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Cartoon of Doctor weighting his patient; " No, it's not water, you seem to be retaining food".


 Not Fat! Carb Cycling

Carb Cycling & Strength Training 

If you DO NOT exercise at all, you need to watch your carbohydrates and calorie consumption very carefully. If you DO exercise, you can have more carbs in your diet.  ​ ​​​​​ .

First, you need to decide which goal to achieve as a result of today’s activities: fat loss, or muscle gain. Remember, you can not have both on the same day. 

Secondly, plan the food intake based on your choice: If you wish to lose fat you need to go Low Carb and proceed with aerobic exercises (Treadmill or any Cardio machine). It is also considered "cardio" or aerobic exercise, lifting weights less than 60 % of 1 RM (1 Repetition Maximum). Or in simple put, when we lift "light"  and we are able to perform more than 12-15 repetitions per set.

If the goal is to gain muscle mass, you need to consume more CARBS and proceed with anaerobic exercises. The best form of anaerobic exercise is weight lifting with weights that exceed 60 % of your 1 RM. In easy terms, when you can NOT make more than 6 to 8 repetitions per set, in good form. 

If you DO NOT exercise at all, you need to watch your carbohydrates and calorie consumption very carefully. If you DO exercise, you can have more carbs in your diet.  ​ ​​​​​ 


 Lose Fat -  Gain Muscle

More References & Links to read...

  • Roman Malkov, MD. (2006) Carb Cycling Diet.
  • Barr S.I. & Rideout C.A. (2004). Nutritional considerations for vegetarian athletes. Nutrition, 20, 696-703.
  • Tipton K.D. & Witard O.C. (2007). Protein requirements and recommendations for athletes: Relevance of ivory tower arguments for practical recommendations. Clin Sports Med., 26, 17-36.
  • Borrione P., Grasso L., Quaranta F., Parisi A. (2009). FIMS position statement 2009: vegetarian diet and athletes. International SportMed Journal, 10(1), 53-60.
  • The skeletal muscle anabolic response to plant-versus animal-based protein consumption.  Journal of Nutrition, (2015).  

​​​​​​The following approach involves putting your higher carb days on your hardest training days. Usually Legs day.

This approach will allow more energy and strength for workouts - the increase in insulin also helps facilitate glycogen storage in the muscles after training, which also means no fat storage - and your lower carb days on your off days.

There is also a "​random" approach that you can try and still get the benefits from carb cycling. But learn the basic approach first, and then you can start experimenting with different approaches. 

​​​We can take breaks from this diet and come back to it at any time. While you are on break of the diet, you still can use it to your advantage by doing weight lifting exercises and let the body use the surplus of calories to build muscle mass.​  

On High carb days you can enjoy that treat you have been thinking about it; pie, ice cream, pizza, etc.. because you’ve balanced these luxuries with the alternating days of restricted food intake.

The different benefits that a physical conditioning routine offers to health are unquestionable. But when we talk about a weight control program, physical exercise is essential.

Without physical activity, the process of fat loss becomes very slow. Which could make us throw in the towel very soon.  Without at least 2 days a week of resistance exercises, we will always have that feeling of being "soft." In other words, Fat. It makes us feel fat.  When in reality is muscle mass what we need, to get that firm and athletic appearance. Let's don't forget that it is the muscles that give shape to the body, not fat.

Also keep in mind, that by including physical exercise in your weight control program, you will feel more energized and motivated to make better nutritional decisions.  Thus reinforcing our holistic cycle.