Intro to Carb Cycling

I’ve been a fan of Chris Powell ever since I saw his show Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition (official website) on Hulu Plus. I’ve never been obese, but as an always-skinny-without-trying kinda girl, I was mortified when I went from a comfortable size 4 to a barely fitting size 10 in just 2 years.

I’m sure you’re wondering how I could let myself go like that. It’s not too hard to explain. After graduating from college, I found myself in a slump. When I finally did get a job that paid me a living wage, it was my first sedentary job. All of my co-workers ranged from overweight to morbidly obese, so even though I was gaining weight, I never felt fat. Also, stretch jeans are freakishly misleading. I was gaining weight but still fitting into the same jeans… not cool. The weight gain was moderate at that point. When I really started to gain weight was when I found out I had a medical issue that would require a minor surgery and frequent visits to the doctor – I was at risk for cancer. Even though I was safe, I felt as though I had failed in some way, and I fell deeper into my slump.

I’m very happy to report that I am doing well, physically and emotionally. In October  2012 I saw a picture of myself, and I was very dissatisfied with my weight gain. I decided to start working out. I signed up for a 5k and got to work! It also helped that we had our biennial skip trip coming up in December, and I wanted to be in shape so that I could enjoy the trip. The last thing you want is to go skiing while you’re out of shape; your body will hate you.

While I did experience some results with working out and making some minor changes to my eating habits, I did not see the results I wanted until I started carb cycling. Here’s an example of what a carb cycling schedule looks like. Most recently I changed my schedule so that Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays are my low-carb days.

A huge help for me is Chris Powell’s list of healthy foods that I downloaded from his website. It’s a list split into categories and portion sizes. I posted this chart on my fridge. (ChrisPowell_SmartFoodsList).

The point of carb cycling is to boost your metabolism. Every one who has ever dieted has probably experienced that plateau where your weight loss just comes to a halt. Carb cycling solves that problem because it keeps your body guessing.

Choose to Lose

Chose to Lose by Chris Powell

What I love about carb cycling is that I never feel deprived. On low carb days I may feel some intense cravings, but I just tell myself that I can eat that tomorrow. Most other diets require that you eliminate certain carbs altogether, and it just doesn’t work. There should be a balance between health and culture, and part of a healthy lifestyle is finding that balance.

I highly recommend reading Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution. It is the only “diet” (lifestyle change really) that I have been able to maintain. I’m currently 3 months in, lost 10 lbs, and have gained A LOT of muscle. I’ve also dropped down to a size 8.

I also recommend following Chris Powell and his beautiful wife, Heidi Powell, on Facebook or Twitter. They constantly post inspirational photos, healthy foods, and the cutest photos of their children. I found that having positive posts show up on my Facebook newsfeed brightens up my mood.

Over the next several weeks, I will be posting meal ideas (MEAL SOLUTIONS!) that follow the carb cycling rules. I’ll discuss my favorite products that make my life easier while I am on this weight loss journey. So stay tuned!

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