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Old 02-14-2012, 02:06 AM   #1
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Default Do you aim for daily calories or weekly calories?

I know people track their calories daily.. but do aim to hit a certain number per week (your daily calories fluctuate but hit a certain number at the end of the week) or do you focus on daily calories (such as eating 1500 every day). Just curious on what everyone focuses on and their opinions of it.

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Old 02-14-2012, 04:48 AM   #2
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For me personally, I focus on my daily calories because I feel like it keeps me more accountable for the choices I make. But I've recently been learning / hearing a lot about calorie cycling where the weekly calories stays consistent, and the number you eat per day changes. Such as one day you can eat 1300 calories, and the next day will be 1500, as long as it meets up to your weekly calorie goal.

For now, I'm going to stick with my daily calorie aims, but if I start to plateau, I might change it up and do the calorie cycling.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:42 AM   #3
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I am a daily counter.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:44 AM   #4
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I've been focusing on daily calories because I don't write anything down and keep track in my head. There's no way I can keep track of a weekly allotment in my head!

I sort of do calorie cycling though, since I listen to my hunger cues. If I'm not hungry I'll have a lower day (1500ish, sometimes less) if I'm hungrier I might go over 2000. I have a little bit more wiggle room though since I'm trying to maintain
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:20 AM   #5
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I kept a "running average" going so that I didn't throw in the towel after I had a day where I went way off track. And yes, I'm a numbers geek.
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:57 AM   #6
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I do both. I accidentally calorie cycle. It helps me not fall off track or lose motivation if I eat out or find out something I've eaten has a ridiculous amount of calories. Besides, sometimes I am just stomach-growling hungry and need to eat a little more than normal. I keep track daily and then I will average my cals weekly or bi-weekly. I like to observe my activity/intake/loss to figure out my caloric "sweet spot" where I can lose weight at at nice pace but not feel hungry or deprived.

Calorie counting gave me a method to fix the madness.

A high protein, moderate carb balance gives me control over cravings.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:13 AM   #7
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I focus on daily calories.
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:22 PM   #8
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When I did WW, I was horrible with the points you spread throughout the week. I would run out a couple days into the week or just never eat them at all.
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:32 PM   #9
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I calculate weekly. I did this throughout my weight loss and have been doing it during maintenance as well. It's another level of flexibility that I really appreciate. I would find it difficult to stay at the same level of calories every single day because I would have no leeway for special occasions, differing levels of hunger, etc.
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:32 PM   #10
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I do daily calorie counting that accidentally turns into calorie cycling. Basically I try to aim for 1,200-1,300 calories per day (since most of my calories are estimates and not exact, I aim for 1,200-1,300 but in reality I know I am probably eating 1,300-1,400.) 3 days out of the week I eat out at a friend's or restaurant. On those days I know I'm probably eating easily 200+ calories more than usual even if I do attempt to eat lower for the rest of the day. So in the end I eat higher for 3 days out of the week whether I like it or not!

Admittedly my progress is slooow because of it but hey slow and steady wins the race! I figure every day I'm not losing is a day I'm practicing maintenance.

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Old 02-14-2012, 02:08 PM   #11
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But sometimes it's helpful to "zoom out" and look at the whole week. When I've done well, I look at my calorie deficit (I burned so many more calories than I ate) and add it up for the whole week, because a 3500 calorie deficit should equal a pound lost, and it usually does! When I've had a bad day, it helps to look at the whole week and see that the bunch of good days make up for the one bad day.

It's analogous to my calendar. Most of the time, I'm looking at my schedule for that day, but once in awhile I look at the weekly calendar, or the monthly, or even the yearly, to get a different perspective on what I need to do.

Or it's like Google Maps. You get some information from zooming in, and a broader perspective zooming out.
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Old 02-14-2012, 02:19 PM   #12
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I have a daily calorie goal, and I strive to stay under it.

That said, I give myself leeway on the weekends. I just figured my weekly calories last night & saw that even with my 1000 calorie surplus Saturday, I'm still right on target once it averages out for the week. I just wanted to make sure I didn't blow my weight loss for the week.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:10 PM   #13
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I started out daily but recently have started using my fitness pal and I think I like calorie cycling better. I feel like some days I'm starving and others I struggle to eat enough calories. This way I can listen to my body more and worry about daily numbers less (I still log EVERYTHING so I know what it is). I was also at a plateau so we'll see in a few days if this is working (I read some other posts about upping my cals for a few days and it sort of turned into calorie cycling).
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:09 PM   #14
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I count daily. I go for 1200-1500 a day and usually wind up on the higher end.
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Old 02-23-2012, 03:42 AM   #15
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Daily calories.

I think it's too easy to slip up if I do a weekly count. Shuffling calories from one day to the next doesn't seem like a good idea to me. Once a day is gone, it's gone, and so are the calories I just counted up/burned whatever.

I try to do my best every day to stay under, if only by a handful of calories, as long as I'm under, its ok.

Right now though, gotta go burn off 92 calories - myfitnesspal is telling me I'm over... yikes!!

Physical fitness can neither be achieved by wishful thinking nor outright purchase. Joseph Pilates
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