I’ve slacked off on blogging over the summer months because I’ve been busy and ya’ll have too. I have so many exciting posts and projects planned for the coming months. Stay tuned!
BUT for now…
Carb Cycling & Macro Counting
Yea, I’m doing it. In fact, I’ve been doing it since August 8th. I will probably do some updates over the next couple months, but so far I am really happy with the results.
Carb cycling and macro counting is really popular with bodybuilders and fitness models so I have had to adjust everything for an endurance athlete. Everyone does it differently, but here’s how I’m doing it.
I adjust my carbohydrate intake based on my workout and training schedule and I count my macros (carbs, fat, protein) using MyFitnessPal to hit those numbers. My days range from low carb, moderate and high carb depending on the day.
After months of struggling to balance how much and what I should be eating during marathon training I finally started tracking my food. I’ve been using this macro calculator and this guide as a general base. It’s not for everyone and I know with some folks it leads to dysfunctional relationships with food, but for me it’s helpful. This isn’t just about weight loss for me, but about whole body health and thyroid health.
An Average Week
Since my training schedule is pretty much the same each week, it’s been easy to stick to a schedule. Here’s what a typical week looks like for me.
- Monday: Easy Run – Mod Carb
- Tuesday: Easy Run – Mod Carb
- Wednesday: Speed Work – Higher Carb (not as high as Saturday, but still higher than other days)
- Thursday: Easy Run – Mod Carb
- Friday: Rest – Lower/Mod Carb (highest carb meal at dinner)
- Saturday: Long Run – Higher Carb
- Sunday: Cross Train/Active Recovery – Lower Carb
I’m not counting calories in the traditional sense, I’m counting my macros. Also, I would like to point out that I’m not eating junk food just to hit my macros and each day has a different calorie level. The low carb days are lower calorie, the moderate carb days are what my body needs to maintain and the high carb days are just a little more than what my body needs to maintain.
Macro levels are different for everyone, so what might seem high carb to some is low carb to others. Everyone has different goals and needs.
I also started carb cycling to help with my sugar intake and cravings. That of course directly relates to carbohydrate intake and my thyroid health. Since I’ve started this I’ve realized just how many carbs I was eating and how it was making me feel.
I’m also pleased to say that my sugar cravings are so much less than before. Now I crave unlimited fruit on my high carb days instead of sugary doughnuts, but I don’t have to restrict because I can eat one on high carb days. That makes sense since my activity level is highest on those days, right?!
I believe eating should be enjoyable and that you should have a healthy relationship with food. I started this process because what I was doing wasn’t working and I wasn’t happy.
I don’t believe in restriction and instead believe in sustainable lifestyle changes. This is sustainable because at the core, I’m just adjusting my carbohydrates based on the demands of that day.
Eventually I expect to do all of this without having to track macros, but for now it’s been eye opening and very insightful.
Life is about balance. I don’t want to feel guilty about eating a doughnut, but I want to reach my goals. This process has allowed me to find balance. I can now eat one doughnut on a high carb and be satisfied because my body has adjusted. I don’t have a tolerance to sugar like I did before and am satisfied on less.
So far I’ve been really pleased with the process, how I feel and my results overall.
I’m linking up with Amanda over at Running with Spoons today 🙂
Have you ever tried carb cycling?