Sample Meal Plan For Carb Cycling


Sample Meal Plan For Carb cycling can be used by anybody who wants to lose weight, improve conditioning or just get into better overall health and shape. It’s not a revolutionary type of diet but many people find it quite effective.

Carb Cycling: A Daily Meal Plan to Get Started

You are aware that a low-carb diet is not for you, but you also don’t want to have a pre-race spaghetti feast every night. Whatever your goals are for your physical well-being, carb cycling may be a suitable compromise. Trainers are using the nutrition plan to assist clients in achieving their objectives, whether they are looking to gain muscle mass, lose weight, or do both.

Shelby Starnes, a professional bodybuilder and carb cycling expert, explains that eating nutritious carbs on specific days keeps your metabolism humming and adhering to largely protein and veggies on days in between maintains insulin levels low enough that you can burn fat without losing muscle. It is a routine that everybody can adapt to meet their specific goals. Read on for advice on creating a weekly carb cycling menu if you’re curious but don’t know where to begin.

Find the Right Formula

The seventh day is reserved for incentive meals in the traditional carb cycling regimen, which rotates between high- and low-carb days six times per week. However, you might want to change your setup for the week depending on your goals for your health and fitness. For example, Starnes advises that if you want to lose weight, you should strive for five low-carb days separated by two high-carb days. However, if you want to put on muscle and gain weight, you might consider including four or even five days of high-carb eating. Just be careful not to schedule consecutive high-carb days, advises Starnes. They should be evenly spaced out over the course of the week. Whatever your strategy, be ready to keep a close eye on your development and explore modifying your timetable to discover what produces the finest outcomes for you.

Choose Your Fuel

So, should you just eat meat on days when you limit your intake of carbohydrates and binge on pasta the rest of the week? Not quite. On days when you consume a lot of carbohydrates, Jessica Crandall, R.D.N., owner of Vital RD, advises choosing complex carbohydrates, such whole grains, legumes, and fruits (or, in a pinch, a high-quality protein shake). They’ll keep you stimulated all day long and still support weight loss, she claims. Try to obtain your protein from chicken, fish, lean beef, eggs, or tofu and pair it with non-starchy vegetables to help you get through low-carb days. Basically, anything other than potatoes, corn, and peas is acceptable. Starnes advises doing the most of your grocery shopping around the store’s perimeter as a general rule. You’ll eat a lot of fresh essentials and avoid processed meals that are high in preservatives.

Snack on Track

Many trainers advise having a “cheat day” where you may eat whatever you want, but you should be sure that this strategy isn’t putting you back. A weekly reward day is not the ideal strategy for maintaining a diet, claims Crandall. “Any progress you’ve made will be undone if you’re in the mindset to indulge after denying yourself,” the author warns. “You can end up eating 5,000 calories in one day when you only need 1,400.” However, a carb cycling regimen does provide for a small amount of wiggle room for sweets, so don’t be disheartened. Work that into a high-carb day, advises Starnes, if the occasional bagel or bowl of sugary cereal helps you stick to your food plan. Just cut back a little on the other meals that day.

Make a Carb Cycling Meal Plan

To get the greatest results, create a daily plan after stocking your pantry and refrigerator with nutritious grains, meats, and produce. On days with low carbohydrate intake, Crandall recommends that women have about 1,200 calories, while men should consume about 1,500, with a few extra on days with high carbohydrate intake. Starnes advises determining the appropriate grams per pound of body weight in order to calculate the proper quantities of each macronutrient.

Carb Cycling: The 30-Day Nutrition Plan That Actually Works

The majority of people who are trying to lose weight frequently become distracted by a few parts of the puzzle and fail to see the complete picture. I have the opportunity to work with both clients from the general public and professional athletes because to my unique position. The majority of people are more than willing to work hard to get the results they want, but they are unsure of where to begin when it comes to improving their body composition and achieving fat loss, which is one of the biggest similarities between the two sectors despite the fact that there are many differences as well.

The idea that exercise is more crucial than nutrition when trying to change one’s body is the biggest misunderstanding.

Many people make the error of believing that their bad nutrition would be made up for by exercise.

To be clear, exercise is crucial and absolutely necessary, but a poor diet cannot be overcome by exercise.

