IF & Carb Cycling: What They Can Do for You!

IF & Carb Cycling: What They Can Do for You!

I enjoy being fit/healthy and I would love to inspire others to be too. This blog of mine is not popular at all but if I find out that I have helped even one person, I will feel elated.

In the past year or so, I have changed up how I eat. This includes me doing intermittent fasting and most recently, carb cycling.  I can honestly say that these two things have changed my life for the better.

In this post, I will be discussing more about those two ways of eating and how they could help you too!

Intermittent fasting

Good things come to those that wait!

Most people have heard about intermittent fasting (IF). It seemed a little crazy to me when I first heard about it. Reading that it is good for women with PCOS was what led me to try it out.

I have now been intermittent fasting for almost a year!

I do the 16:8 version of the fasting (there are different ways to do IF). My eating window is between 11 AM and 7 PM. I have played around with the times and this window seems to work for me the best.

If you are reading this and do not quite know the alleged benefits of intermittent fasting, here is a little list of how it might help you:

  1. Increase insulin sensitivity
  2. Increase energy levels
  3. Increases cognition/clarity of thought
  4. Control blood sugar levels
  5. Reduce inflammation
  6. Reduce bloating

When I first started intermittent fasting, it was hard. I was determined to keep pushing through to reap the health benefits though. After about two weeks of the fasting, I began to feel the improved energy and reduction of bloating that the research articles said might occur.

I loved what was happening to me!

After two months, I noticed that my body composition was changing a little bit. Slightly more muscle definition started coming through which I really liked.

Another thing I have noticed is that my menstrual cramps have pretty much gone away. I still experience some mild cramping, but I do not actually need to take anything for it. Other women have had the same thing happen to them as well. I am not sure the mechanism behind it, but I am not going to complain.

I do think that I have some degree of insulin resistance (as do many women with PCOS). Since embarking on the intermittent fasting journey, I have not felt tired after eating. This is one of the signs of being insensitive to insulin so I believe it is helping me in that regard.

I would highly recommend trying out intermittent fasting, especially if you have PCOS. There are so many of us who have had great results from it.

Along with living the intermittent fasting lifestyle, it is important to have a handle on what you are eating. Some people end up thinking they can eat whatever they want during their eating window and then wonder why they are not experiencing positive changes. If you have a goal of getting healthier and changing your body, good food choices are imperative.

Carb cycling

One of my favorite low carb foods!
One of my favorite higher carb foods to eat!

I have read about how great low carb and keto diets are for PCOS (and other conditions). They are said to help with losing weight, controlling blood sugars, increasing insulin sensitivity, losing abdominal fat and more.

  Back in January, I decided that I wanted to get a little leaner as well as combatting any insulin resistance I have even more than I already was (I believe intermittent fasting was helping).  I started out lowering my calories to about 1500 and carbs to 40 grams per day.

This was tough for me! I tried pushing through the physical symptoms I was experiencing (extreme hunger, fatigue and grumpiness) but it proved to be even harder than the beginning of my intermittent fasting journey.

It was all very frustrating to me because I wanted to obtain the benefits that other people were getting from low carb/keto diets. After a few weeks, I ended up straying from the low carb plan.

I came across carb cycling one day when I was looking at books on Amazon. This is when you cycle your carb intake throughout the week or month. I was interested in this method of eating and decided to look into it more.

The benefits you can get from this type of diet are as follows:

*More energy for tough workouts- You can have a higher carb day on the days you do your tough workouts. This will provide you with more energy to get through them.

*Increase of insulin sensitivity- You can still get this benefit even if you are not strictly low-carb or keto every day of the week.

*Sustainable- It is easier to stick with due to having less restrictions

*No low carb/keto “flu”

This type of eating sounded perfect for me, so I got started on it right away. Since anything under 150 grams of carbohydrates is considered low-carb, I wanted to make sure my weekly average came in under that amount. I calculated things out and came up with this carb cycle:

*180 grams- three days per week

* 100 grams- one day per week

* 50 grams- three days per week.

This gives me a weekly average of 113 grams (rounded up).

I have been doing this ever since the end of February and it has been amazing for me! My body composition has changed even more (for the better), I do not get “hangry,” I have a lot of energy and it is something I can stick with which is really important.

If you are interested in trying to cycle your carbs, I would suggest looking into it more. There are plenty of resources out there that explain it in detail so you can better understand how it works.

No guarantee

I decided to make this post to share my experiences in hopes that it might help others out with their health, fitness and body goals. Because I am not a medical professional, you must look up intermittent fasting and carb cycling to decide whether they will be right for you.

These ways of eating have worked great for me as well as many other people. There is no guarantee that they will work for you though. If they do not, that is okay! There are plenty of other ways to eat and

Have you done intermittent fasting and/or carb cycling before? What are your thoughts on it/them?

Thanks for reading!

Some sources:

https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/full/10.1146/annurev-nutr-071816-064634

https://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-carb-cycling

https://www.span.health/blog/7-types-of-intermittent-fasting-explained

#lowcarb #intermittentfasting #diets #weightloss #fatloss #fitness #pcos #health

3 thoughts on “IF & Carb Cycling: What They Can Do for You!

  1. This is super interesting, thanks for sharing! I’ve been doing intermittent fasting for a little while, the same 16:8 and I really like it! I do have a tough time on the weekends when I want to have something to drink and it’s past my time so sometimes I give in. Are you super strict with your intermittent fasting?

    Like

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