When it comes to getting lean and trim, there are proponents for both eating styles. The high fat approach implies that in the absence of Carbs, the body will turn to your fat reserves for its energy needs. Carbs present themselves as a more easily accessible source of energy. The problem with carbs (or sugar) is that as a society we consume more of it than is good for us in the long run. The average Westerner consumes about 350gms a day. With 4 calories to a gram, that’s a lot of calories to burn, never minding your protein and fat intake.
I have tried both dietary styles and have to admit that they both work quite well for trimming down, as long as you stay within a calorie deficit, meaning that you ingest less energy (releasing) foods than you expend. Personally, I don’t think these food categories exist because someone up there is looking to spite us. We should be able to partake in both, which brings me to Carb cycling.
So before you throw away every last Croissant and packet of rice in your kitchen, try this as a means of getting the best of both worlds.
From Monday to Thursday evening, try not to have more than 50grms of Carbs during the day. The balance of your maintenance calories will come from protein and fat. You may not be a powerhouse in the gym, but you will be burning fat instead of sugar.
Then, on Thursday, just as you’re starting to miss the energy, treat yourself to double the Carbs, ie 100 grms. Double the carbs every day until Saturday. Just make sure that you’re still staying under your Maintenance amount of calories. Schedule your heaviest lifting for the days when you have glycogen cursing through your system. The excess glycogen in your system will ensure that your joints are lubricated and you have power for some heavy lifting.
And here’s the missing piece of the puzzle that took me a while to find. – When you’re abstaining from carbs, don’t go crazy on the fat. Use Olive oil sparingly. Avoid having to dab the fatty meat with a napkin. Don’t go mainlining pig fat, just because someone took your Croissant away. Then, when it’s time to have the carbs, keep them as clean as possible. A 2litre Coke and a bowl of pasta are counter-intuitive to weight loss. Carbs are everywhere, (even under your bed), so get your fill of veggies and maybe some rice. If you’re serious about losing weight, then you should be minding your macros and you will be plenty busy hitting your protein requirements. (1grm of protein per lb of bodyweight)
At the end of it all, the Lord did not invent sugar to turn us all into addicts. Nor did he invent fat to turn us into Keto monks. If you want longevity and fat-loss from sugar abstinence, whilst dipping into the strength and mood gains that carbs give you, then perhaps you’d like to try this form of cycling. The problem with being an evangelist of just one style of eating is that this sometimes gives us license to overdo it in the opposite direction. .
My grandma lived to the ripe age of 99. She was trim, active and blissfully ignorant of the sudden need to ditch her favourite German ‘schmalz (pig-fat) on rye (carbs) – but then she did not need rescuing. She went through a war and did not have 2Litre Cokes on tap at the Seven Eleven, nor did she have Dunkin Donuts on speed dial. If you educate yourself about the advantages of both eating modalities, you will through cycling, be able to enjoy the advantages that each offers. To your (prolonged) health!