Basically, a calorie is a unit of measure that indicates the amount of energy gained from food or expended through activity.
We all remember the low-carb diet craze, which demonized carbohydrates in favor of high protein intake. Now, carb cycling, a diet that alternates between high and low carb days, promises similar results, without depriving the body of any macronutrients. Believe it or not, the concept of carb cycling actually came from the bodybuilding industry, says personal trainer Heidi Powell, of ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss.
After seeing how well it seemed to work, Powell started putting all her weight loss clients on carb cycling programs.
When a person pulls carbs from their diet for an extended period of time, they lose fat as well as a lot of water weight, explains Powell. With carb cycling, the body is never deprived of carbs long enough to slow the metabolism, and is able to get into a catabolic fat burning state on the low carb days.
The “Classic Cycle,” a straightforward plan designed by Powell’s husband Chris (and featured in his book Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution), alternates between low-carb and high-carb days, with the seventh day as a reward day. On this and other cycles, individuals will feel results in about a week, and start to see them in two weeks, says Powell.
While no specific types of carbs are technically off-limits, the carbs should ideally come from unprocessed, whole foods such as rice, oats, potatoes, whole grains and breads, Lawson says. Unlike their sugary counterparts, research suggests that healthy starches (or resistant starches) like grains, beans and legumes can help with weight loss by boosting metabolism.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that carb cycling shouldn’t be a carb or junk food free-for-all, proponents advise. There is no question that a reduction of calorie intake coupled with high-level energy expenditure results in weight loss (all other factors being equal).
People with a higher percent of body fat will lose more fat and retain more muscle with a significant calorie deficit. People with a lower percent of body fat will lose more muscle and retain more fat with a significant calorie deficit. Here’s a little bit of historical science behind the accepted caloric value of protein, carb, and fat in the diet.
Low carb diets facilitate the loss of glycogen stores and associated water, which can be as great as 4.4 pounds.
Because the Rubner and Atwater factors used to calculate metabolizable energy are not exact, the standard macronutrient values are not perfect, and small errors can occur. In general, high glycemic carbs create a large, temporary rise in blood sugar (glucose) because they are quickly digested.


Highly processed foods that contain refined sugars (cookies, crackers and corn syrup) usually have a higher glycemic level. Other factors affecting the glycemic level is whether the food is liquid or solid, raw or cooked, and the amount of fiber it contains.
The more grams of carbohydrate consumed the higher the glycemic response because there is an increased glycemic load. To keep your body in good health is your duty, otherwise you will not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. If you don’t care about your eating and living style, then you are definitely wasting your valuable asset.
They would bulk up while building muscle, then carb cycle to reduce their final layer of fat.
Essentially, the high carb days act as “boost” days, increasing metabolism, and the low carb days act as “burn” days, when the body is an optimal state to burn fat.
The more intense a workout, the more carbohydrates will need to be ingested to fuel a session. She recommends a 12-week cycle for the best physical and mental results, but says the principles of carb cycling can be followed for any phase of life, including weight loss, maintenance, fitness and performance.
In one Australian study, rats that ate a diet low in resistant starch gained fat and lost muscle mass, while those that ate a diet higher in resistant starch preserved their muscle mass despite the higher carb intake.
And with the most current research having been done on mice, it might be a while before carb cycling can be recommended as a science-backed weight loss technique. So, bubble-wrap your weight scale and put it in the basement or attic and focus on your body composition: the fat to muscle ratio. This is why attention must be paid to the correct calorie deficit based on your existing percentage of fat and your activity level. That is, no matter what source it is from, one calorie is the energy required to increase the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree Celsius. After all, 15 grams of fat has 135 calories and 15 grams of carbs has only 60, so to help shed the pounds, back off on the fat intake. However, neither macronutrient-specific differences in the availability of food energy nor changes in energy output could explain these differences in weight loss.If a calorie is a calorie, then what other factors could account for the differences in weight loss between the two diets? The substitution of one macronutrient for another has been shown in some studies to be statistically significant regarding the effect on the expenditure half of the energy balance equation, especially in high-protein diets. Consuming a high glycemic food within 45 minutes after exercise elevates plasma glucose concentrations and facilitates muscle glycogen replenishment. Some research suggested lower-carb diets could increase the risk of heart disease, and dieters often gained the weight right back after reintroducing carbs.


Trainers caught on, and experimented to see if everyday people could manipulate their carb intake and get similar results. Some research backs it too, including one British study that found that women who eliminated carbohydrate-rich foods twice a week (and ate their normal diet the rest of the time) lost an average of nine pounds over four months. Reintroducing carbs causes the body to rebound, holding onto every bit of carbs, sugar and water it can. Psychologically speaking, Powell says including rewards is part of what makes some people so successful on the plan. But for healthy individuals willing and able to adjust their carb consumption according to fairly regimented guidelines, some experts suggest carb cycling can lead to positive body composition changes while still letting you enjoy dessert and a glass of wine from time to time. If you possess a significant amount of body fat, you can probably get away with a larger deficit in the early stages.
Because the energy expenditure is minimal, however, it may account for less than one-third of the differences in the weight losses reported between high-protein or low-carb diets and high-carb or low-fat diets.
But because glucagon is still in short supply, the body does not tap into its fat supply for energy. Post-exercise insulin secretion increases protein synthesis by increasing amino acid uptake in the muscles.
My advice would be to consult a registered dietician or a nutrition specialist for specific diet recommendations based on your fat loss goals. He also trains clients through Pinnacle Personal & Performance Training in Chesterfield, Missouri. Women on a 1,500-calorie Mediterranean diet, on the other hand, lost only five pounds in that time. The type of protein, carb, and fat must be considered as well as how the body processes them. Insulin also enhances blood flow into muscle, thus facilitating the removal of lactate and carbon dioxide. Even if your goal is to gain weight (muscle), there are certain dos and don’ts the dietician can address. Their forthcoming meals restore glycogen (especially if high glycemic) and the cycle keeps repeating. I am not a Registered Dietician so I cannot offer you specific advice on what you should be consuming.



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