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Old 08-29-2010, 03:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default under 1 day, over the next?

So we are having a potluck lunch at work today. I am really wanting some yummy bad stuff. So if I went under my intake one day, can I go over the next? No seriously, I want to know, does this work--what if I added in some good cardio too?
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes, it definitely works. I have always tended to look at my calories and nutrients on a weekly basis (FitDay has this under Reports) rather than daily. Also, when I was in weight loss mode, I did calorie cycling (Google zig zag calories). Some days lower, some days higher (higher days usually when I had cardio classes, like you mentioned), but all averaging out to a loss. It is an excellent way to fit in things like special occasions or going out to dinner or when you just need a favorite food.

You can go here http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calculator.htm and put in your stats and click on the zig zag link and it will suggest calorie counts for each days of the week for you.
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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wow thank you Cassie
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Question Zig zag advice, please?

Great question and super-great answer!

I have a related question. I am a newbie at this and yesterday accidentally burned 700 calories more than I ate due to a really fun, long bike ride after which I was too tired to eat. I tried to eat to make up a part of the deficit, but then decided, if it's easy to undereat, I might as well reap the benefit of faster weight loss.

Or so I thought. Well, today I was starving. I didn't know about zig zag so I was trying to achieve my usual 250-calorie deficit but I blasted right by that and ate several hundred cals MORE than I burned. It scared me; I felt out of control and discouraged. This thread REALLY helps, though. Any further advice on how to make sure an undereat-day doesn't lead to a really out-of-control over day? Thanks!
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The added bonus to zig-zagging is that it supposedly keeps your metabolism from settling into getting used to a certain amount of calories...keeps it guessing, so to speak. In theory, this helps avoid plateaus.

TekaGo, I would say that usually it is fine to be under by that many calories, but it depends on how many calories you have to begin with, and it also depends on exertion and individual factors as well. For example, if I burn 2100 calories (I wish!) and eat 1400, that's probably okay, whereas if I burn 1500 and eat 800, that's probably going to have some effects I don't want. 1400 is a healthy amount to eat in a day; 800's a little on the low side, even if there's still a 700 calorie difference between burned and eaten.

I usually tried to do my high days right after my low ones; it helped me get through the low ones by planning what I could eat the next day . Also, eat foods that really fuel your body after such a workout, like a combo of carb and protein. The protein will replenish your muscles and slow down the carbs hitting your body.

Finally, look at everything in the process as a lesson learned!
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks, Cassie! This makes so much sense and is encouraging! I like the idea of seeing it as a learning process. At least with FitDay we can go back and see exactly what we did. So I did, and learned (I hope). It was a combination of things.

The balance was 1800/2500, but the 2500 was abnormal for me; I normally have to make a very conscious effort to break 2000 even though I'm fairly tall, because I have a desk job an am not a natural athlete. Because of all the exercise the day before, I got tired fast the next day, and being tired makes me panic and get irrational.

Then, as a fishetarian who some days eats no animal protein at all, I had mostly eaten carbs so far since the big bike ride. As you say, protein would have helped refuel me better, but I wasn't even thinking about that. Now I'm going to focus on keeping my protein in balance with what else is going on food and exercise-wise.

Finally, not knowing about zigzag, I freaked out about being in a calorie surplus rather than a deficit after all my hard work the day before instead of seeing it as a good thing. I like the idea of goosing one's metabolism so it doesn't get too smart for us and start managing on a smaller number of calories every day.

But weird how much emotions factor into losing weight: being tired, carbed out, and scared due to thinking I had been "bad" all resulted in my overeating way too much. Being aware of being tired, getting more protein, and allowing a reasonable guilt-free zigzag are all things that can help next time.

Thank you, Cassie! (Love the thing about the eggs. So true!)
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktennant30 View Post
So we are having a potluck lunch at work today. I am really wanting some yummy bad stuff. So if I went under my intake one day, can I go over the next? No seriously, I want to know, does this work--what if I added in some good cardio too?

It takes a lot of exercise to 'undo' some overeating. If you are going 'over' your intake, how important is that? If you use the reports in fitday, you can see your average calories, protein, etc., over the past week, two weeks, or month. Use that to judge the impact of your going over your calories limit.
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