Calorie Counters - Can someone explain zigzagging, please?




MakingSkinny
02-06-2010, 04:09 PM
What exactly is it, how do you do it, and what does it do for you?

I've seen a lot of people lately mention that they do it, and I have a general idea what it means, I think, but would love some details. Thanks!


Hades Handmaiden
02-06-2010, 05:07 PM
It's actually a pretty simple concept. You take your daily caloric count, multiply it by 7. And then have a couple straight days, a couple higher days, a couple lower days. This is my zig zag schedule:

Ex Fat Loss - column one
Fat Loss - column two
Maintain - column three
Monday 1608 1894 2367
Tuesday 1608 1608 1894
Wednesday 1930 2272 2840
Thursday 1608 1894 2367
Friday 1608 1704 2130
Saturday 1769 2083 2603
Sunday 1608 1894 2367

I got it from freedieting (dot) com (slash) tools (slash) calorie_calculator.htm

It has been working for me. I recommend trying it.

ncuneo
02-06-2010, 05:47 PM
I'll preface this by I'm not an expert...but the main concept is that it after about 3 days at a particular calorie level you metabolim begins to slow and eventually platuea. Ziz zagging tricks your body into constantly adjusting to hopefully never hit a platuea. I do mine a little differently than pp, I used freedieting to create it though as well as my BMR and AMR. It was kind of just trial and error finding the right calorie level for my body. I was at 1300-1400 calories and losing 1/2-1 lb a week and these last two weeks I've zigg zagged and lost 2 lbs last week and 3 lbs this week (and last week was TOM). So I think it's working well.

MTTHF 1400-1500
WSun 1600-1700
Saturday 2000 (but never above AMR maintenance)
So my daily average is 1542-1628 (I usually aim to be on the lower end of that)

I love it because it gives me the flexibility to "cheat" without "cheating" or eat more good foods like veggies, whole grains, whatever I happen to want. It makes me feel like I will really be able to do this forever and I've really stopped thinking that I'm on a "diet" and that I'm just living!


Hades Handmaiden
02-06-2010, 05:59 PM
What's an AMR? I know what a BMR is; I have that on my computer and input my weight daily. I've just never heard of AMR ~ ever. I actually went to freedieting and even it didn't give me any results for AMR.

L.J.
02-06-2010, 07:18 PM
Hades Handmaiden..I understand the concept of your daily count x 7, but how do you come up with the 2nd and 3rd set of numbers you have. Am I not getting something. Would you mind going over that one more time?
Looks like you're doing really well.
I'll also go to the website you mentioned.
Thank you.

PS I FOUND it on the website...Thanks :-)

brideinabikini
02-06-2010, 07:25 PM
I have never heard of this either but am willing to try it out. Makes sense to me!

ars
02-06-2010, 09:21 PM
I have just started a zig zag schedule this week to try to break through a loss slowdown. I looked at that freedieting website, but I don't think I could eat the number of calories it recommends! As it is, I'm eating when I'm not hungry to get to goal on my higher calorie days.

My schedule is:
Mon/Tues 1700-1800
Wed 1250
Thu/Fri 1500-1600
Sat/Sun 1250

Freedieting suggests:
Mon/Tue/Thu/Fri/Sun 2240
Wed 2688
Sat 2464

I guess I can always adjust my schedule if it doesn't work!

Hades Handmaiden
02-07-2010, 05:52 PM
ars ~ you could really benefit from upping your calories. Right now your body isn't going to lose as quickly with your count being so low. You are at the bare minimum for survival; you need to up those calories to see a better result. If your body already hasn't gone there, it's going to go into starvation mode.

Wanderland
02-07-2010, 06:49 PM
I just went to the freedieting website and agree with Ars the calories for fat loss and even extreme fat loss are much higher than what I am currently eating per the Loseit application on my iPhone.

Freedieting dot com
Maintenance: 1634 Calories/day
Fat Loss: 1308 Calories/day
Extreme Fat Loss: 1280 Calories/day


Lose it App: 2lbs/week: 975 calories/day

Opinions?

Hades Handmaiden
02-07-2010, 07:02 PM
Lose it App: 2lbs/week: 975 calories/day

Opinions?
You should never go below 1200 calories.

You don't list your age so it's hard to calculate your BMR without that but I would say your "loseit" ap is not taking into consideration several factors. I would never go below 1200 calories or one of two things could happen, starvation mode or you'll lose quickly and gain it all back quickly.

Wanderland
02-07-2010, 07:12 PM
Thanks the app does add in my age which is 25.

I keep reading never to go below 1200 calories but what confuses me is at my goal weight ~90-100 I'll have to eat <1200 to maintain.

