The Science Behind Carb Cycling to Shred that Belly Fat!
How do you solve a problem like belly fat? It's the Holy Grail of diet and exercise and getting rid of the fat around our stomach area is often the hardest to shift.
The answer could lie in a process called 'carb cycling' whereby you switch between days/weeksof high carbohydrate intake and days/weekswhere your carb intake is low. Proponents of the regime say it can help maintain energy levels, improve exercise performance and recovery, and build more lean muscle mass as well as burn more fat.
Sounds amazing, right? So here's the lowdown on carb cycling for losing belly fat.
What is Carb Cycling?
Carb cycling takes a fair amount of planning, but once you get the hang of it, it'll become much simpler. The idea behind it is to control your carb intake over a set cycle and it all revolves around your exercise plan.
On days where you intend to do high intensity exercise, plan to make your carb intake high. On days when you're doing lighter exercise or you're planning a rest day, make your carb intake low or even plan to eat zero carbs.
Intense exercise might be a long distance run or a whole body weights workout. Lighter exercise can include a gentle yoga session or a short walk.
Planning your carb intake in such a way means that the carbohydrate you eat, is getting used efficiently. The body turns the carbohydrate we eat in the form of bread, pasta, potatoes and rice etc into sugar, the body's preferred source of fuel. We need this fuel in order to exercise, the more intense the exercise, the higher the requirement for fuel.
The Benefits of Carb Cycling
When we're not exercising, any excess sugars (from digested carbohydrates) we don't burn off, will turn into fat – most commonly, the sort of fat we annoying store around our belly!
On the flip side, if we try to train without an adequate supply of energising carbohydrate, our workout could be frustratingly poor quality. We might not be able to lift as much, or remain active for as long as we'd like, due to fatigue.
Carbs aren't evil, they just need to be managed properly, depending on our levels of physical activity.
And this is exactly the problem with a consistently high carb diet, especially if we're not training to a high level on a daily basis. We run the risk of putting on weight and then developing diseases related to being overweight or obese such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
How to Carb Cycle to Burn Belly Fat
If we fuel our workouts properly, then we'll see results sooner. That is, belly fat will be replaced by lean muscle more quickly!
There are no hard and fast rules on how much carb on a high or a low carb day. It all depends on the individual. But as a general rule, if you're overweight and want to burn fat, have fewer high carb days and more low carb days, but stick to an intense workout plan.
If you already have a low body fat percentage, have more high carb days than low.
High carb foods that are great for carb cycling and belly fat include sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, chickpeas, lentils and beans.
For more information and help with your workouts, contact me today!