Weight Loss Support - Tracking calories weekly a good idea?

08-31-2011, 12:49 AM
So the way I've been tracking my calorie counts is a daily count which leads to a weekly total. So for example: 1500 cal a day x 7 days a week = 10500 calories a week. I've been doing it this way so that if I eat less than 1500 one day, I can transfer those calories to another day and still be down 3500cal for that week. So eating 1400cal on a Tuesday means I can eat 1500cal on Friday and still have a bonus glass of wine at happy hour.

Is this a stupid system? I've just been told that it is today - by someone whose opinion I respect but that I don't think knows very much about weight loss. I feel like the math makes sense but I haven't been losing steadily. Granted, I've falling off the wagon a bunch but if I stay on the wagon, is this method not going to work?

08-31-2011, 01:03 AM
The logic seems fine to me, especially since we're only talking about shifting around a few hundred calories. Unless you said you were eating like 500 calories one day and saving up to eat 3,000 calories the next day ;).

I used to do something similar, but I'd track my weekly calorie deficits. It really helped give me some perspective and helped me see all of the small things I do as adding up to a much bigger whole. It was when I had more to lose and I was creating bigger deficits, but this shift in thinking really helped me to stay on plan because I knew that each choice, however small or insignificant it seemed, was helping me get to my weekly goal.

08-31-2011, 01:05 AM
I'm also a calorie counter, and I count my calories on a daily basis only.

However, I think your system makes perfect sense, especially if you weigh once a week. If you weigh every day, I can imagine those "bonus" calories shifting the scale a bit and being discouraging.

I have a coworker who calorie counts just like you, and when she first told me, I thought, "Uh, no, that's cheating!" That's just the first thing that pops into your head when someone says they're banking calories from one day to use on another, and that's probably what the person who told you it was a "stupid system" thought.

Here's how I figure it... If you eat 1,400 calories one day and you weighed every day, the scale might read a bit lower than a normal day. If you have that bonus glass of wine, the scale is going to read what it would have read if you had had two 1,500 days in a row. It makes sense! (I still don't do it because I'd go overboard and bank all of my calories to splurge on something much more decadent than a glass of wine, but it looks like you've got it under control!) :)

08-31-2011, 01:24 AM
I say, you've lost 30 pounds since June, you're doing something right. Until that stop working for you, don't worry about what they think.

08-31-2011, 04:08 AM
That person who's opinion you respect is dead wrong.

You can absolutely eat more one day and eat less another. The net deficit over time is what matters.

08-31-2011, 04:43 AM
I think that's a fantastic system.

You might respect their opinion, but that doesn't mean their opinion is fact all the time.

I've seen a number of people on 3FC following that plan, and it seems to work for them. It's all about the individual.

Also, you don't have to lose steadily to lose permanently. There are always up weeks and down weeks and in-between weeks. That's weight loss. It's normal.

I will add one note: The only time I'd suggest changing the system is if the system somehow encourages the individual to go off plan often. If the system is not your problem with staying on plan, then there's nothing wrong with the system. :) Hope that made sense.

08-31-2011, 10:03 AM
I track weekly, for the most part. To me, it's more "normal" to eat that way. After all, I don't think most people eat the exact same number of calories each and every day. If I'm hungrier one day than I am on another day, I'll eat more calories on the day one and fewer on day two.

Don't second-guess yourself. I find that whenever I mention the word "diet" all of a sudden everyone is an "expert."

08-31-2011, 11:58 AM
If it works for you it works.

So ask yourself if this is something that will work for you. Dont rely on the opinion of others. Except mine of course. ;)

Honestly the only drawback I can see is if you find yourself excessively hoarding or excessively splurging and having white knuckle low cal days to force it to work. As long as you are talking within reason.

08-31-2011, 07:25 PM
It sounds to me like you are just doing calorie cycling. Tons of people are successful with that. I do it a little bit myself.

08-31-2011, 07:38 PM
This is called calorie cycling. It's popular among calorie counters.

08-31-2011, 07:42 PM
I find that whenever I mention the word "diet" all of a sudden everyone is an "expert."

hahaha! It's funny because it's so true!

Anyway, I've been to the calorie counting section and there are plenty of people who do this. This is a lifestyle change...adjust it to fit within your lifestyle.

Larry H
09-01-2011, 12:01 AM
This is what I do, I call it calorie cycling. My goal for the weekly average is 1500 cal. My highest day during the week is 1801 cal and my lowest is 1201.

My weekly plan is:

Mon -goal 1651 calories
Tue -goal 1501 calories
Wed -goal 1501 calories
Thu -goal 1351 calories
Fri - goal 1801 calories
Sat -goal 1501 calories
Sun -goal 1201 calories

I was told that calorie cycling provides same amount of calories per week,
in my case 1500 per day average for the week but 'tricks' your body by
constantly changing daily calories. This is supposed to help prevent or break plateaus.