100 lb. Club - High on one day, low on another. Does it work??




BrandNewJen
02-21-2008, 01:35 PM
This is a repost from my Calorie Counters group, since they don't get as much traffic as we do over here!

I had a question... I've seen it posted before about fluctuating your calories... calorie cycling or something like that.

Do you think it really works? I'm not really interested in doing it, per se... but more for general knowledge.

Not the same thing, but similar. Say you go out to eat and eat HORRIBLY... is it okay for you to drastically cut back calories the next day in order to "compensate"? Technically that's what calorie cyclers do, just not as drastically.

Example: You normally eat 1600 cals a day. You go out to eat, share an appetizer, have an entree, share a dessert. WHOA-- your total calories for the day top out at 3300!! Is it okay to drop the next days calories to 1200 and then continue your normal 1600 for the rest of the week?

Just curious...


Sandi
02-21-2008, 01:38 PM
I have always heard that it keeps your body guessing. So it's worth a try.

As far as calories, I always try and go for a weekly average. Some days I am real low and some days I am on the high end. I always look at a weekly average to see how I did. So yes, I think compensating the next day is ok. But it won't make up for the additional fat you probably had on the high day.

bluex
02-21-2008, 01:41 PM
I count carbs, but because I travel to visit family a lot, there are times when my plan goes a little higher in carbs and probably calories. I find that when I get home and get on my plan properly, I quickly lose weight and come out of stalls. I think this kind change can kick start a sluggish metabolism.

I wouldn't call what I do so extreme though. I don't think I could consume so many calories anymore and I wouldn't do it from day to day. I've done a few weeks on a less stringent plan and then go back on my very strict plan. I don't think it's a good thing to introduce really bad habits into your life again.


mezmerize
02-21-2008, 02:38 PM
I was just wondering that myself. I weight myself daily (sometimes a couple times a day) Well this week my weight has been all over. Maybe TOM. It has been at 211 or above since the Feb 11. I've been staying at or just below my points. Well yesterday I step on the scale and it said 213.6 YIKES!!! To make matter worse (or so I thought) I wasn't able to work out and I was over my points by 7. Well after a talk with myself about keep going we all screw up. I step on the scale. I've hit 210.0 now I won't count that as my offical weight unless I weigh that much monday but I do feel that the extra cals did kick something in the bum. I may try and do this on my own in a couple weeks and see what happens.

GirlyGirlSebas
02-21-2008, 02:38 PM
I have a weekly total. Each day, I vary my calorie count. Some days, I have 1200, some days are 1400 and some days are 1600. Yes, I can plan to have an off-plan meal and subtract the calories from another day(s.) I've been doing this for 3 1/2 weeks and its working great for me so far.

Lovely
02-21-2008, 03:15 PM
The people who calorie or point cycle who I've spoken with tend to plan out which days ahead of time are their "higher" days. That way they can add in extra activity for that day to burn a few more of the calories.

I tend to be a little leery of trying to make up for a high calorie day by skimming a ton the next. Only, because, it could lead to a bad binge/starve cycle. (Not that it would, but just that it has that potential.)

PhotoChick
02-21-2008, 03:32 PM
I do think there's inherent risk there, as Faerie said.

I don't think it's bad to regularly cycle calories within a predtermined range. I do think it's bad to say "I'll eat whatever I want today and make up for it tomorrow" and then go hog wild and consume 5000 calories, planning to starve yourself the next day to make up for it.

OTOH, there are going to be weeks where it's just going to happen and you deal with it. For example, on Monday I was so utterly exhausted after I got home, I wound up crashing on the sofa and slept thru dinner. When I woke up I wasn't all that hungry and it was too late for me to eat comfortably, and so I just skipped. My total calories for that day were under 1000 because of that. Not optimal, but it's not like I eat that low every day or even every week, so I'm not freaked about it.

Today I went out to lunch with a frend and my calories for today will probably be a little over 2000 (which is at least 500 over the high end of my range). I'm kinda ok with that this week because of the deficit from Monday and because I've hit the gym every day this week for at least 45 mins of cardio, plus weights twice.

But again, I wouldn't make a regular habit of it, nor would I get into the mindset that you can eat anything you want and just make up for it later.

.

