On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, we are asked about our thoughts on calorie cycling for quick weight loss.
In particular, do we approve of this viewer’s calorie cycling fluctuations when they go below 900 calories a day?
This was a question from #AskLiveLeanTV Ep. 011.
This was a long question, so I’ll summarize it below.
@LanaRIDESGAGA on Twitter asks: I’m a 22 year old girl who weighs 115 pounds. I count my calories everyday because I tend to gain weight very easily. For the majority of my teenage years, I was trying the worst diets to lose weight. As a result of this, I’m guessing my metabolism is damaged quite a bit. In order for me to maintain my weight, my daily calorie intake is 1,200 calories. I also go for an hour long fast walk.
Every time I consume an extra 300 calories, I see an increase on the weight scale. The only way I can lose weight is by reducing my calorie intake to 800-900 calories a day. I only do this for 3 days in a row, or less, and then I go back to consuming 1,200 calories a day. I fear doing anymore damage to my metabolism. Do you approve of my fluctuating calories? In other words, is this a good approach to calorie cycling for quick weight loss?
Okay, a couple of things stand out here.
Just telling us your age and weight, without knowing your height, makes it a little difficult for us to know what your body composition is.
For example, being 115 pounds may be a normal weight for someone who is 5′ 0″ tall, but if you’re 5′ 5″ or above, that could be considered underweight.
Depending on your body composition, we may actually encourage you to gain more muscle mass.
Your body type also matters.
For example, if you are more of a mesomorph or an endomorph body type, you may weigh more because those body types tend to have bigger bone structures.
This means you may weigh more, but still be very low body fat.
Regardless, if you weight 115 pounds, we doubt you would have a lot of body fat.
But everyone has their own ideal body type, so if you want to be super thin, that’s a personal choice.
Now, let’s answer your question about if we approve of you fluctuating your calories by 300.
We don’t have a problem with calorie cycling.
We’re fine with fluctuating daily calories up and down by 300 based on your daily activity level and what you see on the weight scale.
But, we don’t recommend you weigh yourself on the weight scale every day.
We also believe only eating 800-900 calories a day is really low.
You also mentioned you go on fast walks for an hour a day, so it sounds like you’re not following an actual fitness workout program.
If it was up to us, and we were your trainers, we would have you following a structured workout program instead of just walking.
These full body workouts could be done at the gym, or could just be a home workout program that incorporates full range bodyweight movements.
A good example of this would be our Live Lean 15 no equipment workout program that can be done at home.
Depending on your goals, that’s how you should be choosing your workout program.
Calorie cycling for weight loss, by fluctuating your daily calories up and down by 300, is not the problem.
The potential problem is the low level that you already have your calories set at.
800 calories a day is low.
That worries us, because only consuming 800 calories a day may cause further damage to your metabolism.
As your trainers, our advice would be to work out more.
By being more active, you’ll raise your metabolism and burn more calories throughout the day.
By doing this, you can then eat more calories, while still being in that calorie deficit.
This approach to calorie cycling will help you stay lean instead of just being thin.
Hopefully that helps you.
Now it’s time to go take our Live Lean Body Quiz to find you the best program for your specific goals and needs.
Simply answer four quick questions and we’ll get you on the journey to Living Lean.
Here’s the link to take the Live Lean Body Quiz.
Now I want you to go check out this video post on the 3 Ways To Create A Calorie Deficit For Weight Loss.
This is the smart way to do it.
Start by taking our FREE Live Lean Body Quiz to get access to the best program specific to your goals, current fitness level, and access to equipment.
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Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.