Keto carb up is a strategy that a lot of keto dieters are practicing. It is when you eat more carbs than usual while on the diet. By adding this practice to your keto diet, you’ll be able to encourage your body to heal, balance your hormones, overcome plateaus, and more.
But why do you need to carb up and what is the proper way of doing it? Read on to find out what carbing up is and how you actually do it.
What Does To Carb Up Mean?
If you’ve already mastered the ketogenic lifestyle and have a solid workout in place but would like to mix things up a bit, you might want to consider carbing up. Also known as the cyclical ketogenic diet, carbing up refers to a period of time, where you will intentionally consume more carbs than usual. This period usually lasts a day or two.
This practice could kick you out of ketosis and this is why it is not really for everyone. You have to first understand your body and know your weight loss goals. If you’re still new in the keto diet, then carbing up is definitely not for you.
Although a strict ketogenic diet is necessary in order to achieve your goal of losing weight while maintaining good health, the cyclical ketogenic diet actually gives you the best of both worlds. Dr. Jockers, a doctor of natural medicine and founder of DrJockers.com, a website dedicated to empowering people with science-based solutions for improving health, has referred to the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet as:
A diet based off of the feast or famine cycle. This is exactly what it sounds like if you go into a fasted (famine) state for a period of time, followed by a feasting period. This cycle is similar to the kind of eating pattern our foraging and hunting ancestors would have followed as a natural consequence of their lifestyles.
Why Carb Up On a Keto Diet?
Carbing up comes with a few benefits and one of these is to break the weight loss stall or “keto plateau”. Carbing up also improves hormonal balance, increases energy, and enhances muscle growth. This is why bodybuilders on the keto diet would carb up in order to maximize muscle size and enhance their strength.
In addition, once you start with a very low carb diet, your body tends to show some withdrawal symptoms that could lead to keto flu. However, once your body starts to get used to the diet, all the symptoms should fade away. But if the symptoms continue, then this could mean that you have gone overboard with your carb restriction and this is where the keto cycling will come into play.
How To Do Carb Cycling?
In order to gain the full benefits of carbing up, you must do it in a controlled manner. This is to ensure that you’ll get back right to keto after your carb up and that it will not turn into a carbing up week or month. Dr. Jockers described the practice of carbing up or keto cycling as:
keto cycling means having five to six days of strict ketogenic diet and then one cheat day of higher carbs. You eat low-carbs through the week and allow yourself one cheat meal day of high carb food. The goal is to switch out of ketosis to refill muscle glycogen.
But there are many things to keep in mind before you decide to carb up. First, you must only consider carbing up on a keto diet when your body has started to adapt to burning fats as energy, which usually comes after 4 – 6 weeks into the diet. If you’re going to carb up earlier, your body will have to go through the fat adaptation process over again, which is a generally unpleasant experience.
Related reading: What Is Fat Adapted And How To Tell If I Am?
Remember that carbing up will have the tendency to arouse your cravings of carbs so you have to be very careful with carbing up if you’re someone who is prone to having strong carb cravings. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you keep your fat consumption lower than what you’re consuming while on keto. This is because your body can only burn either glucose or fat, but not both of them at the same time.
Carbing up is beneficial but only if you do it the right way. Going in and out of the ketosis state will not only benefit your hormones but it also allows you to go through with the diet in a much better way. Giving yourself a break can help you to focus on the rest of the days where you need to strictly adhere to the diet.
If you want a simple to follow plan to lose weight try the 3-Week Ketogenic Diet. It’s a simple, science-based diet that’s 100% guaranteed to melt away 3-9 pounds of stubborn body fat in just 21 days! Click here to find out more.