Lovely
02-21-2008, 03:37 PM
Just to add:

I think that "making up for it" (whatever "it" happens to be), and true Calorie Cycling are vastly different things. At least in my head...

One is "Oh crap! What can I do to fix this?" The other is "How can I plan to use my calories most efficiently this week?"

fiberlover
02-21-2008, 03:41 PM
True calorie cycling is planned. If you aren't planning it, it's just a binge LOL!

Cycling is about eating a little more on some days, not just eating whatever for your high day (although there are people who do that).
Some people call them cheat days.

I think cycling works very well. The body is very efficient, and if you are allotting the same number of calories for yourself every day, then that is what your body will come to expect and 'gear down' your metabolism. If you vary your calories, your body won't adjust to a set point.

pamatga
02-21-2008, 03:47 PM
and I say that as one of the behaviors that I am trying to rid myself of!

It doesn't work for me and I find it demoralizing to have to work extra hard to lose whatever I may have gained even if it is only a pound!

I think it encourages playing with your behaviors, your metabolism and essentially seeing losing weight as "some kind of game" that you can cheat at once in a while and if you set yourself right then it is "okay".

It reminds me of when someone tempts you with "one can't hurt..." Well, maybe it won't one time but add those one times up together and pretty soon it does, IMO. I think if you want to live differently then you need to act differently. I believe doing this actually made me "insulin resistant" by all of the yo-yoing I did. My body didn't know what to do, I'm sure.

One of the other 3FC persons the other day caught me saying that I will be glad when I am DONE with dieting so I can have my life back. Well, this does seem hard if not impossible some days ( or most days). It is awful to say No to all those former "loves". I am grieving the lose of being able to eat that way. I'm being straight up about that. I'm sorry but broccoli doesn't make my mouth water and, quite honestly, I don't think it ever will.

Now, that I have tasted the "good life" (better health) and weight lose, why would I want to eat that way again and you know that is what calorie cycling really is---it means going back to the way we used to eat, be and live? I am still going through psychological withdrawal (the physical has long past) so why would I want to go back and have one last Krispy Kreme for "old time's sake"? It doesn't really make sense but I still do even though I know that it is not wise. I know how it feels to want to have it both ways. I really do! I

I am still struggling mentally with this as a permanent lifestyle choice everyone talks about. I will admit as much.

It is going to take me longer to change my fat head than it will my fat body.

I have fooled myself too. Then, when yet another study comes out about how obesity causes something else (the most recent being ovarian cancer which is what my Mom is dealing with and yes there is a hereditary factor besides an obesity one!) it sobers me up ---real quick!

Is cheesecake (or whatever) really worth it? What is?

She reminded me that I will have to do this for the rest of my life. I didn't want to hear that but I needed to hear that. Kudos to her! I needed that reality chick (I mean check)! Thanks, skinnydogmom!

She is right. This is no game. The main focus should be not how we can fool our body, haven't we fooled ourselves enough already, ladies (and guys)???

I think so!

Here's to learning to incorporate normal eating into a new way of living. No cycles. Just a steady ride all the way to the finish line!:carrot:

GirlyGirlSebas
02-21-2008, 04:29 PM
My goodness, folks! Let's not confuse calorie cycling with bingeing. There is absolutely nothing wrong with planning for a high calorie day and limiting yourself to 1200 calories on another day to account for it...ie, calorie cycling! 1200 calories is not starving yourself. And, if it takes cycling calories to keep my body from stalling on weight loss, them what in the world is so very bad about that? I've taken charge of my weight loss and have not chosen to let food control me...and, I've done so in a very healthy manner. Calorie cycling is a very controlled and planned way of losing weight. Its not like I'm bingeing and purging. If I choose to have fun with this very difficult journey and make this into a game for myself while remaining accountable with myself at the same time, then I say...good for me!

famograham
02-21-2008, 04:45 PM
I agree...calorie cycling is a perfectly fine thing to do! I do it naturally (as in- not specifically planned), and balance out to about 1400-1500 over the week.

It's not the same as the vicious cycle of "overeat one day, and then under eat the next to make up for it"

Two totally different things.

