This week I will give you the secret for getting consistent results (e.g. fat loss and increase in muscle tone). This secret will really put the icing on the cake as you will avoid the nasty plateaus that usually come after weeks of dieting. The secret is called caloric cycling.
By following the cycling principle in dieting you ensure that you never reach the nasty weight loss plateaus that most dieters encounter.
Remember when we have talked about the fact that after the body gets used to an exercise program it stops responding and therefore ceases to change and get benefits. The same applies to the diet.
Why Caloric Cycling?
Therefore, in order to keep losing fat and toning your body, caloric cycling is an essential part of the program. As a matter of fact, recent research points to the fact that you lose faster (up to twice as fast) by cycling your calories than by not cycling them. So is it worth it to cycle calories? You tell me.
In order to accomplish these goals, we need to do the following.
- For weeks 1 and 2 our caloric intake will be the following: (LBMx12) + 100. This new caloric value will give you the macronutrients that you need for the day, which you can find below in the table.
- Remember to divide this new amount of calories and macronutrients that you need by five (if you are a male) or by four (if you are a female). This will give you how many calories and macronutrients you can consume per meal.
- For weeks 3 and 4 our caloric intake will be the following: (LBMx12) - 300. Then go to the nearest caloric value in the table. This new caloric value will give you the macronutrients that you need for the day.
- Continue alternating every two weeks in this manner for fantastic results.
- Remember to divide the amount of calories and macronutrients that you need by five (if you are a male) or by four (if you are a female). This will give you how many calories and macronutrients you can consume per meal.
- Start writing down everything that you eat, the caloric content of each food item, and the macronutrient values in order to ensure that you don't go over the allotted caloric intake and macronutrient intake that you need to consume per meal.
A male subject wants to lose fat and gain muscle tone. This subject has a lean body mass of 170 pounds. Therefore his base caloric number is 2140 based the fact that (170 x 12) + 100 = 2140. So for weeks 1 & 2 the caloric intake needs to be approximately 2140.
For macronutrient balance we will use a ratio of 45% Carbs, 35% Protein and 20% Fats. Therefore, this ratio indicates that he needs 241 grams of carbs, 187 grams of protein and no more than 48 grams of fat divided over five meals. Therefore, each meal should contain the following.
Calories: 408 calories
Carbs: 46 grams
Protein: 36 grams
Fats: No more than 9 grams of fat per meal
In order to figure out what type of foods will cover these needs, go to the nutrition link of my web site.
Don't Strive For Absolute Perfection, Strive For Consistency
Many times we see dieters that start out great. However, there comes a day that for some reason or another they lose a workout or they blow their diets. After that day, they become so discouraged that they continue losing workouts or destroying their diet "up until next Monday", as they say. However, many Mondays go by before the person gets back in track (if he/she ever does).
In the mean time, muscle tone fades and the fat pounds pile up. Please remember the following. We are all human and we are entitled to make mistakes. Always strive for perfection, but if for whatever reason one day things don't go as well as they should, then move on, forget about it and continue with your program.
If you blow a meal one day dont make it any worse by eating bad all day long. If you miss a workout, don't wait until next Monday to start over.
Just continue with your program the way it is laid out. At the end it will be your determination and your consistency that will enable you to win the battle of the bulge.
Troubleshooting Your Caloric Intake
The optimum fat loss per week is two pounds. Any more than two pounds a week and you will lose muscle which will result in the loss of muscle tone which in turn yields a saggy look. Having said that, I would like to point out the fact that the formulas above are pretty accurate.
However, there are some people that have a higher than usual metabolism and others a slower than usual metabolism. Therefore, some people may find themselves losing more than 2 pounds a week at the prescribed number above and an others may find themselves gaining weight. If this is the case, don't panic!
The solution for the person losing too much is to add an extra 300 calories to the result of his base caloric number. This will represent his new maintenance amount. Then follow steps 1 through 6 described in the Calorie Cycling section above but using the new base caloric number. After two weeks he/she should assess how this is working by measuring his lean body mass.
If the person is still losing weight after two weeks, he/she should then again increase calories by an additional 300 and repeat the process until the caloric intake that allows for a two pound fat loss while at the same time adding muscle tone is found.
The solution for the subject that is getting fat at his/her current caloric level is to follow the same process described above with the exception that 200 calories will be subtracted from the base caloric number.