Carb Cycling for Beginners

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I am not a medical professional and none of the following is medical advice. Always consult your doctor before starting a diet plan or a workout regime.
Being on a diet of any kind can be extremely difficult. I know that every now and then, I feel like I am depriving myself of the foods I’ve always loved. I am very unhealthy and I am here to share tips on how to overcome the food cycle of diets-depriving-failure.

Up until recently, I had been on a weight roller coaster. Up 10 pounds, down 10 pounds, and up again. It is heartbreaking and quite frankly tiring. I was EXHAUSTED. If I wasn’t having the food I liked I felt so deprived. I LOVE food. Cookies, cakes, donuts, soda, french fries, you name it, I love it. I did a bunch of research and figured out what I needed to do to become a better version of myself. I needed to cut out processed sugar and make better choices.

That sounds super easy like it is a no brainer, but for someone with a food addiction it is very difficult. Some people laugh at the term “food addiction” and say things along the lines of “bullshit there is no such thing as a food addiction”. Well 1. it is very real and 2. it can begin to consume your life. 

People who are addicted to food will continue to eat despite negative consequences, such as weight gain. Just like people who are addicted to drugs or sex, people who are addicted to food will have trouble stopping their behavior, even if they want to or have previously attempted.
Here are some articles on food addiction:
  1. Food Addiction
  2. Food Addiction Signs and Treatment 
This is a battle I am still fighting. I don’t smoke and I only occasionally drink so my addiction is to food and the way food makes me feel. Some people call nicotine a “stress reliever”, the same can be said about sugary foods.

Where did I begin: 

Create a food log.
I logged every single thing I ate for a week. Don’t try to cut back just because it is being recorded. I ate like I normally did and didn’t leave any information out including sodas and alcoholic beverages. I recommend downloading the free app MyFitnessPal. It tracks all kinds of foods and breaks down the amounts of carbs, fats, sugars, fiber, sodium, a food item has. At the end of the week I reviewed my eating habits and answered these questions:
  • Is there a food item you are eating everyday like candy or soda?
  • How many calories are you consuming on a daily bases?
  • How often do you eat proceed sugar? Are you eating out frequently?
Your answers to these questions will help you take charge of the food you are consuming.
Clean out the fridge and pantry. 
Once I logged my food intake and had a good idea of where my problem areas were, I was able to rid my house of unwanted unnecessary food. If it is located in my home I will eat it. I went through my pantry, fridge, and freezer and threw out items that were unhealthy or processed. I have three little kids so my excuse in the beginning was “oh, but ill keep the cereal for the kids”, or “the boys love chicken nuggets and french fries”. That ended up hurting me in long run. I removed those items and you know what? The kids still eat and they are eating so much healthier than before. Plus, you can always make better choices such as homemade chicken nuggets.

Carb Cycle. 
This concept is different than most other diets I have heard of. I am a large lady that loves sweets and hates to feel deprived. On a low carb diet, I can stick to it for about a week before giving up. The same can be said about many other diet plans I have tried in the past (I can’t even count all of the diet plans I have attempted and failed). Or the crazy calorie counting. I was down to 1,200 calories a day and barely losing any weight. Why? Because it is not enough to count calories alone.

What is carb cycling?

 Carb cycling is the process of cycling carbs. (haha very funny). On a serious note, carb cycling is planned increases and decreases in carbs from day to day. This diet includes low carb days and high carb days with the occasional cheat meal.  For instance, I eat low carb for three days, high carb for one day and repeat. Once a week I allow a treat.
How did I start?
I found this killer calculator Advanced Fat Loss Carb Cycling. (It mentions a lot about protein powder and six pack abs because carb cycling is mainly used by the body building community) This website contains a brief questionnaire about your current weight height, age, and activity level. Once you have given the provided information it breaks down what your low carb days and your high carb days should look like. I arranged my numbers a bit to customize and they even gave me a sample meal plan.
Meal plan. 
I cannot stress enough how important meal planning is. I write out what I am going to eat each week and it helps me remain accountable and also takes the guess work out of the timeless question “what’s for dinner?”.  Get access to my FREE meal plan printable by clicking here. Don’t tempt yourself by buying food that is unhealthy. Try new things and be bold.
“Variety’s the very spice of life, that gives it all it’s flavour.” William Cowper
Working out. 
On my high carb days I do cardio at home and I also love to swim. I do not go to the gym so I like workouts that I can do in the comfort of my own home. On my low carb days I usually do some light cardio. Give yourself breaks and don’t over do it. I recommend Beachbody On Demand. You get access to P90x, Insanity, 21 Day Fix, PiYo, cooking shows, and even meal plans. You can try Beachbody FREE for 14 days by clicking here. If you are more of a gym kinda person you can try 24 Hour Fitness Free for 3-days.
Forgive yourself. 
Some days you may give into the temptation of food. At that point there is nothing you can do. Start fresh from that moment and forgive yourself. We can not be perfect all the time.

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