I think it sounds like something you could experiment with and see if it works for you. If you're within your calorie range then it shouldn't be dangerous.
Fitness Minutes: (79,391)
2,489 3/29/13 12:24 P
Most people who aren't watching their calories eat like this all the time... they don't eat the exact same amount of calories day in and day out. Most people's internal cues tell them to eat more on heavy training days or the day after. Which IS essentially calorie cycling.
I could say it's just as dangerous eating at a calorie deficit for a prolonged period of time. Especially for those of us who train heavy.
It's dangerous to try to trick your body. Be very careful and listen to any internal cues that something is wrong!
Fitness Minutes: (79,391)
2,489 3/29/13 11:42 A
You mean calorie cycling? I've never heard it called the "rhythm" method. And it *does* work. Bodybuilders use it to break plateaus and anyone whose tried it to break a plateau will tell you it works.
I first noticed it was strange that the next 2 weeks after 2 days of overeating and sweets at Christmas, I had my biggest weight loss since first starting. I lost 5 lbs of (obviously a lot of fluid weight) after a 4-5 lbs gain from Christmas. But the following week I was losing around 1/2 a pound a day. I had experienced pretty slowed weight loss up until this point, maybe 1/2 lb per week. Of course by the 3rd week weight loss returned to my post Xmas loss.
I hit a plateau later on in January and discovered calorie cycling. So I started a pyramid plan and immediately broke a 3 week stand off with the scale. Again, I experienced quick weight loss, more than my projected calorie deficit. It tapered off in the next couple weeks.
So does it work? It works great at busting plateaus, short bursts of weight loss and muscle building. In my own experience your body eventually catches on. At you have to readjust. There are other methods. A lot of body builders/fitness models use Tom Venuto's 3-1 (3 low cal days followed by 1 day at maintenance). Some even do 3 high days and 2 low days or various arrangements.
The reason it's believed to work is that after dieting for a long time, your metabolism slows and adjusts to your calorie deficit. Calorie cycling is a way to wake it up. I think calorie cycling works best for people who have been on a calorie deficit for a prolonged period of time or have plateaued.
I did build a lot of muscle using calorie cycling, not to mention I love it. It takes the monotony out of eating the same amount of cals every day. It was also great practice for balancing my macro/micro nutrients at maintenance.
You don't want to use any crazy swings. You can't expect to eat 1200 cals one day and then 2500 cals the next. For Tom Verunto's method he recommends your low days are no less than -20% TDEE and your high day is at TDEE. You also have to eat clean on your high days, you can't use it as a pig out on all the junk you couldn't have on your low days. One cheat meal would probably be fine that day but you should be choosing mostly extra fresh veggies, fruit, whole grains, healthy fats, lean protein.
Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 3/29/2013 (11:47)
Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
9,673 3/29/13 11:00 A
Well, it doesn't "confuse" your body; it doesn't work that way, but it can be a valid way to use your existing range. A lot of people eat at the high end of the range on workout days, and the low on rest days. I don't see any problem with that.
Now, the idea that you need to eat very high calories one day, and very low ones the next strikes me as an unpleasant way to try and manage your diet. I don't do diets anyway, because diets don't work. People who eat this way can and do plateau, because plateaus are an uncontrollable factor that is often poorly understood. Sometimes they just happen. :)
Here's an article I love, that changed how I view diets and healthy living. Maybe it'll help you!
Fitness Minutes: (2,976)
349 3/29/13 8:36 A
Usually known as a method of birth control, I have heard of the "rhythm" method for dieting, or up and down dieting, and was wondering if there is any merit to this. This is where you eat at the top end of your calorie range for a day, the low end or under the next day, the top end the next day, and so on....it's supposed to confuse your body so that you don't plateau in your weight loss goals. I don't know if this is a smart way to eat but had anyone else heard of this?
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.