"Cycle" to Your Dream Body (No Bike Required)

Have you ever wondered what those fitness magazine cover models do to get in such great shape? They eat right and exercise, for starters. What Scottsdale Personal Trainers want you to know is almost all of them use a simple technique called carb-cycling to get great results. As the name implies, carb-cycling is when you vary your carbohydrate intake throughout the week. Before going into more detail about how to cycle your carbs, Scottsdale Personal Trainers want to give you a basic understanding of why this works so well. It has to do with the "starvation" hormone leptin, discovered around 1994. When your body is starving, leptin levels go down and send signals to your brain to make you hungry and eat as much as your body needs to return to normal calorie and fat storage levels. During this time, leptin also tells your body not to burn fat. Instead, it tells it to store as much fat as possible. Once you eat enough calories, leptin levels rise, and tell your body it has enough. It also tells your body that it's okay to start burning fat, since there's no longer risk of starvation. Changing the carbs you eat affects leptin and your metabolism's ability to burn fat. Scientists discovered a direct link between leptin levels and carb intake. The more carbs you eat, the more leptin levels rise. The less carbs you eat, the less leptin you have in your blood stream. What fitness models do is start by restricting their calories, and they start to lose fat. However, if they keep eating the same amount of carbs and calories week in and week out, they'll hit a wall or plateau where their body doesn't want to give up the fat because of the low leptin levels. To trick their bodies into burning more fat, they cycle their carbs. For example, the first four days are spent eating low-carb foods like chicken breasts, broccoli and small amounts of brown rice. Then for two days, they'll eat what they've been eating and add pasta or bread, plenty of fruits, even chocolate and ice cream to increase their carb intake. After two days of "high" carbs, they return to eating the way they did the first four days. Changing up your carb intake like this keeps your leptin levels from dropping too low and keeps your body's metabolism in a "fat-burning" state, so you continually see progress, instead of hitting that dreaded plateau. The basic principles of carb-cycling, according to Scottsdale Personal Trainers, are: 1. Eat a calorie-restricted diet for 4 days. 2. For the next 2 days, significantly increase your carb intake. Have your cheat meal this day or increase the amount of carbs with fruits, rice, oatmeal, potatoes, etc. 3. Return to a calorie-restricted diet for 4 days. These are just general guidelines, so Scottsdale Personal Trainers suggest that you experiment with them and make adjustments until you figure out what works best for your body and metabolism. Try it for three weeks, and you'll be well on your way to looking awesome this summertime! Read more health and fitness articles by Scottsdale Personal Trainers here.



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