Friday, 12 February 2016 00:00

Carb Cycling for Weight Loss: Does It Work?

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Although the low-carbohydrate diet craze seems to be fading out as we have come to realize that the macronutrient really doesn’t deserve its bad reputation. Carb cycling for weight loss has stepped up to keep the focus on carbs, but in a very different way.

 

Some research has suggested that reducing carbohydrate intake could help to increase the risk of heart disease and many dieters find themselves regaining the weight they’d lost after they’ve reached their goals and have returned to eating carbs again.

That said, there is no denying that cutting back on carbohydrates has helped some people to drop the pounds more quickly.  Carb cycling for weight loss is a strategy that was designed in order to try to get the best of both worlds: the nutrition from carbohydrate-containing foods will still be there, but the fat reduction is still possible.

The entire idea of carb cycling for weight loss is that a dieter will alternate between days when he or she eats low carbohydrates and then higher levels. This way, the dieter is meant to be able to take advantage of the fat reduction from carbohydrate intake reduction without actually causing macronutrient deprivation.

Though the trend toward this strategy is somewhat new in the dieting industry, it isn’t a brand new concept.  In fact, bodybuilders have been doing it for decades.  They have used it to be able to build up their muscles and then cycle their carbohydrates to trim off that last layer of fat so that their muscles will have better definition (as they won’t be hidden behind the fat layer).  

Personal trainers saw how effective this idea could be and started experimenting in order to see if non-bodybuilders might be able to gain the same type of weight loss benefits from a similar strategy.

Beyond trainers, there has been some medical research that has examined this technique, as well.  Among the studies, one published in the American Association for Cancer Research journal determined that women who slashed carb rich foods from their diets twice per week – and who continued to eat in a typical way for the remaining five days per week – were able to drop an average of nine pounds over a period of four months.  Comparatively, women who followed a Mediterranean diet allowing 1,500 daily calories lost an average of only five pounds within that same period of time.

While this may not necessarily suggest a rapid rate of weight loss, it certainly does appear that the technique can help to shed the excess fat.

 

Last modified on Saturday, 13 February 2016 00:06

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