100 lb. Club - Calorie thoughts?

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08-25-2008, 08:38 PM
I have a new idea. I need some input. Does this sound like it might work??

I have been counting calories for ages. It works pretty well for me because I need some kind of restrictions or guidelines for myself. Lately I have been allowing myself 1500 calories a day and I do lose weight when I stick to that amount.

Here's my idea. How about if instead of aiming for 1500 cal/day, I aimed for a weekly total instead? That would be 1500 x 7 = 10,500 a week.

What's the difference?? Well, it seems like some days I go over, maybe eating 1700 or something and then I just go, "oh well, I will stick to 1500 tomorrow." But if I go over by a little, several times a week then it averages out to more than 1500 a day and I don't lose weight. If I had a WEEKLY total instead, and subtracted off the calories each day, then I might have to have a couple of 1200-cal days at the end of the week to stay within my goal.

Does this make any sense?? Do you think it is a good idea or am I complicating things too much? I feel like I need to shake things up a bit to get this weight off.

08-25-2008, 08:41 PM
I've read some research that says that might be the BEST way to go, as it keeps your metabolism guessing...am i getting 1800 cals today or only 1200??

I assume the total number of calories matters, not when you consume them

mrs dorson
08-25-2008, 08:47 PM
it is basically what i do now except i dont do it consciously.
not sure if that makes sense?:?:

i just started counting calories in the past week. before it was a focus on good heathly choices and exercising like a demon.:devil:

my immediate thought was...."what if you (me too) were to get to the seventh day and have NO FREAKING CALORIES LEFT???:o

what to do then?

i would like to hear what others think.

hope you are doing better, lyn! :hug:

08-25-2008, 08:48 PM
Lyn - In some ways what you're describing is calorie cycling and I know that works well for a lot of people. OTOH, I think it depends a whole lot on how YOU manage your own psychological patterns.

I know that for ME, going by a weekly total would be bad. What I would wind up doing is saying "oh it's ok that I had 1700 cals today ... oh it's ok that I had 1800 cals today ... oh it's ok that I had 1700 cals today ...." Then by Friday or Saturday I'd have "ok'd" myself into a state where I only had 500 cals to get me through 2 days. :)

I know that the way my mind works, it's MUCH better for me to say that I'm allowed 1500 cals a day, and then if I go over, to either try to work that off at the gym or to dock myself the next day.

That's me, though, and that's a pattern in myself that I've learned through trial and error. And FWIW, it's not just me with food, it's me with money, too. :) If I set myself a weekly budget of $50 for "playing around" money, I'll spend it all at the beginning of the week and then have nothing left for the weekend. OTOH, if I ration myself to a certain amount each day, then I'm much less likely to spend the whole thing and have money left at the end of the week. :D


08-25-2008, 10:40 PM
I think that sounds like a great idea as long as you make sure on the lower days you dont go under 1000 :)

08-25-2008, 11:22 PM
Calorie cycling is a common plan for many folk. I do it naturally - and occasionally intentionally when my weight loss stalled.

08-26-2008, 07:50 AM
I think it sounds good...if it works for you! It doesn't sound as though you are really proposing calorie cycling, just "balancing" your calories for the week.

I think the danger is what photochick said, but it really depends on how you approach these things.

08-26-2008, 08:26 AM
Calorie cycling works very well. What you've come up with is very similar to what Jillian Michaels teaches in her books.

08-26-2008, 08:37 AM
I actually think it's a great idea as long as it has a few stipulations. Such as making sure you're saving enough calories for the last few days of the week. And perhaps having a min/max to roughly estimate most days. Like no lower than 1,300 and no higher than 1,800 or something. Just an estimate.

Other than that... is there any harm in trying it for a week or two to see how it fits your life?

08-26-2008, 09:19 AM
If you can do weekly totals, then do it. However, I like Faerie's approach of having an upper and lower limit for each day.

08-26-2008, 10:02 AM
Folks have presented lots of good thoughts here. It might be worth a try to see if it can work for you.

Interesting question, really.

08-26-2008, 10:17 AM
I've been doing this for months, but not by plan... :( And it's worked about that well, too. As in, not at all.

All you can do is try it and see what happens! You'll know in a couple of weeks whether you can stick with it and whether it makes a difference.


08-26-2008, 11:48 AM
Great suggestions, thank you. I like the minimum idea because heaven forbid I were to have a "minor" binge and eat 3000 calories in one day, I don't want to starve myself at the end of the week. I think I need a thousand calories just to function.

I am definitely going to do this for a week and see how it goes. Not THIS week (school is starting, and I have some major stressors coming up so don't want to add anything new) but probably the first week in Sept.

Calorie cycling, I have read on this board and seen some great results. I guess what I am talking about is a modified calorie cycling because it gives some wiggle room for eating according to my mood and situations.

Thanks again. If anyone else tries this let me know how it works for you.

08-26-2008, 12:38 PM
I try really hard NOT to count calories, but rather to focus on eating solid protine, natural, whole-grain foods and veggies/fruits. I still "peek", since I use thedailyplate to track what I eat, but I try not to obsess over it anymore.

I find that the best range for me is between 1500 and 2000. That gives me a bunch of wiggle room for an extra serving or a bite of desert on days when I eat out, and allows for those days where I eat lean and clean and end up barely hitting the minimum.

08-26-2008, 01:30 PM
I see your point, but for me it would be very easy to use up all my calories and be left with next to nothing by the end of the week.

It seems a better plan would be to take that weekly total and then set your daily goals to be varied. For instance, Mondays are 1800, Tuesdays 1300, etc.

08-26-2008, 02:07 PM
I can't count calories. Its to off or on for me.

Like synger I try to get healthy protiens and fats, whole grains and lots of veggies and some fruit.

twilit tera
08-26-2008, 03:42 PM
There is a concern with weekly calories being gone before the week is up, so what about giving yourself a daily calorie range? It's more or less the way I learned to do it in Weight Watchers, except it was points I was counting and not calories.

Basically, instead of aiming for a single target, give yourself a daily minimum and maximum. Not only does that give you some wiggle room:devil:, but it would keep you from undereating, which is a problem I have at the start of any diet.

:D Tera

08-26-2008, 08:42 PM
I tried this months ago to try and break out of a plateau. I loved the higher calorie days, but really struggled on the lower calories days with hunger. I never went below 1200. I also didn't lose anything! I'm sure you will have much better luck; I think you are more disciplined than me!

The suggestion that many people have given to have a minimum and maximum for each day is very good. Good luck with this Lyn and keep us updated!

08-27-2008, 09:18 AM
Calorie cycling has helped me out of plateus. But, I must point out that my method of cycling calories does not leave me with nothing at the end of the week as I have a total number planned for each day. I calculate what my calorie requirements would be for the week, then divide that number out for each day. I don't wing it each day. That would be way to dangerous fo me!

08-27-2008, 12:02 PM
You should google the wendy plan, it is about calorie cycling (though wendy herself used WW, but you find it converted to calories too)