Carb cycling before and after pictures are one of the reasons carb cycling has become wildly popular. The weight loss results are dramatic, though there are plenty of other benefits to carbohydrate cycling. We will get into more about those benefits below.
You may see similar results on strict low-carb diets, though this works better for many because it is less restrictive and, therefore, easier to stick to and not as much of a shock to the body. After all, carbs are not the enemy!
In fact, they are our bodies’ preferred method of energy. However, unfortunately, too many carbs, just like too much of anything, can have negative effects.
In this case, it’s extra weight in your midsection, though with just a few changes to your day-to-day, you will feel and see the difference varying your daily carbs can make.
Let’s talk more about this fantastic way of eating and show you several before and after photos. By the end, you’ll be ready to get started on Monday!
What is Carb Cycling?
The basic principle of carb cycling is to have both low-carb days and high-carb days. Occasionally, some cycles include medium carb days depending on the proposed training routine.
- What is Carb Cycling?
- What Should You Eat For Carbohydrate Cycling?
- Before and After Carb Cycling Pictures
- Other Health Benefits of Carbohydrate Cycling
Unlike the ketogenic diet, which consists of only a minimal carbohydrate intake every day, with carb cycling, you rotate your carb intake. So one day, you’ll keep your carbs minimal, while the next, you may double or triple how many carbs of carbs you consume.
However, no matter the day, you should always focus on healthy carbs rather than french fries since you are still trying to maintain a calorie deficit or specific calorie intake, depending on your goals.
How Long Does It Take To Adapt to Carb Cycling?
Like with a long-term low-carb diet, on low-carb days, you may experience headaches and initial fatigue. You can expect your body to adjust to the varying carbohydrate levels beginning at the two-week mark and almost entirely by the four-week timeframe.
However, it may take you longer to adapt to the habit itself of a carb-cycling lifestyle. After all, habits typically take around 90 days for you to be able to do habit tasks without effort or thought.
This applies to making good food choices as well. After about 90 days, you won’t even have to think about making healthier food choices because you’ll automatically know what to choose as a habit.
You will also see your carb schedule integrate seamlessly into your life, taking less and less active thinking to follow as time goes on. That’s when you know you have fully adapted to the lifestyle.
What Should You Eat For Carbohydrate Cycling?
The foods you should eat on this type of diet depend on the day, though technically, no food is off-limits. If you are on a high-carb day, you’ll likely eat foods with more grams of carbs per serving than on a low-carb day, hence the carb cycle.
For instance, on high-carb days, complex carbs and whole grains like brown rice and quinoa are your friends. On the opposite side, when eating low carb, you’ll need a lot fewer carbs, so you should rely on healthy fats like avocado to keep you fueled.
Carb Cycling Meal Plan
A sample meal plan that lays out an ideal week of complete meals is the best way to see how high and low-carb days can fit into your usual eating habits. You may even find that the sample week has a lot of the same foods you currently enjoy.
Start with our easy-to-follow carb cycling plan designed by a registered dietician to ensure well-rounded nutrition. The sample meal plan includes seven days of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, as well as a shopping list, a daily macronutrient breakdown, and recipes.
Is it truly everything you need to get started and the best part? It’s free! Download the free 7-day Carb Cycling Meal Plan today to get started.
Carb Cycling Apps
Another great way to start getting the hang of intertwining low-carb days and high-carb days is by using an app. Carb cycling apps are what you may think.
They help you with meal planning, staying in a proper caloric intake for your body composition, tracking your protein, carb, and fat intake, and much more. Essentially they act as a way to plan and track the specific requirements of this way of eating.
We have already done the research for you and found the best app options as you start your carbohydrate cycling journey.
Before and After Carb Cycling Pictures
As promised, we have gathered the best before and after pictures showing all of the various dramatic results. If you have to see it to believe it, these are what will seal the deal for you!
