Dieting sometimes consists of eating a set amount of calories per day and even sometimes a set amount per meal. When we have set calorie amounts our bodies get used to the amount of calories we take in on a daily basis. You will start out losing weight but eventually you will hit a plateau and begin to stay at the same weight.
When we take in the same amount of calories every day the body realizes this and our metabolism starts to slow down and we burn less. Your body thinks you’re starving so it will stop burning as many calories and will start storing calories. When you change your calories from a high amount to a low amount on a regular basis, your body does not know what to expect and therefore you are constantly burning calories. This method of weight loss is called calorie cycling.
The basic premise to calorie cycling is that you cycle your calories, tricking your metabolism into thinking you are not dieting. This method can keep your metabolism from slowing down and can help you continue to lose weight at a steady pace.
In order to calorie cycle, you’ll want to change the amount of calories you take in on a daily basis. One day you might take in 2,000 calories, then the next day 1,000, and then 1,500 the third day.
Some people who swear by calorie cycling take it to the next level by changing calorie intake from meal to meal, or calorie shifting. Shifting your calories or cycling them is supposed to cause your metabolic rate to stay high and constantly work, giving you continuous weight loss.
In order to do meal-by-meal calorie cycling you need to eat at least four meals a day. You should not snack and every meal needs to have a different calorie count. It is suggested that if you are going to use this method of dieting, you should start out by changing your calories from day to day then eventually change your calories from meal to meal.
Considerations When Calorie Cycling
When calorie cycling, it's important to keep a few things in mind. First, and arguably most important, is that you want to make sure you're getting adequate nutrition each day. You need to get enough vitamins and minerals in your body to stay healthy. Many Americans wind up vitamin deficient; you don't want to be one of them!
Second, you still need to make sure you're drinking enough water. Water won't count towards your calorie intake, but when thinking a lot about calories it's easy to stop thinking about water. Drinking enough water will help you feel better, and will ensure your body is able to operate at max ability. Aim to drink 8-10 glasses of water per day.
Third, make sure your calories are coming from good sources. If all 2,000 of your calories came from cheesecake, that's not great. While indulging is okay once in a while, you don't want to make it a common occurrence. If you do, you won't end up losing the weight that you want to lose. Aim to eat a varied diet that takes in food from all food groups.
Finally, you need to pair your calorie cycling with adequate exercise. Talk to your doctor for a clearer picture about how much you should be exercising each day to lose weight. Whether you choose to focus on cardio, strength training, or something else, exercising will help slim that waistline.
The content of this article should not be taken as professional medical advice. Always consult with a medical professional before making decisions that affect your health.