Also known as calorie cycling, calorie shifting is a pattern of eating that helps you lose weight and stick to your diet. Instead of consuming a set calorie amount each day, you take in alternates instead. Here is everything you need to know about calorie shifting.
You change the consumption of calories each day, so in a week’s course, you equal the number of calories that help you reach your goals in weight management.
For example, if you want to keep within a two-thousand calorie diet, you then need to shift consuming anywhere between 2,800 and 1,200 calories daily.
Thus in a week, the average is still 2,000. You can plan your meals to include as many or as little meals as you want. You can eat six meals a day or just the usual three.
- 1 The Concept of Calorie Shifting:Goodbye, Starvation
- 2 Conventional Diets Don’t Work
- 3 Why Calorie Shifting Works For Most People
- 4 The Cons of Calorie Shifting
- 5 Cutting Calories
- 6 Calorie Shifting Guide
- 7 Doing It Right
- 8 Cycling Between High And Low
- 9 Combining Exercise And Calorie Shifting
- 10 Improved Success
- 11 Your Resting Metabolic Rate
- 12 Safety First
The Concept of Calorie Shifting:Goodbye, Starvation
The Calorie Shifting Plan is very simple as opposed to conventional diet and exercise plans, as you don’t have to count calories or grams or calculate anything. It’s the concept of integrating specific foods throughout the day to achieve an increased metabolism that will burn more fat.
This compelling technique for losing fat is something you can implement immediately. You are in for a real treat if you have never implemented this method of eating before.
Newbies who have never heard of it may doubt it works, but the fact is that losing fat from your body has everything to do with calorie deficits. However, when you restrict too many calories, you induce a response of starvation, which could cause muscle loss.
Decreasing too many calories makes your body go into panic mode and then hold on to as much fat as it could. The reason is that the body can survive on fat for a longer period.
Since a starvation diet causes you not to eat, your body feeds off your muscle mass for energy and slows your metabolism. This is dangerous and is not recommended. To put an end on all that and yet get great results losing weight, the key is calorie shifting.
When you create a calorie cycle, you burn fat without getting the dangerous effects of a starvation diet. Your metabolism does not slow down, either. You can burn more fat with a revved-up metabolism and build more muscle.
Since your body knows it is getting much-needed nutrients, it never goes into panic mode, so to speak. This also why eating food dense with nutrients is also very important. As you will soon see for yourself, there are a million ways to start cycling calories. All you need to do is eat calories in varying amounts during the week. For example:
- Monday – 2500 Calories
- Tuesday- 3000 Calories
- Wednesday- 2500 Calories
- Thursday – 3000 Calories
- Friday – 2500 Calories
- Saturday- 3000 Calories
- Sunday- 2500 Calories
- Monday -2500 Calories
- Tuesday-2500 Calories
- Wednesday-2500 Calories
- Thursday – 3500 Calories
- Friday – 3500 Calories
- Saturday- 3500 Calories
- Sunday- 3500 Calories
Do you see the limitless possibilities for shifting or cycling calories? Once you found a routine that works for you, that’s when you can begin to add in the exercise. Larger amounts of food for hard training days and less food for less training. It isn’t rocket science.
By blending it up every day, your body is unable to get used to a typical pattern and thus continues to burn fat faster. But there are a few simple rules to follow if you wish to maximize your fat loss during each cycle.
Conventional Diets Don’t Work
You will most likely understand the benefits of calorie cycling better when you know why conventional diets don’t usually work. Long term weight loss for traditional diets tends to have an abysmal rate of success. Most folks gain back the weight they lose on regular diets.
It is no exactly easy to lose weight, much less keep it off. Most conventional dieters know this. More focus has been applied to preventing weight gain in the first place. Conventional diets fail due to many psychological factors and metabolic adaptations.
One reason could be that your body senses a regular diet as a state of potential danger. Low caloric periods could equal illness or starvation centuries ago. As a survival instinct, the brain sent various body signals for the preservation of energy. Metabolic adaptation is the term for the way the brain tried to preserve health. These included:
- Increasing ghrelin
- Decreasing leptin
- Increasing cortisol
- Reducing physical activities
- Decreasing the thyroid hormone
- Decreasing energy expenditures
- Decreasing testosterone
These physical adaptations are the opposite of what is necessary for a long-term, successful weight loss.
