If you thought “eating healthy” meant banishing every grain for good, think again. To say that carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap in the past decade or so is an understatement.

Around the ‘90s, eating plans that were based on cutting carbs became popular. There was a kernel of a good idea here: All carbohydrates are converted to sugar when they enter the bloodstream. Sugar consumption leads to those dreaded aforementioned spikes in blood sugar, which lead to energy crashes, cravings for more sugar, and, of course, weight gain. But the anti-carb crusade has taken the concept too far.

The problem with this one-size-fits-all, all-carbs-are-evil mentality is that if you’re not getting enough carbs, your body will turn to muscle for energy, breaking it down and converting its protein molecules to glucose for much-needed fuel. While it can use fat for energy in the absence of any glucose or glycogen (stored glucose), it is easier for the body to resort to muscle. This pushes you in the wrong direction. To avoid this muscle-wasting, fat-paralysis state, you need to have a steady intake of starchy carbohydrates in your diet.

For the next 5 days, try what I call “carb cycling.” Put simply, this means that some days of the week, you’ll have “Low Carb” days, where you limit you carbohydrate intake. Other days of the week, you’ll have “High Carb” days, where you’re allowed to enjoy more carbs on your plate. This means that you can still enjoy foods you love while losing weight. Sounds practically perfect, doesn’t it?

Here’s how carb cycling works:

DAY 1: Low Carb (50 g or less of carbs today!)
DAY 2: Low Carb (50 g or less of carbs today!)
DAY 3: High Carb (Up to 160 g of carbs today!)
DAY 4: Low Carb (50 g or less of carbs today!)
DAY 5: High Carb (Up to 160 g of carbs today!)

Here’s why carb cycling works:

On high-carb days, you fill your body up with calories so that on low-carb days, you allow your body to burn fat. This method of switching up your eating tricks your metabolism into burning more calories!

Carb cycling can fit into anybody’s routine, and it puts YOU in control of your weight loss. Plus as an added bonus, you’ll feel more energetic and bright-eyed!

Take The Next Step:

Due to years of consuming a diet full of processed carbs, most people have grown quite insensitive to one of the most important hormones in our body—a hormone that can either be a huge asset to your body transformation goals, or a total fat loss and health-derailing nightmare.

Its name is insulin.

And insulin’s function is to help your body keep blood sugar at bay, clear it quickly from your bloodstream after a carbohydrate meal, and (hopefully) shuttle that blood sugar to muscle tissue for energy instead of fat.

I say “hopefully” because that’s actually the exact opposite of what occurs when most people eat carbs. Going back to insulin sensitivity and carbohydrate tolerance, due to a diet full of processed, insulin–and blood–sugar-spiking carbohydrates, most folks are suffering from some level of insulin resistance, a state in which insulin is no longer able to efficiently remove blood sugar from the blood stream.

The result? Dramatically reduced fat burning and increased fat storage.