Looking for a new way to lose weight? Consider the carb cycling diet! It’s one of the most popular diets for a reason. You still get to eat your favorite good-for-you carbs, but cycle with low-carb days so you lose weight too! It’s the best of both worlds! If you’re looking into the carb cycling diet, here are 30 days of recipes for beginners.
What is the Carb Cycling Diet?
The carb cycling diet varies your carb intake, allowing you to lose weight without giving up your favourite carb-rich foods. You vary your carb consumption between high and low intakes on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. For example, you would eat a low-carb diet on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and a high-carb diet on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Or, you can cycle three low carb days followed by 2 high carb days. Low carb days help with fat loss, while high carb days help muscle growth and performance.
How and Why Does Carb Cycling Work?
Carb cycling works because cycling low carb and high carb days offers your body different benefits.
High carb days stimulate an insulin response that helps your muscles grow. High carb days also replenish your glycerin stores that fuel your muscles and make you feel energized!
Low carb days trick your body into burning fat for fuel (instead of sugar from carbs), promoting fat loss. As you can see, the cycling increases your muscle and decreases your fat, making weight loss quick and sustainable.
6 Carb Cycling Diet Rules
1. Eat 5 to 7 times a day
2. Don’t drink your calories
3. Eat lots of vegetables for fibre (try to have veggies in every meal)
4. Be prepared! Meal planning will ensure you don’t snack on bad foods
5. Perform intensive full-body weight lifting workouts on high carb days
6. Do cardio or rest days on low carb days
- Brown Rice
- Beans and Lentils
- Butternut Squash
- Sweet Potatoes
- White Potatoes with Skin
- Fresh Beets
- Carb Rich Fruits like Blueberries, Bananas, Pineapple, Peaches, Oranges, Plums, and Mango
- Starchy Vegetables like Corn and Peas
Foods You Cannot Eat on the Carb Cycling Diet
- White Bread
- White Rice
- White Pasta
- Tortillas and Wraps
- French Fries
- Refined Cereals
Before I provide you with the meal plan I want to define what a high-carb, medium-carb, and low-carb days will look like.
This is generally speaking. There are a few hard and “strict”‘ rules for metabolic carb cycling, so I’ll let you make a few of your own choices.
These days will be your “cheat” days. However, I do recommend making good choices even on high-carb days especially if you’re trying to get your hormones healthier/balances, are rehabbing your metabolism, and/or want to lose weight as fast as you can.
For example, for breakfast you’ll add in servings of fruit, potatoes, gluten-free toast/english muffins, gluten-free muffins, organic sugar in your coffee, etc…
Yup, you can even eat sugar!
Ideally, you’ll do your intense workouts on this day.
Most carb cycling experts don’t bother with medium-carb days, it’s just high or low carb, but I’m no ordinary expert.
There are days that you want to just focus on adding in a serving of fruit, potatoes, rice, or gluten-free grain for only ONE meal.
That’s a medium carb day.
For example, for lunch you’ll have grilled chicken, brown rice, and buttered broccoli. Delicious, right?!
On these days, it’s all about healthy fats and high-quality proteins. And green/low-glycemic vegetables (spinach, kale, romaine, etc…)
This is pretty straightforward, especially after reviewing some of my delicious keto recipes below.
DAY 1 (LOW-CARB)
DAY 2 (LOW-CARB)
DAY 3 (HIGH-CARB)
Breakfast: 3 Fried Eggs, 1 Slice bacon, and 1 piece of gluten-free toast with butter
Lunch: Avocado Chicken Salad with 2 servings of fruit
Snack: 2 oz. cheddar cheese and 1 cup blueberries
Dinner: Grilled steak with roasted rosemary potatoes
DAY 4 (MEDIUM-CARB)
Breakfast: 2 Fried Eggs, 2 slices bacon, and 1 cup blueberries
Lunch: Grilled Chicken, brown rice, and sauteed spinach
Snack: 2 oz. cheddar cheese and 1 apple
Dinner: Sheet Pan Haddock With Roasted Veggies
DAY 5 (LOW-CARB)
Breakfast: Low-Carb No Egg Breakfast Bake With Sausage, Peppers, and Mushrooms
Lunch: Keto Ground Beef Taco Salad
Snack: hard-boiled egg
Dinner: Keto Mini Zucchini Avocado Burgers
DAY 6 (HIGH-CARB)
Breakfast: Sausage, egg, and mushroom scramble with 1 piece of gluten-free toast with butter
Lunch: Keto Easy Shrimp and Asparagus Bake
Snack: jerky with 1 serving fruit
Dinner: Buttered Rosemary Chicken Drumsticks and Baked Sweet Potatoes