Purplefirefly
02-21-2008, 07:05 PM
Okay, calorie cycling is NOT eating whatever you want and just pigging out, then starving yourself the next day. That is binging and trying to make up for it, which is not calorie counting as it is to be done healthfully. I cycle, but it is all planned out and I eat the same healthy foods on higher days as lower days. The point in cycling is that your body doesn't get used to one calorie level and hit plateaus, plus it makes calorie counting a lifestyle I can stick with forever.

I have been calorie cycling for awhile now and I do not gain even a fraction of a pound from my higher calorie days. There is nothing to "make up for" if you are doing it right, it all just balances out. And a higher calorie day doesn't mean go grab some candy or eat an entire pizza...and honestly my high days wouldn't even be enough to eat the way I used to. I saw a mention of 2000 or 3000 calories in a day here :eek: there shouldn't be a day that high in calorie cycling. My range has been between 1200-1700 calories, and now I have cut out all 1200 days because I exercise a lot and it wasn't enough for me. This week my range falls between 1500-1800 calories with 500 extra calories that I set aside for whenever I need them. Now, they are only that high because I put in mad hours of exercise, without my exercise I'd be cycling more like 1200-1600 a day. I will eat the same healthy type foods on a 1500 day or a 1800 day...I might just add a little extra cheese to a salad or have a special snack in the evening, that's about the only difference really. In the end, my body gets what it needs and I shed pounds...and have never hit a plateau!

Weight loss is not about what you eat one day, it's more the comibination of larger time frames like a week. I have my set calories for the week and I split them out, giving a little higher limit to days I may need them. This does not mean I go all out and eat like a piggie on those higher days, it just means I may be going out to dinner with friends or celebrating a birthday and want to have a peice of cake. Those things are planned and wrapped up in the overall week plan, I lose without feeling deprived or ever being hungry. If you go into this saying you will NEVER EVER eat those things you love, I don't see it sticking long term. Deprivation is not required to be healthy. But binging and eating 3000 calories a day is not going to make you healthy either. It's about moderation and changing your lifestyle, not depriving yourself.

I do agree that we should not go back to how we used to eat and the habits that made us fat to begin with...of course! This is a lifestyle change and should be something you can stick with forever. Calorie cycling makes it a natural fit for me. The calories I need change so often. As you age, increase or decrease daily activity, switch exercise hours, etc. you will require different calorie levels. What I follows accounts for all those fluctuations and I come to a healthy weekly calorie goal and how I break it down is up to me.

There is a big, big difference between cycling your calories to fit your life and avoid plateaus and going hog wild, eating out of control, then trying to make up for it. I do the exact opposite of that. If I have something higher calorie, or something lower calorie but not real healthy even, it depends on my calorie limit for the day and week...and in turn, the calorie level for day and week depends on my current weight, activity level, age, exercise I'm putting in, etc. It isn't even necessary to put in extra activity on a higher calorie day....and I lose after a 1800 calorie day the same as a 1300 calorie day because it's the overall week that brings off the pounds.

We are all different and thus all the different diet plans. I think the most successful plans are ones that you throw together yourself based on what works for YOU. I would totally respect someone saying cycling isn't for them, that's fine...BUT some of the posts on here are bashing calorie cycling without even understanding how it is done correctly. You don't eat the way you used to, there is no crazy eating or accepted binging. It is something that really works and can keep you healthy for the long haul because it so easily adapts to your life and changes while holding you accountable to health and weight loss...when done correctly!

To answer the original question that started this thread...calorie cycling does work, but it is not for making up for a slip or binge. It is not for allowing you to eat out of control either...actually, I laughed when I read that part in this thread about it allowing you to eat whatever out of control :lol: cycling is all about controlling what goes in your mouth...I have never been in more control than I am with this way of eating. I can control even more this way than when on a strict daily calorie limit where it's the same everyday.

tingirl
02-21-2008, 07:54 PM
I totally agree that it is okay to eat more on some days and less on others, but it needs to always stay within a reasonable amount. I went for 6 weeks without losing anything so I used this method to start losing again. I'm like Rhonda I may increase my intake by about 200 - 300 calories on my higher day and then back down to my normal the next day. It worked for me. I still do basically the same thing during maintenance (thanks to reading the post of the very wise people on the maintenance board). I realize that I will never ever be able to eat everything I want whenever I want.

