The new Star Wars movie—The Last Jedi—just hit theaters on Friday and people everywhere are buzzing—not only about how good it is, but also the phenomenal casting. Another thing people are talking about is the physical stamina required for the actors to be able to star in such a film. I mean, have you seen Daisy Ridley’s physique?
In addition to a rigorous fitness regimen, the cast followed a diet plan constructed by medical and athletic professionals from Altus Health, which included cutting out sugar, balancing gut health and carb-cycling, an often-debated form of restrictive dieting. Rather than strictly adhering to a low-carb diet, which will help with weight-loss but can sometimes deplete the body of valuable nutrients and hinder fitness abilities, many experts say carb-cycling offers a more balanced approach.
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“We use carb-cycling to reduce people’s dependency on carbohydrates and get them started on a high-fat, low-carb, nutrient-rich diet,” says Jack Graves, an Altus Health coach and trainer. “You begin the cycle with two days of low carbs and one normal healthy diet day, and do this for two weeks. The next two weeks, you do three days low-carb and one day of normal healthy diet. And the following two weeks, you do 4:1, and gradually, you reduce your overall carb intake. It’s important to up your fats on the low-carb days to make up the calories needed.”
According to celebrity nutritionist Brigitte Zeitlin, while your protein intake will remain the same throughout, your fat intake will vary depending on your carbohydrate intake—low-carb days equal high fat and high-carb days mean low-fat.
“Carb-cycling tries to match the body’s need for calories from glucose (the main source of energy for the body) to tailor high-carb days for workout days and low-carb days to try and get the body to run by using burned fat as fuel,” says Zeitlin. “The research on this is very preliminary though. Ultimately, this is another form of restrictive dieting, and like all restrictive diets, I’m not sure how maintainable it is. Therefore, the results will not be long-lasting. But for a movie, where you are filming for approximately three to six months, it could work for losing weight and building muscle mass quickly.”
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