Intermittent Fasting and Carb Cycling 101

carb-cycling

For years I lived by the diet and exercise advice the fitness gurus swore by: several mini-meals throughout the day, a regular low caloric intake, and long form cardio. While I found myself in decent shape, there came a time when I hit a plateau. I couldn’t quite find my six pack, I didn’t have a ton of energy and I found myself getting sick a little too often for my liking. So, I did a little research and began experimenting with intermittent fasting and carb cycling. In addition, I changed up my workout and added in some serious strength training and HIIT.

I can honestly say that I have never looked or felt better. Because of the amazing results I saw with this combination of nutrition and workouts, I created what has now become my FASTer Way to Fat Loss for women who have reached a similar type of plateau. Today, countless women have seen significant results in terms of fat loss, energy levels, overall health and confidence.

A few things to keep in mind for those considering trying either my programs or a carb cycling, intermittent fasting lifestyle:

  • This is an upper level strategy. If you are someone who needs to lose 100lbs, or who has not been physically active for years, then this is not the place to start.
  • This type of program does require a good bit of intentionality and commitment. However, I promise it isn’t as scary as it may sound.
  • If you have reached a weight loss or body composition plateau and are truly committed to doing some work to see a change, this is likely a fantastic option for you.

What is carb cycling?

A carb cycling program is an intentional variation of carbohydrate intake each week. Most carb cycling plans consist of high carb days and low carb days. In all of my programs, I base our cycle on the workouts we will be doing to maximize fat burn and energy levels.

Why carb cycle?

Long term restriction of carbohydrates and calories can lower your metabolic rate and negatively affect your hormone levels. This is a big reason women find themselves at one of those weight loss plateaus. For a short period of time a significantly restrictive diet will bring you results. However, over time it will cause your metabolic rate to decrease. Once that happens you will see your weight loss stop and will need to restrict even further to lose more, thus lowering your metabolic rate once again. Not only is this a terribly unhealthy way to live, it is also incredibly frustrating.

What does carb cycling do?

Carb cycling allows for planned high carb days that increase your thyroid output and help you control hunger. Because you are cycling your carbs, you will also have low carb days that offset your high carb days. With this type of cycle you will continue to see fat loss, increased energy levels, and improvements to your overall body composition.

Carb cycling improves insulin levels, helping your body to store less fat. When paired with intermittent fasting and effective workouts, carb cycling can help you break through those dreaded plateaus so you can truly look and feel your very best.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is not a type of diet, but an eating schedule. Your body is always in one of two states: fed or fasted. In the fed state (anytime your body is digesting food), your body’s insulin levels make burning fat a challenge. However, in the fasted state (8-12 hours after your body finishes digesting), your insulin levels are lower and better able to reach into your fat stores. People rarely go into a fasted state throughout the day. In fact, the traditional theory of several small meals per day keeps us from ever reaching the fasted state. In addition, that type of eating schedule regularly spikes our insulin levels which also hinders fat loss. So, while eating several small meals per day can lead to weight loss (calorie deficits always do), you will likely be losing both muscle and fat. When you lose calorie burning muscle, you lower your metabolic rate and make it harder for your body to burn fat. You also might become frustrated because you never feel toned and fit, even though you are working out and eating clean.

So, you don’t eat?

Not exactly. In my programs we have eating windows, combined with our high and low carb days. We eat all of the time! We simply confine our eating to a shorter window throughout the day, allowing our bodies to enter into the fasted state.

Does your brain hurt yet?

There’s actually a lot more but I realize that this might seem like a lot to think about. However, once you really understand this cycle and process, it is a truly simple lifestyle to live. My clients have seen amazing results from an intentional combination of carb cycling, intermittent fasting and effective strength training workouts. You don’t need to figure this out yourself, I’ve already done it for you in my FASTer Way to Fat Loss program. This program is truly the best program out there. I have literally helped hundreds of women find their six packs, increase their energy levels, feel in control of their food choices, and find more confidence than they’ve ever had before.  If you are interested in joining my FASTer Way to Fat Loss program, it would truly be my pleasure to work with you. Visit the FASTer Way to Fat Loss information page to sign up today. We will begin prep week on January 2. 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s