Weight Loss
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Anyone calorie cycling/shifting/zig-zagging?

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How is it working for you? How soon before you saw results? Did it help you break a plateau?

I've been plateauing for some time now, so I'm hoping this will help. This will be my fourth day and I'm maintaining so far.

Thanks for any opinions!


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Hey I've been wanting to know about this too! I heard that it somehow "tricks" your metabolism into burning a higher amount of calories. I just haven't really heard how it works for people. Thanks for posting this question!

I don't purposefully do it, it just works out that way, since I don't eat the same thing everyday. It's just like a natural eating pattern.. you eat more on days you're hungrier and less on days you're not so hungry. That's how non-dieters maintain, by listening to their body cues. (I suck at it though LOL)

I generally like to do 3 days of a decent deficit, and then have a day where I eat 100-200 over maintenance. Cuz after a certain time I start getting insomnia and eating a bit more for a day helps to re-regulate my sleeping pattern. I usually know when it's time to have that day when I can't sleep and I wake up with my tummy complaining it's hungry. lol

Yep, I am doing zig-zagging, six meals per day, and I also typically eat more calories then caloriecount.about.com recommends, although always less then my activity level indicates.  These are strategies I got from an ebook from www.burnthefat.com, which is a good book explaining why these things work.  It is all about convincing your body that you aren't "starving" essentially.  This week I lost 4 pounds which is a little more then I should lose per week, so it seems to be working but I am just getting started tracking the numbers.

Oh, and by the way, I calculated the difference everyday between calories eaten and activity burn, as predicted here on caloriecount.com and summed them up (Excel spreadsheet), which fairly accurately predicted the pounds lost (3500 cal./lbs).

One other trick from www.burnthefat.com, mix up your exercise routine to burn the same amount of calories but by doing something different.

I could definitely use a mix up. I gotta find my rollerblades and go skating one of these days instead of running. And I REALLYYY wanna start playing tennis cuz there is a tennis court nearby, but I don't have anyone to join me and it's kinda hard to play by yourself. lol

it is not total nonsense yet it is not applcable to follow literarly

just go with ur hunger or circumst , i was stuck in a plateau for 2-3 weeks till oneday i decided to maintain - ate at my BMR 1900 cals , then the next daywent back to 1300

then nextday i lost 1.2 lbs then thenext time i plateaued i had a day of 1700cal, then 1200 then 1450 then 1000 and guess what i lost 2 lbs

i didnt do it on purpose but when u calculate u ll find i didnt compromise my deficit

i just shaked things a little bit

-also i think when i stop heavy exercise for few days it automatically gets me lower-

this is what worked for me bt not necessarily it d work 4 everyone

good luck with ur journey


icat 7, here's a link that will give a zig-zag plan:

http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calc ulator.htm#


I'm kind of a math nerd, so I did it my own way. I have a plan laid out for the next month. I'd like to give it a fair chance to work.

I've been reading alot of diet books lately and some of them seem like fuzzy science or are pretty extreme, if you ask me. At least this seems to be based in good common sense.


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I don't do it on purpose or follow a plan, it just works out that way. I usually shift between 1200 and 1500 cals a day. My meals are also almost never the same size, and can go anywhere from 150 to 650 cals per meal. I just follow my hunger and my taste, allow myself a maintenance day (or two) a week, and go with the flow. I just try to make sure my overall deficit comes out to approximately 3500 a week.

i zig zag cuz thats how my appetite tells me to eat. its not planned. i'm usually about 15-1600, thats my lose a lb every two weeks without exercise rate, but i'll eat anywhere between probably 1200 and 1900 depending on the day. i hit a high day every 10 days or so. usually have two lower days a week. and i let myself eat more if i have a good exercise day. 

i see a 1 lb drop the second day after a high cal day. its not loss that i maintain, but it sets my new low. that seems to be the pattern most of the time.

i think it helps. if nothing else it keeps me sane, but i dont track the numbers too closely, not being a math nerd, although id like to be, my brain doesnt go there easily. . . 

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