Not Only That.Aside from the metabolic adaptations, your hormones don’t cooperate with conventional diets either. Your body does everything it can to conserve energy, slow down weight loss, and even regain weight after a diet. A key role is produced by hormones that regulate weight.
Leptin, like a seesaw, decreases hunger while ghrelin is on the increase. In calorie cycling, the periods of high calories increase leptin and decrease ghrelin, which is optimal for permanent weight loss.
Why Calorie Shifting Works For Most People
There are several reasons why the calorie shifting plan works better than the conventional diet and exercise systems for most people. But like the other systems, the individual must actually want to burn fat and prepare themselves mentally and emotionally to do whatever it takes to attain their fat loss goals. Without motivation and determination, no diet plan will work.
That said, there are a few reasons why people stay with the calorie shifting diet plan longer than many of the other systems:
- You don’t have to go hungry.
- You eat four meals a day and eat until you are satisfied
- You get a variety of food on the menu’s, some of which you won’t see on other diets
- It’s a simple system that doesn’t require you to consistently count calories and grams, or calculate caloric intake levels; You get a 3-day break when you can eat anything that you want. This eliminates the sense of despair that many people feel on conventional diets.
The Cons of Calorie Shifting
On the other hand, as with any fat loss system, there are a few things that some people won’t like
- Sometimes the menu may require you to eat just fruit, or fruit and vegetables, for the entire day.
- Some people are more “carb sensitive” than others, meaning that they have to reduce the regular carb intake more in order to lose weight. This could be difficult to regulate on the calorie shifting plan.
- For some people, conditions at work may make it very difficult to eat at the prescribed times or make it hard to prepare some of the meals
- Some people prefer to eat a balanced diet at each meal, instead of having one food group today and another tomorrow. In that case, a more conventional plan may work better for you.
- If you lose weight too quickly, you may end up triggering more troubles than benefits. This is another setback with this kind of diet plan.
It’s very easy to lose a great deal of weight extremely fast by shifting calories, and if you do happen to lose too much too quickly, then you can end up losing muscle tissue and triggering an unfavorable reaction from your metabolic rate.
Before you begin, you should identify first what your calorie baseline is and then start tracking the typical amount of calorie that your body takes in every day.
Keeping a food journal can help you keep an eye on your calories and the food that you eat each day. There are online programs that can assist you to track it so there would be no more reason for you to lose track.
Also, when you reduce the number of calories you eat daily, there are sharp declines in calories burned daily. When people eat more calories, there is an increase in metabolism and vice versa. Stringent diets also lessen testosterone.
Drastic calorie reductions put your body into famine mode, and it holds on to fat stores to survive. A one-week high-calorie diet restored levels of testosterone to normal. In calorie cycling, eating whatever you want for three days within two weeks causes you to lose a lot of weight without reducing your rate of metabolism.
Calorie Shifting Guide
When implementing a calorie cycle and picking the days for higher calories, there are no definitive rules. All you need to do is to stick with a diet approach that you like and which works and then do intermittent high caloric periods. Begin a high period of high calories after one to four weeks, and then you will begin to notice changes in your body. These can include a:
- Fat loss plateau
- Sex drive plateau
- The decrease in gym performance
- Decrease in energy
For the first two weeks, a diet tends to go smoothly until you notice a drop in quality of life, performance, and energy.
This is the time you might want to add a period of high calories. Listen to your body to refuel and recover before the next block of mini-dieting.
Doing It Right
If you set your exercise plan up the right way, you will naturally have easy days and hard days. Your body gets stronger and builds fitness during the recovery phase. When it comes to boosting fat loss, the same is true for the intake of calories.
In a five-day workweek, eat less than what you want to eat and leave the table around eighty-percent satiated. On Saturdays and Sundays, eat the entire day and stop eating only after you are one-hundred percent full.
Instead of making attempts at dieting the entire year, why don’t you create a situation for your body where you are losing weight without actually really feeling it.
Calorie shifting results in higher metabolism than restrictive diets, better adherence to dieting, and better body fat loss. Calorie restriction, followed by calorie loading, will trick your body into never entering starvation survival mode, where it starts to conserve fuel. Your metabolism and hormones won’t go haywire, and yet there you are, losing weight.