PurdueGal
02-21-2008, 08:06 PM
I would like to do calorie cycling, because there are days where I eat 1100 calories or so and feel fine. But I am a little hesitant because I am afraid that during my planned day to be lower in calories I will be extra hungry- and feel unsatisfied. Then I might say "Well I'll eat higher calories today, then do the lower tomorrow." But then that lower day would never come...

How do you calorie cyclers avoid this?

Meg
02-21-2008, 08:11 PM
I've found that carb cycling is another effective way to cycle, but without changing daily calorie totals. I do well eating five equally sized meals a day of about 250 calories each and never could figure out how to take my calories lower than they are (for the low days). So I tried cycling grams of carbs instead of calories, with great results.

I picked a range of 60 to 160 grams of carbs per day and started with 60 grams, adding into 20 grams per day until I hit 160, then dropped back down to 60 and started over. Since my calories stayed the same, I ate more protein and good fats on the lower carb days to compensate for the missing carbs.

So if anyone wants to try a different way to cycle than by changing calories, maybe think about carb cycling? :)

Sheila53
02-21-2008, 08:14 PM
I would like to do calorie cycling, because there are days where I eat 1100 calories or so and feel fine. But I am a little hesitant because I am afraid that during my planned day to be lower in calories I will be extra hungry- and feel unsatisfied.

I think most people who calorie cycle do so in the range of 1200 calories and above. Going below 1200 calories on a regular basis often means you're missing out on nutrients that you need. So 1200 would be a low day, and, for example, 1600 might be a high day. Also, eating small meals frequently could help with hunger issues on lower days. I try to eat small meals every three hours (sometimes less) every day because I don't like being hungry, and I like to maintain a stable blood sugar.

Sheila53
02-21-2008, 08:16 PM
Since my calories stayed the same, I ate more protein and good fats on the lower carb days to compensate for the missing carbs.



How do you get enough fiber when you eat more protein? That's something that I've been wrestling with.

Meg
02-21-2008, 08:19 PM
SF Metamucil (psyllium) and tons of veggies. ;) On a lower carb day, all my carbs are from fruits and veggies and not grains.

Sheila53
02-21-2008, 08:22 PM
Okay, I gag when I think of drinking metamucil! (I also gag when I think of drinking gatorade or pretty much anything that isn't water or wine) I guess I'm just going to have to start gnawing on broccoli every waking minute. . .

Meg
02-21-2008, 08:32 PM
As for supplements, FiberCon makes pills you swallow and Benefiber can be stirred into any liquid, even wine! :rofl:

Noelani
02-21-2008, 09:01 PM
I have planned days in which I go over my calorie goal for the day. Usually when I choose to eat out with friends or family. But I do try to make up for it by working out a little extra that day.

My calories tend to fluctuate from day to day, but I always try to keep in my goal range of calories.

I think if you're needing to do something to jump start your weight loss or get out of a plateau rut then it could be something worth trying. But I do think that the planned higher calorie days should increase your calorie intake by eating a little bit more of healthier foods, not just junk. I know if I allowed myself to increase my calories on a planned day with junk food then I'd probably very easily fall back into old habits that I'm trying to avoid.

Just my two cents.. :)

PhotoChick
02-21-2008, 09:25 PM
Seems like there are actually 4 things being discussed here:

1 - Active and planned calorie cycling (using a predefined range)
2 - Unplanned / natural calorie cycling (also using a range, just not as planned)
3 - Occasional balancing of calories (not planned or within a range, just "making up" for off days)
4 - Binging/Starving to try to lose weight w/out really working on healthy eating.

I would think that the first 3 are probably pretty healthy. The third one is obviously not anything that anyone should aspire to. :)

.

hafowler
02-21-2008, 09:33 PM
I do WW Flex, and I know that averaging out the weekly points by eating more on a few days and less on a few others (but always keeping in that weekly total and eating On Plan) broke me through a plateau I thought was going to last forever. It is NOT binging and starving -- it's simply keeping your metabolism on its toes so it doesn't hit a set point and stop burning as many calories.

With WW, it's called The Wendie Plan, and for me, it works. Here's a run down from right here at 3FC!

http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=99187

Tonia
02-21-2008, 09:34 PM
Wow...I have been doing this all along and didn't realize it. While I think many of you wise women made great points I think Rhonda said it best when she said:

I've taken charge of my weight loss and have not chosen to let food control me...and, I've done so in a very healthy manner.

