While there are plenty of no-carb diets doing the rounds - hello Keto! - for many, they just aren’t realistic lifestyle options.
As well as the pile of research suggesting that no-carb diets aren’t sustainable for long-term weight loss, for many it’s just not realistic to go without bread, pasta and rice day in, day out.
That’s where Carb Cycling - the new diet trend of 2019 comes in - comes in, and it’s already winning over fans and nutritionists alike.
Carb Cycling is the where you vary your carb intake on a daily, weekly or monthly basis - ie, you eat more of them on some days and less of them on others.
Fans of the eating plan suggest that there are two ways of working out when your low-carb and moderate-carb days are.
The first one is based on your activity. On the days you go to the gym - say three or four times a week - you can load up on carbs. But on the days you don't, ie the other four days, you stick to a low-carb eating plan.
The other variation is to just pick out a number of the days in the week for low-carb dieting - ie, Monday to Thursday - and then the remainder of the week can be for higher-intake carb eating.
Nutritionist Charlotte De Curtis tells Metro that there are definite benefits to Carb Cycling.
‘There can be a number of benefits to carb cycling when done correctly,’ Charlotte tells Metro.co.uk. ‘When it comes to fat-loss, many of my clients enjoy the flexibility that carb cycling brings when used in line with a calorie deficit, often improving diet adherence and long term success.
‘There is research to suggest that cycling carbs around your workouts can also be beneficial for gaining muscle, improving physical performance, along with aiding recovery.
‘Other research suggests that high-carb re-feeds, after a state of lower carbohydrate intake, may have a positive effect on hormones during a diet, particularly the thyroid hormones and leptin, which is one of the hormones responsible for balancing hunger.’
While there are no dangers with Carb Cycling, Charlotte tells Metro it can take some getting used to - but it’s important to stick to it.
‘Carb cycling can absolutely be implemented into a balanced and healthy approach for both fat loss, performance and general health,’ she says.
‘Depending on the goal, by ensuring that you are eating enough calories to cover the energy that you’re expending, from one day to the next and that your carbs are coming from sources that are dense in nutrients – think veggies and starchy carbs – this will illicit the maximum benefit.’