#HealthBytes: Everything you need to know about carb cycling
Carb cycling is a diet generally followed by athletes and bodybuilders and is becoming popular with people who want to kick-start weight loss. Carbs are naturally found in dairy products and plant-based foods, and their intake can be customized according to individual requirements. Carb cycling is basically the "cycling" of carbs where an individual goes between high-carb, no-carb, and low-carb days.
Contrary to popular belief, your body requires carbs to function
A common misconception is that carbohydrates are not good for the body, and it is believed that consuming them can cause weight gain and health issues. Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are part of the ideal diet, and carbs act as fuel to power our activities. Hence, going on a diet that is totally devoid of carbohydrates is an unhealthy approach that you shouldn't follow.
What happens to the body during carb cycling
Carb cycling is a high-level nutrition strategy that moves between high and low intake of carbs and is used in short duration phases. During carb cycling, the body uses fat for fuel instead of glycogen from carbohydrates on low-carb days. Moreover, working out on low-carb days will aid the body in burning more fat and thus promote faster weight loss.
Recommended sources of good carbohydrates
The high carb days of your diet are not for indulging but should instead be used for some healthy carb intake. Brown rice, oats, and quinoa are whole grains that are rich in carbs. Vegetables and fruits should also be made a part of your diet when you are in a high-carb phase. Nuts are other healthy sources of carbs that you can have.
Other health benefits of a carb cycling diet
Since a carb cycling diet alternates between the high carb and low carb days, a person following this diet can reap the benefits of both diets. Low-carb cycles may help the body burn more fat, can improve cholesterol levels, and aid in better insulin sensitivity. Meanwhile, the high-carb cycle can have a positive impact on our hormones such as thyroid, testosterone, and leptin levels.