Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Is Carb Cycling Better Than Keto

When To Use Carb Cycling And/or Keto To Your Advantage

Keto vs carb cycling

When would you stay in full blown keto?

People who do best in full blown keto without carb cycling are those who do not have any issues with their thyroid gland or their adrenals. They have probably been on a clean diet for a while and do not have much healing to do. Also, people who are suffering from cancer, epilepsy or diabetes would benefit the most from sticking with full keto.

When would you practice carb cycling?

If you have metabolic derangement, adrenal fatigue, hyper/hypothyroidism or imbalanced hormones, you will most likely benefit from replenishing your carb stores. In fact, if youve got any healing to do at all you are far better adding in some carb cycling to your keto diet. Try out evening carb meals and weekly/every few days and see how you feel.

Incidentally, if you are healing, its best to stay away from intermittent fasting until you are in tip top health too. Get some nutrients in at breakfast time.

If you do have some healing to do, the most important thing is to get in as many nutrients as possible on a daily basis to help your body do what it needs to do. Carb cycling means that you regularly have access to more nutrients from starchy vegetables.

Some women find that at times of ovulating and menstruating, the difference between carb cycling and not is pretty big and having a carb-refeed produces positive results. These are times of the month when we really need to support our hormones.

Different Protocols For Carb Cycling And Best Carbs To Use When Cycling

Cycling carbs does not mean eating any kind of carbs you want. The quality of the carbs still matters, and we highly recommend focusing on less processed, more complex carbs.

Examples include vegetables , nuts and seeds, lower glycemic fruit, beans, lentils and other legumes. If you want to add grains, we recommend whole grains and so-called ancient grains, such as millet, amaranth, or barley, as these are less likely to be highly processed and refined.

There is no best protocol for cycling carbs, as the schedule depends on your goals.

Seasonal cycling is likely the most straightforward protocol to understand. It can be as simple as this:25

20 grams of carbs per day
100 grams of carbs per day

This pattern may more closely match the seasonal availability of game, berries, and vegetation that our ancestors may have encountered.

Another popular protocol is adjusting carb intake according to your athletic or training schedule. An example could be something like the following:

Feel free to explore our more than 1,000 recipes to mix and match and find the meals that work for you!

Just remember, if you have consistently followed a ketogenic diet and you plan to test your ability to carb cycle, your results may change over time as you eat more carbs. In other words, your blood sugar response may be higher the first day you add in carbs and may improve over three or more days as your body adapts to responding to the carbs.

Stick To A Standard Keto Diet 56 Days Per Week

During standard ketogenic days, its important to consume 20-50 grams of carbs per day.

During this phase of the cyclical keto diet, healthy fats should deliver approximately 65-90% of your total calorie intake.

Healthy fat options include:

Be sure to follow the standard keto diet 56 days per week.

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May Boost Performance In Athletes

Refeeding with carbohydrates may benefit elite athletes who are following very low-carb diets.

One study in 29 elite race-walkers found that the athletes benefited from periodic high-carb intake though it did not specifically test the cyclical keto diet.

The study revealed that the walkers who received periodic high-carb feedings prior to training sessions experienced significant improvements in performance compared to those following a standard keto diet .

The researchers concluded that athletes who periodically consumed a lot of carbs saw an improvement in performance, while those following a strict keto diet did not.

Benefit #: Metabolic Flexibility

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Of all the carb cycling keto benefits, this might be the biggest one: Cycling in and out of ketosis enables a unique metabolic flexibility.

Varying your carb intake depending on the day, week, or your activity level may be the best way to keep your body sensitive to insulin, leptin, and other important hormones.

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What Are The Risks Of Keto Cycling

Setting aside intense cravings, there may be other risks of cycling on and off the keto diet. In one short-term, small study, researchers investigated the impact of following a strict keto diet for six days and then going off plan by consuming a drink containing 75 grams of carbohydrate. For reference, thats slightly less than the amount of carbs in two cans of soda. The damage: We saw a temporary increase in the levels of endothelial microparticles in the blood, explains study co-author and Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia Jonathan P. Little. Endothelial cells are the single layer of cells that line and protect our blood vessels. Microparticles are small vesicles that get released from cells when they are inflamed or damaged, so finding an increase in endothelial microparticles tells us that the endothelial cells that line our blood vessels experienced some damage and inflammation when glucose spiked. Though he says that the increase in markers of blood vessel damage was temporary, the long-term impact remains unclear. We know that these endothelial microparticles are elevated in conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes, which is why we were interested in measuring them, he explains.

Low Carbohydrate Moderate Calorie Days

Low carbohydrate days are your average training day and are the main driver of carb-cycling for running. These days allow you to maintain the energy reserves to run well while giving your muscles fuel for recovery. Low carbohydrate days should be 3-4 days per week that are running days, but not your hardest workouts or long runs.

