Other Reduced Carb Diets - Anyone tried "Carb Cycling"??

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03-15-2008, 05:37 AM
Interested to know what your experiences have been with Carb Cycling? It's referred to by other names, however, it is where you eat low-carb (under 100grams/day) for several days and then up your carbs for a day and back again in a cycle. I hear this technique is a favorite for losing fat quickly. Thanks. Joyce

03-24-2008, 04:47 PM
it works for me IF i can get back into low carb. it sometimes causes carb overload for me

03-24-2008, 04:56 PM
I guess it depends on what your goals are and how low your low carbin' is! If you're Atkins-style "Very Low Carb" dieting, then the whole point is to get your body into ketosis (where it's burning fat for its primary fuel source, instead of glucose). If you carb-cycle, you would defeat the purpose of a VLC diet by kicking yourself out of Ketosis for most of the week. If you're carb-cycling on a higher % LC plan, then I'm not sure. I know I've heard of calorie cycling and carb cycling--the idea on the one hand being that you need to keep your body guessing and on the other hand that you're "refueling" your glycogen stores for more energy on your one higher-carb day. I guess if it works for some people, that's great...I'm just fine doing Very Low Carb and being in Ketosis, though.

03-25-2008, 04:02 PM
Joyce, I'd be interested in your results if you try it. I read an article in Women's World (I think). It got good results for the success stories they interviewed. And it sounded very do-able. I was thinking of trying it. I too might have trouble moving back from high carb days to low carb days. But the results might be worth the willpower!


03-26-2008, 10:51 AM
I wonder at what point to you do this? Obviously not in Induction. But OWL?

03-26-2008, 11:26 AM
Heelllloooo ladies! Thanks for all your posts. Just thought I'd give you all an update on my carb cycling...IT WORKS...IT REALLY WORKS! I finally broke my stall...down 2 lbs! I've been low-carbin it religiously with no cheats since 1/5/08! I recently hit a stall (4 weeks no loss). I've been doing carb cycling for 1 week now and it seems to have broken the stall. I'll check the scale in a week to see if it keeps moving down. Today is my "carb up" day...

Mary - It's not so hard at all to go back to low carb when your used to it. Remember, my carb up days are not snickers and donut carbs, but yams, nuts, beans...that stuff is also loaded with protein and doesn't really seem to spike cravings. The biggest problem I have (being that I'm used to low-carb and thereby low-calorie), is eating "UP" cuz I'm just not that hungry! I look forward to going back to low carb/high protein.

Sara - Your right...this is not for those of you on induction. It's a good strategy to be used ONLY when you've hit a stall. If your losing consistenly on induction, then stick with that IMO. Just remember, too many people STAY on induction, cuz of the rapid weight loss. IMO, that is not a good idea if you plan to keep it off long term. After induction, I would suggest you try moving through the next 2 phases thereby re-implementing vital foods/nutrients back into your diet. On induction, you have to completely eliminate certain food groups to stick within your carb limitation. Carbs are not all bad and are necessary for vital organ functioning and is very much needed as an imperative part of any aggressive workout program. Re-fined sugars, and starches are not good, but sweet potatoes, nuts, whole grains are good and you can still lose weight eating them.

Good luck to you all and hoping for another 2lb lost next week. I'll check back!

03-26-2008, 11:43 AM
How long do you do a Hi Carb days and how long do you do Low carb days?

03-26-2008, 11:54 AM
I'm on a 3/1 system. 3 days low carb (70grams/day) and 1 day high carb
(130grams/day). I also have started doing fasted cardio in the morn. I had previously been doing my cardio at night. Not sure if this is helping too. But, I'm gonna keep doing both and see what the scale says next week. By then, I'll be able to judge how the changes I've made effect my loss on the scale! I'll report in next tuesday! :hug::carrot:

How long do you do a Hi Carb days and how long do you do Low carb days?

03-26-2008, 01:59 PM
Joyce, thanks for the info! This sounds like a tool for me to use in the future, when I'm having a slowdown.

Glad it's working for you!

06-23-2008, 10:12 AM
I'll keep this idea in mind when I'm out of induction. It sounds interesting. What kind of carbs are you eating on your high carb days?

07-21-2008, 02:26 PM
I FINALLY found a thread on this topic! I was about to create one, lol.

I'm doing this for the week. The science behind the diet sounds like a winner for me. I play with my diet often, just to keep it fresh and to keep the pounds at bay. I mostly count calories and try to keep it lower calories, low fat, and include plenty whole grains. I usually cyle between SBD and low-fat, low calorie ways of eating.

In carb cycling, I think I may have found the plan for me.

07-27-2008, 05:06 PM
Never Done It

08-21-2008, 04:24 PM
Hi was reading your posts and I have been doing the Crack the Fat Loss Code for 5 days and I have lost 4 lbs already. The first week is the only real diet week cause you are depleting your body of carbs (only aloud 20 carbs per day) and forcing it to get fuel from the fat stored. the next week you have carb up and carb down days and baseline days. The idea is week after week you add stuff back to your intake, the last to add is sweets and alcohol and that is ot until week 4. I believe after week 5 you also have a cheat day where you can eat anything of course within reason. I will keep post on my progress but so far it is working. I started dieting 3 months ago low carb and went from a 215 to 201. Just started the Crack the Fat Loss Code and have lost 4 lbs of the 14 on this plan so far.

