Ketogenic Diet and Carb Cycling for Fat Loss

Ketogenic Diet and Carb Cycling for Fat Loss

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Are you very carb sensitive and have had difficulties dropping the fat or plateaued?

and carb cycling for fat loss could be an approach worth trying to break that plateau.

Practicing carb cycling is intended to help avoid adverse effects of long-term high-fat dieting by enabling the body to replace carbs recurrently.

We will discuss what is better, keto or carb cycling and refeeding for workout performance.

What is Carb Cycling

Carb cycling commonly means having 1 day a week where you top up of refeeding your glycogen stores.

The process involves dramatically reducing carbs consumption for many days to a level that would be challenging to sustain for extended durations of time.

If you were following a keto diet, essentially you would eat anywhere around 20-50g carbs on your normal days.

You would then choose a refeed day to one which best suits you.

For example, people who work 9 till 5 Monday to Friday may have success having a refeeding day on the weekend when spending time with friends and family.

Practicing this way of eating has a few notable benefits.

It gives you the energy to perform exercises for the next week.

It rewards you for a job well done by strict dieting during the week. Eating your favorite higher carb foods once a week gives your body the chance to replenish what is needed.

We’re talking foods such as fruits and vegetables.

Not the processed or junk foods such as pizza, ice cream, and candy.

When you limit carbs and calories over a period, it decreases your leptin levels.

Leptin is the hormone of energy expenditure and responsible for regulating appetite.

Carb loading boosts leptin levels and keeps metabolism from adapting to a long-term low carbohydrate lifestyle.(1)

You can have more energy, lose fat more comfortably, and experience less sugar craving.

With each carb cycling cycle, you shouldn’t experience any loss of muscle mass or energy.


Carb cycling schedule to burn fat faster
Carb cycling schedule to burn fat faster. Lists the days of the week, what workout to follow, and amount of carbs to eat for the day

Carb Cycling for Fat Loss and a Keto Diet

If you have a significant amount of weight you want to lose then combining keto and carb cycling will speed the process.

You can achieve by turning to ketones and refueling with carbs for intense workouts every so often.

To be in ketosis then you need to eliminate all carbs from the diet for an extended period.

During a number of days, the body uses stored carbs for energy. Once these are used up, the body switches to ketones for energy by going to your fat stores.

Carb cycling on keto is essentially a variation called a cyclical ketogenic diet.

Carb Loading Recurrence and Timing

Carb loading or refeeding once a week is good when you exercise intensely, such as or weightlifting.

If you don’t push yourself in the gym to the peak, you shouldn’t need to overeat carbs when carbing up.

Your body also would prevent starvation mode using this carb cycling method.

You avoid adjusting to low amounts of carbs which potentially decreases your metabolism, reducing thyroid hormone production, etc.

Mini refeeds a few times a week after working out is also an option.

The goal is to shock the body with a flood of carbs. If you eat too much sugar too often, it becomes normal for your body.

You won’t experience as many benefits since it’s more or less a typical diet.

Higher protein, higher fat, and low carbohydrate diets can be good for dropping weight.

To get an idea of low carb high-fat foods see our for quick reference.

A keto diet and carb cycling are good as it follows the two major principles of long-lasting . It works by keeping your body guessing and keeping up your metabolic rate.

The average person will experience excellent results by refeeding once a week.

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An Example of Carb Cycling

You’ll receive the greatest benefit from carb loading when you use it on days you exercise or do most of you’re physical activities.

Days at the gym or playing sports is a good example. It usually means to deplete glycogen levels then refill them after exercise.

First, you must choose a day where you’ll be refeeding and eating high carb.

You would eat around 80%-90% healthy carbs for the day. Or 2-3 times your bodyweight in pounds.

An example is if you weighed 200 pounds you would look to consume 400-600g carbs for that one day.

It may seem like a lot but remember you’re limited fats and protein to under 10%-20%.

Essentially it means all the calories come from carbs on this day.

Following a cycle of six days on and one day off, you would evade the unpleasant side-effects that can start.

Since when your glycogen stores (carbs) are depleted, leptin levels increase which help regulates appetite.

The high day will support you through the difficult and limit low days. It gives you goals and things to look ahead.

The low carb days you would eat under 10% carbs. If you’re keto dieting then typically you eat 20-50g total carbs daily.

Protein consumption is about 20% of the day’s calories so look for about 80g protein if you weighed 200 pounds.

Everybody is different, and you can change the exact numbers to suit your preferred meal plan.

Stick with what works for you and if you hit a weight loss plateau then try different strategies.

