Friday, September 12, 2014

Carb Cycling // Sample Meal Plan & Recipes

I have always loved the show Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition and gravitated towards Chris and Heidi - who come off so sweet and real. In my latest weight loss struggle I decided maybe I'd get a little kick in the pants by reading Chris Powell's book 'Choose More, Lose More For Life'.

In his second book, he really explains why he loves and utilizes carb cycling for all of his clients to lose weight, fast. There are 4 different versions of the cycles that alternate high and low carb days with cheat meals or cheat days, depending on the cycle you chose. There is the Easy, Classic, Turbo and Fit cycles to chose from.

Essentially, on high carb days you are stocking your bodies calorie-burning furnace and on low carb days your furnace burns fat, and lots of it! He wants you to eat 5 meals a day, with breakfast consumed within 30 minutes of waking up and each meal to follow every 3 hours until you've hit meal 5. Example:
  • Breakfast @ 7:00
  • Snack @ 10:00
  • Lunch @ 1:00
  • Snack @ 4:00
  • Dinner @ 7:00

Above is the breakdown of what food groups make up high and low carb days. Each breakfast should contain proper servings of protein, vegetables AND carbohydrates to start your metabolism for the day. Low carb meals should contain protein, vegetables and a healthy fat. High carb meals should contain protein, vegetables and good carbohydrates. Simple! 

I have made a sample meal plan to give you an idea of what it's like to eat on this plan. This is just a sample of approved foods and the way I would possibly combine them. Sunday is a free day for me - on the Turbo Cycle. That is the cycle I chose, you get one day per week of whatever you want. For me, this probably doesn't mean eating pizza and wings and mozzarella sticks all day but it is nice to know that if I am craving something I can tell myself that I can have it Sunday. If by the time that Sunday comes around I am still wanting that food I can go get it!

In this example, showing the Turbo Cycle, every breakfast is high carb with alternating days of high and low carb.

Monday/Tuesday - Low Carb
Wednesday - High Carb
Thursday/Friday - Low Carb
Saturday - High Carb
Sunday - Free day


Egg White Scramble
  • 3/4 C egg whites
  • 1 C mixed, chopped veggie (onion, bell pepper, mushroom)

Low Carb Protein Shake
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 2 C mixed greens
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter (natural)
  • 1 C water
  • Ice

High Carb Protein Shake
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 2 C mixed greens
  • 1/2 C oatmeal
  • 1 C water
  • Ice

Mexican Slaw
  • Prepackaged coleslaw mix
  • Chopped cilantro
  • 2 clove garlic
  • Lime juice
  • Cumin

I hope this helps any of you that are getting into carb cycling - when I first tried to look online for inspiration I found very few blog posts on Chris Powell's cycling specifically.

Chris's full list of approved foods and to learn more about carb cycling look at Heidi's post here.

Also, check out my favorites button in the nav bar for direct links to Chris's book and some of my favorite food prepping tools!



  1. Elizabeth, did the Carb Cycling work for you & did you see the results you wanted?

  2. I would also like to know how this went for you :)

    1. Sorry, i answered you below, instead of in a reply. Sorry about that :)

  3. I don't know how it went for her, but it works like magic for me! I recommend everybody to give it a try!
    I don't know if it works for everybody, but this way of eating works like a charm for me! I don't feel deprived on this plan, because if it's something I can't have today, I know when i can have it. Usually tomorrow or Sunday :) Zero hunger or cravings on this plan. The weight and the inches literally fall off! And I find that you don't have to be perfect for it to work wonders. Good luck all!!

  4. I realize this is an old post, but I lost 95lbs in 6 months using chris powell's carb cycling. The weight literally just melted off. It was almost TOO easy and I've easily kept it off, varying +/- 5lbs. The only thing I will warn of is that this is not a lifestyle and will eventually stop working which is what happened to me. However after a 3 yr break from carb cycling, I am starting again tomorrow! So excited and hoping for the same results I had the first time.

    1. Did you also work out and if so, what did you do? I have just under 100 to lose and want to do carb cycling.. Trying to figure out if I can make this work while teaching

  5. low carb diet plan is one should always follow. It is good and highly effective!!