10-23-2008, 11:02 AM
I was considering trying this (have done Atkins in the past) just to have a little more flexibility, but I'm having trouble finding specifics. For example, how many days of low carb vs. high? Also, what are the carb counts for the two types of days? I've heard anything from under 100 g for high days to under 300 g (which seems really high)?

Is there a book or a Web site that has the plan in its entirety? I've done Web searches but have come up with conflicting information.

Thanks for any info.:)

10-24-2008, 02:44 PM
I used to live in Raleigh and we are seriously thinking of relocating to Fuquay Varina or Holly Springs. I love it there. Just came back a month ago visiting my best friend from high school who lives in Cary and my best friend from Cali that moved out there who lives in Fuquay. Any ways. I started Crack the Fat Loss Code which is a book you can get on Amazon.com for about 10.00 to 15.00 dollars on carb cycling and explains it pretty well. The frist couple weeks are hard and you see the most weight loss cause you are only allowed 20 carbs a day the first week. The second week you start adding carbs on certain days. Third week you have carb up and carb down days and baseline days. The recipes are really good and easy. As you can see it is working for me. I also count calories for the most part. So for me it's a combination. Hope this helps.


10-30-2008, 03:30 PM

For those of you wondering about the carb cycling, Wendy Chant's book "Cracking The Fat-Loss Code" is very iformative and explains in down-to-earth about the science-facts of how our bodies store and burn fat.

Other than the induction week, learning to eat the simple basic foods in the pattern our baody uses them is not that hard or confusing. Takes a bit more looking at the program and adjusting, but grocery shopping is easy and once you cut out the "junk food items" the cost is sometimes even lower!

My husband is on it with me, but is almost to his goal after the 3rd week. I am within 10 lbs to my goal. But being a woman we had estrogen that wants to keep us "padded", so it takes us longer to get the fat off. I understand that mantaining is really a lifestyle and with the way I feel and sleep better I look forward to it.

Just miss creative menus and recipes as her book is limited. That's one reason I join these encouraging posts! Good ideas shared are inspirational gains for all!


11-02-2008, 03:50 PM
After breaking a 6 month stall I am using a carb cycle similar to Bambifox. I find since I am over 50 it helps to keep the metabolism revved up.

Saw the Wendy Chant diet being discussed on another forum and decided to keep it simple and do what works for me.

Cie :cool:

11-13-2008, 05:15 AM
Hi Azure.

You and I are about the same weight and height and are aiming for the same goal weight.

I just joined the site... Here's the scoop... I'm turning 37 on Thanksgiving... I'm 153 5'7"... Same like you would love to get to 135, give or take a few pounds.

I have maintained this weight for some time now... My highest weight has been 160. Over the last few years, the pounds have crept on. I never owned a scale until 6 months ago... Now I know why... I hate it!!!

I remember 5 years ago weighing myself at the gym and the scale read 142... That number totally messed with my head =\

I pretty much eat around 700 to 1250 calories a day... I'm pretty active... I workout almost everyday.. at least an hour of cardio and some pilates... I recently stopped doing spinning, my thighs were getting too big... and I'm laying off the weights for now... I tend to get bulky, so I'm trying to just do band resistance.

I hav'nt really tried low carb lifestyle for a while... I KNOW it will help me shed fat... that is what my main goal is... My scale says I'm 28% fat... Not good.

I was going to do atkins... Is that what you are doing? How many carbs are you doing a day?

Also, I read on the calorie counting board that I am eating way too little calories... yikes.

How many calories do you eat a day? Do you keep a tab??? Or just your carb intake?

I would so appreciate if we could possibly buddy up.

What do you think???

Also was curious, have you ever followed the eat right for your bloodtype? I'm an O... so I know protein and low carb will work for me.

Kindest regards to you and to all.

All of your success stories are inspiring =)

02-06-2009, 06:54 PM
I've been doing Carb Cycling for 2 weeks.

I've already lost body fat AND approx 3lbs the first week and 4 lbs this week by doing the following:


Breakfast: Low Carb Yogurts (2). Kroger makes this AWESOME low carb yogurt called "Carb Master" yogurt that is better than any yogurt I've had. Seriously...it's amazing stuff. (80 calories)

Lunch: 1lb (16oz) carton of low fat cottage cheese (360 calories, 20 carbs)

Snack: Low Carb Yogurt (1)

Dinner: Package of lunch meat (my to go meal) OR egg omlette with salsa (no ketchup--tons of carbs due to sugar) I'm sure there are other very low carb options. Last night I had steamed salmon with broccoli for example.

Other snacks: celery, cucumbers

Anyway...I also drink a bunch of water and tea and coffee (caffiene addict)...no high calorie/sugar drinks.