The low carbohydrate phase should breakdown to: 1.3 grams of protein per pound, .5 grams of fat per pound, and 1.0 grams of carbohydrates per pound.

For a 130lb woman, here is what the numbers would look like:

Protein 130lb x 1.3 = 169g protein = 676 calories Fat 130lb x 0.5 = 65g fat = 585 calories Carbohydrate 130lb x 1.0 = 130g carbs = 520 calories

While still relatively low in carbohydrates, this results in roughly the same number of calories burned as calories consumed, which will help fuel running without putting on weight.

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Maintaining Ketosis Vs Carb Cycling

Many people following a ketogenic, or very low-carb diet, choose to stay in ketosis for the long-term, or until they reach their goal, whether that is weight loss, more energy or improved concentration. That means significantly restricting carbohydrates until further notice.

Others choose to follow a dietary regimen that alternates these low-carb, fat burning days with high-carb, or “carb-loading” days. This dietary regimen is called carb cycling or keto cycling, depending on how significantly carbohydrates are restricted during low-carb days.

All Right What Exactly Is Keto Cycling

High Carb Vs Keto Diet: Which Is Best For Cycling?

There’s not a standard definition to go by . But, “most of the time, the definition is that you stick to strict carb-restricted keto diet five to six days a week and have one day that is either a cheat day or a planned day of higher carbs, says Robert Santos-Prowse, R.D.N., author of The Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet.

Basically, keto cycling differs from a typical keto diet because youre consuming more carbs than usual one day a week, in order to kick your body out of ketosis .

It’s actually similar to carb cyclingwhere you alternate lower and higher carb days, often to go along with what type of workout you’re doing . The main difference: You don’t cut enough carbs to go into ketosis with carb cycling.

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Carb Cycling May Or May Not Work For You

No matter what happens during your carb cycling experiment, remember this: Its all okay.

You might learn that you just cant stick to a carb cycling regimen.

Or that you feel terrible when carb cycling.

Or maybe you feel great.

Or perhaps you learn that carb cycling is your favorite way of eating.

Or that its just not worth all the effort.

Or something else.

Its all good.

The key is to keep an open mind and go with the best available evidence: your own personal experience .

Collect your data and then reflect on how things are going. If you stick to the facts, you cant go wrong.

A Better Mood And Fewer Food Cravings

Since youre allowed to eat some carbs during this diet, your mood might be brighter and you can have fewer cravings for sugar. By having a determined carb amount cycling on keto, it will become easier for you to control your sugar cravings as well as your food cravings in general, without feeling deprived of the foods that you want to consume most of all. This helps you stay motivated to stick to your diet. If youre looking for a way to lose weight while feeling less deprived, carb cycling on keto might just be the right thing for you.

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The Effectiveness Of Carb

Recent research conducted by the Genesis Prevention Center revealed that intermittent, low-carbohydrate diets were superior to the standard, daily calorie-restricted diet and the traditional Mediterranean diet in reducing weight, body fat and insulin resistance.

In short, mean reduction in weight and body fat was roughly 4 kilograms when implementing carb cycling compared with 2.4 kilograms with the standard dietary approach.

The researches also found that insulin resistance was reduced by 22 percent with the restricted low-carbohydrate diet compared to 4 percent with the standard Mediterranean diet.

How Carb Cycling Works

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When you eat food that has carbohydrates and your blood sugar goes up, your pancreas makes more of a hormone called insulin that takes glucose into cells. There, the glucose is either converted into energy, stored for later, or turned into fat.

As cells take in blood sugar, your pancreas signals the cells to release stored glucose, called glucagon. This back-and-forth makes sure your body has the right amount of sugar.

But when you eat a carb-heavy diet, your body can make too much insulin. That can lead to weight gain and a higher chance of things like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Taking short breaks to cycle carbs can give your body a chance to burn fat instead of carbs and muscle tissues. But its important to remember that if you arent doing plenty of exercise or intense training while carb cycling, high-carb days might make you gain weight.

There isnt a lot of research on the long-term effects of carb cycling, but its generally safe to do for a short time. Make sure your overall diet is healthy so you can keep blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels under control.

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Side Effects Of Both Diets

Since they have a similar approach of having days that are low in carbs, you can get similar side effects. Here is a list of the most common ones you might experience.

  • Keto flu. During the first weeks of keto , you might experience irritability, fatigue, foggy brain, and nausea. This is due to the body adapting to a low-carb intake.
  • Constipation. A reduction in carbs can often lead to a decrease in fiber, leading to constipation. Remember to keep your veggie intake high to keep this from happening and drink lots of water.
  • . During low-carbohydrate days, you might experience more fatigue and weakness. Thus, it might affect your exercise performance.
  • Restrictive. Following a ketogenic diet can often feel restrictive. Social gatherings and going out to restaurants can feel a little bit limiting.

