By now you’ve probably heard of Carb Cycling, although you might not know what it means (No, it’s not where carbohydrates take spin classes, and, no, it has nothing to do with the proper functioning of your car’s carburetor). 

In fact, Carb Cycling refers the practice (notice, we didn’t say diet, cause we don’t really like the baggage the word carries) of alternating the number of carbohydrates you take in as a means to cut fat. 

If you need it spelled out more clearly, listen up. Carb Cycling means eating few if any carbs one day, and plenty on others, in order to shed pounds. 

Got it? Probably not. So we’ll break it down for you even more.

Think of Carb Cycling as the eating equivalent of that mythical, perfect, pretty much unattainable relationship that is waiting for you out there in dreamland – a sexy unicorn that has a-rockin' body and something upstairs! 

What we mean is that you get to have that which you most desire – all those foods filled with carbs that most other diets forbid – like pizza, pasta, cakes, cookies, etc. But -- and this is where it’s like the alone time you need even from your ideal mate -- you have days where you avoid those foods altogether. 

The point is you get to have your cake and eat it too, some of the time. 

Carb cycling is the variety that brings the spice to your sex food life. Or more precisely, your carbohydrate intake. Though there are variations in different Carb Cycling protocols, most entail alternating high, moderate and low carb consumptions on different days, eating five or six meals a day and maintaining a consistent amount of protein in your diet. 

Essentially, carb cycling is the evolution of the high protein or no or low carb diets that were insanely popular in the past. Science and experience have revealed that eliminating carbs from your diet is not beneficial for your health and weight loss in the long term, even if it can slim you down in the short term. 

We all need carbs to keep our metabolism working right, so giving the body its fill is essential to keeping your energy up and fitness where it needs to be. 

While the focus of Carb Cycling is on carbohydrates, consistent protein consumption is just as important. But because the level of protein you eat stays the same – high – the focus is on carbohydrates, which vary. 

Although Carb Cycling’s popularity has increased recently, it’s actually been around for a while. In fact, those who are in tune with their bodies – like six-time Mr. World Fitness titleholder Franco Carlotto --have been practicing versions of it two decades ago. 

Carlotto’s experience helped him develop a system for loading and depleting the body’s carbohydrate storage that controls weight while increasing energy. The key to his system alternating between normal-carb and low-carb days. 

The good news is you never have to totally sacrifice carbs, and his system is efficient and easy to follow, which helps keep things fresh. Ultimately, Carb Cycling’s variety has both physiological and psychological benefits, but we’ll get to those at another time…