If you are progressing with weight loss, then there isn’t any need to reduce or try carb cycling for fat loss.

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Low Carb Foods to Eat

Regardless of if you follow a ketogenic diet and carb cycling for fat loss, it’s always good to try to include as many fibrous vegetables as you can.

A including vegetables is endless. Aim to eat as much as you can. Green leafy veggies are best but here are some top foods for a keto diet:

  • Celery
  • Cabbage
  • Sauerkraut
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Collard Greens
  • Kale
  • Asparagus
  • Mushrooms
  • Cucumbers
  • Radishes
  • Sea Vegetables
  • Garlic
  • Herbs & Spices
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Higher Carb Foods to Eat

When you’re refeeding day is ready you want to choose healthy foods to get the maximum amount of nutrition.

Here are some of the and fruits you should be eating on your high carb meal plan days.

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Squash
  • Rutabagas
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Leeks

When it comes to fruits, pretty much anything goes as long as it’s fresh. Some of the popular fruits are listed below but let your imagination run wild.

  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Figs
  • Melon
  • Oranges
  • Watermelon
Carb Cycling for Fat Loss and a LCHF Diet #lowcarb #keto #LCHF #lowcarbalpha
Ketogenic diet & Carb Cycling for Fat Loss

Long Term Carb Cycling, Yes or No?

The answer isn’t a simple yes or no. It depends on many factors but most importantly how it can fit into your .

Cycling carbs are merely boosting protein and fats consumption for an extended duration then raising carbohydrates for a day before the cycle repeats.

An easy way of looking at it is during refeeding eat more carbs and minimal fat. Any other time you aim to eat more fats with minimal carbs.

It’s a tool to stop your body from adjusting to low carb consumption.

In my experience when I ate higher net carbs up to 100g it still helped my body to adapt to using fat.

Following a keto diet and refeeding every once a week or fortnightly helped me to socialize and eat with family and friends.

Even if you’re not in ketosis 7 days a week, you still have the many health benefits that accompany a prolonged high-fat eating meal plan.

You don’t want to be that person who always refuses to eat everything thrown at them. Or resist going out to eat with family and friends just to stay in ketosis.

Enjoying the little things in life is crucial to happiness.

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Some people find it hard to achieve this and remain in ketosis. Sugar cravings and snacking is a top culprit.

Long-term carb reduction is extremely difficult to handle, especially after a lifetime of high-carb eating.

Before beginning a carb cycling or ketogenic diet, discuss with your doctor whether it is safe for you.

If you don’t always eat high fat, you could increase the span of the “high carb days” to two or three if you favor.

Eating an Atkins diet, you could eat low carb Monday to Friday then have the weekend to eat what you wish.

If fat loss is your primary goal then eating many carbs will kick you . By the time you back in it, you’ll only be adapted for a couple of days.

We hope you have a better understanding of carb cycling vs keto for weight loss and how to incorporate it into your meal plan.

Do you use carb cycling for weight loss while following a low carb or LCHF diet?

If so we would love to hear your benefits and results.

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4 thoughts on “Ketogenic Diet and Carb Cycling for Fat Loss

  1. I was wondering if you could give a clearer example of how many net carbs allowed on the low carb days. Right now I am following a keto diet and eating between 20 and 30 net carbs per day. Would the low carb day be even less? And then high carb days would be how many net carbs? Like 150? Just clarifying! This is a new concept for me! Thanks!

    1. Hi Tara

      Right now you are following a standard keto diet with around 20-30g nets carbs daily.

      You wouldn’t have a low carb day, but instead, a refeed day once a week or fortnight.

      On this day you may eat 2-3 times your bodyweight in healthy carbs. So for example, if you weighed 150 pounds you would eat 300-450g carbs for the day.

      Doing this 1 day a week keeps your metabolism high, and by following a keto lifestyle on all the other days, it keeps insulin low enough so you can be back in ketosis faster.

      Hope this helps

    2. I am following keto from last 1 month but have a very slow weight loss.What should I do.Do u have vegan 3 month keto with carb cycling meal plan than pls let me know Eggs I eat.

  2. It’s my understanding that your body can only store roughly 2000 calories of glucose in muscle mass and anything over that is stored as fat. If glucose drops too low then the liver will ramp up gluconeogenisis to get back to 2000 calories of glucose. That being said would the high amounts of carbs the one day just be stored as fat? I’ve been keto for almost 4 years now and have started adding sweet potatoes or steel cut oats once a week to break a plateau. It has helped but it’s not a huge “loading” of carbs like you are recommending. I would just like your take on it


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