Unlocking the Benefits of Carb Cycling

Improved Metabolic Flexibility, Enhanced Athletic Performance, and Better Weight Management

Carb cycling is a dietary strategy that involves alternating between high-carbohydrate and low-carbohydrate days. It is a popular method among athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts who are looking to optimize their body composition and performance. Carb cycling offers a variety of benefits, including improved metabolic flexibility, enhanced athletic performance, and better weight management.

Here are some of the benefits of carb cycling:

Improved Metabolic Flexibility

Carb cycling trains your body to use carbohydrates and fats as energy sources efficiently. By cycling between high and low carbohydrate intake, you can improve your body’s ability to switch between fuel sources based on your body’s needs. This can help enhance metabolic flexibility and improve insulin sensitivity, which can aid in weight loss and overall health.

Enhanced Athletic Performance

Consuming carbohydrates is vital for energy and performance during high-intensity activities. By consuming a higher amount of carbohydrates on your workout days, you can provide your body with the energy it needs to perform optimally. Additionally, cycling carbohydrates can help prevent fatigue, improve endurance, and aid in muscle recovery after intense exercise.

Better Weight Management

Carb cycling can be an effective strategy for weight management. By consuming fewer carbohydrates on certain days, you can create a calorie deficit, which can lead to weight loss. Additionally, cycling carbohydrates can help prevent metabolic adaptation, where the body adjusts to a calorie-restricted diet, leading to a plateau in weight loss.

Improved Insulin Sensitivity

Cycling carbohydrates can help improve insulin sensitivity, which is the body’s ability to use insulin effectively to regulate blood sugar levels. Insulin sensitivity is essential for maintaining stable blood sugar levels, preventing type 2 diabetes, and promoting overall health.

Sustainable Long-Term Approach

Carb cycling is a flexible and sustainable long-term approach to nutrition that can be easily customised to individual needs and preferences. It allows for more dietary flexibility, which can make it easier to adhere to a diet long-term.

In conclusion, carb cycling is a popular dietary strategy that offers numerous benefits, including improved metabolic flexibility, enhanced athletic performance, and better weight management. It is a flexible and sustainable approach to nutrition that can be easily customized to individual needs and preferences. If you are considering carb cycling, it is essential to work with a qualified healthcare professional or registered dietitian to develop a personalised plan that meets your individual needs and goals.

Supporting employees going through menopause

Why it is important to educate staff and managers on menopause.

We are an aging population and are working into our later years of life.  This is thanks to the increase in retirement age and the ability to remain fit and healthier longer with modern medicine.  Whilst we are grateful for the life longevity, I can’t say there has been the same welcome for the increase in retirement age. But what does this mean for the workforce?

Menopause comes to all females at some point in life.  It’s a naturally occurring event that some sail through easily with very few symptoms, while others battle and struggle through the transition. 

Why is it important to address menopause in the workplace?

  • Menopausal women are the fastest growing workforce.- Professor Jo Brewis, co-author of the Government Report on Menopause.
  • 8 out of 10 menopausal women are working.- Faculty of Occupational Medicine
  • 45% of women say their menopause symptoms have had a negative impact on their work.- British Menopause Society

How menopause can impact on work

Many women don’t feel comfortable talking about the menopause or their symptoms, especially to managers. It can make a huge difference to employees when they are made to feel as though what they are going through is normal and there is an open culture in support.  Many menopausal women find themselves considering another employer, in fact one in four consider it.  But if the culture, support and systems are in place, this can greatly be reduced.


Providing workshops and resources to staff that inform them about what happens in the female body during menopause and what symptoms are associated with this, makes a huge difference.  We all know about the hot flushes but there are actually 34 different symptoms known to be caused through perimenopause and menopause.  When women have a greater understanding of what is happening to them and how to manage their own symptoms, they can swiftly get back to living a more normal life. Also, younger colleagues will be better able to support their menopausal co-workers.

Talking culture

Regular informal ‘check ins’ are great for maintaining good employee relations and can provide an opportunity to find out how the staff member can be personally supported.  Managers do not need to be menopause experts, but simply show a caring and open attitude towards menopause and signpost them to further support as needed.