If I know I am going out to eat I am going to eat less the couple of days before and a couple of days after - probably overkill as I do try to make wise choices but maybe not (i.e. a turkey sandwich at Chili's is 1050 calories - just the SANDWICH!) and the reduction in calories is a preventative thing.

Also, during my TOM I tend to eat more so I will eat less coming off of that...or going into it...whatever. But, for the first time in my life I AM IN CONTROL and one day is not going to make or break me.

Purplefirefly
02-21-2008, 09:49 PM
I would like to do calorie cycling, because there are days where I eat 1100 calories or so and feel fine. But I am a little hesitant because I am afraid that during my planned day to be lower in calories I will be extra hungry- and feel unsatisfied. Then I might say "Well I'll eat higher calories today, then do the lower tomorrow." But then that lower day would never come...

How do you calorie cyclers avoid this?

You are probably extra hungry because you are going too low. Your body needs the food to keep you gonig, esp. during exercise. Your lower limits shouldn't go under 1200...but I find it very hard to do that even, I get really hungry when I exercise and only take in 1200.

I avoid the lower days never coming by working the calorie limit for the week, then splitting it out the very first day of the week. So every day I know what I am working with and make my choices accordingly. This also allows me to make lower calorie days on lighter exercise days, and give more calories to social situations or high activity days when I'll need more to keep my energy up. It would be too hard for me to just say "I'll eat more today and less tomorrow" because you're right, the next day I would put it off again. That's why planning it out and not leaving it to a whim works for me .

I use Jillian Michael's book Winning by Losing to work out my weekly calorie limits. It's easy, takes about five minutes or so and I have my weekly plan :) It also helps me to save some "extra" calories that can be used whenever i want that week.

Purplefirefly
02-21-2008, 09:53 PM
I picked a range of 60 to 160 grams of carbs per day and started with 60 grams, adding into 20 grams per day until I hit 160, then dropped back down to 60 and started over. Since my calories stayed the same, I ate more protein and good fats on the lower carb days to compensate for the missing carbs.

That is very interesting. I never thought about that! How did you come up with the 60 to 160 grams, is that a healthy range or you just guessed? I wonder if this could be done with fat grams because that really is my problem right now. I eat a lot of protein and all healthy carbs (veggies and whole grain if I do eat grain) but I feel my fat intake on a lot of days is too high...and it might speed up my loss even more if I got that down. Anyone know what a healthy amount of fat is? I might try cycling my fat, very interesting Meg!

jillybean720
02-22-2008, 06:12 AM
I've done calorie cycling, both intentionally an unintentionally, and it definitely worked for me. No, my higher calorie days were not filled with cheeseburgers, cheesecake, and ice cream--I just ate more of the foods I would normally have, or I replaced some of my regular foods with more calorie dense foods, like nuts, grains, avocado, more fruit, etc.

When I was doing it purposely, I would plan ahead of time which days would be higher and which days would be lower so I would KNOW I would have a good average daily calories at the end of the week. I usually had higher cals on Fridays and Saturdays, then low on Sunday and Monday, maybe a normal Tuesday, high Wednesday, low Thursday. Something like that.

When I did it unintentionally, I was following a sort of fad diet food plan, and some days called for higher calorie foods than others (some days were just protein and veggies, while some days had a banana smoothie or nuts), so while I was just following a food plan, that plan likely worked as well as it did because of the varying amounts of daily calories.

And, to agree with most and clarify for some, calorie cycling is NOT bigeing and starving, nor is it a free-for-all eat-whatever-you-want on the higher calorie days. Calorie cycling is VERY healthy when done properly and does NOT enforce bad habits.

BrandNewJen
02-22-2008, 12:22 PM
oh my GAWD--- I am SO OFFENDED by one of the previous posts who had the audacity to act as if a 3000 calorie day is a BINGE. ARRRRGGGGH!

PurpleFireFly: " I saw a mention of 2000 or 3000 calories in a day here :eek: there shouldn't be a day that high in calorie cycling."

Many of the 300+ women on here are DIETING DAILY on 1800-2000 calories per day!!!! Don't be so obtuse!!!!

