Alternating carbohydrate days for weight loss and weight gain


Today we will talk about the essence, mechanism and nuances of carbohydrate alternation and tell you how to properly apply this diet for weight loss and weight gain.

Alternating carbohydrate days for weight loss and weight gainAlternating carbohydrate days for weight loss and weight gain

Today we will talk about one of the popular tools for building a beautiful body – carbohydrate alternation: why you need it and how to stick to it.

What is the essence of carbohydrate alternation

Carbohydrate rotation is based on varying the daily carbohydrate intake from day to day. The following three types of days are usually distinguished.

  • Carbohydrate-free when you keep your carbohydrate intake as low as possible (<5% of your daily calorie intake). On such days, carbohydrate sources are limited to vegetables and some foods - sources of fat.
  • Low carb, when you consume about 2 grams of carbs per kilogram of weight. If you have a lot of excess weight, it is better to calculate the rate of carbohydrates in relation to muscle mass.
  • High-carb, when you store up on carbs for your next cycle, increasing your daily allowance to 4 grams per pound of body weight. Again, if you are a lot overweight, calculate your carbohydrate intake in relation to muscle mass.

The figures given are relative, therefore, proceeding to carbohydrate alternation, it is hardly worth taking them for an indisputable truth. You must adjust all indicators during the diet, taking into account the needs and characteristics of your body.

Is it possible to gain dry mass on carbohydrate alternation

Many people assume that carbohydrate alternation is only applicable for fat burning, as it is accompanied by a calorie deficit. However, this diet is more than just cutting back on calories. It can be useful for athletes seeking gain lean muscle masssince periodically limiting the amount of carbohydrates in the diet prevents unwanted fat storage.

Likewise, when you are losing weight, carbohydrate alternation provides effective fat burning and helps maintain your muscles. That is, everyone can benefit from carbohydrate alternation whether they are gaining mass or drying out.

Physiological mechanism of carbohydrate alternation


Carbohydrate alternation affects the endocrine system and, as a result, the metabolic rate. Remember that in response to the constant lack of energy that accompanies most diets, the body slows down the metabolism.

A decrease in the metabolic rate is the main survival mechanism of many living organisms, since the rapid breakdown of calories is destructive if they are insufficiently supplied. Contrary to popular belief, high metabolic efficiency inhibits weight loss, rather than contributes to it. Fat is burned faster with low metabolic efficiency, that is, with a high metabolic rate.

One of the most important consequences of prolonged energy shortages is a decrease in the activity of thyroid hormones and the satiety hormone leptin. This is bad for metabolism for two reasons.

  1. Leptin is responsible for the body’s energy needs and calorie expenditure, which is directly related to body weight.
  2. Thyroid hormones, or trionins, act on virtually every cell in the body to increase metabolic rate.

In such cases, carbohydrate alternation is extremely beneficial, because carbohydrates have a significant stimulating effect on metabolic rate, thyroid function and leptin synthesis, even in the short term. It is from these considerations that many athletes preparing for competition increase their daily calorie intake when fat burning stops.

How many carbohydrates should you consume?

Unknowing people dislike carbohydrates and blame them for the appearance of extra pounds. In fact, this only happens to those who lead a passive lifestyle and whose diet consists mainly of simple carbohydrates

Such nutrition is accompanied by constant jumps in the level of glucose in the blood, and the energy released from carbohydrates is stored in the form of fatty deposits as unnecessary. As a result – obesity, diabetes mellitus and persistent contempt for carbohydrates.

Naturally, these people decide to reduce their carbohydrate intake as much as possible, or to give up altogether. Studies show that obese people are hypersensitive to insulin, so in their case, the problem is really an excess of sugars in the diet.

But in fact, like any macronutrient, carbohydrates are needed by the body and must be present in the diet. The only question is to control the rate, which is highly dependent on your goals. Therefore, the figures recommended above are only a guideline.

Is carbohydrate source important: glycemic index


Glycemic index Is another important characteristic of carbohydrate-containing foods. It shows how quickly blood glucose levels rise after eating a particular food.

This indicator is objective only when carbohydrates are consumed in isolation. Some sugars lose their ability to actively stimulate insulin production when mixed with other nutrients.

Given this, we can conclude that simple carbohydrates are not so harmful as part of a full meal, when other macronutrients (fiber, …


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