Carb-Cycling Diet: An Uncharted Hack For Employees With Sedentary Lifestyle
Leading a sedentary lifestyle is as dangerous as having a smoking habit. The World Health Organization suggests that approximately 60 to 80 percent of individuals from around the globe are leading a sedentary lifestyle. And it is one of the primary causes of chronic disorders.
Talking about a sedentary lifestyle, most corporate employees are seen to lead such a lifestyle. The blame goes to the hectic work schedules, excessive use of computers, and energy-draining work culture. Similarly, employees with sitting jobs, making them prone to severe health issues in the long run.
In such a case, changing lifestyle choices can help keep severe health issues at bay. Considering this, I have crafted this diet-centric blog that will be helpful for employees to take control of their overall well-being. Moreover, on reading this, even HRs will get a gist of how to improve employee well-being.
As the title suggests, this blog covers the ins and outs of a carb-cycling diet and why busy workers should try this diet. You will also get the gist of a sample carb cycling meal plan.
What Is A Carb-Cycling Diet?
It is a diet where you must reduce or increase carbohydrate intake on alternative days. You can follow this diet for a specific number of days, weeks, or months. According to a source, the carb cycling diet was created by Mr. Franco Carlottos, a six-time winner of the title Mr. World Fitness.
The primary goal of trying this diet is to lose weight. Other than weight loss, following a carb-cycling diet may help decrease symptoms of chronic disorders, stay fit and optimize one's health.
Endurance athletes are popularly known to practice the carb cycling diet to control their glycogen storage.
The thumb rule of this diet is to switch between low-carb, moderate, and high-carb meals daily, weekly, or monthly. Also, along with carbohydrates, you have to regulate your fat and protein intake accordingly.
There is no standardized meal plan in this regard. Hence, people interested in trying a carb cycling diet can customize it as per their requirements.
Along with keeping track of their carbohydrate intake, people involved in some form of sports track their fat intake equally.
This diet comes in handy for those who want to keep a count of their carb intake and calorie intake. For instance, if you have a day planned with minimal physical activity, you should reduce your carb intake. This is termed as a low-carb diet.
Similarly, if a person indulges in a considerable amount of physical activity on a particular day, they can increase their carb intake moderately. This way, they can regulate their calorie intake and body weight.
Athletes who had tried low-carb meals on their training days experienced a drop in their energy levels. This means the body demands significant energy to keep up with the workout activities.
Suggested reading: 21-Day Anti-Inflammatory Diet Meant For All Corporates: What To Eat & Avoid?
How Does A Carb-Cycling Diet Help With Energy Levels?
Theoretically speaking, a carb-cycling diet accelerates the process of burning fat in the body. In turn, the body acquires the energy to run various metabolic activities smoothly. As a result of these metabolic events, the body undergoes fat loss.
The reason is that when you lower the carb intake on an inactive day, the body gradually starts burning fat present in excess to generate metabolic energy.
The beauty of a carb cycle is you can customize the diet as per your fat and carb intake requirements.
Suggested reading: 17 Low-Calorie Snacks For Corporate Employees
Types Of Carb Cycle Diets
There are four types of carb cycle diets that an average adult who requires at least 2000 calories per day can try:
In a low-carb diet, you will eat in a way to get less than 26% of calories from carbohydrates, 40-45% of calories from protein, and 35-40% of calories from fat.
In a moderate-carb diet, you will eat in a way to get around 30-35% of calories each from carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
A high-carb diet will give you about 45-50% of calories from carbohydrates, 25-30% of calories from protein, and 20-25% of calories from fat.
Possible Benefits Of Implementing A Carb-Cycling Diet
Having read so far, a thought might be popping into your head, “I am already somewhat practicing a carb-cycling diet and have been trying to check my carbohydrate intake from day to day.” Truth be told, I practice it too unconsciously. Many may even have experienced weight loss (including me).
Suggested reading: Creating An Effective Office Weight Loss Challenge For Your Employees
However, carb-cycling diet benefits don't end with just weight loss. There’s more to it. Here are some of the perceived benefits of the carb-cycling diet that busy employees, as well as regular individuals, may enjoy:
- It helps regulate blood sugar levels. Simply saying, you can keep chronic disorders like type 2 diabetes at bay.
- It optimizes your body fat composition.
- You will be more mindful of what you eat each day and be inclined towards eating healthily.
- You don’t have to eliminate any food group while on this diet. All you need to do is keep a check on your intake quantity from day to day.
- Last but not least, you may enjoy increased productivity at work.
A downside to this diet is if you practice carb cycling for extended periods, your body may go through hormonal changes, leading to unwanted weight gain
Carb Cycling Diet Tips For Working Individuals
The name “carb cycling diet” may sound a bit intimidating to some at first. But reading so far, you may have understood what this diet is all about. However, as a working individual, I understand the time constraints that every corporate worker goes through.
One of the many time constraints that working individuals come across is prepping a wholesome office lunch. In addition to it, the impending stress at work adds to the mind, making it harder to focus on one’s dietary habits.
The best solution here is to plan your diet smartly. Prior meal planning is a must if you are inclined towards trying a carb-cycling diet. Because then you won’t feel overwhelmed thinking about what to prepare for your office lunch the next day.
So, here are some pro tips that will help you plan meals for this diet:
- List the food items that are easily available to you.
