When it comes to nutrition, one thing fitness experts can all agree on is the effectiveness of a low-carb strategy for melting away unwanted body fat. Unfortunately, following a traditional low-carb diet for long periods of time can make it difficult to preserve lean muscle mass. As you take away a fuel source for your body (carbohydrates), it searches for an alternative source of energy. Ideally, it would head straight for your fat stores and burn it all off. In reality though, your body has a tendency to break down muscle in the process of losing weight. This is where carb cycling comes in.

The idea behind a carb-cycling plan is to alternate back and forth between low-carb days and moderate-carb days. This helps your body burn fat and preserve lean muscle mass at the same time.

James Grage breaks down the five things you need to know about carb cycling in this video.