If you want to lose weight and you’ve tried everything I want to share with you the #1 tool that has helped me and 1,000 + of my clients reach their goals and that’s carb-cycling.
Carb-cycling is a nutritional strategy that cycles high and low carb days to optimize your metabolism and support your body to burn stubborn fat and build lean muscle. It’s a great alternative to low carb and diets that restrict calories because both of these strategies lower your metabolic rate and negatively affect your hormone levels which is a big reason women find themselves at weight loss plateaus. For a short period of time, a significantly restrictive diet will bring you results, however, over time it will cause your metabolic rate to decrease. Once that happens you will see your weight loss stop and will need to restrict calories even further to lose more weight, thus lowering your metabolic rate once again. Not only is this a terribly unhealthy way to live, but it is also incredibly frustrating. So with carb cycling, you’re able to see results while also enjoying life and protecting your metabolism.
To start carb cycling you’ll first want to calculate your macros. We provide macronutrient info for each recipe and integrate our recipes with My Fitness Pal to make life a little simpler for those of you who are ready to get started.
Macros or Macronutrients are Carbs, Fats, and Proteins basically the major nutrients that provide the energy your body needs to function. The difference between counting calories vs macros is that often counting calories can lead to getting too much of one macro and not enough of others making it challenging to actually reach your goals.
If you want to start tracking Macros we recommend downloading the My Fitness Pal App – here’s how!
- Using your mobile device, download the free MyFitnessPal App and create an account. You can also use your desktop and go to myfitnesspal.com
- MyFitnessPal will then ask you to enter some information including your goals, fitness level, height, weight, age, gender, exercise level (lightly active), and goals. Enter this information as directed selecting no more than 1 lb per week for weight loss.
- The app will then construct a plan for you consisting of your total daily energy expenditure based on the information you provided. If you click on “More” and then “Nutrition” you’ll find your macro # goals and as you track your food you can check here to make sure you’re hitting your goals! I personally have my macros set at 45% carbs 25% protein and 30% fat. You can set this by clicking more —> goals —> calorie, carbs, protein and fat goals and then adjusting from there.
- Next, you’ll want to enter your Macros in the A Healthy Passion software better recommend recipes that fit your needs. First, you’ll set your default macros (the calories MFP recommends and then your macro ratios).
Next, you’ll set your daily macros for carb-cycling. I do 50 net carbs on Monday and 40 net carbs on Tuesday. On workout days I follow my regular macros and on rest days I reduce my macros by 25%.
SO my cycle looks like:
low carb (50 net) + hiit training Monday
low carb (40 net) + hiit training Tuesday
full body workout + regular macros Wednesday
rest + 25% less macros Thursday
chest + back workout + regular macros Friday
leg workout + regular macros Saturday
rest + 25 % less macros Sunday
Once your macros are set you can now create your meal plan that will take into consideration your lifestyle choices, allergies, calorie, and macro goals! You’ll get custom recommendations for your meal plan by clicking “recipes” and then view “daily” or “weekly” recipe recommendations that fit into your carb-cycling goals!
I’ll first plug my meals into MFP and then fill in the blanks with snacks to hit my goals. This cheat sheet is a lifesaver when I need ideas to hit my macros.
The other feature that helps with meal planning for carb cycling is the “macro search” which can be located under the “search” button. You’ll just type in the macros you need and the software will pull recipes that are closest to your needs.
So there ya have it, why I LOVE carb cycling and I promise as you practice it does become easier. Oh and AHP makes it 1000% simpler so if you’re not using this life-changing, time-saving tool what get started today!