What is carbohydrate cycling and what purpose does it serve? Carbohydrate cycling, or moving from a lower-carbohydrate intake to higher carbs, is a technique some people have found useful to strip away bodyfat.
How does carbohydrate cycling work? For example, you eat 100-125 grams of carbs a day for 3-4 days followed by 300-400 grams on the fifth day. Then you return to low-carb days and repeat the process.
Some experts seem to think that a constant low-carb intake can cause a sluggish metabolism, so the thinking goes that one benefit of carbohydrate cycling is its ability to maintain a slightly elevated metabolism.
Another approach is simply to cut your carb portions in half for 3-4 days, then go back to eating a higher carb intake on the fifth day. After that, return to the modified lower-carb intake for another 3-4 days and repeat.
Why carbohydrate cycling work The key here is to keep your body guessing, as opposed to letting it get accustomed to one particular nutrient intake day after day. Just as you need to change things up in the gym for continued gains in strength and size and to avoid plateaus, you mustn’t let your body get too comfortable with the foods you eat.
This is also why the occasional cheat day is considered productive on strict diets – it is all about shocking the system to elicit a positive response. [source: M&F]