Carb cycling: What say you?

My roommate ordered a new diet book, which her dog then proceeded to attempt to destroy. Teeth marks and all, it has me intrigued.

Choose to Lose | Chris Powell Written by Chris Powell, the fitness expert behind ABC’s “Extreme Weight Loss” show, “Choose to Lose” touts “the 7-day carb cycle solution.” I started skimming the book, and a lot of what he says makes a certain amount of sense.

— Alternate high-carb days and low-carb days. By doing so, you “prevent your body from adapting and slowing weight loss. If forces your body to boos its metabolism one day, and then mobilize and burn fat stores the next. By cycling carbs this way, your body is more likely to avoid the dreaded dieter’s plateau …”

— Eat five small meals throughout the day, one every three hours.

— Drink lots of water (128 ounces/day).

— Have one cheat day a week, or one cheat meal on each of your high-carb days. “This way, you can never fail. … If you can’t have it today, you can always have it tomorrow. Sounds pretty reasonable, right?”


The book also has a ton of recipes for high-carb and low-carb days, none of which seem to be as low-carb as Atkins. That may or may not be a good thing.

I’m definitely intrigued. After all, what I’ve been doing isn’t working.

And that’s the biggest thing in Powell’s book that hit home. He writes:

How many times have you promised yourself, “I’ll start the diet on Monday” or “”Tomorrow I’m going to wake up early to exercise”? Sure enough, when the alarm goes off, your machine quickly comes up with a reason to sleep in. By noon on Monday, your machine rationalizes why it needs pizza and ice cream for dinner. At the end of the day, you feel like a complete failure.

You can concoct all the reasons and excuses in the world …but the fact is that you’ve let yourself down. You’ve lost the battle with your machine. You’ve broken your promise to yourself …

Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, promise after broken promise, you’ve fallen so deep into despair that it seems there’s no more hope …

Uh, yeah. That pretty much sums it up. I’ve spent too many months (years?) telling myself “I can’t stick to a diet” and “It’s too hard to eat right” and “I can’t focus on both my writing and my weight loss.” As a result, my weight is back up there, in a range I never wanted to see again.

The solution, Powell says, is “to be authentic with yourself … truly and completely honest.”

Look into the mirror and say to yourself, “I have not fulfilled promises that I have made to myself. It has hurt my self-esteem and confidence. But now I am recommitting to my goals.”

I’m not sure whether carb-cycling is the answer. I may just go full-on Atkins again, since I know it has worked for me in the past. I do know that what I’ve been doing (nothing) isn’t working.

Maybe it IS time to recommit to my goals. To change the things I tell myself.

It certainly can’t hurt.

I’m not weak and helpless. I’m not powerless to resist (insert favorite junk food here).

… Although if I see another bag of those Bacon Mac & Cheese Lay’s, all bets are off. Wait — if I do the carb-cycling thing, they could be part of my cheat meal.

Food for thought.

This is the guy who tried to eat the book. Moose. His exploits have earned him crate time when we leave the house.

This guy, Moose, is the one who tried to eat the book. His exploits have earned him more crate time whenever we leave the house. (For months, he was allowed to roam free without incident—but not anymore.)

Note: The link to Powell’s book is an Amazon affiliate link. If you order it via the link, I’ll earn a few pennies.


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