Carb Cycling Update: A Sample Meal Plan

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posted 15th June, 2010 under Nutrition and Health Cabinet.

In response to our post on the newest weight loss fad, carb cycling, we’ve come up with a few sample days of what you might eat if sticking to the rules of carb cycling. 

Without getting too technical as many people can do on this eating plan, it’s simpler to stick to a loose version and base it around your food preferences and body shape. One week might look like this:

Monday: low, Tuesday: high, Wednesday: moderate, Thursday: low, Friday: high, Saturday: moderate, Sunday: low

On a low carb day, avoid all bread, pasta, cereals and starchy vegetables as well as most fruits. Stick to lean protein such as chicken, fish (canned is fine) and meat. Although dairy contains protein it also has carbs so avoid large amounts; a small amount of milk in tea or coffee is fine. Make sure to include plenty of leafy green vegetables and water, as well as healthy fats in the form of avocado, flaxseed and olive oils. For example, breakfast might be eggs and avocado with spinach, lunch could be grilled chicken and roasted zucchini, capsicum and onion and dinner could be baked fish with lemon and steamed green veggies and salad. Include snacks of avocado, carrot and celery sticks or vegetable soup.

On a moderate carb day, include carbohydrates at 3-4 out of six meals a day, making sure to always choose low GI, dense types such as grainy sourdough bread, brown rice, quinoa, oats and veggies such as sweet potato. Still include protein sources to remain satisfied, as well as fresh fruits (no juices). Healthy fats are important every day. For example, breakfast might be chopped fruit and yoghurt with LSA or nuts, lunch is a vegetable and bean soup with a grainy bread roll and dinner could be lean beef tacos. Include snacks such as fruit, cheese and nuts, or the lower carb chopped raw vegies and hummus or low fat cottage cheese and a can of tuna or salmon.

On a high carb day, don’t go crazy and gorge on a whole loaf of bread – stick to the moderate day rules and simply add carbs at all meals, including lots of fresh fruit, green leafy veggies and low GI carbs. For example, breakfast might be porridge with stewed apple and walnuts, lunch is a tuna and avocado sandwich with salad, dinner is brown rice and chicken stir fry, with snacks in between of cheese and crackers, or fruit and nuts, or toasted fruit bread and ricotta.

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Your Comments

  1. Tina Marakis says:
    17 June 2010

    Thanks for giving some additional tips – I was wondering myself what would be the best way to do this! Have you tried carb cycling yourself? Does it really work?


  2. James says:
    07 July 2010

    Excellent article! It wasn’t stated directly within the article, but the first step to carb cycling is to calculate your daily calorie burn, and make sure that you are consuming 20% LESS than that on your low carb days. Basically, you still need to create a calorie deficit over your whole week. There are lots of other sources online that explain carb cycling in great depth, but this is a excellent and easy start! Kudos!


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