Calorie cycle is a eating pattern that can help you persist in following your diet and losing weight.
Instead of consuming one calories Fixed daily, you will absorb alternating calories.
This article will explain everything you need to know about the calorie cycle.
What is a calorie cycle?
Calorie cycle, also known as calorie rotation, is a diet method that allows you to alternate low calorie intake and a lot of body load.
There is no need to abstain from any strict food or instructions. This method focuses only on calorie intake during certain days and weeks.
That is why it is not considered a diet, but a way to organize food intake into the body weekly or monthly.
Research shows the benefits of this method include weight loss , improve your ability to stick to diet, reduce hunger, reduce harmful hormones and adapt to metabolic processes with a normal weight loss diet .
Moreover, the calorie cycle can be done in the way that best suits you.
One of the most prestigious studies so far has used the 14-day cycle. Participants ate fewer calories in 11 days combined with 3 days of high calorie intake (also known as "compensatory"). Other studies have followed a 3-4 week diet with 1 week of compensation .
Although this is a relatively new method, but for centuries ago, it seemed that hunting and gathering people also ate in the same manner. This is because food is not always available at the same amount every day .
Depending on the time of the year and the amount of hunting food available, there are times when food is very scarce but there are times when it is plentiful .
Conclude: Calorie cycle is a diet that alternately changes the amount of calories absorbed by the body by day or by week.
Most common diets fail
To understand why the calorie cycle is beneficial, you need to know why most common diets fail.
The fact that the success rate in long-term weight loss is very low.
A summary of weight loss studies showed that most people regained about 60% of their weight, which they had reduced within 12 months .
After 5 years, most people will definitely regain their old weight, while about 30% of people increase their initial weight .
Another study found that about one-third of people regained weight after 1 year of dieting, only 28 of 76 participants maintained weight after falling .
Because it is difficult to lose weight and maintain weight later, top obesity authorities and researchers have focused on preventing disease .
Many studies emphasize adaptation to metabolism and psychological factors that make diets fail in the long term .
Conclude: Research shows that most dieters gain weight again and eventually have a higher weight than before.
Adaptation to normal diet
The body can feel the adaptation caused by dieting is a potential danger.
Many centuries ago, eating low-calorie for a time was as dangerous as anorexia or illness.
To support, the brain sends different signals to the body to conserve energy.
The body preserves energy through many biological changes, collectively referred to as "metabolic adaptation." These negative changes include:
- Reduce testosterone: Testosterone is an important hormone for both sexes, especially men. This hormone can drop low when dieting .
- Reducing excess energy consumption: Energy consumption shows the degree of metabolism or the number of calories burned. This degradation is also called an adaptive biomass or " hunger regime ".
- Thyroid hormone reduction: This hormone plays an important role in metabolism. Its level often decreases when dieting .
- Reduce physical activity: Physical activity, both conscious and unconscious, tends to decrease when dieting and may be a major factor in obesity and weight gain .
- Increased cortisol: This stress hormone can cause many health problems and, when continuously increased, this substance will become a major cause of increased fat .
- Reduce leptin: This is an important hormone that tells the brain when you feel full and stops eating .
- Ghrelin increase: This hormone contrasts with leptin, ghrelin is produced in the gastrointestinal tract and signals the brain when you're hungry .
These adaptations completely opposite With what you need to achieve long-term weight loss effects.
Although these changes may occur to some extent when you follow the calorie cycle, studies show that the effect is negligible.
Conclude: A low-calorie diet has a negative effect on hunger, hormones and metabolism. These changes make it hard to persist in long-term weight loss.
The hormones in the body can fight you
The body will do everything in its power to prevent weight loss, retain energy and even regain weight after dieting.
Changing weight-adjusted hormones plays an important role in this .
Like a seesaw, leptin reduces hunger, while ghrelin increases .
In a 6-month weight loss study, ghrelin levels increased by 24%. Another study that monitored a bodybuilder exercising to reduce fat showed a 40% increase in ghrelin over 6 months .
In one study, when participants lost 21% of their body weight, the level of leptin also decreased by more than 70%. Another study showed that after 3 days of high calorie intake, leptin levels increased by 28% and energy consumption increased by 7% .
One potential benefit of that calorie cycle is that ghrelin levels will decrease and leptin levels will increase during the time of high calorie intake.
For example, one study showed that in 2 weeks increased caloric intake to 29-45%, ghrelin levels dropped to 18% .
Another study compared the results after 3 months of a high-calorie diet and a low-calorie diet. Unexpectedly, ghrelin levels increased by 20% in the low-calorie group compared with a 17% decrease in the high-calorie group .