The “X factor” is nutrition. I want to provide a straightforward strategy that is simple to follow and will help you remodel your physique in a way that you can sustain for years to come.

For the people I’ve worked with, this strategy has achieved amazing results, but as with any lifestyle change, it’s always a good idea to start your trip with a visit to your general healthcare provider to ensure you’re following a safe and successful plan.

In fact, I would strongly advise you to show this information to your doctor so they can go over any issues you might have and eliminate any misunderstandings before you begin.


Nutritional Protocol: Carb Cycling

The two most crucial considerations when creating a meal plan are adherence and sustainability. Consistency is important when it comes to generating results, and you must remain dedicated to the procedure. I am a great supporter of carb cycling because of this.

By reducing carbohydrates on some days and reintroducing them on other days, carb cycling is a technique for controlling calorie consumption.

The fact that most people are unable to maintain their plans over the long term is one of the main problems with other intensive dieting methods.

With carb cycling, there is always hope because you are aware that your next “carb reload” is only around the corner.

Your body can achieve a caloric deficit, which results in body fat loss, by cycling your carbohydrates.

This method accounts for the hormonal stress that comes with caloric restriction by allowing for a steadier and more consistent weight loss that doesn’t wreck havoc on your endocrine system and won’t cause a yo-yo effect with your body weight, unlike other forms of intensive dieting where weight drops and then immediately yo-yos back up once the diet is over.

I am a great supporter of the “two on, one off” carb cycling strategy.

In this method of carb cycling, you consume only raw vegetables for the first two days (you are “on” a caloric restriction) and then carb reload (you are “off” a caloric restriction) on the third day with low-glycemic-index foods like organic steel-cut oats, brown and wild rice, yams and sweet potatoes, quinoa, etc. On days four and five, you can only eat raw vegetables again, and on day six, you reintroduce carbohydrates. You stick with this strategy for the full 30 days.


Typical day with a carb restriction with Metabolic Meals:


Typical day with a carb reload with Metabolic Meals:

In order for this plan to be effective, there are five rules you must follow:

1. Eat your meals within a specific window.

Research is finding that people who eat their meals within an 8-10 hour window metabolize fatty acids more efficiently, improve insulin sensitivity and may also clear away damaged cells vs. grazing for 15+ hours.

Translation: more efficient fat burning, better immune function and quite possibly a slowing of the aging process.

2. Eat 20 to 40 grams of protein at every feeding.

Japanese Grilled Grass-Fed Flank Steak with Stir Fry Vegetables: 32g Protein

Protein promotes weight loss by stabilizing blood sugar and maintaining muscle mass, which prevents the body from entering a catabolic state that produces a “rebound” effect once more calories are reintroduced. Additionally, higher-protein diets protect from the loss of muscle mass during caloric restriction, making your protein intake critical during a diet.

3. At every feeding, eat fiber in the form of vegetables

Even on your carb reload days, you need to have vegetables at every meal. Fiber helps regulate blood sugar, which helps regulate body weight. Studies have shown that those who consume high levels of fiber maintain better body weights than those who don’t.

‘Everything’ Grilled Chicken with Herb Roasted Veggies: 5g Fiber

4.Eat whole foods first.

Supplemental protein in the form of whey powder is great immediately post training, but it is much less ideal to consume throughout the day. In fact, an acute response to ingesting whey protein is increased insulin levels, which is ideal for bringing down cortisol levels post-exercise but is less than ideal the rest of the day. Your focus for your meals should be unprocessed, whole food sources. If you can’t grow it or hunt it, you should probably avoid it.

5. Consume a daily minimum of 3 to 6 grams of omega 3 fatty acids.

Omega 3 fatty acid intake has been directly linked to improvements in body composition. Also, healthy fats are important for keeping your hormones in balance, especially when you are cutting back on calories.

Grilled Grass-Fed Flank Steak with Balsamic Glazed Mushrooms and Kale: When choosing protein sources, make sure and opt for grass-fed, pasture-raised and wild-caught versions as they have a superior omega 3:6 ratio.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls

As with all things in life, don’t let what you don’t know be the determining factor in your success. To have a successful body transformation, avoid these four common pitfalls:

1. Don’t drink your calories.

Flavored beverages are a leading contributor to derailed progress. For your 30-day transformation, stick to water and unsweetened teas or black coffee.

