Carb Cycling for Weight Loss

Sliced bread Ciabatta and extra virgin Olive oil on wooden background
How to make the carbohydrates your “fat burning friend”?

Shaun Hadsall’s “4 Cycle Fat Loss Solution”

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If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ve probably heard that you shouldn’t eat carbs.

Unfortunately, this piece of advice isn’t entirely accurate – and often comes from people who haven’t tried eating low-carb diets to lose weight in the first place.

Think about it logically.

Humans are omnivores. Back when we were cavemen, we were hunters and gatherers. When we were hunting, we’d be eating meat (composed of protein and fat). But when we were gathering, we’d be eating fruits and other plants – these sources of food are composed almost entirely of carbohydrates.

So, when you start a strict low-carb or no-carb diet, you’re depriving your body of one of the three inherent compounds it needs to function. You’re not going to have a good time.

You will constantly feel fatigued – carbs are the human body’s #1 source of energy, and without them, you’re always feeling drained. You will constantly crave carbs – and because carbs are in almost all common foods (chips, pasta, bread, dessert, etc.), you’ll almost always be unsatisfied with your meals. You won’t actually lose that much weight – once your body adjusts to your low-carb diet, your lack of carbs won’t do anything for body fat reduction.

You’ve most likely considered a low-carb diet for weight loss purposes – right? If yes, notice how we said that low-carb diets aren’t effective for body fat reduction… after your body has adjusted to having fewer carbs available.

In the first week or so, you’ll probably notice great results from a low-carb diet – as your body turns to carbohydrates for energy but realizes none are available, it will immediately go for your fat reserves instead.

But that all stops after about a week. Your body adapts… and knows that there aren’t any carbohydrates available. And because humans are built to preserve as much fat as physically possible, your body will turn to other sources besides your fat reserves for energy. 

That’s right – your body likes fat and tries to store it as much as it can. So when it notices manipulation of your caloric intake and a suspiciously increased fat loss rate, it will perceive this as a threat. Thinking that hard times are coming, it starts trying to conserve energy – sacrificing metabolic activity.

You are doing the same as before, but you aren’t losing weight. What you lose is all your motivation.


Wouldn’t it be nice if you could keep that carb confusion going? If you could convince your body that there are always carbs available… when there actually aren’t? Your body would constantly leech off of your fat reserves for energy when you need it, which would result in drastic weight loss.

As luck would have it, that is the basis of carb cycling.

Carb cycling is tricking your metabolism into think that there are carbs available for use all of the time – but there rarely are, which leads to your body taking energy from your fat reserves at a much higher rate than usual.

You don’t have to be a nutritionist or dietician to understand how it works. It’s very simple – you’re just tricking your body into thinking that carbs are always present. You’re never giving it a chance to adapt, which means that during weeks one and three, it’s always taking as much fat as possible from your fat reserves.

There’s only one downside. Despite being quite effective at shedding body fat week after week, the program isn’t necessarily easy. You need to regulate the amount of carbs you consume every day based on your body, lifestyle, and a multitude of other factors…

And therefore pre-made programs are invaluable if you want to begin your adventure with carb cycling. Having everything you need already thought out and counted for you makes the whole process so much easier.


Enter The 4 Cycle Solution by Shaun Hadsall

The 4 Cycle Solution is a complete handbook to doing carb cycling correctly.

Before the books like this were published, the only real way to do carb cycling was either self experimentation, “I’ll try it and see how I feel” or to hire a personal dietician… and meet with him or her on a weekly or biweekly basis until you were at your goal weight.

Obviously, that gets exorbitantly expensive – and most people are looking to try a new weight loss method without shelling out thousands upon thousands of dollars first.


“Welcome to the rest of your life” –  Hadsall greets his readers with these words. And there is something here: The 4 Cycle Solution is one of those programs that aim to develop healthy habits and long-term lifestyle change.

The 4 Cycle Solution is a weight loss plan that allows you to take full advantage of the fact that certain nutrients impact your body differently, depending on the time of the day and food combinations. 

