Carb cycling – what is carbohydrate rotation?

It takes approx. 3 minutes to read this article

Does a diet that is ideal for people who work out and allows them to lose weight and gain weight sound like a fairy tale? In this article you will learn what carb cycling is, what its benefits are and how to follow this diet.

What is CC?

The specifics of the CC diet mean that it is not suitable for everyone. People who exercise regularly, are physically active and have a well-structured diet should take advantage of carbohydrate rotation. The purpose of this menu is to adjust the amount of calories to the daily requirements. However, this is not a standard requirement that applies universally for men and women, but an individualized nutrition process that takes into account our activity during the day. So we supply the body with as many calories as it will need to function efficiently on any given day. If it is going to be a busy day, meals should be plentiful. If you plan to rest, the amount of calories should be small

Advantages of CC

Using carb rotation requires a lot of self-discipline and skills such as counting calories, verifying the ingredients in the food, etc. However, once you learn these few things, it opens up the possibility of enjoying this specific diet with the following advantages:

  • allows you to regulate the loss of body fat;
  • maintains a well-functioning metabolism;
  • it is suitable to be introduced for a longer period of time;
  • it is not complicated like other diets;
  • is not rigid in its principles.

How to implement CC?

First we need to determine our daily caloric needs. We need to take into account our exercise, our working conditions (e.g. sedentary job), whether we want to gain weight (in which case the diet can last up to six months), lose weight (the preferred duration of a CC diet is 2-3 months) or simply maintain our weight. To sum up: we need to set a precise goal

We divide our days into three types

  1. Days with high caloric demand (so very active days), DWW – 125% of normal carbs;
  2. Days with average caloric needs (medium activity), DWW;
  3. Days with low caloric requirements (low activity), DNW – 75% of normal carbohydrate value.

Ideally, high and medium demand days should occupy two days each in the schedule for the week, i.e., two days of DWW, two days of LWD, and the other three days of DNW. Ectomorphs who want to gain mass should aim to increase their calorie intake to around 120-130% of their current norm. Endomorphs, on the other hand, will only need to increase their caloric intake by 10-15%. In case of a reduction the situation is as follows: decrease the calories consumed by 20-30% in endomorphs and 10-15% in ectomorphs. This is due to the fact that these two types of people have different BMR (metabolic rate). If we do not know which type we are, we should verify this issue before implementing CC

It’s also worth remembering the other essential nutrients that our bodies need to function efficiently. These include protein, which we should take in the amount of 2-3 g per kg of body weight.

Main photo: Jennifer Griffin/

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