Women Before and After Results
Women tend to see far better results in terms of weight loss on this way of eating than other methods they have tried in the past.
This is because not only is it not as strict, but not having too many extra carbs keeps down the bloating and water weight which tends to be a common concern among women.
Men Before and After Results
Men also see excellent results with this cyclical diet. Because it is so versatile, some men use it to gain weight and build muscle while others lose weight and trim body fat.
Weight loss is one of the main reasons most people opt for switching between high-carb and low-carb days.
Luckily, it is quite easy to lose weight with this method of eating. Just ensure you eat high-fat food with at least one meal on low-carb and low-calorie days instead of high-carbohydrate days in order to stay satiated.
When reintroducing carbs on a high-carb day, you don’t need as much fat content because you’ll eat lots of healthy carbs that will keep you full.
Some individuals aren’t necessarily trying to lose a ton of weight. Instead, they are more focused on burning body fat to “tone up.”
Since you are eating fewer grams of carbs every low-carb day, your body uses its own fat for energy rather than its usual choice of carbohydrates.
The versatility of varying your carbs is a huge benefit. Not only can you lose weight with a carbohydrate cycling plan, but you also add muscle mass.
On higher-carb days when you are eating more carbohydrates and extra calories, your body will have double the fuel that it needs or is accustomed to. This helps you lift heavier weights to build muscle mass more effectively and quicker, too.
Celebrities Using Carb Cycling
You know carb cycling works when it is used by celebrities to maintain and transform their appearance for the big screen!
Several celebrities and celebrity fitness trainers swear by carbohydrate cycling plans. For example, Scheana Shay from the hit TV show Vanderpump Rules used this way of eating to flatten her stomach and eliminate a lot of uncomfortable bloating.
Additionally, David Kingsbury, a celebrity coach with thousands of celebrity transformations under his belt, used a combination of low and high-carb days paired with his intense fitness plan to get Hugh Jackman in shape and chiseled for his role as Wolverine!
Due to its versatility and customization, tons of celebrity trainers recommend this diet.
Other Health Benefits of Carbohydrate Cycling
There are a few other health benefits of carb cycling that we can’t show you before and after pictures, but they are still important to mention!
Improved Mental Health & Focus
Though on low-carb days at the beginning of starting this way of eating, you may complain of some brain fog and mild headaches, as time goes on, you’ll see a big difference in your mental clarity, mental health, and focus.
Many people often see improvement in anxiety, depression, and even ADHD. Several also report they feel their thinking is sharper overall, but especially on low-carb days as well.
This is likely because though carbs are fuel for our bodies, if we do not burn them off with activity, our body has to do the work of both converting and storing it all, making us lethargic.
Increased Exercise Performance
We mentioned above that you’d be able to lift heavier weights on high-carb days; however, due to increasing your body’s available fuel, all exercise performance will increase.
Plan to schedule your high-intensity workouts, whether it is with your personal trainer or not, on a high-carb day to hit all your personal bests at the gym. Your low-carb days should be considered rest days.
Many elite athletes swear by carb cycling because of the increased exercise performance it provides.
Decreased Insulin Resistance
When you have insulin resistance, every time you eat carbs, your blood sugar spikes much higher than it should which leads to excess body weight.
On a lower-carb diet, you’ll see a significant decrease in insulin resistance. However, with such a low carb intake, it can be difficult to do high-intensity exercise.
Similar to what we were just discussing above, by eating more carbs on the days you do an intense full-body workout, like with a cyclical diet, you get more energy.
The added benefit is that you are still maintaining the benefits of those low carbohydrate days in terms of insulin resistance and stabilizing your blood sugar.
How long does it take for carb cycling to work?
Though you can begin to see the effects of carb cycling in the first couple of weeks, you can expect carb cycling to take at least a month to work and start to really kick in.
Is carb cycling good for fat loss?
Yes, carb cycling is good for fat loss, maintaining muscle mass, and losing weight in general.