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  • Calorie cycling?

    Hi all,

    I'm already at a healthy weight (137 lbs. at 5'6.5) and I'm in pretty good shape, but I still have fat to lose and I'm determined to do it. I tried a ketogenic diet and that worked very well for a week, then I plateaued for a week, then I stopped. I'll probably try it again soon to see if that will kickstart more losses, but in the mean time I want to try calorie cycling. Has anyone done it, and if so, any recommendations or tips? I have been doing a 16 hour IF about four times a week for a few months, but I feel I need to try something new. The one thing I'm afraid of is I have a roaring appetite, and I know the low-cal days will be really hard. Any suggestions for reducing appetite are also appreciated. I started taking green tea extract about five days ago, but so far I haven't noticed an effect.

  • #2
    Cycling seems to work for a lot of people. It's probably wise not to use the same schedule forever.

    For me the best satiety hacks are coconut and bone soup (or both). They might seem calorie dense at first glance but they can really shut down my appetite for 12-20hr with even a small amount. Also the first hunger pang might be sodium/potassium so pickles or grape tomatoes can be handy.
    37//6'3"/185

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    • #3
      Come join us over at the Alternate Day Fasting thread. It's really working for me to drop the last bit of fat.

      And it's not a a full fast on the down days, just lower calories.
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      • #4
        I was doing calorie cycling, carb cycling, and IF for a few months together.

        On my lower calorie days I remember yoghurt would help keep my hunger at bay. Eating higher fat those days should help prevent hunger. For some people, eating in a very short window on low calorie days helps them not to over eat.
        Keep yourself busy.
        If you are a coffee drinker that should help in the morning too.
        Drink PLENTY of water, Sometimes your stomach growls only for water and then it goes away once you drink some water.
        Hope that helps
        Eating higher fat should deffinitly help with fullness.
        My Health and Nutrition Blog
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        • #5
          Originally posted by BklynGirl View Post
          Hi all,

          I'm already at a healthy weight (137 lbs. at 5'6.5) and I'm in pretty good shape, but I still have fat to lose and I'm determined to do it. I tried a ketogenic diet and that worked very well for a week, then I plateaued for a week, then I stopped. I'll probably try it again soon to see if that will kickstart more losses, but in the mean time I want to try calorie cycling. Has anyone done it, and if so, any recommendations or tips? I have been doing a 16 hour IF about four times a week for a few months, but I feel I need to try something new. The one thing I'm afraid of is I have a roaring appetite, and I know the low-cal days will be really hard. Any suggestions for reducing appetite are also appreciated. I started taking green tea extract about five days ago, but so far I haven't noticed an effect.
          Sounds like Bulletproof Fasting would be a perfect protocol for what you're looking for.
          Rebooted Body -- Ancestral Health + Modern Psychology | The Rebooted Body Podcast

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          • #6
            I did calorie cycling a year ago and it worked for me, but on lower calorie days I would be famished
            Too much calorie counting is really not-fun

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            • #7
              While calorie cycling made me lose weight, it caused binges and uncontrolled appetite, and it only worked when it was extreme. I am the same height as you are, and I was able to get to 113 lbs doing it, but totally blew it, couldn't recover since. On a normal diet with small caloric deficit and, yes, experiencing annoying hunger, I could hold about 120-125 lbs. On satiation, I get up over 130 lbs and keep climbing upward.

              With appetite reduction, the only things that work for me are the wrong things (jello, pop) and high protein intakes with super-low fat (like a cranberry smoothie with stevia or tuna soup with shirtake noodles) and hot broth. I was recommended to try the glucomannan, but did not get around to it. Jack3D, hoodia and coffee did not work for me.
              Last edited by Leida; 04-08-2013, 02:38 PM.
              My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
              When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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              • #8
                Thanks everyone. I looked at the alternate day fasting thread, but I know that is too extreme for me. I can't eat 500 calories a day, no matter how much I ate the day before--I'm pretty sure I couldn't eat less than 1,000 a day. I'm looking into more moderate cycling (including ~16 hour IF's), but I'm not sure how low I have to go on low days for the concept to work.

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                • #9
                  It's probably wise not to use the same schedule forever.

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                  • #10
                    I really like calorie cycling. I've been doing it leangains style since January 1st. Quick background: I'm 40, male, 167lbs (was 220 Pre-primal) been primal for 3+ years. On January 1st, I was 180 at around 15-16% bodyfat. I had always wanted to be around 7-8% bodyfat so I decided to go for it. I skip breakfast almost every day. I lift heavy 2x/week and sprint 1x/week. On non lifting days, I eat what would be considered about a 30% deficit (150g of protein, 30-40g carbs, 100g-110g fat). On lifting days, I eat about a 20% excess much of which is good primal carbs. My results after 3months: I've lost 13lbs and am around 10% BF. Hunger is non-existent or very manageable. I'm confident that the weightloss has been fat, not muscle due to appearance, measurements and lifting ability.

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                    • #11
                      While I think the alternate day fasting is an awesome protocol on a lot of levels, there's no reason you couldn't modify it for your needs. If you ate 1000 calories one day and 2000 the next, you'd average out at 1500 calories a day, and probably lose the last bit you want to lose. It might take a little time, but you wouldn't make yourself crazy.
                      "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

                      B*tch-lite

                      Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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                      • #12
                        Hi,
                        2350/day= 16450/week. Cycling between 1200 and 3600cal/day and end up around the average 2350...still cycling or over and under eating?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gergirl View Post
                          Hi,
                          2350/day= 16450/week. Cycling between 1200 and 3600cal/day and end up around the average 2350...still cycling or over and under eating?
                          are you actually tracking? or guessing? are you eating to hunger or purposefully restricting on low days? are you trying to lose? or maintain?
                          As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

                          Ernest Hemingway

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by noodletoy View Post
                            are you actually tracking? or guessing? are you eating to hunger or purposefully restricting on low days? are you trying to lose? or maintain?
                            I always track by "eye" or how do you say that?so guessing...
                            not trying to lose, but maintain.
                            It is just this week, I ate around 3600 to feel full on monday, around 1600 on tue, 3000 on wed, 1600 on thu, 3400 on fri and today I aiming at 1200,~ 1600 tomorrow. Only today and tomorrow are planned as a result of the last days.
                            This is where appetite took me this week. I wonder what happens why and if this is natural cal cycling.

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                            • #15
                              if you're trying to maintain and only eating to hunger each day, i think you are doing great!

                              some days are hungry days and some days i don't even think about eating. when your body is healthy, listen to it.
                              As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

                              Ernest Hemingway

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