This is a diet for if you have less than 15% body fat. This diet requires that you have some days where you eat very little carbs, and a day where you eat a lot of carbs. If you have a low body fat ratio, carbs are not your enemy. You have less fat to burn, so you will be able to, and are encouraged to, enjoy carbs on occasion. This does not mean that every meal should consist of a high carb diet, because that can cause issues.
This diet, while mostly low carb, is a lot less strict than the Keto Diet above. In fact, you can look to the tips on the Keto Diet for your low carb days as well, because for those days, you are basically following the Keto Diet, though you break the continued monotony with a day of carbs.
The truth is that carbs, in moderation, are not bad for anyone. When faced with cutting out carbs, the body does not get enough fuel from fat alone, making workouts harder, and making it harder for the muscles to repair themselves, because all of the protein from burned fat is going to the body itself, rather than muscles and other places as well. Carbs are there not only for fuel, but they make eating a more pleasurable experience. While you should not live to eat, you don’t want to be so bored that eating is almost a chore. This is a sure-ﬁre way to make sure that you do not get the nutrients that you need, and can cause you to fall off the bandwagon.
When faced with eating carbs, the media tends to portray them as evil, and unhealthy. This could not be farther from the truth. While some carbs are not good for you, there are carbs that can be good for you. Just like with fat. Fat can be bad, and fat can be good, it all depends on the compounds that make up the fat. If you are not using the fat well, it can be bad. Same with carbs. You have to choose the carbs that will give you fuel without also bogging you down.
These carbs are known as pure carbs. They come from natural, unprocessed foods. Examples are: bread made from whole wheat, apples, potatoes, carbs from foods that do not come in a package and set on a shelf for a long time. Carbs that are not from white ﬂour, which has been overly processed, causing it to lose all of its health beneﬁts. These are the carbs that you want to deal with. You do not want carbs that come from packaged snacks such as ‘I‘winkies, because those are loaded with additives that will sit in your body and stick to your body, and that cannot be burned off. You want to stay far away from those additives.
You want to look for natural and organic foods. Farmers markets are the best place to look for these foods, because they are stocked with homemade breads, pastas, and all different types of homemade foods and home grown vegetables. If you do not have a farmer’s market, a Whole Foods vendor, or organic isle in your local grocery store will do as well. You want the freshest food that you can get, however, if budget is tight, there are more affordable natural carb foods out there as well. The potato will be your friend. As will cereals and breads made from whole grains.
There are mainly two types of carbs: Simple and Complex. The simple carbs are those ﬁnd in reﬁned food, for example, sugar. These are the carbs you really want to avoid at all times, because they have high glycemic index and spike insulin, causing fat storage! Complex carbs on the other hand like whole wheat bread, rice, and oatmeal don’t have such a response for insulin, because of their low glycemic index. These are the carbs you want, they don’t cause fat storage and give nutrients like glycogen to the muscles and the rest of your body.
What is Carb Cycling?
Now that you know more about the importance carbs play in your life it is time to learn more about what carb cycling is. Carb cycling is the use of different diets to help you keep from hitting a plateau of weight loss. This is a problem that a lot of people run into. Their body gets use to burning a certain amount of fuel each day, so it decides to get lazy and only burn what it takes in. Routines can be your body’s worst enemy once you get to a certain level of body fat ratio. Your body decides that it has done enough work, and that you are fine where you are, when you are not actually ﬁne where you have plateaued. This is a problem that many people face in weight loss, and they try to up their exercise regiment, thinking that that has become the problem.
Recent research has showed that weight loss plateaus because your diet has become stagnant, and your body is using its nutrients to fuel itself. While upping your exercise may work for a little bit of time, you will have to constantly do more and more to keep losing weight, as opposed to switching your diet up every few days to keep your body on its toes. It is a lot easier to change your diet for a day, rather than keep adding more reps onto your exercise because eventually you run out of time, and you are stuck where you are at. That is why a lot of diets now a day encourage a cheat day here and there, because it confuses your body, and kicks it back into fuel burning mode, rather than survival mode.
