Monday, August 15, 2016

i tried carb cycling, and this is what i thought...

I first heard about carb cycling a few months ago when Stassi had Scheana as a guest on her podcast, Straight Up with Stassi. Scheana gave carb cycling a try after her trainer recommended it, and ended up dropping around 30 pounds off her already trim frame in two months. This got me curious. I'd been feeling a little stagnant with my exercise and meal routines, so I figured I’d give it a try and see what happened. Although carbs have been a hot topic when it comes to losing weight for a long time, trying out carb cycling for just a few weeks gave me complete clarity on the carbs vs no carbs debate.  

Why Do People Think Carbs are Bad?
Eating carbs raises the amount of glucose in your bloodstream, resulting in your body producing insulin, which then helps convert glucose to glycogen. Your body can only store so much glycogen, resulting in the excess being converted to and stored as fat. Additionally, glycogen tends to make muscle tissues hold onto extra water, meaning the number on the scale may go way up after eating carbs simply due to water weight.

What is Carb Cycling?
Carb cycling consists of alternating carb intake on a daily basis. There are several different forms of the diet, but the one I did involved including a small list of carbs (sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice, etc) in your diet on one day, followed by very minimal carbs for two days, and then a carb day again, repeat. Although you’re not instructed to count calories, being conscious of portion sizes is expected. The high carb days are meant to refuel muscle glycogen, while the low carb days are supposed to improve the body’s ability to burn fat as fuel.

My Experience
When it comes to what worked, the list is pretty minimal. The diet eliminated any excess water weight… and that’s about it. I didn't lose very much weight nor did I notice a difference in the way I looked, however I did notice a big change in the way I felt. My mind was super fogy on the low carb days, making it difficult to really focus on anything, and I was constantly irritable, to the point where people noticed a change in my attitude.

These side effects aren't surprising considering how important carbs are for overall your health. Your brain specifically needs the glucose from carbs to function properly; without it, you can't think, learn or remember things as easily. Carbs are also the number one source of energy for your body, which explains why I felt so sluggish on low carb days.

For me, cutting carbs out felt completely unnatural and like I was depriving myself of something my body truly needs. Although I do agree that not all carbs are equal, any meal plan that tells me I need to cut out carbs like quinoa, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice for 5 out of 7 days a week, isn't one I'd listen to again.


  1. I love carbs so much! It's crazy that the days you did not take carbs that your head got foggy...I feel like carbs are so fattening but also some of the yummiest things in life. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Characters & Carry-ons

    1. Thanks, Joyce! I do agree that you shouldn't go crazy with carbs if you're watching your weight, but cutting them out completely isn't good either. It's important to find a balance. Thanks for reading!

  2. At first this sounded quite doable... but would not want to have a bad mood because of the food I;m eating :S


    Novelstyle Blog

    1. So did I but it proved to be way more difficult than I thought! Thanks so much for reading :)


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