When it comes to weight loss, there’s mountains of advice available. Yet, each piece of advice seems to contradict the next, and some diets seem as if they’d cause more harm than good. If you’ve decided to try and lose weight, this can make choosing a new diet plan very confusing.
Calorie shifting, or calorie cycling, is an up-and-coming new diet technique. It’s used in a variety of popular diets, usually under a slightly different name. However, it might not be quite as new as you think.
Of course, it’s good to think carefully before starting any new diet. Everyone is different, and what works for one person might not work for another. It’s always a good idea to discuss your options with your doctor before committing to any big diet change.
However, calorie shifting is something that can be applied to just about any lifestyle and diet. It’s an eating habit that you can live with, rather than simply tolerate. It allows greater freedom, with the option of treating yourself occasionally. You can even eat more on certain days.
So, with no further ado, let’s discuss a little bit more about calorie shifting and why it could be perfect for you.
What Is Calorie Shifting?
Simply put, calorie shifting involves eating different amounts of calories every day. Instead of working one day at a time, you’ll plan your calories out over a period of about a week.
For example, you might eat around 2800 calories one day, but only eat around 1500 the next.
Most of us stick to a routine, and our food falls neatly into our schedule. So, we might find ourselves eating the same foods every week, at the same time.
There’s nothing wrong with this, of course. However, our body quickly gets used to a schedule. That means that sooner or later, your body will be prepared for that large lunch on weekdays. It kick starts your metabolism to deal with the expected number of calories.
So, where’s the problem?
This can be an issue if you’re trying to lose weight. Losing weight involves walking the fine line between getting sufficient nutrition into your body and encouraging your metabolism to burn away excess fat.
If your body is adjusted to your daily or weekly calorie intake, you’re unlikely to get to the “fat burning” part of the day. Understandably, this is frustrating. You might try eating less food, but your body will adjust to that, too. Cutting back and back on the amount of food you’re eating isn’t healthy, and doesn’t lead to sustainable weight loss.
What Are the Benefits of a Calorie Shifting Diet?
The purpose of any diet is take in less calories than you’re burning off. Calorie shifting diets require a little more pre planning and organization than some other diets, but it does mean that you have some wiggle room.
It’s also great for a flexible schedule. For example, fasting diets are often quite popular. But what if a big work day falls on one of your fasting days? Can you get through the day with only minimal calories?
With a calorie shifting diet, you can work your lower calorie days around to suit you. This can be handy if you work part time, or if some days of the week are more hectic than others. Busier days require more calories!
Neither does calorie shifting work by eliminating certain food groups. Some diets work this way, and this can cause long term health damage.
Even with this flexibility, calorie shifting diets have the potential to help you lose weight. They’re also sustainable diets. This means that you can incorporate this kind of diet into your lifestyle long term.
The higher calorie count days give you an opportunity to treat yourself. Sweets and treats are fine, so long as you eat them in moderation, along with a balanced diet.
Is A Calorie Shifting Diet Healthy?
Properly organized, a calorie shifting diet is perfectly healthy. To a large extent, however, this depends on you.
Remember, you’ll only have calorie limits to work within. The kind of food you eat is completely up to you. This gives you the chance to eat a good diet - or not.
If you don’t use a meal plan, you might find yourself eating more calories than you intended. Of course, this means that your weight loss goals will suffer.
How Do I Get Started?
Preparation is the key to a successful week of calorie shifting. You’ll need to work out in advance how many calories you need to eat that week. From there, you can divide the calories up among the days of the week.
This means that you’ll also need to to create a meal plan. Calculating calories doesn’t lend itself to whipping up quick meals after work.. It’s always easier to eat well if you have a healthy meal planned for yourself ahead of time.
You can eat whatever foods you like, presuming you stay within your allotted weekly calories. However, you need to make sure that you’re getting the correct amounts of nutrients and vitamins from your diet.
Will a Calorie Shifting Diet Work for Me?
Not every diet works for everyone. It’s possible calorie shifting won’t offer any more benefits for you than regular calorie restriction.
Even if that’s the case, there are plenty of benefits offered by calorie shifting that you won’t get from regular restriction.
The theory behind calorie restriction is that it keeps your metabolism on its toes. This prevents your body from getting in a rut and slowing down. This can help to move weight loss along more quickly than some other conventional diets.
Calorie shifting also gives you the opportunity to eat more calories if you need it. Sure, a shifting diet takes a little more organizing than sticking to the same diet every day. However, it offers something that calorie restriction doesn’t - freedom.