Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.

    DEBB1313   33,467
30,000-39,999 SparkPoints

The Question of Calorie Cycling

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

I have a very hard time striking a balance between "dieting" and enjoying life. I find that with calorie cycling, you can enjoy the foods or dishes you might not normally enjoy on a regular "diet" and still improve your health. The goal is to consume the same amount of calories per week as you would on a low calorie diet, but with alternating high- and low-calorie days.
I've recently become a convert to the ways of calorie cycling and it's working wonderfully for me.  Here is how I got to this place!
After initially losing 20 lbs I've now been struggling over the past 6 months to push past a plateau/rut.... whatever you call it.  I'd been counting calories, staying in my range, putting in the fitness minutes etc. and basically losing/gaining the same 5 lbs.  I tried all kinds of suggestions to break the plateau and nothing would really work.  I became frustrated and the whole experience became a vicious cycle.  Then I read a blog from another BLC member (check it out yourself
).  She discussed intermittent fasting and how it works for her and many others.

This got me thinking.... I'm the very last person to jump on a fad. Whether it be fad diets, clothes, hairstyles. I've always kind of moved to the beat of my own personal drummer. Doing what feels right to me. The next step my scientific mind required was investigation.

First thing I did was watch the BBC documentary by Dr. Michael Mosley... Here's a link if you are interested.... (it's about an hour)....

My interest was piqued....

So next I looked up Dr. Krista Varaday who is Assistant Professor of Nutrition at the University of Illinois-Chicago. She deserves credit for most of the research on this topic. She has done extensive research over the last 10 years. I read lots of different studies and scientific data. I was beginning to be impressed ....

I really liked the idea of losing fat and not muscle (which in turn keeps the metabolism going), lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and cancer risk. I even went so far as to speak with our family DR about it all. She had heard of the research (luckily she's young, open-minded and remains very up to date on current research) and although she repeatedly expressed concern that I should listen to the cues my body gives me when "fasting" she "gave me her blessing".
So I've jumped on the bandwagon so to speak... I started with restricting my calories to below 1000 for one day a week... it wasn't so bad actually... I slowly upped my days and now I calorie restrict for 3 days a week. The other 4 days a week I eat sensibly, I don't restrict myself AT ALL but I also try to keep within the principles of healthy eating. Lots of fruits, vegetables, whole foods, and little to no processed CRAP. I've found as I've been going this for longer it gets easier and easier.

I've been doing this for almost 2 weeks and I've lost 4 lbs so far and broken the plateau I was on. I've rarely if ever lost more that 0.5 lbs a week before. I weigh less now than I have since I got pregnant with my first child about 6 years ago. I'm excited and plan to live some form of this permanently.

For me the health benefits are what I'm interested in. I have 2 little kids that I want to be a Nana for their kids.... Losing weight as fat, (not muscle) is an awesome byproduct.

So if you are in a rut, and regular daily calorie restriction just isn't cutting it for you anymore, why not do some investigation of your own.....

There are so many websites and resources out there to give you information... google: Alternate day fasting, every other day diet, calorie cycling.

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
PREDEL 2/12/2014 2:15PM

    emoticon Hey Debb, visiting from Azure and so this blog. I've been experiencing similar problems and have given Evelyn's fast a try with great results. The science is impressive and I like how you adapted to your own needs. I've been off track for a few weeks and you've given me the inspiration to go back with what works for me! Thanks for posting the blog! emoticon Pat

Report Inappropriate Comment
PRNCSCUP1-2FULL 2/12/2014 1:31PM

    Sounds so promising. I have a hard time sticking to any diet plan and this may be the answer for me! Thank you for sharing your personal experience and for sharing the informative links! I will be looking into it and perhaps will be down 4 pounds my next weigh in! Thanks!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BOPPY_ 2/7/2014 11:28PM

    There are so many things I like about your post that I won't bore everyone with my babble.

Perhaps, the single most important point is that you kept looking for a sensible way to continue to succeed. That's success of the highest degree. Congratulations!


Report Inappropriate Comment
PENOWOK 2/7/2014 6:53AM

    Very interesting! Thanks

Report Inappropriate Comment
STONECOT 2/7/2014 5:59AM

    emoticon for the link to my blog, and for publicising this way of eating again. People have accused me of following a 'fad' diet, But I've been doing it very successfully for 11 months now, and it suits me, being able to eat without guilt on alternate days. I hope you continue to do well with it, and that gradually others will join us.

Report Inappropriate Comment
THE_SHAKESHAFT 2/7/2014 1:09AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
GODZDESIGN95 2/6/2014 11:14PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
MALAMI518 2/6/2014 10:18PM

    Thanks for sharing all that information and how it's working for you. I'm doing a slightly different version of calorie cycling, but this is very interesting. I'll keep it in mind!

I'm glad that it's working for you, and I agree that I want the health benefits more than anything. I'm much closer to being "Nana" than you, and I want to stay active for a long time.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SHANTODD420 2/6/2014 4:09PM

    Sounds like a great plan and I want to try this.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ABAKER34 2/6/2014 8:47AM

    Great blog, it's very similar to the approach I've been taking with my eating method as every 4th and 7th day I bump up my calories, and it's been working great for me so far (I've been on it for 2 weeks). Thanks for the blog!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHAKARA1 2/6/2014 7:08AM

    Hmmm, Interest piqued. I have been trying this, but never allowing myself to eat "normally." I have to figure out how to wrap my head around eating more calories.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KELLYFROG 2/5/2014 10:24PM

    Thank you for the information! I'm glad to hear it's working for you!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

Log in to post a comment.

Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.