Setting up support groups for your employees to meet other employees currently going through this phase, can be massively helpful too.  It makes them feel normal and less alone and they can share experiences and useful tips on managing symptoms.

What organisations can do

Menopause in the workplace should be part of the health and safety concerns for managers and handled with care and sensitivity. 

The changes need to come from the top when it comes to ensuring support for employees.  It’s recommended that organisations have something in writing that managers can refer to when it comes to supporting staff.

Other things to consider are the control of workplace temperature and ventilation.  How can they be adapted to meet the needs of individuals. Can you provide fans or cooler spaces for staff rooms? Sleep disturbances can be issue so can managers consider shift changes or flexible working hours if workers have had little sleep and feel unsafe to work. Providing access to cold drinking water at all times is also very helpful to manage symptoms and considerations could be made with uniform fabrics and styles. 

Anything that managers can do to make menopausal employees feel more comfortable through their working hours, goes a long way to ensuring that they retain valued staff members, who have years of training and experience.

For more information on Empowerplan’s Menopause Workshops visit our Workshops page and request a brochure.

Nutrition to support and boost mental health

We fuel our bodies with the food we eat and are generally aware of the benefits of re-fuelling with food that is healthy and nutritious – but what about the brain? 

We are very conscious about the fact that the foods that we eat could have an impact on our physical appearance and also the health of our internal body.  But what about other important factors that create balance in our overall wellbeing such as energy levels, mood, thoughts, behaviours and our ability to concentrate.

Feeling good isn’t determined solely by our physical appearance, in fact for many of us, this is only very small factor.

Go with your “gut feeling”

Have you ever felt that sensation inside when making decisions or had butterflies in your stomach when getting nervous?  At these moments, you are getting signals from your ‘second brain’. The gut. Your digestive system contains a link with mood, health and the way you think.  This is what scientists call the enteric nervous system (ENS).  This system consists of 100 million nerve cells lining your gastrointestinal tract. Should you compromise your gut health, this can put pressure on your brain function and lead to mental health conditions. 

“The enteric nervous system doesn’t seem capable of thought as we know it, but it communicates back and forth with our big brain—with profound results.” explains Jay Pashricha .M.D, director of the Johns Hopkins Centre for Neuro-gastroenterology, whose research on the enteric nervous system has garnered international attention. “For decades, researchers and doctors thought that anxiety and depression contributed to these problems. But our studies and others show that it may also be the other way around,” Pasricha says.

What are good brain foods?

These are generally foods that contains nutrients such as:

  • B Vitamins
  • Omega-3
  • Selenium
  • Tryptophan
  • Resistant starch


Slow-release carbs are good for maintaining energy within the body and brain. “Healthy carbohydrates that are minimally processed, such as whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and legumes, have been found to positively contribute to heart, gut, and brain health,” says Katey Davidson, a registered dietitian and founder of Taste of Nutrition.

Nutrition in the workplace

Nutrition is one area that is often overlooked with corporate wellbeing as many organisations and programs tend to focus on physical activity and mental health initiatives like mindfulness, and yet good nutrition is equally as important for your overall wellbeing.

The World Health Organization (WHO) found that optimal nourishment can raise productivity levels by 20%. Healthy employees are happier, calmer, more engaged, sleep better and get sick less often. 

It’s a ‘no brainer’ really that employers provide healthy food options for their employees to benefit both the individual and the organisation.

How can you improve employee nutrition?

  • Review what you supply and offer either in vending machines, canteens or cafes, and look at how improvements can be made.  Could you begin to include onsite lunches or food deliveries for meetings and events or provide a weekly fruit bowl. Small cost with big benefits.
  • Make filtered water available to your employees and encourage them to drink more of it.
  • And finally, offer healthy eating information and education. 

If we begin to understand the importance of nutrition how value it as much as physical fitness, sleep and mental health, then the key pillars of wellbeing will be well on the way to being met, and employees will be content and productive.

EmpowerPlan Employee Assistance portal contains numerous methods for educating employees on a great number of wellbeing topics including nutrition.  There are diet plans and recipes to help encourage and support your employees with their overall wellbeing.