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Varying Daily Caloric Intake For Fat Loss?

Way back when I used to by boxes of Met-rx, I remember the little training booklet that came with each box had this nutrition plan in it which involved cycling or varying one’s daily caloric intake from I think 85% of BMR to 125% of one’s BMR. Basically, it said to literally flip a coin in the morning and that would determine which level you would eat at; the idea being to keep your body guessing and not getting used to one constant caloric intake. Since we all know that eventually the body will simply reset itself and burn only the calories it’s used to getting, this seeems to me like a good idea. But none of the popular diet plans here at T-mag seem to incorporate this daily caloric-cycling aspect. I’m curious as to why… is it not a valid technique? There is the Delta 1250 plan, but that is based on two-week cycles of over-feeding and underfeeding. All the current plans seem to take bodyweight and mulitiply it by X factor and that becomes your daily intake. Has anybody tried cycling daily calories at all?

i believe your refering to the zigzag diet. Dr. Squat ( frederick hatfield) recommends this diet. You can do a search on his website and it will explain more about it. I have used this diet appraoch before with good success. Basically its just like you said, cycle your calories up and down all week, or you can do a number of different ways like…2 days high, one day low ect… just aslong as your zigzagging. hope this helps.

Cycling calories is probably the ONLY way to crash though that barrier when your body just doesn’t want to lose any more weight.

I know from personal experience it is critical on THE ANABOLIC DIET as one quickly loses weight and does retain more muscle than any other diet. However, you reach a sticking point regardless of how low you drop those calories. I stayed at about 1500 calories a day for 2 months and my body weight stayed at a sunday night 205 lbs. I later realized that cycling calories would be the only way to make more CUTTING UP progress but decided to go into the bulk phase.

It worked good for me, much better than trying to stuff or starve myself day in and day out.It’s just like your training programs, if you don’t mix it up your body gets used to whatever you throw at it or in it. One piece of Hatfields advice was to “eat according to what you’re going to be doing in the next 3 hrs”. If you will be active eat more, if you are going to nap eat lighter. I do believe it makes a big difference to have good postworkout meals though. In other words eat good after training even though you will most likely be taking it easy.

I tried it and it worked although I can’t say if it was the ridiculously low caloric level or the cycling that worked for me. (I was targeting 950 calories as the average intake…don’t try this…it’s dumb, and I was too stupid to know any better at this time).

A friend of mine also tried, at a more "normal" caloric level of 1650. She lost 2 lbs/week for a while.

Tudor Bompa is also a fan of varied calorie intake, to take it a step furthersomething I was wondering was mixing diets. eg don’t diet, and say T Dawg in same week. Do you think makes sense?

I had a friend who was playing pro football in Europe but gave it up after he realized he wouldn’t make the pros in the US. Anyway, after he got out of the game he cut from 310 to 240 and attributes his success to calorie cycling. He did low cals/carbs for 3 days then a higher carb/cal day, followed by 3 days of low carb/cal and then one day of very high cals. It worked well for him. He did cardio in the am on an empty stomach and trained with weights 4-5 days/week.

I haven’t read the t-mag articles you refer to, or the Met-Rx diet plan, but a basic understanding of how the body’s thyroid and metabolism works shows how in most non-drug-assisted situations, fat loss while minimizing muscle loss and muscle gain while minimizing fat gain cannot be optimized without occasionally changing calorie intake level.