Remember that these are symptoms that you might experience during keto and only during your very low carbohydrate days on a carb cycling diet.

What Is The Difference Between Keto Cycling And Carb Cycling

The cyclical keto diet is not the same as carb cycling.

While carb cycling, you lower your carb intake for 4-6 days and eat high carb for 1-3 days each week. In principle, the alternating low and high carb intake is similar to keto cycling. However, the carb consumption on low-carb days for the carb cycling diet isnt low enough to induce ketosis.

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Ask An Rd5 Foods That Don’t Deserve Their Bad Reputations

Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE, a writer and expert on the medical review board of dietdoctor.com agrees, but says it can depend on the person. She explains that some people do well knowing they can have a small scoop of ice cream or another non-keto treat on occasion and that planning for these non-keto foods can make it easier to stay on the keto diet and facilitate weight loss and better blood glucose control. But she admits that for other people, this approach can lead to intense carb cravings, making it difficult to return to the keto diet.

How Does A Carb Cycling Diet Plan Work

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Wondering how carb cycling works? A carb cycle plan can vary depending on your activity level. In general, stick to a low-carb diet on days that dont include high-intensity activities. That means you can up your fat intake by adding Bulletproof Grass-Fed Ghee to your morning coffee or try whipping up some Keto White Chocolate Fat Bombs for an energy-boosting treat.

However, on those days you want to go hard in the gym, you can up your carbohydrate intake. A carb cycling meal may include sprouted whole grains and organic starchy veggies Believe me, your body needs to replenish its glycogen stores after you kill it in the gym!

On rest days, stick with a high-fat approach. So for keto dieters, that just means following your typical macro ratios of 75% fat, 25% protein and 5% net carbs.

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How To Start Carb Cycling Keto

The transition into a cyclical keto diet is virtually identical to the transition into a regular keto diet.

In both cases, the first two weeks require keeping carbs low enough to trigger your body to shift into ketosis.

During this transition period you might encounter what keto enthusiasts call keto flu. Caused by depleted liver and muscle glycogen levels, keto flu may not be as bad as the real flu, but its symptoms can be uncomfortable and include brain fog, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and aches and pains.

This in-depth article can help you overcome these keto side effects. And a helpful rule of thumb is to drink lots of water, increase your salt intake, and add bone broth into your diet.

During the first couple of days of keto you may also notice an unusual, almost metallic taste in your mouth. This is actually a sure sign that your body is now in ketosis. As you become better acclimated to using ketones as energy, the metabolic byproducts responsible for this taste become better utilized, and keto breath should clear itself up.

Can It Help You Lose Weight

Anecdotally, carb cycling may be able to help people lose weight. However, there is currently no scientific research that suggests carb cycling is more or less effective for weight loss than other diets.

If people consume enough calories for their body weight, if they are a moderate weight, or have a slight calorie deficit if they have a high BMI, carb cycling may help them lose weight or maintain a moderate weight.

there is no significant difference in weight loss between diets that restrict one form of macronutrient, such as protein or carbs, over another.

A 2018 study suggests diets that allow people to tailor food consumption and the type of food to their individual needs and preferences tend to experience better diet adherence and weight loss.

Carb cycling does not restrict a personâs consumption of types of food as much as some other diets. Some people may find this approach more suitable for their needs and therefore may find this diet helps them with weight loss.

There is some evidence that low carb diets, such as carb cycling, may be beneficial for muscle gain and sports performance.

A 2017 study suggests that competitive bodybuilders who utilize carbohydrate refeeds, which are periods of times where they consume more carbs, do so because they believe it enhances fat loss.

However, researchers need to conduct more studies to investigate the safety and effectiveness of carb cycling within the sports fitness community.

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What Is The Best Diet For Cycling

Suggested Daily Eating Plan Breakfast Porridge oats/eggs. Mid morning snack Fruit/Yogurt. Lunch Wholemeal bread sandwich/jacket potato/left over pasta from the night before. Mid afternoon snack a piece of fruit/pack of unsalted nuts. Evening meal A piece of chicken/ fish/other lean meat with Rice/Pasta/Vegetables.

Whats The Difference Between Carb Cycling And The Cyclical Keto Diet

Simple Carb Cycling Keto Diet Beginnerâs Guide

On the keto diet, you restrict your carb intake while increasing your fat intake to transition your body into a fat-burning state. For many people, this means eating 30 grams of carbs or less per day. Others, however, seem to benefit from eating higher amounts of carbs at specific time intervals. This is known as carb cycling.

While it might sound counterintuitive, some people find that carb cycling works better than consistently and drastically restricting their carb intake.

Weight loss, fat loss, and better sports performance are all reported benefits of carb cycling. Below, youll learn how to cycle your carbohydrate intake, the science behind it, and whether this specific keto diet approach could support your goals.

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