2. Know where your next meal is coming from.

Failing to plan is planning to fail. Life gets in the way, and when it does, it pays to have prepped your food. Don’t let an unusually busy day force you to hit the drive-thru.

3. Season with spices, NOT sauces.

Many sauces, such as ketchup, barbecue sauce, and salad dressings, are hidden high-carb sources. Stick to herbs and spices!

4. Hire an expert.

When it comes to a training plan, don’t be afraid to invest in yourself. Hire an expert to get you started and provide guidance on your journey. Remember, this expert works for you. If he can’t provide success stories and before and after photos or if he spends the whole session texting, he isn’t for you.

Carb Cycling Diet: Everything You Need to Know With a 5-Day Meal Plan

Carb Cycling Diet: Everything You Need to Know With a 5-Day Meal Plan

Descrease article font size

-AIncrease article font size


Have you ever felt frustrated because your fitness goals are taking longer than you’d like? Well, you’re not the only one who feels this way.

Even the fittest people in the world have days when they feel stuck, and that’s where sports nutrition concepts come in handy.

Understanding and using nutrition concepts like macronutrients, body recomposition, and refeeding days can give you the edge you need to reach your goals.

The carb cycling diet is one of the trendiest diets on the internet right now. People are raving about it, but does it work? We investigated this new diet program and here’s what we found out.

What is Carb Cycling?

An eating plan called carb cycling alternates between days with high and low carbohydrate intake. With carb cycling, you can reduce the negative consequences of a low-carb diet while still reaping the benefits of a high-carb diet by alternating between periods of high and low carb intake.

On a day with a lot of carbohydrates, you might consume things like brown rice, bread, and potatoes. You would stay away from these things on a low-carb day and concentrate on eating protein-rich foods like eggs, meat, and cheeses.

Who Should Try Carb Cycling?

While some people find carb cycling to be beneficial for weight loss, others use it to increase their energy and enhance their athletic performance. Who should attempt carb cycling, then?

Anyone seeking to lose weight may find this method helpful. It helps increase metabolism and promotes the body to burn stored fat by alternately reducing and replenishing carbohydrate storage.

However, not everyone may benefit from carb cycling.

Before beginning a carb cycling diet, people with diabetes or other blood sugar issues should consult a doctor since abrupt changes in carbohydrate intake might result in risky changes in blood sugar levels.

The practice of carb cycling, which can result in weariness and poor performance, should be avoided by athletes who rely on carbohydrate storage for energy.

The goals and needs specific to you will determine whether carb cycling is a good fit for you. If you’re thinking about trying carb cycling, consult your physician or a qualified nutritionist.

What Should You Eat?

“The fundamental rule to take good carbs and avoid bad ones also applies to carb cycling,” explains Kate Patton (RD, MeD, and sports dietitian). Increase your intake of fiber-rich, complex carbs to help you stay active and keep your blood sugar levels steady.

Good carbs are fiber-rich and take a while to digest. They often contain no processing, thus they still contain natural nutrients.

If you are adhering to a carb cycling plan, some of the healthiest and best carbohydrate sources are as follows:

  • Whole grain starches (wheat, barley, rye, oats, rice)
  • High fiber vegetables and fruits
  • Low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, and other low-fat dairies
  • Legumes, peas, lentils, and beans
  • Potatoes

Highly processed and low-fiber foods include bad carbohydrates. White wheat and sugar are frequently included in the “bad carb” foods list. You must stay away from things like white bread, sugary cereal, cakes, and cookies.

Is Carb Cycling Ketogenic?

Carb cycling may or may not be ketogenic, as many individuals ponder. You might not be in ketosis on a day with a lot of carbs since you would be eating too many of them.

On the other hand, you would probably be in ketosis on a low-carb day. High levels of ketone bodies in the body’s tissues characterize the metabolic condition known as ketosis, which can also be brought on by a diet low in carbohydrates.

So, you must ensure that your low carb days are actually low carb if you are carb cycling to lose weight through ketosis.

