An Introduction into Carb cycling

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An Introduction into Carb cycling

Carb Cycling

Carb cycling is a dietary strategy that involves systematically increasing or decreasing your carb intake on a daily basis in order to favourably affect metabolic rate, fat loss and body composition. It has been shown by numerous scientific studies to effectively regulate the most important hormones that relate to fat loss, muscle gain, mood, hunger and energy levels. Here’s how it works…..

Regulates Insulin levels and sensitivity

GlucoseWhat is Insulin?
One of the most important and anabolic hormones in the body in relation to cellular metabolism.

What does it do?
It is the bodies ‘carrier’ molecule acting to facilitate the transfer of glucose and other substrates into cells. It regulates blood glucose levels, the storage of glucose within muscle and fat cells, the transfer of amino acids into muscle cells and increases the permeability of cells to potassium, magnesium and phosphate ions.

Why is this important?
Carb cycling ensures that we ingest enough carbs to be stored within the muscle cells or in the blood to be used for energy but not too many that we get a ‘spill-over’ into fat storage. Carb cycling also ‘tunes-up’ our insulin receptors sensitivity to carbohydrates after a fast and makes the transfer of glucose all the more efficient.

Carb cycling ensures that we ingest enough Carbs to be stored within the muscle cells or in the blood but not too many that we get spill-over into fat storage.

Regulates Leptin Levels

hungryWhat is Leptin?
A hormone released from fat tissue.

What does it do?
It’s primary function is to regulate fat cell maintenance and feelings of satiety.

Why is this important?
During sustained periods of low calorie and or carbohydrate intake leptin levels are suppressed and so the feeling of hunger is increased. Also low leptin levels signal to the body to slow the metabolic rate. A carbohydrate refeed will increase Leptin levels, reduce feelings of hunger and significantly increase your metabolic rate. Often when weight loss stalls a temporary increase in carbs is all you need to regulate Leptin levels and bust through the plateau.

Increases Serotonin

What is Seratonin?
A neurotransmitter found mostly in the gastrointestinal tract and Central Nervous System (CNS)

What does it do?
Serotonin’s primary functions include regulation of mood, appetite, sleep cycles, memory and sexual libido.

Why is this important?
Carbohydrate consumption boosts Serotonin levels, therefore much of the mood swings and cravings associated with low carb diets are reduced.

Regulates Cortisol Levels

gainsWhat is Cortisol?
A catabolic hormone meaning it is involved in the breakdown of cells in the body.

What does it do?
Plays a crucial role in fat metabolism but increased cortisol levels can also result in the metabolism of protein molecules, leading to a decrease in muscle mass.

Why is this important?
Carbohydrate consumption switches off cortisol production and so will spare muscle mass. This is particularly important for those looking to maintain muscle mass whilst decreasing body fat.

Take home message

If your fat loss has stalled, if you are not enjoying your low carb fat loss diet, if you want to lose body fat but still maintain muscle mass, if you want to maintain performance during sports or training but want to maintain low levels of body fat then give Carb cycling a go. The science is sound and the results will speak for themselves!

James Potter
James Potter
I am extremely motivated and dedicated to reaching as many people as possible through fitness and changing peoples lives to make them feel leaner, fitter and stronger than ever before.

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