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Around the world there are thousands of people that are all trying to lose their weight and gain muscle. They try to go to the gym everyday but that doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter how much time they spend on the treadmill or pumping that iron. They can also try to go on a diet but that usually doesn’t fit there specific body type and they just gain the fat right back or they don’t lose any at all. There are some diets out there that do work for certain people, but one diet/technique that typically works well if done properly is called carb cycling. As Mawer (2017) declared, Carbohydrate intake has become a large topic recently, some diets restrict carbs and some even totally exclude them. Mawer also states that carb intake should be tailored to the specific individual. That’s where carb cycling comes into play. Mawer asserted that “carb cycling is a dietary approach in which you alternate carb intake on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.” Even with this technique available, people still have the idea that they need to avoid of carbs. This report will explore carb cycling, discovering what it is, what the benefits are, and in the end whether carb cycling is a safe and smart way of losing weight and maintaining strength. Mawer (2017) proclaims that carb cycling is used to maintain physical performance and lose fat . Unlike other diets that restrict carbs, carb cycling encourages carb intake. Carb cycling alternates from high carb days to low carb day (see Figure 1). Carbohydrates are used as energy by the body (Dharshini, 2016). Dharshini (2016) states that carbs will fuel the body through exercises and help get through the day. Dharshini also states that the carb cycle alternates between the high carb days and low carb days ( See Figure 2.), and this helps maintain metabolism. Dharshini claims that the high carb days should be the same days that your workout is most intense, and avoid eating foods high in fat on these days. Dharshini also asserted that the low carb days should be more high in fat foods and less carb-high foods. Researchers from the University Hospital in South Manchester, England, found that women who avoided food rich in carbohydrates for just two days a week lost an average of nine pounds in just four months (Dharshini, 2016). Meanwhile, women on the mediterranean diet were restricted to a daily 1″,500 calorie limit and lost an average of five pounds in four months (Dharshini, 2016). This is just an example of how carb cycling has actually been shown to be more efficient than another form of dieting. Just like any other diet that you can try, carb cycling has its benefits, but it also has some negative sides to it. Ebner (2015) declared that unlike other diets (Atkins, Keto, etc.) you don’t starve yourself of carbohydrates for seven days a week, the diet allows 1-2 high-carb days per week, and allows one cheat meal a week. Ebner also states that carb cycling has shown very dramatic short-term results, and can be extremely effective for fat loss. Everyone wants to enjoy delicious carbs and lose weight as quickly as possible, so this would be the perfect diet. Unfortunately, Ebner also asserted that you must push through 2-3 low carb days per week, along with following your diet strategically, and following the low carb days you may have less energy. Another source, Tara (2016), stated that carb cycling produces great results in terms of body composition and it maximises the bodies natural demand for energy. Tara also states that many people respond well psychologically on high carb days and with the help of self-motivation you will lose weight in a very quick time period. Unfortunately, Tara also states that carb cycling is extremely complicated, you must count macronutrients and follow your diet really closely. Tara also declares carb cycling as not very flexible. You could end up being on a low carb day during christmas or thanksgiving and have to miss out on all the great food. Both Ebner (2015) and Tara (2016) showed in their research that there are just as many negatives to carb cycling as there are positives. But that doesn’t prove carb cycling to be good or bad. Some of the negatives could outweigh the positives or vice versa. For example, losing weight quickly on this diet with motivation (Tara, 2016) can be weighed heavier than the diet not being flexible (Tara, 2016). To conclude, carb cycling, if done correctly, is a very efficient way of reducing fat in a short period of time and maintaining body performance in the process. Carb cycling almost seems too good to be true, because you can enjoy those high carb foods everyone loves while still losing weight. Unfortunately, you have to be extremely committed for carb cycling to work effectively. Carb cycling is the diet that gives you what you want but it can be a struggle to stick with the diet. If you were to put in full commitment and are willing to keep track of macronutrients and strategically watch your workout, then this diet is a smart choice. However, if you cannot commit to the diet or have trouble keeping track of your macronutrients and workouts then this diet isn’t a smart decision.

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