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More than a third of the country’s adults are obese, according to data from the National Institutes of Health. The NIH states that every 1 in 20 Americans can be categorized in the group of the extremely obese. It is therefore not surprising that many people are looking for ways to lose weight.
There are many diets and weight loss programs out there. It can be confusing determining which will work best for you. In this article we examine the carb cycling and anabolic diets and how you can get started.
From a distance, the anabolic as well as the carb cycling eating programs seem quite similar. They both have the same aim: that is to burn fat as well as prevent the loss of muscle. Many athletes, bodybuilders and even weightlifters use these diet programs to lose weight and improve their muscle mass.
These two plans are ketogenic in that they encourage dieters to eat low levels of carbohydrates (less than 50g) and therefore enter a state of ketosis. Ketosis is a state in which the body utilizes stored fat in the body as its primary source of energy.
Both plans also encourage days of high carb and low carb days. This allows dieters to gain from the ketosis and still maintain a high metabolism by reintroducing carbs on high carb days. A British study found that women who eliminated foods rich in carbohydrates for two days in a week lost an average of 9lbs over a period of four months.
How the programs differ
Anabolic diet, based on a book by Dr. M. Pasquale. It is designed to help your body become a machine for burning fat, hence its popularity amongst bodybuilders. You start off with seven days of eating low carb food so that your body enters ketosis. When the week is over, you have a day or two of eating large quantities of carbs.
It is recommended that you eat foods high in carbohydrates over the weekend and those low in carbs on weekdays. This ensures that your body doesn’t revert to using carbs as its primary source of fuel while ensuring your metabolism doesn’t slow down.
Carb cycling aims to have low and modest carb days. Dieters can schedule their higher carb days as they see fit. It is recommended that you have more carbs on days that you have intense workouts. Rest days should have lower carbs.
This diet encourages the intake of fat. About 20% of your calories should come from fat especially on days that you’re consuming high carb foods. Carb cycling encourages dieters to eat low fat foods especially on high carb days.
A third of your calories on the diet will come from the protein you take. Carb Cycling recommends that you consume 1 to 1.5 grams of protein for each pound of your body weight. This amount increases on low carb days.
Make your choice
If you like to binge on the weekends and keep it simple on the weekdays, then the anabolic diet would work best for you. You can search for tips on anabolic cooking to learn how to prepare anabolic meals. If you prefer high intensity workouts during the week, you may want to try carb cycling.