Skip to content

Calorie Cycling: what are the advantages of this diet over all other conventional diets.

With a traditional diet, you determine how many calories you can eat per day and then plan your meals so that your total calorie count is close to that number. With Ca lorie Cycling, you alternate the number of calories you eat each day by taking in less one time and more the next.

Calorie Cycling - What are the advantages of this diet over other diets.

Although this is a relatively new approach, people probably engaged in similar eating behaviors thousands of years ago because food was not available in the same quantities every day. Depending on the season and hunting success, there were times when it was scarce and others when it was plentiful.

Calorie Cycling - people thousands of years ago had similar eating patterns.

However, to understand why ca lorie cycling can be effective, you need to know how the human metabolism works and why conventional diets are massively unsuccessful in the long run.

How the metabolism adapts to conventional diets

With Calorie Cycling, you change the number of calories each day

Many studies point to the metabolic adaptations and psychological factors that lead to long-term diet failure . Diet-induced adaptations suggest that your body perceives them as a potentially dangerous condition. Centuries ago, a period of low calories would have been equated with starvation or disease. To survive, the brain sends various signals to the body to conserve energy. This is done through numerous biological changes collectively known as metabolic adaptations. These negative adaptations include:

  • A decrease in testosterone: testosterone is a key hormone that can drop to low levels during dieting.
  • A decrease in resting energy expenditure: this decrease is also known as adaptive thermogenesis and is sometimes referred to as “fasting mode.”
  • A decrease in thyroid hormones: this hormone plays a key role in metabolism. During dieting, its levels often decrease.

How the metabolism adapts to conventional diets

  • Decrease in physical activity: physical activity usually decreases during dieting and can be a key factor in obesity and becoming overweight again.
  • Increase in cortisol: This stress hormone can cause many health problems and play a role in fat accumulation if its level is constantly elevated.
  • Leptin decrease: This important hunger hormone signals the brain that you are full and should stop eating.
  • Increasing ghrelin: Ghrelin is produced in the digestive tract and signals the brain that you are hungry.

These adjustments are the opposite of what you need for successful long-term weight loss.

Your hormones are working against you

There are no definitive rules for implementing calorie cycling

Your body does everything it can to slow weight loss, conserve energy, and even regain weight after a diet. Changes in weight-loss hormones play an important role in this process. Like a seesaw, leptin decreases hunger and ghrelin increases it.

In a 6-month study in 2002, ghrelin levels increased by 24% during a diet-induced weight loss of 17%. The researchers note that this is consistent with the assumption that ghrelin plays a role in the long-term regulation of body weight. In a 1997 study, leptin levels dropped by more than 70% when participants lost 21% of their body weight.

This is one of the greatest potential benefits of Ca lorie Cycling , as periods of higher caloric intake can decrease ghrelin and increase leptin.

How to implement cyclical calorie distribution

CONCLUSION: Dieting can lead to an increase in the hunger hormone ghrelin and a decrease in the satiety hormone leptin. Ca lorie Cycling can help by decreasing these negative hormonal adjustments.

What are the advantages of Calorie Cycling over other diets?

Calorie cycling can reduce negative hormonal adaptations

Proponents of Ca lorie Cycling argue that regularly changing your calorie intake keeps your body from getting used to certain amounts. This, in turn, keeps your metabolism high, which also leads to weight loss.

How to implement cyclical calorie distribution: there are no definitive rules for implementing the calorie cycle. Some people prefer higher calorie days per week – for example, 5 low calorie days and 2 high calorie days. Others like to follow a fixed low calorie program for 2-4 weeks before adding slightly longer 5-7 day high calorie periods. However, in this case, if you notice physical effects such as a decrease in energy, sleep, or sex drive, you may want to add a period with more calories.

Your hormones work against you on conventional diets

Here is a typical cyclical calorie plan for a person who wants to eat an average of 2000 calories per day:

2000 calories on Monday, 1600 on Tuesday, 2400 on Wednesday, 2000 on Thursday, 1700 on Friday, 2300 on Saturday, and 2000 on Sunday. Others are characterized by extreme calorie fluctuations – for example, 2000 one day, 800 the next, 1800 the day after that, and so on. The best thing to do is to listen to your body.

Calorie Cycling keeps your metabolism high, which leads to weight loss

Bottom line: follow a diet that you enjoy and can stick with, and then simply add higher calorie meals at regular intervals depending on how your body responds and the results you get.

Combine Calorie Cycling with exercise

Adjust calorie intake to activity level

Since exercise plays an important role in health and weight loss, it makes sense to adjust your calorie intake to your activity level. Different exercise demands can drastically change your daily calorie needs. That’s why it’s wise to schedule your longest, most intense workouts on high-calorie days. On the other hand, save the lighter workouts for the low-calorie days. This way, you can cut fat over time and still maximize your performance.

Combine calorie cycling with exercise

Bottom line: schedule your high-calorie days and strength training sessions around intense blocks of workouts, and match low-calorie periods with workouts that are less intense or have a lower priority.