Just to add to the knowledge about carb-cycling, I guess that is what is described in the Curves low carb diet without using that term. They describe it as a strategy for maintenance or a metabolic boost of you're stalling or want to take a break from the diet. Reading it 6 months ago, contributed to my motivation to start my weight loss efforts bc it sounded so easy......almost too easy, always wonder if it's too good to be true, but I'm learning here that it may work. Also, I guess I've done it, in my own way, durign the whole 6 months, as a way to counterbalance splurges.
Basically Curves suggests you start at the weight (ex 150 lbs) and weigh yourself daily as you start to eat "normally" (unfortunately, normal is never defined but it's clear that it's eating more than low-carb). They say that when you gain 5 lbs (probably in 3-5 days), then you stop and do their Phase 1 (no starchy carbs but still some fruit and dairy - can't remember how much....maybe 2 per day each?). THen keep weighing until lose the 5 lbs and go back to eating normally, and cycle back etc. The part I find too good to be true (and, of course, hope so much is true), is that they say that bc you are increasing calories, you will increase your metabolism and each time you cycle into eating normally, it will take longer to gain back the 5 lbs.........even to the point of saying that people can end up eating "normally" for a whole month and only do the strict phase for 2 days a month!!!! I could live with 2 days per week!
What I've done along the way during weight loss, is let myself have splurges (starchy carbs when I wasn't planning to, or larger portions that weren't planned or outright sugary real treats like regular cake etc.) then estimate how many portions of carbs were in the treat, then counter it by not having starchy carbs for those number of days since my baseline plan has been to have 1 portion of starchy carb per day. Ex: if I had fries and bread and considered it 3 portions, then would not have starchy carbs for 3 days (but lots of the rest). This has really helped me, psychologically, stay motivated bc it has given regular freedom to have treats, so not to get into the depressing cycle of deprivation, frustration, guilty, giving up ,etc. And the weight came off. We'll see now that I'm gettign near the end if it will still work bc I read in a magazine that, as we get smaller, our metabolism slows.....I guess obviosuly dependign the our amount of exercise, which I'm convinced is so vital to weight loss with splurges (after 2 vacations wherein I had higher carb several days but kept up exercise 3-4x per week and the weight came off after a few days strict on starchy carbs)!
Hope this was helpful. Hope to be in maintenance soon, so will give this a try for that and right back to let you know. And I generally do muscle toning with free weights for upper body and simple leg exercises for lower (squats, lunges, abs) 2x per week (most of the 6 months, I focused on upper body bc of recovery from knee surgery sicne had lots of rehab exercises on leg but not like weight training).