Carb Cycling is a simple method we first learned about from the legendary Iron Guru Vince Gironda when he used to visit the Iron Man offices…
Vince always said that to train the body to drop fat, you do 3 to 4 days of low carbs followed by higher-carb “load” days—and Vince was ripped before it was in style. Check out the shred master in his heyday…
You can use the consecutive-days low-carb phase after a holiday or weekend food binge—but it can work anytime to kick-start fat-burning and accelerate it to a higher level. It “teaches” your body to burn fat rather than carbs for fuel…
Our colleague, nutrition researcher Shaun Hadsall, has refined Carb Cycling to help you become a true lean machine. Here are 3 methods he suggests you use to create a short-term carb deficit and achieve extreme fat loss, WITHOUT damaging your metabolism or suppressing the hormones that burn fat.
1) Try to consume zero starches or fruits for 3 or 4 days in a row during the week.
This will help accelerate the depletion of energy (i.e. muscle and liver glycogen), which will increase the release of fatty acids to help you get fat loss moving as fast as possible after a holiday or food bender.
Consume protein in every meal to help increase satiety and keep your body in an anabolic high-energy fat-burning state.
2) Increase your fats and double your servings of green cruciferous veggies on deplete days.
When you lower carbs, you’ll automatically need energy from other sources. Friendly fats and cruciferous veggies should be your go-to macronutrients to help provide this needed energy.
Some good examples of fats to use are fish or krill oil, olive oil, coconut oil, butter from grass-fed animals, farm fresh whole eggs, and small amounts of raw nuts.
For extra veggies, spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, green beans, arugula, and cabbage are all great choices.
This will help provide all the fiber, vitamins, and minerals necessary to maximize fat-loss during the carb deplete. It will also help you with appetite control.
3) Double your daily water intake on deplete days—especially the day after a food binge or holiday festivity.
Most people simply underestimate how effective proper hydration can be for UNDOING the damage of over-eating, getting rid of cheat-day(s) carb bloat and revving metabolic processes that burn fat.
Remember, if you cheated over the weekend, you’ll be holding almost an extra 3 grams of water for every gram of carb you consumed. So if you had a few slices of pizza, some bread, and a bowl of ice cream we’re talking an extra 700 to 1000 grams of water sitting under your belly skin (probably more the day after Thanksgiving, a great time to do a deplete).
A good rule of thumb is to consume 60 to 70% of your total bodyweight in ounces of water on your carb-deplete days. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be shooting for 100 to 120 ounces of water minimum.
This type of short-term, science-based, low-carb approach can work—big time.
Just make sure you do NOT abuse the deplete-day strategies above or they’ll backfire—just like exercise and cheating. Vince Gironda always told us no more than 4 low-carb days in a row (but a longer INITIAL deplete phase can increase results, as Shaun outlines in his 4-Cycle Solution)…
As Shaun says, “Low-carb diets really only work for 5 to 7 days at a time before your thyroid and leptin levels react negatively to slow metabolic rate and suppress fat-burning hormones.”
Remember that, and try the above 3-step deplete phase to discover the lean-machine benefits of carb cycling. If you want more tips and exact diet strategies, he lays it all out for you in the 4-Cycle Solution Diet HERE.
You’ll learn how to “prime” your body to accelerate your fat-loss even FURTHER when you start adding your favorite carbs and holiday treats back into your nutrition plan on the second week. He’s offering lots of bonus gifts with the 4-Cycle program as well (Shaun’s before and after pics are there along with many others who used the method)…
If you want to see your abs through the winter, try some Carb Cycling to rev your lean machine all the way to spring.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson