONE correct application. Some people require more carbohydrates than others on a more frequent basis when rotating their intake from carb based foods. However, the question is why? Why do you need higher carb days, what is the reason behind it? First of all, if you are yet to try carb cycling I personally think it is one of the best ways to burn body fat and potentially build muscle at the same time. Certainly for fat loss, anyway. There are a handful of reasons why carb cycling can work, and does so effectively when it comes to removing unwanted blubber from around your waistline (and the rest of you!!). Below are the most relevant of these points.
When you go on a low carb diet for a sustained period of time, combined with a low calorie diet your leptin levels drop. This is a hormone which signals to the body whether or not it is ‘’starving.’’ If your leptin levels fall through the floor then the body can become resistant to fat loss. Carbohydrates (avoid fructose though) are the most effective way to drive leptin levels back up. This is why on a ‘’high day’’ it is wise to drop your fat intake and increase your carbohydrates.
If your thyroid function is active then you are going to burn body fat easier, generally speaking. Again, being on a low carb diet for a sustained period of time can cause your thyroid activity to slow down. With that said the introduction of more carbohydrates for a day, periodically is going to help up-regulate your thyroid activity. Often people will find the day after their high carb day their desire for food increase, ten-fold. This is part of the reason why. The metabolism speeds up!
Depending on the volume of carbohydrates you take on board, you could very well improve energy levels for the next day or two. This is of course going to lead to a much more productive time in the gym, getting you faster results!
Should you try carb cycling? If you struggle to get lean, I would suggest you should. Deciding when you need a ‘’high’’ day is always a tough one, but once a week is a good place to start. Just make sure you don’t go over board and kill your hard work!