Carb cycling may still be a successful weight-loss method even if you’re not in ketosis because some people discover that they can lose weight without being in this state.

Benefits of Carb Cycling

Carbohydrates are essential for energy, but many individuals are unaware that they can be deliberately cycled to maximize weight loss. You can alter your body composition, lose weight, and feel better all over by eating more carbs on some days and fewer on others.

Improved Fat Burning

A fantastic method for weight loss and improving your body composition is carb cycling. On days when you’re attempting to go without food, you’ll experience reduced carbohydrates, which means that those extra calories will be burned off while also boosting insulin sensitivity.

On the other hand, a high-carb diet will cause your body to burn more calories and maintain high levels of leptin, a hormone that is crucial for controlling hunger and weight, to prevent metabolism from being slowed down by low-carb days.

Consequently, it’s simpler for people to maintain consistency when they stick to this eating strategy as opposed to those who practice extreme methods like intermittent fasting or continuous, intense activity.

Muscle Gain

In order to create muscle, protein is crucial for bodybuilders and athletes. But many individuals are unaware that carbs play a significant role in the equation.

The body receives the glycogen it needs to sustain strenuous activities on days with a high carbohydrate intake, which also helps to promote muscular growth.

The body is then compelled to use glycogen reserves during the low-carb days, resulting in an improvement in muscle endurance and a reduction in fatigue.

Athletes can enhance their muscle growth while minimizing the side effects of excessive carbohydrate consumption by precisely scheduling their carbohydrate intake.

Weight Loss

If you want to give yourself an advantage in your quest for weight loss, think about carb cycling. This feeding strategy promotes fat loss while protecting muscular mass.

You can speed up your weight loss by keeping your metabolism guessing by alternating between days with high and low carbohydrate intake. Additionally, by varying your carbohydrate consumption, you’ll avoid the terrible weight-loss plateau.

Better Blood Sugar

People with diabetes need to watch their diet since eating a lot of carbohydrates causes a surge in blood sugar. What if there was a technique to keep your blood sugar levels stable, though? Carb cycling, it turns out, can assist with this.

Alternating between days with high and low carbohydrate intake is known as carb cycling. Your body won’t become accustomed to one certain eating style if you do this. Your blood sugar levels become more stable as a result.

Sports Performance

A nutritional strategy called carb cycling can enhance athletic performance. It entails alternating between days with lots of and little carbs.

Days with more carbohydrates aid with energy levels and athletic performance, while days with less carbohydrates help with fat loss and endurance. Depending on the sport, position, and training regimen of each athlete, carb cycling can be modified to suit their needs.

Drawbacks of Carb Cycling

Although the approach has grown in favor as a weight loss method recently, there are some potential negative aspects to it that you should take into account before making any significant dietary modifications.

First, because it involves careful planning and attention to detail to succeed, it can be difficult to maintain over time. If you are accustomed to eating a more casual, intuitive diet, it can be exceedingly difficult.

Additionally, if your body gets used to having access to them in high quantities on some days, carb cycling might increase your desires for carbohydrates.

Finally, not everyone may find it suitable because some people may not react well to changes in blood sugar levels.

5-Day Carb Cycling Meal Plan

The 5-day carb cycling meal plan that follows is a quick and easy method to get started on your weight loss goals. This meal plan offers low, moderate, and high carbohydrate options for 5 days. You won’t get tired of your diet because it has a wide variety of wholesome and delectable meals.

While the low carb days aid in promoting fat burning, the high carb days aid in replenishing your glycogen levels and providing you with the energy you need to exercise.

It is simple to modify to meet your own needs. Because the meals also contain other macronutrients other only carbohydrates, you can incorporate this meal plan into your diet by carefully modifying the calories.

Day 1: Low Carbs, Rest Day

Low carb days will be your rest days; there will be no working out. You will consume 30-50 g of carbs which makes 120-200 calories, besides what you take from other macronutrients.

BreakfastGreen muffin, feta and pepper omelet (7 g)
LunchSpinach and artichoke salad topped with parmesan vinaigrette (12 g)
Dinner1 skillet chicken paprikash with some mushrooms and onions (12 g)
SnacksAlmonds, raspberries, cheddar cheese (5-8 g)

Day 2: Moderate Carbs, Moderate Exercise

You will do a moderate workout on moderate carb days. You will consume 100 g of carbs which makes 400 calories other than the calories you take from fats and proteins.

