Calorie Cycling for Effortless Belly Fat Loss
CALORIE CYCLING IS THE ALTERNATE CONSUMPTION OF LOW-CALORIE AND HIGH-CALORIE FOODS. Here, you set up your meals throughout the week to regulate calorie intake. Other than a specified number of calories you may eat on certain days, there are no strict guidelines or diet restrictions. Ordinarily, people eat fewer calories every day to lose weight. In calorie cycling, you rotate the consumption of fewer calories every other day.
TYPES OF CALORIE DEFICIT DIETING
Continuous Energy Restriction Model
When you reduce daily calorie consumption according to your diet, you follow the continuous restriction model. Here, you eat fewer calories every day to lose weight. For example, to break even you need maintenance calories of 2500 a day. If you subtract 500 calories every day to lose weight, you end up eating only 2000 calories per day. At the end of the week, you shall have consumed only 1400 calories, instead of 17500.
Calorie Cycling Model
In this model, to lose weight you consume fewer calories only on alternate days. If you do not follow any calorie restriction in your diet, here is what happens. Assuming your maintenance calories are 2500 per day, at the end of the week you would consume a total of 17500 calories (2500 calories per day x 7 days). On the other hand, if you apply the principle of this model to your diet, you will have a situation similar to the following examples.
* Example 1
In this calorie cycling example, let us assume you consume 2500 calories only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Your total caloric consumption for those days is 7500. Then, you reduce calorie consumption to 1500 per day on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. For those four days, your total calorie consumption is only 6000. Your total weekly calorie consumption would amount only to 13500 only.
This calorie cycling meal plan example will make your diet more enjoyable, convenient, and sustainable. You can use this model in many different variations and integrate it with different types of diets.
* Example 2
Let us consider this variation as another example of this model. Once again let us say that your maintenance need is 2500 calories per day. So, you fast for 24 hours on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, you eat at maintenance. At Friday’s end, you shall have created a 7500-calorie deficit.
During the weekend, you will have a lot more room to eat whatever you want. Even if you ate 4000 calories on Saturday and another on Sunday, you would still wind up with a 4500-calorie deficit at the end of the week.
Remember this is just an example. You do not have to fast at all when you set this up for yourself. The point is that you have to start viewing fat loss from a wider lens. You do not have to be in a deficit every single day.
If you unintentionally ate way too much food when you were supposed to be in a deficit, there is no need to feel guilty. You can easily make up for it with a couple of days of fasting or a more aggressive calorie deficit eating. The weekly average is more important than the daily average.
It is not so much about how many calories you get per day. It is more of the total calories at the end of the week. You might split them up or take in the same number each day. It really should not matter as long as you come with the desired calorie total at the end of the week.
Cycling your calories gives you a far more flexible option for burning fat. As long as you are mindful of calories in versus calories out, you should see the results that you want.
The Two Models Compared
The continuous energy restriction model makes you feel you are perpetually dieting. It feels like you are not getting to your destination, even if you are actually burning fat. This feeling could cause you to let your guard down. Then, you start to indulge without a sense of guilt or worry. This why people end up quitting eventually.
You do not feel this way with calorie cycling. This is because you can eat whatever you like on nonrestrictive days. You only reduce calories on restrictive days. Ultimately, it balances out at the end of the week. In fact, you might even want to set it up in whatever way suits your lifestyle and preferences best.
THE UNDERLYING PRINCIPLE
This calorie cycling science works by tricking your body into believing you are not on a diet. By shifting calories from one meal day to another, your body does not detect the drastic tip in calorie intake.
Calorie cycling works for anyone who wants to lose weight fast without creating a big deficit in food intake. You start the diet with reduced calories in one day and higher in the next. Alternating tricks the body into thinking there is no deficit in food intake. Confused, the body burns off fats in large amounts because you have stimulated its natural fat metabolism.
The Body’s Reaction
At first, the body would accept the lower calorie intake. Then, when the calorie count dips below normal, the body’s natural fat-burning mechanism would slow down a little. This is to compensate for the lack of calorie intake. The body does this because it perceives there would be an impending famine. Its intent is to protect the body from starvation.
So, initially, you may enjoy a little weight loss. Then, you would experience increasingly fewer results. The reason is that the body has now learned to adapt to the new deficit. So, the more you cut down on calorie intake, the more it would respond by slowing down its fat-burning activity.
CALORIE CYCLING AND INTERMITTENT FASTING
In this section, we shall refer to calorie cycling as carb cycling. Typically, calorie cycling is part of the carb cycling process. There are 4 calories per gram in carbohydrates. Therefore, regulation of carbohydrate consumption while maintaining fat and protein levels results in a corresponding reduction in calorie intake. “Re-feed” days increase carbohydrates and calories.
Carb cycling is a way of eating that utilizes days of eating lower amounts of carbs and days of eating higher amounts of carbs. The purpose is to burn fat, build muscles, and maintain a flexible lifestyle.
Flexible intermittent fasting is not a diet, but rather an eating pattern. It determines not what you eat but when you eat. Intermittent fasting is flexible. You can choose an eating window of time. Alternatively, you can choose to eat all of your meals, and then follow it by a short fast. This allows you to eat lots of great food to eat bigger meals.
Putting This All Together
There are many different ways you can do it. Here is one simple but effective way.
Start with carb cycling. You alternate between days of eating higher amounts of carbs and days of eating lower amounts of carbs.
Then, do intermittent fasting. Stop eating two hours before bed. Then, push your breakfast back for just one hour.
During your eating window, eat lots of good food. This approach can help you find a pattern that works for your body and your lifestyle for the long term. By supplementing calorie cycling with intermittent fasting, you increase the weight loss effect even more.
IS CALORIE CYCLING FOR YOU?
Calorie cycling is just one of the many tools you can use to reach your goal. It does not work for everybody. It may be effective for some, but completely worthless for others.
For some, calorie cycling results in a number of benefits. It may boost their slow metabolism and break their weight loss plateau. For them, it is all about building a healthier approach for the long term, not leaping back and forth between deprivation and excess.
It can be a way to control their calories more effectively and gain a little more energy. It can actually help improve their physical performance. They get a little better workout if they eat more carbs, more calories, particularly on their training days.
Sometimes they do not get as hungry on their off days. So, they are able to drop their calories lower. Therefore, it gives them tighter control of their calories and better workouts.
If you happen to be one of those people, it might very well be an effective tool for you. You might find it really useful for losing fat because it helps you with caloric control. It helps you increase energy and have good training sessions. Then, you shall be joining those who can share their own calorie cycling success stories to the world.
If you do not seem to get those results, calorie cycling may not be of much help to you. It is one of those tools that can be helpful for some individuals. For others, it is completely useless and, in some cases, even counterproductive. It all depends on how their body responds to things. Some people prefer it over more popular methods. But it is not crucial that others do it to achieve results.
So, is there a benefit to calorie cycling? For some people, probably. As always, do what works best for you. There’s no magical diet plan or strategy that works better than others.
The biggest challenge to calorie cycling is the self-discipline it requires. However, since calorie cycling does not have strict guidelines, there are no hard and fast rules for how to put calorie cycling into practice.
While many individuals feel better with straight caloric restriction, calorie cycling is better for some. There may be a psychological benefit to calorie cycling that makes it more effective for certain people. However, calorie cycling is not necessarily superior to any other dieting strategy in terms of breaking plateau or slowing down metabolic adaptations.