Superfoods for Carb Cycling
Carb cycling is an innovative diet plan that rather than restricting carbs, allows you to wat quite a lot of them.
The catch is that by alternating your carb intake with high carb and low carb days, your body goes into carb cycling mode. Rather than store your carb intake, which causes weight gain, your body cycles the carbs to burn fat, which helps you lose weight.
It’s brilliant, and it works!
The simplest carb cycling plan includes three low carb days followed by three high carb days then two low carb days.
The low carb days help you lose weight, keep insulin levels stable and build lean muscle..
Of course, you probably know that your carb intake should only include “good” or unprocessed carbs and thankfully, there are available in a wide variety.
But since you are eating more protein, especially on low carb days. It’s also important to eat the right proteins.
Fat intake does not vary that much on low and high carb days – but eating the wrong fats can slow down weight loss and leave you feeling sluggish.
There are certain “superfoods” that can make carb cycling more effective.
To follow are some of the best carb, protein and fat options to include in your plan.
These are whole carbs that retain all of their natural ingredients. They are high in fiber and are digested slowly. These include
- Wild rice
- Quinoa (this lesser-known grain is super healthy and gluten-free as well)
- Cream of wheat
- Sweet potatoes
- Butternut squash
- Baked potatoes
- Rice cakes
- Peas, corn and all types of beans
Alternating these foods on high carb days and in smaller quantities on low carb days will ensure that you can have varied and nutritious meals while you are carb cycling.
Proteins are essential for the carb cycling diet as they help promote weight loss (especially belly fat) and build lean muscle.
When it comes to meats, “lean’ is the keyword and “processed is simply bad, bad, bad.
Organic poultry and eggs and grass-fed meats are ideal if they are available.
If you’re a vegetarian, carb cycling is not a problem; there are enough alternatives to keep you happy.
- Turkey breast
- Chicken breast
- Natural peanut butter
- Brussel sprouts
- Cottage cheese
- Organic eggs
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Greek yogurt
Make sure your fat intake contains the following healthy, non-saturated fats:
- Fish (Tuna and salmon, mackerel and herring especially are packed with super healthy Omega-3 fatty acids). If you can’t eat fish, consider a fish oil supplement such as cod liver oil.
- Cheese, especially Parmesan and Gouda
- Chia seeds: They are packed with heart-healthy fat (80%) as well as fiber, making them an ideal snack for carb cycling.
- Dark chocolate. That’s right, dark chocolate is actually good for you – enjoy!
- Extra virgin olive oil. Use it to cook your meals and sprinkle on salads – it’s excellent for your heart health.
Carb cycling is probably the only diet plan that allows you to eat according to your regular routine with a few minor changes.
The only complaint may come from people who eat a lot of fast food and processed snacks and desserts.
Some carb cycling plans include a “cheat day”, usually the last day of the week, where you can indulge in pizza or ice cream.
By all means, indulge in your favorite treat if you are really craving it. Just remember the saying, “Everything in moderation.” Cheat day does not mean a whole pizza or a tub of ice cream!
Lastly, carb cycling is a healthier way of eating whether your goal is to lose weight or not.
And with the wide variety of healthy carbs, protein and fats available, you should have no trouble sticking to your plan – Good luck!