Cycling Between High And Low
This style of dieting allows you to cycle between high-calorie periods and low-calorie periods. There are no strict guidelines or restrictions on food. All you need to think about is the number of calories you are allowed to eat on specific weeks or days.
Hence, in the conventional sense, it is not a diet but instead is a method of structuring your monthly intake of food or your weekly intake of food, depending on how you scheduled your cycle. The benefits of shifting calories include:
- Less hunger
- The ability to stick to a diet
- Greater weight loss
- Can be adjusted to your preferences
- Reduction in the adverse metabolic and hormonal adaptation of a regular diet
One example is a fourteen-day calorie cycle. You do a low-calorie diet for eleven days and the rest of the three remaining days, eat more calories, called a “re-feed.” Other cycles can ba a three-week diet with a one-week re-feeding.
This sounds like a new approach to eating. However, gatherers and hunters had similar patterns of eating hundreds of years ago. The reason was that there was not always food available in equal amounts daily. There were times when food was abundant and times when they went through scarcity, depending on the hunting success and time of year.
Some folks like having high-calorie days each week. For example, two days high calories and five days of low calories. Others prefer going a month low calorie and then adding in five-day high-calorie periods between months.
Some like dieting for three-weeks and then, having a period of high calories for one week. Others go for eleven days low-cal and then three days high-cal. Some do re-feeding when they feel like it, while others stick to a routine.
Monthly Cycles– This is five weeks on low-calories followed by a two-week high-calorie re-feeding.
Three On, One Off- this is a five to seven-day high-calorie re-feeding after three weeks on low-calories.
Mini-Cycles– This is a three-day high-calorie re-feeding after eleven days of low calories.
Weekend Cycles– This is a two-day high-calorie re-feeding after five-days on a low-calorie diet.
On low-calorie days, eat between five-hundred and one-thousand calories less. For higher calorie days, eat around a thousand calories more than your calculated level of maintenance. See which method works best. Simply increase your portion sizes or macros if you don’t count calories. Increase by a third for re-feeding. See? This method of eating is tailor-made for you by you.
Combining Exercise And Calorie Shifting
Working out plays a remarkable role in increased health. Hence, it makes sense to tailor your activity level to your calorie intake. The varied demands of working out can change your caloric needs for that day drastically.
Thus, it is a good idea to pair your most intense, longest exercise sessions with high-caloric days. Then, save the low-caloric days for lighter exercise sessions. This allows you to maximize performance while still losing fat.
Don’t over-complicate things, though. If you are exercising for weight loss and health, follow the listed protocols above and keep everything simple and basic.
To reiterate, you can tailor periods of low calorie around less-intense training and high-calorie days of re-feeding around intensive blocks of training and sessions.
Remember, this new eating technique called calorie shifting may improve success with your diet. It plays a significant role in protecting your hormones and metabolism, which plummet in starvation or stringent diets.
However, calorie shifting is still not a magical weight loss technique, despite its benefits. You will still need to concentrate on the basics such as getting enough protein, exercising, eating healthfully, and achieving a long term deficit in calories. Once you have this down and established it as a routine, cycling calories can help improve success in the long run.
Your Resting Metabolic Rate
This diet is based on the notion that by changing your consumed number of calories per day, you can increase the calories you burn at rest, also known as your resting metabolic rate.
This leads to losing weight. Whether you are on a high, medium or low calorie per day, meals need to include balanced macro-nutrients and varied food to ensure the adequate intake of nutrients.
The guidelines of the USDA for a healthy diet recommend a foundation of lean dairy, whole grains, vegetables, and fruit as the foundation. Fiber-rich vegetables and fruits help you feel satiated as you adhere to limited calories.
To be safe, visit a dietitian registered in your state or use the USDA Dietary Reference Intake. You can shift or cycle your everyday consumption around how many calories you need daily, weekly or monthly.
You can plan accordingly. Just remember the average number needs to be the maximum number of calories you need daily to lose weight. Remember not to go below your recommended calorie number.
Instead, consume balanced meals in fat, carbohydrates, and protein such as eggs and oatmeal, beans and rice, vegetables, and meat. Men should not eat less than 1,500 calories daily, and women not less than 1,200 calories daily.
This leads to binge eating, slower metabolism, and nutrient deficiencies. Breastfeeding or pregnant women, the elderly, children, and infants are not good candidates for dramatic calorie consumption shifts.