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Guest womenshealthmag.com

7. Carb Cycling

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Guest womenshealthmag.com

7. Carb Cycling

This one does what it says on the tin: you cycle your carbs from one day to the next. On days when you’re training, you eat more, and on rest days, you eat less. It’s one strand of nutrient cycling – scheduling your intake of macros around your training.

Typical meal: On a high carb day it’s wholewheat pasta with chicken. On a low carb day it’s grilled fish with asparagus

What the diet advocate says: ‘It essentially means scaling your carbohydrate intake up and down in accordance with your activity levels,’ explains performance nutritionist Liam Holmes (phnutrition.co.uk). He uses the principles of nutrient timing to get elite athletes and CrossFit enthusiasts to their leanest before competitions. ‘The body works harder when it doesn’t have carbs as fuel, so it learns to become a more efficient burner of the fuel once it is there.’

What the expert says: ‘This is something that is used for athletes as part of their training. While it can lead to weight loss, carbohydrates are an energy source for the body, and restricting them can lead to headaches, fatigue and difficulty concentrating. You would be better to find the level of carbohydrates your body needs by eating normal portion sizes and a balance of all food groups.’

Verdict: Carb cycling is based on the principles of sports nutrition, so unless you’re training enough to warrant a meticulous approach to nutrition, then it’s probably not for you.

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