Carb Cycling for Weight Loss: 7-Day Carb Cycling Meal Plan

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Carb Cycling for Weight Loss | Carb cycling can be an effective and easy tool for losing weight for women and for men alike, and we’re sharing our favorite 7-day carb cycling meal plan, which is chock full of ideas and low carb recipes to help you get a lean, toned body. These recipes are the perfect compliment to the keto diet and we've even included a carb cycling food list!

Carbs get a bad rap, especially when it comes to weight loss. But did you know, carbs are an essential source of energy for your body’s cells? If you want to lose weight, but can’t imagine eliminating carbs from your diet, you may be interested in carb cycling. Carb cycling is used to optimize carb intake, by cycling the carbs you eat on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. It’s great because it tailors carb intake to the individual depending on your goals and needs. If you’re interested in carb cycling for weight loss, check out our 7-day carb cycling meal plan!

How Does Carb Cycling Work?

Simply put, the carb cycling meal plan is eating more carbs on some days and less carbs on others. You eat carbs when they benefit you and cut them out when they’re not needed. On the carb cycling diet, you eat 5 smaller meals a day: breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner.

There are two types of days on the carb cycling diet: High carb days and low carb days. For instance, you can cycle three low carb days followed by two high carb days. High carb days help muscle growth and performance, while low carb days help with fat loss.

RELATED: EASY LOW CARB SLOW COOKING

Your high carb days should be days when you perform intensive full-body weight-lifting workouts, and your low carb days should be your rest days, or the days you do cardio at the gym.

On high carb days, you can eat good carbs and fruit (see the list below) with protein, veggies and healthy fats. On low carb days, you eat protein, veggies and healthy fats, but eliminate the carbs. You always want to eat as much protein as possible to keep your energy up and maintain an overall healthy lifestyle.

Benefits of Carb Cycling

Many diets that totally eliminate carbs don’t work well for a lot of people. The strict exclusion of carbs often gets to be too much, which results in people giving in after a certain amount of time. With carb cycling, it makes it easier to lose weight because you don’t have to restrict yourself so much. Even on low carb days, you can rest assured you’ll be able to eat carbs the next day (or in a couple of days) so it doesn’t feel like you’re depriving yourself too much.

Plus, with the combination of low carb days and high carb days, you’re getting the best of both worlds. On low carb days, you’re minimizing fat gain and increasing insulin sensitivity, which maintains better body composition. On high carb days, your body burns more calories and increases the hormone leptin, which keeps you from feeling hungry. High carb days also make you feel energized and replenish glycogen stores that fuel your muscles.

Carbs You CAN Eat on the Carb Cycling Meal Plan

Whole Grain Bread
Whole Grain Pasta
Brown Rice
Beans and Lentils
Quinoa
Couscous
Butternut Squash
Sweet Potatoes
White Potatoes with Skin
Oatmeal
Fresh Beets
Carb Rich Fruits like Blueberries, Bananas, Pineapple, Peaches, Oranges, Plums, and Mango
Starchy Vegetables like Corn and Peas

Carbs You CANNOT Eat on the Carb Cycling Meal Plan

White Bread
White Rice
White Pasta
Tortillas and Wraps
French Fries
Pizza
Cookies
Muffins
Pancakes
Pastries
Cakes
Refined Cereals

If you’re just getting into carb cycling, here’s a 7-day carb cycling diet menu plan you can use to get into the swing of things! I’ll use the example: 3 low carb days followed by two high carb days.

Monday (Low Carb Day)

Breakfast: 2 whole eggs (scrambled, poached or fried), ½ cup carb rich fruit like blueberries or peaches, ½ cup oatmeal
Snack: 2 scoops protein powder in water
Lunch: Italian Sub Roll-Ups | Our Paleo Life
Snack: 2 scoops protein powder in water
Dinner: Easy Artichoke, Spinach and Herb Frittata | Linda Wagner

Tuesday (Low Carb Day)

Breakfast: 3 whole eggs (scrambled, poached or fried) with avocado
Snack: 2 scoops protein powder in water
Lunch: Greek Chicken Bowls | Eazy Peazy Mealz
Snack: 2 scoops protein powder in water
Dinner: Garlic Brown Sugar Flank Steak with Chimichurri | How Sweet Eats

Wednesday (Low Carb Day)

Breakfast: 2 whole eggs (scrambled, poached or fried), ½ cup carb rich fruit like blueberries or peaches, ½ cup oatmeal
Snack: 2 scoops protein powder in water
Lunch: Avocado Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps | Whole and Heavenly Oven
Snack: 2 scoops protein powder in water
Dinner: Skinny Chicken Fajita Soup | A Spicy Perspective

Thursday (High Carb Day)

Breakfast: Sausage, egg and onion scramble with whole wheat toast
Snack: 2 scoops protein powder in water + banana
Lunch: Salmon Noodle Bowls | The Blond Cook
Snack: 2 scoops protein powder in water + banana
Dinner: Whole Grain Penne with Spinach, White Beans and Garlic Oil | Rachael Hartley Nutrition

Friday (High Carb Day)

Breakfast: Sausage, egg and onion scramble with whole wheat toast
Snack: 2 scoops protein powder in water + banana
Lunch: Chickpea, Spinach and Sweet Potato Brown Rice Bowl | Green Evi
Snack: 2 scoops protein powder in water + banana
Dinner: Sweet Potato Black Bean Vegan Burritos | Kim’s Cravings

Saturday (Low Carb Day)

Breakfast: 2 whole eggs (scrambled, poached or fried), ½ cup carb rich fruit like blueberries or peaches, ½ cup oatmeal
Snack: 2 scoops protein powder in water
Lunch: Mini Bell Pepper Loaded Turkey “Nachos” | Skinny Taste
Snack: 2 scoops protein powder in water
Dinner: One Pot Teriyaki Chicken Zoodles | Life Made Sweeter

Sunday (Low Carb Day)

Breakfast: 3 whole eggs (scrambled, poached or fried) with avocado
Snack: 2 scoops protein powder in water
Lunch: Buffalo Chicken Celery Sticks | Mantitlement
Snack: 2 scoops protein powder in water
Dinner: Cilantro Lime Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles | Closet Cooking

Carb cycling is a healthy way to lose weight and get your body into a healthier state. Try out this 7-day carb cycling meal plan and see how simple it is to eliminate carbs on certain days, while eating good carbs the other days!

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Carb Cycling for Weight Loss | Carb cycling can be an effective and easy tool for losing weight for women and for men alike, and we’re sharing our favorite 7-day carb cycling meal plan, which is chock full of ideas and low carb recipes to help you get a lean, toned body. These recipes are the perfect compliment to the keto diet and we've even included a carb cycling food list!

And if you’re looking for more healthy diet tips, please follow our Health board on Pinterest!



Kate
Kate
Kate is a freelance writer with a background in fashion, beauty and wellness. When she’s not trying out new recipes, taking a hot yoga class, or curled up with a good book, you can find her blogging about lifestyle tips and entrepreneurialism at Layered Indulgence.