Conclude: Diets cause hunger hormones ghrelin to increase, no leptin hormone decreases. Calorie cycle helps minimize these negative changes.
Research demonstrates the effectiveness of calorie cycles
Some studies have found a sharp decline in burning calories every day when cutting down on calories absorbed in the body.
The chart below is the results of the study in 8 weeks, found that the burned calories have decreased by nearly 250 .
Another study found that a low-calorie diet for 3 weeks reduced metabolic rates to more than 100 calories.
However, when participants switched to a higher calorie diet on the fourth week, and metabolic rate Theirs have returned to the original level .
Other studies have shown a dramatic reduction in metabolism up to 500 calories a day during dieting. Calorie burning is very important for maintaining weight, because you have to reduce 20-25% of food each day just to maintain a new weight .
In terms of testosterone levels, an eight-week diet combined with regular exercise has had extremely negative effects with a 60% reduction in testosterone levels .
After 8 weeks of dieting, participants had a week of high calorie intake, and as a result, testosterone levels returned to normal .
Finally, the most relevant study performed a diet for 11 days, followed by 3 days of high calorie intake. This regimen is compared to the regular calorie diet .
Even if every 3 weeks they were allowed to eat whatever they wanted, the participants still had the results of losing weight and lowering their metabolic rate .
Conclude: Research shows that eating lots of calories on a few days at regular intervals can increase your metabolism and hormone levels as well as help you lose weight more effectively than a regular diet.
How to perform calorie cycle
There are no rules for a calorie cycle or a compensatory time.
Follow the most effective and appropriate dieting method, then alternate between this regimen and high calorie days.
After 1-4 weeks when you notice a change in your body, start eating calories.
Changes in the body can be reduced energy, decreased exercise performance, lack of sleep, reduced sexual desire or reduced fat level .
The diet can go smoothly in the first week or two, but then you will experience energy depletion, performance as well as quality of life.
That's when you need a calorie-boosting stage. It's best to listen to your body and then spend a few days recovering and refueling before going back to dieting.
Some people spend several days eating a lot of calories in a week. For example: 5 days of calorie diet and 2 days of high calorie intake.
Others prefer to follow a strict and strict diet for 2-4 weeks and then spend a longer period of 5 to 7 days eating more calories.
Conclude: Follow a diet that best suits you, then every 1 to 4 weeks, depending on how your body feels, look at the days of high calorie intake.
Examples of how to perform calorie cycles
Calorie cycles don't force you to follow any fixed method.
As you can see from the studies, some people diet for 3 weeks and then have one week to absorb more calories. Others perform shorter cycles, such as 11 days of diet and 3 days off.
In addition, there are some people who will take off meals when they feel they need it, while others will work on schedule or cycles.
Here are some calorie cycle methods for your reference:
- Weekend cycle: 5 days on a low-calorie diet, the last 2 days eat a lot of calories.
- Short cycle: 11 days on a low-calorie diet, then compensate for it within 3 days.
- 3 weeks of diet, 1 week off: A low-calorie diet for 3 weeks and then spend 5 to 7 days off.
- Monthly cycle: 4-5 weeks of calorie diet and then increase calories in 10-14 days.
On days of low calorie intake, reduce calories to about 500-1000. For holidays, eat more than the previous calorie level of more than 1000.
Test each method to find the mode that suits you best. If you do not count calories, you simply need to increase your food intake or increase the amount of food by 1/3 at the time of compensation.
Conclude: You can try several methods such as a short 5-day diet and 2-day compensatory diet or a longer-term diet for 3-5 weeks and 1-2 weeks of compensation.
Combine calorie cycle with exercise
Because exercise is important for health and weight loss, you should adjust calories according to your level of exercise .
Different forms of exercise can alter the body's calorie needs.
Therefore, you should combine the longest and most intense exercise sessions with days of high calorie intake. On the other hand, take lighter exercise or rest on diets.
Gradually, this will help you both reduce fat and still increase your intense exercise as needed.
However, you should not make your daily activities too complicated. If you only exercise for health and weight loss, you can choose to follow one of the cycles mentioned above.
Conclude: Take high-intensity and long-term exercise on high-calorie intake, and on the contrary, your calorie diet should only be moderately gentle.
Things to remember
Calorie cycle is a new method that can improve diet effectiveness.
This way seems to play an important role in protecting metabolism and hormones. Because these factors can often be impaired in a normal calorie-restricted diet.
Besides the health benefits, this is also a great way to lose weight.
However, you still need to focus on the basics of weight loss such as long-term calorie reduction, healthy eating, exercise and absorption. enough protein .
Once the basics are done, the calorie cycle can certainly help improve long-term weight loss effectiveness.