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Calorie Cycling

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Feb 1st, 2014, 12:05 PM  
FixMyHeart
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Calorie Cycling

Have any of you here heard of calorie cycling, and if so, do you do it?

The principle is quite simple. When you constantly consume very low calories for weight loss, you can plateau, because your body goes into starvation mode. Instead, you have low calories one day and high the next, cycling with a difference of 300-500 calories.

It worked for me. One day I have 1900, the next I have 1600. It means that on average I have 1750 a day and am losing weight really quite quickly. It also means that I have room for a special treat on the high days.
 
Feb 1st, 2014, 14:04 PM  
PrincessPikachu
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That sounds like 5:2, but a bit more manageable I tend to eat like that anyway tbh, I find that some days I'm just really not hungry so eat less, but make up for it the next day! One of my kids is the same, she'll spend one day constantly saying she's hungry and then eat like a sparrow the next!
 
Feb 1st, 2014, 17:45 PM  
Avocado
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I have to agree that I do this naturally as well. Sometimes, I'm just not as hungry or something. In fact, I did this yesterday actually. I really didn't eat that much the day before and then I ate a lot more yesterday.
 
Feb 2nd, 2014, 20:26 PM  
Wobbles
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Never really thought about doing it this way but did up and down my calories when I hit plateaus for a short period. Now I'm in maintain I generally have these kind of days too I'll go from a chicken salad to a high carb meal the next day whereas I use to avoid as much carbs in a week to what I do now.

Fab feeling when you find what works for you isn't it
 
 
Feb 2nd, 2014, 20:26 PM  
Wobbles
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Never really thought about doing it this way but did up and down my calories when I hit plateaus for a short period. Now I'm in maintain I generally have these kind of days too I'll go from a chicken salad to a high carb meal the next day whereas I use to avoid as much carbs in a week to what I do now.

Fab feeling when you find what works for you isn't it
 
 
Feb 3rd, 2014, 11:30 AM  
Bevziibubble
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I was going to say it sounds a bit like the 5:2 diet.

I have never tried this type of diet before, but I'm so glad it's working for you and you're making good progress!
 
 
Feb 6th, 2014, 10:33 AM  
FixMyHeart
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It's a technique that I read about a long time before the 5:2 diet became popular. It's also nowhere near as extreme as that diet is, I just couldn't have those extremes. Having just 500 calories a day would leave me oh so cranky. 1600 on a low day, compared to 500 on the 5:2 diet, well I don't think it's comparable.
 
Mar 8th, 2014, 18:55 PM  
Stephen Reed
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Calorie cycling does not need to be as extreme as the 5:2 diet, and I don't see 5:2 as a great approach due to the fact that many people see it as a way to eat a poor diet for 5 days, then less of their poor diet for 2 days.

For people that tend to binge, it is possible to totally wipe out that 2 day calorie deficit on the other 5 days, shame but true.

Calorie cycling tends to work best if you set your weekly calorie deficit from food, say 3500 calories for a pound of fat loss, and then just cycle up and down during the week, so 4 alternate days a week, eat at 600 calories below maintenance level, and on the 3 other days, eat at 375 below maintenance, or however you want to slice and dice it.

If you exercise intensely 3 times a week, then those days would be the ones to eat higher calorie, perhaps just below or at maintenance levels, and then have a larger calorie deficit on the rest days. This way you get a number of benefits.

1. You can still eat plenty of food 3 days a week, and even fit in a treat for sanity.

2. On the low calorie (but not 500 a day like 5:2) days, you might feel a little hunger, but know that the next day will be a day with more food

3. Less chance of hormonal changes or metabolic slowdown with calorie cycling.

4. Keeps the body happy, lower cal days are followed by 'refers' which tends to keep fat loss flowing.

Hope this is of some help, let me know if you want any more detailed info

Best

Steve
 
Apr 26th, 2014, 12:15 PM  
KatieMac
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I've never heard of this. Do you think it might be a better diet/lifestyle choice to combat plateauing during weight loss? I work and work and sometimes I just hit a wall and can't lose any weight at all. In my head, this sounds like it might make a difference....
 
Apr 27th, 2014, 09:56 AM  
Stephen Reed
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Quote:
Quote by KatieMac View Post
I've never heard of this. Do you think it might be a better diet/lifestyle choice to combat plateauing during weight loss? I work and work and sometimes I just hit a wall and can't lose any weight at all. In my head, this sounds like it might make a difference....
Well, calorie cycling might be useful to mix things up, keep the body guessing, but you really do have to know where you are on your current calorie intake on a daily (in fact weekly average) basis.

SO one way you can work it, using this as an example

Say I know that to lose 1 lb a week I need to eat 14000 calories per week (2000 per day)

I could eat alternate days at 1700/2300 and over a period of two weeks, would have eaten an average of 2000 per day.

Another option, and one that is actually quite easy, is to get that weekly intake amount worked out, and just mix it up during the week.

So, for my example, I could have a couple of days of 1200 cals per day, a couple of around 1500-2200 and a really high cal day of say 4000 calories.

I haven't worked out the numbers on that example, but you get the gist.

Willpower is not infinite, most people can eat really low cal for a couple of days per week, and then moderate cals for another 2-3 days, with a really high calorie day to keep hormonal levels in check (leptin) and feel like there is something to look forward to each week.

I've written quite a bit about calorie cycling, setting your macros and calorie levels etc over on my blog. I won't leave a link, but if you want me to, let me know. I don't want to spam the forum.

Hope this helps
 
 
 
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