Calorie Cycling

About Us
Calorie Cycling: Eating a different amount of calories everyday but staying in range for the week or month. Calorie cycling is a theory and method that helps to lose, maintain, or gain weight by eating a different amount of calories each day. The theory is that it keeps your metabolism guessing.
Recent Forum Discussions
lady_rain
Calorie Cycling Meal Plan

by lady_rain in Introduce Yourself on Apr 14

One of the reasons I have a bad habit of falling off the weight lose wagon is improper planning. So I'm going to start...

lady_rain
Welcome to the Group

by lady_rain in Introduce Yourself on Apr 14

Hello everyone my name is Nani, but most people just call in Rain. I'm new to trying to lose weight. I'd always been...

Hey

by beenystar in Introduce Yourself on Apr 06

Im excited to give cal cycling a go ;) I'm 148 and hoping to hit 140 lbs.

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Calorie Cycling is a down-to-Earth Calorie-Count group for people that cycle their calories or are interested in doing so.

What is calorie cycling?

Calorie cycling is a method used for weight loss, weight maintenance, OR weight gain depending on your caloric intake. Simply put: You eat a different amount of calories each day but stay within a certain average for the week; some people even do monthly averages.

An example of calorie cycling would be my current plan:

Sundays: 1800 calories
Mondays: 2000 calories
Tuesdays: 2800 calories
Thursdays: 1200 calories
Fridays: 1500 calories
Saturdays: 2100 calories

Weekly average = 1829 calories per day or 11,400 per week

The theory behind calorie cycling is that it keeps your metabolism guessing by not letting it get used to one caloric intake or another. To date, there aren't any studies that support this theory, but from my own personal experience, I can tell you that calorie cycling works just as well, if not better than eating the same amount each day. As of January 2008 I have lost 70 lbs since June 2007 and I'm loving every minute of my diet. In fact, I plan to calorie cycle for the rest of my life.

You can change your calories each week or do them in ANY order that works for you. The order doesn't matter at all as long as you're staying in range for the week or even the month.

What you eat in one meal or in one day doesn't matter nearly as much as what you eat in several days!

Personally, I believe that calorie cycling mimics real life and allows for so much wiggle room in day to day life events while still being able to lose weight. You can do it with just about any calorie range, even 1200 to 1500 calorie diets.

Example:

Sun: 1500
Mon: 1300
Tue: 1200
Wed: 1500
Thu: 1200
Fri: 1400
Sat: 1500

Weekly average = 9600 calories per week or ~1371 per day.

In my opinion, I think it's good for your metabolism to include 1 or 2 very high days (at least maintenance calories) among your calories to give your metabolism a little boost.

Example:

Sun: 2000
Mon: 1500
Tue: 1200
Wed: 1500
Thu: 1200
Fri: 1400
Sat: 1800

Weekly average = 10,600 per week or ~1514 per day

Another one of my calorie cycles:

Sun: 2400 + 60 mins cardio

Mon: 2000 + 30 mins cardio, strength training
Tue: 1400

Wed: 2800 calories + 60 mins cardio, strength training

Thu: 1400
Fri: 1600

Sat: 2100 + 60 mins cardio, strength training

Averages = 1958 calories per day

Other cycles:

2200
2000
1750
2800
1800
2000
2400

= 2136

------------------

2500
2200
1500
2400
1800
1600
2200

= 2028

------------------

1800
2200
1500
2800
1800
1600
2200

= 1985

--------------------

1600
2200
1800
3000
1800
1600
2200

= 2028

--------------------
2400
2000
1600
2800
1800
1500
2100

= 2029

---------------------
1800
2000
1400
2400
1200
1500
2100

=  1772

---------------------
2600
2000
1500
2500
1400
1600
2200

= 1972

----------------------
2350
2000
1650
2800
1850
1600
2100

= 2050
-----------------------
1600
2200
1400
2800
1800
1500
2200

= 1929

------------------------
1800
2000
1600
2400
1400
1800
2100

= 1872

-------------------------
2000
1800
1500
2200
1200
1800
2400

= 1843

-------------------------
2000
1600
2000
2400
1600
1400
2100

= 1872
--------------------------
2600
1800
1600
2500
1800
1500
2100

= 1986
---------------------------
2400
2000
1750
3000
1750
1500
2100

= 2072
----------------------------
2350
2000
1400
2600
1650
1550
2250

= 1972
-----------------------------
1600
1900
1400
2500
1200
1500
2200

= 1758
------------------------------
2800
1800
1400
2800
1600
1500
2100

= 2000
------------------------------
2600
2200
1400
2800
1200
1600
2400

= 2029

Exercise: I suggest grouping your activity level into your weekly calorie range and NOT tracking exercise separately. I also suggest making your highest calorie days the days in which you are the most active. And if you are very active everyday, be sure to fuel your body properly. Under-eating will only slow down your metabolism, promote muscle loss and deprive your body of vital nutrients.

I'm a big fan of the Harris-Benedict Formula. You can use this zigzag calculator to get some calorie cycling estimates:

http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calculato r.htm

Click the ADVANCED OPTIONS in the middle of the calculator and choose Harris-Benedict. I lost most of my weight using the HBE as my guideline.

Here are some links to manually do the HBE:

http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/

http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/harri s-benedict-equation/

1. Find your current or goal weight's BMR

2. Multiply it by your activity level

3. Adjust as needed; this estimate might change with age and/or activity changes.

The combinations and possibilities are infinite and very individual depending on your caloric needs, age, gender, activity level, and lean body mass. You can arrange or rearrange these in any way that works for you, but remember, don't purposely go below 1200 calories a day. I also feel that BIG spikes, at least 300 calorie differences, between one day to another is the best way to do it.

Regardless of if calorie cycling has any scientific reasoning behind it, it definitely makes dieting and maintaining much more fun AND realistic. Laughing


Note: This Calorie Count group does NOT support calorie cycling diets that encourage dipping below 1200 calories a day. This Calorie Count group promotes healthy, longterm weight loss and the joy of cooking and eating.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Check out my personal diet blog at www.j3nn.net for pictures, my daily menus, recipes, and more! Laughing

Happy taste buds,
Jenn Innocent

PS. Feel free to start new threads or reply in old ones. Everybody is welcome to post, start threads, and chat -- even if you're not a calorie cycler! lol


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