BreakfastApple and cinnamon overnight oats (41 g)
LunchMexican spaghetti bowl (25 g)
DinnerSalmon with curried yogurt and cucumber salad, ⅓ cup of cooked brown rice (30 g)
SnacksAlmonds, raspberries, cheddar cheese (5-8 g)

Day 3: High Carbs, Intense Exercise

For high carb days, you will consume higher carbs so you can do intense workouts. It’s suggested to consume about 200 g of carbs on high carb days so that you get 800 calories only from carbohydrates. The rest will come from the rest of the macronutrients.

BreakfastButtermilk and oatmeal pancakes drizzled with banana and syrup (101 g)
LunchVeggie and hummus sandwich (65 g)
DinnerPesto ravioli with spinach and tomatoes (35 g)
SnacksAlmonds, raspberries, cheddar cheese (5-8 g)

Day 4: Moderate Carbs, Moderate Exercise

Again you will move to the moderate carbs day. Eat 100 g of carbs (400 calories) besides proteins, fats, and other nutrients.

BreakfastApple and cinnamon overnight oats (41 g)
LunchMexican spaghetti bowl (25 g)
DinnerSalmon with curried yogurt and cucumber salad, ⅓ cup of cooked brown rice (30 g)
SnacksAlmonds, raspberries, cheddar cheese (5-8 g)

Day 5: Low Carbs, Rest Day

The 5th day will be a low carb day where you’ll take 30-50 g of carbs from the following suggested meal, making about 120-200 calories other than the rest of the macronutrients you get from these meals.

BreakfastGreen muffin, feta and pepper omelet (7 g)
LunchSpinach and artichoke salad topped with parmesan vinaigrette (12 g)
Dinner1 skillet chicken paprikash with some mushrooms and onions (12 g)
SnacksAlmonds, raspberries, cheddar cheese (5-8 g)

High Carb Days

On days when your carb intake is high or moderate, keep it healthy. Instead of processed and sugary foods, choose for natural foods like quinoa, whole-wheat bread, brown rice, berries, and sweet potatoes.

They have a more complex carbohydrate structure and include a lot of fiber. To digest them, your body must use a little more energy.

Choose protein sources that are low in fat, such as soy products, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, seeds, and lentils.

Low Carb Days

When eating low carb, cut back on fruits and starchy meals. Leafy greens, eggplant, tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, cauliflower, and avocados are examples of low-carb vegetables that are nonetheless suitable for consumption.

In addition to consuming an adequate amount of healthy fats like olive oil, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish, you should make an effort to eat a lot of protein.


1. Is carb cycling good for fat loss?

Yes, carb cycling can be a great way to help with fat loss. You can help keep your metabolism guessing by varying your carb intake, leading to more fat loss. However, it’s important to note that carb cycling is not a miracle cure, and you still need to follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly if you want to see results.

2. How do beginners follow the carb cycle?

Beginners can follow the carb cycle by starting with a lower carb diet and gradually adding more carbs into their diet as they progress. It will help them to find the right amount of carbs that works best for their body.

3. What is a good carb cycling diet?

A good carb cycling diet allows you to eat various healthy foods while losing weight. It is essential to find a diet that fits your lifestyle and preferences and that you can stick to for the long term.

4. What are the best carbs?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as everyone’s body will respond differently to different carb sources. However, some high-quality carb sources that may work well include whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. Experimenting with different options is essential to see what works best for you.

5. How long can you continue this diet?

It depends on your goal. You could do carb cycling for a few weeks if you want to tone up. If you want to lose weight, you could do it for a few months.

The Bottom Line

Although it’s not always simple to stick to, carb cycling can be a terrific strategy to reduce weight, build muscle, and enhance your athletic performance.

Eat whole grain starches, high-fiber fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, and other nutritious carbs like quinoa and sweet potatoes if you wish to try carb cycling.

Additionally, feel free to contact us if you have any queries regarding how to appropriately follow a carb cycling regimen. We’re glad to assist!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

TheSuperHealthyFood © Copyright 2022. All rights reserved.