What type of carbohydrates you choose, how you time them, and how you balance them with other nutrients in your meals will decide whether you will be able to keep your fat-burning furnace going.

The main goal of the program is to break your body’s cycle of dependence on ‘fast’ fuel from carbs and put it, once for all, into a state where it prefers to utilize stored fat as its primary source of energy. However, unlike diets based on long carbohydrate deprivation, this fat-burning environment is not created at the expense of  calorie burning muscle tissue, slowing down your metabolism and overall weakening your body. According to the author, through proper eating habits, you take control of your insulin response (which triggers your body’s fat storage mechanisms) while obtaining all the metabolic benefits of eating your favorite carbs. 

Shaun also points out that his program is designed to overcome every type of adaptive response the body has to stop you from losing weight. As we said before, eventually, everyone who tries to lose weight finds that after initial success, the scale stops budging. It’s your body learning the tricks you’re using in your diet, going into survival mode, and starting to store fat – just in case.

4 Cycle lets you understand, recognize, and neutralize your body’s adaptive reactions so you can consistently maintain fat loss.


4 Cycle Solution is meant as an 8-week program. After that time, your metabolism will make a healthy switch, and you will be ready to live a fat-burning lifestyle at full force. Let’s take a closer look at the principles of each of the 4 separate phases of the program:

Cycle 1: Advanced Depletion – “The 7 Day Diet”

This is the toughest part of the program: a zero-carb week. This phase sets up your metabolic triggers for the new carb-cycling lifestyle. You’re going to drastically drain your body of carbohydrates and the glycogen stores in your muscles and liver. The idea is to shut off your body’s dependence on sugars and teach it how to find fats stores when it needs energy.

Cycle 2:Macro-Patterning™ (weeks 2-3)

This is where the “magic” happens. Now that your metabolism is healthy, it can start processing sugar from carbs more efficiently. From now on, you’re going to gradually bring certain carbs back to your diet. You will learn how to manage your carb intake so that you don’t have to worry about storing carbs as fat.

Cycle 3:Accelerated Fat Loss (weeks 4-6)

This phase is specifically designed to neutralize your body’s adaptive responses, which prevent you from losing weight. You will learn how, by strategically scheduling your meals, you can easily control energy and hormonal balance, as well as manipulate carb and fat stores. This allows you to neutralize the most common body adaptation methods so you can still stay on the fat-loss fast track without the dreaded plateau.

Cycle 4: The Diet Break [Maintenance]

In this phase,  you’re going to combine eating more calories than ever before with massive calorie expenditure through exercise. The goal is to maintain the results you’ve just achieved, give you and your body rest, and prevent it from further adapting to your eating pattern related to the long calorie deficit from the previous three cycles.


How can I learn more about carb cycling?

Hadsall explains it briefly on his official website – you do not have to buy the book to read what he explains on the main page. If you just want your extra fat gone already, try carb cycling. It’s not the easiest way to lose weight, but it is one of the most effective ways by far.

In fact, there’s not really another weight loss method quite like it. You can expect to lose 7-10 pounds of pure body fat in your first month, and 5-7 pounds every month after that. No additional exercise. No weird diets. No pills. No going to the gym. Nothing but being smart about your carb intake.

Like we said, overall, it’s a complete handbook. If you’d like to try this effective weight loss method of carb cycling and actually do it correctly, all you need is this book.

Could you try carb cycling by yourself? Absolutely. But we’re here to tell you that if you don’t follow the method correctly, you won’t lose any weight, you won’t feel very good day in and day out, either. Remember, you’re still restricting the amount of carbs you can eat – you’re just not doing it as drastically


Learn more about The 4 Cycle Solution on Hadsall’s official site




  1. This article makes some assumptions about extreme low carb diets that just are not true. You do fell satisfied and full of energy on a extremely low carb diet after you become adapted to using ketones (read fat) for energy. There is evidence that all carbs do not have an equal effect on metabolism, so perhaps some carbs are reasonable to consume. I contend that wheat is the worst offender and that you have to avoid carbs completely of possible of your metabolism has been damaged by the excessive consumption of carbohydrate.


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