I don't know about the rest of you, but I got to almost 300 pounds not by living on 2000 calories a day... and GOD FORBID I eat :gasp: 3000 calories?!!?!?

Oh noooooo! Seriously? One of my binges doesn't even come CLOSE to 3000 calories. The day I was talking about before, I racked up 3000 calories by eating an apple for breakfast, a banana for lunch, and then going out for dinner and having a sensibly-chosen entree coupled with a shared appetizer and dessert. FAR from what I would call BINGING! Holy crap!

Try waking up and eating 3 pancakes loaded with butter and syrup accompanied by a side of bacon and a huge glass of orange juice. Have 2 double cheeseburgers and a large fry at McD's for lunch (maybe with a milkshake too!), and for dinner split a large pepperoni pizza and a "side" of 20 chicken wings dipped in blue cheese. And then later, make yourself a HUGE sundae out of a half of the 1/2 gallon container of ice cream, smothered in fudge, and covered in peanuts.

Go to your precious little calorie trackers and type all that in and see what you get. You'll learn very quickly what a "normal" life for some fat people is... they certainly wouldn't gape in horror at "3000 calories"..... (by the way, breakfast ALONE racks in 2300 calories, with the whole day coming in at 8200 calories).

A 3000 calorie BINGE?!?! Check your words wisely, b/c that is soooo offensive to some of us here.

GirlyGirlSebas
02-22-2008, 12:37 PM
oh my GAWD--- I am SO OFFENDED by one of the previous posts who had the audacity to act as if a 3000 calorie day is a BINGE. ARRRRGGGGH!

Don't be so obtuse!!!!

Go to your precious little calorie trackers and type all that in and see what you get. You'll learn very quickly what a "normal" life for some fat people is... and they certainly wouldn't consider it binging. And they certainly wouldn't gape in horror at "3000 calories".....

A 3000 calorie BINGE?!?! Check your words wisely, b/c that is soooo offensive to some of us here.

Personally, I'm offended by your personal attack on Purple. I've always loved the 100lb club because of our ability to discuss different ideas about weight loss in a mature and non-confrontational manner while maintaining a supportive atmosphere. For me and many of us here, a binge would be more than 2000 calories for the day. That's our reality. I'm truly sorry that you find that offensive.

famograham
02-22-2008, 12:42 PM
Wow.....I have more to say here..but don't have time right now as I have to work today.
I'll check back later today.

WOW...

BrandNewJen
02-22-2008, 12:48 PM
Are you seriously going to tell me that you gained more than 100 pounds by slightly eating over 2000 calories? B/c I would highly disagree. HIGHLY.

If that's childish and confrontational, so be it. We didn't get to 100 pounds overweight by eating 2000 calories ladies! (okay, well maybe some of those closer to 5 foot tall, maybe...)

And a lot of LARGE women (300+) on here *ARE* eating 1800 calories a day while dieting.. they certainly wouldn't think that if they ate an extra 300 calories they would be BINGING. ::sigh::

GirlyGirlSebas
02-22-2008, 01:04 PM
This will be my last response on this thread because I refuse to be drawn into an immature altercation.

Here is my reality. I am 43 years old. I am in full menopause due to a hysterectomy and oopherectomy in 2005. I was in adrenal fatigue and I was diagnosed with insulin resistance. I was a couch potato with zero exercise. I ate a lot of sugar and starchy white carbs. I ate virtually no vegetables and no fruit. In less than two years I gained 75 pounds. I have fought hard for each and every pound that I have lost so far. If I eat more than 2000 calories a day, I gain weight. If I allow myself to eat more than my scheduled calories for the day, then I have allowed the food to re-gain control which equals a binge for me. There are big binges and little binges....but, for me, a binge still means a loss of control and a regression into old eating habits.

Sandi
02-22-2008, 01:53 PM
I don't really think Purple meant to be offensive in any way. She was just siting that 2000 - 3000 was really high based on her normal range.

BrandNewJen - I am sorry that you were offended. I myself am well over 300 lbs and set my limit at 1800 and sometimes 2000 and I didn't find any offense in Purple's reply. I guess sometimes things just strike us in different ways. Name calling isn't appropriate and I don't think "obtuse" was necessary.

Therefore, I am closing this up. We are all friends here and are trying to do this together.