I realize the number is low and as I lose more weight it will get lower and lower (it started at ~1100 on the app). I haven't been losing quickly only about ~1-1.5 lbs/week with diet and exercise.

I'm really afraid of a gain if I up the calories.

jkinboston89
02-07-2010, 07:20 PM
Wanderland, if I calculated correctly, at your goal of 90 to 100 pounds, what you'll need to maintain is 1433.50 to 1485.76, respectively. I think what you may be looking at is your BMR which is just what your body burns if you stayed in bed all day. That number is around 1200.

BTW to get those numbers I said that your lifestyle was sedentary, so if it's more than that, you'll need even more calories.

Here's the website: http://allnutritionals.com/calculators/daily_calorie_calculator.htm

Hades Handmaiden
02-07-2010, 07:34 PM
This is your BMR at your current weight just to maintain that weight:

1499 Before activity factor

1799 Seditary
2061 With activity factor "light activity"
2324 Moderate
2586 Very active
2848 Extra active

Those are your calories for your height and weight just to maintain your current weight.

I'm really concerned over the ap you've listed especially if it's telling you to go so low in calories.

Wanderland
02-07-2010, 08:33 PM
Jkin and Hades thank you for the extra effort you went to look up my info!

This week I'm going to increase cals to 1300 and then in 2 weeks 1498 per freedieting with zig zag. I'm trying to taper this change because I've been at this low cal thing for 8 weeks.

The app "loseit" started me off at less than 1200 when I was 172 lbs. I still like it because it is a free calorie tracker that I am really comfortable with. I've changed the plan to lose 1.5lbs/week instead of 2/week and it gave me the same numbers freedieting did.

Again thank you both so much!

cherbear
02-07-2010, 09:33 PM
Not to butt in or anything, but...

That's really weird. I use Lose it too, and it has me at 1500 cal/day. I've got 40 pounds on you, but that's still a HUGE difference. I wonder if you should go back into your settings and look at the info you inputed. You are on way too low of calories, (IMO) but that's weird with the lose it thing.

kris2008
02-08-2010, 08:39 AM
Wanderland is 4'10". Maybe that's why her calories are lower?

Hades Handmaiden
02-08-2010, 08:47 AM
Wanderland is 4'10". Maybe that's why her calories are lower?

Not by the calculations I put up. I have to use your age, current weight, and height to get the BMR numbers. Not even to maintain and do nothing all day, which means sleeping and not moving, do her calories need to be lower than 1300. Add any activity, just being awake, her body burns almost 1800. You can't cut that in half and still function.

kris2008
02-08-2010, 09:16 AM
I agree anything less than 1200 is not good and your body will just slow down.

I'm going to try this zigzag method myself! I'm going to try 1400/1400/1600/1400/1400/2000/1600. This gives me 1543 daily average. 1543 seems a bit high to me. I've been losing about 1 lb a week with 1400 daily, so will be interested to see what happens.

Wanderland
02-08-2010, 10:35 AM
Not to butt in or anything, but...

That's really weird. I use Lose it too, and it has me at 1500 cal/day. I've got 40 pounds on you, but that's still a HUGE difference. I wonder if you should go back into your settings and look at the info you inputed. You are on way too low of calories, (IMO) but that's weird with the lose it thing.


Cherbear I think it has to do with the fact that I'm over 13 inches shorter than you. Have you put your info into the other websites?
I eventually changed my settings to lose only 1lb a week in lose it, and it gave me a reasonable number 1400 calories, just to use it as a calorie tracker (which I love it for!)

Passionista
02-08-2010, 10:40 AM
I'm seeing a nutritionist (an actual nutritionist, RD with a master's degree) and she advised me against zig zaging calories. She said that consistency is best, that fueling your body regularly is healthiest and the best thing for creating an efficiently burning machine (thus, weight loss). So, that's what I'm gonna try and see how it works!

Hades Handmaiden
02-08-2010, 10:51 AM
I'm seeing a nutritionist (an actual nutritionist, RD with a master's degree) and she advised me against zig zaging calories. She said that consistency is best, that fueling your body regularly is healthiest and the best thing for creating an efficiently burning machine (thus, weight loss). So, that's what I'm gonna try and see how it works!

The thing is, not every nutritionist will agree on everything. The problem is that they are all taught differently because they go to different universities. You can get a dozen in one room and there will still be a split of agreeing/disagreeing on zig zagging.

When I zig zag I don't go below my minimum and that's what's important. You have to stay above your minimum calories. A lot of people don't know that part of the equation.

Your statement "fueling your body regularly" implies to me that your nutritionist doesn't understand that when you zig zag you are relatively consistent you just go higher and lower but within your ideal range. Her statement makes it seem like she thinks when zig zagging you go below your lowest allowable every few days.

