Thread: Plateau?
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Old 10-21-2010, 02:39 PM   #18 (permalink)
FitDay Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Westminster, CO
Posts: 965

Originally Posted by mecompco View Post
Just to play devil's advocate (and I'll freely admit I'm somewhat ignorant on the topic), how can an extra 200-500 cals a day be good while the occasional one day at week with an extra 1500 cals be bad? I'm no math genius, but it "just don't add up". Michael
It is not just math, biology plays a big role. Your body needs energy and it needs to store that energy so it is available at any time. To do this your body converts nutrients into glycogen that is stored in your muscles. (Think of it as your gas tank.) As you go about your day your body uses some of the glycogen. When you eat those calories go first to replenish or top off your tank. Any excess gets stored in long term storage as fat. If you are at a caloric deficit then your body has to go to long term storage to convert fat into glycogen to top off your tank.

When you eat a 1500 calorie surplus in one day your glycogen reserves get refilled and then all the rest gets stored as fat. Think of it like this, you go to the gas station and refill your gas tank. Now you drive 50 miles and stop and put 2 more gallons in your tank to refill. But if you try to put in 5 gallons the excess 3 gallons is going to spill over.

This is also why spreading your calories throughout the day is advocated rather than eating a large percentage of your calories in one sitting. Cheat days can be beneficial to resetting your metabolism and your attitude but should not be an excuse to unlimited binging. There are other threads about cheat days and zig-zagging your calories if you are interested.

I believe everyone needs to find a longterm plan that they can live with. I have taken the approach that this is a lifestyle change that I will maintain for the rest of my life. If you approach this as a short term diet to acheive a goal and you plan on returning to your previous eating habits then (as you have experienced in the past) you will bounce right back up the scale.

Good luck on your journey.

Male, Age 53 Height 5'-11"
Start, Spring 2009....,.. 270.0 lbs
January 21, 2010. ....,...255.0 lbs (Joined Fitday)
September 10, 2010..,..223.8 lbs. (-46.2lbs)
Mini-Goal......................225 Achieved 9/21/2012
Mini-Goal......................220 Achieved 10/26/2012
Current.........................216.2 lbs. (-53.8 lbs)

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