Workout Schedule:

Tuesday: 50 minutes running, 16 minutes abs/arms (video)

Thursday: 50 minutes running, 16 minutes abs/arms (video)

Saturday: 45 minutes cardio, 30 minutes weights

Sunday: "8 minute abs,buns,arms,legs"

(Don't laugh--this old school 80's workout video is THE BOMB--I have a six pack (almost) because of it and your butt muscles will kill afterwards...plus it's a very time friendly 8 minute killer workout). :D

I am impressed by the results and you aren't starving at all...if you are the type of person who needs a schedule, doesn't mind food monotony and only has time for working out 3x a week...PLUS enjoys a cheat day...this is the perfect diet for you.

My cheat days don't include french fries and gluttony but I just eat w/o thinking about carbs...and if I have a social event on the weekends I don't have to feel super bad eating "normally"

I am going to try this for the next 3 weeks (until the end of February) and I will update everyone to say how much I lost total.

Right now...On my fat scale at my apartment (the one with the 10lb higher read) I was 136 on Monday morning, I was 132 this morning. I anticipate I will probably lose 2-3 lbs every week for the next three weeks as the weight loss slows down. Meaning: I will lose 6-9 more pounds making me 123-126lbs on my fat scale and 113-116 on the skinny scale by the end of the month).

02-07-2009, 06:04 PM
There is a book by Jay Robb and his program has high-carb one day and low carb the next, tried it, it was too hard for me to go with out carbs even for 1 day. Hubby and I are trying the low glycemin index/load diet, it's better because I can still have some carbs. God bless.

02-08-2009, 01:37 AM
I am following a program designed by my doctor to help me loose weight. My diet goes 35/55/75 and it changes weekly. It really helps to get me out of those dietary stalls and allows for some wiggle room for other meal ideas.

Last week: 02/01 to 02/07 was my 35 carb allowance
This week: 02/08 to 02/15 will be my 55 carb allowance (Pasta time)
Next week: 02/16 to 02/23 will be my 75 carb allowance (Pasta and sweet potato time) Woo-hoo...
Following week: 02/24 to 03/01 will be my 35 carb allowance

So, far I have lost 8 pounds and I am still moving along.

02-12-2009, 05:11 PM
Hey Bambifox,

Your post is interesting about eating 70 -130 carbs on certain days. I have a question for you, or anyone else who care to chime in.

Now, if I were to follow what you are doing having 70 grams carbs on certain days and then doing 130 for one, can I eat any type of foods, even ones that have higher carbs to them? Like say having a 1/2 c. steamed potatoes for breakfast with my eggs. Will I still lose weight if I stay in the allowed carb range?

I ask this, because I have a hard time giving up my carbs, if I can still have some, even if its just a small amout, I think I could do a lower carb program.

Another question, do you count any fat grams? Or do you just use some for veggies and whatever?


02-15-2009, 09:50 AM

I try to avoid eating regular potatoes, unless I am making baked potato skins with sour cream and chives. That is only a treat, when my D-BF, is visiting and we want something special. The reason that some people follow a cycle or a plan similar to mine is loose weight slowly and make it a permanent part of their life style.

Depending on your weight loss goals and metabolism you have to find a max out number which mine is 125, where I start to gain weight. Once my doctor and I found my max number, we were able to find a scale that I could work with. She felt that 20 carbs a day was way to low, she encouraged me to bottom out at 35 and work my weigh up 20 carbs for two cycles and start over again.

The goal is for me to get to my magic "weight loss" number 145. Then allowing me to have the freedom to increase to my max carb allowance, from time to time with out feeling guilty. I never count fat grams or worry to much about cholesterol, although I do tend to be careful to eat more heart healthy meals. I mainly focus on the fiber content of what I am eating and making sure to deduct for sugar alcohols when ever they are in anything that I am using.

I eat a variety of dairy, grains, veggies and meats every day. I take a good multi-vitamin and 4 multi-omega tablets daily. I drink water/ carb-count down milk and take a garlic supplement too. My grains consist of light oatmeal bread/ wheat or Italian, but no more than two slices daily. Some times I have low carb pancakes with ground flax seed / wheat germ. Some time I really indulge and I have a 1/2 cup of wild harvest blend of 7 whole grain rice.

I have variety of low carb fruits, such as strawberries/blueberries/ black and red raspberries and the occasional orange. I include tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy and other low carb / high fiber veggies. I love to make different low-carb pasta's dishes and mini cheese burgers without the bun's. My list could go on and on, but the main focus I am trying to make is that their is a bigger variety open to you on this style of diet. I wish the best of luck to you.

03-20-2009, 03:42 AM
I have not really tried carb cycling for losing weight purposes but when it comes to stalls, well, it works wonders for me.

07-24-2009, 06:33 AM
This is an interesting discussion. thank you for sharing

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11-30-2009, 05:46 PM
Body builders do something close to this called carb loading. they are on a ketogenic diet (high protein, low carb) for 5 days, then carb load, eating as much as they can, pizza, doughnuts, chips... etc and then they do high intensity strength training. this helps keep their body fat % low while maximizing their workout to gain the most amount of muscle possible.

12-01-2009, 11:23 AM
Yeah I used to do carb loading and it worked well for me. On every third day I will up my calories to my maintenance level by increasing my carbs