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Why Gradually Increase/Decrease Calories?

Whenever someone is told to increase or decrease their calories they’re always told to do it gradually. Why? Does it really matter that much if it’s done gradually or not?

Changing calories gradually gives your body time to adapt to the new intake level, instead of storing the extra calories as fat or going into starvation mode.

[quote]ninjaboy wrote:
Changing calories gradually gives your body time to adapt to the new intake level, instead of storing the extra calories as fat or going into starvation mode.[/quote]

Is there any evidence of that or is it just one of those beliefs out there? I guess if it was a huge jump it’d matter, but what about 500 calories? Should that be done gradually?

I only ask because I feel like I’m wasting time gradually lowering my calories when I’d rather just drop the entire amount at once.

if you drop it sharply you will probably lose muscle along with the fat loss

In my experience, when people drop calories dramatically, they quickly lose tons of weight. Then they hit a viciously stubborn plateau or begin to gain fat on low calories, because of the negative metabolic adaptations. They get fast fat loss for about 2 weeks, then struggle with fat gain for a ridiculously long time thereafter.

A friend of mine recently did this, and when she regained all the lost fat and then some, it disproportionately went to her navel. Her body did not appreciate the steep drop in calories and after a few glorious weeks of losing fat, packed it right back on her midsection.

What do you consider a dramatic drop in calories? 1000? Anything over 500?

I’m sure it’s relative to your current maintenance, what kind of foods you have been eating, whether you have recently lost weight, and your activity levels. Also whether you are willing to lose muscle or not.

I’m not sure about losing weight, but before i tried to all the sudden increase my calories by at least 1000 a day and felt sluggish and full all the time.