Knowing how to calorie cycle can mean the difference between an average weight-loss program and one that kicks your fat-loss into overdrive. Ordinary programs work for a certain amount of time with mediocre results. Learning how to calorie cycle is the key to breaking through weight-loss plateaus and burning unwanted body fat.
Write your weight on a notepad. Do not guess how much you weigh or round the numbers up or down. The formula you will use to calculate your calorie cycle needs to be accurate.
Start with one month out of the calendar year and divide it into two weeks. Calculate how many calories you need to eat for the high end of your daily calorie cycle. Use a calculator and enter your weight, multiply it by 12 and add 100. The answer will tell you how many calories to eat for the first two weeks of the month. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, multiply this by 12 to get 1,680 and add 100 to get 1,780 daily calories.
Calculate the last two weeks of the month for the low end of your daily calorie cycle by using a calculator and entering your weight x 12 - 300. The answer will tell you how many calories per day to eat for the last two weeks of the month. Using the same example, multiply 140 by 12 to get 1,680 and subtract 300 to yield 1,380 daily calories.
Divide the total calories you need per day by three to get the total number of calories you should eat per meal. So, divide 1,380 by three to get 460 calories per meal.
- The best time to hop on the bathroom scale is in the morning; weighing yourself at this time will provide a more accurate number than if you get on the scale later in the day. Your body will be heavier later in the day because of your water and food intake. By morning, your body has had time to adjust and eliminate some of the goodies and water that you ate and drank during the previous day.
- If the goal is to lose body fat and tone up, keep your body guessing. If you continue to do the same thing, you will get the same results, which causes your body to plateau and fat loss to stop. To continue getting results, change your calorie intake often; do not always eat the same amount of calories or foods.
- Divide your daily calorie intake into five or six small meals a day to increase your metabolism.
- Find healthy food options that will help you stick to your calorie cycle; fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains and lean meats should be at the top of your healthy foods list.
- Consult your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program to ensure it is right for your current needs and level of health.
Based in Las Vegas, Mia Moore has been writing nutrition, fitness and health-related articles since 1999. Her articles have appeared in Gold’s Gym newsletters, Chef for Kids newsletters, “Lady of America” magazine and Corporate Wellness newsletters. Moore is an ISSA certified master personal fitness trainer and nutritionist. She is currently attending school to get her MD/PhD.