Zig zagging broke my plateau. I now swear by it.

Passionista
02-08-2010, 10:55 AM
The thing is, not every nutritionist will agree on everything. The problem is that they are all taught differently because they go to different universities. You can get a dozen in one room and there will still be a split of agreeing/disagreeing on zig zagging.

When I zig zag I don't go below my minimum and that's what's important. You have to stay above your minimum calories. A lot of people don't know that part of the equation.

Your statement "fueling your body regularly" implies to me that your nutritionist doesn't understand that when you zig zag you are relatively consistent you just go higher and lower but within your ideal range. Her statement makes it seem like she thinks when zig zagging you go below your lowest allowable every few days.

Zig zagging broke my plateau. I now swear by it.
She understands; we discussed it extensively. Perhaps I didn't express it well here: consistently, as in the same amount on a regular basis.

I agree that every doctor, nutritionist, personal trainer, massage therapist, priest, babysitter, plumber (in other words PERSON ;) ) will have their own spin on things. ;)

Glad that zig zagging is something you enjoy and is workable for you! :hug:

Hades Handmaiden
02-08-2010, 11:00 AM
She understands; we discussed it extensively. Perhaps I didn't express it well here: consistently, as in the same amount on a regular basis.

I agree that every doctor, nutritionist, personal trainer, massage therapist, priest, babysitter, plumber (in other words PERSON ;) ) will have their own spin on things. ;)

Glad that zig zagging is something you enjoy and is workable for you! :hug:

Okay. In my opinion, and this is based on what I learned in school as well, 1600 calories 5 days and two higher days IS consistent. You can't eat the exact same foods everyday, ergo you cannot get the exact same calories every day. Going up by 200 calories a couple days a week is pretty consistent in my opinion. I'd be curious as to what your nutritionist says about that.

Passionista
02-08-2010, 11:11 AM
Okay. In my opinion, and this is based on what I learned in school as well, 1600 calories 5 days and two higher days IS consistent. You can't eat the exact same foods everyday, ergo you cannot get the exact same calories every day. Going up by 200 calories a couple days a week is pretty consistent in my opinion. I'd be curious as to what your nutritionist says about that.

We actually discussed that very thing. She said for me, SOME variation (a couple hundred in my case, based on my allotment) is not problematic, then again, that doesn't match the "traditional" definition of "zig zagging", does it?

Some people do eat the same exact thing every day though, and that works for them; the same breakfast, snacks etc actually keep them on track. I like variety and flexibility, so I don't eat the exact same things every day, but it does work for some.

Hades Handmaiden
02-08-2010, 11:33 AM
We actually discussed that very thing. She said for me, SOME variation (a couple hundred in my case, based on my allotment) is not problematic, then again, that doesn't match the "traditional" definition of "zig zagging", does it?It matches the only definition of it that I've ever heard. Is there another definition?

Passionista
02-08-2010, 12:09 PM
Okay, I'll bite, just this one last time :D

For ME, based on MY allotment, as outlined in bold below, a variation of a couple hundred (that is, 200 or less) is permissible.

A "traditional" zig zagging week (as in, as directed by the site you faux-linked to) would include a gap (for me) between the highest and lowest days, as much as 894 calories for loss or 1482 for maintenance, both of which are more than the "couple hundred" (200 or less) I mentioned.

Again, YMMV and I think everyone should do what they (or they and their medical professionals) feel is best. Weight loss is (much like everything else ;) ) a very individual thing. :carrot:

We actually discussed that very thing. She said for me, SOME variation (a couple hundred in my case, based on my allotment) is not problematic, then again, that doesn't match the "traditional" definition of "zig zagging", does it?


It matches the only definition of it that I've ever heard. Is there another definition?

Hades Handmaiden
02-08-2010, 12:33 PM
Okay, I'll bite, just this one last time :D This isn't about "biting" anything. I asked you a legitimate questions which you failed to answer. I don't know what you call "faux linking". It says "links may be removed" so I don't put links in because those are the instructions on the site.

And what is: YMMV??

The original question of the thread was to explain zig zagging. You claim my definition is not traditional. I'm simply asking what is the traditional definition of zig zagging that you were taught?

schubunny
02-08-2010, 10:38 PM
This isn't about "biting" anything. I asked you a legitimate questions which you failed to answer. I don't know what you call "faux linking". It says "links may be removed" so I don't put links in because those are the instructions on the site.

And what is: YMMV??

The original question of the thread was to explain zig zagging. You claim my definition is not traditional. I'm simply asking what is the traditional definition of zig zagging that you were taught?

Come on now ladies... tone it down. :) Just teasing!

The thread is still on topic, but it's starting to become a bit heated in here.