- Create a meal chart covering all your working days and follow it religiously.
- Try a health-tracking app to get insights about your daily carbohydrate intake.
Sedentary working individuals are advised to follow a low-carb diet. But a healthier option for such people is to take up any physical activity after or before work hours, such as yoga or brisk walking. With it, they can try a carb-cycling diet seamlessly.
1-week Carb Cycling Diet Sample Menu Suitable For The Average Adult
Sample carb cycling meal plan
Do note that the portion size of the meals varies from person to person based on the body composition. However, I have curated a sample carb cycling meal plan suitable for the average person who requires 2000 calories in a day.
High carb days
Breakfast: Veggie omelet made with 3 egg whites and 1 whole egg, filled with spinach, tomatoes, and mushrooms. Eat these with 1 slice of whole-grain toast. (Carbs: 16 to 21 grams)
Snack: 1 medium size fresh apple along with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. (Carbs: 31 grams)
Lunch: Grilled chicken breast, served with quinoa and steamed broccoli. (Carbs: 41- 46 grams)
Snack: Greek yogurt mixed with fresh berries (Carbs: 20-23 grams)
Dinner: Baked salmon with sweet potato wedges and roasted Brussels sprouts. (Carbs: 37-40 grams)
Snack: 1 small banana and one handful of mixed nuts. (Carbs: 18- 25 grams)
Moderate carb days
Breakfast: Overnight soaked oats made with 1/2 cup of rolled oats, almond milk, and chia seeds topped with sliced strawberries with a pinch of granola. (Carbs: 48-54 grams)
Snack: Fresh Carrots with hummus. (Carbs: 9-10 grams)
Lunch: A Turkey wrap with whole grain tortilla, sliced turkey breast, avocado, lettuce, and tomato. Served with a side salad. (Carbs: 18-24 grams)
Snack: Almond milk, banana, spinach, and protein powder smoothie. (Carbs: 29-30 grams)
Dinner: Grilled shrimp with quinoa, roasted asparagus, and mixed green veggies. (Carbs: 40-45 grams)
Snack: Greek yogurt with minced almonds and a drizzle of honey. (Carbs: 30-32 grams)
Low carb days
Breakfast: Vegetable frittata cooked from egg whites, spinach, bell peppers, and feta cheese. (Carbs: 8-10 grams)
Snack: Celery with almond butter. (Carbs: 4-5 grams)
Lunch: Grilled chicken salad prepared with mixed greens, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and a light vinaigrette dressing. (Carbs: 12-13 grams)
Snack: Cottage cheese with sliced cucumbers. (Carbs: 7-9 grams)
Dinner: Baked cod, steamed broccoli, and cauliflower rice. (Carbs: 11 grams)
Snack: Hard-boiled eggs with a pinch of sea salt. (Carbs: <1 gram)
Role Of HRs
No matter how motivated you are to try something new and healthy, external motivation is always beneficial to keep the spirits up. In the case of corporate employees, HRs hold great power to bring positive changes to workplaces.
To make things easier for HRs, corporate wellness solution providers like Vantage Fit come to the rescue.
With Vantage Fit, HRs can motivate employees to eat healthier. Moreover, they can create wellness challenges wherein employees must log meals and more. In doing so, employees can introspect about their eating habits and may feel motivated to follow a healthy diet.
Given the benefits of a carb-cycling diet, an HR can create a weekly challenge where the employees have to log their meals. This feature also allows the user to get an overview of their carb, protein, and fat intake per meal. Seeing the data, employees will be aware of their nutrient intake, creating an awareness.
Other than enrolling employees on a corporate wellness platform for a challenge, HRs can do the following:
- Organize health and nutrition-oriented workshops.
- Invite health experts to educate employees about healthy diet habits.
- Provide in-office nutritious meals that offer great health benefits.
- Motivate employees to take part in wellness challenges, wherein they have to log their meals in exchange for incentives. This will help them introspect into their dietary habits.
A carb-cycling diet requires dedication and serious planning. If you are seriously thinking about weight loss and want to keep an eye on your day-to-day carb intake, then a carb-cycling diet is a must-try.
However, for anyone who is willing to try this diet, I strongly recommend they consult with a registered dietitian to learn more about it. If you have any health issues or are on any medications, confirm with your physician before making any severe changes to your diet.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a carb-cycling diet?
Carb-cycling diet is an eating pattern wherein you alternatively increase and decrease your carb intake. If you are looking for ways to lose weight, the carb cycling diet may help you achieve your health goal.
2. Is a carb-cycling diet effective for weight loss?
Carb-cycling diet is pretty much effective if you are trying to lose weight.
3. What are the disadvantages of a carb-cycling diet?
Carb-cycling diet may negatively affect you in the long run. Since this diet pushes the body to function with fewer carbohydrates, it is seen to cause abnormal hormonal imbalances in the body. As a result, you may gain more weight if you don’t lead an active lifestyle.
4. How long should I do a carb cycling diet?
A carb cycling diet is such that you may feel weak initially, but with time, your body gets used to the new diet regime. Health experts suggest one should try a carb cycling diet for at least 3 months to see the visible results.
5. How long does carb cycling take to lose weight?
Even though the result varies depending on the person’s body composition, you may take at least a month to lose weight on this diet.
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