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UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
5/14/12 2:54 A

You're comparing to someone eating 1200 regularly, which is too low an intake for pretty much anyone.

I did say compared to "maintaining an even (appropriate) deficit". The bit in brackets is quite important.

I don't doubt you'll lose more by calorie cycling than by consistently under-eating. I do doubt that you'd lose more calorie cycling than by maintaining an appropriate deficit for your weight. I don't know if there are any studies on it.

RUSSTHESKIGUY SparkPoints: (3,237)
Fitness Minutes: (4,673)
Posts: 119
5/13/12 4:33 P

Unident - I'm not a paid consultant (LOL) for calorie cycling and I can't say for sure if it works as advertised or even at all but your statement that someone won't lose any more or less by calorie cycling is incorrect if you accept the whole theory behind calorie cycling. You said weight loss is a result of intake vs outgoing over time. That is correct, but the whole point of calorie cycling is that if your metabolism slows down due to a constant diet of 1200 calories over months your "outgoing calorie usage" is less than if you cycle up higher calories every 3 or 4 days. If calorie cycling allows you to maintain a higher metabolism all the time then you burn more calories everyday and that will result in faster weight loss. Again, how much faster, I can't say for sure or even if it actually works at all. That is just the theory, but we do know that metabolisms can and do slow down on extended periods of low calorie diets. Just food for thought (pun intended)

LEMONS25 Posts: 146
5/13/12 3:34 P

ive always wanted to try it but never actually got around to it. i am skeptical, but have heard great things from different people and positive comments on a variety of health and wellness sites. like anything else, it works for some and not others,

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
5/13/12 3:26 P

There's no specific reason calorie cycling works. Your body's weight is a result of your intake vs outgoings over time. If, over the course of a month, someone maintains a deficit, they'll lose weight that month. They won't lose any more or less by calorie cycling than by maintaining an even (appropriate) deficit.

It does work for some, simply because it's more strict than having a range. Instead of having the freedom to eat pretty much what you'd like but within range, you have to be more strict about what you eat because you cannot exceed your lower limit some days, and you must achieve your upper other days. Being more strict simply helps some people stick to their goals more easily. A more flexible goal is more easy to let slip ...

Some do say to cycle within the Spark range. I agree with the PP that that's probably not enough of a shift, but you do want balance. You can't eat 500 calories one day and 2500 the next and say you're just cycling around a 1500 average. That's too much of a gap.

You should never go below Spark's minimums (1200 for women, 1500 for men) simply because you won't get enough vitamins and minerals if you do that.

Look at your weekly range. Eg a 1200-1550 range has a weekly range of 8,400-10,850.

If you ate at 1300 for 5 days, that would give you 6,500 calories. There is over 4,000 to still be "in range". That wouldn't mean an full 2,000 calories on the other two days is fine and safe either - that's a HUGE jump from 1300. But you can definitely see how exceeding 1550 for 2 days of the week would still have you within the week's averages. If you ate, say, 1800, you'd be 250 above your spark range and just 500 above your regular daily 'normal', but your weekly intake would have been 10,100, which is right in the middle of your weekly average target - perfectly fine.

Edited by: UNIDENT at: 5/13/2012 (15:29)
RUSSTHESKIGUY SparkPoints: (3,237)
Fitness Minutes: (4,673)
Posts: 119
5/13/12 11:06 A

Calorie cycling is not necessarily an unhealthy eating habit unless you are cycling down to very low calories. However, randomly eating within your spark range is not exactly the intent behind calorie cycling either. Yes that is technically, cycling the amount of calories you get each day. However, the idea is to eat at a specified lower calorie limit for a few days (3 to 4 is pretty standard) and then 1 higher calorie day. We understand that if you eat at a certain calorie level every day your body acclimates and if it is low your body often slows down your metabolism to counteract the prolonged lower calorie level. By eating a higher calorie day every 4th or 5th day , you can have the advantage of eating at a lower calorie level most days without slowing down your metabolism. Again, as has been mentioned, just make sure that your low days are not too low, you still want to keep them within a healthy range. On your high calorie days, you would eat somewhere close to maintenance level, not just a couple hundred calories more at the top of your spark range. I'm not sure that would be enough of an increase to affect your metabolism. I'm not advocating that you do this, just providing a little explanation. Everyone's body is different. For it to be beneficial, the increased calories burned on your combined low calorie days from a faster metabolism would need to be more than the extra calories you ate on the high calorie days and unfortunately I don't think there is an easy way to determine that.

REDSHOES2011 SparkPoints: (35,936)
Fitness Minutes: (66,181)
Posts: 7,159
5/13/12 9:58 A

Nope- because the metabolism is a smart ass device the body has- the stomach and metabolism and will eventually find out what people are up to and because the stomach is a muscle like any other muscle gets used to any unhealthy eating habit cycle!


Edited by: REDSHOES2011 at: 5/13/2012 (10:18)
-LIFEISGOOD- Posts: 18
5/12/12 11:18 P

I don't count calories but I do have one day a week that I eat whatever I want...not until I'm stuffed, just normal portions of foods I consider "treats"...and it seems to work for me.

TACDGB Posts: 6,132
5/12/12 5:30 P

I am currently doing calorie cycling. You eat at the high end of your sparks calories for 1 or 2 days (not in a row) and then eat at the low end the other days. It confuses your body. I have had success with it.

JUDITH316 SparkPoints: (174,715)
Fitness Minutes: (85,595)
Posts: 72,747
5/12/12 7:21 A

I have to be honest with this one, not sure why, but never heard of this one before nor read anything about it either, so you all know what I'm going to be reading about now. emoticon

MPLANE37 SparkPoints: (65,234)
Fitness Minutes: (35,097)
Posts: 2,167
5/12/12 4:33 A

I don't calorie cycle on purpose, but when I look at my calories consumed over a week or a month, I see that it is like saw teeth, so I do calorie cycle all the time without really knowing it. Everyday I eat to get good enough nutrition, and some days I try not to overeat, especially if I have been too active, it is hard to stay within range, so those days I am at the top of my range. Other days when I don't exercise or otherwise not so active, I automatically stop eating because of being full, and it turns out that this happens near the bottom of my range. This results in calorie cycling within my range.

However, based on my experience, I am not aware of any clearly positive effects of calorie cycling in losing the fat.

PANFRIEDTROUT Posts: 3,425
5/12/12 12:50 A

I read an article awhile back that altho calorie cycling does work, that you need to have been consistent with your caloric intake for about a month before you do that.

So if you have a range of calories from 1400 to 1600, you need to stay as close to that as possible for 30 days, then do the cycling. I think the article said that's so your body gets used to a certain level & the whole point of calorie cycling is to "confuse" your body or get it out of it's normal routine.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (57,496)
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Posts: 9,662
5/11/12 7:20 P

The experts here have stated that it's a valid method of using your calorie range. While you don't want to go *under* your minimums or *over* your maximum, there's nothing wrong with it. It's still important to eat the minimum you need to fuel your body.

EEYORE2609 Posts: 240
5/11/12 6:56 P

I have been having such a problem keeping my calories under control. And today I read an article about calorie cycling. I was wondering if anyone here has tried it and had any success? From what I understand, it can be quite beneficial to losing weight. I can eat more calories on the days I feel hungrier, and less calories on days I don't feel like eating so much.

Any comments?

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