Carb Cycling Vs Traditional Dieting: Which Is More Effective For Weight Loss

The effectiveness of carb cycling versus traditional dieting for weight loss can vary depending on individual goals and body composition

Ishaan Arora
Written by: Ishaan AroraUpdated at: May 22, 2023 18:52 IST
Carb Cycling Vs Traditional Dieting: Which Is More Effective For Weight Loss

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It's a common scene at lunchtime—a group of friends gathered around a table, each with a sad-looking salad or a plate of meagre portions. 

Without a doubt, when it comes to losing weight, we are always the first to go on severe diets and follow restrictive eating patterns. Recently, carb cycling and traditional diets have swept over the internet, with the assertion that they are the most effective for weight loss. But are they effective and a sustainable way to lose weight?  So, if you are trying to lose weight or looking for quick solutions to lose weight, let us begin by grasping the notion of carb cycling and traditional dieting, weighing their usefulness for weight loss and long-term success.

What Is Carb Cycling? 

Carb cycling is a dietary approach that alternates between periods of high carbohydrate (carb) intake and periods of low carb intake. The aim is to optimise the body's response to carbs, while still promoting weight loss. 

According to Delhi-based nutritionist Priya Bansal, "During high-carb days, individuals consume a higher amount of carbs to replenish glycogen stores and provide energy." Citing examples, she said, a person can consume anywhere between 300 to 500 carbs.  On low-carb days, carb intake is reduced to encourage the body to utilise stored fat for fuel. "The carbs are reduced to the point where a person cannot consume more than 100 grams of a crab a day, she added.

What Is Traditional Dieting?

Traditional dieting typically involves reducing overall calorie intake, often by cutting out specific food groups or drastically limiting portion sizes. This approach often emphasises calorie counting and following strict meal plans approach to lose weight. 

Also Read: 5-Day Keto Diet Plan: Top Foods To Eat Things You Should Know

Which is More Effective For Weight Loss?

The effectiveness of carb cycling versus traditional dieting for weight loss can vary depending on individual preferences and body composition. However, several factors make carb cycling a potentially more effective approach:

1) Metabolic Adaptation

According to Bansal, "The body has a remarkable ability to adapt to calorie restriction by slowing down metabolism, making it harder to lose weight." "Carb cycling can help mitigate this effect by providing strategic periods of higher carbohydrate intake, keeping the metabolism active and promoting fat burning," she added. 

2) Sustained Energy Levels

Bansal explained that carb cycling provides an energy boost during high-carb days, allowing individuals to maintain higher activity levels and perform better during workouts. "This can lead to increased calorie expenditure and potentially more significant weight loss," she further added.

3) Improved Adherence

The variety offered by carb cycling, with its alternating high and low carbohydrate days, can make the approach more sustainable and enjoyable for many individuals. "By allowing for flexibility and a wider range of food choices, carb cycling may reduce feelings of restriction and increase long-term adherence," Bansal added.

Choosing A Sustainable Approach

Bansal recommended that when selecting a diet, it is essential to consider your body goal and look for the following things. 

Listen To Your Body

Pay attention to how different diets make you feel physically and mentally. "Choose a plan that allows you to feel satisfied, energised, and supports your overall well-being," Bansal advocated.

Seek Professional Guidance

Consult with a registered dietitian or nutritionist who can assess your specific needs and help design a personalised plan that aligns with your goals and preferences.

Also Read: Crash Dieting Side Effects: Here’s How The Body Suffers When We Crash Diet

Focus On Long-Term Habits

Shift your focus from short-term results to long-term habits. "Sustainable weight loss is best achieved through consistent, healthy lifestyle changes rather than quick-fix diets," Bansal concluded. 

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