By: Michael Beiter
Carbohydrate cycling (carb-cycling), is the approach when a low-carbohydrate diet is paired with planned periods of moderate to high-carbohydrate consumption.
This nutrition strategy has become a hot topic over the last number of years. carbohydrate cycling, like many of the modern protocols, goes against the traditional nutrition and dieting advice.
Tradition tells us that we can only build muscle or lose fat, and never at the same time. This is because we must maintain a calorie deficit to lose fat and a calorie surplus to build muscle.
Then carb-cycling came along and was sold to us as the ultimate method for rapid fat loss while building muscle.
When done right, carb-cycling can provide both weight-loss and performance benefits, but when done wrong it can lead to low-energy levels, increased hunger and weight gain.
Carbohydrate cycling can be a good protocol for those who want an easy and simple set of guidelines to follow when seeking body composition changes.
Also, it can quickly help people understand what their body wants in terms of macronutrient breakdown and what they do best on. Aside from this, little evidence exists to suggest it will change body composition any quicker than traditional methods.
Lastly, taking everything into consideration, it can become quite a difficult protocol to follow.