You see, the human body is inherently efficient, over the years, the body has learned to only use what it is given to avoid causing a shutdown of the body in case of famine. After a time of routine, the body enters that survival mode thinking that that is the only food it is going to get for the day, so it had better last, rather than burning through that food, and then using the fat you already have stored to keep going. This is why once you get down to a lower body fat ratio, it gets harder and harder to lose weight, because you have less of an emergency store of fat that your body can use, and it begins to shut down the fat burning factory on you, making it harder and harder to lose those last ﬁfteen to twenty pounds you are so desperately wanting to lose.
There are many beneﬁts to this diet. The ﬁrst being it increases weight loss by tricking your body into thinking that the time for more food has come so it does not have to go into survival mode. A constant cycle will help your body realize that it does not have to go dormant, and can continue to burn fat, because you will always supplement it in a few days. You are more likely to lose the weight that you are desiring to this way.
Another one of the beneﬁts is that it is a lot more enjoyable to eat low carb for a couple of days when you know you have a day of carbs coming up. Your body will get excited about the prospect of having some food to replenish what it has burned the past couple of days as well, and food is just all around enjoyable when you can eat bread, rice and potatoes.
The main beneﬁt of cycling your carbs, is that you have some days where essentially you are following the Keto diet, with all the fat loss beneﬁts it has. You burn fat like crazy and when you have your high carb day, you replenish all the glycogen stores of your muscles and Muscle Building kicks in!
Basic Meal Plan
Every diet must have a meal plan, and this one is no different. This is one with a three-day diet plan, as the basic carb cycling days are two days’ low carb, one day high carb. You can edit it to ﬁt your body as long as you are eating low carb more than you are eating high carb. Some of my clients beneﬁted more from 3 day low carb, followed by a high carb day, making it a 4 day cycle.
-Low Carb Days
Just follow the Keto diet meal plan.
-High Carb Day Breakfast 6 egg whites Omelette seasoned with pepper and garlic, no salt 1 cup Oatmeal with Stevia
Supplements: Fish Oil cap and a Multivitamin.
1 Chicken Breast (add any spices you want, except salt) 1 Cup of Rice 1 Cup of Steamed Veggies
Tuna Sandwich: 2 big slices of Whole Wheat Bread, With 2 cans of Tuna. Add any vegetables you like, and any Sugar Free Dressing.
Dinner Whole grain Pasta, with a chicken breast on top and sugar free Tomato Sauce. Before bed Snack
Pre Bed Protein Shake: 2 glasses of unsweetened Almond Milk, 1 or 2 Scoops Whey Protein, 2 bananas, 1/2 cup oatmeal, Ice and Stevia. Blend it up and Enjoy!
This is a basic meal plan for the three—day cycle, you can ﬁnd more recipes and ideas online.
Remember, just because it is not as strict as most low carb diets does not mean that it is not important to follow your low carb days strictly. You have to have the low carb days to offset the high carb days, otherwise you will just throw your diet entirely off, and that can cause major problems for you. You will end up possibly gaining weight rather than losing weight. So, make sure that you ﬁnd a good balance and stick with it. Cut the carbs on low days as much as you can, but don’t binge out on all carbs on your high carb days, you still need some protein and fat in there as well.
When you are looking for ways to tone up and get in the best shape of your life, there are a lot of options out there. You may have tried a few of them and found that they just aren’t working for you. The great thing about calisthenics is that they work for everyone. Whether you are just beginning or you need something a bit more challenging, calisthenics has the right workout for your needs.
Whenever you are doing the calisthenics moves in this guidebook, remember that the only person you are competing with is yourself. You should push yourself hard and try to do the moves with as much intensity and with as few breaks as possible but if you need a break or need a bit longer to work on a move, you can take it. These workouts are all about making you stronger, no matter where you are in your own personal ﬁtness journey – so work hard, strive to get better and you will get the body that you want!